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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fuel Subsidy Implementation #3

Refer to 'Fuel Subsidy Implementation #2'

Latest updates afloat that the government may indeed scrap the proposed fuel subsidy implementation.

According to Sinchew-i, the government may announced (by March) RON 95 to cost RM 0.10 more every liter while RON 97 is expected to increase as well.

This update is unconfirmed as it didn't make it to the headlines of TheStar.

Some comments from TheStar reported some suggestions from consumer.
  • Using MyKad as some sort of debit card for the subsidy program. - I think this is possible
  • Let the petrol price to float according to market value. - There must be reasons the government wouldn't scrap the subsidy program totally.

According to the report from Sinchew-i, the most important vision of the government in thoughts of the proposed fuel subsidy, is to help ease burden of the those needed. This is good, well perhaps we should look at some reimbursement system; automatic reimbursement system.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Juniper Networks Unveils Software, Solutions and Partners to Transform the Experience and Economics of Mobility

Juniper Networks sees networks converging, with the mobile network starting to look a lot like fixed line broadband infrastructure. This is because the mobile industry is undergoing a paradigm shift caused by an explosion of always-connected devices with thousands of consumer and enterprise applications based on 3G & 4G technologies, bringing changes in user behaviours and mobile broadband expectations. This is causing a shift from operator-driven to user-driven services models.

Juniper today in Malaysia (and earlier this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona) introduced The New Mobile Network - a new technology framework, new software and new mobility solutions that will transform the user experience and operator economics of mobile broadband. The new mobility framework marries partner applications with Juniper MX 3D Series Universal Edge Routers and SRX Series Services Gateways to help mobile operators deploy truly open and secure mobile networks.

Juniper announced Junos ready software, Junos Pulse for Smartphones, Juniper Mobile Secure, Juniper Traffic Direct, Juniper Media Flow and Juniper Mobile Core Evolution. Juniper also joined the IBM Service Provider Delivery Environment Framework Partner Program and jointly announced security solutions for fixed and mobile networks with Nokia Siemens.

These offerings are intended to unleash mobile broadband services, provide open mobile security for devices and networks, and future-proof scale for investment protection; so that mobile operators can bring services to market faster, increase customer retention & attract new customers, and increase ARPU while reducing TCO.

Check out details.

Also download the white paper 'Mobile Network At Tipping Point: The Data Explosion and Next Generation Network Challenge'.

Fuel Subsidy Implementation #2

So, indeed people are listening, perhaps not just to my blog but also to the opinions around the Internet.

Earlier on, I wrote that the proposed fuel subsidy implementation will have to be challenged with couple of difficulties and issues.

Now that the Petrol Dealers Association has expressed concerns that those predicted hiccups can cause more headaches than just being real.

Having some experiences with fingerprinting and MyKad scanning, I know that some MyKads will not work properly and some folks' fingerprint will not work.

Scanning with MyKad will be easier, but if you have to perform verification using fingerprint, then I would say that each transaction will be at least 10 seconds more, discounting the fact that first attempt may fail.

Then users will have to swipe the credit card and etc. It doesn't require a PhD to think that introducing more processes into something will cause a surge in delay, the question is how long and how well things can cope with.

Nevertheless, I recently realized that my Proton Iswara doesn't work to optimum level when using RON 95, this is because the minimum requirement is RON 97. The symptom is that when the fuel tank is about to go empty, you will get the feeling where the car is going to get choke along the way, it is like having blood clot. So, I realize that if I keep driving the same car, I need to mix between RON 95 and RON 97.

So, many Malaysians still require fuel subsidy.

Earlier on, I suggested to have some sort of backup solutions in case the real-time system doesn't work fine. I think we need some sort of receipt scanning and OCR system for petrol buyers to scan their receipts for some sort of 'bank' reconciliation.

