Time and Space Continuum

I watched a few episodes of Heroes last night until episode 10. I was thinking that when Hiro went back to the past to save Charlie (after she has been murdered by Sylar), didn’t he risk causing a rift in the time and space continuum?

Just think of it this way, when Hiro and Ando first arrived at the diner in Odessa that was the first time Charlie ever met them. And Charlie mentioned that someone got her a Learning Japanese book as a gift. Why didn’t she recognize Hiro at that time, the person who gave her the book? Shouldn’t she at least be happy to see Hiro again?

Well, it’s just for entertainment anyway but time travel has always interest me and I always think of the continuum when watching something related to time travel 😉

I am a freak.

Casino Royale

As mentioned earlier I went to watch Casino Royale earlier tonight. The movie is alright, but can be better.

What I like:

  • The starting montage is indeed suitable and gives me the feel that this is a Bond movie.
  • Bond’s weakness is as usual – women.
  • No SPECTRE – frankly I’m tired of that shit, plus Blofeld.

What I don’t like:

  • The theme song is less catchy than the previous movies.
  • The fights are too barbaric and too real.
  • Bond is too serious, emotionless most of the times except when he was with Vesper in the shower.
  • The crook was killed to easily, and not by Bond.
  • Where’s Q?
  • Where’s the fully equiped Aston Martin?

My wife seems to think that I watch too much of the older movies and she actually enjoyed the new one more.

I’ll add up the list if I find anything else I left out. 😉

Movie Time!

It’s movie time again after months being away from the cinemas. After being worked so hard and having no time for entertainment, I think I deserve a couple of hours for a movie. We are going to watch the not-so-new-anymore Casino Royale tonight! Made a reservation on TGV online for tonight. Never realized that the ticket price has increased to RM11.00? Or is the price only for online reservations? Never mind… as long the system works fine, I am happy.

One thing to warn you people out there is that TGV Online seating allocation applet crashed my Firefox and I had to start over with Internet Explorer. Maybe it’s only my computer, then again maybe not!

A Real Computer Expert, At Last

At last in yesterday’s edition of the articles about Internet Banking, the same newspaper as mentioned in the previous post interviewed Datuk Abdul Hamidy Abdul Hafiz, the chairman of the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM). In the interview, Datuk Hamidy explained about the problem like an expert. I am not sure about his background, but he sure know about it better than the “computer expert”.


ABDUL HAMIDY: Phishing bukanlah satu trend. Ia merupakan satu penipuan dan tidak boleh dihentikan kerana ada sahaja orang yang hendak mencuba.

Tetapi kalau kita melihat cara phishing ini dia bukan hendak menembusi (penetrate) sistem bank, tetapi ingin menembusi sistem milik pelanggan. Ini bermakna, penipuan tersebut berlaku terhadap pelanggan yang masih kurang berpengetahuan mengenai keselamatan di Internet.

Maksud Datuk pelanggan yang tidak cekap menggunakan Internet.

ABDUL HAMIDY: Ya. Mereka yang masih tidak cekap menggunakan Internet.

Oleh kerana itu semua bank yang mempunyai kemudahan perbankan Internet sentiasa memberitahu peraturan dan langkah-langkah keselamatan.

Pelanggan kadangkala mengabaikan peraturan yang diberikan oleh pihak bank kerana menganggap peraturan itu terlalu panjang.

Kita berharap pelanggan akan membaca dan memahami peraturan yang telah disediakan. Kalau mereka (pelanggan) tidak faham mengenai peraturan atau langkah yang disediakan, mereka boleh menghubungi Pusat Pengurusan Pelanggan.

Original news: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/…

This time I am short of time to translate anything. If you are interested just let me know.

As a summary, he said that the problem is not with banking website, but with the users’ Internet skills. Criminals are not attacking banking websites, but users. Right on target, Datuk.

Internet Banking Risks – Computer Expert Fooled, Refuse to Use Service

This article from a local Malaysian newspaper website caught my eyes. The funny thing is that the person interviewed by the journalist claimed his/her self as a computer expert. And he/she was fooled by an Internet banking scam. Expert? I don’t think so.

