24 Jan 2009 @ 9:33 PM 

It has been a slow week for news after the Kuala Terengganu by-election and also my lack of time, but here it is, the 6th edition of News Roundup.

Second stimulus package for Malaysia

Malaysiakini reports that the government was in discussion with various parties to get their views and input to be incorporated into a second economic stimulus package.  This is to prevent the country from undergoing another recession due to the global financial crisis.  This money will be used to aid failing companies and retrenched workers.

Therefore, in other words, that job you’re holding onto?  You’re paying for it.

Women fall into sex trap several times

A 33-year-old man lied and blackmailed his way into having college women pose nude for him and subsequently have sex with him.  The man is believed to be impersonating as a photographer for a US-based modelling agency, promising international fame to the victims.  He then used the nude photographs to blackmail the women involved into having sex with him in exchange for not publishing the explicit photographs.

It is learnt that at least two women were victims of his ruse several times before finally giving in and reporting to the police.

This goes to show that in Malaysia, it is better to have forced sex with a stranger than to die in police custody.

Salmonella scare at cookie franchise

The Health Ministry said it is investigating the cookie chain Famous Amos after it withdrew their cookie dough from several outlets amid fears that it may be contaminated by the salmonella bacterium.

The cookie company, mostly known for its Free Smells signs at its outlets, will now allow customers to have Free Smells from their cookies at home as well, in their toilets.

PM: We want detainees back

Malaysiakini reports that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants to bring home two Malaysians held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility which US President Barack Obama has ordered shut within a year.  Both the detainees were suspected of being involved in the deadly bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta in 2003.

This is again in line with the government’s stance that Malaysia prefers to welcome back suspected terrorists but continue to drive “non-Bumis” out of the country they were born in.

Obama’s portrait is digital

US President Barack Obama’s presidential portrait was taken last week and it marks the first ever presidential portrait to be taken with a digital camera.  The portrait in full resolution can be seen here.

A government official was relieved that Obama was elected president because they were afraid McCain might have insisted his portrait to be taken with this.

800px-studijskifotoaparatThat was another installment of News Roundup.  Stop picking your nose.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 24 Jan 2009 @ 09:33 PM

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 18 Jan 2009 @ 10:15 PM 

It’s time for the 5th Edition of News Roundup, where I report the happenings in Malaysia and around the world while having my tongue firmly in cheek.

Wan Farid: It’s not my money

Malaysiakini reports that the Kuala Terengganu BN candidate Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh denied he had anything to do with the money given away to journalists at the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election media centre recently.  Journalists were puzzled after being given an envelope filled with RM300 at the state information department’s media centre after providing their contact information.

Information minister’s press secretary Hisham Abdul Hamid said the ministry had never directed any of its officers to do such a thing.

“This has never been the practice of the ministry,” he told Bernama.

He later added, “We wouldn’t give money to you without first telling you who to vote for.”

Anwar: Another round of defections (hint hint)

In another Malaysiakini report, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim again raised the possibility of Barisan Nasional MPs defecting to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.  After the much publicised takeover plan of Sept 16, 2008 failed to materialize, he was again unwilling to comment after being pressed for details.

This just in, there is now a fixed date.  It’s Feb 30, 200-imaginary.

Pak Lah: “Buy-lah Malaysian”

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday the people should cast aside any prejudice against Malaysian-made products, reports NST.  He added that the local producers require the support of consumers as well and urged the people to give local products a go.

He was later found to be a fervent supporter of the recently announced Malaysian soft-drink, Coca-CoLah Kosong.

Also known as Coke kurang manis

Also known as Coke kurang manis

Looking for ways to make EPF savings last a lifetime

The Human Resources Ministry is looking for ways to ensure that employees from the private sector will have their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings last a lifetime.  This was due to reports of EPF contributors using up all their savings within 2 years after retirement and were left without a source of income.

In an unrelated development, the ministry will be tabling a new law to sentence anyone found to be above the age of 60, to death.

By-election side note

So another typical by-election in Malaysia has come and gone.  Pretty good showing from both sides with typical controversies, mud-slinging and smear campaigns.  It was a great by-election for the Kuala Terengganu people, not so great for half of them, but still great all-around.  Personally, it was quite fun trying out writing political satire and the best material always comes from elections.  So keep ‘em dying, and I’ll keep on writing.

