Archive | June, 2005

Maximise Click Through Rate (CTR) with Google Adsense for Blogs

So a while ago I put Adsense on this site, mainly to get myself spidered as I was in the sandbox for building too many quality link backs too fast..(I am king of blog whoring)..

For those that don’t know..

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site – or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts – you’ll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.

It’s also a way for website publishers to provide Google web and site search to their visitors, and to earn money by displaying Google ads on the search results pages.

Anyway some time back we used to filter the Adsense adverts on, to get rid of both the ones that didn’t pay well and those we thought wouldn’t be interesting to our audience, it made quite a difference to both the click through rate and the earnings. But that was a big site.

Anyway Liewcf posted about a similar thing not long back, so I decided to filter my Adsense ads here to see if it make any difference. It does, not a huge amount, but it is a blog, a fairly low traffic blog.

BTW my referal spam blocking[/url] is going great! I’ve given the files to Suan too, so she can implement the same thing.

So what you need to do, is log into Adsense, go to Ad Settings then click Competitive Ad Filter.

From there you can filter out any URL’s you don’t want to be displayed.

Google says:

Google combines advanced technology with editorial staff to ensure the highest quality standards in our ad program, but we recognize that you may not want certain ads, such as your competitors’ ads, to show on your website. Ads that link to sites on your filter list won’t appear on your content pages. You can update your list anytime, and changes will take effect within a few hours. Please note that filtering sites may decrease your potential earnings and/or the number of ads that can appear on your web pages.

You can find the associated guide HERE.

So I propose we make a community list of blog related URL’s to block from Adsense. Here are the ones I’ve collected in the last couple of weeks, I get virtually no Blog related adverts any more:

If you have collected any yourself that are different from those here, please post them in a comment.

I’ll keep this list updated with the latest version including those in the comments below.


Continue Reading · 23 Comments · Internet & Tech

Malaysian Dinner Takeaway Style

Malaysia has an eating out culuture, it’s the way it is’s generally cheaper to buy something outside at the mamak, hawker centre or food court than to buy the ingredients and cook it at home (without factoring annoying parts like also having to wash up the pans, cooking utensils and plates).

It’s common to see people after work ordering food ‘bungkus‘ or ‘tar pau‘.

Pretty much everyone eats out, it’s only really economic when there are 4 or more people then it’s ok, plus you know it’s more healthy, less MSG, less oil and no other flavouring additives..

So sometimes I don’t want to eat out, or maybe it’s raining, or maybe I just wanna lounge at home, watch a movie, lay on the sofa and eat my dinner in comfort.

One night I did just that, I picked up a few of my favourite things on the way back..

It starts out with a table full of food, nicely protected with newspaper of course 🙂

The delicacies on offer were Malay style Otak Otak (Brains 0_o)..

Cooked to perfection..

My favourite, Malaysia Ramly burger, this monster is a ‘Daging double cheese

Along with that, of cours, had the best chicken wings in the inhabited world…he only had 9 left though, woe is be.

They are simply the best!

And we grabbed some drinks from the Mamak on the way back ‘Teh o ais limau – GURANG MANIS YAH!

Eating this well at home is great, and it’s pretty cheap too:

Otak Otak = $5 for 10
Chicken Wings = $12 for 10
Burgers = $6 for 2
Drinks = $4 for 3

So with plenty enough to feed 2 hungry people, total hits around $27 bucks.


Continue Reading · 28 Comments · Food/Eating

Referal Spam and Comment Spam & Site Updates

Ok so I finally got around to doing all the things I meant to do for a long time…

I also added the latest comments plugin on the index page, which although it’s totally useless, it’s pretty neat anyway.

The latest problem I’ve been having is with Referal Spam and Comment Spam.

For those that don’t know:


A misspelling of “referrer” which somehow made it into the HTTP standard. A given web page’s referer (sic) is the URL of whatever web page contains the link that the user followed to the current page. Most browsers pass this information as part of a request.

My referals were starting to look like this:

Spam Referals

Which is not a good thing…

I found an addition to the .htaccess file which may stop this, I only started using it today though, so I’ll wait and see the results..

