Who hasn’t heard about it ?

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Edison’s camera & his pink Mac

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Edison & his Camera

Did Samsung know about his photography hobbies were a little bit different ?
Nice piece of work: professional photography and creative artwork done here though.
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Till today I did not know about it. But, it did came to my ears and eyes eventually. I, too, will break my “silence” (been real busy lately, sorry) with this piece of news. It’s true that many lives has been changed due to this issue but hey, I guess that’s the risk celebrities have to take when publicizing themselves ‘too much’ to the world. They want attention, they want to be in the limelight and this is what every single one of them involved has to get, when a simple mistaken action by the led to this whole breakout of “documents”. The famous Thomas Edison made a bulb which led to lighting our dark nights but this famous Edison Chen created a ‘pink Mac’ or ‘the stuffed cotton candy Mac’ (some netizen made up this name) for his own self-pleasure, now turning to be a pleasure that all, as long as they want to, are accessible to, lighting up some of their darkest fantasies.

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Apologizing on YouTube ? Now, that’s something new.
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Well, to my point of view, this snippet of Edison’s apology is not making things better. It is pretty much a better promotion for the whole situation. It is true that he should be frustrated. Imagine you all over the place, on this whole World Wide Web, you posing in situations that you wished that they would all be privately yours. But, at the same time, he couldn’t have stayed away too long from not facing the issue. I give him the credit for able to come forward to the media to at least do an explanation (many would not need one though to understand but public still ask for it although it is so darn obvious) and not chicken out by sending himself off a building for so-called ‘ruining’ other people’s lives who were intentionally involved in his personal kinky photo shoots.

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The technician, who did managed to solve his ‘problem’ and made a much BIGGER one with his famous “pink Mac” (wonder how would this effect Apple’s notebook sales and also to the sales of Samsung cameras since he was the marketing strategy icon for it) , was the first culprit obviously. He got frantic to come to know that the famous guy that came to him for a favor, was dating and having “fun” with so many women celebs, with proofs in his hands which he could not help but to let them go on the world’s fastest media – the internet. Reading through all the articles available, the word “netizen” frequently came up and technology actually comes to give birth to such a term where we all come under the same roof in this virtual world.

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Some friends refer to him as a ‘hero’ (and guys you know why). Some friends say he has spoiled many men’s fantasies (well, personal fans you know why). Some friends say he revealed what people wanted to know, ‘behind the scenes’ and he proved it all true (gossipers and entertainment world junkies you know why). We all now have the chance to share what he has enjoyed and he has to bare it all on his shoulders himself. He did the right thing to leave the limelight but hey, it would be a misery that will haunt him for a moment still. Horrifying idea it maybe but things will come and go. Who knows that this would bring him higher up one day if he decides to make a come back in any form.

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Ladies, those who were involved (not going to mention their names, search Edison’s name and you’ll find them), they have family matters to deal with but things like these will go off the front pages soon. Things like that lingers in history of course but for sure, something next will come up to replace it somehow. Even Hollywood no longer says ‘bravo’ to him in this globalized world although they allowed many to become even bigger icons of the world though they basically have the same history.

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About the issue whether people would download it or not, I guess it is due to the availability on the net. So, I guess Edison himself enjoyed downloading and now, he feels how it is now to be in a form of what he may had been downloading. Let the netizens enjoy what they can get, because for how I see it, your apology is just simply promoting them to be downloaded rather than to be destroyed. Sad to say, that’s the case for netizens. You, alone, are powerless in the millions of hands that you are against with here. Will the world come to a point where they would need to shutdown this whole humongous networking technology when things get out of hands ? What other forms of fear that individuals might face due to this convenient yet terrifying modern tool we have now ? The answer lies ahead of us, perhaps not in our time. For the time being, Edison boy, if you had wanted the ‘pink Mac’ to be fixed so badly, now you have PCs and Macs all over the world, pretty pinkish with you all over in it. Download a copy now yourself somewhere (you reading this or even Edison himself) while stocks last.

