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Monday, December 31, 2007

Google Will Triumph In The Free Market

As we like to predict things and envy to become a visionary, TheStar online today published that Open University Malaysia has migrated to using Google's mail as the main email address for everybody.

Previously we have tried to think about what are the possibilities out of Google Apps ?

Google Apps Education Edition offers free-for-all usage to education institutions, NGOs and Non-profit organizations.

The question is about "remote-hosted" and "self-managed" information. Period.

Both provides security, just a matter of where and how effective ?

While "self-managed" model seems to offer built-in information security because we can presumably sure that accesses from public will be minimal. However, the question remains to answer is that what about internal security breach ?

Thus, security is not just for external, it has to be all-rounded.

"Remote-hosted" model may seem risky ... but I have to assure you that it is being handled by the expects; Google. With this fact, we take out the big part of business continuity issue (data backup, external security breach, contingency plan and etc). The only question remain is that "how well you can entrust Google with the confidentiality of the information" ? If you don't have that problem, then basically using Google Apps will be a win-win-win.

By all means, if the CEO of the organization sends out emails to someone, the content of the emails should be protected and encrypted. But due to the reason that it is remotely hosted, thus it is arguably possible that information may be stolen while passing through the public infrastructures being shared amongst Google's customers.

This makes up the business case for companies providing enterprise technology for business continuity, security and optimizations.

Even though it is costly to setup proprietary stuffs, however analysts think that Google Apps will not make it to the enterprise market. Big enterprise would still go for expensive proprietary solutions and infrastructures because of one simple reason; protecting the business is more important than anything else.

However, it is just psychology ? What about personal email ? Don't we send personal emails through GMail, Yahoo mail and hotmail ? Are are not aware that whatever dirty secrets that we typed are capable of being exposed ? But this has never happened for the past 10 years (when Internet became popular).

But I still think that Google will triumph over the free market and even the SMI/SME market in Malaysia.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Blogs and Bloggers Evolutions

There is a competition to elect the best Malaysian DotCom Youth.

Evaluation is based on the following criterias:
  • Revenue Generating
  • Innovative
  • Influences To Society
During those days, DotCom is referring to companies where they operate solely on a web front and nothing else, and I could still remember a few names such as the followings:
  • Asia Travel Mart
  • Lelong.com.my
  • Pararborong.com.my
  • Cari.com.my
Nowadays, DotComers are usually bloggers and many enterprises have opted to use a blog as the core web fronts rather than having conventional web sites.

I strongly believe and it is in my observations that when something becomes common, there will be no more money to be earned. For instance, pioneers bloggers used to be able to make a lot of money out of advertisements and other endorsements. As time grows, everybody can blog and thus the opportunities of making income out of blogging alone becomes harder. This issue has been explored under the long tail debates.

Not only that opportunities shrink due to intense competitions, also it is due to the psychology factors affecting customers whereby the perception that paying for a common thing would be totally unwise. This will be the period for DIY (Do-It-Yourself). Essentially, the explosive phenomenon of blogs is actually an indication of the decay of web development business, particularly those involving establishment of small medium enterprise web sites. The decision by Google to launch Google Apps confirmed this.

While there are still not many people are bloggers, due to the fact that some have no time to write while some are just not interested, I am very sure that blogs has brought many people to the web front easily.

Thus, a time will come when some really amateur bloggers will "retire" forever, due to the reason that there is an evolution trend coming.

Evolutions will bring about categorizations of blogs....
    1. Content Providers
    2. Aggregators
    3. Intelligence Miners
Each category of blogs will have typical strengths and values for existence.

Content Providers

Content providers have to be source for many other people and medias. They would consists of a few sub-categories.
  • Journalists - These people go out to the real scenes to grab breaking news.
  • Thinkers of a very specialized field - Why it has to be very specialized because if you are not specialized, you are not an expert and thus high chances are that the contents that you will produce are the results of the contents from others. Example of highly specialized field is Javascript programming (not just computer software programming but Javascript programming)
  • Authors and Writers - These people spend many hours pondering over the sky just to create something which you wouldn't be able to think off. And it is not very high chance that these people will publish their contents to blogs
  • People with many source of informants - Screenshots is one example.
  • Personal Blogs - Blogs which write on personal things.
In conclusion, blogs or bloggers falling under this category would need to invest a lot of time to look for the most original content.

