Saturday, June 30

Countdown to Apple's iPhone TGiF Night

The little devil people all over the world have been waiting for is going to be available for sale in Apple stores in the US, minutes from now. How envious we are of folks in the US (and I know my good friend Sabrina will rave more now for having left Apple USA not too long ago):
CUPERTINO, California—June 28, 2007—Apple’s revolutionary iPhone™ will go on sale this Friday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m. local time at Apple® retail stores nationwide. All 164 Apple retail stores in the US will stay open until midnight, and customers can purchase up to two iPhones on a first come, first served basis. Beginning Saturday morning, iPhone owners can learn how to get the most out of their new iPhone with free, in-depth workshops offered throughout the day at all Apple retail stores. Every Apple retail store will offer free support for iPhone at the Genius Bar and personal training through Apple’s new One to One program.

Read more at Apple's iPhone Premier Press Release.

People who came from all over the world are madly waiting to become the first one to own one, or two:

Even Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple, is waiting in line to get one:

And this fan really know what she's digging for (Apple has become so influential up to people's choice for service provider!):

Check out the Apple's commercial that has just came out today:

And Hillary Clinton will look sexy to sport one while running around for her presidential campaign trail:

Friday, June 29

Sudahkah anda e-Hasil? (e-Fail Cukai/e-File Tax)

Pajamaworkers or pajama enterprise's owners, including bloggers, internet marketers, freelance writers, paid surfers etc. in Malaysia who have made some earnings during any period of last year (2006), according Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN, ie. Inland Revenue Board (IRB)), would fall under the category of "Individual with income from business source" and thus have to file a B form by or before 30 JUN 2007 (TOMORROW!) instead of BE form (for "Individual with income from non business source (e.g. employment) ") about two months earlier) to LHDN.

The law is strict and the penalties for failing to filing ("FAIL to FILE") your taxable income is severe, per the Income Tax Act 1967 with the following related excerpts:
114. (1) Any person who willfully and with intent to evade or assist any other person to evade tax-
  1. omits from a return made under this Act any income which should be included;

  2. makes a false statement or entry in a return made under this Act;

  3. gives a false answer (orally or in writing) to a question asked or request for information made in pursuance of this Act;

  4. prepares or maintains or authorizes the preparation or maintenance of false books of account or other false records;

  5. falsifies or authorizes the falsification of books of account or other records; or

  6. makes use or authorizes the use of any fraud, art or contrivance,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than one thousand ringgit and not more than twenty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both, and shall pay a special
penalty of treble the amount of tax which has been undercharged in consequence of the offence or which would have been undercharged if the offence had not been detected.
For last minute folks (like me), sweat not:-
  • Despite several mishaps, incidents, difficulties etc., LHDN has been working hard to make the filing process easier for Malaysians, including the latest introduction of e-Hasil or e-Filing service for individual taxpayers beginning 2004, which happens to be one of the top-10 government electronic services being used by Malaysians today -- and of course, including improving the e-Hasil system itself despite recurring security flaws as reported at WhattaHack (on 7 APR 2007 and later reportedly resolved on 16 APR 2007), hence the popular negative grading of "e-FAILed for LHDN's e-FILE" to make it "Easy, Safe & Accurate". Many users of e-Hasil have also reported some noticed improvements (eg. by's Gaman on his last-minute e-filing experience and a review by chentong of by despite many more improvements being desired for and some funny incidents regarding spelling (eg. Ranhill — as R for Rumah, A for Ayam, N for Nangka, H for Holland, I for Itik, L for Lain Lain.) and LHDN's suggestive wording for a male e-filer to "Tambah Isteri" (add a wife).

  • LHDN's offices will be opened until 8 pm tomorrow, 30 JUNE 2006.

  • If you've missed the deadline for getting the e-Filing PIN via e-mail/fax/mail, you may simply pickup a phone and contact LHDN (dial 1-300-88-3010 -- NOT TOLL FREE although noted such on its website, but at a local call rate for TM fixed phone line) to get the in PIN in just minutes -- the easiest way if you'd ask me (instead of email/fax or going to the LHDN branches themselves).

After you have completed your due responsibility of e-filing, tax-filers are welcome to fill out and submit a survey form to LHDN to "further improve the quality of services rendered."

Be a good citizen -- a responsible good pajama worker, okay?


Happy e-Filing!

Visit the Offshore Location or do an Actual Project?

Emmy Gengler: "Often I hear from people that they will never work with someone before they have an opportunity to meet with them in person. Some people have always worked this way; they like to build a relationship before working together. If it is possible to do this great; but in the offshore world, meeting face to face is not always possible nor is it always necessary - especially at the beginning."

Learn more on how to decide at Blogosphere

Thursday, June 28

Selling Malaysia as outsourcing hub

MALAYSIA needs to improve the country's branding and publicity and leverage on certain key strengths to tap the growing potential of the shared services and outsourcing (SSO) industry worldwide.