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Blu-ray won over HD DVD

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Bluray HD DVD
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BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: Wal-Mart Stores said Friday that it had picked Blu-ray over HD DVD in the market battle for the format of high-definition video.

Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. retailer, said it had decided to sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware in its 4,000 U.S. stores and would no longer carry rival HD DVD offerings.

The announcement comes five days after Netflix said it would stop carrying rentals in Toshiba’s HD DVD format and instead go exclusively with the rival Sony technology favored by five major movie studios.

Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs and players. The stakes are high because the winner will also get a lift from sales of DVD players needed to read the new format.

Several large retailers have come down on Blu-ray’s side, including Target and Blockbuster.

We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” Gary Severson, head of home entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said it would phase out all HD DVD offerings by June.

Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs membership warehouses will continue to sell standard definition movies and DVD players as well as converter technology.

Sony has taken a considerable lead in the format rivalry in recent months, gaining the endorsement of Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which also owns DreamWorks SKG, and Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric, have opted to release films only in HD DVD.

Still, many consumers have held off on buying a high-definition DVD player until the dominant format is decided.

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Sony did it again. Toshiba, since not getting any much support from other major manufacturers unlike Sony, has announced on February 16th that they will stop producing HD DVD and put an end to all other productions that are related as well. It is clear that Sony, who has the largest share at the moment, won the war that has been lingering on. But, to be honest, how many of you own a high-definition DVD player ? Do we actually need it ? But I guess the DVD age will still last for some time because most people have not find the need to get a high-definition one yet which is still very high at cost. Sony has always been strong in the world of recordable materials from the age of tapes. What other type of materials are we to expect from Sony from now on ? Que sera sera.

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Heart Station Promotion Video

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Some people say that the video clip is boring, but I would say it fits the song very well since basically the song is like a thought in the mind while you are singing in your head and listening to some music, thinking of someone while you are traveling like for instance in a train. The word “heart station” and the train scene which links to the real physical station, kind of blends in significantly showing a scene that you would understand if you do take trains in Japan. I personally do what she does in this particular video when I do get on a train. Headphones buzzing my favorite music while my mind bewilders thinking about things that were mingling around in my head. It is artistic in someway and I love the first part where it starts off with her eyes. It is very unlike her in the sense for the past few videos which she had done with her ex-husband Kiriya, she was very exquisite and all indifferent with the sophisticated style. The difference shown in this particular video, I personally love this new style very much as much as I love the past ones as well so enjoy watching. Peace.

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What a waste

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Namdaemun
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The famous Korean “Great South Gate – Sungnyemun”, better known as the Namdaemun (南大門) to Koreans and tourists, was swallowed up by fire after some lousy 69 years old man named Chae, blazed it up in flames. When I saw this on news, I was like, “What a waste of a beautiful national heritage of Korea.” I visited it before when I went for a trip visit to Seoul and am glad that I’ve got a shot of it while it was still standing boldly, reflecting its time with the world for 6 centuries. It is said that it will take 3 years and $21 million to rebuild the structure. Here’s a simple explanation of the Namdaemun. Sigh, I hope nobody would be that dumb to destroy such important treasures to us.

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Namdaemun, made of wood and stone with a two-tiered, pagoda-shaped tiled roof, was completed in 1398 and served as the main southern entrance to Seoul, which was then a walled city. It was the oldest wooden structure in the country, an iconic reminder of old Korea in this modern Asian city, the capital of South Korea, and a major tourist attraction. The site is surrounded by a bustling commercial district. Lately, homeless people had sought shelter there. The gate survived the Chinese and Japanese invasions that devastated the city. It was repaired several times, most recently after the Korean War of 1950 to 1953. When the South Korean government cataloged its national treasures in 1962, it gave the gate the No. 1 ranking. Some historians opposed that designation because Japanese invasion forces had passed through it in the late 16th century to destroy Seoul.”