Anyway, my point being, articles like this will surely deter usage of Internet banking in Malaysia. Internet banking is safe indeed, and with a few precautions in mind it’s a great experience. Of course, somebody from the bank can steal your money. But can they also do that without Internet banking? Think about it.

Here are some things (there may be more) that you always need to remember when using Internet banking:

  • NEVER NEVER NEVER click on links in email. For a few years now my banks have never sent me an email with links to click on!
  • Look for the padlock in your browser (please see image below). This means that the connection is secure.
  • Ensure that the address bar is pointing to the correct website. Banks have specific websites from where they operate. For example Maybank have www.maybank2u.com.my and BCB (CIMB) have www.cimbclicks.com.my. Don’t use the site even if a letter missing!!!
  • Make sure that before the site name, it shows https:// and not http:// or any other thing. This only applies to the login page. Some banks like Maybank have their main page with information served with http://
  • If a warning pops up in your face saying that this site may be forged, just believe it first, ask questions later.
  • Use a reliable browse like Firefox. In this post you can see it detects a phishing site correctly. If you’re not currently viewing this page using Firefox, consider using the link on top of the page to download it.
  • Banks will never ask for your username or password in emails or call you to ask for those information. Keep your login information to yourself.



If you are unsure, email or call the bank helpline. Previously I suggested for you to contact me so that I can help in confirming, but changed my mind. Trust only the bank.

In my point of view, articles from a computer expert like the guy/gal below should be explaining and helping instead of complaining. He/she said he/she advices people to be careful, but how?

Get your points straight, media!

Direct translation follows:

Internet Banking Risks – Computer Expert Fooled, Refuse to Use Service


Do you feel safe and convinced making financial transactions via Internet banking?

Do you know that Internet banking sites can be cloned by anyone – from a school kid to a cyber criminal – in only one or two hours?

Ironically, Utusan Malaysia was told by a computer expert that he/she him/her self doesn’t want to use the service anymore.

Why? Because he/she has been fooled via the online banking service.

“I made a transaction online but never received the money. Now I prefer going to the bank to make transactions,” said the computer expert (who refused to reveal his/her identity) from a government agency, here today.

For that particular case experienced by the computer expert, the acitivity was finally detected by National ICT Security & Emergency Response Centre (NISER).

The phenomenon that is happening is real.

Yesterday police arrested four university students and nine others because they created a forged web site of local banks to steal customer information before withdrawing their money.

According to the expert, with only a computer, Internet and browser software, a person can create a forged bank website that can potentially cause millions of customers’ ringgits disappear.

“Furthermore to create such website, they don’t need a long time, only about one to two hours,” he/she said.

He/she said, what the creators of the forged website needed to do is create a website that looks like the original website.

This can be done by copying the whole website, while the software is available in the market.

He/she said, the activity however can’t use the same original URL (domain address) of the website as it is protected, but they can create an alternative network that can confuse the bank customers.

“In the Internet world you can do anything (create forged bank websites). It’s not hard to copy, it takes only a while,” he/she said.

He/she said, usually, those who don’t have the knowledge and doesn’t know about IT world will be exposed to the forged websites.

In relation to that, he/she advices the public to be a lot more careful when doing online banking transactions to prevent from becoming a victim.

Yesterday, Assistant Director of Cyber Crime and Multimedia, Assistant Commissioner Ismail Yatim said, police have arrested four university students who were lead by a government officer’s son/daughter as they are involved in creating forged bank websites to steal customer information before withdrawing their money.

The four students were among the 13 people arrested for their involvement in the cyber crime. They were arrested in multiple raids in Kelantan, Selangor, and KL.

Their MO so far that has caused loss amounting to RM36,000 is sending emails to bank customers and requesting them to update the details in their bank account.

They then asked the customers to click on a link in the email, to update the details.

After clicking on the link, they are requested to input their username and password without realizing that the website is forged.

