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Monday, April 30, 2007

HITBSecConf 2007 Malaysia - Hack in the Box!

Hack in The Box Security Conference 2007 Malaysia will be held from September 3rd until the 6th at HILTON KL Sentral and the onlineregistration is now open.

HITBSecConf is Asia's largest network security conference and is organized as a community centric non-profit effort with the aim ofcreating a platform for the discussion and dissemination ofdeep-knowledge computer security issues. Held in Kuala Lumpur since 2002and more recently in Dubai, HITBSecConf routinely hosts some of the mostrespected members from the mainstream and underground security arena.

We’re expecting over 800 attendees to join us from around the world forthis year’s Malaysian leg and we promise they will not be disappointed!

HITBSecConf2007 - Malaysia will be the largest network security event inAsia with 4 keynote speakers and over 40 of the world’s leadingresearchers and security experts under one roof.

Some of the highlights:

7 Tracks of Hands-On Technical Trainings:
=========================================
TECH TRAINING 1 - Advanced Web Application & Services HackingTrainers: Shreeraj Shah (Director, Net-Square) & Umesh Nagori

TECH TRAINING 2 - The Exploit LaboratoryTrainer: Saumil Shah (Director, Net-Square) & SK Chong (SecurityConsultant, SCAN Associates Bhd.)

TECH TRAINING 3 -Structured Network Threat Analysis and ForensicsTrainers: Meling Mudin (spoonfork) and Lee Chin Shing (geek00l)

TECH TRAINING 4 - Practical Malcode Threat AnalysisTrainer: Dr. Jose Nazario (Senior Security Engineer, Arbor Networks)

TECH TRAINING 5 - Telecommunication FraudTrainer: Carlos Lowie (Unit Manager, Investigations, Belgacom)

TECH TRAINING 6 - War Driving Kuala LumpurTrainers: Anthony Zboralski (Founder, HERT & PT. Bellua Asia Pacific) &Jim Geovedi (Member of HERT & Security Consultant PT. Bellua Asia Pacific)

TECH TRAINING 7 - Hacking and Hardening OracleTrainer: Alexander Kornbrust (Founder, Red Database Security GmbH)

Dual Track Security Conference:
===============================
Day 1 Keynote Speakers: Mark ‘Phiber Optik’ Abene and Emmanuel Goldstein
Day 2 Keynote Speakers: Lance Spitzner and Mikko Hypponen

Other event highlights:
============================
BZFlag Competition: Organized by members of the US Army, attendees toHITBSecConf2007 will be able to blow off some steam in a BZFlag arena.BZFlag is an online multiplayer cross-platform open source 3D tank battle!

HITB Cinema: As part of our yearly charity initiative, we are organizingscreenings of Freedom Downtime and Urchin. Freedom Downtime, directedand produced by Emmanuel Goldstein is the story of computer hacker KevinMitnick, imprisoned without bail for nearly five years while Urchin isan independent production written and directed by John Harlacher andstars Mark Abene as ‘The Inside Man’ and Emmanuel Goldstein as ‘TheOutside Man’. Shot illegally in the subways, sewers, and streets of NewYork City “Urchin” is a prime example of guerrilla cinema made possibleby new technology. This will be the first time in Asia Pacific thatthese movies are being shown to the public and all proceeds from thesescreenings will go to the Malaysian National Cancer Council - MAKNA.

Capture The Flag: With cash prizes worth USD6,000 this years’ CaptureThe Flag game has already received confirmation of participation fromPadocon from Korea (last year’s champions), NDMTeam from Bulgaria, ArmyStrong comprising members of the US Army and Zone-H from Italy.

Zone-H/HITB Hacking Challenge: Zone-H in colaboration with the Hack inThe Box crew will organize a 6-level web-based hackgame in whichindividual participants will be challenged to try to beat the hackgamein the shortest possible time. Based on the original game developed byZone-H in 2005, there will be no need to bring your own exploits or yourown laptop.

Lock Picking Village (LPV): Deviant Olam, Eric Michaud and Q who aremembers from the The Open Organization of Lockpickers (TOOL USA) will berunning a Lock Picking Village at the conference in which attendees willbe invited to try their hands at bumping and other physical securitybypass methods! If you think your home locks are secure, you’re morethan welcome to bring them along and see for yourself how easily theycan be bypassed.

Find out more here:

http://conference.hackinthebox.org

See you in September!

Warm regards,

CREW
Hack In The Box
http://conference.hackinthebox.org

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent and NEC for AAG (Asia America Gateway)

Alcatel-Lucent and NEC Win Contract to Supply 20,000km Submarine Cable Network between Southeast Asia and the United States

A cable network spanning almost half the length of the equator.

Kuala Lumpur, April 27, 2007 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and NEC Corporation (NEC) (NASDAQ: NIPNY) will jointly deploy the Asia America Gateway (AAG), the first direct Terabit submarine cable network between Southeast Asia and the United States . Spanning over 20,000 km, AAG will link Malaysia to the U.S. via Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the West coast of the U.S. Worth approximately USD 500 million, the contract will deliver a cable network spanning almost half the length of the equator.

The turnkey contract was signed today with a consortium formed by 10 parties including the Government of Brunei, AT&T (USA), Bharti ( India ), CAT ( Thailand ), PLDT ( Philippines ), PT Telkom ( Indonesia ), Telekom Malaysia ( Malaysia ), Telstra ( Australia ), StarHub ( Singapore ) and VNPT ( Vietnam ). Alcatel-Lucent and NEC will design, manufacture, install, integrate and commission the full network on a turnkey basis. The Project is scheduled to be completed by late 2008.