Industry experts say that Malaysia benefits from good infrastructure, multi-lingual skills, political stability, skilled workforce and comparable cost advantage, which make it an increasingly favourable offshore locations.
They said the value of the outsourcing market in Malaysia is currently about US$2.5 billion (RM8.7 billion) but can exceed US$10 billion (RM34.9 billion) in the next three years to five years with more emphasis placed to boost the industry. The global SSO industry is valued at more than US$750 billion (RM2.6 trillion).
The marketplace is dominated by key players, notably Teledirect, Scicom, SRG, VPI, VADS Bhd, TeleTech Holdings Inc and Vsource Bhd.
Malaysia, nominated by Atos Origin, won the "Offshore Destination of the Year" category of the UK National Outsourcing Association (NOA) Awards last year.
Hmm... At present, Malaysia's share of global SSO revenue pie is only at 0.3%, "...despite Malaysia being positioned as a global centre, the perception of the country overseas was not as expected." Something is critically FLAWED here!
Another concern.. the lack of English-speaking community in Malaysia...
Really? I attended a blogger's meet recently, and practically, all of the 100 or so people who attended speak English 95+% of the time instead of Mandarin, Hokkien etc. Most of them including the 1000s of bloggers throughout Malaysia also write mostly in English.
MDeC is coming out with specific plans to retrain the workforce but the message is not clear. We realise the importance of using the industry as an engine to speed up the academia programmes," Zulfiqar said.
No wonder! These people at the government agencies speak English that is out of this world! Were these bombastic sentences actually spoken by a human, or read off some white papers?
"Some 10 years from now, a new generation of Chinese would be able to speak very good English and the gap is going to get wider. Simply by converting Mathematics and Science in English is not enough. The foundation has to be built at the primary level," he (Zulfiqar) noted.
Now Zulfiqar, I hope you didn't mean that we should ditch Bahasa Malaysia completely, and adopt English instead as our national language?
Ariyanayakam pointed out that since Malaysia can't go back in time to change the education system, it should turn back and re-train the misalignment and workforce to get the people to the right level.

"The Government is
trying and there are so many agendas in play. For whatever they are doing right now, they see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a very structural thing and will take a while," he said.
The big guys are blaming the local labour here when the root of the problem, I'd say is those at the top -- the MDeC and these clueless corporations. I think they've been in trial-n-error mode too long. They need to stop "trying" and start doing something truly productive instead of bit*hing around too much. They are the ones hurting the industry, and Malaysia's slow growth in IT infrastructure and socio-economy.

Instead of talking too much, I think MDeC and these GLCs need to start listening to the people. Focus more on the 80%, not the 1%, or the middle 19%. Think really hard about what ICT means for global outsourcing. Do you think that those biggies of IT in USA, China and India started from being huge from Month/Year One? Or were they products of acquisitions and mergers of the micro businesses and later SMEs?

Read the full article at Business Times (Malaysia)

Human-to-Human, key to communicate...

Sharon Lee wrote in a New Yorker-like article on web design: "What is new is the realization that just having any old website isn’t enough. The quality of your site and the nature of its content are paramount and your ability to communicate with your audience is the key."

Humans, according to Lee, want:-

  1. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
  2. A good STORY (read: creative)
  3. Engagement
  4. Inspiration
  5. Enchantment
Let's just sum up all of these up into one word, Sharon: L.O.V.E., as Ashley and friends have been shouting endlessly ;) [I'm infected with subliminal messages from Korean Full House]

Sharon's piece is actually a continuation of a topic long discussed by many, for more than ten years as far as I can remember, when Schools of Information were popping up at universities following the emergence of the Web to be one of the most influential communications medium which it already has become today. Even governments talk about USABILITY:, e.g. at Until we humans get assimilated into borgs or more cybernetic organisms walk on earth, people should focus on usability for humans...

Though, such 'humanly' communications on the Web seems to me like a dreamy task to achieve when you have 100+ millions of websites out there, and the 100s of millions of people who flock to the pages of Myspace/Friendster, MSN/Yahoo, Google YouTube/Blogger, Twitter, and forums at Topix, etc. LOVE to SHOUT, flame, curse, and write rushingly. This everyone-is-busy-but-want-to-talk-a-lot culture happens to be how humans actually communicate in the real world including through the billions of mobile text-messages/SMS exchanged everyday among people worldwide disregarding gender, age, career or education level.

And for business matters too -- Just examine the millions of active posts for trading of products at eBay and trading of services at work crowdsourcing sites like Elance, Guru, Scriptlance, GetAFreelancer, Pajamanation etc.

Anyway, bravo to Sharon for demonstrating respect, telling a good story, and engaging + inspiring + enchanting her RichAppleFool's audience in their attempt to "connects clients to their audiences through captivating brands, illustrations and online experiences." Say, which one are you in your virtual neighborhood, Sharon, a chicken, a cow or a sheep? (RESPECT!!??)

Wednesday, June 27

Ready for Pajama Enterprise?

It's been exactly six months today since Pajamanation first revealed its idea of pajamaworking to the public. This soft launch or beta period has garnered well over 2000 subscriptions to Pajamanation microjob exchange, providing us considerable feedbacks and lessons which we will carefully adopt for our next major release of

As anticipated, 90+% of our members who joined us from well over 200 cities around the world (including over 20 cities in Malaysia) are microworkers who want to get paid to perform fractional work assignments offered by corporations and micropreneurs. Pajamanation is now closer than ever to break the 5,000 members mark, in time for our planned global launch, which will enable to offer micropreneurs a very effective platform to crowdsource their microjobs.

At Pajamanation Malaysia, we're committed to offer the best work crowdsourcing platform for our members. Besides recruiting talents (i.e. professional microjob-based workers), we are readying to offer training to pajamapreneurs and microbusiness owners.

