Happy New Year 2013!

December 31, 2012

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Happy New Year 2013!
May this new year bring us happiness, prosperity and peace all over the world!

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Happy New Year 2013!

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Wishing all friends and readers a Happy New Year 2013! May this year brings us good fortune, prosperity and the best of health. Amin!

★ ˛ •. HAPPY ★ • ★ ° ˛. ★ ★ NEW YEAR 2013 *. *. ° ˛ ˚ ★ • ★ HAPPY ° ˛. NEW YEAR 2013 *
★ ★ ˛˛ • ˛ • ˚ * HAPPY ★ ° ˛˛ * ★ • *• NEW YEAR 2013

We bade 2012 farewell. We welcome 2013!


Twitter’s New Policy

September 21, 2012

I use IFTTT (https://ifttt.com/wtf) a lot to automate my online chores. This morning I received an announcement that Twitter (http://twitter.com) has made new policy changes that affects how applications and users can interact with Twitter’s data. I’m not delving into the details of the policy changes nor the effect it has on IFTTT as both of which are briefly explained in the newsletter below:

Dear Hadramie,

In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes* that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter’s data. As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers, disabling your ability to push tweets to places like email, Evernote and Facebook. All Personal and Shared Recipes using a Twitter Trigger will also be removed. Recipes using Twitter Actions and your ability to post new tweets via IFTTT will continue to work just fine.

At IFTTT, first and foremost, we want to empower anyone to create connections between literally anything. We’ve still got a long way to go, and to get there we need to make sure that the types of connections that IFTTT enables are aligned with how the original creators want their tools and services to be used.

We at IFTTT are big Twitter fans and, like yourself, we’ve gotten a lot of value out of the Recipes that use Twitter Triggers. We’re sad to see them go, but remain excited to build features that work within Twitter’s new policy. Thank you for your support and for understanding these upcoming changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at support@ifttt.com.

Linden Tibbets
IFTTT CEO

*These Twitter policy changes specifically disallow uploading Twitter Content to a “cloud based service” (Section 4A https://dev.twitter.com/terms/api-terms) and include stricter enforcement of the Developer Display Requirements (https://dev.twitter.com/terms/display-requirements).

I don’t know how much Twitter’s new policy will affect my social media activities. I certainly hope nothing is greatly affected so that the transition will be smooth. If ever there was any disparity between Twitter and IFTTT, I believe the latter will make due changes effortlessly.

 


George Carlin – Excellent Motivation

February 29, 2012
George Carlin – Excellent Motivation

This is a master piece. If you have not read it, take the time to read it now. If you have read it take time to read it again!

GEORGE CARLIN

 

 

Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent… and so very appropriate.

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much or too little, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

— George Carlin

 


Practically link together “everything” you do online

October 13, 2011

IFTTT (still in beta release) helps you link together almost everything you do online via its Recipes. Create your own recipe or freely use any of the hundreds pre-written by others made available to you.

Example 1:

All my Foursquare check-ins are captured for tracking purposes in my Google Calendar.
The simple recipe I used is “if {{Any new check-ins on Foursquare}} then {{Quick add event to My Google calendar}}”. Voila!

Example 2:

All my new Tweets with #fb hashtags are now displayed in my Facebook’s news feed.
The recipe is “if {{New tweet by you with hashtag #fb, by @Hadramie then {{Create a status message on my Facebook account’s news feed}}”.

Some of the recipes (currently 4632) in use are:

  • Everytime you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, it will be sent to Dropbox.
  • Bring/donate umbrellas for #OccupyWallSt events if it rains.
  • Creates an Evernote every time you “star” an item in Google Reader.
  • $AAPL new high price to Boxcar

Mind you this is just a tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are enormous. Go concoct your own recipe right now at http://ifttt.com/recipes.


Malaysian Government Ministries’ Websites

January 4, 2011

I have observed that many Malaysian government department websites are poorly designed, maintained and are less frequently updated for the benefit of the online users. Some are downright outdated by months, while others are unsatisfactorily designed as if done by amateurs. Many websites took the design for granted and are usually scattered with misspelt words and wrong usage of the English grammar. Here are some examples I randomly picked from one of the government departments’ websites:

Bad spelling mistake

Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle "lettering"?

By right the above caption should be “Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle “littering”. How can you allow such silly mistakes in an official website of the Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Malaysia?

Now about the design. Anybody familiar with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw would certainly know how to maintain the aspect ratio of a photograph when you enlarge or stretch it to fit a fixed size. The example posted below show an amateurish design with blatant disregard of the aspect ratio (i.e. stretching the photo to the maximum without regard to its visual aesthetic value). The end-result is a horrible looking distorted photograph not fit to be displayed in an official government website:

 

Bad, bad aspect ratio!

Apart from the poorly designed graphics, mistakes in the usage of the English grammar are rampant. The most common one is usually the signage displaying the official operating hours. “Open: 8:00 am; Close 4:00 pm”. The image below is another common mistake:

 

Another common grammar mistake

Department of Environment's Portal Can Be Surf Via Mobile Phone?