The new cable network is expected to meet the forecasted explosive growth in bandwidth requirements for new and revolutionary broadband applications such as IP, video, data, and other multimedia services. In addition to providing full network diversity from the conventional cable routes, which are normally connected via North Asia, the AAG will provide a seamless direct link between the U.S. and other Asian countries via one single cable. Furthermore, it will provide connectivity and the ability to be expanded in the future to Australia , India , Africa, and Europe . International communications between the countries involved has been growing rapidly, and is expected to benefit greatly from the enhanced connectivity offered by the new cable network.

“This award further increases the significant track-record we have developed since the beginning of the year and confirms our leadership in the submarine cable industry. AAG will help operators leverage a state-of-the art submarine infrastructure for the end-users benefit,” stated Jean Godeluck, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine network activity. “We are confident that this new project, rolled out in association with NEC, will further enable voice and data communications, which are vital to support social and economic development.”

"NEC’s award of the contract for the Asia America Gateway Cable Network confirms our leadership in submarine cable construction and our dedication to building an unmatched network in the Asia Pacific region. NEC is confident that our partnership with Alcatel-Lucent brings leading technology and field-proven expertise, empowering our customers to provide the most advanced and reliable services to the end users," said Masamichi Imai, Executive General Manager of the Broadband Networks Operations Unit at NEC Corporation.


About Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of Euro 18.3 billion in 2006 and is incorporated in France , with executive offices located in Paris . [All figures exclude impact of activities transferred to Thales]. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet @ http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

About NEC’s Submarine Network Systems
NEC Corporation is a leading supplier of the world’s most advanced submarine network systems - platforms vital to the realization of next generation networks. With over 30 years of experience in supplying total submarine cable solutions to customers in Japan and abroad, NEC brings a wealth of technologies, know-how and resources to each new project. In particular, NEC has managed the construction of nearly all of the cable systems available today in Asia and the Asia Pacific region.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide.
For additional information, please visit the NEC home page at:

Alcatel-Lucent Press Contacts
Rodhiah IsmailTel : (03)-2053 0200
Email : Rodhiah.Ismail@alcatel-lucent.com.my

Visithra Sirius PR Sdn Bhd (680878-V)
Tel: (03) 7805 2700
Mobile : 012 2661679
Email: visithra@siriuspr.com.my

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

e.hasil.org.my - Not too bad

4 more days to go for Malaysian to pay their taxes (for year 2006), deadline is 30th April 2007.

I actually used the e-filing services provided by Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia known as LHDN (Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri).

I didn't encounter the situation as described in this blog.

Perhaps I just follow the flow and waited for responses with great patience.

Patience is required.

The system is still using old Microsoft ASP scripting technology. Well, not a problem actually except that it is outdated.

It provides two layers of securities.

1. Pin-number.
This measure is something like what the banks are doing.

You see, everybody needs to login using IC number as the username. But the system doesn't just accept it as-is because you might not be the rightful IC owners, because IC number is just a number. So, the system wants to make sure that you really have the physical MyKad with you. One way is that you go and purchase a MyKad reader and then download some softwares provided in the e-hasil page. Secondly, you need to bring your MyKad to LHDN offices and they will provide you with a pin-number. This pin-number is to map to your IC number in the system database to prove that you are you. So, this is the first level. Make sure that you are you.

2. SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) with digital certificate.

This is the fun part and is the peak of the technology for e-hasil. To have SSL working, you got to install the ActiveX as according to e-hasil.

ActiveX ...

So, e-hasil will send you two things automatically. First is the activeX control and second is the digital cert (which is meant for one person only, with your name on it) which will look like this.



ActiveX is Microsoft famous technology. It can be accurately described in this page.

In short, ActiveX is not a software but a component of Microsoft Windows system. But it does provide software interfaces in this case.

The purpose of the ActiveX component provided by e-hasil is to complement the digital cert to enable SSL. (Secured connections)

Layman ...

So, in layman terms, the secured connections is actually pretty much like login and logout.

You have to login, but actually you are logging in to the ActiveX control.

The ActiveX control provides interfaces to the login. The interfaces come in the form of dialog boxes pop-up from your web brower (Internet Exporer). By the way, try not to use Firefox.



The good thing about this security architecture is that it allows a computer to work with more than one digital certificates. For instance, a house with only one PC where the father, son and daughter have to pay taxes. They use e-hasil and downloaded ActiveX control for one time and 3 individual digital certificates. Thus, the next time they are trying to login again (to resubmit), they can choose their own digital certificate from the ActiveX control interfaces, by login.

Of course, when you just downloaded the digital certificate for the first time, you have to supply the login creditials which are username and password. It is not exactly termed as username as password actually.

Technical...

Take detailed process of SSL working with digital certs.

The password provided is actually the public key.

1. Users (computers) send a list of cyphers for the server (e-hasil) to choose.
2. Server chooses the apppropriate cypher and responses to users.
3. Server then responses with a digital certificate. (to let u know that you are really communicating with e-hasil)
4. Then users provide the password which is the public key.
5. Then both users and server will use the selected cypher and public key to encrypt the informations sent between each other through the Internet.

if you are interested to check out the details, you may proceed to Control Panel/Internet Options/Content/Certificates to check out the details on the digital certificate. You can see your names one it.

Problems ...

1. Lost of digital certificates.

I know of some people who are unable to use the service for the second time or more because they have previously (previous year) downloaded the digital certificates into their PCs or laptops and have since formatted the computer.

e-hasil doesn't cater for redownload of the same digital cert for the same people. Well, perhaps this is to ensure the highest of security measures. But it is not so practical as well.

