Thursday, 25 September 2014

ONCE AGAIN, PROOF THAT FREE ENTERPRISE GRAVITATES TOWARDS MONOPOLY

When the personal computer made its debut in the late 1970s and the Internet began to go mass market in the early 1990s, starry-eyed techno-Utopians believed that this enabled the small person to speak on a level playing field with established corporate giants, and even beat them.

However, the BATR.org article below testifies to the dialectical-materialist reality, that any industry with a large number of competing small startups, which provide a wide degree of choice to consumers, has almost always gravitated towards monopoly, or at least one company or a  handful of companies dominating their industry's market.

It is in fact, the very free market forces which the libertarians so love, which drive the very processes of natural selection, whereby weaker companies either fail and drop out of the market, especially during periods of economic downturn, or are acquired by the stronger ones which survive, and over time, this process repeats itself until only a handful of players are left.

Microsoft was just a small startup worth US$16,000 in 1976 but today the corporation is worth billions of US dollars and virtually monopolises the market for desktop PC operating systems. Google, Facebook and Twitter all began as small start-ups but today dominates their respective areas and functions in cyberspace, with Google dominating several areas and functions in cyberspace.

However, before I go any further, please allow me to digress and explain the Libertarian (right-wing anarchist) political ideology underlying this techno-Utopian radicalism which has spread out from the United States to infect many tech-savvy, urban, middle class Malaysians, and how it goes against my pro-working class ideology.      

For some years now, I came to notice a key difference between popular political and economic perspectives of the Europeans and North Americans (U.S. Americans and Canadians), and that is that the Europeans, well at least the British back in the 1970s, were and still view conflicts of interest in terms of capitalists versus workers, and in Britain at least, this was due to the strongly pro-labour ideology of the old Labour Party which was founded in 1900 by the trade unions and socialist political parties of the 19th Century.

The ideology of the old Labour Party was defined by Clause IV in the party's constitution:-

"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."

Today of course, the New Labour Party of Tony Blair and Ed Milliband has abandoned Clause IV and New Labour has become a party of capitalism, with "a slightly more human face than the Conservatives", and New Labour did not repeal the laws restricting the trade unions which were introduced by the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher.

When I was a student in Salford, Lancashire in the 1970s, most of my fellow students described themselves as socialist of some variety, mostly pro-Labour and its policies, though neo-liberal tendencies have gained ground amongst students since then, or the more radical ones tend towards Anarchism.

Thankfully, this working class consciousness still survives amongst the working class, or what's left of the industrial and services proletariat, though feeling betrayed by New Labour, some are turning far-right demagogues, such as the British National Party which advocates social and economic policies quite similar to those of the old Labour Party, except that it is white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and wants to repatriate all non-whites from the United Kingdom, even if they were born there. The BNP also says that it wants to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union and to pull British troops out of the Middle East, Afghanistan and other foreign interventions which do not directly serve the United Kingdom's interests.

Anyway, the BNP is not all that popular electorally, though the populist rightist United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been gaining ground electorally. UKIP promises to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union and to limit immigration and seems to be more accommodating to non-whites already in the United Kingdom. Already, some traditional New Labour voters are turning to UKIP, a pro-capitalist party, actually Thatcherites who have turned against the United Kingdom's membership of European Union, which Thatcher supported.

This video documentary by The Guardian shows this working class defection from New Labour to UKIP very clearly:-

"In the first of a new four-part series titled Britain's in trouble, John Harris travels around UKIP's eastern heartlands and finds poverty, anger and the breakdown of normal politics. From the forgotten residents of Jaywick, England's poorest council ward, to an encounter with Nigel Farage at the Royal British Legion, he finds out how a force made up largely of Tory exiles has managed to style itself as a party for the working class." CLICK HERE TO WATCH  Here is a Russia Today video on You Tube which testifies to that from around 3.20 minutes into the video.

My point here, is that whether these workers turn towards left wing or right wing parties for their economic survival, they do so from the perspective of themselves as the working class, even though they could well be betrayed once UKIP is elected to power, just as Hitler killed the leaders of the Sturmabteilung (SA or Storm Detachment), which was the  left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party), including its figurehead, Gregor Strasser himself. Strasser reportedly raised his hand in the Nazi salute and shouted "Heil Hitler!" just before the firing squad killed him.

Most of the killings of the SA were carried out by the elitist Schutzstaffel (SS), a paramilitary unit which provided protection to the Nazi Party and its leaders. Membership of the SS was restricted to people who were only of "pure Aryan German" ancestry, requiring proof of racial purity. It's also said that unlike members of the SA, many of whom were working class, many members of the SS came from middle class or aristocratic backgrounds.

Of course, UKIP would not do what the Nazis did to their worker-supporters, but it could just not honour its promises to them and serve capitalist interests instead.

