Monday, December 29, 2008

Ipoh Makan

While on the way to Penang, we scout the following places at Ipoh:
  1. Nam Heong White Coffee, a decent place with Fried Keow Teow, Chicken Hor Fun, Egg Tart and White Coffee. Not bad to sample a few dishes, but my mom doesn't quite like it.
  2. Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken, need to phone call them and order before picking up your packet. Pretty alright, another "must buy" to bring back to the city.
  3. Big Tree Foot (大树脚) Roadside Hawker, this place have the cheapest and best fun so far, with fried Yong Tau Foo stuff for RM 0.50 per piece and plain noodle/laksa between RM 1.60++ to 2.60++. 
  4. Ipoh Pomelo, not really great, just another "must buy" item, haha.



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Penang Makan

Something you crack your head trying to think where to go for vacation around Malaysia, which places you haven't been too and what new places could actually attract your attention. At the end, we think we should do a Makan trip instead. To where? Penang of course, and stop by Ipoh on the way.

Although Penang is a food heaven, but not every places or food courts are supposed to be nice, so I do my homework (with my own Malaysia Most Wanted Food) and come out with the following list.
  1. Kek Seng @ Penang Road, my mom wanted to visit Kek Seng as it is her old time favourite 20 years ago (as she miss it during the last trip) with many small stalls by the small alley. Sad to say, this place had lost it previous glory and not what it used to be. The food is not good.
  2. Teo Chew Cendol @ Penang Road, this is the most famous cendol road side stall in Penang, and you get delicious Cendol for just RM 1.60, definitely a very good deal.
  3. Joo Hooi Cafe @ Penang Road, is just beside Teo Chew Cendol which serve good Laksa. The Friend Keow Teow looks good, but I didn't try it. You are not allowed to bring in the Teo Chew Cendol from outside, else they will charge you RM 0.50.
  4. Ah Leng FKT @ Jalan Dato Keramat, within Kafe Khoon Hiang serves delicious Fried Keow Teow with 3 big prawns for RM 4.50.
  5. Him Hiang Biscuit @ Burma Road, a good places to buy goodies of Biscuit (Tau Sah Piah and Heong Peng) for your friends and families.
  6. Nasi Kandar Line Clear @ Penang Road, serves authentic Indian Nasi Kandar in the back Alley, and pretty good Roti Pisang too.
  7. Pasar Air Itam, famous for its good food and very near Kek Lok Si, but my mom said the Laksa in Joo Hooi is better.
  8. Paya Terubong Seafood, the place is crowded and they ran out of crab and sotong when we arrive at 9pm. The seafood is not bad.
Of course, I didn't manage to conver a few promising places for various reasons, such as Anba Coconut, Batu Lancang Foodcourt, Curry Mee Sisters, Edelweiss Swiss Cafe, Kheng Pin Cafe, Teluk Kumbar Seafood and Transfer Road Roti Canai.




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Friday, December 12, 2008

Missing Life

Tonight I am trying my futile attempt to ask myself a simple question: There is something not quite right, and I need to know what is it.

Yes, I am happy at this moment at this time. Of course I have my concerns and worries, but I don’t feel like the sky is falling anytime soon.

But that’s the problem with me, I don’t think just about here and now, as I tend to think about the future. Thinking about the future worries me, while living my life today makes me slightly happier.

Being a logical person and sort of a planner, and given the way I was brought up; I can’t help but to plan for future: to save money and to make sure I earn more by the day. I would feel guilty if I didn’t do anything to secure the future of myself and the one I love. But at the same time, I have this urge to let go and live life as freely as I could. I guess I am balancing in between both needs at this moment in time, thus I felt okay but not quite there yet.

I guess that I am not truly free yet. I think money could buy me freedom, but yet I don’t want to loose my freedom in order to make money.

I know there is more meaning to life, but yet I haven’t learned how to live a life yet.

Simply said, God created us for a purpose on Earth, and I am wired to live that purpose. I guess if I feel sad or dissatisfied, I might have derailed from my purpose here. To realize my purpose here, I really need to let go and see the world with my true eyes and true self.

