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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Biometric in Every Home ?

It all started with the 1Malaysia Email initiative, announced by PM Dato Seri Najib. It triggered huge responses from all over.

It was later reviewed that this is a private initiative to be undertaken by Tricubes, a Malaysia based company focusing on security products and solutions such as biometric hardware and software.

Tricubes is not a startup. In my opinion, Tricubes has taken the right option in creating a new initiative. This may not be a permanent direction for a company with heavy rooting in the public sector,I can't be sure. However this can be a booster for the ever increasing competitive market, as this is contemporary.

Other media describes it as renewing a lifeline for the company.

The initiative will be funded by MAVCAP (Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad)

If they succeeded, they would create the first phenomenon in Malaysia and APAC and probably the world where there is biometric in every home. This can be exciting and can potentially trigger more income opportunities for other enterprises.

For instance, with Biometic devices in every home in Malaysia, an average Malaysian would be accustomed with Biometric technology. This is similar to having a broadband router in every home and from our experience, we have purchased more routers, switches and network cards than our ancestors did.

I am not sure Tricubes would open up the API or not ? For third party applications to communicate with the Biometric devices, but I do know that this initiative is not possible without technical support.

Email is considered to be mission critical business application. What is mission critical ?
  • Communications (Email, voice and etc)
  • Money (finance, accounts and etc)
  • Energy (electricity, water and etc)
  • Security
  • Transportation
Mission critical applications are needed everyday in the operations of business entities and normal people's life.

I considered Tricubes to be role model for biometric oriented security system in Malaysia and I do believe that the success of this initiative will create new opportunities for others.

Friday, April 29, 2011

MSC Malaysia IPCC 2011

The MSC Malaysia IPCC is back! Targeted to unearth and enhance the capability of local talents in terms of the development of new intellectual property (IP) and to help spur the growth of the creative multimedia industry, this competition now opens until 8 August 2011.

This year will take an interesting turn as contestants are required to creatively express their work within the "Malaysiana" theme in 3 categories:
  1. Animation
  2. Casual Games
  3. Digital Interactive Comic
Important Facts:
  • This competition is open to both amateurs and professionals from the creative multimedia industry.
  • The theme for the Competition is "Malaysiana". All works submitted for the categories below must adhere to the the theme and incorporate Malaysian stories such as folklore, myth, legends or Malaysian elements such as places, culture, values and history in Malaysia.
  • Closing date : 8 August 2011
  • Contact: Ms. Shahrizan Mohd Sharif (MSC Malaysia Animation & Creative Content Centre (MaC3)). Email: shahrizan@mdec.com.my
Check it out here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Scribing and Drawing on HTC Flyer

Refer to 'Which tablet PC to buy?'

The HTC Flyer scribing technology is pretty impressive, just what I am looking for.

Check it out.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Which Tablet PC To Buy In Malaysia ?