However, the bigger question is what are the more hard-core left parties in Britain and elsewhere doing to organise the suffering working class to fight back against their exploitation by and deprivation under capitalism. In the absence of any viable left alternative, no surprise then that the workers turn to the right which promises them relief from their predicament. In The Guardian's video, you can see how that liberal or leftist pathetically tells voters how bad UKIP is but offers no viable alternative. This is just like opposition politicians in Malaysia who try to win rural votes and small town votes by telling voters how bad the ruling Barisan Nasional is and bring up issues such as Altantuya, Interlok, and others which may be of concern to urban, middle class voters like them but of lower priority or of no priority to to rural voters whose first priority is their economic survival. 

Now we turn to American political radicalism, which is largely about the conflict of interests between small businesses and large corporate businesses - for example, mom and pop stores against Walmart, the independent burger stall owner-operator versus McDonald's, the small farmer against giant factory farms, the independent cafe owner-operator against Starbucks, in software - the large corporate software companies (the "cathedral" in Eric Raymond's words) versus a galaxy of small, independent software companies (the "bazaar"), and so forth.

The cyber-Utopians believed that information and communications technology enable the "little guy" to challenge the big guy. This keynote address in late 1983 introducing the Apple Macintosh micro-computing, with the dramatic "big brother 1984" climax at the end, reveals this "little guy versus big guy" battle. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS HISTORIC VIDEO which portrays IBM as that "big brother" or "Goliath" and Apple as the proverbial "David", its nemesis.

So after all those years of media hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo about how ICT and the Internet enables the small guy against the big, basically Libertarian (right wing anarchist) sites such as BATR.org (Breaking All The Rules) website recognises how highly corporatist the Silly Con Valley and the venture capital investors which finance technology startups have become - thus confirming the dialectical-materialist reality that what began as an industry with a galaxy of competing small players has metamorphosised into giant corporations, whilst new startups in green technology and biotechnology require government funding, since the startup costs of such companies are very high and time to profitability is very long, so they are asking government to commit to support them by buying from them over others - in short demanding some kind of government favouritism for their products and services.

For example, last April, Space-X, an American company founded by space industry entrepreneur Elon Musk, filed a protest against the U.S. Air Force, claiming that it "unfairly prevented it from competing for space satellite launches". The Air Force had signed a "block contact" to purchase 35 from United Launch Alliance - a Boeing and Lockheed-Martin joint venture. Most of the launches are done using the United Launch Alliance' Atlas rocket family, which use the RD-180 rocket engine, made in Russia by NPO Energomash, which is owned and controlled by the Russian government.  CLICK TO READ THE FULL BUSINESS WEEK REPORT

Simply put, Space X wants the U.S. government to give it business - a demand which is anathema to free market, open border libertarians and neo-liberals.

However, I have no objection to governments prioritising their own countries' companies over foreign companies. When I worked as a computer service engineer in the 1980s, there U.S. multinationals in Malaysia had a buy U.S. first policy, so why shouldn't other countries be able to do the same. That was before all the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo about globalisation, borderless world, open borders, level playing field and so forth were touted by the worldwide following the formation of the World Trade Organisation in 1994.

One thing about the ICT industry, especially the PC hardware, software, digital content and Internet industries is that they have relatively low barriers to entry, unlike say the semiconductor electronics manufacturing industry, automotive industry, biotechnology industry, oil and gas industry, aerospace industry and so forth, which can require billions of ringgit in investments.


So almost any Tom, Dick and Harry can get into PC hardware, software, content and Internet industry, with the help of some money from angel investors and venture capitalists to help them develop their products or services and to successfully market it. The angel or venture capital funds help carry the startup through its initial loss-making period. This contributes to all the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo over the sociologically, economically, culturally and politically transformative power of ICT, coming out from the Silly Con Valley and elsewhere, with starry-eyed journalists in the ICT media, self-serving technology entrepreneurs and business executives, and assorted opportunistic CON-sultants all promoting all this hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo.

On the other hand, from a technology perspective, Elon Musk and Space X are innovators, in that they developed reusable rockets, which take off into space and descend back to earth complete on their own power, and all that's required is to refuel it and off it can go again. This is unlike traditional rockets where most of the launch vehicle is used once and discarded, and reusable rockets thus save plenty of money. Click these links to view the launch of  Space X's GRASHOPPER ROCKET and of the giant, use-once SATURN V LAUNCH VEHICLE used to send the three Apollo 11 astronauts on their moon mission. In the case of the Apollo moon missions and the Saturn V launcher, a very small part, the COMMAND MODULE housing the three astronauts returns to earth.

So one has to take one's hat off to Space X for developing reusable launch vehicles, though to be absolutely clear, Space X's larger rockets are still not completely re-usable, unlike the Grasshopper in the video, which by the way was a proof of concept which did not not go into space.

On that note, people may again begin to talk about travelling through outer space and actually go places, instead of "going places" virtually, whilst sitting on one's backside behind a computer screen.

Well, developing such re-usable launch vehicles and their precision guidance and control systems, as well as their test launches, is certainly far, far more expensive than developing an iPhone application, a piece of computer software, a game or an online service, so companies like Space X need government support, whilst Silly Con Valley entrepreneurs can relay on private funding and afford to fart in the faces of governments.