Aggregators

Aggregators are web sites primarily aggregate blogs together. It is already a common thing. It includes technorati, netvibes, petaling street malaysia, planetmy and etc .

However, there are also blogs which aggregate information based on the personality factor. One of such example is LiewCF. Whatever LiewCF sees, smells, hears and thinks, he blogs about them. And it sells to a certain extend.

Another example is readwriteweb, which consists of a few bloggers and they attempt to cover many topics, mostly about web 2.0. Each of the bloggers is responsible for different aspect such as analysis, breaking news and etc.

The success of aggregators depends upon its platform and features available for content providers.

As for the case of LiewCF and readwriteweb, success depends on mass readerships as well as wide coverage of search engine reach.

Intelligence Miners

This category describes blogs and bloggers who do not produce original contents but is able to not only aggregate but also to make sense of as much information as possible which proves to provide values to readers.

For instance, when a blog about crude oil is presented, the miner must then be able to spider around its own blog and other information sources to create a snapshot of what is happening around the websphere with respect to this issue.

It must be able to keep readers in the loop and present readers with the best interest according to reading preferences.

The scope of intelligence mining is wide; aggregators' next step should be intelligence mining.

The success of intelligence miners, like aggregators, depends heavily on its platform and tools available.

The most relevant technology to describe ancestor of such availability is perhaps semantic web.

It-Sideways is currently a bit of content providers (with no area of specialization) and aspires to become an information miners.

It-Sideways is still an opportunist. And I call out to other opportunists to quickly embark on the right category in order to not becoming obsolete.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Games For Mental Development

Not long ago, Yahoo games issued an article about how playing computer games gives rise to a few benefits, the reasons given are:
  1. They can make kids smarter
  2. They can Help Fight Cancer - collection of distributed computing power in order to unlock the mysteries of protein folding - the key to cancerous formation
  3. Raise Awareness
  4. Ease Pain
  5. Brighten Your Day
Personally, I play some games whenever possible. I heard that computer games was created for programmer to break monotony of computer programming. During those days, programmers spent many hours facing the computer screens trying to develop software, and they needed some sort of break to relax their brain, thus computer games was created.

Now, computer games is everywhere and for many purposes.

I play Sierra Pharaoh, Ceasar III, StarCraft and games available at my Vista machine, which consist of Chest Titans, Queens, FreeCell, Minesweeper, Solitaire and Puzzle.

And I reckon to the following benefits that achieved through me:
  1. Makes Me Smarter - Think harder, creatively, analytically and etc
  2. I Train Myself to Solve Problems On The Spot - because engaging in games forces me to think solutions out of problems
  3. Relaxing
  4. Get Myself More Comfortable With My Own Computer - this is good for those who are suffering from computer phobia
  5. Acquire More Knowledge - For instance, playing Sierra Pharaoh gives me the opportunity to learn about Egyptian civilization. Playing flight simulation games enable me to learn about being a pilot.

Yesterday I found another new games which I believe it contributes constructively to mental development. It is called the HumanBrainCloud.

It is very simple game where it will generate random text so that users or players will response with something (a word or text or phrase) which is deemed as most relevant.

For instance, if the system generates the word "love", then users may response with "wedding" or "mother" or "christ" or etc. There is no right and wrong.

What I like about HumanBrainCloud is that it forces you to expand your imagination in order to reason the responses. Such game is good for some break in between long hours of brain-drenching activities and it is accessible online.

Human Brain Cloud

It also lets users view the cloud generated as a result of users' responses; the cloud is a dynamic illustrations of a particular text with its associated responses.

Human Brain Cloud

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rooms For New Generations

Revisiting Malaysia's best...

It strikes me to think about the possibility of having another Robert Kuok coming into the Malaysian picture.

