Newsly Friday 22/01/10

Here I will begin this new feature of mine. I have always wanted to post stuff I find on the news but I felt like it was just basically posting up unoriginal material.

This weekly feature (Friday, ofcourse) will feature some news articles I found that are worth posting up here. Sometimes I guess these be more biased towards my interests (technology, media, etc.) but I hope these will prove as interesting reads!

Man Buried in Haiti Rubble Uses iPhone to Treat Wounds, Survive
January 20, 2010. Source: Wired

So basically, an American Film-maker survived after being trapped in Haiti for 65 hours due to apps on his iPhone. This is huge! The iPhone has just proven it isn’t just something that keeps you pre-occupied on the toilet seat – It saves lives too.

iPhone users rejoice. Just wait for iDefibrillator to come out then we can really save lives.

Stig ‘spotted’ on Google site
January 19, 2010. Source: The Sun

Stig’s signature pose = Folded arms?

Just one of those LOL moments of mine when I read and saw this. I assume the Stig was part of some kind of Top Gear shooting because of the pose. Whether this is the real Stig or not, it’s still hilarious to see and being a fan of Top Gear might be the reason.

Fun-loving clubbers get ready to play at first Australian video game bar
January 20, 2010. Source: News.com.au

Clubbing for Gaming Addicts?

Yes, that’s right. Brisbane will see Australia’s first video game bar. Apparently it has been a success overseas yet I just can’t imagine how this works. I hardly ever attempt to mix alcohol with gaming especially gaming that involves peripherals (as suggested by the article, Guitar Hero and Wii Games are the types of games they look to implement) because of the very high chance someone flings their WiiMote at the TV or drops the peripheral.

Alcohol slows your body’s central nervous system down and this is definitely going to cause accidents.


Hope you enjoyed this post!

Have a good weekend, all.

First week at Coca-Cola

So I started Industrial Training Monday this week. Due to my very unstable sleeping patterns, I fell asleep the night before at 5am hopeful I would still be able to wake up at the planned 7.30am.

As I walked into the offices Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) predictably late and sleepy as hell, what were my first impressions of the place?

Let me begin by ‘Wow’ing you with the location. It’s less than 25 steps away from the bus stop and then there is the actual location. Based on the eastern side of Circular Quay, facing the Harbour Bridge, I snapped a quick photo from the entrance of the building.

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Yes, this is a big deal to me, I think surroundings contribute plenty to work morale.

Follow this up with how I was given my laptop within the first 10 minutes of being there and my mood was really brightening up. The forms for my access pass were submitted by lunchtime too. Very efficient and prepared (considering they only found out I was coming last Friday). Work is slowly coming in, which is something new because at previous placements I’ve had to initially wait from a week up to a month for any work to do.

So what about benefits? Well, as I am pretty much the equivalent of a contractor, I don’t expect all the real benefits like insurance, retirement stuff, EPF, etc. Furthermore, being a student, the only things I look at are the physical benefits such as their stationary cupboard. Working at CCA, a refrigerator sits on each floor stocked with all sorts of Coca-Cola products and ofcourse, free of charge. There is also another large refrigerator beside it stocked with beer and padlocked shut – The magical padlock is opened every Friday evening and free beer is served. Screw the stationary. :)

IMG_0329 copyI took this photo at the end of the day. Trust me, it’s all stocked up in the morning.

These tiny things are what keeps employees motivated. I don’t know but everything I have experienced in or heard of Malaysian working life is pretty bad. Any chance any Malaysians out there are reading this post in awe? Even though I haven’t even really mentioned the proper employee benefits, I’m a sucker for the minor details :)

Malaysian Communication & Culture Minister losing Popularity

So the first thing I heard from Ellie was how our Minister of Communication & Culture said some things about Malaysian Internet users. Article is below

KUALA LUMPUR: Telecommunication companies (telcos) should also give priority to content on culture and the development of human civilisation, said Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

He said this would further help stimulate the minds of Malaysians, more so this in this era of sophisticated and borderless communications, and was an aspect of content the telcos should address besides chasing profits.