2. Bottleneck.

Traffic congestions and still is. Try to use it during the time of 6pm to 7pm, when many people would be rushing home to use the Internet for paying tax but unfortunately get stuck in traffic jams. They have to add more load balancers to increase the numbers of web servers.

3. Client side pop-up blockers.

Many users have their pop-up blocker turned on by default which brings about some problems. For instance, when you are trying to print the "draft borang" and it just wouldn't go through the pop-up blocker, causing the session to be put on hold and eventually as it reaches the time-out period, the whole session will be terminated. Then, users might think that the system(e-hasil) sucks and hangs and is good for nothing. Worst still, people unfamiliar with ICT might think that they have committed something wrong and their data might be lost and etc.

P/S: If a web based system hangs or doesn't response, it is not your fault or your computer's fault, it is simply the problem with the providers (ISP or in this case e-hasil)

4. Unable to install ActiveX control.

Some users reported to be not able to install the ActiveX control. However, it did occur to me that the ActiveX control wasn't sent over by e-hasil while using Firefox Browser. So, of course I can't install because the file wasn't sent over.

5. Linux users problem.

Because of the ActiveX issue, Linux users can't use e-hasil using Firefox or other web browsers from their Linux machines. They have to go to the Cyberacafe to pay taxes.

Other relevant news...

1. Residents find e-filing services convenient.
2. High security measures at goverment agencies.
3. e-Filing bottleneck fixed. - Still bottleneck actually. But consider workable.

Conclusion ..

The digital cert is meant for clients (users) to make sure that the server which we are communicating with is the real e-hasil. Thus, e-hasil should never dry-up in terms of sending the same digital certificate to the same people. Users (tax payers) should never have to keep a copy of the downloaded digital certificates because the certificate will expire in 3 years anyway. Till then, you have to choice but to redownload again.

However, in this case, it also possible that e-hasil would only send over the digital certificate once because certificates and stamped with individual names. This practice is a means to prevent other people's certificates from landing on other people's computer.

The "logins" to ActiveX control is for the SSL connections.

The whole idea of all this is to enable security at all times. e-hasil can actually scrap the idea of digital certificates by just providing normal logins with usernames and passwords like gmail, yahoo mail and etc. But of course, such would expose a risk of hacking treats where the databases which store thse login credentials can be hacked.

Not only that, if without SSL connections, ears-dropping risk is prevalent.

Therefore, the idea of using SSL with digital certificates is a good choice. Except that it has to be improvised to cater for usability and flexibility.

P/S: I may not be accurate on this matter because technical details are as-is. Comments are welcomed.

I recommend the system architects of e-hasil to read this book called "Getting Real by 37Signals".

and if you don't have money to buy the book, I suggest that we check out readwriteweb to get some ideas on lastest web technologies. web 3.0 now ?

In all, the system provides a very straigh-forward facility for Malaysia tax payers to tabulate the figures, calculations would be automated. This is much better than older times of Excel templates.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hot ICT Jobs (3) in Malaysia

1) ELECTRICAL CONTROL ENGINEER

( based in Penang - Bukit Mertajam)

MAJOR DUTIES:
System integration, programming, design or evaluation on electrical schematic diagram, occasional field/site information gathering or installation, supervise subordinates and junior staff.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • System integration.
  • Electrical schematic design.
  • PLC/PC programming.
  • Study and research on schematic for Build to Print project.
  • Electrical components specification research.
  • Communicate with project manager or customer if permitted to clear and resolve any doubt on technical issue (related to electrical and control system).
  • Charge out all the electrical items from store and pass over to the assembly team.
  • Inspect and observe the workmanship of wiring and assembly work.
  • Troubleshooting on the electrical and control system if needed.
  • Issue PR for all electrical items for the entire project.
  • Provide technical consultation for project manager and customer from time to time.
  • Advice project manager and project application and sales team for components substitution.
  • Supervise junior staff on electrical and control related issues.
  • On site support for any electrical and control related issues if required.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Education:
Diploma or degree in engineering (Electrical/Electrical/Mechatronics/Robotic)

Experience:
  • 3-4 years in turnkey automation or equipment integration environment
  • Electrical schematic design with AUTOCAD
  • PLC and touch screen programming (AB, Siemens, Mitsubishi)
  • System integration and hand on troubleshooting for electrical components
  • Familiar with control devices such as servo system, vision, hydraulic, electro-pneumatic etc.
  • Able to work under pressure and independent
  • Be prepared to travel frequently within short notice.
  • Knowledge of cleanroom requirement.

2) SECTION MANAGER – PURCHASING

( based in Penang - Bukit Mertajam)

Responsibilities:

  • To manage parts procurement according to the forecast.
  • To manage Vendor performance on the delivery lead-time, quality and cost negotiation.
  • To manage and plan actions for forecast changes and sales upsides in controlling the inventory
  • To work with various related departments on the supply demand issues
  • Execution of PO and re-scheduling of open orders
  • To provide professional advise in product meeting.
  • To execute RFQ action
  • To perform periodically cost down set.
  • To lead buyer team to achieve all KPIs set.

Requirements:
  • Degree in Marketing / Business Administration or Economics with at least 5 years working experience in Purchasing and Supply Chain environment
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Self-motivated and results-oriented
  • Independent and able to work under minimum supervision
  • Pro-active, positive thinking and good attitude

If you fit the role and interested, please contact the following while still available.

Jessey Chan
Search Consultant
Tel : 012 – 420 1756
E-mail : jesseychan@irmsb.com or team@it-sideways.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Local technopreneurs falter on false hopes

During year 2006, the numbers of SME/SMI(s) is approximately populated at 349,617.

That wasn't a bad number, it was quite a big market.