Of course I am not so qualified to disclose a good analysis about this, however my thoughts are that if the new generations are not able to reap successful foray into industries like marketing and new media, ICT, Bio-tech, social science and etc. There is even a slimmer chance of us booming out of old industries like plantation, sugar refinery, flour milling, oil and mining, manufacturing, real estate, transportation and trading and etc. All these require even more deep-root knowledge and capital to start with.

I still think that younger generations should wage war to grab a frontier on the new age industries...

Some recently interesting take from readwriteweb...

1. HumanBrainCloud
2. Google Killer App - Online Accounting System
3. Cisco social networking
4. Etc... Any other things

Also check out the Long Tail economy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The 2008 Outlook of Spam Emails

Previously, I did propose an anti-spam campaign, which is to offer spammers marketing and sales "counter-spams". And I could noticeably see that some spam emails actually stop coming back.

From Google Blog, we can see some important facts. 1 billion of messages where blocked at Google's side due to spamming reasons.

And ..

In fact, Nucleus research estimates unchecked spam can cost a company up to $742 per user.

Spam evolution.
  1. Text spam
  2. Image spam
  3. Attachment spam
  4. Audio spam
2008 Forecast:
  • Spam volume will stabilize and could actually decrease in 2008 as spam attacks become more targeted and less of a pure volume game
  • Virus attacks will continue to blend with spam and will focus more on identity theft.
  • Information confidentiality will gain importance.
  • Hosted solution will increase in lieu to the increase in cost in terms of self managing activities.
  • Identity theft will increase through web sites (social networking sites, blogs and auction sites)
Email Archiving:

Another important thing is email archiving which will promote the following benefits:
  1. Secure Messaging
  2. Backup and Recovery
  3. Business Continuity
  4. Retrieval On-Demand
And according to OpenFind, here are top 10 reasons "Why Implement OpenFind MailBase Email Archiving Solution"

  1. Build email retention policy to meet regulatory concerns
  2. Archives all email messages and attachments without compromising
  3. Maintenance effort are considering as high priority in IT operation
  4. Longing for better ILM solution to manage the stored mail
  5. Hard to retrieve required data instantly
  6. Insufficient design and difficult to manage retained messages
  7. Hard to balance the information security and message retrieval
  8. Looking for more efficient backup and recovery process
  9. Mail audit is required for enterprise-wide risk management
  10. Business continuity is a continual challenge

Thursday, December 13, 2007

eBay Malaysia, PayPal Express Checkout and Web Trends

I got a newsletter via PayPal who is actually doing marketing for eBay Malaysia.

It states that it is easier now to sell via eBay Malaysia with hosts of new features and tools.

Another great thing is 'express checkout' from PayPal, which claim to have a capacity of 40% conversion rate. This is good to hear...

I do realize that selling on eBay has now become a pre-requisite to setting up an e-commerce web site, given the fact that there are so many skills available to be acquired and get accustomed with and it is best practice.

It is the same as the fact that if you want to start a web site, start a blog first. Get yourself familiarize with concepts such as rss, search engines, url, content management, hosting, templates and etc.

PayPal also offer extended and localized customer supports.


WeekdaysWeekendsContact Info
Phone Service09:00 - 21:0009:00 - 18:00(+65) 6510-4650
Email Service09:00 - 21:0009:00-18:00Email

Also, if you would like to solve out the issues by yourself.

Monday, December 10, 2007

uCertify PrepEngine Updates

I am pleased to inform you that uCertify has released an upgraded PrepEngine for the uCertify PrepKits. A free upgrade is now available to all our users.

The distinctive features of the new PrepEngine are:

  1. New Interactive Dashboard for easy access to every feature.
  2. Practice faster with Keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Tag and organize the contents according to your needs.
  4. Discuss the contents and get help from others.

Please discover all the exciting new features at their blog.

To check out all the new features, please downloaded the trial version of any PrepKit and install it on your computer. Since you have already registered the PrepKit, the new version of the PrepKit will be ready to use immediately. You can also upgrade the to the new PrepEngine also from within the PrepKit. Just Click on PrepKits >> Update PrepEngine menu.

uCertify constantly upgrade their products to provide customers with the latest and the best in IT certification exams. You can have free unlimited upgrades for a period of one year. I would like to thank you again for your wonderful review of our PrepKit and will appreciate your continued interest in our Products.