Brand Model OS Web Pricing Desc Links Remarks
Apple iPad 2 iOS Safari web browser RM1,549 to RM2,599 Dual core A5 chip, Dual camera, Facetime, smart cover, fantastic graphics, games, App store, 10 hours of battery life, light weightedURL It is Apple. Use iPad for drawing
BlackBerry Playbook Blackberry Table OS Web browser supports Adobe Flash Player 10, Adobe Mobile AIR and HTML 5. Unknown Tablet for business with multi tasking capabilities and games. Lightweight design, long battery life, 1GB RAM, Dual HD cameras, WiFi, 7" LCD multi-touch display, 1 GHz Dual Core,Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports URL I think the GUI looks really fantastic, much better than Android platform, rich application ecosystem, supports Java, business oriented
HTC Flyer Android Firefox, Chrome RM2,499 7" touch screen, HTC's Sense interface, pressure sensitive stylus that takes advantage of HTC's Scribe technology to draw, write and paint on the device,powerful note taking tool which gives users the ability to highlight notes and link audio cues to notes URL Good emphasize on notes' taking capability
Acer Iconia Tab W500 Windows 7 Tablet Internet Explorer RM1,69910.1in LED backlit touchscreen (1,280 x 800-pixels) that supports finger touch and auto screen orientation, dockable keyboard,Dual camera, AMD C-50 (1GHz) processor URL Windows platform, dockable keyboards, lower price
AsusTek EEE Pad Transformer Android Firefox and Chrome RM1,600 10.1in screen, dockable keyboards, Dual camera, NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 1.0 GHz dual core CPU,ASUS' Waveshare, ASUS' Sync URL Lower cost
Creative Ziio Android Firefox and Chrome RM999 7" screen, ZiiLab ZMS 08 HD Media Rich Applications processor, supports wireless audio streaming to Bluetooth speakers and headphones, Creative's ZiiSound D5 wireless speakers or WP-300 wireless headphones URL For Creative fans and music enthusiasts
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Firefox and Chrome RM2,699 on retail market price. However in partnering with Maxis the price will be RM1,849 come with 12 month contract and RM1,749 for 24 month contract with respective plan package 1GHz Dual core processor, 4.27 in WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen, Dual camera, HD recording ­capabilities URL Quite popular in Malaysia currently
Motorola Xoom Android Firefox and Chrome RM2,430 10" HD widescreen, Dual camera, 1 GHz Dual Core processor, USB 2.0 Support, HDMI video output and Micro USB, GPS supports URL I actually like the accessories available
HP/Palm TouchPad HP webOS Web browser supports Adobe Flash Player 10, HTML 5. RM2,430 9.7 inch XGA capacitive, supports Microsoft® Exchange email with Microsoft Direct Push Technology, supports GPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon dual CPU APQ8060 1.2GHz, Supports USB URL Very one of its kind, does it support Windows application ?
MSI WindPad Windows® 7 Starter Internet Explorer RM1,899 10.1in ­widescreen, Intel Menlow platform with an Intel Atom Z530 ­processor, dual camera, supports USB and mini MDMI output URL Lower cost, Microsoft Windows based

The tablet PC war has began.

Will there be a possibility of formation of third category ? Currently there are the Apple and Non-apple tablets categories.

Conclusions:
  • All tablets support WiFi, otherwise it defeats the purpose. The basic idea of a tablet PC is to have instant access to Internet.
  • Not all tablet supports dual camera.
  • All tablets will have some sort of application to support scribing and drawing. Some may have writings' recognition technology.
  • For Android devices, almost all manufacturers enhance extended features to increase unique selling proposition or to create differentiation.
  • All tablets will have support for multi-tasking due to the OS platform.
  • Not all tablets deployed dual-core processors.

What about video output ?
  • iPad supports video output via extension of its 30-pin dock connector port
  • Playbook and Xoom have support for HDMI output
  • But I think that as long as it supports USB, there will be a compatible USB accessories which will support USB output (eventually)
Apps:

I would expect Blackberry Playbook and Android based devices to have a sea of software applications including games as much as what iPad's AppStore has to offer.

Impressive:

I think Blackberry Playbook and Motorola Xoom are the most impressive ones, couple with good marketing and information. Playbook has the upper hand on the business community market while Xoom has the advantage of being in the so-called open source market.


My choice, my needs ?

I am actually looking at a 7" wide screen tablet PC to replace my paper based notepad, for scribing and drawings (of notes and ideas).

Looks like all of the devices can support some forms of scribing and drawing, with HTC Flyer particularly focusing on this application.

I am also looking at a device which can support some forms of Window based application such as ppstream and pps.tv which I think Firefox compatible devices will be able to do that, so it has to be Android based devices.

Well looks like with current standing, I will go for Xoom as my first choice.

But I think cost is also very important factor to decide on.

Funny Names:

Some of the model have funny names. I think the best name would be iPad, Galaxy and Xoom.

