Ewww! Don’t touch that mouse!

Oh sh*t! Thinking that I have to touch computer mice everyday at the office everyday… urgh… need to buy hand disinfectant when I go out this weekend.

Computer mouses found in cyber cafes have been ranked as the second most bacteria-infested items in a list of commonly touched objects.

The survey, carried out by the Korea Consumer Protection Board, found shopping cart handles to be the worst of the worst. Typically, they contain an average of 1100 colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria per 10 sq cm.

The computer mouses, were found to have an average of 690 CFU – more than twice the concentration found on doorknobs and handles in public toilets.

The detected bugs include all kinds of bacteria including pathogenic ones.

The Korea Consumer Protection Board released the report this week after conducting an examination about bacteria contamination on 120 items at public facilities which people commonly touch with their hands in Seoul and nearby cities.

According to the Korea Times newspaper, the board examined 20 hand straps on trains, 20 hand straps on buses, 20 toilet doorknobs at four department stores, 20 lift buttons at four department stores, 20 handles of shopping carts at four discount stores, and 20 mouses at four internet cafes.

A board spokeswoman said that the best way to stop the spread of infectious diseases by hand contact was to wash your hands with soap.

Quoting statistics, the spokeswoman said that while more than 77 per cent of people were aware of the importance of washing hands, only 47.9 per cent actually bothered to wash them.

Original news here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/breaking/ewww-dont-touch-that-mouse/2006/02/15/1139890812017.html

TMNET Rebate

Usually, people will not appreciate the good things being done. They will only rant and shout when things go bad.

I don’t like that so I want to post an update of the TMNET case.

I finally received a rebate, and my latest bill dated 05 Feb 2005 shows only RM33.50. That’s a total rebate of RM54.50.

I don’t really care how they calculated the rebate, nor I am totally satisfied by this. But at least, I pay less money to TMNET. The time and money I lost while my Internet connection was down during December 2005 was irreplacable.

I would like to express my gratitudes to Ms Maya from TM Point Taipan for her willingness and efforts to help me get a rebate. At least, one true customer oriented staff in TM who is willing to go the extra mile for a dissatisfied customer. Who’s next?

Added 1 Mar 2006:

Also, CFM (Consumer’s Forum of Malaysia) took this case seriously. They contacted TMNET and myself multiple of times to settle the issue. Kudos to CFM, and many thanks!

Wisdom for Grads

I found Dilbert’s blog. Here’s one entry entitled Wisdom for Grads:

Ive been asked to compile some Dilbert advice for new graduates who have no idea whats awaiting them in the business world. Im talking about practical advice. Here are some of the ones that come to mind.

The person who sits nearest the bosss office gets the most assignments.

Your potential for senior management will be determined by the three Hs: Hair, Height, and Harvard degree. You need at least two out of three. (Non-Harvard schools will be acceptable if its clear that you “could have gone” to Harvard.)

Your hard work will be rewarded. Specifically, your bosss boss will reward your boss for making you work so hard.

Theres no such thing as good ideas and bad ideas. There are only your own ideas and other peoples. If you want someone to like your idea, tell him he said it last week and you just remembered.

Teamwork is what you call it when you trick other people into ignoring their priorities in favor of yours.

Leadership is a form of evil. No one needs to lead you to do something that is obviously good for you.

You can estimate the time for any project by multiplying the number of idiots involved by one week and adding the number of capable co-workers times four weeks. (The competent ones are busier.)

In any group of three coworkers, at least one of them will be a sadistic loser intent on grabbing your ankle as he circles the drain.

Non-monetary incentives are every bit as valuable as they sound.

Business success is mostly about waiting for something lucky to happen and then taking credit.

Preparing a Powerpoint presentation will give you the sweet, sweet illusion of productivity.

It is better to be an “expert” than it is to do actual work.

The first month on any new job should be spent talking smack about the “idiot who had the job before you.”

Do you have any advice youd like to add? (It might end up in a book.)

Oracle Buys Sleepycat Software

For those who have not realized it yet, yesterday Oracle bought Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB. Read the press release here:


I wonder what going to happen to BerkeleyDB…

Previously, on 07 October 2005 Oracle bought InnoBase, the makers of InnoDB. Press release here: http://www.oracle.com/corporate/press/2005_oct/inno.html

InnoDB is a transactional database technology, also included as an option in MySQL as a database type.

As usual, thanks to my Slashdot crazed friend Azidin.