Pajama Enterprise vs. Pajama Workers

What do we mean by microbusiness (or pajama enterprise as we'd like to call them) anyway? What are their differences compared to pajamaworkers?

As mentioned earlier, pajamaworkers are the service providers -- those who perform the microjobs at home, and deliver to companies or individuals they've contracted with. The other half of the equation are the enterprises that outsource the microjobs to home/pajamaworkers.

The United Nations defines a micro enterprise in Malaysia as a business entity with an annual sales turnover of less than RM 200,000 and is employing no more than five employees. Similar definitions are offered by agencies like SMIDEC or business-centric NGOs. Most of the micro enterprises are sole proprietorships, partnerships of 2-4 individuals, or a family-owned proprietorships & private limited companies (Sdn Bhd).

Why Less is More?

Why Micro Enterprises then, instead of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) or large corporations and government agencies? Wouldn't the bigger ones be able to outsource more work? After all, the 4000+ large organizations (Less than 1% of all total active business entities in Malaysia, contributes to 94% of national GDP (compared to only 60-70% in Australia, Japan and Germany) [Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yaakop, Minister of Finance II, 12 SEP 2005).

Because the 500,000+ SMEs provides 65.1% employment in Malaysia, and 80% of those SMEs are micro enterprises (UNDP Report, 2007). Plus, during the past whole decade employment agencies for both full-time jobs and part-time/freelancing employment have only been able to offer jobs/freelancing contracts to 10% of job/work seekers -- if Pajamaworkers are to rely only on SMEs and large companies (private and government-linked, i.e. GLCs), 90% of them will not get any work assignments and thus will be forced to stick with more secure full-time employment for residual income, which are also hard to find nowadays!

In order to provide more work for pajamaworkers, we need to aggressively tap the power of the 400,000+ existing micro enterprises, as well as establish more pajama enterprises out of the pool of potentially millions of pajamaworkers, starting with the ~3.5% unemployed labour in Malaysia today (Datuk Wira Dr Fong Chan Onn, Minister of Human Resources, 2007) -- with tens of thousands of them being fresh university/college graduates, or degree holders.

The Pajama Work

As you can see at, there are 150 categories of work that Pajamaworkers can perform. So, what kind of work can a Pajama Enterprises and SMEs offer?

Although the kind of work can be just about any fractional work that business entities do on daily basis, our initial focus would be to take advantage of what today's Generation C offers the best:-
  • C – Cusp
  • C – Caring
  • C – Control
  • C – Content
  • C – Channel
  • C – Criterion
  • C – Celebrity
  • C – Cynicism
  • C – Character
  • C – Credibility
  • C – Connected
  • C – Consensus
  • C – Collaborative
  • C – Code (internet coding)
  • C – Community/Communication
  • C – Creativity/Creative/Creators (also "Creative Class")
==> Sum-ed up to "Creative Content (CC)".

Consider that ICT especially the web and mobile platform are your best tools for production, business operation and marketing -- the complete business cycle of starting up, run and sell!

So, what can you ideally produce? Try books, magazines, online/offline (news/journalism) media, product design/engineering/prototypes, marketing materials, sales quotations, translation works, graphics etc.

What kind of services can you get for your business operation? Try accounting, clerical, market research, business consultation, online/offline media setup & maintenance, articles, project/marketing planning, photography, online/offline marketing, sales, and the list goes on -- you should know what your business needs better!

Note clear enough? Here are samples of our pajama entrepreneurs/enterprise:
  • lukaso from Indonesia who is a "31 years old, with a technical and business background. I studied at the University of IST Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Graduated in B.Sc. Computing"
  • 1oasis from Malaysia who specializes in "business acumen & project engineering/management"

Here are some samples of microjobs offered by several business consulting marketplaces:-

wilfred from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Organisation : SME

Description : Small Budding website design firm based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. We've got grand ideas and sky high passion in creating the best designs for websites.

Project Title : PSD -> Joomla template

Project Description :
PSD of website provided with layers (design provided is close to traditional joomla layout, should be easier) needs to be converted into joomla template, compatible with Joomla 1.0.x

Additional Description (2007-06-18): Just a quick one... the payment is in USD 25 - USD 100.... equivalent to about RM 100 - RM500

'Challenger' from Florida, USA (27jun07) at
Category:Graphic Design / Multimedia
Subcategory:Banner Ad Design
Title:Website header for blog
Work Location:Offsite
Project Phase:Bidding
Duration: 6d, 22h, 18m
Bids: 1 [already received at least one on the 1st day]

I need a Web header for my website . It's going to be a blog where I compare similar products. The idea I am going for is the ArgumentEnder to be in a font that appears to be for a main event boxing match and maybe a pair of boxing gloves on a hook. Underneath the "Argumentender" would say...Where the gloves come off.. Maybe a couple spotlights on each end of the banner shining on the entire banner.

Or the task could more specific, instructionally for a web design work, eg. by rw123 at
The task you will be bidding on is as follows:
You will take one (1) PSD file and convert it into CSS/XHTML. I expect that you will be communicating with me a lot to ensure the right template is being created.

I will send the file that needs to be converted when we are discussing the project in the PM.

Please only bid if you have designed complex CSS/XHTML templates in the past (I will request your portfolio as proof).