I believe I am trapped in someway and somehow, and I desperately need to release myself to learn about this world and myself once again.

If only I can take one step back away from the world, I might be able to see it clearly. The monk said we need to let go of all things material in this world, and perhaps then only we can see the livelihood in it.

I know something is missing, something which I might take a lifetime to find.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Popularity Index of Malaysian Websites

I am curious about Malaysia’s most successful websites, and wonder how popular these websites really are in terms of number of visitors. Most of us know that Alexa could point us to the Top 100 websites in Malaysia, but the accuracy is questionable and the skewed towards certain segment; yet we still use it because there isn’t a better alternative. We could try Compete and Quantqast as well, but still isn’t a good enough estimate. Recently I found out about Google AdPlanner, which some useful data on Unique Visitors per Month. If I combined all these data together, I should have a pretty good idea about the popularity index of Malaysian Web.

I filtered out service oriented websites which is used to support their off-line operation such as Maybank2u, AirAsia, Sports Toto, Malaysia Airlines, Public Bank, Maxis, Magnum, CIMB Clicks, TM.

Alexa Ranking

Google AdPlanner Visitor

Compete Visitor

Quantcast Visitor

Thestar.com.my

1950

1.3 M

98,258

83.6K

Malaysiakini.com

2456

1.2 M

8,122

23.9K

Mudah.com.my

4885

1.1 M

6,824

3.9K

Cari.com.my

4262

690K

2,000

-

Utusan.com.my

3491

1.1 M

6,895

-

Lowyat.net

4316

690 K

25,077

40.6K

Bharian.com.my

5479

990 K

1,502

-

Hmetro.com.my

7159

840 K

1,069

-

Lelong.com.my

8297

470 K

4,336

3.1K

m2day.org

6422

430 K

7,102

-

Chinapress.com.my

8074

350 K

2,799

2.5K

Harakahdaily.net

10,259

510 K

3,685

-

Jobstreet.com.my

23,541

360 K

3,098

-

Ebay.com.my

7604

350 K

111,807

111.9K

Kosmo.com.my

15,630

420 K

594

-

www.jbtalks.cc

16,877

220 K

348

-

Iproperty.com.my

37,150

150 K

2,481

-

Mycen.com.my

55,789

200 K

2,622

-

Kennysia.com

25,971

110 K

5,607

20.5K

Petalingstreet.org

201,876

17 K

1,209

-

Liewcf.com

24,586

52 K

70,711

43.1K

Anwaribrahim.com

333,255

12 K

-

-

Limkitsiang.com

38,525

100 K

2,081

-

Cedet.com

7,897,804

-

-

-

Jeffooi.com

63,098

83 K

5,931


Most of the famous websites in Malaysia is either an online newspaper or blog, with few useful web application such as Lelong, Jobstreet and Mycen.

To get noticed (or to be considered popular in Malaysia), we would need around 100K visitors per month (based on Google AdPlanner) with Alexa Ranking of below 50,000. Check out DNFame for a basic summary of your websites popularity.

PS: MalaysiaMostWanted.com is not too bad after all, just a few more step to stardom!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Annapurna Circuit Day 2: Besi Sahar to Bahundanda

This is the first day of actual trekking. Originally we were supposed to take a jeep to Khudi, which should save half a day of walking. But somehow our guide decided that it’s best for us to walk, and we also blur blur follow him only. I pick up a long sleeve T-shirt for RS 300++, which prove to be very useful for the journey.



Our guide ask us to wear short as the weather is hot, but I think it is a bad choice as the back of the leg will get burnt. The army hat from Jalan Pasar is very useful as it could cover the face and neck. We meet a lot of school children in the town as they walk to school around 10:00am, so lucky of them. Along the way, we get to see big river, a lot of mountains, donkeys and buffalos, and children and of cause, adults. It’s very hot and extremely sunny on the first day, so we need lots of water and thin clothing. We probably finished 6 bottles of mineral water plus 3 liters of our own water, where we decide it’s perhaps more economical to drink the river water with water purification pill.



