Archive | March, 2009

Spoiler OFF

Can you believe it, I was away in Sandakan for 2.5 days and someone ripped my spoiler off!

Spoiler OFF

What is the world coming to? The top of the boot is all bent out of shape too, I’m just wondering how much it’s going to cost me to fix it.

There goes my Xbox 360. Not sure if it’s worth claiming insurance, will have to see how much it costs to replace first + labour + paint.

ARGH!

UPDATE:

Total damage..

Spoiler – RM270
Paint – RM180
Labour – RM40

Total RM590

Ouch.

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Continue Reading · 27 Comments · Ranting

The Problem With PR (Public Relations) Companies in Malaysia Engaging Bloggers

PR companies in general are so far behind the curve in when it comes to dealing with blogs and bloggers I think some of them haven’t even seen the foothills yet.

I whined about them before in 2006 – “Yue May Not Mail Me Anymore”

And I got pissed again in 2007 – Sometimes I HATE PR and Events People

And now I’m wondering why 2 YEARS later things still haven’t improved much.

Granted there is a couple of agencies that handle blog related stuff very well (Yay to Text100, even then they aren’t 100% on everything – but I’d attribute that to retarded client ideas/requests rather than their lack of tact/skill) and some others that are willing to listen, learn and take action.

I’ve had good experience so far with Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard who are willing to put in the effort to make sure everyone in the relationship feels fairly treated.

After all the main problem is most PR agencies treat us like traditional media, the difference is we don’t get a salary, we don’t get paid to go to events or paid to write stories.

We generally blog because we want to, if you want us to go to some event and write about it you better pay! Especially if it’s not even particularly relevant to what we generally write about.

If you do want us to go and you aren’t compensating us for our time and effort, don’t expect us to write about it. If it was a good event/product/etc you might get a Tweet dedicated to it – but that’s about it.

The problem is compounded by PR agencies telling their clients they don’t need to pay people like Nuffnang to run campaigns on blogs because they can get blog coverage for free by inviting the bloggers to ‘cool’ and ‘fun’ events and giving them some skanky goodie bag (honestly I don’t need another notepad/pen/keychain/laptop case).

You know what is more sickening? Most of the time it works, some bloggers are a desperate bunch and will write about every event they get invited to. Even when it was boring, irrelevant and no one profited from it.

This dilutes the earning capability bloggers have if companies realise they can get PR companies to engage bloggers without paying.

I’m getting sick of it again, more and more agencies are realising blogs are important but are too stupid, ignorant and incompetent to deal with bloggers properly.

If you want to treat my blog as a means of advertising, then I am the media owner – respect that. Remember you don’t spend huge amounts advertising on my blog (like you do with traditional media) so you have no rights to use it for any kind of leverage.

I don’t particularly mean you have to pay me, but if you are offering goods or services at least pay me in kind (at least the value of my advertorial rate, and if it involves working hours – more).

If you want bloggers to attend, don’t have events too early especially if the venue is KL (7pm is too early, 9-10pm is better).

Don’t have events in weekday afternoons/mornings – we have jobs.

PR agencies seem to automatically assume every reasonably popular blogger is a ‘pro-blogger’ or something and we don’t need to work – we just sit around at home waiting eagerly for their shitty press releases and event invites.

It’s not like that, and the sooner YOU poorly informed PR hacks educate yourselves the sooner you will reap real benefits from engaging bloggers and forming relationships with them.

Blogs are a powerful platform, but give the blogger some freedom. If you want them to review your product then let them criticise it (even if you paid them to write) – be mature in your approach. Blog readers are a savvy bunch and the net is full of information – ultimately you can’t hide the truth.

At the end of the day bloggers are people, generally intelligent people, people who can write, form opinions and elucidate them.

So treat them like that, treat them like someone who is giving you their precious time to listen to what you have to say, treat them with respect and treat their blog with respect.

You wouldn’t give your PR services for free, don’t expect us to blog for free ok?

EDIT:

Read David Lian’s follow up from a PR perspective here: PR people and bloggers: why engage in the first place?