The information filled by the customers will be saved automatically in the data created by the syndicate, accordingly making it easy for them to access the victim’s bank account and transfer all the money.

Original news:

Risiko perbankan Internet — Pakar komputer pernah ditipu, enggan guna lagi perkhidmatan


KUALA LUMPUR 11 Okt. – Selamatkah atau yakinkah anda menggunakan perkhidmatan transaksi wang dan urusan seumpamanya menerusi perbankan Internet?

Tahukah anda bahawa laman web perbankan boleh diciplak oleh sesiapa sahaja – daripada murid sekolah sehinggalah kepada penjenayah siber – dalam tempoh satu hingga dua jam sahaja?

Ironisnya, Utusan Malaysia diberitahu oleh seorang pakar komputer tempatan bahawa beliau sendiri tidak mahu lagi menggunakan perkhidmatan itu.

Mengapa? Kerana dia pernah ditipu menerusi perkhidmatan perbankan secara online itu.

Saya membuat urusan secara talian tetapi bank tidak menerima wang itu. Sekarang saya lebih suka pergi ke bank untuk membuat urusan, kata pakar komputer (yang enggan mendedahkan identitinya) dari sebuah agensi kerajaan itu, di sini hari ini.

Bagi kes yang dialami oleh pakar komputer itu, kegiatan tersebut akhirnya dikesan oleh Pusat Keselamatan dan Tindak Balas Kecemasan Teknologi Komunikasi dan Maklumat Negara (NISER).

Fenomena yang berlaku ini adalah nyata.

Semalam polis menangkap empat pelajar universiti dan sembilan yang lain kerana mencipta laman web palsu bank-bank tempatan untuk mencuri maklumat pelanggan sebelum mengeluarkan wang mereka.

Menurut pakar itu lagi, dengan hanya memiliki sebuah komputer, Internet dan perisisan pelayar, seseorang itu boleh mencipta laman web palsu bank sehingga boleh melesapkan berjuta-juta ringgit wang pelanggan.

Malah untuk mencipta laman web palsu itu, mereka tidak perlukan masa yang lama, hanya kira-kira satu hingga dua jam sahaja, katanya.

Beliau berkata, apa yang perlu dilakukan oleh pencipta laman web palsu itu ialah mencipta laman web seakan-akan laman web asal.

Ini boleh dilakukan dengan meniru keseluruhan laman web terbabit, sementara perisian pula boleh didapati di pasaran.

Katanya, kegiatan itu bagaimanapun tidak boleh meniru URL (alamat domain) asal laman web berkenaan kerana ia dilindungi, tetapi mereka boleh mewujudkan rangkaian alternatif sehingga boleh mengelirukan para pelanggan bank terbabit.

Dalam dunia Internet memang semua boleh buat (mewujudkan laman-laman web palsu bank). Nak tiru bukan susah, sekejap sahaja , katanya.

Beliau berkata, selalunya, mereka yang tidak mempunyai pengetahuan dan tidak tahu tentang selok-belok dunia IT akan terdedah kepada laman web palsu tersebut.

Sehubungan itu, beliau menasihatkan orang ramai supaya lebih berhati-hati ketika membuat urusan bank secara online bagi mengelak menjadi mangsa.

Semalam, Penolong Pengarah Jenayah Siber dan Multimedia, Asisten Komisioner Ismail Yatim berkata, polis telah memberkas empat pelajar universiti yang didalangi anak seorang pegawai tinggi kerajaan setelah terlibat dalam kegiatan mencipta laman web palsu bank-bank tempatan untuk mencuri maklumat pelanggan sebelum mengeluarkan wang mereka.

Empat pelajar itu adalah antara 13 orang yang ditangkap kerana terbabit dalam kegiatan jenayah siber terbabit. Mereka ditahan dalam beberapa serbuan sekitar Kelantan, Selangor dan ibu negara.

Modus operandi mereka yang setakat ini telah menyebabkan kerugian sebanyak RM36,000 ialah menghantar e-mel kepada pelanggan bank dan meminta mangsa mengemas kini maklumat akaun bank mereka.