“New applications like SMS, Yahoo Messenger, Twitter, ICQ, Skype and devices like the Blackberry and the like have made communications between humans easier and this has contributed to the development of civilisation and changed the landscape of communications universally, which before heavily depended on the telephone, telex, fax and the postal service,” he said.

He said this in his speech which was read out by his deputy Datuk Joseph Salang at the prize-giving ceremony for winners of the “Mobile Content Challenge 2009” contest, here on Tuesday.

According to Rais, owing to the ease of communication, certain aspects of culture, like language, might face challenges.

He said the truncating spellings used in SMSes could jeopardise the integrity of Bahasa Malaysia besides posing challenges to ethical issues in inter-personal relationships.

“There have been cases of consumers using SMS, MMS, chatrooms, Facebook and Twitter to spread rumours and with speed, spread hatred among people,” he said.

He said abuse of these applications should be addressed together by raising awareness on the ethics and proper norms of using sophistcated communition tools in this ultra-modern age.

Source: The Star

Basically, the Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim has stated two major problems sprouting out due to Malaysian usage of the Internet and the way in which technology continues to evolve:

  1. Internet and telecommunication messaging is causing language deterioration
  2. Due to the characteristics of technology today, it is easy to spread bad rumours

Now, I can see on Twitter how everyone is being mean to the minister after what he said. I did a quick search on Twitter for #yorais and here are some random posts:

conancat: #yorais will probably figure out how to read all these tweets today 40 years later.
xniquet: Rais Yatim is so old he has to stick his dick in the freezer to get it hard. #yorais
menj: Rais is so old he thinks a browser is someone who shops at the mall #yorais
reiko67: I ask my 16months old son “Please finish #yorais before you go chase cats” just now.
MissyCheerio: Rais is so ancient that the word “past”,”history” and “sejarah” hasn’t existed. #yorais (So not funny, lah)
smubblerz: Rais is so ancient he told Adam and Eve not to berkhalwat #yorais

rais-kungfuRais Yatim gonna kung fu the crap out of all you people on Twitter!

So, yeah, that’s what you get really. Attack a community that isn’t necessarily united but one that can easily communicate with one another. Even mention they can spread bad rumoursreal fast. It’s like telling a big bully that hitting people is not nice – What do you expect to happen right after that?

Anyway, let’s look at this a little bit more constructively (Don’t worry, I shall try my best not to bore you).

1. “sms cos probs wif lang 8===>”

The issue of Internet and SMS slang causing problems with languages (not just Bahasa Melayu) has been a debate for a while now. I have seen several articles on News.com.au about this and a quick Google will get you to a Helium.com debate entitled “Is text messaging causing the destruction of the English language?”. At the time of this post the debate votes were tallied at 166 (58%) Yes and 121 (42%) No – Nothing extremely definitive, but it is a hot debate topic today. If you read the articles there you will be able to see that there are some very good points on both sides and so it brings me to this: Rais Yatim does have a point. Continuous usage of truncated spellings can become a bad habit.

Why is there so much negativity against this? Why, because most of us (looking around my age group or above) didn’t grow up with Twitter and Facebook. At early stages we went to school and didn’t have much access to these telecommunication devices. Hence, we already knew what proper English was. What worries me is Generation Z – It is undeniable that this problem can occur even today, what about our future leaders?

2. “Stop Saying Bad Things About Me!”

Now, the part about spreading bad rumours is just about the stupidest thing I have heard of. Malaysians always liked gossip and drama. This bad habit of Malaysians has always been around and blaming technology instead of thanking it for enhancing our communication just doesn’t make sense. If there was a problem with rumours being spread out, it should not be blamed on the communication medium and instead the users itself are to blame. But what’s so mean about bad rumours? Everyone loves drama, it’s why paparazzi and E! Entertainment exists: Plainly human nature.

All in all, I have to partially agree what was stated about text messaging… But apart from that, it sounded like he was just talking out of his ass. Trying to stop bad rumours is pretty much censorship and I’m sure Malaysia isn’t a communist country… Is it?

Oh, oh, my turn!