Well, at least some techno-Utopians have woken up to reality.


The BATR article follows below.

Yours truly

IT.Scheiss
http://itsheiss.blogspot.com

==========================




Silicon Valley Corporatists

Remember the days when an entrepreneur would perfect their whiz kid ideas in a garage and bring them to market? Did Steve Wozniak ever envision the behemoth that Apple would become and the cult camp that worships every new product that flows from their robotic coolie assembly lines? Riots Over Rotten Apple Mania describes an example of the forbidding underbelly of corporatist business model that Apple exemplifies so dramatically. Notwithstanding this record of 21th century sweat factories, do the venture vulture capitalists of Silicon Valley interject added value in the products and services they fund or do this culture of touting IPO offerings simply game a system to print money based upon imaginary dreams?

The Economic Policy Journal article, Silicon Valley Investor Joins The Corporatism March, cites Ron Conway, a Silicon Valley angel investor, who has backed many of the tech companies that we know and love.”

“Conway wrote a piece for Techcrunch where he's calling for the other Fascism. Remember the Fascist Mussolini from Italy. It was he who said, "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

"Gone are the days when the tech community can innovate and run their businesses in spite of government. As we saw with the SOPA/PIPA debate, public policy has a direct and significant impact on startups and the investors who support them.

Whether it is regulations that stifle innovation or tax policies that hinder job creation, government has a major role in the success or failure of a startup. It is critically important for the tech community to engage in public policy."

Silicon Valley companies are not limited to IT development, just as much as investment funding is not wholly occupied from Wall Street firms. The principle is the same wherever the money comes from, as the Rise of the “venture corporatists” explores in an account about John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“None of the alternative energy sources being developed today – solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass–is close to financial sustainability, which means that the supersize returns V.C. funds depend on will require massive government subsidies, regulations, and mandates… So Doerr has launched an audacious campaign to invest millions in handpicked political candidates and influential political action committees, to push for subsidies and pro-greentech policies and require the government to purchase the kinds of fuels and technologies his startups will be marketing. Since 2000, Doerr and his wife, Ann, have contributed more than $31 million to political candidates and causes.

In essence, Doerr is helping to create the biggest new market the world has seen since the dawn of the oil industry–and asking for taxpayer dollars to do it.”

“Green” alternative energy has more to do with replicating money than producing sustainable energy. Instead of writing code for computer-generated speech, the paradigm at play buys the ambassadors of government policy, circuitously as part of the business plan.

Lachlan Markay sums up the paradox for investors and the public in The Venture Corporatists. “As long as green technology remains not simply an economic venture but a moral one, taxpayers will continue to nobly lose money as politically connected “social entrepreneurs” reap a windfall.”

Here lies the rub. What exactly is the moral imperative? The lament of Alex Shud Bayley in No, I still don’t want to work for Google makes a universal point.

“Since I’ve been out of the Silicon-Valley-centred tech industry, I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s morally bankrupt and essentially toxic to our society. Companies like Google and Facebook — in common with most public companies — have interests that are frequently in conflict with the wellbeing of — I was going to say their customers or their users, but I’ll say “people” in general, since it’s wider than that. People who use their systems directly, people who don’t — we’re all affected by it, and although some of the outcomes are positive a disturbingly high number of them are negative: the erosion of privacy, of consumer rights, of the public domain and fair use, of meaningful connections between people and a sense of true community, of beauty and care taken in craftsmanship, of our very physical wellbeing. No amount of employee benefits or underfunded Google.org projects can counteract that.”

The notion that Silicon Valley business enterprises automatically advance civilization and improve the human condition is one of the most disturbing viewpoints that have infected the smart phone sect. Placing the blame solely on tech executives avoids the reprehensible relationship that Ron Conway is so eager to exploit.

The article, Why DC And Silicon Valley Don't Mix Well seems to agree.

“The thing that DC should be most focused on is "fixes to previous government efforts that tried but failed to fix a problem that turned out not to need a regulatory solution." Other industries seem to want handouts and investments and the like, but you don't see that much in Silicon Valley.”

REALLY ???

However, some executives excel in screwing up a once reliable service.  Silicon Valley corporatist companies often fail. The next likely candidate for a downfall is Yahoo.  Marissa Mayer’s tenure as CEO may be numbered according to Eric Jackson, founder and managing partner of hedge fund Ironfire Capital.

“Jackson says that since Mayer took over she has spent $2 billion buying companies and that most of those acquisitions have been for naught.

"Can you name any other acquisition Yahoo has made besides Tumblr? If not, what does that say about them?" Jackson writes at Forbes. "If these small acquisitions were mostly talent-driven as characterized by management, why was it necessary to spend, say, $30 million to hire 3 people from a dying company? Was this really the best use of shareholder capital? Yahoo should not [be] responsible for bailing out VCs from their failed investments. This isn’t TARP."