Mereka kemudian meminta mangsa klik pada satu pautan yang tertera di e-mel tersebut kononnya bagi tujuan mengemaskinikan akaun simpanan mereka.

Setelah klik pada pautan itu, mereka disuruh memasukkan nama pengguna dan kata laluan tanpa menyedari laman web tersebut sebenarnya palsu.

Maklumat yang diisi itu akan disimpan secara automatik dalam data yang dicipta sindiket itu, seterusnya memudahkan mereka mengakses akaun bank mangsa dan memindahkan semua wang milik mangsa.

Contents above directly copied from http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/…

Student caught recording in cinema

PENANG: Ever wondered how the latest movie blockbusters make it into the pirated market within a day of its official cinema release?

A 21-year-old college student was caught using a video camera handphone to record Anjelica Lee Sinje’s latest horror flick Re-cycle at the Golden Screen Cinema (GSC) in Gurney Plaza on Thursday afternoon.

The movie, filmed in Bangkok on a US$5mil (RM18mil) budget, made its debut in Malaysian theatres on that day.

The student had recorded 45 minutes of the 109-minute movie when the cinemas assistant manager spotted him.

The manager apprehended the student and seized the handphone before handing him over to the police.

Had the student finished recording the movie, he would then have downloaded it into a computer and burnt it onto VCDs and DVDs.

Within an hour, hundreds of copies would find their way to night markets and eating stalls, just like the pirated copies of Superman Returns and the computer animated Cars.

Original news: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/7/8/nation/14777185&sec=nation

I’m just wondering what handphone the kid used, good enough to reproduce VCDs? Wow… I am not saying that the student did a right thing but it’s kinda funny. Maybe after this cinemas will check our mobile phones before entering.

3 AM

It’s 3.45am and I am still in front of my PC. Not many people realizes my habit of staying up if my mind’s in a bad shape. Tomorrow’s a work day. Oh well I can still manage to go through hell at work even suffering from sleepless nights.

Instead of whining and complaining with the things that are disturbing me, I’ll write something useful for everyone.

Listening to my freshly leeched Metallica discography (encoded in FLAC) made me realize the quality difference between FLAC and MP3.

FLAC, an acronym for Free Lossless Audio Codec, is a popular free audio compression codec that is lossless. Unlike lossy codecs such as Vorbis, MP3 and AAC, it does not remove any information from the audio stream and is suitable both for everyday playback and for archiving audio collections. The FLAC format is currently well supported by many software audio products.

It’s true, most of us still downloads and listens to MP3 (and most of our devices/software plays MP3) but believe it or not lots of software plugins, even hardware: http://flac.sourceforge.net/news.html have been built to support FLAC.

Generally FLAC are bigger (twice the size or more) than MP3, but small enough compared to WAV files (directly ripped from the audio CD). When I compared the same track, one encoded with FLAC and the other with MP3; the difference is so obvious. As an example, an album encoded in MP3 format might use up 80MB while the same album encoded in FLAC might end up using 300MB of your precious disk space (while WAV most probably take double than that).

Try it. Download FLAC at http://flac.sourceforge.net/download.html. For now, download the plugins or players until you decide to encode something to share with the community. As for the audio files, you have to download those yourselves. Google for them 😉 Hint: Learn about bittorrent and do a search like “Metallica torrent” in Google; most of FLAC encoded files are shared using bittorrent.

You won’t be disappointed, but the choice is yours.

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.

Afdlin Shauki Dah Hilang Akal

Did you guys ever heard of Afdlin’s new album (Fuyoo)? I did a while ago, but I don’t see it on the shelves of music stores. Anyway, Afdlin has initiated a project Afdlin Shauki Dah Hilang Akal where he’ll mail you the CD/cassette to your doorstep. Read about it at the official page made by Afdlin: http://hilangakal.blogspot.com/

I’m still waiting for mine, as I just emailed him asking for a copy. I just hope he hasn’t run out of it yet! 😉

I read about this in Pancaindera (Mingguan Malaysia) this morning at Sungai Petani. Read it online here.