#yorais is so old he spins his saggy man titties to make mini helicopter propellers so he can fly high and stop the evil that is online social networking.

MissyCheerio is not so Cheerio

Why so grumpy, Cheellie? (Chee + Ellie = Chilli GET IT?) *Attempt 1*. Have I ever talked about one of my favourite-est person in Malaysia? I Missy (GET IT!?) *Attempt  2* her so much. You know what else I miss from Malaysia? Elly-chees ofcourse! (GOLD!) *Attempt  3*. Anyway, for some reason she has been moody recently, or so I have seen on her Tweets. I really hope this short little post will Cheerio (HAR HAR) *Attempt 4* her up. So stop being so moody and just Cheeeel (LOL) *Attempt 5*, please!

So there you have it – 5 attempts to cheer up my good ol’ buddy.

I will update this post soon with my very own rendition of Missy Cheerio.

Update:

Cheerio

Top 5 Coca-Cola Ads

As the 18th of January draws closer, my holiday ends – But with that, my next (and final) Industrial Training placement at Coca-Cola begins. So what is this post about? Nothing really, but I always loved the ads for Coca-Cola. Here are my top 5 Coca-Cola advertisements.

If you are into advertising, Coke has a $1.6 billion annual advertising budget – They care a lot about how they advertise their products so Coca-Cola is one of the best examples of great advertising.

5. Coke Superbowl 2008 Ad

I love this just because Stewie’s in it. Haha. But it’s still a good memorable commercial

4. Beautiful Coke Ad (Unknown Title)

It’s not often I love 3D animated commercials but this one is a beauty.

3. For Everyone (Malaysian version)

I always remembered this ad in Malaysia and I really like how it is both clever and patriotic at the same time. The original advertisement can be found here (I think).

2. Jerk it Out (Brrr!)

This was one of the best ads I’d seen in the movie trailers segment – Kept me going for ages. The ‘Brrr!’ phrase didn’t REALLY catch on but the ad definitely is one of my favourites.

1. Coca-Cola Formula

Cheekiest ad ever and I love it.

Boy, am I thirsty…

Malaysians that go abroad

Have you ever had one of those friends that went overseas and within a year came back with more than just souvenirs? I’m talking about those fake-accents. This is something I really dislike and can’t stand for. How does one become so immersed in their overseas home so much that they start to become a native?

I am 200% sure that I am not the only one who really can’t stand this… So what fuels this hate?

  1. You’re Malaysian. Speak like one!
    As patriotic as this may sound, it’s probably the number one reason. You’ve spent most of your life in Malaysia and  you should never forget your roots. We’re proud to be Malaysian and our accent is one of the things that makes us unique – which brings us to our second point. I have friends from Australia who returned from a exchange in America with not a sign of American on them yet Malaysians who can grab an accent within a months stay overseas.
  2. Are you ashamed of your accent?
    I’ll admit, Malaysian slang butchers the English language very harshly – But so what? Again, it is something we should be proud of and it’s not like we can’t control our slang. It’s not something to be ashamed of and by choosing another way of speaking (i.e. American, Aussie, etc.) you are just telling us how much superior you think those countries are. Why would you even do it? Is your personality not good enough for you to fit in with a group that you must attempt to sound like them? Yowch :P
  3. You just sound weird
    Being there for such a short period of time, there is no way your accent will even sound at all believable. This is where my argument takes the cake. It’s just funny how all these crappy imitators think they are speaking plopah ingleesh.
  4. Ignorance is not bliss
    The worst part is when you deny you have an accent when it’s so obvious (and fake). That’s when it annoys us all the most.
  5. You think they understand you easier overseas?
    I am sure they understand you fine – Many people have said that Malaysians that speak without “Lah”s and all that slang sound American. Since America is the influence of almost the entire world due to their media, nobody should have a problem understanding your English. Besides, having to learn how to speak like others doesn’t mean you have to forget your roots.

I understand yes, there is a level of reasoning behind learning the accent of the country you go to – But around Malaysians, just stick to the Malaysian accent. It’s trully a lot more than just an accent.