It is also very important that you have experience in coding boxes with rounded corners using only CSS and WITHOUT using javascipt.... I need to see examples of this that you have created because my design uses many boxes with rounded corners of different heights and widths. These boxes will have text dynamically added from my database and therefore they need to be flexible.

The winning vendor will have experience in creating similar websites, will provide instructions on how I can edit the templates you have created, and set up the pages so I can easily make changes myself to the layout, fonts, text, menus, etc

The backend of this site will be written in Python with a mySQL database so my developer will need to be able to easily edit your pages to insert the necessary code.

This will be an going project and if I am happy with the initial results I will have lots of other work for the winning bidder.

It is important that the code is clean and organized and friendly for SEO (as well as supporting all major browsers and w3c compliant).

If this first project is a success, we can start working on the other pages.

I look forward to working with you.

And a microjob that may require the pajamaworker to have a double/'second life' as requested by wdb from Belgium:

Organisation : SME
Description :
Storefront (shop) in second life (full service)
Project Title :
Second Life establishment
Languages Required :

Project Description : We want to open a mortgage bank in second life to give mortgage loans for people who want to develop properties on second life virtual grounds.

Start Date :

How can Pajamanation Malaysia help Pajama Enterprises?

We offer optional consultation and can procure cost-cutting services to help you deal effectively with pajamaworkers and even potential customers.

For a start, our sister company can help you operate more professionally on the Web with your own domain name and affordable commercial email and web hosting:
  • YOUR OWN EFFECTIVE ONLINE BRAND: We believe that today, having a professionally-matched domain name and web presence is a MUST for every business and organization, both big and micro. By using a URLs like and or email domain like,, @hotmail/yahoo/, etc., instead of advertising your own brand, you are advertising other people's brand every time your website receives a visitor or your sent emails get read by the recipients.

  • A RINGGIT SAVED IS RINGGIT EARNED: Do you know that many companies in Malaysia still pay as much as RM100/year for a full year registration/license of domain name? Even the more savvy Internet users are still paying an average of RM50 for a .com domain name. Did you know domain names actually RETAIL from as low as under RM10/year (for .info & .or) and .com/.net starts from under RM30/year! Why pay more? Consider that many enterprise will end up registering more than one domain (Many companies own ten or more domain names to protect their valuable brand names and their variations), and with every RM 10 or more saved per domain, that would add up to considerable savings EVERY YEAR! The money saved can perhaps be channeled for other marketing activities or to promote the website itself.

  • RELIABLE WEB HOSTING AND E-COMMERCE (NEW PLANS JUST UNVEILED ON MONDAY, 25 JUN 2007): Did you know that many companies in Malaysia are paying as much as RM100+/month for hosting space well under 1000MB? offers secure hosting on both Linux and Windows platforms with storage between 1000 MB (1-GB) to 10,000 MB (10-GB) and monthly fee starting from under RM10! (10% of what some local hosts charge!). And instead of a one-price-fit-all package, an option where you may end up paying for more disk space, email accounts, MySQL/MS SQL database accounts and bandwidth that what you'll actually need or optional premium features like IP address, SSL certificate and e-commerce / site builder, offers ala-carte options -- PAY ONLY FOR SERVICES THAT YOU NEED.

Need help with any of these online business tools, or need assistance on how to market your brand and/or products online? Our pajamaworkers are ready to help you! Or you may contact us directly.

Tune in for more upcoming services for pajama enterprises and pajama workers...

Read more about glocal crowdsourcing:-
Are you ready? (Or are you already?) We'd like to hear from you... Please add your comment below:

Desire the worst job? Get smart!

Earlier this month (on 14 JUN 2007), Popular Science returned with its famous annual (or bi-annual?) list entitled "The Worst Jobs in Science" for this year.

And this time, Microsoft-haters get more boosts to further make fun of the mega corporation (is Jason Daley/Pop Science picking a fight with Microsoft?):-

  1. ComputerWorld: Studying maggots a better job than being a Microsoft security grunt?

  2. Zhakonda: По горячим следам=) [I can't read this either ;-)]

  3. mi3ch.livejournal: десятка [Is this Russian too? Many hackers from there, so it's natural!]

  4. The Borjas Blog: ...The very definition of a live oxymoron...

  5. DumbCoder: 10 reasons to be thankful for your job

  6. Amazon Newstand: ...Longest To-Do List...

  7. Nicki's MOG: Be Glad You May Be a Pencil-Pusher

  8. Chocolanata: Don't complain yours anymore! [published on Microsoft Live Spaces]

  9. 2-speed: 24/7 to address the security holes in Microsoft’s products...

  10. Andrew Hay: Worst Jobs in Science 2007 - Microsoft Security Grunt

Oops, my bad... I love Microsoft

[I do NOT want to be blacklisted by them]

Say, you think that you are 'brilliant' enough?

If you are accepted for any of these 'worst' jobs, then you'll know that you are brilliant, indeed:-

#10: Whale-Feces Researcher
They scoop up whale dung, then dig through it for clues
-- this should be fun, especially if you get to meet Jaws instead.

#9: Forensic Entomologist
Solving murders by studying maggots
-- you want them fried easy or done?

#8: Olympic Drug Tester
 Going to Beijing in 2008 anyone?
When your job is drug testing the world’s top athletes, there’s no way to win
-- you get to 'play' with drugs and make friends with addicts.