This code sends back the ‘403 Forbidden’ response for anyone who’s asking for a header only and who is sending a referer.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http [NC]
RewriteRule .* / [F,L]

There are some things out there which use the HEAD command like local proxies and webcaches but they generally don’t send a referer when they do this.

Source is HERE

There is also one to block on specific words/domains:

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer ".*(anal|adulthost|latina|shemale|viagra|valium|fioricet|ebony|
peng|just-deals|pisx|rimpim).*" BadReferrer

order deny,allow
deny from env=BadReferrer

Will wait and see if it works, might have to tweak it a bit, note the first section should be all one line, so remove the carriage returns.

There is more info:

Sample .htaccess file
Referer Spam

So my finished current (tested) .htaccess file looks like so (remember the spam words is all one line):

## Anti-spam .htaccess file © 2005

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

## List of dirty spamming websites, matches any part of referer

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer ".*(anal|adulthost|latina|shemale|viagra|valium|fioricet|ebony|hydrocodone||v33||ambien|xrated|tranny|phentermine|vicodin|credit|canadianlabels|8gold|texas-hold|
atelebanon|handy-sms|peng|just-deals|pisx|rimpim).*" BadReferrer

## List of bad User-Agents

SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent ".*(bdfetch|npbot).*" BadUA

order deny,allow
deny from env=BadUA
deny from env=BadReferrer

## This rule will block anyone that just gets the HEAD and sends a REFERER without actually viewing the page.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http [NC]
RewriteRule .* / [F,L]

## Tells spammers to bugger off if appending underscore to file names

RewriteRule ^.*_$ - [F,L]

Seems to be ok so far, I had to tweak it a bit though as it was giving me an infinite loop somewhere resulting in the famous:

“Redirection limit for this URL exceeded. Unable to load page requested. This may be caused by the cookies that are blocked.”

As for comment spam, I’ve just enabled it so anyone posting a URL or using HTML will be moderated, but the spammers have gotten smart…they now break the HTML tags onto two the regex doesn’t find it.

Perhaps if I get too many, I’ll implement captcha images.

Anyway that’s all for now, I’m gonna go delete the spammers from my database..

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Continue Reading · 8 Comments · Internet & Tech, Site News, Sys Admin & DevOps

Madagascar & The Intepreter

So I finally got around to seeing Madagascar[/url], I’ve been meaning to watch it since it came out, actually since I saw the trailer at the cinema some time ago (I haven’t been for a while).

I also wanted to watch Kingdom of Heaven, but it’s gone off suprisingly quickly, the only place left showing it is KLCC…which we proceeded to on Friday, only to find all the seats gone (only the front 2 rows, remained). So I watched The Intepreter[/url] instead.

The Interpreter

Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a US Secret Service agent (Penn) is assigned to protect an interpreter (Kidman) who overhears an assassination plot.

This was a reasonable movie, a little more than medicore, rather slow passed, convuluted and nothing much original either, no crazy twists, it was transparent from the start. Nicole Kidman was good as always, and Sean Penn was well, Sean Penn…he can only play one role so that’s what he did (The silent, ‘cool’, emotionally traumatised, bad-boy kinda thing).

It’s mostly about politics and the ‘moral’ of the storyline being a cliche itself, something along the lines of the inability of ‘peaceful’ organisations like the UN to actually make a difference, you really need to grab a rifle and shoot some shit.

There was no action to speak of, no sex and no nudity in the shower scene.

Plus a trio of monkeys behind us kept repeating the script, or scenes through-out the movie in Malay so simplistic even I could understand it..

“Mati ah?”

“Ooooh, potong!”

“Mandi ah?”


The film was ok, I wouldn’t highly recommend it, but it’s watchable if there’s nothing else, it is a little on the boring side though and rather tepid for a movie trying to make big political statements, I felt no outrage nor symphathy.

Definately could have been better, 4.5 out of 10.


Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, three animals from New York Central Zoo escape in search of their friend and find themselves on route to Madagascar

This was a funny movie, as expected, Dreamworks still can’t match Pixar though (I don’t think).