This post is random and not intended towards anyone. If you are feel this post is directed at you, then I am glad that I have raised awareness of this issue.

Rant of The Last Airbender

I caught an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Nickelodeon the other day and it was actually a very enjoyable show. I decided to stream off some episodes and I got hooked.

So this is my new addiction. I’ve already seen the first season (that’s 8-10 hours) and I’m on the second now. However, this post isn’t really to just to talk about the awesomeness that is Avatar. I am here to talk about what is going to ruin this awesomeness.

I have a habit of Googling just about anything I am interested in, to read up more about it and I found something I stumbled upon months ago.

the_last_airbender_movie_poster

The Last Airbender, the live action movie. Oh my dear god.

These kind of movies really depress me. We’ve already seen how badly Dragonball and Speedracer failed and now Avatar has to feel the evil clutches of Hollywood. There is something very wrong about this film and I’ll tell you what it is.

These live action films tend to really miscast their actors. Look at the live-action Dragonball – Even though 90% of the characters in the animated Dragonball are (Eastern) Asian, the live-action movie casted heaps of Caucassian actors. This is just stupid and a decision like this will never appeal to the fans. What is the reason behind this anyway? A hollywood movie HAS to have a white-boy as the main character? Is that how shallow American audiences are? I don’t think so. I don’t understand how hard it is to find Asian actors (particularly Chinese, Japanese or Korean for The Last Airbender). One of the major things that’s cool about Avatar is how the entire world is based on Eastern culture. So is Shyamalan going to just throw like 20 Caucasians into an Eastern world? There just isn’t a viable reason as to why this decision of casting was made.

I foresee a very bad review of this movie. I hate you, Hollywood for turning great things into piles of garbage.

dev-pater-last-airbenderdev-patel-the-last-airbender
How is Dev Patel (above) possibly Zuko (below)?!

Zuko_by_c_dyHe’s EASTERN ASIAN.

Welcome Home, Gizmo!

Waking up at 8AM is bad. But had to go pick up Sonia from the airport yesterday so I guess it was only necessary. After this we journeyed north to pick up Gizmo. Now, if you don’t know who Gizmo is then you’ll find out soon (or you can click here).

IMG_0274After an hours drive, we finally arrived at the “Triple Crown Pet Resort” – How classy does that sound?

IMG_0276Lots of space for the dogs to run and play. I’m sure Gizmo had fun.

IMG_0284_
Gizmo is one fat ass now. And his fur has grown back so he looks pretty poodle-y now too. Still love him to bits though.

IMG_0282
Look at how his fringe covers his eyes… Gizmo is an emo dog into alternative and indy music.

IMG_0295On the way back we spotted a warehouse selling fruits and vegetables named Mango One. Out this far from the city, the prices were so low I just couldn’t resist.

IMG_0301I bought myself 3 mangoes and… A LOT of cherries.

IMG_0307Yup, the two boxes filled this salad bowl up. Sorry about the blurness, I didn’t realize how blur it was. Lack of lighting when I took this photo.

IMG_0300The moment we got home, Gizmo had his bath. Note the intensity in his eyes as he sits for his treat.

Welcome home, Gizmo!

Mmm.. Time for some cherries…

Avatar

So you’ve all heard about Avatar and how it’s such an awesome movie. Everyone has been telling you about how the effects are awe inspiring, the plotline is gripping, and the characters are believable. So is this movie really the shit or not?

Go back 3 months prior to the movie coming out. I sat in the theatre as the movie trailers went by. “Wow, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law! Sherlock Holmes.. Got to watch that!” It was after this trailer when the blue men and women appeared on screen running around with bows and arrows. My instinct was “What the…? World of Warcraft the movie!?” Soon after, I saw that huge-ass title, Avatar with actors I’d really never heard of. The only thing that caught me was the Director – but to be honest, Titanic wasn’t my cup of tea and nor was Terminator 3. The effects were nice and all, but we’re now in the age where we’re starting to see flaws with using too much CGI (i.e. Transformers 2). Put all this aside because I later found out that  this movie was being advertised as James Cameron’s little project that took 10 years in the making due to the limited technology – Talk about hyping it up.