Memoirs of A Geisha

I watched the movie Memoirs of A Geisha last Saturday. As always, I was quite reluctant to watch it at first. This is due to the fact that the main characters of Sayuri and Mameha are played by Chinese instead of Japanese (Sayuri – Zhang Ziyi, Mameha – Michelle Yeoh). I have nothing again Chinese but I just prefer the original nationalities to play. It’s like how anime fans prefer Japanese audio tracks instead of dubbed (English or Chinese). Luckily the Chairman was played by Ken Watanabe.

Anyway, the movie was great. The movie was accurate word by word as I remembered from the book (which I read in 1999) written by Arthur Golden in 1997.

The story starts from an old Japanese village where a poor family had to give out their children. Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo) and her older sister Satsu (Samantha Futerman) were brought to Gion; Chiyo was sold to an okiya (Geisha house) while her sister was sold to a brothel (prostitute house).

The ending? Well you have to go and see it for yourself. I don’t want to be a spoiler, but if you really want to know just go to this page on wikipedia: Memoirs of A Geisha.

As the movie progressed forward, I can recall what I have read in the book. One significant thing that’s missing is when she sold her mizuage (virginity) to Doctor Crab (Randall Duk Kim) – Keymaker in the Matrix. In the book, Doctor Crab actually keeps the virgin blood in a case as souvenir. Kind of sick, but it was explained in the book. Apparently Doctor Crab is a wealthy man who likes to bid on mizuage.

On the language used, some people mentioned that it is quite difficult to understand what they are saying. I agree with that. However I also realize the intentions of the director to make it sound like Japanese. One amusing thing is that the character Pumpkin’s (Youki Kudoh) drastically changed – I guess because she has been around US soldiers a lot, towards the end of the movie.

By the way, in the movie, Sayuri = Chiyo’s new name when she ‘graduated’ as a Geisha.

From my readings, I found that this is not a true story, but rather a fiction created by the author. This movie was banned from being released in China – I don’t want to elaborate.

Golden was actually sued by Mineko Iwasaki – the Geisha he interviewed to get contents for his book. According to Mineko Iwasaki, there was a lot of manipulation in the book, and Golden’s act for putting her name in the book’s acknowledgement is in fact a breach of trust since he promised total anonimity.

Mineko Iwasaki later published her own autobiography, Geisha of Gion. It’s a bestseller worldwide. I haven’t read it yet but am planning to 🙂 This is her attempt to tell her own side of the story.


Narnia II – Prince Caspian is in the making. I was skeptical about Narnia until I really watched it. It was good. At least now I have an alternative to Harry Potter (which is going to have only one last instalment after The Goblet of Fire).

The next big screen instalment from the books of CS Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – has been announced with the return of the four young stars who play the Narnia children.

British actors Georgie Henley, 10, Skandar Keynes, 14, Anna Popplewell, 17, and William Moseley, 18, will reprise their roles as the Pevensies.

Andrew Adamson is back as director following the New Zealander’s success with the first film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Production is set to begin later this year for the movie to be released during Christmas 2007.

Read the full, original news here: http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=170022006

I love to watch movies, especially those based on books as I rarely have the time to read. The last 3 books I’ve read was The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Digital Fortress – all by Dan Brown. I am still finding time to finish the 4th book – Deception Point.

In another development, The Da Vinci Code (the movie) is going to be released this year. Tom Hanks is playing Robert Langdon, the professor (main character in the story). Click here to see the casts in IMDB.

Tom Hanks is a damn good actor and so far I liked all of his movies I’ve seen. However one exception is The Ladykillers which has been awarded a place in my list of dumb movies.

For this movie, I think there can be a more suitable actor to play Robert Langdon, but Hanks’ talent makes it difficult to say. Let’s just see.

WordPress 2.0.1 Released

Matt announced:

It’s been exactly one month since we released the well-received WordPress 2.0 release. In the past 4 weeks we’ve been listening closely to feedback, squashing bugs wherever we find them, and watching how 2.0 handled under different loads. We’ve rolled up all the most important fixes into a 2.0.1 release, which is now available for download. All[…]

Read All about it here: http://wordpress.org/development/2006/01/201-release/

Microsoft releases revamped Internet Explorer

More news related to Microsoft. The software giant has released Internet Explorer 7 Beta.

The beta version of Internet Explorer (IE) 7 is now available for download from the company’s website, www.microsoft.com. However, users have been advised that the product should not yet be used in “mission-critical environments”.

Since when did I trust IE for my mission critical environments? LOL. Well I need IE to test my web apps as there are still so many people out there using it.

