Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Movie Review

Recenly, it seems like no movie attracted my attention after Inception, until Oliver Stone film released a couple of weeks back, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Well, I love stock market and Wall Street, so I believe this movie should be for me. As far as I know, this should be Wall Street 2 after the original one on show in year 1987, casted by Michael Douglas.

After spent 2 hours sitting in front of the screen, I found out this movie is not what I expected. I mean it is not as interested and as excited as I was expected. I remembered that I watch a local stock market deception movie made in Hong Kong on last year. It was a lot better than Wall Street. It is a lot easier to understand and story line is clear. In fact, I don't really understand what are these guys are talking about in the movie. Perhaps that's a little bit too technical for me, compare to what I know about real Wall Street.

I felt disappointed because they can't make it simpler for those non-literate Wall Street movie fans to understand what they are trying to express. Well, perhaps most of the Americans understand about what is the movie talks about, as it was a recent history for them. Moreover, the casts, Michael, Carey and Shia are just not my cup of tea. With the casts, boring scenes, and the difficulty to understand, I would say this is totally a no-go movie for me.

Here's my personal rating for Wall Street movie.
Cast: 2/10
Plot: 3/10
Effect: 5/10
Cinematography: 6/10
Story line: 5/10
Overall: 4/10

Anyway, the opinions above are just my personal opinion. Most probably I'm more prefer to watch action and comedy movie. I have my respect to Stone and the casts. Cheers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How Corrupt Is Your Country?

On yesterday, Transparency International has released an official report on Corruption Index over 178 countries. The report is based on the ratings given by businessmen and professionals opinions to the government of the listed countries. on scale from 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (highly clean). In general, index below 3 considers the corruption is very serious, where 7 above is consider clean.

Congratulations to Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore, as they are rated as world #1 in this survey, where Finland and Sweden ranking at #4, and #6 to #10 are taken by Canada, Netherland, Australia, Switzerland and Norway. North Europe has conquered 4 seats out of 10, where Asia has 3 seats in hand.

The bottom rank is Somalia with index 1.1, where Myanmar and afghanistan grab the last 2nd, Iraq no.4 from behind, Sudan, Turkemenistan and Uzbekistan at last no.5. I feel bad for them. Notable among decliners over the past year are some of the countries most affected by financial crisis percipitated by transparency and integrity deficits.

As for Malaysia, it is rated as 4.4, ranking at 56 out of 178 countries. The index is slighly lower than last year, where it has 4.5 on last year. And in year 2008, Malaysia is rated 5.1. From the statistics, can we say Malaysia did a poor job on this?

May be. But as usual, I'm expecting the representative from The Government will gives a lot of craps to local reporters to deny the truth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rebootless Updates For Your Windows

"You must restart your computer to install these updates." Everyone has seen this message before, and everyone hates it. Rebooting is a disruptive process--and, as a consequence, many system administrators and end-users delay the installation of important updates. Unfortunately, updates correct security vulnerabilities, and a machine that is not up to date is necessarily also a vulnerable one.

We wonder why Microsoft never try to solve this problem? They just want us to reboot our server and computer almost everytime we apply their fixes and patches? It really doesn't make sense! Fortunately, human is always creative. And thanks to Ksplice, the solution is out there. Ksplice has managed to bag US$100,000 grand prize in Forbes 3rd annual Boost Your Business content with this product. You may want to read it's success story below.

"Ksplice has developed a solution to this problem: technology that can transform traditional updates into rebootless updates. This technology makes it possible to patch software while it is running, without any disruption or downtime. Software vulnerabilities cost U.S. companies hundreds of billions of dollars per year, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office. This number could be dramatically reduced if system administrators kept software up to date with the latest bug fixes. In fact, the vast majority of security exploit attacks in the wild--greater than 90%--are made possible by systems not being patched with the latest available updates. A solution that makes it possible to deploy updates seamlessly could save companies tens of billions of dollars per year in reduced operational costs and reduced costs from security incidents.

We will sell to software and system vendors (e.g., operating system vendors, telecom and networking equipment vendors, enterprise software application vendors, storage solution vendors) who want the capability of distributing rebootless updates for their products. Ksplice will be paid in three ways: a license fee, a development fee for transforming each traditional update into a rebootless update, and a small royalty fee for each unit that features this technology."

Perhaps the next challenge is, someone able to develop a virus/spyware-free Windows system? We'll see.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Google $1 Billion A Year Tax Cutting Strategy

Larry Page, one of the richest men in the world.

Google cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

Google’s income shifting -- involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” -- helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.