More about uCertify.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

PIKOM PC Fair 2007 (III) - KLCC

PIKOM Show Guide
The final PC Fair for the year is happening now... PIKOM PC Fair 2007 (III). It is otbe held with three dates at multiple locations.


The main sponsor for the show guide is World of KungFu.

I went there for a walk... I actually bought myself a notebook cooler pad, which I think it is pretty cool. You know Malaysia is a full-time summer country. This would give my laptop IBM ThinkPad R60 a longer run perhaps (I hope so).


Comes with 3 USB powered fans.

The cooler pad cost me RM 30 (outside the PC fair) and RM 29 (in the fair) plus a complementary free gift. That is not too bad for a passionate drive down to KL city center amidst a very bad traffic congestion.


Check out other cooler pads available in Malaysia. I personally prefer the "CoolerMaster NotePal Infinite". I think it looks cool and it is more expensive too.

And Lenovo has got new things.... ThinkPad R61, T61 and X61. And comparing with previous specs, R61 now has the following new things.

Lenovo
  1. Intel Core 2 Processor (1.8GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2MB L2 Cache)
  2. DVD Recordable Dual Layer
  3. Intel Graphic Media Accelerator (GMA X3100) Built-in Graphic Card
Not bad ... basically a new model, this proves that technologies get obsolete so fast. It was just less than a year which I bought the "brand new" laptop.

And Dell has got good stuffs too...

The Inspiron notebooks now available in 8 vibrant colours.



I want you to check out HTC here...


HTC TyTN II with integrated keypad cost RM 3288 with free (screen care + 2GB MicroSD + bluetooth headset ) while HTC P3600i that has almost similar features comparing to TyTN II but without integrated keypad cost RM 2799. All special prices for the fair only.

And Streamyx is selling as usual, with promotional packages.



LiewCF says just have to change your cable and it will work great.

Logitech has got some good stuffs for gamers, check out it similarity with StarCraft.

Logitech
And MSI for the cool graphic cards flyers ... I just like the graphics.



A glimpse into the crowd... nothing unusual.

Very Intelligent Search Engines

I do want to compliment that Google and Yahoo are very intelligent entities.

Just about one week ago, since realizing Blogspot's available features of URL forwarding... I decided to change the URL from http://brandonteohno1-it.blogspot.com (common) to http://www.it-sideways.com (custom)

This is pretty much like a rebranding exercise for this blog.

The trouble which concerns us all is that the biggest asset of the web frontier is still the URL. And search engines like Google and Yahoo work based on URLs. It means that it is the URLs which will be indexed and subjected to pageRank and not the content. Thus there is a risk where if you have an old URL with pageRank equals to 5/10, by switching over to a new URL, you will suffer totally from 0/10 because it is considered a new baby to the search engine.

However, Blogspot takes note of this issue well and it works.

Last time...



Now ...





Thus, just within a week, even search engines recognize that I have put forth with the changes to the URL, and it happens in a seamless manner. This is really sophisticated, respect!

So, if you are in my situation, don't worry and you can proceed with the undertaking of changing from a blogspot URL to a customized URL. Guaranteed to work!

However, also due to the surge of traffics lately, this blog is now suffering from bandwidth congestions.


It could be the problem of communication between Blogspot's server and the server which registered the custom URL (goDaddy).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Whoi Brother, Google Maps Has Arrived for Malaysia

wow!!!, this is my first reaction.

Thanks to Liewcf, now I realized that Google Maps is finally available for KL (Kuala Lumpur), Penang, Ipoh, Kota Bharu, Melaka, Kangar, Alor Setar, Langkawi, Kuantan, Johor Bharu and slowing building up for east Malaysia.

Wow!!! I am so exited, think of what you can finally do... endless possibilities. As compared to my previous take of gloomy possibilities.

Think about it .... the web culture is going to get more and more excited for Malaysian now.

However, beware of the Long Tail confusion.