Remember that politicians are like dirty diapers, you have to keep changing them.  See you in the next edition of News Roundup.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 18 Jan 2009 @ 10:15 PM

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 15 Jan 2009 @ 5:55 PM 

My girlfriend is a fellow in CERN’s Marie Curie Fellowship Program.

Me: So how was your day today?

GF: I had a meeting in the morning and then a meeting over coffee with Marie Curie’s head.

Me: Is her head in one of those jar thingies?  Man, CERN is advanced!

*This post has been sanitized from Cutenese™

Head in a jar

Head in a jar

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 15 Jan 2009 @ 05:55 PM

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 14 Jan 2009 @ 10:37 PM 

This is the News Roundup (IV), bringing you Malaysian news and more.

The recession?  It’s just technical

Only technically (kcbs.com pix)

Only technically (kcbs.com pix)

Malaysiakini reports that Citigroup Global Market has downgraded Malaysia’s GDP forecast for 2009 to 0.5% from 3.1% earlier.  This was due to 2 consecutive quarters of negative economic growth which defines the term technical recession.  This was contrary to the rosy outlook painted by the 2nd Finance Minister that the government was confident that the country would not slip into a technical recession this year.

So stop worrying folks, that pot of gold and the unicorns in your backyard?  They’re still technically there.

Abdul Wahid’s Chinese New Year Wish for the country

In another Malaysiakini report, PAS’ candidate in the Kuala Terengganu by-election, Abdul Wahid Endut’s campaign took a festive twist yesterday when he presented the Chinese community in Kampung Cina with calligraphy bearing a Chinese New Year message.  He displayed his calligraphy skills by writing chinese characters meaning ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’.

Little did he knew, that the characters actually meant this
chinese

New baggage policy by AirAsia

The country’s low cost carrier AirAsia has implemented a new check-in baggage policy, dubbed Supersize, reports Bernama.  Passengers can now choose from 3 tiers of check-in baggage prices, Supersize Regular, Supersize Medium and Supersize Large depending on their baggage weight.

It is rumoured that AirAsia will introduce other fun policies such as the Happy Fly Fly Meal, where you get a free Prozac or a joint after every meal or the Triple Whammy Package, whereby you get another free ticket to a destination of choice if your flight was delayed, your baggage lost and you got punched personally by the pilot during your flight (which I have heard is a good deal because it happens most of the time).

Subang Jaya girl is top O-Levels student

The Star reports that a girl from Subang Jaya, Malaysia, is Singapore’s top O-Level Student.  Haw Sue Hern, from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, scored 10 A1s after the results were released on Monday.

She attributed her success to consistent hard work and the fortune of being not hot.

Another one.

She attributed her success to consistent hard work and the fortune of simply being Asian.

Want more?

She attributed her success to consistent hard work and the fortune of looking like this

Haw Sue Hern

Haw Sue Hern

Obama to give up his Blackberry

Obama's gadgets

Obama's gadgets

President-elect Obama will have his Blackberry device pried from his hands when he starts his tenure as president soon.  This is due to the strict NSA requirement that communication devices have to be secure due to the sensitive information being handled by the president.  2 of such NSA approved devices are the General Dynamics’ Sectera Edge and L-3 Communications’ Guardian.

The features include the ability to travel back in time to the 90′s , bullet-stopping capabilities and the ability to make the user’s hands look small.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2009 @ 10:37 PM

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 13 Jan 2009 @ 7:22 PM 
It's a one-way street with DRM

It's a one-way street with DRM

I want to share a bit on my current run-in with DRM (Digital Rights Management).  For those who don’t yet know, DRM is evil.  On a more technical note, DRM is some piece of satan spawn which determines arbitrarily whether the piece of digital property you paid for can actually be played by you.

Here’s my story.  Firstly I work with Nokia.  I have a Nokia phone and I buy music from the Nokia Music Store.  But after this, I’ll never buy again.  I have roughly 50 songs from the store (purchased and free).  The songs transferred to the device fine the first time.  But recently I had a new firmware upgrade.  And the nightmare begun.  I have the songs on the memory card and when trying to play the music on the new firmware, it says license invalid.  Fine, I just need to sign in and get the license, no biggie.  Wrong, after signing in, it said license failed and I should buy the song again.  I’m not gonna fork out money again.  So I thought maybe redownloading it might do the trick, since I have them on my download list in my account.