Deplorably, many tech corporatists are mismanaged like Yahoo. Divesting a significant portion of Yahoo’s stake at the Alibaba IPO, raises a much needed current valuation, but what does this transaction do to improve the service? The Corporatists only care about tapping the rigged markets for immediate gain.

James Hall – September 24, 2014
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE


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Discuss or comment about this essay on the BATR Forum



Tuesday, 26 August 2014

China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple

All the best to China with its own home-grown OS.

China already has at least three of its own Linux distributions:-

Red Flag Linux, an open source operating system and software suite  based upon Red Hat Linux, from Red Hat, an American product.

http://www.redflag-linux.com/

Deepin Linux based upon Ubuntu Linux from Canonical, originally a South African company now based in the Isle of Man, and Debian Linux by the US-based Debian Foundation.

http://www.linuxdeepin.com/index.en.html

Start OS also based upon Ubuntu and Debian.

http://www.startos.org/

China perhaps wants an OS which is fully developed in China.

Below is a Russia Today article on China's plans for its own OS to counter U.S. National Security Agency online spying.

la Luccha Final
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK4o9wf13fo



China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple
Published time: August 25, 2014 14:39



Following revelations of America’s National Security Agency’s global internet surveillance system, combined with a desire to enhance domestic production, China is beating a path towards unveiling its own operating systems in October.

The Chinese-made substitutes would first be introduced on desktop devices, later expanding to include smartphones and other hand-held devices, Ni Guangnan heads an official operating system development alliance established in March, Xinhau reported at the weekend.

China bans government purchases of Apple gadgets - report


Friday, 22 August 2014

IN MEMORY OF THE LIVES ON MH17

TODAY WE SADLY COMMEMORATE YOUR TRAGIC LOSS AND MOURN TOGETHER WITH YOUR GRIEVING FAMILIES, WHICHEVER LAND THEY MAY BE.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK JUSTICE FOR YOU.
MAY YOUR SOULS REST IN PEACE

Sunday, 3 August 2014

THE DOMINANCE OF MICROSOFT SOFTWARE IS ALL IN THE MIND

In his blog, Pandanomics Protectionism, blogger Big Dog wrote"


Pandanomics Protectionism
"Amidst a fast growing economy and prominence as an upcoming economic Super Power, China is still very uneasy of the great dominance of Microsoft as world’s most influential if not monopolistic computer software platform provider."

He went on to cite three western and Chinese articles, with his own comments in between.

"That is a grave worrying bit by the Chinese authorities, which is still subjected on absolute control of the Communist Party of China. An interesting story is about China raiding Microsoft office for alleged anti-trust practices"

And concluded:-

"Unless China is ready with indigenous operating system to replace Microsoft and thus having the control that she desires, then the Chinese have no choice but be dependent.

"It makes sense why China is very uncomfortable with inability to control the most widely used operating system and computer software platform. Even one time a visionary and advocate of the ‘Multimedia Super Corridor’, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad changed his mind about not able to exert control.

"The abuse of information democracy is just counter productive of moving the nation forward. The nation and its economy should not allow itself to be opened for being held for ransom, by oligopolists. Worse still, monopolists.

"True for Malaysia. True for China".


CLICK HERE FOR FULL BLOG

To that I commented:-

Whilst I fully agree with the need for countries to have their own independent software, however dependence on Microsoft's Windows operating systems and Office productivity suites are more a matter of users' mind and habit, rather than dominance and coercion.

China already has at least three of its own Linux distributions:-

Red Flag Linux, an open source operating system and software suite  based upon Red Hat Linux, from Red Hat, an American product.

http://www.redflag-linux.com/


Monday, 21 July 2014

DR. PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS BLASTS WESTERN MEDIA LIES

This shows that U.S. imperialism has geo-strategic interests in blaming Russian separatists and Russia for shooting down MH17.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkTRJgDkNFg

This is the same Hillary who gloated, "We came, we saw, he died" in relation to the murder of Muammar Ghadaffi by U.S. and European imperialist backed rebels, which has now left Libya floundering in an economic mess.

Note that this shooting down of MH17 comes soon after the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries set up a BRICS Development Bank and soon after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak spoke of sending humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Such events are referred to a false-flag events to create reasons to justify military and other actions.


Of course, National Endowment for Democracy, National Democratic Institute and Soros -financed NGOs in Malaysia, as well as liberal imperialists in Malaysia's "alternative" media won't like what I am saying but to hell with them.

Activist Post article follows below.

IT.Scheiss
===============================


Hillary Tells EU to Use MH17 Tragedy to Find Alternatives to Gazprom (dollar dumping gas giant)
Activist Post

Ah, now the agenda is starting to make a bit more sense. Hillary Clinton doesn't want a good crisis to go to waste. She told Charlie Rose that her recommendation to the European Union is to take advantage of the shot-down MH17 tragedy to "Immediately accelerate efforts to find alternatives to Gazprom."