Let's wait for the trial run on April 2010 as suggested.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hitachi Systems Accelerates Innovation with Juniper Networks Junos SDK

Juniper Networks® announced that Hitachi Systems & Services, Ltd, one of the largest providers of systems integration services in Japan and a member of the Hitachi Group, is now a Junos® SDK application development partner. As a partner, Hitachi Systems has access to Juniper’s Junos SDK to develop specialized applications on the Junos operating system that enable the network to be customized dynamically to meet the unique business needs of each customer.

Hitachi Systems plans to use the Junos SDK to create an integrated load balancing solution for redundant, highly reliable IP network service delivery. The Hitachi-designed application will run on Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways for secure, reliable branch office connectivity. With the Junos SDK, Hitachi Systems can gain competitive advantage by rapidly delivering new and valuable solutions that leverage the network as an application delivery platform. Junos-based solutions running directly on Juniper’s SRX Series Services Gateways enable a level of performance, reliability and scale that cannot be matched by decoupled applications running on separate network appliances.

Check out the details.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Firefox 3.6 and Yahoo Toolbar Issues

After performing upgrade, Firefox 3.6 doesn't go well with Yahoo Toolbar.

When this happened, you can't even use the Firefox anymore.

It is related to Yahoo Toolbar.

You have to uninstall Yahoo Toolbar, then uninstall Firefox complete (including all user data) and reinstall Firefox again.

It has to come in a clean sheet;Yahoo toolbar has to be removed totally, otherwise the problem will recur.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Coming Middle of 2010

If the government were to proceed with the plans to change the fuel subsidy scheme, petrol price will increase.

Big vehicle prices may drop.

People's pocket money will be affected and hence this may affect that property market because there will be less demands. Actually this depends on the location, remote area property prices may be affected. This goes on to suggest that if car sales drop, properties prices should increase because people choose to mobile less and stay at fixed location and vice versa.

So, if you have got money, you can buy Honda City and get a house.

This will be a good time to promote work-from-home, webinars, web-conferencing and etc.

That is right, MDec should work out an initiative to encourage people to work smart, by traveling less frequently on the road.

Internet service providers' (ISP) business is set to boom (if there is any room).

Malaysian still needs plenty of bandwidth and efficient transportation.

If the above mentioned comes in any form of reality, you know what you should be looking out before and after 1st of May 2010.

But what if the crude oil price falls further during middle of 2010 ? Looks like this instability will be cushioned by sales of fuel efficient cars. In other words, if the government is going to float the petrol prices, more fuel efficient cars will be sold and this will affect the property market as well.

And if this is true, buy fuel efficient cars and properties a bit at the outskirt (because it may become cheaper) and invest in telecommunication companies.

Right now everybody is waiting for the government to call the shot.


Telecommunications carriers are starting to make firm plans to upgrade most of their wireless and wireline core networks to 100Gbps from this year. The battle to move the goalposts for core routers is heating up, with Juniper Networks targeting high end telco and cellco deployments with the latest extension to its T-Series architecture - which will deliver a full duplex slot capacity of 250Gbps, and may beat other vendors to market in the race to ease the migration from 10Gbps to 100Gbps IP cores. Trials with products using a new 45-nanometer chipset fabricated inhouse by Juniper, will eventually support total capacity of 4Tbps in one half-rack system, and products should ship early next year. (Cisco has not yet formally announced any updates to its carrier core router line, but is expected to do so).

Check out details.

Friday, February 05, 2010

VB6 to VB.NET eBook

This eBook documented the first few things (50 things in total) that you should worry about when converting your software application from Microsoft VB6 to Microsoft VB.NET

This is will give you an idea of how much work you have to do in terms of the conversion.

One of the hardest part (in terms of VB6 & VB.NET conversion) is GUI, such as usage of ListView. (This doesn't imply that GUI development in VB.NET is the hardest topic in VB.NET.)

This eBook is written by me based on actual experience of performing VB6 to VB.NET conversion.

Download the eBook (in PDF Format).