The U.S. corporate income-tax rate is 35 percent. In the U.K., Google’s second-biggest market by revenue, it’s 28 percent.
Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, uses a strategy that has gained favor among such companies as Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The method takes advantage of Irish tax law to legally shuttle profits into and out of subsidiaries there, largely escaping the country’s 12.5 percent income tax. 
Google Office in Dublin, Ireland.

Google’s annual reports from 2007 to 2009 ascribe a cumulative $3.1 billion tax savings to the “foreign rate differential.” Such entries typically describe how much tax U.S. companies save from profits earned overseas.

In February, the Obama administration proposed measures to curb shifting profits offshore, part of a package intended to raise $12 billion a year over the coming decade. While the key proposals largely haven’t advanced in Congress, the IRS said in April it would devote additional agents and lawyers to focus on five large transfer pricing arrangements.

The rules for transfer pricing should be replaced with a system that allocates profits among countries the way most U.S. states with a corporate income tax do -- based on such aspects as sales or number of employees in each jurisdiction, said Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, director of the international tax program at the University of Michigan Law School.
“The system is broken and I think it needs to be scrapped,” said Avi-Yonah, also a special counsel at law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington D.C. “Companies are getting away with murder.”
Reported by: Jesse Drucker in New York

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Octoberfest Beer Celebration In The House

It's Octoberfest beer celebration in the country! The event is organized by Guiness Anchor Ltd. Yes, as usual, I missed it. But it's consider lucky that many local bloggers are sharing their photos in the event. I just picked one of the best bloggers photos for our pleasure view.

Perhaps I should put my own photos celebrating with my friends next year. Let's see.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where Ideas Go To Die

MORE than a year ago, our Science Ministry launched a website called MyIdeas. The thinking behind this is to get as many brilliant ideas, from all kinds of people, that can be implemented.

There are now some 6,037 ideas on the portal based on my last check yesterday. The very first idea posted on the website was "recognise and reward creativity and innovation at all levels through national and state innovation and creativity awards" by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

But if you click on the icon that says "ideas in action", which basically means what it says, it will tell you this: No ideas are in action yet.

That's a shame because don't tell me not one of the 6,037 ideas is worth carrying out.

Some ideas are quite interesting, like the one from Muhamad Zahin Shaharuddin who suggests having lockers at schools to deal with the problem of heavy bags. Nurul Syaza Sarkawi says the government should subsidise the price of bicycles so that Malaysians could cycle instead of drive to nearby places. Kogilavani Muniappan thinks young people should be taught or exposed to basic Internet laws or Copyright Acts, which would presumably improve society's awareness of piracy.

Author Frank McCourt in his book "Teacher Man" tells of how he had an epiphany of how to teach teenagers English during his days as a teacher in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. His students were resisting writing assignments but they were writing a lot of excuse notes, supposedly written by parents to explain why their kids had to miss class. Teachers knew these notes were mostly fiction. And that was when an idea struck him. He assigned them to write excuse notes for Lee Harvey Oswald (the guy who shot and killed a US president) and gangster Al Capone, among others.
McCourt's students loved it, the principal loved it and even the school supervisor loved it.
Is the MyIdeas portal a bad idea? No, of course not. But it needs to show results of ideas that have been or being implemented. Otherwise it will perpetuate the perception that we are a nation of planners and not doers.

One way to improve MyIdeas is to have a group of people that goes through all ideas and filter them down to the best 10. All of this must be communicated to users who obviously would want to know the progress and milestones of what they have proposed.

But we should not be thinking that just because MyIdeas is a government initiative, its implementation should be left to the government. Instead, some ideas could be carried out by the private sector, non-government organisations or even large charity organisations.

Although I have registered as a user of MyIdeas, I have yet to contribute anything to the site. The reason I registered was to check how the website was doing and whether there was a story in it. It turns out there was.

Good ideas are hard to come by, but even harder is to implement those ideas. But implementation is what gives ideas their value. A teacher, who carries out a good idea, would get students interested in knowledge.

So here is my idea. Universities should invite successful people to give talks at their graduation ceremonies. Malaysians, especially the young, could do with a little bit of inspiration. Steve Jobs, Apple Inc's founder, gave a good speech at Stanford University in 2005 and it's on Youtube. I highly recommend it.

Article written by: Shahriman Johari

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Proton Inspira In The House

Hey, our national car maker, Proton Holdings Ltd has unveiled a new mid-size 4-door Dedan lately, named "Inspira" today. Yes, this name sounds suck, you may wonder another low quality car from Proton. Before we judge it, do you still remember my previous compliment post on Proton and it's Managing Director?