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Continue Reading · 42 Comments · General Nonsense

A Walk Down To Weld Quay and Chew Jetty – Penang

So after our Walk Around Georgetown Heritage Trail – Penang, we walked on down to Weld Quay where the clan jetties are in Penang.

Just before we left the foodcourt for the jetty I spotted this jolly old fella who made me think of a Chinese Popeye!

Chinese Popeye

After that we visited the Chew Jetty, they even have a Homestay program!

Chew Jetty

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Continue Reading · 9 Comments · Malaysia, Photography, Trips & Travel

A Visit To The GAB Tavern & Heineken Star Final

So last month GAB (Guinness Anchor Berhad) invited some bloggers to their tavern for a casual gathering, dinner and plenty of Heineken beer of course.

Rain and traffic, just what you need after a day at work.

Rain & Traffic

There was quite a gathering of bloggers already in the tavern (located at GAB along Federal Highway), I was one of the last to arrive. Also there were people from GAB, some from the PR agency involved, the media agency and Nuffnang of course.

Bloggers at GAB Tavern

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Continue Reading · 7 Comments · Advertorial, Parties & Gatherings

Maybank Phishing Scam E-mails in Malaysia

Recently I’ve received quite a few Phishing scam e-mails pretending to be from Maybank, of course I’m not even a Maybank customer.

For those that don’t know, Phishing is:

In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites (YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Windows Live Messenger), auction sites (eBay), online banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase), online payment processors (PayPal), or IT Administrators (Yahoo, ISPs, corporate) are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting.

It looks like one of my e-mail addresses has gotten onto some local Malaysian scam/spam e-mail list. Thankfully it’s not my normal mail, it’s one I use for signing up to sites and for places likely to generate junk.

The e-mail which supposedly sent the phishing mail was “Maybank (maybank@security.com.my)” with the mail looking as follows:

Maybank Phishing E-mail

The text is as follows:

We are hereby notifying you that we’ve recently suffered a DDos-Attack on one of our’s Online Banking server. For security reasons you must complete the next steps to verify the integrity of your Maybank account. If you fail to complete the verification in the next 24 hours your account will be suspended.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Log in to Maybank online account (click here).

2. You must request for TAC via Maybank online banking – your TAC will be sent via SMS to the mobile phone number you registered. (you can find the “Request a TAC” button in the Utilities menu of your account)

3. Logout from your account and close the browser.

4. When you have received the TAC (Transaction Authorization Code) on your mobile phone, go to our secured verification server and submit the requested information (Username, password and TAC). (click here) to go on our secured server.

5. Please allow 48 hours for processing.

Please comply and thanks for understanding.

***This is an automated message, please do not reply***

The actual link in the e-mail is https://mail1.irs-usa.com/ – which was a fairly legitimate looking Maybank login page. It appears the site has been taken offline now, it seems like it’s some kind of Chinese business and the email server was hacked.

The terrible grammar should give you a warning bell in your head that this probably isn’t a legitimate e-mail.

When you visit the site (Using Firefox, IE gives no such prompt) you will get the Phishing warning:

Firefox Phishing Warning

Another good reason to use Firefox right?

Maybank users will be particularly prone to falling for this, and they even ask for the TAC code – so the access they will have will be dangerous.

Do warn people about these kind of e-mails, they weren’t an issue when we were receiving Phishing scam mails from Chase America and Capital One – but now they are being localised they are a real threat.

There is some info from Maybank here and a way to report Phishing e-mails on the same page.

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Continue Reading · 7 Comments · Internet & Tech

A Walk Around Georgetown Heritage Trail – Penang

So after our trip to Sepetang Charcoal Factory we had some totally awesome Mee Udang Banjir then headed onto Penang.

We took a rest for a while and had a BBQ in the evening to celebrate Shutter Asia‘s 2nd anniversary.

Next morning it was up bright and early for a breakfast of Roti Canai at Transfer Road (superb and cheap!).

After that it was off to the Penang Heritage Trail, it was a beautiful sunny day.

Penang Heritage Trail

The first stop was Masjid Kapitan Keling (Kapitan Keling Mosque).