Again, wrong.  Redownloaded music still didn’t want to play.  At this time I thought, hey I have the songs on my PC, why not just transfer them.  Again, DRM sucks ass if you didn’t catch it by now.  Transferring the music from the PC also failed.  It seemed that some DRM creator thought it was a great idea to not allow bought music, which even have limited number of transfers, to be legally transferred.  By this time I thought fuck it, but being the well-mannered gentleman that I am, I decided to search online for help.  Looking in Nokia Discussions, there were others with similar problems.  A suggestion was to transfer the music through Windows Media Player, which I thought might work.

Wrong again.  Media Player spat out an “Unknown error” message.  WTF!  It’s not fucking unknown, it’s the DRM you fuck.  Ok, last chance, I will format the memory card and start afresh.  I have 555MB of data, applications and maps on it.  What a fun night it will be redownloading all the applications and music that I own in the first place.  So, finally after a reformat, the stuff works.  Now I’m redownloading the Maps data and other applications.

So there you have it, another shining example of DRM bringing more trouble to the consumer who actually spent money.  I was wondering why couldn’t I get the license at the first time when it asked me to log in and relicense the music.  After all, a valid login should be enough.  Maybe limit the amount of relicensing per month.  And why should it only work if I have the songs on a PC?  What if my PC is not available with me?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for paying the creators for the music, after all it’s their hard work and it doesn’t cost a bomb.  But if people can just pirate music and have it play without any hassles, ethical consumers will slowly change to the dark side.

I like Nokia products and after all I’m an employee.  But Nokia should really buck up in their services area.  Apple is already offering DRM free music and will extend to their entire inventory soon.  Nokia must start to realise that services are not only focused on quantity, availability and diversity but rather the experience the user has.  I could have wrote this in an internal blog but it’s a hassle to set one up just for a rant.  And of all the solutions, they chose Windows Media DRM.facepalm

And Nokia, I do this because I love you.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2009 @ 07:22 PM

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 12 Jan 2009 @ 8:02 PM 

As I came home from work, I reopened my Firefox browser only to see that my site (this site) displayed weird, as if the theme was broken.  I then proceeded to make a database backup and reuploaded the theme.  Fortunately the site returned to normal.

However, I noticed that the sponsors were not showing anything and the WP admin was lacking the draggable/expandable features.  Furthermore, clicking on the gallery pictures should blacken the site and load up a bigger picture on the foreground, however this was not the case.  I suspected a javascript problem so I opened the error console in Firefox to see a jQuery not defined error.  Which was puzzling.  I loaded up the site with IE and all seemed to be fine.

Thinking that this was a Firefox error and not my site, I tried to enable javascript but it was already enabled.  I went to other sites and they seemed to work fine.  iGoogle gadgets could still be dragged around.  I then figured this was only happening to my site.  I could have tried on another computer but I left my laptop at work today.

I proceeded to install another WordPress blog and that seemed to work fine.  I therefore resorted to reupload the files under the wp-includes/js/ folder.  Before I did that, I refreshed the site and now it works, only the sponsors were not showing (but that is no big deal, no one notices them anyway).  I logged in and the admin dashboard worked fine.  This is very very puzzling.  Because at first I suspected that someone might have broken the site somehow but the problem resolved magically without my intervention.

I hope if there is anyone who happens to stumble on this site and happens to be an expert/experienced something similar, please enlighten me.  I know this is a long shot but then I just want to throw it out there.

I’m putting this down as a WordPress bug though.

Update 1:  Google ads are not showing at other sites on Firefox too but shown in IE.  So the ads thing should be native to my browser only.

Update 2: I’m aiming for next News Roundup tomorrow or Wednesday.  Stay tuned.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 12 Jan 2009 @ 08:13 PM

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 11 Jan 2009 @ 9:14 PM 

This is the News Roundup (III),  where I report the happenings in Malaysia and around the world while having my tongue firmly in cheek.

Dr. M: Quit your jobs

No Mcdonald's (devonwoodestates.org pix)

No Mcdonald's (devonwoodestates.org pix)

In a Malaysiakini report, ex-prime minister, Dr. Mahathir said Malaysians “will not die if they do not use the US goods” and urged those working for US companies such as fast-food giant McDonald’s and Starbucks to quit their jobs.

However, he conveniently forgot to mention the human’s tendency to die when left without money to buy food.