#7: Gravity Research Subject
They’re strapped down so astronauts can blast off

#6: Microsoft Security Grunt
Like wearing a big sign that reads “Hack Me

#5: Coursework Carcass Preparer
They kill, pickle, and bottle the critters that schoolkids cut up

#4: Garbologist
Think Indiana Jones— in a Dumpster -- Love the trilogy!

#3: Elephant Vasectomist
When your patient is Earth’s largest land animal, sterilization is a big job

#2: Oceanographer
Nothing but bad news, day in and day out

#1: Hazmat Diver
They swim in sewage. Enough said.

“The worst was at a factory pig farm,” says Steven M. Barsky, the author of Diving in High-Risk Environments, the industry bible for hazardous-materials divers. “A guy had driven his truck into the waste lagoon and drowned. Not only was it full of urine and liquid pig feces, the farmer had dumped all the needles used to inject the pigs with antibiotics and hormones in there.” Someone had to recover the body, and the task fell to commercial hazmat divers.


The divers are generally well-paid, but hey, so are accountants. “To be an expert,” Barsky says, “you need to be a chemist, a physician, a biologist and 10 other things. Not many people are.”

Read more at this month's issue of Popular Science.

Older lists:-

The top 10 worst jobs in science from Popular Science, 2005:

  1. Human Lab Rat

  2. Manure Inspector

  3. Kansas Biology Teacher

  4. Extremophile Excavator

  5. Nuclear-Weapons Scientist

  6. Volcanologist

  7. Semen Washer

  8. Do-Gooder

  9. NASA Ballerina

  10. Orangutan-Pee Collector [You can still stay in Malaysia!]

The worst jobs in science from Popular Science, 2003:

  1. Flatus Odor Judge

  2. Dysentery Stool-Sample Analyzer

  3. Barnyard Masturbator

  4. Brazil Mosquito Researcher

  5. Hot-Zone Superintendent

  6. Isolation Chamber Tester

  7. Fistula Feeder

  8. Prison Rape Researcher

  9. Carcass Cleaner

  10. Postdoc

  11. Metric System Advocate

  12. Corpse-Flower Grower

  13. Endangered Species Ecologist

  14. Astronaut

  15. Fish Counter

  16. U.S. Stem Cell Researcher

  17. Planetary Protection Officer

  18. Fusion Researcher

As a self-employed pajamaworking micropreneur, I had a very short salaried-employment experience. But I surely had my fair share of mundane jobs -- as a pizza delivery man [driving around was fun though!], a factory worker [I get to inspect rubber glovers, and 'professionally' trained to pull out those health products out of hot and fast-moving fiberglass hands], a computer programmer [close enough to 2007's Job #6] etc.

My worst job ever was not as bad as Pop Science's #1 in 2007, but close enough -- I once worked at kitchens and dining halls (and a fast-food restaurant) with tasks that involve cleaning pots and pans full of cooking oil residues priorly used for preparing meals consisting bacons, hams, pork etc, and you know how Muslims are suppose be at least 10-foot pole away from those! [I'm exaggerating... Though, after job would be going straight home for complete shower and ablution]

How about you? What was/is your worst job, to-date?

Related books:-

Mastering the Virtual Workplace

by: Rusty Weston

If you interact with customers, suppliers or co-workers located in other countries you can appreciate the sublime challenges of navigating a global career. In between rare moments of exhilaration and fear lie the everyday challenges of mastering the virtual workplace.

Fuzzy communications. Time zone gaps. Cultural differences. Puzzling global standards. Complicated logistics. These are among the daily concerns of global workers."

Read more at My Global Career

Globalization - The Great Equalizer

"The last weekend’s edition of the WallStreet Journal has an interesting Cover Story Caste Away, It uses the story of Venugopal Thoti, a Dalit or the lowest caste person in the Indian Caste System making it in the world of software. It also talks about how it enabled him to overcome most, if not all humiliations that his father had suffered under the caste system!"

Read more at Blogosphere.

Tuesday, June 26

Which site would you like to hack today?

Less than two weeks ago,, one of the most popular blog sites in Malaysia and by a Malaysian (also ~Top-3000 at Technorati) alerted its readers on spotted hackings, eg:-
Today, it's its turn for the hackers:

You think ur problogger ? Think again … You think ur too good for blog ad networks ? Think again … You think ur blog readers love your content ? Think again …  You’re n00b! W3R3 1337s!  H4X0R3d! 0WN3D! PWND!
Unless, if this has been a stunt for the presses... ;)

Two other bloggers have also reported that their blog sites have been hacked yesterday (Monday, 25jun07):-
  1. Chan Lilian's frenzrss & faith walk - forcing this mom to stay up late to restore the two blogs (or to start over with WordPress)

  2. - forcing the previous site owner to immediately move to another domain and declare war, eh, I meant to have gone to be slightly bad from just monkeying around previously.

I remember having a chat with a fellow blogger at recent NuffNang's Penang Meet on Saturday where I suggested some pros and cons of having your self-installed content-management system (eg. WordPress) vs outsourced service (eg. citing among others, security concerns and/or technical maintenance chore for the former option. Liew, another prominent tech-centric blogger also alerted his readers with availability of the latest security patch for Wordpress on the same day.