It’s entertaining, good for the kid and the adults, gave me a few good laughs that’s for sure. It’s not destined to become a classic however, but it’s definately worth watching.

Saw a trailer for Ice Age 2 aswell, might be good, first one was cute.

It’s a good story aswell, concerning the welfare of animals in Zoo’s and how they feel about it, I’ve personally always been torn when it comes to Zoo’s. I think there’s something very wrong about keeping animals in captivity just for the purpose of looking at them…agreed they are well kept, healthy, well fed and to all pretences seem happy.

The other side is that I think it’s a truly fantasic experience for kids to be able to experience these animals, real ones, not on TV..Especially those inner city kids like myself, who would never have a chance to travel or go on safari, school trips to the zoo were awesome. It just so happens I’ve changed my own circumstances, so it is possible for me now.

But for the rest of those kids, it’s a great thing.

There was also some other moral stuff as with most movies nowdays about friendship and loyalty and blah blah.

Anything featuring Chris Rock or his voice has to be funny, so that’s also true in this case.

The psycho penguins were COOL! and poo throwing monkeys.

Cute, funny and fun, worth watching 6.5 out of 10.

So I’m still left….Kingdom of Heaven, Star Wars III and Mr & Mrs Smith (I have no desire at all to watch House of Wax).

Continue Reading · 13 Comments · Movies

Racial Bias in Malaysia and Religious Differences Part II..

Well my last post Racial Bias in Malaysia and Racism in General..[/url] caused quite a stir, reaching almost 70 comments, many of which are very high quality. Thus I vote myself for PPS Ping of the year seen as though it’s that time on the calendar! (PPS Second Birthday). BTW seen as though I can’t actually vote for myself, you can all vote for me instead!

So this post is a continuation of the previous topic, a summary of comments and discussions that sprouted elsewhere as 60+ comments is a little to much for most people to read, as a lot of them are very long and involved, thanks to everyone who took the time to comment properly and give their input, and thanks also for all the praise, it’s good to be appreciated. I have read all of the comments in full and replied to those where I had something else to add, there are many interesting points and I believe comments from all of the ethnic groups within Malaysia so it gives a good representation of the current state of affairs.

Some people seemed to think I was saying that Malays are naturally dumb or something, that definately wasn’t my intention and it shouldn’t be interpreted as such, for my reply to one comment I shall quote myself..

Actually I never said Malays were stupid or untilligent, they just don’t have to work hard, so why would they?

I wouldn’t if I was in the same situation, why not take advantage of it? That’s the smart thing to do. The fact is it fucks up the country, and yes many of the Malays I get to work with are dumb, why cos if you read the whole article you’d see:

Most of the talented people in the country leave, because of this exact problem.

The hard working, smart people don’t benefit proportionally in Malaysia as they should, so they leave, this includes Malays along with the other races. There is no meritocracy, I agree it’s easier for a Malay to rise to the upper echelons, but that’s generally for the public sector, not the private sector. There is a still a seperation.

Some points made about change or the hope of change..

Nicely written by KY:

Racial tensions will solve itself in a few generations, provided religious freedom is granted.

The system was in place primarily to diffuse tension between the difference races by archiving some sort of financial and educational equality. In that sense, it is quite a success, I’m quite sure many of us wouldn’t want to have the situation like Philipines, Indonesia, or Thailand; where you either completely lose your racial identify, or you face ridiculous racial treatment in the society, take your pick.

Time has changed and the system is outdated, I agree with you. It is mostly due to the greed of the power that be to maximize their profit, hence we are staying in status quo.

With the recent change of administration, I am hoping we are slowly seeing the beginning to and end of this… I really hope to.

Another observation I made is that the Malays outside KL seem a lot more hard-working than those in KL, that’s from my personal experience, those in KL seem more indoctrinated in the system and reliant upon the benefits they receive.