IASA Improves Membership Benefits

IASA.

Benefits include:

1. Unlimited access to the content repository database with over 1000 files including past presentations, ITARC recordings, white pages, architectural reviews and various learning resources

2. Delivery of our bi-monthly newsletter focused on architecture news, events and community activities automatically delivered to your inbox

3. Subscription to Perspectives, our quarterly online magazine

4. Free enrollment in online training courses

5. Knowledge sharing and vibrant networking opportunities

6. Participate in community discussions via hundreds of blogs and articles

7. Access to live and previously recorded webcasts and E-Summits (30+ per year)

8. Special events and educational discounts

9. Become an author by helping define/improve the ITABoK

10. Specific programs tailored by your local chapter

11. Local training and certification opportunities

12. Opportunity to expand your resume and shape the architecture profession through access to local, regional and global boards and committees

Register now.

Check out more about IASA.

Friday, April 22, 2011

1Malaysia Email

I think it is good initiative, even though some people may not want to use it as the core email address.

It can generate a lot of income opportunities for local ICT players.

This is a time where everybody is talking about using Gmail and Yahoo mail, with Hotmail being unappreciated and forgotten and your company email is always not having enough capacity and usually not 100% up time.

But I like to see more diversity in the area of email.

The goods are:
  • It will intensify efforts to bring Internet to everybody in the country. This means that someone will have to ensure that every single Malaysian has access to the Internet in a proper manner.
  • It will create a lot of opportunities for computer training for dummies and basic computing. This will include Malaysian like my mother. And who is going to pay for it ? This is also expected to happen door to door for outskirts area.
  • It is expected to be secured, we can use the email for secured communication with financial institution and in the event of any compromise, someone local can be held accounted for.
  • Bring back one PC for every home scheme in Malaysia. This will generate even more interest for the tablet PC trend, intensifying the sales of mobile computing devices.

Tricubes, which is collaborating with Microsoft to develop the project, said it expected to generate income from value-added services including advertising, online market place, bill and notice deliveries and online registration to government agencies.

Refer to here.

PayPal Study shows Malaysians Spent RM1.8 Billion on Online Shopping Last Year, Expected to Grow to RM5 Billion by 2014

PayPal released its first ever survey on Online and Mobile Shopping in Malaysia.The study shows Malaysians spent RM1.8 billion on online shopping last year and is expected to grow to RM5 billion by 2014

“The strong call-to-action for local merchants is to quickly adopt a multi-channel retail strategy, provide greater product choice and higher quality items in their online store, and offer more secure online payment options. In order to sell to mobile shoppers, they should choose a safer mobile payment method that can be completed in as few clicks as possible," said Elias Ghanem, Managing Director & GM of PayPal Southeast Asia & India.

Online shopping is more than just airline and hotel bookings.

1.) A wide range of categories shows that online shopping is becoming more mainstream and a bigger part of Malaysians’ daily lives:
  • Travel = RM435 million (24% share)
  • Bill payments = RM329 million (18% share)
  • Entertainment and lifestyle = RM255 million (14% share)
  • IT and electronics = RM218 million (12% share)
  • General insurance = RM205 million (11% share)
  • Fashion and beauty = RM181 million (10% share)
  • Gifts and collectibles = RM68 million (4% share)

2.) Malaysians buy different items between domestic and cross-border online shopping.
  • Malaysians purchased nearly 2.5 times as much airline tickets from local websites (RM173 million) compared to overseas websites (RM72 million).
  • Financial products/services (RM78 million) and health/beauty products (RM29 million) are mainly purchased on local websites.
  • Online purchases for clothings/shoes/accessories are slightly more on local websites (RM48 million) compared to overseas websites (RM41 million).
  • Nearly twice as much spent online for books on overseas websites (RM63 million) compared to local websites (RM36 million).
  • Again, nearly twice as much spent online for movie/music/game downloads on overseas websites (RM51 million) compared to local websites (RM27 million).
  • Malaysians’ favourite countries for overseas online shopping were the US, Singapore, UK, China and Hong Kong.