Guess, three of the bloggers who were also present at the event are experiencing such major hassle first hand! Lim HK should be technical enough to recover his much valued blog, I think. Though, this hacking incident could be a major blow (or boost) for Hong Kiat's full-time self-employment move, announced just last week. 5xmom (who has had her other sites hacked not long ago, who should have learned her lesson well -- sorry!) and Cedric however seem to have to start rebuilding their damaged site from scratch, respectively. Luckily, unlike or Chan Lilian's other more worthy sites, those other sites were quite fresh prior to have been hacked -- Some hackers somehow have been nice enough not destroy the entire sites which could be a worthy archive for the Internet.

For other bloggers and website operators, beware of the hackers!

Read more about cyber securities in Malaysia:-

Monday, June 25

Outsourcing Blogging - it will become a trend!

Since early last month, the whole journalism industry especially in the United States started buzzing about the 'invasion' of outsourcing, citing a case that was purported to be among the first of the many potential threatening trends for many full-time local journalists. I ended my take on the issue with a scenario where no on-site journalists would be employed anyway, in the case of over 70-million blogs out there today representing a powerful force of mostly (99+%!) independent or micro publications. With so many bloggers publishing between one to two blogs each, one could guess the number of microworkers in indy journalism industry to be about 1 every 20 Internet users today, or ~5% (and increasing fast) of worldwide Internet users!

Technorati, a leading community of bloggers and a web engine that scours its millions of members' blogs in its April statistics further revealed the shocking numbers like, 120,000 new weblogs are created every day (that's1.4 new blog every second or well over 40 millions new blogs a year to boost the growth in number of blog sites at well over 50% in 2007 alone) and 1.5 millon blog posts are published every day (~17 posts per second).

Seeing these shocking numbers, some journalists of the mainstream media would respond: "Aargh, more junks for the tangled Web!". True indeed as the bulk of these blog posts and websites would fall under the category of splogs (spam posts), 'engrished' (in butchered English language) and duplicates (plagiarized/pirated content from other sites, particular of the mainstream news agencies like Reuters, AP, ANN and Bernama or mega broadacasters/publishers like CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, WSJ, CCTV, Al-Jazeera, MTV, Media Prima, Utusan, Karangkraf etc.)

It's commonly known however that for decades, the mainstream media including the big names like Reuters have been outsourcing news reporting to independent journalists and to various partners throughout the world. 'New media' companies like CNET and for instance have also been outsourcing content creation to hundreds of independent journalists since their inception year. Slashdot and Dmoz Open Directory (and sister sites like MusicMoz, Chefmoz etc) further took the outsourcing concept further to pool content from the entire Internet crowd, i.e.'crowdsourcing'. As well, Wikipedia took advantage the similar collaborative model and soon later, successfully trounced the former kings of encyclopedias like Britannica and Microsoft/MSN Encarta. [Gone to the higher extremes today, many media hosts let the individuals themselves publish their own content directly for free as observed at today's leading websites like Myspace/Friendster/Orkut/MSN Spaces/Yahoo 360, Wordpress/Google Blogger, YouTube/Imeem, eBay,, Digg/Topix/Newsvine, LinkedIn/Xing/Ryze/Ecademy etc. but original non-commercial journalism content concern us more in this post]

Most Internet users would insist that Wikipedia, Slashdot, CNET Blogs, Topix/Newsvine and YouTube are no junks! These sites with loads of original contents by hundreds or thousands dedicated contributors (or a lot more in the case of YouTube) have become some of the most relied reference networks/resources for many including for academic work and business. In fact, there have also been many cases in US court sessions where Wikipedia has been cited for definition references. Even journalists for the mainstream media often flock to sites like Slashdot and YouTube for their hot stories.

And the millions of bloggers, will soon realize, if not already, the power of outsourcing for turning their modest online creations into something more meaningful or influential like CNET, HowStuffWork and Wikipedia (a long shot, but possible for smaller niche of subjects) or in the case of local scenes, MalaysiaKini (maintaining its solid mark in local journalism), The Cicak/CJC Media Network/Project 010 (flourishing -- fresh in the market), NSTP's Monsters Blog (fading? -- after all, these mainstream media companies are mostly controlled by political parties, with many prominent politicians having just openly expressed their fear of blogs) etc.

A closer look in Malaysia: well known blogging personalities like Jeff Ooi, Liew Cheong Fong, Kenny Sia, Irfan Khairi, Fione Tan, Terrence Smith etc. seemingly have yet to majorly outsource the content creation for their respective blogs, although such outsourcing activities are starting to be buzzed around. Still, Samsul Zamzuri for instance, a recently featured blogger in the New Straits Times, mentioned collaborative activities between him and partners from around the world for maintaining several of his web sites. Gobala Krishnan, another featured blogger in the same NST article published last month, also openly advertised freelancing positions to grow his blog empire with sites that specialized in topics like internet marketing (at his self-named website), internet technology (e.g. VoIP and WordPress CMS), music & entertainment news (i.e. offering trivias on artists like The Rolling Stones, the Beastie Boys, Prince, Marvin Gay etc. while also lashing out a few: like Metallica), and network marketing.

A good start, would you say? It's more like a tip of the iceberg for what oursourcing or crowdsourcing would offer for bloggers especially or for entrepreneurs in general.