The caption above could be correctly rewritten as “Department of Environment’s Portal Can Be Surfed Via Mobile Phones“. I am not an expert linguist but I can spot an English grammar mistake quite easily. The standard of English in Malaysia has seen an imposing deterioration in the past decade or so. The Ministry of Education has a massive responsibility to rectify this problem before our English officially becomes Manglish (Malaysian-English) i.e. another listed form of pidgin English (ref: List of English-based pidgins).

 


Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

December 13, 2010
Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Today, December 13th, 2010 (8 Muharram, 1432H) marks as an historic day for me. I had the opportunity to visit the Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin in Putrajaya for the first time. The famed masjid is nicknamed as “Masjid Besi” or “Iron Mosque” due to the design and structure of the building and the silver metallic dome at the top. The mosque looks grand from afar. But lo and behold, I was taken aback upon entering it. The maintenance of the mosque is in a mess! Honestly, it really is. The mosque being officially commissioned by the Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin about six months ago on June 11th, 2010, is in a state of disrepair. It is beyond belief for a 6-month old building to be in such a poor condition. From the outside I thought I could be proud of the mosque, alas I was disheartened by what I saw upon entering it. I wonder why Malaysians are very poor in the discipline of building maintenance. This mosque is supposed to be a place of worship for Muslims and a major tourist attraction for Godsake!

Here are some setbacks that I observed:

1. There were no conspicuous signage directing to the main entrance of the mosque from outside. I ended up going via the car park building opposite the mosque. My goodness! The car park was very dark, gloomy and DIRTY! Rubbish were strewn everywhere and there was no sign of it being recently cleaned.

2. At the main entrance, there was no welcoming signage as if visitors are not welcomed, enter at your own will and risk. However, the name of the mosque is proudly displayed on the wall but the lighting was bad and the letterings just blended with the wall. A spotlight or background lighting is highly imperative here. The advertising streamers on the left and right of the wall do not help to beautify the mosque at all. The management should make do without these unsightly commercial promotional aids.

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

3.  I took the flight of stairs up since the escalator was not functioning. Imagine a disabled person visiting this mosque. How on earth could he go two levels up by himself to reach the main prayer hall?

4. Upon reaching the top of the stairs I was welcomed with a pool of spilt coffee stains. I kid you not! The photograph below is the evidence. Just outside on the patio, you will see a small pond which has never seen proper maintenance. It has now turned into a mosquito breeding ground, complete with molds and algae.

Coffee stains at the top landing of the stairs

Coffee stains at the top landing of the stairs

5. The passage to the ablution hall/room was dimly lighted. Never mind, energy conservation in progress I presume. At my age, I found it hard to lift my legs into the sink. Why do they make it so hard for frail people and people with disabilities beats me. I have NEVER come across a mosque that provides sinks only for you to do your ablution. You will have to lift your legs rather high in order to wash them in the sink. Why can’t they provide the normal water taps on a wall for ease of use?

Dimly lit passageway to the ablution hall/room

Dimly lit passageway to the ablution hall/room

Wash your feet in the sink? How ludicrous!

Wash your feet in the sink? How ludicrous!

6. The prayer hall is fine. Nothing grand here except for the unique Quranic excerpts inscribed in gold on the glass wall in front. Normally, you’d feel overwhelmed with emotion upon entering a mosque, but sad to say, it is not so with this one. Maybe it was just me.

The main prayer hall

The main prayer hall

7. From the prayer hall, you can see the scenery outside because the mosque has no side walls blocking your view. To the right in the distant you can see another mosque, the “Pink Mosque” or “Masjid Putera”. To the left, you can see one of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya spanning across the lake.

The "Pink Mosque" or "Masjid Putera" in the distant right

The "Pink Mosque" or "Masjid Putera" in the distant right

One of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya on the left

One of the beautiful bridges of Putrajaya on the left

8. From the main prayer hall, if you walk to the side of the mosque (I only went to the right side) you will retreat in disgust. Rain water is found clogged on the floor and it looks like it has NEVER been cleaned. The whole stretch of the floor from the front to the rear of the mosque is choked and molds are spotted everywhere. I felt so ashamed of myself. Luckily there were no foreign tourists anywhere near me at that particular moment. How on earth did they leave the floor in that filthy situation?

Downright filthy floor!

Downright filthy floor!

9. On my way out, I spotted large stains on the marble flooring. I was busy taking photographs when I was approached by a man who introduced himself as the clerk-of-works for the contractor of the mosque since day one the construction began about 4 years ago. He told me that the whole marble tiles will be replaced and it will take a couple of months to complete. The stains were as a result of inexperienced foreign construction workers spilling acid to clean it. But it left permanent stains instead of becoming sparkling clean.

Large blotches of permanent stains are everywhere

Large blotches of permanent stains are everywhere

I left feeling sorry and dispirited at the state of maintenance or the lack of it the mosque is in. The building is officially just 6-months old, and taking into account the lack of maintenance of the mosque, I wonder how it will look like in the near future say in a year or a couple of years time.

Broken tiles greet you on the way to the mosque

Broken tiles greet you on the way to the mosque

Cleanliness is godliness. Islam promotes cleanliness and wants its adherent to live in a healthy condition. Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin is a big disgrace to Islam and to the nation. Enough said.