3.) Enhancing security can boost online spending.
  • 4 out of 10 Malaysian online shoppers said that current credit/debit card online security measures are inadequate.
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 believe they are taking a risk every time they transact online with their credit/debit cards.
  • However, increasing safety measures would convince nearly 7 out of 10 to spend more online.
  • In fact, the middle income group, which accounts for the largest share of the online shopping market (42%), is the most willing to increase their online shopping if safety is improved (72%).
Finally, the key findings for mobile shopping showed that m-commerce is in its early stages, but has strong growth potential:
  • Over 254 thousand online shoppers spent RM100 million on their mobile devices in 2010, approximately 6% of the online shopping market value.
  • The top activity for mobile shoppers was paying bills on the go (22%), followed by buying low-priced items such as movie tickets (21%), books (15%) and movie/music/game downloads (14%) which led to an average mobile spend per head of RM388 in the past year.
  • 4 out of 10 online shoppers are willing to make a purchase on their mobile phones.
  • The top three barriers to mobile shopping are small screen size (48%), slow mobile Internet connection (48%) and security concerns (37%).
Check out details here and here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

President Obama (USA) on Jobs, Public Service and Social Network

Check out Obama at Facebook: US must keep investing
  • Strong economy and jobs - income opportunities is critical
  • Cut cost on public sector by leveraging on free social network
  • Fast effective way of communicating - leveraging on social network
Hidden messages:
  • Future fills with uncertainties
  • Strong entities such as Facebook will keep getting stronger and more relevant to everyday life as weaker competing entities and technology concepts couldn't launch to orbit successfully
  • Weaker economy will ignite a financial evolution where everybody will become more knowledgeable in financial optimization

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pikom PC Fair KL - 16 Apr 2011

Location = KLCC Convention Center

Check out the Kaspersky security campaign.




Bought a printer Canon MP 258 for RM 199 which I don't think it is any cheaper than non PC Fair prices; just that you are given some free gifts during PC fair. If you check out this URL, Canon recommends the selling price as RM 199 for good and bad days.

This is a better printer than my previous printer, at least it will not keep saying that the printer is out of paper (especially during first time test print). For one, I think that paper slot works better than paper tray.

It is a two (Printer + Scanner) in one hardware, with color print.

I recommend this printer for home usage.

Currently I am installing it on Windows XP PC and there is just one issue that I found, that is with the installation software. It auto selects the installation language based on 'Control-Panel\Regional and language options\Advanced\Language for non-unicode programs', which I think is not really desirable.

The language should be based on the default language of Windows.

What I really like about PC Fair is that it involves many human activities. It creates a lot of job opportunities for part timers and generates a lot of human interactions which is a blessing to complement today's world of digital age.

We have lost the pleasure of human interaction these days. Whenever we desire to buy something, especially computer stuffs, Amazon or eBay will always be the backup. Even though for Malaysia's Klang Valley folks, Lowyat and other digital malls may be a popular place to go, we have slowly forgot the feelings of receiving and providing mutual facial expressions when buying stuffs; thanks to the Internet, e-commerce and now the mobile wave.

In fact, activities in PC Fair are beginning to exhibit declining sincerity in such concerns, people are rushing and pushing to close sales. Gentle greetings, smiles and personal conveying are fast replaced by mundane shouts, push for sales and even to certain extends of inconvenient anger. It is however that PC Fair strives to put human touch into the fast moving computer industry. And I am thankful for that.

For those workers of either real executives or part timers, they have worked hard and I know they have tried their best and I think they have earned their efforts. We should be grateful to have them manning the fair.

I came to know some theories relating to having successful business, that a thriving business requires constant human-oriented movement. For instance, restaurants exhibiting chefs cooking real-time in front of the crowd will tend to generate more interests that those having close door kitchens. In fact, there are many explanations to such practice, however, according to some sources, it should generate more sales. People just love to see human acts.