Mei Ru lost her RM 400++ Ray Ban Sun glasses on the first day itself, ouch. We are very excited about the whole journey and keep taking photograph along the way, until the guide also got fed up with us and hurry us to move faster. We pass by villages such as Khudi, Bhulbule and move upwards to Ngadi. There are a lot of lodges and small restaurants along the way and in the middle of paddy fields, where we lunch near a waterfall.


The food preparation took more than an hour until we fall asleep; I guess that started the whole preparation process only when there is customer. I guess it would be wiser to eat at places with at least a few customers, so that the fire is already started and the water is boiling before you arrive. The national food is Dhal Bhat, which is rice with refillable potato, vegetable and lentils. They have Momo which is actually Chinese dumpling. The food menu is almost standard along the way with small variety, with food such as bread, noodle, pasta, pizza, fried rice and etc.


After a long day, we finally reach Bahundanda around 6 p.m.; our hotel is at the hill top with many people. The room is made of wooden plank, small and simple, but clean. It is surrounded by green mountains, and the food there is on of the best along the journey (the made good pizza). No matter how simple the accommodation is, there is always some charm attached to it that I don’t complaint about.


There is nothing breath-taking along the way yet, but the amount of walking is still reasonable, and plenty of mountains, rivers and waterfall to look at. Nepal is still a nice and friendly place to be. Travellers made up of mostly westerners (more Europeans), but we saw some Chinese and Taiwanese.

Photo Link: 27.09.2008 - 17.10.2008 - Annapurna Circuit Day 02

The Last Dance

I probably went for my 1st dance class in March 2005, and it had gone through many happy moments. This week, I am not longer attending my dance class and might be giving it up for good. Though I still like it, but some circumstances had changed.

It all started when Tang introduced me to dancing 3 years ago, and I was hooked ever since. Following those small little steps does have its addiction, and dancing requirement you to make adjustment to accommodate your partners which is a very good life lesson. Everyone should try it once in a lifetime. I quit my job after a year thus making the dance studio very far away from my place, but I still have a lot of my friend there. After that I have Mei Ru, and it’s good that we get to dance together and meet up in the middle of the week.

It’s inevitable that people will quit eventually for various reasons and Tang stay tight though she is the first one among us to join. It’s good that she still have the time, passion and convenience to do it. Mei Ru had been busy with company’s overseas project for the past months and has to give up on dancing, and we don’t foresee she would have the time for dancing in the near future. I have one less reason and motivation to stay on.

I never wanted to excel in dancing like a professional; I just wanted to be able to dance. Bronze, Silver and Gold level is pretty fun and enjoyable, and it’s the most common that most people will learn and remember. Gold Cross or Gold Bar is complex and difficult, and not many people make it to this level or remember how to dance these steps for life. Though it’s inevitable that there is no place to go except up, but I did venture into other dances besides Latin, such as Paso, Rock and Roll and Ballroom lately. Ballroom is difficult to master and to look good, but it does have its charm.

It kind of saddens me that today is Wednesday, and I am no longer going for my dance class, and yet I am not quite sure how to move on from here. I know that I have to quit someday, and the day finally came. I just wish that I still know how to dance later in my life. Perhaps I should pick up something new, perhaps swimming or music instrument, some place near my house. By quiting, I had lost contact with some friend as well :|

Goodbye Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba, Rock and Roll, Paso, Waltz, Quick Step, Tango, wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How to choose a PHP Framework (Comparison)?

First of all, there is more than a dozen of PHP framework available nowadays (it’s bad that it make decision making more difficult; it’s good that it makes them more competitive). So, how do I know which one is better?

Firstly, I would go for some overall reviews (but most of them are outdated) and feature comparisons, where the established one would usually have more or less the same feature (but it helps me to pick the top 3). Personally, I think it's the style, syntax, approach and "feel" rather than pure features that sell the framework. I think Rail-styled (MVC) and lighweight framework (with flexibility), and simple syntax (easy to use) is the current trend. I am not very fond of Templates (used php for god sake, why restrict yourself!), a little bit of ORM is good (not too much though).

Secondly I need to use Google Trend to find out which is more popular to ensure support and long term continuity of the product.


Thirdly, I need to dwell compare between the top 3 framework, such as CodeIgniter vs CakePHP, CakePHP vs Zend, CodeIgniter vs Zend, and etc.