Funding Problems...

But SME/SMI(s) has not enough money to eat....

Moneys need to be reserved for future challenges which is described precisely in this news coverage about the predicaments of SME/SMI(s) in securing business loans.

They SME(s) has no money... and local entrepreneurs cannot afford to make business plan based on just one sided intelligence where it is based on the theory of abundance; 99.2% of companies in Malaysia are classified as SME/SMI which is equivalent to 546,218 companies known to statistic. It is responsible for 5.6 million jobs opportunity that is 56% of the total job market. Check out the source of this information.

and Oracle may not be accurate with its marketing strategy per se.

Goverment Funding...

Technopreneurs may want to consider the technopreneurs pre-seed fund programme available from MDeC, which provides the following attractions:

1. A maximum of up to RM 150,000 funding for development of up to 12 months.
2. No repayment is requirement unless the following applies:
- RM 1 million or more sales is achieved within 3 years periods after the project is completed.
- Additional funding received for RM 1 million or more is achieved within 3 years periods after the project is completed
- The Intellectual Property is sold for RM 1 million or more within 3 years periods after the project is completed
3. Meant for individuals, companies need not apply.
4. Projects can be of any genre, may not have to be R & D.

And just as what MDeC CEO mentioned that local technopreneurs need to look out for international market, perhaps this pre-seed fund should be utilized for preparation of the bigger challenges outside the shore of Malaysia.

This also proves that what indeed been mentioned as part of the plan for 9th Malaysian Plan is been accounted for, at least for this context.

Individual Markets - Over abundance:

Perhaps it is even more feasible, that instead of hoping on market share from the SME/SMI(s) market which is claimed to be under-budget, technopreneurs can focus on the individual market.

One of such latest hot venture is MESDAQ listed MTOUCHE Technology Berhad who just recently announced its business foray into the Japanese mobile content market featuring the product called M-Bit Network. And according to press release:

M-Bit Network is the world’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) search and file super-distribution network. It is lauded as the first of its kind in the world because it allows the sharing of content files (a capability known as peer-to-peer or P2P technology), between mobile phones via transmission over wireless mobile networks; whereas right until now P2P technology has been limited to the sharing of content files stored in computers over fixed wired networks.

Check out Lemak Lemang for some questions into this first of its kind exciting technology which is set to rock up the boring content market of Malaysia; which is expected to grow to RM 2.25 trillion in the next three years.

Amongst the issues raised by Lemak Lemang are:

1. Efficient bandwidth usage
2. Prevalence of Malwares

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TheStar Online promoting world war 3 ?

I was taken aback when I first saw the page on TheStar online regarding the shooting incidence in US.

Thus, I thought the shooting has resulted into conflict which escalates into world war III.



Enjoy it while it last...

Actually Not...

Thankfully, I know that it is Google Adsense!!!! Yes, TheStar Online is innocent, it is just following blindly what Google has to offer.

But should we shut down TheStar Online ? Because some readers unfamiliar with Google Adsense might actually believe that TheStar Online is publishing the news of World War III following the incidence of the shooting.

If you are unfamiliar with the issues of online publishing, ethics, regulations and responsibilities, please check out this link.

Enjoy it while it last... because the same advertisement might never appear again. or simply it was just a fluke.

But this is a good one. I have a good laugh about it :D

Another Example:

Some Adwords subscribers(advertisers) bidded successfully for the term "heart complication". The advertisers are selling health supplement products. Due to their innovative sense, they created their marketing messages as ...

"Human are not born with diseases, it is a results of our doings, if you have heart complications, something wrong with your doings. But, be not worry, with our products, you can undo your wrong doings."

Then there is this news about some politicians going for regular medical check-ups which include the procedure of checking for heart attack complications and the news trigger the advertisement message above.

Outdated people might think that the politicians suffer because of their wrong doings.

This might affect the ratings of the politicians.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hot ICT Jobs (2)

Position: Sales Executive (Based in Penang Kulim)

Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for maintaining and growing relationships with respective customers and prospects by providing good follow up, timely response and value added support and services.
  • Provide quick, timely and competitive quotation and technical information to customers to meet their needs and new parts planning.
  • Execute order upon received by coordinating with production engineer /manufacturers/supplier and monitor the status and progress to ensure timely delivery
  • Plan, coordinate and ensure good control and timely product delivery
  • Able to work independently & with excellent interpersonal, presentation and communication skills.


Requirements:
  • Preferably Degree or Diploma holder in Chemical Engineering/Science
  • Minimum 1 – 2 years’ experience. Fresh graduate will also be considered
  • Independent, confident and resourceful with a pleasant personality and interpersonal skills
  • Service oriented, aggressive, self-motivated, and optimistic.
  • Good command of English & good presentation skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of wafer fabrication an advantage.
  • Possess own transport


This position will be based in Kulim Hi-Tech

Preferable : Chinese Male/Female
Benefits : Petrol Card
Handphone Claims
Responsibilities Allowance
Parking & Tol
Grp Insurance Package
Dental Reimbursment
5 days work week
Medical Health Screening

Client's Profile:

From Kulim Hi-Tech Park is a premier group of companies specializes in Advanced Surface Metamorphosis Technology and Precision Cleaning in the South East Asia region. Due to expansion, they are seeking suitable candidates to fill the Sales Executive position.

If you fit the role and interested, please contact the following while still available.

Jessey Chan
Search Consultant
Tel : 012 – 420 1756
E-mail : jesseychan@irmsb.com

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What are bloggers fighting for ?

Recently there has been pretty a lot of issues pertaining to bloggers and as a blogger I feel proud because it is just like how Mahatma Gandhi puts it.