It took me almost one year to compile. This is also a dream of many years. My next similar project will be VB.NET to C#.NET guide. I haven't study the feasibility but if there is a need, I will do it. Hopefully will come by 2011.

Stay tune and happy programming!

The world shall live on.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Malaysia Government Grants and Contemporary Financial Asistance (4 Feb 2010)

Ok ok, I went to this event briefly for the morning session.

It was held at Auditorium 1, Enterprise 4, Technology Park Malaysia (TPM).

I was late actually, the keynote was presented by someone representing TPM(i didn't get his name), he said he can help out entreprenuers as the capacity of business coach. He was mainly talking about the upcoming development of TPM.

Up next was MDec represented by Jamie. Jamie wasn't in great mood because his Windows laptop crashed on him yesterday. I guess that he must have lost a lot of files, yeah that is bad. And he blamed it on Windows. ok.

So, he presented without slides.

According to Jamie, Pre-seed funding is official halted and they have now like 300 ++ pre-seed entrepreneurs. There are funds available but is requesting permission from the government to extend for 2010. So far no news yet.

However, more interestingly, Jamie was talking about MSC is not just about MSC status. Right now, they are in the mood of nurturing from A to Z. He mentioned that now you can walk into MDeC and ask for just any help, they wanted to listen to you, you are the star and they wanted to help. He quoted two examples of having some initiatives with Nokia Singapore and Yahoo.

Nokia Singapore is interested to help out entreprenuers through MDeC as well as Yahoo is interested to help out those involve with Internet based business. Yahoo is willing to provide mentoring, PR and etc.

MDeC is also in the mood of helping out enterpreneurs to look for VC, you don't need to be anything like pre-seed or whatever. So, go talk to MDeC. Look for Jamie first.

The next presentation was from SIRIM. The speaker is a nice person and soft talker and he was talking mainly about manufacturing stuff which I didn't relate to a lot.

Up next before the first tea break was briefing about 'Mobile Youth Unconference Asia'.

It was presented by an energetic person.

What so cool about this event was it will be held in Malaysia for the first time on 11-12 March 2010, Berjaya Time Squares.

It is about gathering of 160 trendsetters and youth brands (corporate).

The highlight of the event is "Young Ideas Salon" where these corporate brands and products will pitch to participants about their ideas in groups (in break out sessions) in order to find the real insights.

Check out the web site for more details.

Finally, the following are the grants and financial assistant still available:
  • Networked Content Development Grant(NCDG) by MCMC
  • Soft Loan Schemes (by MIDF)
  • InnoFund and TechnoFund (by MOSTI).
  • CIP 500 (by Cradle)
  • Micro and Corporate Financing (by Banks)

I didn't sit through the whole day and I don't have details.

By the way, this event was organized by MAD (Making a Difference).

The MAD Incubator BizStart Program is designed to help technopreneurs to create quality businesses through quality ideas.

Based on a one-to-one format, the BizStart Program is a 2-months business accelerator program where MAD Incubator will assist would-be technopreneurs in researching, developing and refining their ideas; and eventually coming up with a business model, project timeline and business plan that is investor-friendly and read for execution.

Fuel Subsidy Implementation

Ok, the proposed fuel subsidy initiative which is supposed to limit fuel subsidy to those really eligible.

'OutSyed The Box' creatively and analytically paints a better picture of what it is going to be, check out here.

"What this means is that owners of cars below 2000cc will not see any reduction in their living expenses. They will still pay RM1.80 per litre for RON95 like they do today - no change there, except they will now have to flash their MyKads every time they buy petrol, because they will only get say 100 litres of subsidised petrol a month."

What he said makes sense and fair.

For me, I think that the IT system to support that kind of initiative is really going to be a hard hard job.

And this may not work because there will be major changes to existing IT systems of petrol kiosks and it cannot afford to go wrong by 1st of May. I think the reason for delay of the implementation is due to the IT system.