Forthly, I will dwell into areas which I am specifically concern and emphasis, such as flexibility, performance and etc.

Finally, give it a spin to at least 2 of them to get a feel of it (the begginner's tutorial play a very important role for new recruit).

Once you are hooked on one of the framework, it would be too late to change due to the learning curve and effort invested to develop codes for the framework. For better or worst, I am married to my choices made years ago.

About 2 years back I had chosen CakePHP, which had work pretty well for me so far (except that I am bugged by the performance comparison review lately, but I am hopeful the built-in caching would help to solve that). Perhaps CodeIgniter is the new ace, but CakePHP is pretty well established, and I dislike the style of Zend Framework.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Book Review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a light book to read about purpose of life and spiritual told as an adventure story. I read this during my Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit trip, and it’s a good and interesting read.

Different people might have different interpretation and interest about the book, but I think it is mostly about listening to our heart to decide on what to do with our life. The story revolved around a boy who don’t want to be a farmer like his father, and decide to be a Sheppard to travel to places. Along his travel he met with people and discover about his destiny (or being told about his destiny), and he decide to go for it. He sell all his goats (stop being a Sheppard) and embark on his journey. In between there are must doubt and challenges, and quite a few setbacks and interesting encounter. Every time he is in doubt, he will have to listen to his heart and to the world again; or pick up one of his two stone to help him decide. He made money being a jeweler seller, offered to be councilor of the oasis, being rob and hit and almost killed, travel a few thousands mile only to realize what he is looking for is actually back where he started.

I guess the destination or the end is not really the main point, but his journey: the people he met, the lesson he learn, the adventure he had and the decisions he made make him who he is at the end. Though he is hunting a treasure as part of his “destiny”, but the treasure seems to be the least important part of his journey.

I guess we always wonder what we should do with our life: what should we work as, who is our soul mate, what is our destiny and should we listen to our heart (our inner desire). In the pursuit of money for a more comfortable life, we may have to let go many things; perhaps we should ponder is there a slightly better way to live our life besides following the majority or social norm. It might not be easy or clear; but is the will to explore slightly further and perhaps embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

How would our life be if we continue what we are doing today? Is there a need for change? How can we change? A little pondering and a bit of action could go a long way; it’s inaction and giving up that I am worry about.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meet Joe Black

It’s a movie which is so slow and long, yet it is so attractive; so little words yet everything is understood with the contact of the eye; so slow to give you time to feel the emotion and ponder upon your life; so attractive that it keeps you to the end. She had those beautiful dreamy eyes which gets your love all the time, and the naïve look on the little’s boy face make the mood just right.


It really slows things down in life, to give a perspective to know what is important in life. I am so busy everyday with so many things, but did I put my time at the right place. I believed I am here to pursuit happiness, to give.

I know money is not everything, that it can’t buy happiness; yet I still spend a third of my life working for money. Between a corporate career with a $12,000 monthly salary and a home-based job with just $330, how should I choose? I should listen to my heart while I still can, so that I won’t exchange happiness for money. I think slowing down and savor every moment in life is really a nice thing to do, and everyone should do that. I should stop doing things which I don’t like, unless it is for the happiness of others which I care for. Life should be slow and simple, not luxury; but just pure happiness that money can’t buy. 

Ponder out of the raining window and feel everything is just nice; ponder at the dark sky and wonder about life; staying up late at night and feel everything is just good. Am I living my life? I think I am :)

It’s how I choose to live my life so that I can't say I live life without regret; that I wake up one day saying I don't want anything more.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friendship

Besides youself, work, family and your true love, friends probably comes next. The thing is they come and go, and we are probably the one who let this happen. I mean we didn’t stop them from leaving, and slowly we forgot about them. We remember they are good friends, yet it seems so far apart.

It is easy to maintain a friendship when we are always around each other, such as studying in the same school, working in the same place and joining the same activities. The friendship might build up for a few years and gave us many happy moments, until we moved on: either graduated, migrated, change job, retire or etc. Since we have less time together, the friendship sort of faded of. It’s still there, just that it is no longer that close; we are occupied with other things such as new job, new friends, new hobby and etc. We could try to salvage that, by messaging or come out sometimes for some activities, but that rarely happens.