Let’s begin.

avatar5

Pandora is a world inhabited by the Na’vi, blue skinned aliens who are correctly described as indigenous folk living in the forests of Pandora. I have to say, the effects blew me away – Pandora is beautiful and when James Cameron promised spectacular visuals, he delivered. From the characters to the plant life and finally to the battle scenes – All breathtaking. One thing that was unbelievable was how similar the avatars characteristics were to their hosts. The world of Pandora is beautifully laid out and something unique from what I have seen in the sci-fi genre.

And that’s where the positive comments stop. The first thing that sucked was the acting – Apart from our protanogist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) and their badass pilot (Michelle Rodriguez), everyone else outshone in bad performances either being unbelievable or just plain annoying. Taking the Colonel (Stephen Lang) for instance, we have one of the most stereotypical forms of masculinity ever – you might aswell replace him with a man in a penis suit calling everyone a pussy and drinking gatorade in every scene. It is hard to actually judge the animated actors because by itself it’s tough to even get emotionally attached to the characters – As good as the expressions are, it always stuck in my mind that this was just some 3D graphics. Jake Sully is the only one who appeared to have any character development in the story while James Cameron just threw the rest in front of  us assuming we would instantly believe in these one-dimensional characters. An example of this is Michelle Rodriguez who plays Jake Sully’s badass pilot – Now, she is a very talented actress and I enjoyed her in The Fast & the Furious (2001) and S.W.A.T. (2003). In Avatar, Rodriguez makes the most with what little she has (literally) – With the few dialogues she has, she still outperforms the others on screen. However, James Cameron screws things up for her by assuming we are idiots by not giving any explanation as to why this pilot is willing to risk her life for aliens (apart from the fact that she’s sort of the taxi driver for a team that works with them, nope that’s not enough).

Moving on, the plot can be summarized in 3 words: The Last Samurai. Yeah, that Tom Cruise shit. A movie 10 years in the making and we are thrown a blatantly pathetic plotline.

So all in all, yes, the visuals are amazing – but this isn’t an excuse to throw bad performances, crappy scripts and a predictable & uninteresting story at the audience. If you are impressed by pretty colours then yes, the effects are done so well they will immerse you within seconds. If you are actually paying attention to what’s going on, you will realize you can predict just about everything that’s about to happen. For me, I loved the animation but after a while, I started to realize the story was becoming very familiar. I think what really was done wrong was overhype this movie.

Possible Spoilers below!

Keeping with tradition, here are my 5 nit-picks for Avatar:

  1. “Unobtainium” – LOL
    Wow, is it me or were the writers really creative when it came to naming this mysterious ore? This extremely unobtainable ore… Hmmm. I actually laughed out loud when I heard this – Comic relief? Maybe.
  2. Why does Colonel Hardwood’s Mech have a combat knife?
    I wonder if anyone stopped to wonder why a Mech needs a combat knife. It’s pointless! Surely it would be better to put large blades on their arms rather than give them a combat knife. Don’t get me started on how there’s a holster for the combat knife.
  3. The humans that stayed back
    Okay, so among the lucky ones who stayed back, we have Jake Sully, Norm Spellman (Joel Moore) and Dr. Max Patel (Dileep Rao). Norm Spellman can easily be transferred to his avatar just as Jake Sully was – But what about Dr. Max Patel? Yeah, he’s the indian doctor who was told he wasn’t man enough to escape with the rest. He’s the only human left on Pandora and he needs a gas mask (that I can only assume we are to believe can last forever) to survive. What the heck happens to him?
  4. The hair of the Na’vi
    It’s pretty funny how the Na’vi can connect with nature. Not a spiritual connection, nope. They connect via cables from their hair. Kind of like a plug and play thing going on. The Na’vi are like walking USB thumb drives.
  5. Very tactical strategy by the marines
    In the final battle, the marines’ plan is to strap together tons of explosives and just literally drop it on their enemies. This has to be the stupidest strategy ever. Also, for some reason, the marines only have one drop ship carrying this dangerous payload. I guess there’s no wind on Pandora to worry about the explosives missing their target.