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Heroes, all in a day

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Season one, all in a day

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Heroes
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I told myself that I wanted a slow and relaxing weekend and when I was thinking on how I should spend it, as shown above, yes, I’ve spent it watching the whole season one of Heroes. I’ve got the whole series from a friend of mine a few months ago but was waiting for a chance to watch it and when I went to GE Japan for a group work (partially for job searching) , while waiting for the staff to prepare the hall for it, I came across Heroes on the TV set available at the waiting lounge and that triggered a strong yearning to watch it. Many might not know this but GE actually owns 80% of NBC Universal, which is the producer of Heroes. Anyway, I know that I am a TV freak and for quite some time, I’ve been hindering from watching TV dramas because I know how addictive they can be but I sort of allowed myself to watch the whole series (all 23 episodes) as it was definitely addictive, wanting to know what’s going on next after finishing each episode.

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It was great fun to watch the whole drama, from one episode to another, without any TV commercials in between. Can’t wait to get my hands on the season two but I guess the protest will definitely have a great effect on the production. Anyway, when I come to think of the reason of why I like Heroes, I guess it has all the essence of what a young boy would like to watch. Super power, dramatic actions, good vs evil, heroic scenes. I personally enjoy X-Men very much but I guess Heroes much better as it is a little more realistic. I mean isn’t it cool to watch all those actions and those powers that you wished you could have and all. I know how active I get after watching great Kungfu movies and I guess it’s in the blood raving for such “coolness”. Oh well, will we evolve into super power people someday ? Who knows ay ? *hehe* Imagine that some sort of ability would be unlocked someday. That would be so cool. Definitely a must watch for super power maniacs.

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Ain’t something new

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Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia

From IHT

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Malaysian Indian’s Protest

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KUALA LUMPUR: The customers of Malaysian Indian Casket, a small shop on the outskirts of this modern and cosmopolitan city, come in all different sizes: standard coffins clutter the entrance, child-size boxes are stacked high on the shelves and extra-large models, those for the tallest of the deceased, are stored in the back.

But there is no variety in the ethnic background of the clientele.

“All the customers are Indian,” said Aru Maniam, a shop salesman.

In death as in life, Malaysians are divided by ethnicity. The country’s main ethnic groups – Malays, Chinese and Indians – have their own political parties, schools, newspapers and, in the case of Malays, a separate Islamic legal system.

For years this segregation was promoted as the best formula for social harmony in a country that advertises itself as “Truly Asia,” a place where the palette of skin colors is as diverse as the mosques, churches and Hindu and Buddhist temples that dot the landscape.

But in recent months ethnic relations here have deteriorated to a level that many find alarming. After years of muffled tensions over religious conversions, government funding for minority schools and a longstanding system of special privileges for Malays, the dominant group, ethnic anger has burst to the forefront of Malaysian politics.

In November, Indians, who make up less than 10 percent of the population of about 25 million and are disproportionately poor, led a protest march through Kuala Lumpur, the first large-scale ethnically motivated street demonstration in almost four decades. They announced a largely symbolic $4 trillion class-action lawsuit against the British government, the colonial rulers, for bringing them as indentured laborers to the region, “exploiting them for 150 years” and allowing them to be marginalized.

The police broke up the demonstration with water cannon and tear gas and arrested five representatives of a group called the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, which led the protests. The five men are being held indefinitely and without trial under an internal security law.

“This is a country that is in search of soul, in search of a common mission,” said Charles Santiago, coordinator of the Group of Concerned Citizens, an organization that seeks solutions to ethnic strife in the country. Malaysians, he said, are feeling more threatened by common problems such as crime and cost-of-living increases, but at the same time are increasingly divided by ethnicity.

The past six months have seen an unusual number of street demonstrations in Malaysia, a country where the police for decades have systematically denied permits for demonstrations in an effort to keep political quarrels off the streets. Frustration has grown with the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who promised to sweep away corruption and make government more accountable when he came to power five years ago.