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
and then they fight you,
and then and then you win.

Jiboneus blog mentions about Bloggers' code of conduct... and some jokers make jokes about Malaysia handling of media regulations. But it is in fact valid that Singaporean are quite naughty lot because they dare not laugh at China who blocks blogger all the way from top to bottom.

Despite all these.... I been thinking. What bloggers are fighting for is really the very fundamental of human's need.

What do you think ?

You think we are fighting for that rice bowl ?
That few "potentially" Google Adsense revenues which are going to retire us from rat race?
To uphold the celebrity culture amongst the top of bloggers ?

No No No...

We are fighting for the freedom to choose.

Remember this, freedom to choose. That is the ultimate aim.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Undergoing Migration

This blog is undergoing migration currently!!!

Bugs or Artificial Intelligence ?

Microsoft recently released a security patch for its highly secured Windows Vista. Previously we talked about how secure Windows Vista really is...

Anyway, that shouldn't be an issue because Microsoft has a really big support team who operates 24 hours round the world, amazing!!!

Parkeon Parking Ticketing System ...

In Malaysia, recently I discovered something quite interesting about the automated parking ticketing machine provided by Parkeon for MBPJ (Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya). The automated machine is meant for people to pay and obtain parking coupon by slotting in money (coins to be precisely), key in the car plate number and then obtain a coupon.







How the system works in Malaysia ?

In Malaysia, especially in the so-called high class neighbourhood such as Petaling Jaya, citizen are supposed to pay for parking(vehicle) in public places with designated slots. Certain places which are considered less wealthy like Cheras doesn't required payment for parking.

So, for instance if you pay for parking in Petaling Jaya, it costs RM 0.60 per hour from 9am to 6:30pm (that would be RM 5.40 + RM0.30 = RM 5.70 for whole day working hours) and also if you would pay a maximum of RM 5.00 at one go, that would settle for whole day of payment. Remember, you have to slot in RM 5.00 at one go, it won't do value accumulation!

So this is good for citizen, government is giving discount for bulk purchase. In fact, monthly pass can be obtained for RM 100 which is valid for 1 month period, which is equivalent to RM 5.00 x 5 (days) x 4 (weeks) = RM 100.00. Savvy ? In fact, there is this new web venture called tumpang.com which also cater for buying in bulk.

Bugs or Artificial Intelligence ?

Recall that maximum payment per day is RM 5.00 at one go, you have to put the money at one go, otherwise if you put in RM 4.90, then you have to wait till the credit is expired and then put in another RM 0.60 for the rest of the hours.

There is a trick to paying RM 5.00 at one go.

There were times when the machine stop accepting coins at RM 4.80 or RM 4.70 which intrigued me because I wonder what has triggered such odd behaviour. Has it got built-in artificial intelligence where the machine will play corrupt games ? (The machine wants you to pay more ....) or it is because it is able to detect that you have outstanding summons ? Or it is simply a bug in the system ?

Then I realized that it is because if you use all 10 cents coin, then you have to put in 50 times. The machine will not accept any more coins after 25 times. Which means that you will be stuck at RM 2.50 of payment. Which means that you have to try to use as little 10 cents coin as possible. It should work with all 0.20 cents coin and work best with 0.50 cents coin.

Perhaps this is a flaw in the system or it is just a design to achieve the following objectives which the public is not awared of:

1. Encourages one to buy monthly pass.
2. Creates efficiency so that users remember not to use 10 cents coin which would result in delay of payment from other people waiting in a queue.
3. Collections of less coin in the safe box creates less maintenance requirements.
4. 10 cents coin can be easily counterfeited due to its smaller size compared to 20 and 50 cents coin.

But it creates problems:

1. People who are unaware of such thing might just give up and ended up have to pay more because the coin slot would simply become shut when more than 25 times of slotting done.
2. People think that the authority is corrupted since no prior notice given.
3. People think that the machine is faulty and hance the authority is not doing the job properly.

IT Public Services ...

Malaysia's government has recently been rolling out many online public services which aim at creating a more efficient and corresponding services to the people.

The non exhausive lists are:

1. Iskandar Development Region
2. DBKL
3. Renewal of driving licenses
4. Tax : Inland Revenue Board e-filling system.
5. One website for governemtn info
6. Legal : e-Courts

Let's hope that someone from the authority would read this blog and make some comments.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hot ICT Jobs (1)

Hot ICT jobs

Position#1: Regional Materials System Support Specialist (Location = Penang)

Responsibilities:


  • Perform System Analysis, Requirement Studies & System Testing.
  • Responsible for system support for SAP MM module / WebplanPossess knowledge / experience in supporting ERP application
  • Responsible for conducting system trainingWork closely with Regional & Global team to perform system implementation, roll-up and project coordination
  • Perform Webplan/RapidResponse’s Workbook Creation

Requirements:


  • Candidate must possess at least a Bachelor's Degree, Post Graduate Diploma or Professional Degree in Computer Science/Information Technology or equivalent.
  • At least 2 - 3 year(s) of working experience in the related field is required for this position Experience in Purchasing involving SAP and/or ERP system Knowledge with SAP / ERP implementation and system is a must
  • Have good understanding of computer applications
  • Good logical, analytical & problem solving skills
  • Able to work independently under work pressure
  • Highly self-directed and pro-active with minimal supervision.
  • Good communication and presentation skills

POSITION#2: TECHNOLOGY MANAGER – Wide Area Network (WAN) – Based in Penang

JOB SUMMARY
Manage the technology team responsible for the overall function of technology and information services.