There has also been talk that Google, Micoroft’s arch-rival, which has links with Mozilla, the group behind Firefox, could also launch its own browsing software.

I heard Google bought/are buying Opera. However do not take my word for it as it’s a rumor I heard at the office. P.S. I didn’t make the typo above, it was copied from the original article. 😉

Hackers have also tended to target the Microsoft browser because it is still used by the majority of internet users and therefore gives access to the widest range of targets.

So… it’s hackers’ fault eh?

Microsoft said: “Internet Explorer 7 helps keep your information safe by alerting you to potential phishing sites – sites that look legitimate but actually are designed to capture your personal information.”

Hopefully this is true. I haven’t downloaded it yet as I am too lazy to boot up Windows… and the fact that I can’t find it on IE downloads. Is it available only in the US for now?


Read the original story here: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9075-2019982,00.html

** I don’t hate Microsoft. They built a good Operating System and software. It’s just that it is 99.9999% impossible to remove spyware from and infected IE without reformatting the PC. Or is there? It has been a while since I used IE 🙁

Microsoft revamps blogging policy

Remember what happened to Chinese blogger Zhao Jing? His blog was closed down by Microsoft. Following that decision, many parties were outraged. So Microsoft decided to revamp its blogging policy.

News Story by Jeremy Kirk

JANUARY 31, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) – LISBON — In the face of outrage from many of its own employees over its abrupt censoring of a Chinese blogger, Microsoft Corp. has formulated a new policy to deal with requests from a government that alleges that posted material violates its laws.

From what I understand, this policy will be enforced if the government of the country reports something to Microsoft.

Microsoft is readying technology that will allow the blocking of blogs just within a specific country, Smith said. “We will act when we have the legal duty to do so,” he said. “We will act when we are given the kind of notice that clearly makes that duty binding upon us.”

Also, Google is now involved:

Google Inc. this week was planning to launch a new search service in China that censors some results considered inappropriate by the government. The service, however, will tell users some results have been blocked because of their politically sensitive nature.

I have no direct opinion on this. I think there are advantages and disadvantages of this decision (to bloggers, of course). Anyway I think (and hope it stays that way) that Microsoft can only block MSN Spaces, while Google can only block their Blogger service.

Original news: http://computerworld.com/developmenttopics/development/webservices/story/…

Maybe what these companies are doing is the right thing after all. Maybe China needs closure and protection from the outside world. Some people might say that freedom is the best choice for China, but of course most people are talking out of their asses. Look what happened to Iraq? They removed the military leader and now the country is in chaos. Or again, maybe not. We shall see what’ll happen next. Ooopps.. political 😉

Related news: Outrageous Outrage, Boycott Google Now, Google to launch censored results in China

JE is Back?

Oh no… don’t tell me JE is back? If you guys can remember, in 1992 Malaysia had trouble with JE widespread. From The Star Online today:

Officials baffled by deaths in Tanah Merah

KOTA BARU: Health authorities were scrambling to determine the cause of the acute neurological syndrome (DIL) which has killed two people in the Tanah Merah district.

They have screened 3,925 residents in the district so far, said state Health Department director Datuk Dr Ahmad Razin Ahmad Maher.

He said DIL could be linked to the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus. Initial signs of DIL were fever and vomiting which could later develop into breathing difficulties.

Hasnira Akmar Hussin, 13, who had been warded for DIL, died at 9.15pm yesterday – the second to die from the syndrome.

She had been in a semi-coma (a mild comatose state) since being admitted to the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital here for severe vomiting on Thursday.

Her father Hussin Mustafa, 49, who is self-employed, confirmed her death.

“Her body is to be sent for a post-mortem and we are making funeral arrangements for tomorrow afternoon,” he said at the hospital last night.

Hasnira was among four people suspected of contracting JE brought on by the deadly culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito.

Blood samples of the four have been sent to the Institute of Medical Research for tests.

Mohd Romli Mohd Zaid, 49, and his daughter, who was not identified, were hospitalised on Monday after complaining of fever and headache. Just four days earlier, Romlis 13-year-old daughter Siti Mardiana died from DIL complications.

Health authorities have yet to confirm what caused the teenager to die.

Tanah Merah MP Shaari Hassan, who visited the patients at the hospital, said there was still no confirmation if all the four had contracted JE.

Shaari urged families in his parliamentary constituency to cooperate with the authorities.

Original news here:


However it’s too early to tell, don’t get paranoid. Just wait for announcement from the goverment.