In September, the country’s Bar Council marshaled thousands of lawyers for a demonstration demanding judicial independence after a video clip surfaced of a top lawyer apparently negotiating judicial appointments. In November, a coalition of activist groups organized a demonstration of at least 10,000 people calling for clean and fair elections. Last Saturday, opposition groups demonstrated against rising prices of food and fuel, the second such protest in six months.

The Indians’ anger appears to have rattled the government the most. Abdullah sought to woo back Indians by declaring the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which was celebrated Jan. 23, a federal holiday. A court decision in a highly emotional dispute over whether an Indian man should be buried according to Hindu or Muslim rites has been postponed indefinitely.

Analysts say race relations could become more tense as the country prepares for elections, which are widely expected to be called for March.

“It will be a racialized campaign, there’s no question,” said Bridget Welsh, a specialist in Malaysian politics at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS in Washington.

An opinion poll made public last Friday by the Merdeka Center (www.merdeka.org) showed support for the government among non-Malays plummeting. Only 38 percent of Indians and 42 percent of Chinese said they strongly or somewhat approved of Abdullah’s job performance, by far the lowest rating for the prime minister. When he came to power, he had an overall approval rating of 91 percent.

His overall approval rating in the new poll was 61 percent, a poor showing for Malaysia, where the opposition is weak. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the way the government was handling issues of ethnicity and inequality.

The survey, conducted by phone in December among 1,026 randomly selected registered voters, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

“Indian support for the government is the worst it’s ever been in the country’s history,” Welsh said. “It’s profound. Indians have traditionally supported the government the highest.”

With Chinese voters also angry at the government – mainly over its handling of the economy – Welsh says the government risks losing control of the state of Penang, where ethnic Chinese form a plurality, as well as a handful of parliamentary seats scattered across the country.

There is little risk that the coalition of Malay, Chinese and Indian parties known as the National Front, which has governed the country since independence from Britain in 1957, will lose its majority. Even though the coalition won only 64 percent of the popular vote in 2004, it controls more than 90 percent of the seats in Parliament, partly because after five decades in power the government has gerrymandered constituencies to its advantage.

But analysts fear that ethnic frictions could increase as Chinese and Indian representation in the government weakens.

Underpinning the anger of the Chinese and Indians is an affirmative action program in place for 37 years that favors Malays and other smaller indigenous ethnic groups collectively known as bumiputra, literally “sons of the soil.”

Bumiputra make up 60 percent of the population but have 87 percent of government jobs. They receive discounts of 5 to 10 percent on new homes and have a reserved quota of 30 percent of any newly listed company on the stock market. Newspapers are filled with notices of government construction contracts exclusively reserved for companies controlled by bumiputra.

“It’s completely unacceptable that you cannot get awarded a contract just because of the color of your skin,” said Lim Guan Eng, the secretary general of the Democratic Action Party, the leading opposition party in Parliament. “That grates tremendously. We are treated as though we are third- or fourth-class citizens.”

The bulk of the Chinese and Indians came or were brought to the Malay Peninsula while it was still a British colony to work in tin mines or on rubber plantations, although some Chinese, known as Peranakan, came as long as five centuries ago.

Yet Malaysia’s ethnic classification is complicated by the fact that race is often an imprecise concept in Southeast Asia. Malays are a vaguely defined group that trace their ancestry to the Indonesian islands of Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra or as far as Arabia and India.

Lim points out that the father of Mohamed Khir Toyo, the chief minister of Selangor State, came from Indonesia. Yet his son is considered a bumiputra, while an ethnic Chinese person whose family has lived in Malaysia for centuries would still not qualify as indigenous.

The biggest losers in the current system are Indians, who, according to government statistics, make up 9 percent of the labor force but hold 16 percent of menial jobs and control just 1.2 percent of equity in registered companies in the country.