BTW, if you're wondering how much a freelancing blogger/webmaster/internet marketer can ultimately earn, try peeking at Paula Mooney's list of blogger's salaries - quite a number of Malaysians made it to the list of 120 individuals with their claimed/estimated yearly income, starting with Shamzul Zamzuri at #10, Gobala (#34), Victor Yusop (#47), Paul Tan (#49), Liew CF (#59) , Chan Lilian (#64) and MenJ (#67) in the world! -- Shamzul who has been blogging since August 2005 however openly denied the gross estimation put at up to well over US$300,000 making him a clear Internet millionaire every year (in Ringgit Malaysia, that is), claiming that he actually makes more like 20% of such amount which would still be higher than salaries earned by many entry-level engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, business managers etc. who work full-time on various company sites throughout Malaysia -- not too bad for someone working from home, eh?

If you'd ask me why we have so many Malaysians ranking high in the list of wealthiest bloggers / micro-netpreneurs, I'd say perhaps we really do have many of them. After all, according to Alexa, and confirmed by Friendster's PR, Malaysians do supply the biggest traffic (20+%) to Friendster, one of the leading social network in the world, and members numbering over three million (7% of Friendsters). Many other social network and sites/forums on money-making information are also flocked by significant Malaysians as their audience -- Pajamanation is more of a business network, or more specifically, a business consulting marketplace for home-based work/business, rather than a social or infopreneurial network, but still promotes "make money online" (or on the Internet/from home) and hence also enjoys this Malaysia-centric audience exceeding 20% according to Alexa (The real traffic is more like 7% though). A true SEO-aware blogger, Chan Lilian even pointed out in her blog on how she prestigiously get here 5xmom site to be in the first page of Google search for "make money" (searched over 100,000 times per month in Yahoo Overture network alone). OR... We Malaysians, in the overhyped spirit of Malaysia Boleh, just love to brag, thinking that those tax agency men from LHDN will be quite slow in catching up to collect their share out of Internet-driven revenue (unlike say, US counterpart, the IRS that seems to be very effective at catching up with tax evaders). You do realize that get-rick-quick schemes and illegal HYIP operators are actively being pursued by the government men, right? Soon, it'll be bloggers and website operators. A note of advice: If you blog for money, you'd better register yourself as a business entity with SSM and do file tax report to LHDN every year -- closing in soon to end date of 30 JUNE (for individuals with additional non-salary earnings) this year!

FOR BLOG OWNERS OUT THERE: Would you or would you know outsource your blog writing?

We can have it all!


Global Business
Seven Myths About Outsourcing

June 16, 2007; Page R6

In recent years, there's been a seemingly endless boom in offshore outsourcing. But companies that think handing off an operation to an overseas provider is easy can get a rude awakening.

The transition often proves to be much more costly and complicated than expected. And companies often find that their high hopes about cost savings and greater efficiency don't pan out.

The myths suggested are:-

1. We Can Have It All

2. Outsourcing Services is Like Buying Commodities

3. We Need an Ironclad Contract (the extreme)

4. Contracts Don't Matter (the other extreme)

5. Vendors Are Insurance Companies

6. It's Not Our Headache Anymore

7. Our First Failure Should Be Our Last Attempt

Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal Online.

Saturday, June 23

100 Bloggers + 50 Tables + 1 'Celebrity' + Food + Prizes = Fun

I've just gotten back from meeting some 100+ bloggers & friends at the Food Loft-Gurney, practically the first 'official' gathering of bloggers of such size in Penang -- attended even by a reporter from The Star and graced by a bloggers' own web celebrity, Kenny Sia who had just hailed all the way from Kuching today. Took me a a full hour to reach Gurney Plaza at the northern-eastern tip of Penang, from Balik Pulau (and 40 minutes fast & furious drive back to 'the back of the island'), but it was worth it to see so many new acquaintances during the whole three hours at the Loft.

Although quite a number among the 100 'chosen ones' who signed up didn't manage to arrive, well over 100 brave souls showed up at the venue, many of whom perhaps finding out about the event through word of mouth instead of stumbling on the ad itself.

Unlike during the usual tech/geek meets around the country where people talk mostly about technologies, gizmos or other serious/business/political stuff, most 'Nuffnangers' & friends seem to be more into pure socializing and having some random laughters -- I didn't I see anyone with notebooks around even though the place is Wi-Fied despite a last-minute suggestion by Cedric to bring one for live-blogging (photo on the right, 'courtesy' of Cedric's blog... hmm, free service??). No videocams either (or I just didn't see anyone actively 'camwhoring', to quote Lance). The only high-tech gadgets were probably digital cameras and some flashy phones.

Guess, Penangites just prefer life to 'life online' (sometimes, that is!) -- Criz, when I asked if he was going home straight after the event, he said, "what else do bloggers do anyway?" I take it that he meant "mingling with strangers is fun, but staying home, with family or blogging/bitching online about people who you met or things you've seen everywhere would be no less nice." Hmm... seeing all the huge cinema banners, I figured catching a movie with lotsa strange friends would be nice (like NuffNang recently organized indeed), but the one I'd really like to see is not showing yet...