DR. PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS BLASTS WESTERN MEDIA LIES

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a prominent American who served in the Reagan Administration blasts the lies and disinformation of the Western media prostitutes about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

Let's not forget our own media prostitutes in the "alternative" media who echo the western media whores.

Read on.

IT.Scheiss

=====================


What happened to the Malaysian Airliner?


Washington’s propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have.


One fact is that the separatists do not have the expensive Buk anti-aircraft missile system or the trained personnel to operate it.

Another fact is that the separatists have no incentive to shoot down an airliner and neither does Russia. Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.

The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

Just as the separatists and the Russian government have no incentive to shoot down an airliner, neither does the Ukrainian government nor, one would think, even the crazed extreme Ukrainian nationalists who have formed militias to take the fight against the separatists that the Ukrainian army is not keen to undertake–unless there was a plan to frame Russia.

One Russian general familiar with the weapon system offered his opinion that it was a mistake made by the Ukrainian military untrained in the weapon’s use. The general said that although Ukraine has a few of the weapons, Ukrainians have had no training in their use in the 23 years since Ukraine separated from Russia. The general thinks it was an accident due to incompetence.

Friday, 18 July 2014

WHO DUNNIT? WELL WHO HAS THE MATERIAL CAPABILITIES!

The blame game has already started as to who is responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine.

Reuters blames pro-Moscow rebels

"(Reuters) - A Malaysian airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels that has set Russia and the West at daggers drawn."

Here U.S. CBS highlights Ukrainian allegations that the Russian military was responsible. Click here

Here, Russian news agency Ria Novosti points out that the armed militia fighting the Ukrainian Army does not have the surface-to-air missiles wit the range to hit an aircraft flying at 30,000 feet or around 10,000 metres high, but the Ukranian Army has.

"MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - A Ukrainian army battalion of Buk air defense systems was deployed near the city of Donetsk a day before the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday, making the downing of the aircraft by one of the missiles highly probable, an expert source said.

"According to reconnaissance data, a Ukrainian army battalion of Buk air defense systems was deployed near Donetsk on Wednesday morning,” the source said.

The source added that armed militia fighting Kiev-led forces in eastern Ukraine does not have Buk systems, which are capable of shooting down aircraft flying at altitudes up to 25 kilometers (82,000 feet).

Earlier the same day, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister wrote on his Facebook page that a Buk surface-to-air missile system was indeed used to down the plane, but insisted that the self-defense forces had done that.

Friday, 11 July 2014

REVERSAL OF THE SCOURGE OF PRIVATISATION SINCE THATCHER & REAGAN

The global scourge of von- Hayekist, Chicago School, neo-liberal privatisation of key public utilities and state-owned enterprises which began with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and soon after by U.S. President Ronald Reagan is being increasingly challenged, as countries around the world realise that it's not working out as privatised enterprises put profits before the interests of the people.

This was followed by a series of "de-regulation" or "liberalisation" of telecommunications network operators, electricity, water, airlines, schools and universities and other state-owned entities which pleased the capitalists no end, since they saw profits, profits and more profits, whilst spin doctors convinced consumers that it was "good" for them, gave them "freedom of choice", etc., etc..

Following Margaret Thatcher's visit to Malaysia in the mid 1980s, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir began a spate of privatisation of public utilities and resources, and today one of the results of that is the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) which will be built and operated by a private concessionnaire, which has the right to collect tolls from its users. Besides that, KIDEX will also result in the demolition of hundreds of homes, the reduction of school playing fields, spoil Petaling Jaya's skyline, add to noise and exhaust fume pollution.

Chic, arty-farty, yuppie, Bangsar-wallah, Neo-Liberal types hailed privatisation and freedom of choice, like diabetic children suddenly told that they can eat all the sweets they want, but like the long-term consequences for these diabetic children, privatisation has been found to have resulted in the deterioration of public services.

I compared the bus service of Greater Manchester in the U.K., which was run by a city-owned corporation back in the 1970s when I was a student there wit what I experienced of it when I visited in the late 1990s, when Manchester's bus service was operated by several private companies. In the 1970s, bus drivers could tell you which buses to take to get to your destination and you could travel anywhere in Manchester on the buses on a single bus pass. However with the privatised system, I could only use the bus pass I had bought on routes in South Manchester, and the bus drivers could not tell me what buses to take.

State ownership of public services isn't socialism of course, nay, under a capitalist state, it's state capitalism but that's still better than privatised entities.

If you want to see what real socialism is like, watch this video. It's in Spanish or Portuguese with English subtitles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJZl1bO8JQY

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

MOBILE ADVERTISING MARKET SOARS BUT DO MEDIA ORGANISATIONS PROSPER?

This question lies at the heart of the purpose of this blog, IT.Scheiss.

On 19 March, 2014, eMarketer reported that global mobile ad spending in 2013 increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion and that this year (2014) mobile advertising is on track to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide.

Now that would have the mobile communications and content industry dancing with ecstatic joy, and the information technology (IT) and business media breathlessly proclaiming this fact to the world, that mobile is the next big thing in advertising, where Web-advertising was lacklustre.