And even if they managed to get it up by 1st of May, it is not tested as well given the short time frame.

What about those people whose MyKad is faulty, how do they able to claim for the subsidy on real-time basis ?

And let's say the roll-out failed, what will happen ?

Everybody will have to pay for RM 2.10 per liter ? Maybe.

So what's next ?

Based on my analysis, I think eventually they will scrap the idea of real-time and resort to reimbursement system.

So, I predict that this whole initiative will need some sort of receipt validation system as a backup plan to the proposed real-time validation system which supposed to come in phases. What I mean is that shouldn't non real-time system come first before the real-time system will slowly take over ?

To implement a real-time nationwide system is really not easy, just think about the case of e-Filling: LHDN.

This is probably the 4th or 5th (year) into roll-outs and it is getting better but still with issues. Do you remember all the issues with the first roll-out ?

And this proposed fuel subsidy system is many times more complex, real-time than the e-Filling (LHDN) system which involves:
  • Telecommunication (hardware & software)
  • Online system (software)
  • MyKad (hardware)
  • MyKad reader (hardware and software)
  • Credit card (hardware, software, banks, etc)
  • etc

I think suddenly, all petrol kiosks will need to hire at least one IT executive. Just like the old days when every company will have an IT executive stand by all the computer problems such cannot print, cannot read, cannot start, cannot stop, printer out of paper and etc.

Really hard job.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Tech Blog Malaysia Statistics (Jan 2010)

As usual, check out the analysis for 2009.

For month of Jan 2010, we have the followings.
  • A proposed broadband initiative by TM
  • The brand of this blog
  • The largest ERP software in the world
  • The name of this blog
  • World largest online music store
  • Support number for Malaysia's biggest broadband provider
  • A common windows font issue
  • A crystal report 8.5 issue

  • Total monthly traffic increased by as much as 6.73%
  • Traffic from referring sites increased by 1.33%
  • Google still top contributor (63.35%). Down from last month.
  • Top 5 countries (Malaysia, US, UK, India, Singapore).
  • New visitors 88.00% (down from last month).
Now check out the most popular contents.

  1. The main page
  2. TM HSBB Project May Not Be Realized By 2010.
  3. Anti SPAM Campaign - Serenity
  4. Unable To Find Database DLL (CR 8.5)
  5. Server Has Not Yet Been Opened (Crystal Report 8.5)
  6. 425 Can't Open Data Connection
  7. Free MCSE and CCNA Training for Unemployed Graduates
  8. Unblocking PUK Code
  9. Connection to Remote MS SQL Server 2005 Over The Internet
  10. RIP, IGRP, EIGRP, OSPF comparison

Write Text to File, Write Binary To File (VB.NET)

A quick note.

There is not such thing as writing text to file. Eventually, everything will be in bytes.

Thus, it is more proper to say that 'Save Text To File' and 'Save Picture To File'.

First of all, it is important to understand two things.
  1. The difference between string and byte (binary)
  2. The difference between ANSI and Unicode.
Refer to 'ANSI vs Unicode'

A Few Important Things:

1. If you want to create new file, you have to use SaveFileDialog , and open existing file, use OpenFileDialog. The latter will not allow you to create new file.

2. Since you can use FileStream to write data to the files, why do you still need BinaryWriter and StreamWriter (TextWriter ) ?
  • BinaryWriter and StreamWriter(TextWriter) are extensions to FileStream. Using FileStream, you have to convert everything to bytes, using StreamWriter , no need to convert string to bytes.
  • BinaryWriter and StreamWriter(TextWriter) has more overloaded methods for write() than FileStream? itself. Using streamwriter, you have a lot of overloaded methods, such as for writing data to newline.If using filestream, you have to manually add vbcrlf.
  • FileStream supports asynch process via BeginWrite and BeginRead methods. For BinaryWriter and StreamWriter, you have to create custom asynch mechanism.

To understand this further, download the sample code in VB.NET (Visual Studio SP 1)