A good point from Belacan:

in one part of my group, i find many smart and hardworking malay blokes but in another part of the group, you find people who have been sitting there and get gaji buta. that’s why my boss, who is a Malay, sent people like me to kick some asses.

this is a social thingy. i have been told by a few pro-umno malay youths that the time has come to wake up his fellow folks, but need to thread carefully.

first of all, let’s start by eradicating poverty irrespective of race. the implementors should not just focus on the malay poor. what about the chinese, indian and orang asli poor? altho i am generalising, but sadly, i think public perception is as such.

Eloquently put from YP, questions that need to be answered:

I guess the main reason the special rights was put into place is no longer valid these days. There’s racial harmony in the country (as compared to the 1950s) and the poverty gap between Malays and non-Malays is much smaller now.

Do the non-Malays want these rights in place? Do the Malays themselves want these rights in place? I’m sure if you’ll get a mixture of different answers (both yes and no) from both groups. Ideas like keeping people happy, wanting the extra edge.. or ideas like fighting for equality or not wanting one’s abilities to be undermined just because one has special rights…

Is there a need for special rights to be in place in this time and day? Yes.. because the non-Malay bumis (who, I believe are actually classified differently from the Malays) still need it.. but do they get as easy access to it?

Something needs to be done, but I doubt our government will do anything in the near future. The seat of power is something too precious to risk.

The truth of human nature from tigerjoe:

My main argument in having the NEP phased out is that what was once provided as a privilege, is now seen by so many as an entitlement. That is just plain wrong, as it gives clear indication that specific privileges are being taken for granted.

Something given for free will have no value to the recipient; unless they always remember that it is given as a gift. When one remembers, then only will one place a value on that gift. The day we forget is the day we take the gift for granted, and fail to treat our gifts properly.

Very well worded opinion from dawg:

Fantastic post mate! You certainly hit the nail on the head.

I can’t help but agree with your assertion that the anachronistic racial policies currently enforced by the government is leading the country down the road of utter ruin.

To gain that valuable piece of insight one only has to look at the state of Malaysian society today. The education system is a disgrace. The civil service is irredeemably corrupt.
The government-backed oligarchies are massively inefficient and utterly hopeless in the face of free competition due to suffocating protectionism. And to what end? That the political parties may retain the support of the grass roots? That the politicians, with their vested interest in the status quo, may continue to reap without sowing?

Racially -polarised politcs should not have to be a part of the equation of power any longer. It is detrimental to the holistic development of the society as a whole and it will only perpetuate the blight of sectarianism in our midst. Yet we still find our supposed betters delivering the same populist rhetoric and pandering to the same racist tendencies in order to maintain their respective bases of power. And thus we find education, the only viable antidote to racism, prostituted on the altar of power in the name of satisfying those racist tendencies and thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle of racism electing racism! Such is the sorry state of Malaysian politics.

I was born a Malaysian and I will die a Malaysian. Malaysia is more of a homeland to me than either China or India ever will be. So why am I still being treated like a barely tolerated outsider in my own country, my rodina?

Shao, I salute thee for bringing this matter to light.

Another nice point here from YP:

We see unhappy non-Malays seeking to leave the country. We see Malaysians opting to stay and work overseas. We see Malaysians sending their children to other countries to study and telling them to settle down there. The idea is simple, Malaysians don’t mind being treated as second class citizens elsewhere, but definitly not in their own country. From the other side of the matter, we see Malays enjoying the rights but yet, there are groups of Malays wishing that these rights not be in place anymore… simply because no matter what they do, their success is always attributed to their race and the special rights they are accorded. I wonder if this is fair to them. As in every race, there are the more capable people and the less capable… so in a way, I feel that the whole idea of having special rights is undermining the capability of our Malay counterparts.

I believe the fundemental flaw with the system is it’s based on ‘Bumi’ status, not anything else, Chinese can be poor too, so can Indians, and the other minorities (Iban, Kadazan, Melanau), which in part are Second class bumi’s. Which again, brings about more inequality..

I also reinforce again it’s a social problem, kids are given their ideals mainly by their parents, and later in their lifes by teachers and peers..If Malay familes at home put down Chinese for various reasons, and Chinese families at home put down Malays for whatever reasons the new generations will continue to have the same resentment against the other races.