Landslide in Sandakan, 434 dead

In the wake of the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy, another landslide occured in Sandakan yesterday, reported Bernama.  Only this time, it hit a cemetery.  The affected cemetery is the Kampung Sim-Sim Muslim cemetery and the Public Works Department is trying to identify the cause of the landslide which damaged 434 graves.

Comparing this incident with the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide, a spokesman for the Works Department said, “At least that time, there were actually survivors.”

Inspiring slogans in by-election

BN billboard (Malaysiakini.com pix)

BN billboard (Malaysiakini.com pix)

In another Malaysiakini report, the by-election in Kuala Terengganu has escalated into a war of quotes.  The BN campaign went all out in peppering the constituent with posters and billboards borrowing quotes from US presidential campaigns.  Most specifically from the Lincoln administration’s motto, “Of the people, by the people, for the people” and the recent Obama’s campaign, “One wish, one Malaysia, Yes we can”.

The campaign team however left out quotes from the Bush administration, such as, “I’m the decider, and I decide what is best.” or one for Najib by the Clinton administration, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

Irony caught up with pirates

(maj1970 pix from Webshots.com)

(maj1970 pix from Webshots.com)

The AFP reports that six Somalian pirates drowned while getting away with a boat loaded with ransom money off the East African coast.  The pirates were believed to be involved in the attack and kidnapping of a Sirius Star ship.

This will serve as a reminder to everyone, that if you plan to swashbuckle your way into a life of pillaging and rum on the high seas… it would be a good idea to first learn to SWIM.

China: Rail technology not stolen

The Associated Press reports that China denied exporting rail technology that was stolen from the West.  The China’s Railway Ministry spokesman, Wang Yongping defended the industry and stated that the technologies used were homegrown.

We tried to push for more details but apparently his Orange iPhony battery died.

That was yet again another edition of News Roundup.  Have a great week!

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 12 Jan 2009 @ 01:39 PM

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 10 Jan 2009 @ 12:38 AM 

The holiday game avalanche has passed and now it’s time for me to look forward to some of the games coming out in early 2009 for the Playstation 3.  These games will be considered for my Q1 game purchases.  Some of them are launched games which I have not bought yet but still under consideration.

  • Resident Evil 5
  • Killzone 2
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Mercenaries 2

Other games which I look forward but will most likely never appear this year.

  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gran Turismo 5
  • Starcraft 2
  • Diablo III
  • Duke Nukem Forever (which is literally taking forever)
Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 10 Jan 2009 @ 12:38 AM

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 08 Jan 2009 @ 9:07 PM 

This is the News Roundup (II), where I report the happenings in Malaysia and around the world while having my tongue firmly in cheek.

Gaza: Malaysia gives ultimatum

The Star Online reports that Malaysia has given the United Nations Security Council a one-day “deadline” to come up with a resolution on Israel’s aggression against Palestine, or else.

When asked the question, “Or else what?”, Malaysia simply responded, “or else we don’t friend you.”

Election goodies announced

The Malaysian Insider reports that the Terengganu government will provide a RM1 million fund for bus companies operating in the state to buy new vehicles to facilitate more comfortable public transportation.  The Menteri Besar, Datuk Ahmad Said announced the good news in front of 2,500 imams and bilals from 483 Terengganu mosques who attended the event.  They were also promised an allowance of RM650 monthly by the state.

Imams from other states responded swiftly by changing this Friday’s sermon to, “Let’s all pray our elected MP dies so that we can get goodies too.”

Chinese votes crucial

Malaysiakini reports in an article about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah’s visit to Kuala Terengganu that the Chinese in Kuala Terengganu may decide the outcome of the by-election currently being held there.  The 8,000+ Chinese voters are said to be the “kingmakers” in this contest and a lot of resources are being spent to canvass for their votes.

The report however failed to state the importance of the votes from other races in Malaysia such as the orcs, elves and the dwarves.

The lain-lain races of Malaysia

The lain-lain races of Malaysia

Don’t buy US goods

NST online reports that a campaign to boycott American made products has been launched today by the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association, along with Muslim restaurateurs and several Muslim non-governmental organisations.  MMCA secretary general Datuk Dr Ma’amor Osman urged Malaysians, including non-Muslims, to support the campaign by renouncing brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Nike.