And not everyone there were pro or veteran bloggers. A number of attendees even acknowledged to be new bloggers, first taking up this adventurous activity only since early this month, or very few months earlier. Most whom I met told me that they blog about themselves, and just about anything that revolves around their daily lives. Serious bloggings like about arts, places, business, sciences, health etc. perhaps haven't infected average Malaysians, or may be there are in different groups altogether. For instance, I know of many cliques who are very much into politics, tech, and infopreneuring/internet marketing that also organize several exclusive meets among themselves. It's a chicken and eggs question I suppose -- Supply & Demand, which one should come first? Calvin whom I immediately recognized off his Blogname Tag, for instance, hinted that he has been getting more attention when talking about himself rather than about Penang!

As a reborn active blogger since just a couple months ago (I started blogging in 2000, but took a long 2+ years holidays), I could only recognize very few names and faces among the large crowd of attendees prior to coming to the event. I have never met any of them indeed! But practically all of them NuffNanged bloggers were warm and friendly, busily adding as many new friends to their already decent network of friends, both from the group of people who blog and the group who at least read blogs. Some of the fine bloggers I get to shake hands (and remember) were Jo Ann Phang & Chin (we shared the lunch table), Cedric Ang (passed the goodies around and interviewed Kenny I suppose -- he looks almost like a Malay, but he's Chinese + Thai as he explained on his Friendster profile. UPDATE (25jun07) -- was hacked earlier today, forcing Cedric to immediately move to a another domain that was just registered days earlier, -- a cool nick for the rising youth personality Cedric who also blogs in the Youth Section of CMC Media Network, which I suppose to be his take on another fine youth, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad-titled album, but don't you think that the phrase sounds a bit pornographic?), Kenny Sia (he's a celebrity -- one of the very few Malaysians who have own entry on the Wikipedia!), Criz Lai (on the way to the payment counter), Kew (hmm.. warm & fuzzy? who stopped by our table), Calvyn, Warren, Bryan and of course the core NuffNangers including Lance (this dude escorted me to the table as it was my first visit there, I think!) and the two Tims (Timothy Tiah is one-half of the NuffNang founders; the other half is currently expanding their blogmunity empire from the island of Singapore down south) -- maybe if I'll surf around later, I'll remember some more or know how to spell their respective names correctly...

As usual, there were lotsa picture takings. Hmm... Did we won something in sports, blog contests, or anything?? And Kenny was earlier doing his usual stunts and gimmicks in due excitements for his dozens of 'fans'. I was hoping that people would have forced him to sing or do some other artistic talent show instead of him just putting all the smily faces throughout the restaurant. But sorry, no pictures from me... The guys at Nokia outlets in KL and Penang still lack of clues on how to fix my two-year old Nokia 6630, so, I've been camera-less for many months now which explains why this post gets to be too textual. Hope to see some pictures from them Penang bloggers (or Kenny from Kuching or wherever he would end up next) soon.

Three hours passed very quick indeed by the time we all called it quit. Those who pre-registered enjoyed up of RM15 of courtesy food. Those who didn't, well, bucked up... but the food there wasn't that expensive... Nice view overlooking Tanjung Bungah and the mainland through the glass window (priceless!), but perhaps, we should have more frequent freak storms in Penang to get a nicer seaside view!

As I've already max-ed out my 'first three hours' parking period, i knew I had to stick at Gurney Plaza a little bit longer and check Apple's Demos out at CGComputers situated at the third floor in Gurney Plaza. In fact, Kew was just telling me earlier on how he wants a MacBook badly off his blog earnings, if Adsense (or Nuffnang) would do wonders for him soon. Me too BTW! Who doesn't want a MacBook, the 24" iMac (that's damn huge!), or the Apple TV where you can iTunes using your TV and a special remote while Apple Xtreeming content including from your PC or Mac? These Apples gotta be dream machines for pajamaworkers!

UPDATE (1 JUL '07) - Here's one group photo I 'pinjam' from the pool of so many blog posts on the event:

Friday, June 22

Coming to strangle you on 26 JUNE 2006...

It's movie time again... and it's been a while since I get to be so excited to check out an animated feature at a cinema. Worth mentioning also that this one won't even be in 3D!

For those in the northern hemisphere, it'll be the start of summer this weekend and hence a great season for outings to the cinemas, but for us around the equator line, it's hot and wet as usual -- in fact, it's been quite rainy all these weeks in Malaysia due to the annual southwest monsoon period of the year (April until October) prompting floods in KL and freak storms in Penang. Disregarding all the natural catastrophes or the wrath of mother earth due to global warming, it's time to get filled up with laughters with Matt Groening's characters of Homer, Bart and the rest of the freak Simpsons family members -- see their family, and feel better, period!

By the way, if you haven't heard, Malaysia made unwanted world wide attractions earlier this week with the stories on how Homer was kidnapped at 3 am but later returned unharmed by afternoon the same day by two college kids. I'd say, this better be a publicity stunt by the cinema owners themselves! If not, those two kids should pay their time with the law, but Hollywood and co should still reward the duo somehow -- at least with a couple cinema tickets for Simpsons The Movie. Because, without a news story like this, it might take millions of us Malaysians a while before we get to find out that this cool flix is coming out this week. Surprisingly though, with all these brouhahas, Malaysia isn't even listed along with the 64 countries iconized at the front page of the movie's official website:

Some previews of the upcoming movie that will open in theaters near you across Malaysia starting 26 JUNE 2006 (12+ hours earlier than in USA):-

And Gorlep's mock trailer:

Here's a wallpaper for all of you Simpsons fans:

D'oh! D'oh! D'oh!

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