When we want something bad enough, there is nothing which could stop us. Yet, we as human might become lazy and complacent, or had put our priority elsewhere, until one day we realize what we are missing. I probably had missed all my friend’s birthday, if someone or something haven’t reminded me; I had only remembered a few person’s birthday since young, and that is pathetic and a bad excuse for myself.

Though I can change everything overnight, but everything starts with a one small baby step. I think birthday is good thing to remember, and getting in touch with old friends once a year is pretty reasonable and feels good (we need an excuse to meet up anyway). To overcome my brain’s “defect” to remember birthday, I shall rely on Google Calendar to give me both email and SMS reminder. All I need to do is to scout around for their birthday, and I will never forget them again, muahahaha! It’s a bit of cheating, but technology should be used to improve our social life. Either a text, or a lunch/dinner, or a present, is better than forgetting all about it.

I know there is no easy way to maintain a friendship forever, but I guess we just have to try and remind us about it. Sometimes I think about my own life so much, perhaps its part of my life as well to think about others.

Perhaps it is the thought that matter :)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Annapurna Circuit Day 1: Kathmandu to Besi Sahar

We would start the trekking a day earlier, due to the expected transportation strike the next day. We took a private car to Besi Sahar, with 5 people in a Toyota Corola. The journey took around 5 hours, and it is really a painful journey.


We embarked on the so called highway across the mountains, which look more like a trunk road full with big busses and lorry with sign such as “Please Honk” and “Drive Safely”. They have colourful big vehicles, much like those in India I supposed. I was lucky we are on the left side of the road, as the right is the cliff most of the time and it looks pretty dangerous.

Anyway, our driver is a safe driver. The sky gets dark pretty soon, so I didn’t get to see much of the journey. Anyway, we got ourselves a Guide (Deepak) which is pretty good and caring, and a Porter (Prem) who is quite funny and nice and time; both of them speak English pretty alright.

I was told by Preta (a UK traveller I met in the trek) that you could actually take a bus + rafting trip on the way to Pokhara (perhaps the same apply to Besi Sahar). You take a bus ride until the rafting point, then you raft for 2-3 hours, and you got pick up by the bus at another point and continue your journey for just USD 20. It’s pretty cheap and time saving, worth exploring.



We stop somewhere along the “highway” for our dinner, and we order some Chinese “Chow Mien” and some Chicken Masala which feel very much like lamb; they food are pretty alright, except it is not really Napalese food. The journey is really painful, with a crammed car and bumpy road, and long hours. We reach around 11 plus at night, and the entire town is dead quiet with a few locals roaming the street. Luckily 1 small lodge is still open, and we have a place for the night. The place is nothing much (like most other lodge on the trek), but with clean bed for the night.


Tomorrow the walking shall begin.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Annapurna Circuit Day 0: Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu

It is 26 September 2008’s night, and I am busy packing by bags for the Annapurna trip and stationary for the children. The RM 200++ worth of stationary (with contribution from Ah Fong and Hui Peng) talk up 60% of my 65 liter Deuter bag, and it’s super heavy. I felt very exciting as it would the most adventurous trek I embark on so far.



We book our 21 days tour with Nepal’s Heian Treks (27 Sep - 17 Oct 2008) which offer us a very good price thanks to Richard’s recommendation. It cost us USD 596 (cost is ever rising due to global factor such as food and fuel price) per person, including Permit Fee, Guide, Accommodation and Food in the Mountains. It excludes Insurance (about RM 60 per person from AXA), Visa Fee, Airfare, All Drinks, Food in the City and Porter. It you are adventurous enough and tight on budget, you could just fly to Kathmandu, get a Trekking Permit, and head for the mountains without Guide, Porter or Travel Agencies. Many Europeans do that on the Annapurna Circuit, without Guide or Porter (you could easily find porter on the way).