He added that Malaysians should instead turn to other local alternatives such as

Coca CoLah

Malaysian soft drink, Coca-Colah

Malaysian soft drink, Coca-CoLah

McDollah’s

Malaysian fast food, McDollah's

Malaysian fast food, McDollah's

and the famous local sports brand,

Buatan Malaysia

Malaysian sports brand, Buatan Malaysia

Malaysian sports brand, Buatan Malaysia

with its tag-line, Boleh sahaja!

Fortune tellers nabbed

Two fortune tellers from China were caught by Kota Kinabalu police after being found connected to 13 cheating cases in Sabah involving nearly RM145,000 in cash and jewelry.

In a statement after the arrest, they claimed that they knew 2 days before the police were coming after them, just that they decided not to believe themselves.

Internet links restored

Internet restored

Internet restored

Bernama reports that Telekom Malaysia has restored all internet links between Malaysia and Europe to 100% capacity on Monday.

A spokesperson from Telekom Malaysia said, that the outage was due to the death of 2 hamsters powering the TMNet servers.

Michael Jackson to need a new lung

The Gloved One

The Gloved One

Defamer.com reports that pop star Michel Jackson might be needing a lung transplant due to a rare genetic disease which causes the said organ to fail.

While shopping for a new lung, Michael was also spotted to be looking for new gloves, a new nose and a right ear.  Fabulous hair, though.

That’s it for the 2nd News Roundup, until next time, have a great week.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 17 Jan 2009 @ 06:29 PM

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 06 Jan 2009 @ 6:19 PM 

Welcome to the first installment of the News Roundup.   This is where I report the happenings in Malaysia and around the world while having my tongue firmly in cheek.

We want our highways back

Unclassified highway contracts

Unclassified highway contracts

Malaysiakini reports that DAP members is of the opinion that the government should, “buy over highways and save taxpayers’ money”, after reading through the recently declassified agreements of the highway concessionaires.

Segambut MP, Lim Lip Eng said, that the agreements only favour the highway concessionaires.  He cited that even if there is a breach of contract in favour of the government, the highway concessionaires will receive compensation from the government.

Hearing this, the highway concessionaires said, “Oh really?  OK, you can have them back, now where’s our money?”

Kuala Terengganu by-election

Azharudin Mamat (Malaysiakini.com pix)

Azharudin Mamat (Malaysiakini.com pix)

The Kuala Terengganu parliament seat recently left vacant will see a 3 way fight between the BN, PAS and an independent candidate, Azharudin Mamat @ Adam.  While his chances of winning the election are slim, he is confident that can win because he wants to “help the poor” and will use his MP allowance to “help those people regardless of race or party”.

Yes, Adam (can I call you Adam?).  The people are shallow enough to vote for you so that instead of bringing issues to parliament, you will just return their money.

Samy Vellu is at it again

Samy Vellu

Samy Vellu (Malaysiakini.com pix)

MIC leader, Samy Vellu is in the middle of another scandal which has hit his party recently.  This time it involves the awarding of contracts for maintenance by its party-run AIMST University.  The allegations are targeted at the party’s education arm, Maju Institute for Education Development (MIED).

Sources point out that Samy Vellu has revoked several contracts and reassigned them to people that are close to him.

When asked to comment on these allegations, Samy Vellu has this to say: “It is unfortunate that this happened and I stress that it is an act of God.  Only this time I am God.”

“No Tsunami,” say scientists

Mingguan Malaysia reported that a baby whale shark caught dead in a fishing net is not the sign of an impending tsunami.  Universiti Sains Malaysia’s marine biologist Dr Aileen Tan Shau-Hwai told the daily the whale shark, found dead in the waters of Kendi Island, could have rammed into a big boat while migrating to a new destination.

She added that she came to this conclusion using the scientific method called… Guessing.

Invest wisely

In these tough economic times, Choong Khuat Hock, director of fund management company Kumpulan Sentiasa Cemerlang, urges the people to diversify their investments.  The report recommended other forms of investments such as gold, antiques and even tea.

Thank you for letting us know of even more ways to lose our money.

Mind games

Mind Flex toy from Mattel

Mind Flex toy from Mattel

The Telegraph reports that toy-maker, Mattel will be releasing the Mind-Flex, a toy where children could use their mind power to move balls through hoops.

Good news for white kids around the world who can now play basketball, while sitting on the bench.  Wait, they’re already doing that?

That’s all for the first edition of News Roundup!  Have a great week!

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2009 @ 12:59 AM

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