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Recruitment and Retention:

  • Recruit, interview and hire project managers, telecommunication engineers, systems engineers, network engineers, systems administrators.
  • Communicate criteria to recruiters for potential candidates.
  • Coach staff in the interviewing/hiring process.
  • Monitor team member turnover; identify key factors that can be improved; make improvements.


Employee and Team Development:
  • Identify individual and team strengths and development needs on an ongoing basis.
  • Create and/or validate training curriculum in area of responsibility.
  • Coach and mentor staff to deliver excellence to every internal and external customer.
  • Create and manage succession plans for IT function.


Performance Management:
  • Establish clear measurable goals and objectives by which to determine individual and team results (i.e. operational metrics, results against project timelines, training documentation, attendance records, knowledge of operational roles and responsibilities, personal development goals).
  • Solicit ongoing feedback from Business Unit, peers and team member on team member’s contribution to the team.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and counseling to team member based on feedback.
  • Express pride in staff and encourage them to feel good about their accomplishments.
  • Perform team member evaluations professionally and on time.
  • Drive individuals and the team to continuously improve in key operational metrics and the achievement of the organizational goals.
  • Coordinate activities of large teams and keep them focused in times of crises.
  • Ensure recognition and rewards are managed fairly and consistently in area of responsibility.

Communication:
  • Provide weekly communication forum for the exchange of ideas and information with the department.
  • Organize verbal and written ideas clearly and use an appropriate business style.
  • Ask questions; encourage input from staff.
  • Assess communication style of individual team members and adapt own communication style accordingly.


FUNCTIONAL MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Business Strategy and Direction:
  • Know and understand the IT strategic direction.
  • Define, develop and implement an Information Services strategy, which contributes to the campus strategic directions.
  • Develop an understanding of the workcell business strategy as it pertains to Information Services.
  • Provide regular updates to Business Unit on the execution of the strategy.


Cost Management:
  • Identify creative ways to reduce cost by streamlining processes and systems (i.e. modification of responsibilities or consolidation of tasks, elimination of non-value-added processes, or complete re-engineering of processes and systems).
  • Utilize tools to monitor departmental cost and cost trends, striving continuously to improve value.
  • Provide feedback to peers on cost and cost trends.


Forecast Development and Accuracy:
  • Participate in preparing timely forecasts for the department.
  • Compare forward forecast results to historical actual results for trend assessment and analysis.


TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Ensure commonality of technical infrastructure though base lining.
  • Develop the implementation of new technology/business plans as produced by corporate groups using regional resources.
  • Recommend/Conduct Training
  • Pursue, implement and enhance Best Practice to develop operational excellence in area of responsibility.
  • Develop plans and structures where all processes/people are in place to support all technology/business systems as well as other corporate initiatives.
  • Participate in the exchange of ideas and information within the department.
  • Provide regular updates to appropriate managers.
  • Identify creative ways to reduce cost by streamlining processes and systems (i.e. modification of responsibilities or consolidation of tasks, elimination of non-value added processes, or complete re-engineering of processes and systems).
  • Drive continuous improvement through trend reporting analysis and metrics management.
  • Assure that procedures and work instructions are efficient and not redundant.
  • Offer new ideas and suggestions for improvement. Identify and implement new practices and processes that are “best in field”.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to customer service; anticipate, meet and exceed expectations by solving problems quickly and effectively; making customer issues a priority.
  • Confer with reporting manager on complex or unusual situations.
  • Establish new measurement systems if/where possible.
  • Exchange knowledge and information with other facilities to ensure best practices are shared throughout the organization.
  • Ensure 100% adherence to all company policies and procedures (i.e. Health, Safety and Quality)
  • Maintain discretion and confidentiality in all areas pertaining to data and proprietary information, whether internal or customer specific.
  • Interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram or schedule form.
  • Maintain discretion and confidentiality in all areas pertaining to the IT systems.
  • Understand and embrace the business and IT strategic direction.
  • Adhere to all safety and health rules and regulations associated with this position and as directed by supervisor.
  • Comply and follow all procedures within the company security policy.


REQUIREMENTS
  • Bachelor’s Degree / Master Degree in Computer Science or Management Information Systems with minimum 6 to 10 years in relevant working experience
  • Experience in managerial position is an added advantage.
  • Strong knowledge and familiar with WAN
  • Strong knowledge of Cisco product line
  • Strong Project Management skills
  • Ability to manager remote employees
  • Experience working in global organization is preferred.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.
  • Ability to travel. (Some extensive travel may be required).


LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
  • Customer service skills as well as effective communication skills – both verbal and written.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal directions.
  • Must have experience with vendor management, contracts, licenses and negotiating. Senior Project Management skills preferred.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.)


Position#3: Solutions Architect – Based in Penang

Responsibilities
  • Lead in the preparation of huge proposal
  • Ensure the technical soundness of technical solutions
  • Come up with solution architecture and solution overview
  • Help Account Managers position Mesiniaga's solutions to customers
  • Act as the technical advisor to Project Managers
  • Handle IT strategic planning, network, application performance assessments and capacity planning

Requirements

  • Degree in Computer Science / Computer Engineering / IT
    Certificate or technical qualification in Network/OS/Database/Messaging
  • Extensive experience in two or more of the following areas: network, OS, database, application development, portal, messaging, storage, etc.
  • Good command of written and spoken English
  • Knowledge and experience in proposal preparation
  • Team player, fast learner and knowledgeable in current IT trends
  • Able to work late nights


Please contact the following person while it is still available.

Jessey Chan
Search Consultant
Tel : +6012 - 4201756
E-mail : jesseychan@irmsb.com

UNOS : SoIP technology

Heard of SoIP (services over IP) ?

UNOS voice is the answer.

Unfazed ? Here are my two cents.