We fly to Nepal by Royal Nepal Airline, it’s comfortable but always late (at least by 2 hours). The air ticket cost us around RM 1900++ (used to be RM 1600++ few months back, thanks to the recent fuel hike). Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you need to pay USD 20 for 15 days of VISA (USD 40 for 30 days), and a photograph as well. The queue at immigration is long, so it would be wise to rush to the immigration counter as soon as you landed (rather than running around taking photograph).

From the Aerial view, Kathmandu is really pretty big city with way too many custom houses across many miles. Kathmandu is really a very chaotic city (I was told that Bombay is worst), with small and bumpy road, and honking could be heard for 24 hours non-stop, and most did not obey the traffic rule. I was told Kathmandu is short of clean water supply (water is being pumped from the ground, though the mountains is full of clean water), so it’s advisable for tourist to consume mineral water (RS 15-25 per liter) and boil water. Nevertheless, it is still a very attractive and safe city (just noisy and crowded).



We get out of the airport 3 hours late (2 hours due to plane delay, and 1 hour due to immigration), and was told there is going to be a transportation strike the next day so it is advisable to go to Annapurna region by tonight. The public bus is no longer available at this time, so we have to take a private car for USD 100. It’s a pretty hefty fee, but we have no options.


Off we go to Besi Sahar (5 hours of bumpy road ride on the so called highway, ouch!), the starting point of Annapurna Circuit. We have yet to explore Kathmandu (though we had a glimpse of Thamel area), and that we have to wait until the last few days of out trip.

Photo Links: 27.09.2008 - 17.10.2008 - Annapurna Circuit Day 01

Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Last time I had this dilemma, should I criticize someone if I know what he or she is wrong, or just keep our silence? I try to point out that he or she is wrong, but that didn’t goes very well as they tend to be defensive. I felt compelled to the right thing and correct his wrong, but my good intention is not served in the end as well. Perhaps my intention is good, but my methods are not very effective.


I realize this by revisiting the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a really repetitive book with a lot of examples, but it does teach a really simple life lesson: how to deal with the most complex being on earth, Human. I read it a few years back and found it pretty boring, but I revisited it during the Annapurna Circuit trek and found it to be quite interesting and effective as well. I did some practical on the trip, and it does help to strike up a few good conversations and make some friends.

So what is it all about? Though it had many principal or lessons, but it is mainly talking about putting your focus on other people. Rather than talking about yourself and your own interest, you should focus on your friend’s and his interest. Find out about his culture, work, travel and etc. We don’t criticize or condemn them, encourage them to talk about themselves and listen, smile, praise when necessary and etc. Basically put them as your primary focus and they would be happy and probably like you. It’s true that we like to talk about things which interest us, and we like people to listen. So find out about what they like, and encourage them to talk more; so we could eventually strike up a good conversation even though we are not a talkative person.

For summary of all the principals, visit http://www.notesofintelligence.com/influence/basic-summary.html

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trans Gunung Benum GPS and Track


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From Bentong -> Sungai Klau -> Lata Berembun -> Camp 1 -> Gunung Bernum Summit -> Camp 3 -> Camp 2 -> Waterfall -> Camp 1 -> Kampung Ulu Cheka -> Kampung Dama -> Jerantut

Monday, September 15, 2008

Book Review: The Google Story

I thought I know almost everything about Google by keeping closely with Slashdot: How 2 smart guys from Stanford make the best Search Engine in the world and now they earn money by selling targeted text-based advertisement.

Nevertheless, the beginning of Google is still a very interesting read, and to let you peek of what kind of people Sergey Brin and Larry Page actually is. Google started in the days where Search Engine is not a big deal, and certainly not a cash-cow. Yahoo primary focus is not the search engine, where to emphasis more on portal, email and their Internet Directory. So 2 smart guys from Stanford thinks that we need a better Search Engine so that we can actually find what we wanted from the big Internet, and have absolutely no clue how to make any money yet. They started of at Stanford University using an array to cheap computers (couldn’t afford IBM’s server) to crawl the Internet and implemented the famous PageRank algorithm. Google.com gotten too famous and needed more computers (and more money to buy them) to support its web traffic, and they manage to get an Angel investor through the help of the University’s Professor to invest USD 100,000 without any paperwork nor a business plan on how to make money (just because the idea sounds interesting). Then the whole think got bigger and they need to source for millions in funding using some really smart maneuver, ended getting the money from 2 of the biggest VCs and still be in control of the company (which is really rare). Even during their IPO, the founder have this Class B shares which allow them to have more votes than ordinary shareholders just to be in control of the company. You could say they are real control freaks, but they just believed they are the best man for the job (just like the Kennedy Brothers).