Therefore, on that note, PC Fair should keep going because that is most important.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

AIMS Achieves 30% Increase in EARTH HOUR Power Savings

Megawisra Group of Companies (MSB) that comprises AIMS Group of Companies (AIMS) and Global Transit Group of Companies (GT), announces an increase in its power conservation by 30 percent during the recent Earth Hour 2011 ‘Go Beyond the Hour’ drive on 26th March 2011, as compared to what was achieved during its similar Earth Hour participation in 2010.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Android Becomes Popular ?

1.) Google

Google used to own Android, now Google is an employee of Android platform; is working for Android in all aspect.

Google bought Android (a start up) and developed it into today's achievement.

Google is a driving force behind such development. In other words, Google is one of the few companies in the world to have hired professional software engineers and developers to build source codes for open source projects.

Not only Google contributes in terms of technicality, it also invested much resources into the business part of it.

2.) Firefox

As the most popular web browser ever downloaded to both windows based PC and Linux based PC, Firefox having support Android platform fires up a lot of interests for Android platform.

If you are a Firefox user, you will want to try out Android platform, at least you have thought about it.


3.) Open source.

Download the source code now, and keep a copy at your hard disk.

4.) Windows 7 tablet not quite ready yet

5.) Open standard

Google lead the formation of Open Handset Alliance which main task is to develop open standards for mobile handset. The purpose of such movement is to encourage micro-economy while minimizing monopoly.

With open standards, win-win situations are most often expected. Manufacturers may not earn the highest margin, but they can benefit from cost savings from R & D. Traders may not make the highest sales, but they can expect longer product life cycle.

6.) Timely (in the iPod,iPhone,iPad Era)

The smart devices market has been around for many years. Thanks to Steve Jobs, smart device market is now divided into Apple and Non-Apple. For every single Apple mobile device, there are many competitors all geared up to compete with it. And it is not until recently that those marketing efforts didn't win much battles against Apple.

It is getting more expensive to maintain proprietary platforms due to the pace at which technology gets outdated and the pace which consumer trends overlap each other.

For a non-Apple manufacturer, it is simply not a good idea to invest in proprietary platform anymore. The risk is too high and no one has the time for it.

Thus, instead of selling brands and software platforms, mobile device manufacturers now are selling hardware which runs on Android platform. In other words, it is almost as if mobile device manufacturers are selling plastic container with circuit boards. You just need to know how to create the circuit board.

Make no mistake that manufacturing challenges will remain, they still need to have engineers and etc, the only difference is that they don't own Android platform.

With such business model, it makes sense to come out with new models more frequently and put more emphasize on marketing and compete with price war, product offerings and package.

One thing to take note, after the success of Apple mobile devices, we haven't seen another Steve Job competitor, not from Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Blackberry and etc. Competitor personality whose keynote addresses are more important to watch then a good movie and who is outspoken enough to punish competitors for their own mistakes.

Maybe all those marketeers are employees, they are not founder of the company and they are bounded by restrictions.

7.) Java

Android development platform is based on Java which is also considered to be open source programming language.

Java is a powerful platform and was a dominant factor in write-once-run-anywhere concept until Microsoft counter strike with the .NET platform.

Java has seen lower adoption rate lately (thanks to Microsoft .NET and PHP), however it is still very much in demand. Java programmers are the most sought after in the market currently.

Java is now controlled by Oracle which bought over Sun Microsystem.

Almost whoever came into the ICT industry after the dot-com crashed would have a finger or two on Java.

The statement has been terminated

This applies to T-SQL.

This statement means nothing is performed, the SQL query is not committed; the query has been rollback.


This can happen to an UPDATE query when there is a large data-set to update and something happened (network disconnected or user stopped it halfway).