Indians are not aided by the affirmative action program, because it is based on ethnicity, not need.

More than economic issues, said Santiago of the Group of Concerned Citizens, Indians were infuriated by the highly publicized case of a Malaysian soldier, Maniam Moorthy, who died in 2005 and whose body was claimed by the Islamic authorities for Muslim burial.

The authorities claimed that Moorthy, who was born a Hindu, converted to Islam months before his death. Moorthy’s wife, Kaliammal Sinnasamy, sued in a civil court to obtain the body, but the court ruled that it had no jurisdiction because the matter had already been decided in an Islamic court. A ruling on Kaliammal’s appeal has been postponed indefinitely.

The case, one of at least a dozen similar ethno-religious disputes reported recently in Malaysian newspapers, became a cause célèbre among Indians.

“You can push us, you can cheat us, you can discriminate against us, but you can’t tell us that we’re not Hindus after we are dead,” Santiago said.
11 books on Islam banned

Malaysia has banned 11 books for allegedly giving a false portrayal of Islam, such as by linking the religion to terrorism and the mistreatment of women, an official said Wednesday, The Associated Press reported from Kuala Lumpur.

The government ordered the books – most of them released by American publishers – to be blacklisted this month “because they are not in line with what we call the Malaysian version of Islam,” said Che Din Yusoh, an official with the Internal Security Ministry’s publications control unit.

“Some of them ridicule Islam as a religion or the facts are wrong about Islam, like associating Islam with terrorism or saying Islam mistreats women,” he said.

The banned books include eight English-language ones, such as “The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and its Role in Terrorism,” “Secrets of the Quran: Revealing Insights Into Islam’s Holy Book” and “Women in Islam.” There are also three books written in the local Malay language.

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Well, this ain’t no new to all of us, Malaysians. The matter that regards every single one of us but has been left unsolved for years. Am happy to see some movements because that at least shows that we are voicing out for a change. Being outside of the country, reading at how and what other people from other parts of the world write about our country, it teaches you a lot on the question “What’s my real identity as a Malaysian ?”. I think somehow that this article is a good summary of what has happened lately and welcome to know my dear country who’s still on the search of a unified identity. What will be the solutions ? It is not something easy, that’s for sure. If not, the government won’t be taking such a long time to resolve everything but hey, I am still putting high hopes on our young country to move ahead in the future. Peace.

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Welcoming February

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A snowy day …

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Snow 1 Feb 2008
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Snow 2 Feb 2008
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Ahem, one week is going to pass since February has started off a few days ago. So, you may ask, how are things lately ? Well, my answer is not too bad at all except for the fact that it has been real cold lately and it actually snowed pretty heavily here in the Kanto area two days ago, making job hunting activities a little bit difficult for 2 reasons. The first is that the road to the train station is all covered with snow making the trip there from home a bit tougher than usual because you would not want to slip and get your working suit wet and dirty. The second thing is the coldness. Waiting for a train on the platform with the cold wind blowing directly at you … it just makes me go “Brrr!” just thinking about it.

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Anyway, job hunting is going on well, I believe. The schedule for this month is unbelievably packed and I plan to share with everyone the details once everything is settled down. Currently attacking a few banks and financial institutions, going for a couple of internships at the end of this month and early of next month. Along with it are some exams, company briefings and interviews. Along with all that, I have a mid-term research presentation to do at the end of this month and preparation is needed to be done together with the job hunting itself.

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The question is whether I will survive through such a busy schedule. Well, this chance to be busy is only once in a lifetime. All I need to do is to make sure I do survive because I seriously do not want to regret anything especially when it concerns about something to do with my future. The Chinese New Year is coming soon and I am not supposed to celebrate it according to Chinese customs due to respect my grandmother’s pass away but I do hope everyone has a special and happy one. Till my next post, peace. (P.S. The following are two shots of my room outside when it snowed lately)

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