There surely will be a whole lot of half-baked and self-styled mobile media CON-sultants going around telling every media organisation in town that they should all drop print and go mobile, and if they needed help, well pay them their hefty CON-sultancy fees. They'll also be charging hefty fees to speak at seminars and conferences.

Sure! No argument! Reality informs us that mobile advertising revenues are growing worldwide, and we heard it said over 10 years ago that Web advertising would the "next big thing".

However, Web advertising didn't quite happen as expected, especially not for mass media organisations which either hoped for or were led by new media CON-sultants into believing that it would, and they jumped onto online bandwagon. But, on the other hand, current real-world evidence points to quite a different story for mobile advertising which looks like it's actually on the road to great heights.

Still, based upon the actual experience of mass media, the big question remains as to who actually prospers from this mobile advertising trend. Would it be newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations which set up mobile editions accessible on tablets and smartphones or is it some other companies which are not really mass media publishers or broadcasters?

The second paragraph of the eMarketer report answers that question:-

"Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth worldwide last year. Combined, the two companies saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, claiming 75.2% of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile in 2013. The two companies are consolidating their places at the top of the market, accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile ad spending last year—a figure that will increase slightly this year, according to eMarketer."

I'll leave you to read the rest of the eMarketer article here but this begs the questions- Whither the future of journalism as a viable paying career in the long term. After all, how many journalists, radio and TV announcers do Google, Facebook and Twitter employ, especially when their business model is to get a the masses to post all kinds of content on their sites, which gets THEM the eyeballs and ears, which then attracts advertisers to THEM?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Good! And I'd love to buy a PC with the Baikal processor

Russia wants to replace US computer chips with local processors
Economy June 19, 16:44 UTC+4

US microchips Intel and AMD will be replaced by domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars

MOSCOW, June 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry plans to replace US microchips Intel and AMD, used in government’s computers, with domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.

The Baikal micro processor will be designed by a unit of T-Platforms, a producer of supercomputers, next year, with support from state defense conglomerate Rostec and co-financing by state-run technological giant Rosnano.

The first products will be Baikal M and M/S chips, designed on the basis of 64-bit nucleus Cortex A-57 made by UK company ARM, with frequency of 2 gigahertz for personal computers and micro servers.

The Baikal chips will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth $500 million and 300,000 servers worth $800 million. The total volume of the market amounts to about 5 million devices worth $3.5 billion.

http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/736804
==================

The Activist Post continues:-

===============

In addition to the obvious financial benefits for Russia of locally manufacturing processors, there are several other dimensions within which the move will be beneficial, including in terms of national security.

Long has it been reported that US-manufactured processors may have vulnerabilities engineered into them, at the request of US intelligence agencies including the National Security Agency (NSA).

Australia's Financial Review revealed in 2013 in an article titled, "Intel chips could let US spies inside: expert," that:
One of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology experts, Steve Blank, says he would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines.
The claims come after The ­Australian Financial Review revealed that computers made by Chinese firm Lenovo are banned from the “secret” and “top secret” ­networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand because of concerns they are vulnerable to being hacked.
Internationally renowned security research engineer Jonathan Brossard, who unveiled what Forbes described as an “undetectable and incurable” permanent back door at last year’s prestigious Black Hat conference, told the Financial Review that he had independently concluded that CPU back doors are “attractive attack vectors”.
If correct, the allegations would raise the stakes in a growing cyber cold war, and fuel claims that US snooping leaves the Chinese in the shade.
The move by Russia would help protect government assets from foreign spying and cyber attacks enabled by the potential vulnerabilities described in the Financial Review. And because of the large scale of production that will be needed to supply the Russian government's annual demand, the possibility of Russian-made processors being used outside of state agencies and firms could help secure Russia's wider national IT infrastructure as well.

Dependence on foreign technology has created a potential threat to Russia's IT infrastructure. Technological self-sufficiency, then, can clearly be seen as a priority for national security. Developing independent technology requires an emphasis on education, research, and development, but the price of neglecting these areas renders a nation at the mercy of those that haven't.
The West's geopolitical primacy has been enabled by the various corporate-financier monopolies that exist upon Wall Street and in the City of London. Breaking the back of these monopolies requires nations to develop alternatives that undermine and ultimately displace these monopolies from within their borders. Russia's decision to produce processors domestically is one example of this. Nations focusing on domestic food security by encouraging local, organic farming undermines and displaces the West's big-agri monopolies and in particular their attempts to monopolize the very code of life itself through the proliferation of patented GMOs.

And while governments should be focused on national-level solutions to undermine and displace foreign monopolies threatening national security, on the local level there are steps regular people can take to protect their communities and themselves - including boycotting and replacing Fortune 500 monopolies with local solutions, and the creation of local institutions and organizations that are composed and serve the interests of the people that created them.

Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.  Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.

http://www.activistpost.com/2014/06/russia-to-swap-intel-amd-processors-for.html

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ha Ha Ha! Now you know why I call my blog "IT.Scheiss"

The proverbial "shit" has hit the proverbial "fan" sooner than I thought with regards 1BestariNet, a Minsitry of Education project to provide broadband services to Malaysia's over 10,000 schools using Yes4G WiMAX wireless broadband connectivity from YTL Comms and the Frog Virtual Learning System by a British company which YTL had acquired.

Below, The Malaysian Digest carries a press release by disgruntled teachers.

===============

1BestariNet Service Is Poor And Inconvenience For Malaysian Teachers
Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:10

Press release from Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) Taskforce Chief Mohd Nor Izzat bin Mohd Johari

I feel that the Ministry of Education (MoE) has been made the scapegoat in the 1BestariNet issue. 1BestariNet was introduced by MoE to help ease Malaysian teachers’ online activities. However, the service is poor and burdened more than 300,000 teachers nationwide.

1. 1BestariNet which only offers 1Mbps cost the ministry more than RM200 or maybe even higher.

2. 1BestariNet only provided 300mb monthly for each school.

3. (Did) 1BestariNet use the same antenna post in school compound which is also used for Yes 4G services?

4. 1BestariNet has burdened more than 300,000 teachers with it sluggish server. Evidently showed by the repealing of Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS).

I urge MoE to reconsider using YTL’s service 1BestariNet or even terminating the service altogether since it’s only humiliating the ministry.

I also urge all teacher associations to voice out their stands on 1BestariNet which is troublesome for teachers and students.

I am confident that MoE wanted to provide the best service in line with the PPPM 2013-2025 by maximising the ICT usage. However, MoE shall pick a better service provider than the current one.

Mohd Nor Izzat bin Mohd Johari
Taskforce Chief
Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM)

http://malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/505272-1bestarinet-service-is-poor-and-inconvenience-for-malaysian-teachers.html

================================


Here's some background to the 1BestariNet project.

"Will 1BestariNet really benefit all school students?"


http://www.enterpriseitnews.com.my/connectivity/item/2134-will-1bestarinet-really-benefit-all-school-students?.html

Now here are some fairly recent press releases on 1BestariNet.

"YTL Communications and Red Hat Transform the Way Students are Educated in Malaysia with E-Learning"

http://www.redhat.com/about/news/press-archive/2013/9/ytl-communications-and-red-hat-transform-the-way-students-are-educated-in-malaysia-with-e-learning

AND

"YTL Communications and Intel Malaysia Collaborate to Help Improve Education in Malaysia"

http://www.ytlcomms.my/EN/news_details.aspx?id=137

Look! Wireless broadband may be fast but it has a relatively high latency - i.e. long response time to requests, compared to fibre.

Like where I am, the latency (PING response time) indicated with with my U Mobile HSPA+ modem is about 107 ms with U Mobile's own SpeedTest.Net server, whilst with Unifi fibre broadband it's from 1 to 9ms depending on Speedtest.Net server selected.

Don't believe me. Here's the test result at 4 pm on 18, June, 2014 with using Speedtest.Net, hosted on a REDTone.com server over my 5Mbps Unifi fibre line.

Click to Enlarge


And here's the test result at about 4.30pm on the same day using a U Mobile HSPA+ USB-modem dongle.

U Mobile HSPA+ is supposed to have a download speed of up to 42Mbps but I only get 5.84 Mbps download and 0.7Mbps upload.

Click to Enlarge


Also note the 107ms PING latency compared to 1ms with Unifi.

This latency adds up with the multiple handshakes (interactions between client and server) which take place in any packet-based Internet communications so the lower the latency, the faster the response time.

Also, with Unifi fibre, I more or less get the 5Mbps speed I pay for but whilst the download over U Mobile may be a bit faster, it's far short of 42Mbps.

I can assure you that it will be the same old story with the much touted LTE.

Wireless broadband is great for mobility, with anytime and anywhere Internet access but not so great for statiionary users in homes, schools, offices, etc.

I mean like wireless broadband would be great for this guy below.



If the Ministry of Education wants to provide broadband Internet access to every student in a school, then provide each school with enterprise-grade gigabit per second fibre connectivity with UNLIMITED quota FREE OF CHARGE.

Otherwise, all this talk about distance learning and online education is just a load of scheiss.

I'm still waiting to see a PC on every desk in Malaysian schools. I've been waiting since the late 1990s.

I guess like the title of that led Zeppelin song, The Song Remains The Same, we'll be hearing more and more of these complaints, whether it's 1BestariNet, 2BestariNet, 3BestariNet, ....... 1000BestariNet ......

Now you see why I call my blog "IT.Scheiss" !

Yours truly

IT.Scheiss
http://itsheiss.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Welcome to the Information and Services Economy

So! This is the "information and services economy", much touted by futurist paperback writers, charlatans, business executives, management consultants and amplified by compliant or totally ignorant journo-prostitutes of the information technology (IT) and business media, when according to 2011 OECD figures, the "glorious" United States of America, so worshipped by small-minded Malaysians and fellow Asians, leads the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) - a rich nations' club - with 24.8% of its workforce earning low wages of US$10 per hour or less.