A few interesting facts:
  • The Google founders are really very smart people in terms of technical knowledge (especially mathematics) and business negotiation. They aren’t just Techie, more like Genius who could make good use of their talent in the world of business and technology.
  • Google started with no business plan, just a solution to solve a problem. They only figured out the AdWord thing at a much later stage.
  • Google like to do things the unconventional ways and breaking the norm. Maybe "normal" is not a good thing after all.
  • Google always think that they could come up with better solutions in a technologist and scientific way. It might be arrogant, it work out for the better most of the time.
  • Google prefer small team for project, between 4-5 persons.
  • Google always focus on coming out with a better product or useful solution and think of how to monetize it later.
  • Eric Schmidt runs the daily operation of Google so that Larry and Sergey could focus on innovation. The founders still sign-off on new hires.
  • Google allow their employees to spent 20% of their time on projects which they like, so that talented people don’t run away with the idea and start a rival company.
  • Google’s offer free and healthy meals, free massage, free laundry, free annual ski trip, etc.
  • Google "Don't Be Evil" motto: with more power easily come the temptation to abuse or corrupt.
  • Google channel 1% of their resources for Google.org: Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, RechargeIT, Predict and Prevent, Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services, and Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Anyway, the book is quite an interesting read until half way through, and I got bored from there onwards.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

People should not be afraid of their governments, Governments should be afraid of their people

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. – V for Vendetta

Certain things just never change for Centuries, as absolute power will always corrupt. It is a good thing that we have Democracy, so that the people could actually choose the Government to run the country on their behalf (not to control or against the people). Though I might say that Democracy is far from perfect, but that is another story to tell.

Sometimes the Government had forgotten their role, making themselves the Master and the People its slave. When the Master found its slaves to be “disobedient”, he tries to suppress or punished its slaves, and make an example of a few of them to warn the others not to go against the Government. These are signs of desperation; that the Government is no longer for the people; but a selfish entity run by an elite group trying to protect their own interest, power and wealth.

Does the Government try to strike fear into your heart, rather than trying to win your heart? Do you hear about people going missing overnight and never to be heard ever since? Do people get punished and long gone are the foundation of justice where everyone is “Innocent until Proven Guilty”? I felt the fear, and that’s why I know something is very wrong.

All the hardworking and honest citizen ever wanted is a peaceful place to earn a living. I don’t think the commoner care much about skin colors and special privileges (except some extremist or people with political interest); there is no racial unrest unless it’s being incite by certain elite group to achieve their own selfish goal. There are no real racial issues: the Ramadan month means delicious food for all races, everyone visited the Mamak Stall, Nasi Lemak is the national food, and everyone loves the holidays due to our multi-racial communities. Yes, there are some small differences and stereotypes; but it's no big deal.

I don’t like or hate you for your colors, it’s who you are and whether you are a good man (or woman) with integrity. We really need to look pass colors and privileges. We need a country which is fair and strong for everyone, despite your colors, genders, origins, citizenships and religions. It's everyone own a fair piece of the country or find it worth preserving, everyone would want to protect it and make it better; it's our home afterall. Don't allienate us; Don't make us a 2nd class citizen; Embrace us as one big family and filled the air with love.

For the sake of our country's future, please stop being selfish and open your heart. Sometimes to love is to let go, it will make you feel better in the end as a person; holding too strongly to something which are not meant for you is painful for everyone. Having felt really "naive" after the last sentence, but the core of things are really as simple as that: it's the execution which is difficult. It's no easy being a Good man.

Does every revolution need a blood shed? How much can our beloved country sustain?

It's ironic that as a human, we would always think that we are right, and we seldom think for others. Perhaps we are born selfish, that we need to learn to be selfless. Do you think that you are right? and why is that so?