Becoming a Front-End Engineer

In software, there are two things known as front-end and back-end.

Front-end refers to what you can see such as the GUI, concept, designs, animations, flows and etc. Ultimately, it is referring to presentation.

Back-end refers to what you don't usually see at the back, it involves things like calculation, database, data structure, fault tolerance, security, performance and etc. It is more about conventional engineering.

The metaphor of front-end and back-end is not so distinctively visible before the emergence of web-based software development, this is because non web-based software such as standalone, client-server would be developed with integrated tools that are available for platforms such as Windows, Linux, Solaris and etc. In other words, the tools ensure that developers can to do away with much hassles of developing front-end components. Take for example Microsoft Visual Studio, where it is not common for developers to develop front-end components because there are many available ones provided by Microsoft.

However, when it comes to web-based software development, things got cranky up. Why ? this because in a typical web-based software development environment, more parties are involved in a project. For example, there will be a web designer responsible for creating the graphics and layout design, then there would be an integration engineer to integrate the design to the back-ends which consist of scripts and etc.

This is predominantly so because a web-based project has highly requirement for front-end look and feel as compared to non web-based project. Thus, web-based project opens up more cultures and excitements to the industry.

With the emergence of so many technologies for the web, such as the web 2.0, AJAX, Flash, Javascript and etc. The industry is caught in a phenomenon where it will not be wise not to leverage on other resources than to build everything by yourself (imagine building your own IDE as well).

Thus, it is very possible that by leveraging on the many services of back-end technologies in the form of web services, databases, content providers and etc, we can now focus on just doing the front-end while realizing our visions for the project we are trying to do.

In other words, it is very possible that you don't have to be good at doing back-end in other to get your software visions done. A software vision can be a project or just an idea, it is presentation of the electronic media.

Ideally, front-end is able presentation, and since we don't have a lot of time to do everything, might as well just focus on the front-end.

This is the idea with front-end engineering for the web.

And Yahoo has got a recruitment drive for it, the program is called Yahoo! Juku.

The program aspire to train up front-end engineers to fill up positions. But I like to suggest that front-end engineering may have some good money to make. It is suitable for IT evangelist who wanted to have a quick and presentation platform to quickly develop software visions, doing away the hassle of back-end programming. Think about it, you can get things done 2 times faster.

Of course, what Yahoo!UI has to offer is no magical box as compared to what BriteWorks has to offer. This is just the beginning. My idea is that by making use of YUI's technology and leveraging on the culture of Juku, it could be possible to build software prototypes without focusing on the backends, because the front-end is powerful enough to convince the idea given the assumption that the back-end calculation works.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

BriteWorks : Effortless Application Creation

I just got introduced into this cool company from Malaysia; BriteSoft. BriteSoft (a self funded company) developed BriteWorks.

About BriteWorks:

BriteWorks is an emerging technology, the Effortless and Rapid Application Development Tool for Web, Desktop and Mobile development. BriteWorks studio is used for development of application without writing or generation ANY code. The engine is built using Java and as such applications can be deployed in any platform or database.


About BriteSoft:

BriteSoft is in the business of Highly Rapid Application Development Tools that eliminate coding. With its extensive application development experience, BriteSoft has changed the rules of the game when it comes to programming and building applications. Its flagship product, BriteWorks is an award winning platform that helps customers deliver applications 20 times faster, yet with higher quality and hugely reduces costs. Developers need not know java, VB, C++ or any other programming language or technology.

BriteSoft’s philosophy is ‘zero code generation’ and ‘develop once, run everywhere’ (i.e. client server, web, PDA). BriteSoft has a series of line-of-business applications that have all been powered by BriteWorks.

BriteSoft has a track record for quality and successful implementations in company’s such as TM, DiGi, TimedotCom, Proton/Maybank, Heitech Padu, XYBase, MTIB, ActValue (Italy), JM Stefko (Poland), Daffodil University (Bangladesh) etc.

Research:

The Gartner group has stated that by 2020 most application will be built in the manner outlined by BriteWorks, i.e. less or no coding.