For instance, if you try to UPDATE one million records, and before it can finish, you pressed to the stop button. If it says

"The statement has been terminated. Query was canceled by user."

Then no single record is updated.

It is not easy to simulate this using INSERT. For instance, if you try to INSERT a million record, and before it can finished, you pressed the stop button. It will say

"Query was canceled by user."

And even though not one million records has been inserted, but some will already been inserted.

This suggests that UPDATE query involves stricter commit transaction check than INSERT query, which is proper.

And that INSERT query will commit transaction one by one while UPDATE query commit transaction in a batch.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

T-SQL Insert Update Trigger Sample

This sample presents a T-SQL DML Trigger.

A trigger is actually just a T-SQL script.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189799.aspx

It makes use of the special 'inserted' table.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191300.aspx

It is important to make use of exception catching to avoid chain failure.

The following sample create an insert and update DML trigger on the table called 'tbl_user_profile'.

Whenever a single record is being inserted or updated to 'tbl_user_profile', this script will be triggered.

The trigger will first check out the latest data from 'inserted' table, then it will attempt to update the destination table called 'temp_table_1'. If update success, it means existing record exists, otherwise, it will attempt to insert new record into 'temp_table_1'.


IF OBJECT_ID ('tr_sync_table','TR') IS NOT NULL
   DROP TRIGGER tr_sync_table;
GO

CREATE TRIGGER tr_sync_table
on tbl_user_profile
After insert,update
AS

BEGIN TRY

SET NOCOUNT ON

declare @successCount as bigint,@errCount as bigint
declare @cUserID as varchar(10)
declare @USER_Name as varchar(80)

SELECT @cUserID=i.USER_ID,@USER_Name=i.USER_NAME FROM inserted i 

if @@rowcount>=1
BEGIN

 BEGIN TRY
            UPDATE [temp_table_1]
            SET cUsername=@USER_Name
            WHERE cUserID=@cUserID
            
            if @@ROWCOUNT >=1 
               BEGIN
                 
                  SELECT @successCount = @successCount+1
                 
               END
            ELSE
               BEGIN
               -- INSERT -----
                 BEGIN TRY
                   INSERT INTO [temp_table_1] (cUserID,cUsername) 
                   VALUES (@cUserID,@USER_Name)
                   
                   SELECT @successCount = @successCount+1
                   
                 END TRY
                 BEGIN CATCH
                  
                   SELECT @errCount = @errCount+1
                  
                 END CATCH
            END
        END TRY
        BEGIN CATCH
           
           SELECT @errCount = @errCount+1
          
        END CATCH
        
END

END TRY

BEGIN CATCH
   --RAISERROR ('tr_sync_table', 16, 1);
END CATCH
 
Go

Saturday, April 02, 2011

VB.NET Date Difference in Milliseconds

To calculate date difference in milliseconds, we can't use 'DateDiff' function since the lower precision is second.

Thus, one good way is to use system.datetime.ticks

Dim myDateStarts as date 
Dim myDateEnds as date 
Dim totalDuration as long

Dim tempTickCount as long = myDateEnds.Ticks - myDateStarts.Ticks 

totalDuration = (tempTickCount / 10000) 'convert to milliseconds

It works perfectly with high precision!

Tech Blog Malaysia Statistics (Mar 2011)

As usual, check out the analysis for 2010.

For month of Jan 2011.
For month of Feb 2011.

For month of Mar 2011, we have the followings.
  1. Related to Malaysia telecommunication industry
  2. A common issues on using partition magic
  3. Brand of this blog
  4. Microsoft certification
  5. Co-author of this blog
  6. A common Windows font issue
  7. A social media site
  8. A feature of mobile phone
Overview
  • Total monthly traffic increased by as much as 25%.
  • Traffic from referring sites decreased by 1.28%.
  • Google still top contributor (56.68%).Up from last month.
  • Top 5 countries (Malaysia, US, India,Singapore, Indonesia).
  • New visitors 83.49% (down from last month).