Some of these issues are covered in Sepet for example where orkid get scholarship for getting 5As in her SPM while Mr. Sepet gets nothing for getting 7As in his SPM. Sadly this is a direct relation to reality. Someone mentioned about the 5% discounts, that’s not the major issue here, mainly it’s the lack of equality or even meritocracy in the education system, the lack of fairness in government projects (Tenders are not accepted on price, quality, experience or ability of the company to do the job in a professional manner, they are awarded to family or friends).

From a Sarawakian Bumiputera:

I dislike the preferential treatment that us Bumiputeras are entitled to. Most of the time, whoever’s in charge translate bumiputeras into ‘Malays’, while conviniently leaving out the non-Malays bumiputeras. These type of people are also the ones that are denying permit to open new temples and churches. The preferential treatment made us lazy. Even when we didn’t study hard, there will be an opening in the university for us. Even when we didn’t have the proper qualifications, there will be work for us. This made us lazier by the day. While I feel that it is justified in 1957, I don’t think it has a bearing in the 21st century where you have to work hard, by yourself, to succeed.

Is the problem religious? Racial? Social? Cultural? So many factors to take into consideration, the general consensus is however it should be discussed, it should be solved and people shouldlook into positive reform of the government policies with a light to improving disparity between races (Both in economic terms and relating to education).

Someone else mentioned the line:

It’s ok the Chinese are rich, they can afford to pay for their kids to study overseas

But it’s not like they have a choice is it? And many are not rich, they forgo new cars or moving to a bigger house to sponsor their kids to study overseas, I wouldn’t consider that rich, and often they can only afford to send one of their children, not all.

Many Malaysia Chinese students also end up with personal bonds for 100,000RM to a private company or to the civil service (teachers taking TESOL overseas for example), which they have to work out due to lack of options, lack of money from their parents and lack of government sponsorship..

I can give a real world example that I encountered this week, and things in the same vein through-out this project..This is not intended to be racist, it’s just what I’ve experienced and demonstrates the flaws in the system and the attitudes it promotes.

There are 9 critical business processes, 2 headed by Chinese, 1 by Indian and 6 by Malay

When we ask for information required for our project from these departments:

[*]The Chinese heads often call us to clarify exactly what we want
[*]They also give us complete answers and more information than we require thus making our job easier
[*]The Indian head also provides full information and a little more than required
[*]One of the Malay heads gives good information, but sometimes has to be pushed to submit
[*]3 of the Malay deparments give adequate information and have to be pushed to submit
[*]The other 2 rarely respond and we have to escalate the issue, then we get minimal information[/list]To me it exemplifies the Just enough to get by attitude that the lack of meritocracy in the education system creates, where as the non Bumi students have to try 150% harder to acheive the same ends, when they finally get to the work place, this ethic is instilled in them, so they go above and beyond. Agreed this is not always the case, and there are many Malay staff here who I work with who do excellent work and work hard, but sadly they don’t seem to get promoted, here it’s the Dilbert principle. This is the exact thing that is destroying Malaysia and causing many of the talented people to migrate to other countries where they do get rewarded for their hard work.

There was an interesting article today too about the Religious issue and PAS in particular..

So a group of younger candidates from urban professional backgrounds is trying to put its stamp on the party. (PAS)

They want to rebrand it as one that is capable of managing effectively a dynamic modern economy, albeit running it in accordance with Islamic principles.

However, they are unlikely to be able to dismantle the biggest hurdle to the party winning power – its insistence on an Islamic state.

That is an anathema to the more than 40% of Malaysians who follow religions other than Islam, and it is likely to stall efforts to unite Pas with the country’s other opposition parties – vital if they are to reduce, let alone overturn, the government’s huge parliamentary majority.

Source: BBC News

Some guy behind me just noticed me typing and asked about my blog, I wonder if he’ll read it 🙂

Anyway I think that’s enough about this topic for the moment, thanks for the great discussion everyone.

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Continue Reading · 47 Comments · Serious Issues