Case Study:
  1. BriteAccount is a TelCo billing system. It is an enterprise application built using BriteWorks and currently used by DiGi Telecommunications. Completed in 2.5 months vs 6 man-month with repeat orders.
  2. ProtonEdar/Maybank2U – 1 week on Linux & MYSQL
  3. ActValue – 2 persons in 4 weeks for WMS integrated to RFID / BarCode Reader
  4. HeiTech – For eGovernment projects (integrate to digital devices, bio-matrix, gate etc) on POC / prototype to increase win rate
  5. MIDA – with 45 man-days Vs 450 man-days

Check out BriteSoft and contact the marketing at marketing@britesoftcorp.com.

Also check out their live demo with presentation by its CEO (Mr. Fazel Naghshineh)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Windows Vista : Better Than Nothing

CNET UK rated Windows Vista to be top 10 terrible tech product.

I have been using Vista for around 7 months now and I have to tell you that Windows Vista is just the best Windows all over, better than XP of course.

Just to name a few things I like about Vista...

1. The graphics
2. The fault tolerance
3. The power plans.
4. The rabbit-hole-deep search.
5. More intelligent and user-friendly.





Things which I don't really like about...

1. Minimum 1G RAM.
    The tip is to make use of a blank 2G thumb drive to assign it as virtual memory. Claimed to be recommendation from Microsoft




2. Vista Business has no default DVD decoder for Media Player.
3. IIS 7 has no default SMTP server.
4. Device driver problems is still quite persistent. I heard many complains about this.

The Great Delay...

Vista had been delayed for some time before it was finally launched during the early months of 2007. Speculations spread about Microsoft incompetencies and business problems, however, I just like to suggest that delays were caused by Microsoft last minute changes made to Vista in order to make sure that it goes well with their business strategies, which consist of:

1. Making sure that Google Desktop couldn't function well.
2. Making sure that business partners have money to be made. (Microsoft even wants to make sure that DVD Decoder sellers make money this time).
3. Making sure that direct competitors don't make a fool out of it.

Conclusion is that if you are Windows user, Vista is still the best choice of operating system.

And if you are technical person, it would be ideal to turn off the UAC.

There is no Easy money in long tail of blogsphere

At least some one agrees with me, something which I blogged about making money in the long tail economy.

ReadWriteWeb wrote that "There is no money in the long tail of blogsphere"

Check out my analysis and research on The Long Tail.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Frenszone Latest Updates

Frenszone latest update.

Frenszone

  • All-new design, layout and site structure - There's lots more goodies on your profile page now
  • Create your own Groups - Create any groups you want be it about love, career, your college, anything!
  • Customize your profile anyway you want - Change the color, border, photos, as you please
  • Post Classifieds to sell your items - Free unlimited classifieds for members like yourself
  • RSS feeds, new Blogs, better Friends and more - Ah, who could ask for more
Become Frenszone ambassador for local colleges.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Google Analytics on IT-Sideways (Nov 2007)

Keywords landed on Jan 2007
Keywords landed on Feb 2007
Keywords landed on March 2007
Keywords landed on April 2007
Keywords landed on May 2007
Keywords landed on June 2007
Keywords landed on July 2007
Keywords landed on Aug 2007
Keywords landed on Sept 2007
Keywords landed on Oct 2007

For this last month, Nov 2007, we collected from ..
  1. Something about enterprise software solution
  2. Microsoft Platform Problems
  3. SPAM and Phishing Problems
  4. Software for freight forwarders
  5. A Malaysia private company's venture on High Altitude Platform Stations(HAPS)

Upgraded Official URL

This blog (IT-Sideways)'s URL has been officially updated to http://www.it-sideways.com from http://brandonteohno1-it.blogspot.com

Thanks to Blogspot's intelligent redirection feature (check out picture below), the popularity of IT-Sideways may not suffer much. However, in the middle-term, the search engine achievement of IT-Sideways (based on new URL) may be affected.



Let's see how well Blogspot's pledge of "we won't leave your reader behind!" works ?

I personally welcome this transition because this would transit IT-Sideways from a personal-centric blog into a much more holistic-centric.

Let's see how well this blog perform.