Basically this new model is developed based on the current model of Mitsubishi Lancer. Lancer is always a success model under Mitsubishi. To me, Proton models are famous in 'ugly' outlook design. Perhaps they have learned a lesson and they steal the idea from second national car maker, PERODUA. Instead of wasting money to design and develop models at it's own, Proton has made a good move by cloning the success model, cut down the design and developing cost, and sell it at a cheaper price to stimulate the sales, while trying to grab back some market shares from other sedan manufacturer. It could be a tripple win for Proton, if PERODUA just sit there and do nothing. I'm fully support this move!

The price of this model would be tentatively ranged from RM79,888 to RM95,000. Yes, it is a lot cheaper compare to the similar sedans, such as Honda Civic, Toyota Altris and Mitsubishi Lancer, about 40% cheaper. It is even slightly cheaper than lower range sedan such as Honda City, Toyota VIOS and Nissan Latio.

The Proton Inspira is developed from a Mitsubishi Lancer with the choice of a Mitsubishi’s 4B10 1.8 liter engine with a 5-speed manual, a Mitsubishi 4B10 1.8 liter engine with a 6-speed virtual ratio CVT gearbox, or a top of the range 2.0 liter 4B11 engine with the same CVT transmission with added steering column paddle shifters.

Regarding the same old problem, quality, I'm not sure yet, perhaps we can read some comments from a local car famous blogger here and wait for end-user to comment after this. I may consider to buy one unit next year, if this model is proven and my financial situation allows me to do so. Anyway, the booking is allow from today onwards and it comes with 4 colors. Managing Director aims at 1,600 units sales a month and plan to do export after the stabilization period. I believe Proton can makes it this time.

Good job, Proton!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easy Way to Submit Your Website To Search Engines

Have you already submitted your main blog or website to the top search engines around the Internet, so the reader can reach your blog and in a way increase your blog/website traffics?

It's true that most of the effective website URL submission service requires you to pay. As usual, just to share with you that I found a good one last few weeks back, and it is totally FREE. This free website submission tool, SubmitExpress will submit your website or blog to 70 over top search engines for free, including via submission script. 

After I submitted my blog for about few minutes on, I immediate received responds from the search engines confirmation. Even though my blog traffics don't really increase significantly, but at least I've done something on it. 

May be you want to give your website/blog a try. Have fun!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lawyer's Funny Questions In The Court

Lawyer, anyone? There is an opposition politician's assistant suspecting of being murdered or self-killed. Both parties would like to find out the truth. To make it fair, they are hiring pathologist from other countries like UK and Thailand. One of the pathologists is Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand from Thailand.

I'm not sure how should a lawyer asks professional question in an inquest, but I'm sure the lawyer in the related video clip was asking funny questions to Dr. Pornthip, which I don't think those questions are necessary by applying common sense. The way he asked questions also sound like very unprofessional. 

What a pity to the opposition party's lawyer, judge, Dr. Pornthip and audiences. It was a waste of time inquest. This is not about government service, this is about judgement and life, so please don't play-play. Perhaps it's time to upgrade our country lawyer's quality?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bijin Tokei

Do you know what is Bijin Tokei? Basically it means the beauty is showing the local time to you. 

I found this web site is pretty interesting and I would like to share it with you. There are pretty Japanese models holding a black board and show you your local time. The time should be the same as your computer. The time will be refreshed every minute, by different models or the same model with different poses every minute. In a nutshell, when you look at the time, you also see a pretty model smiling to you, what a pleasure!

If you like, you can load it as one of your Google gadgets or Mac widgets. Happy looking at the time, folks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movie Review: Machete

Have you watched Machete?

May be you should watch Machete, if you are looking for an interesting movie. Well, the entire movie is not so real and logic anyway. If you compare Machete to Rambo 4, it is really having some distances in quality and the realness. Machete makes me recalled Angelina previous movie, SALT, where both of them being hit by the bullet but they still able to fight and kill anyone they like. If that's in a reality, the polices can retiring early.

In overall, the story line and plot is quite interesting, but the actions, cinematography and casts are just below average. Most of the casts are just over-acting. One of the exceptions perhaps is Jessica Alba. She is just the hottest actress I ever like. Perhaps this movie is just not for me.

Here's my personal rating for Machete:
Cast: 4/10
Plot: 7/10
Effect: 5
Cinematography: 4/10
Action: 3/10
Story line: 7/10
Overall: 5/10

No worry, it's just my personal opinion. If you do like it, please continue to support it. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boobs Watching Test for You, Gentleman?

Sometimes, you might just lucky and met some sexy or big boobs women around. But you will never know it may be a trap. Gentleman, if you imagine you are in the scene below, what will you do and how long will you take?

Most probably you will ignore, enjoying gazing, approach, obtain phone number, take away, or look at the shirt or mobile number only? You may want to check out how embarass these Japanese guys actions are.

Have fun.
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