I must also find 5 great things about Avatar. Here we go:

  1. Epic final battle
    The final battle is definitely spectacular. Although it was probably 98% animated, it surprisingly didn’t feel this way due to how immersed you be. There is focus on different perspectives of the battle which I think was also done very well. The last one-on-one battle also was pretty damn good.
  2. Pandora is Beautiful
    Just can’t deny the fact that the world of Pandora was a work of art. It is both shown as a paradise of wonder and also a dangerous environment inhabited with the unknown. Very amazing.
  3. Sam Worthington
    Great performance! There was a point when the Aussie accent snuck out – Listen carefully in a scene where he says “pain”. I would like to see more movies starring this dude.
  4. Parker (played by Giovanni Ribisi)
    Everytime I saw this guy, I gagged. Why? Because everytime I see Giovanni Ribisi, even alongside Nicolas Cage, I am always on the edge of my seat waiting for him to act like a retard. To me, he has already played his role in Friends as Phoebe’s illiterate brother so well that I will never see him as a serious actor.
  5. There really isn’t anything else
    I’ve sat here for about 40 minutes trying to think of a reason to watch this, but the 4 above (3 actually, since the last one is more of a personal preference) are the only reasons this movie is good.

[rating:4/10]

I would like to add I paid $58AUD for my two tickets. I have no idea how this happened because I was offered a special deal with popcorn and coke. I definitely didn’t get my $58 worth.

Guide to Consecutive Clubbing

Over the long Christmas  weekend, I think I have finally mastered the art of consecutive clubbing. Sydney is pretty boring at the moment that I had to succumb to this path of enlightenment over this celebration’s holidays. The closer friends I have that are i n Sydney now are the party-goers – so when in Rome… So we’ve all been there: A weekend packed with a tight schedule of events and parties that you cannot avoid going. The first party is always awesome, but when the last party finally arrives you’re dead beat and probably end up ditching it.

Follow these rules of wisdom to have fun as many nights as your body can take!

1. Get plenty of sleep

As obvious as this sounds, a lot of people don’t like to follow this rule. After a night of Vodka Redbulls and Jagerbombs, you’re going to have problems falling asleep, right? Wrong. This is all in your head and unless you took 10 cans of Redbull, you’re just shitting yourself. You’ve just spent a night out drinking with mates and possibly dancing your arse off – Your body can’t take it and it wants to shut down. If you do wake up abruptedly early in the morning, make sure you take a nap later on before you go out because I assure you that your night really won’t be enjoyable otherwise.

Also, sleep seems to help avoid hangovers – we all hate those damn migranes, don’t we?

2. Eat your pre-party meal

You’re getting ready to go out putting on your clothes and spraying on some perfume/cologne. Oh wait, you’re late. As you rush out the house, you realize you forgot to eat. Make sure you grab something on the way and not head straight for the party. You’re really asking for it if you’re going to drink on an empty stomache both because of how the alcohol will hit u and how the alcohol will feel in your stomache.

3. Don’t drink excessively

One thing that kills a person’s mood to party is a hangover due to being irresponsible with alcohol the previous night. Be smart and avoid drinking past your limits. Reach your peak of high and just move to the dance floor. You can ignore this rule if it’s your last party because who cares about having a hangover at work. Remember: If you puked, it means you overdid it, genius.

4. Do not overexert

So now you’re on the dance floor and you wanna show that hot babe/stud swapping glances at you some dance moves you learnt on YouTube. By all means, go for it – this is when you’re supposed to be having fun! However, don’t start breakdancing or poledancing because you do not want to wreck your body. Also, ensure you stop dancing when you start sweating a lot because this really is the only way an intoxicated person knows he/she is exerting his/her body.

Follow these rules and you can go out 7 nights a week. It’s good to take a break one night just to let your body recover.

This post is pretty lame but was something I wrote over these weeks in my spare time. It was probably more enjoyful to write this than it will be for you to read it.

Once again, Happy New Year everyone!