Masjid Kapitan Keling (Kapitan Keling Mosque)

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Continue Reading · 14 Comments · Malaysia, Photography, Trips & Travel

Personality Quiz – Accurate?

Taken from here – https://www.quizbox.com/personality/test82.aspx

Your view on yourself:
You are intelligent, honest and sweet. You are friendly to everybody and don’t like conflict. Because you’re so cheerful and fun people are naturally attracted to you and like to talk to you.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:
You like serious, smart and determined people. You don’t judge a book by its cover, so good-looking people aren’t necessarily your style. This makes you an attractive person in many people’s eyes.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:
You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love:
You like to flirt and behave seductively. The opposite sex finds this very attractive, and that’s why you’ll always have admirers hanging off your arms. But how serious are you about choosing someone to be in a relationship with?

Your views on education:
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you:
You have plenty of dream jobs but have little chance of doing any of them if you don’t focus on something in particular. You need to choose something and go for it to be happy and achieve success.

How do you view success:
You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.

What are you most afraid of:
You are afraid of things that you cannot control. Sometimes you show your anger to cover up how you feel.

Who is your true self:
You are full of energy and confidence. You are unpredictable, with moods changing as quickly as an ocean. You might occasionally be calm and still, but never for long.

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Continue Reading · 10 Comments · Stupid Me Mes

Finally The iPhone 3G Is Official in Malaysia Courtesy of Maxis!

There has been a lot of buzz about this phone ever since the 2G version came out, I didn’t think much of it then – but I have to say the 3G version was way way better.

As a media device it’s just fantastic, it still has the largest and sharpest screen of any phone and the multi-touch is great for showing people pictures. Scrolling and zooming is so simple. Which also means it’s great for surfing too, and e-mail of course if you’re a work addict.

Apple iPhone 3G by Maxis in Malaysia

Plus the cool apps you can get the Apple Appstore make it a whole different device with games, social media add-ons and all sorts of things. You can basically customise the functionality however you like.

So, it’s finally here! Officially that is, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of people using the iPhone already (Like Tim Tiah) – those are cracked/jailbroken versions from other countries imported and unlocked.

Maxis will offer the 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3G models with four new and specially designed postpaid plans called iValue, all of which are voice-data bundled price plans, starting from RM100 per month. For customers who sign up for a monthly commitment of RM375 over a 24-month period on the iValue 4 plan, the iPhone 3G 8GB will be free of charge. Full rate plan information is here.

The new price plans on 24-month contracts are:

Maxis iPhone 3G Contracts

Some may say buying a parallel import from Low Yat works out cheaper, but remember if you get the official set it’s warrantied and you get a data bundle too. Plus easy payment schemes are available, when charged against credit card payments are amortized over 12 months.

You can find out more here:

https://www.maxis.com.my/iPhone/index.asp

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Continue Reading · 19 Comments · Advertorial, Internet & Tech

Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory – Near Simpang & Taiping

For the Shutter Asia 2nd Anniversary we decided to head down to Penang, with a stop on the way at Kuala Sepetang to visit a charcoal factory.

We arrived there at about 10am, leaving KL about 7.45am – not too bad. We were met with some majestic scenes with lightrays, dust and a lot of hard walking folks.

Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory

There was quite a group with members converging in Kuala Sepetang from both KL and Penang, just under 30 I think.

Shutter Asia in Kuala Sepetang

This is Mr Tan our gracious guide who took some time to explain to us each step in the charcoal making process and the timescales and temperatures involved.

Mr Tan

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Continue Reading · 17 Comments · Malaysia, Photography, Trips & Travel

Back From Penang

Ah back from Penang, it was raining all the way back and Jammed but it was worth it for the splendidly sunny 2+ days in Penang. Plus the food of course, and the heritage trail was interesting and photogenic.

I hope to get some pics up soon, but for now here’s a sunset shot from Ferringhi beach.

Ferringhi Beach Sunset

Larger here.

We made a trip to a charcoal factory on the way there too near Simpang, which was fascinating.

More coming soon!

Continue Reading · 15 Comments · Photography, Trips & Travel