The term SoIP is pretty new. In fact, I have never heard of it. Based on IBM white paper, it is fundamentally network-oriented. This means that it is rather middleware-oriented that application-oriented. This means that it is better because it has more room for expansion. If you are an investor, investing into technologies which have more space to stretch would be a better choice because it would prolong the product life time.

So, UNOS is leveraging on this. Which means that UNOS (even though it serves voice communication), it is built based on the architecture of SoIP. This is analogous to other popular software architecture such as SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).

The benefits of SoIP, as narrated by IBM white paper are:



  • An IP/MPLS-based core network strategy for revenue and cost optimization
  • Open standard technologies and platforms for cost efficiency, flexibility and interoperability Reusable, COTS solution components for lower infrastructure costs
  • A service creation environment to drive and support a large ecosystem of applications and thus revenue generation capabilities
  • A common, standards-based service delivery platform that can be easily integrated with existing and thirdparty assets for multimedia service delivery.
Now, this is very similar to the technology provided by green packet. Check out my previous entry, specifically on SONmetro. But both products target different markets.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is the same because both systems are IP based and hence can be classified under the bigger concept called IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). Check out my previous entry.

And what is even more interesting is that the bottom line benefits are the same:

  • Grow ARPU by increasing the adoption and use of mobile data/IMS services
  • Lower CapEx and OpEx by offloading the radio access network from mobile data/IMS services
  • Reduce churn by proving an enriched mobile data/IMS experience where subscribers spend most their time

Benefits for layman ...

To put in in layman terms discounting factual accuracy, the whole idea is about market capitalization on existing ever saturated market segment of the telecommunication industry.

IMS and SoIP talks about implementing IP (Internet Protocol) systems as sub-systems into the existing and proven and stable infrastructure of telecommunication systems as main-systems. So that value add services can be provided which would then bring henceforth lesser churn rates and more options for customers.

Still not good enough ?

The gis is that UNOS and SONmetro are both new comers who capitalize on existing situations by manipulating problems into business advenues. (Americans are specially good at doing this you know)

UNOS in terms of marketing ...

UNOS Voice brings users to unprecedented heights in mobile communications
Imagine this! A mere 61kB MIDlet can now transform existing handsets into sophisticated mobile devices with ‘Services Over IP’ (SOIP) capabilities.

KUALA LUMPUR, 5th April 2007 – FSBM Holdings Berhad (‘FSBM’) today announces UNOS Voice – the latest and first of its kind in fixed mobile converged solution for mobile users throughout the world. Available immediately for download at www.myunos.com, this tiny 61 kiloByte (kB) mobile phone software (know as a MIDlet) has hit the markets in Malaysia , Singapore , Hong Kong , Australia and United Kingdom .

Being mobile infrastructure and operator neutral, UNOS Voice can be enjoyed by users irregardless the operator networks – be it GSM, PDC, CDMA2000, PHS, WCDMA or TDS-CDMA. All functionalities in UNOS Voice can be initiated via SMS, 3G, Edge, Wibro, Wimax, WiFi and WCMDA mobile accesses. FSBM is currently rolling out UNOS Voice to even more countries around the world including those across the Asia Pacific, Middle-East, Europe and US/ Canada regions.

Once installed on the mobile phone, UNOS Voice immediately allows the mobile phone user to enjoy communication and PBX (Private Business eXchange) functionalities via a seamless process of initiating and receiving calls on the mobile phone at attractive rates, anytime, anywhere. Substantial cost savings is just one of the many benefits to the mobile phone user.

“UNOS Voice is not another VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) solution. It is much, much more than that. UNOS Voice is one of the three pillars of development (in Voice, Data and Application) under the UNOS Convergence Platform, and will pioneer a series of further releases,” says Michael Ta, FSBM Multimedia and Communications Group CEO. “We make registration and downloading of the MIDlet easy. Register online, and we will over-the-air (“OTA”) the MIDlet to the users’ mobile phone in as fast as just two minutes”.


The overall key benefits of UNOS Voice are substantially reduced roaming calls and sms charges; no monthly fee or minimum charges; no need to change existing mobile service operator; PBX functionalities at users’ fingertips; simple and seamless ways to initiate and receive calls anytime/ anywhere; stay connected globally via existing mobile number; and direct access to existing mobile phone contact list.
The expanded mobile phone capabilities enabled by the UNOS Voice MIDlet are categorized under six main PBX functionalities:-

- UNOS Voice Call
This service enables the user to initiate International Direct Dial (IDD) calls, locally or while overseas, at affordable UNOS IDD call rates. The user will have direct access to his mobile phone book listing when initiating the call.

- UNOS Receiving Calls
This service enables the user to receive voice calls and SMS call alert while overseas, without having to pay expensive roaming charges. UNOS Receiving Call function will also provide the user the caller’s identity.

- UNOS Buddy Call
This service is much like an operator-assist call function in that it allows user to connect voice calls between 2 other parties. The user and the 2 parties can be physically located anywhere in the world.

- UNOS Hotel Connect
This service allows the users to make a voice call from his hotel room telephone without having to pay expensive hotel call charges. The user is able to make multiple calls one at a time or concurrently.

- UNOS Conference Call
This service allows the user to initiate conference calls to up to 20 concurrent conference participants at anytime, anywhere. For normal conference calls, participants have to call in to a specific number at a specific time. Using UNOS, the user can initiate a Conference Call directly from his mobile phone, and add more participants during the call, effectively turning the mobile phone in a command & control centre on-the-fly. This service is not only highly useful in emergency situations, but also greatly improves the efficiency and productivity of businesses.

- UNOS Roaming SMS
While overseas, this service allows the user to send roaming SMS to any foreign location at very affordable rates while they are at overseas. Much like the push conference call feature, it allows the user to send the same message to multiple recipients.

“With UNOS Voice, the basic mobile phone is transformed into a powerful and sophisticated handheld device, with the fundamental ability to reduce mobile charges and increase the communication experience in so many ways,” adds Dato’ Tan Hock San, President of FSBM Holdings Berhad.

What customers need to think about it ...

UNOS works with all sorts of networks and IP technologies over mobile telecommunication networks such as GRPS, EDGE, 3G and etc.

And it is software based (very thin client)...

So, think of it as SKYPE for all your mobile phones now. Assuming that everybody has mobile phones and all phones are installed with SKYPE and phones are connected to the Internet, thus the only cost is literally the cost of maintaining connection to the Internet, which should be a fixed cost.

For UNOS, it could be tricky because depending on your connection to the Internet, if you are connecting using GPRS and even with cheaper than usual call rates, it may not be cheap at the end of the day.

If you are using 3G or WiMAX (if you have a WiMAX phone), then perhaps things will be cheaper.

But the best is that with UNOS installed on your phone, you can literally travel the whole world with just one mobile phone, SIM card and telco provider. Which means that if you travel to U.K, you don't have to put through the hassle of getting a U.K number and putting your Malaysia number in dormant mode. But then again, also you have to calculate the costs of roaming charges from the telco side.

Start a spreadsheet and evaluate for yourself!

This is also very similar to Redtone's Travelfon in terms of voice services. But of course, at this point of time, we are not investigating whether Travelfon is based on SoIP technology.

Otherwise, you can contact the official marketeer who is FSBM.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Follow-up and close sales

Malaysia is trying to do something to the ongoing issue of blogs, which may fall under many categories affecting the social political scenario of the country, such as defamations giving rise to national security problems.

Just today, a minister suggested to have all bloggers registered for it. So that you can be made accountable for some problems. Someone just have to be blamed, this is the system of today's society.

Free Speech, culture and literature ...

But if today, I want to just write about personal stuff, such as personal stuff which are not confidential, for instance, the food which I like to eat and don't like to eat. Do I need to register ? Registration would enable the affected parties to bring me to court whenever they have a good budget for it. For instance, I said that I hate to eat McDonalds becaue it is so delicious and I might be liable. Well, this is really going against free speech and human rights. Why can't I hate to eat McDonalds when it is delicious?







IT-Sideways Tech Blog would love to be registered, because this is a bit like a formal blog which doesn't cater much for personal contents such as "something personal which has nothing to do with you". Even though this blog is still based on personal opinion, it's content is quite filtered.

But in the name of free speech, I hope that we can leave those personal bloggers alone.

Economy, business, social and crimes too ...

Over-simplication would give rise to economy problem too. For instance, if we assume that whoever thinks McDonald is delicious and thus would like the food unreservedly. This assumption would bring about the following chain reaction.

1. McDonalds will fire all its marketing personnel.
2. McDonalds would cut short on advertising.
3. McDonalds would not be implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
4. McDonalds would not be implementing Business Intelligence solutions.
5. McDonalds would not be implementing SAP solutions.

Many people would become jobless and the unemployment rate for the country would rise. This will bring up the crime rates and causing social distability.

Suggestions...

And since every case has to be closed eventually, which our politicians are really working hard on the case (blogs filtering and registration), I suggest that Malaysia issue non-mandatory content certification for those who wished to register. I repeat, only those who wish to register. It will be something like ISO standard.

This will be ample to solve the problem. For instance, if a blog is certified by Malaysia and it contains malicious content, then actions need to be taken. If an uncertified blog contains suspicious content, then it can be ignored.

Citizen of the world and Long-Tail economy...

Malaysian need to become citizen of the world. The country of 24 million is a too small market for many businesses. To do that, we must first embraced the cyber frontier. This is our only short-cut into the ever saturated world of business.

Google preaches the long-tail economy. Long-tail preaches that there will be opportunity for every person in this world, we may not have equal share but we will have shares. Go read the book "The Long Tail by Chris Anderson".

I would quote a paragraph on food marketing from the book.

The supermarket helped create the middle class. Its low prices freed up substantial funds for families to spend on cars, homes, education and other needs and amenities of life. As supermarkets proliferated in the 1950s and 1960s, they played a pivotal role in creating the American middle class. On the supermarket's silver aniversary, President Kennedy said that the supermarket's low-cost mass marketing techniques" ... have enabled a higher standard of living and have contributed importantly to our economic growth."
During the Cold War, from 1958 to 1988, some 50,000 Soviet citizens traveled to the U.S., most touring an American supermarket on their trip. The supermarket showcased how a free-market economy could deliver abundant, affordable food and became a metaphor for what capitalism could do and Communism could not. in his autobiography, Boris Yeltsin gave this account of his 1989 visit to a supermarket in Houston: "When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons, and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Sovient people. That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty!!! It is terrible to think of it."

Let's close the sales.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

what people are searching for in March 2007 at tech blog malaysia

Previous entries of top 100 keywords landed on IT-Sideways blog:

Keyword landed on IT-Sideways Jan 2007
Keyword landed on IT-Sideways Feb 2007

For March 2007(keywords landed), the following conclusion were derived.

1. People are still using pirated windows.
2. Wimax issues in Malaysia stir up interests.
3. Smart school concept stirs up interests in Malaysia.

This blog only has one entry for smart school which was pretty outdated. All in all, there are many definitions to "smart school" and confusions are expected. Recently, Malaysia eduction has decided to include ICT as part of the KPI for its master plan.