The U.S. has by far outdone even economically challenged Greece, where 13.5% of Greek employees earn low wage.



"The system at least in the eyes of Wall Street and the government is working perfectly fine. We have a plentiful supply of low wage labor while laws and bailout mechanisms are in place for the financially and politically connected."

Ah! I see. Low wages are good for finance capitalists and finance capitalism.

I'll leave you to enjoy the WealthyDebates.com article below.

IT.Scheiss



1/ 4 Working For $10 An Hour Or Less In U.S.

 The US is slowly becoming a McJob nation. While the press jumps up and down that the US is now finally at a breakeven point from the jobs lost since the recession started in 2007, they fail to mention that those not in the labor force is up by nearly 13 million.

Even looking into the recent employment report, we continue to find a heavy trend of hiring in low wage employment sectors. For example, 32,000 jobs were added in “leisure and hospitality” bringing the annual total of jobs added to 311,000. Another 21,000 jobs were added in social assistance which pay very little but will grow as demand for health support grows by an aging population.

The system at least in the eyes of Wall Street and the government is working perfectly fine. We have a plentiful supply of low wage labor while laws and bailout mechanisms are in place for the financially and politically connected.

The middle class continues to fall off the bandwagon one by one and enters a labor force of permanent low wage labor with very little prospect of a decent retirement. In fact, most will be working until all the wheels come flying off. We also find that 1 out of 4 Americans are working in jobs that pay $10 or less per hour. How about trying to earn the Americans Dream on that McJob salary?

 Breaking even and seeing the non-labor force surge

It has taken us 7 slow and painful years simply to recover the jobs we had back in 2007. With the latest jobs number, we finally are back to where we were in 2007. Of course, the population has increased and many of these new jobs come with horrible benefits, lower wages, and very little security. Is it any wonder why home buying in the country continues to be so anemic?

Low wages are also creating an entire nation that is unprepared for retirement. For example, 1 out of 3 Americans has zero dollars in their savings account. Half the country is one paycheck away from a financial avalanche. During the last 7 years, we have added close to 13 million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category:

A part of this growth is an older population but a large part of it isn’t. We have many digging into college degrees with massive debt to avoid the current economic situation. Others have simply given up looking for work. The low wage recovery has been extremely painful for many Americans and wealth growth has not occurred for 90 percent of the country. These are simply the facts. This is what we find in every piece of data we look at.

Economist Tim Taylor presented a chart highlighting that the US has a very high portion of its population working in low wage jobs. This is contrary to the image that the US is a land with middle class jobs for many:

Low wage work as defined in the data set above is employment that pays less than $10 per hour. Imagine trying to support a family on this. 2,000 hours of work would yield $20,000 which is below the poverty line for a family of three. And then we wonder how we have roughly 47 million Americans on food stamps.

The reason we continue to see this kind of recovery is that all policy made during the collapse was dictated by those in the banking industry that led up to this collapse in the first place. Even former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner mentioned that if we didn’t do the bailouts exactly as we did (i.e., keep big payouts to banking execs, money for corrupt workers, etc) then the economy would have imploded. Well the economy did implode for most workers and a recovery never happened. Maybe for his closely knit group of people things are looking great:


But for the rest of country people are running the Red Queen’s Race by working harder and harder simply to stay in the same place. A McJob recovery is not something to be proud about especially when the middle class in the US continues to dwindle.

http://wealthydebates.com/1-4-working-10-hour-less-u-s/



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

U.S. newspaper ad revenue continues to decline

Last week, I ran into a former colleague at The Star whom I found to agree with me almost 100% on the fact that newspapers' online advertising revenue is still far below print ad revenue despite all the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo about the "future" of journalism online.

Agreed, media readership is moving online in a big way, especially in developed, mostly English speaking countries like the U.S. where access to broadband Internet is pervasive, well almost everywhere.

However, the evidence from such places still shows that for every one dollar advertising revenue growth from online editions of publications, there's a $10 decline in its print advertising revenue.

Whilst I'm no lover of the Neo Conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, this article on its website by one of its scholars Mark J. Perry says a lot about the state of the media in the U.S., which is a harbinger of what it can be further down the road in other parts of the world, including Malaysia.

Elsewhere, there are indications reports that circulation revenue is increasing, which helps to stabilise the decline in media revenue.

However, as this is not a comprehensive analysis of the state of print media, I'll come to that in greater depth later.

Mark J. Perry's blog and eMarketer.com articles follow below.

They both blow out of the water the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo peddled by a certain journalist whose a new media advocate and self-styled "consultant" who has been telling Malaysian media that the "future is online", whilst not telling the other side of the story that online ad revenues are not making up by far for the decline in print ad revenue.

The trends below raise serious doubts over the future of journalism as a VIABLE, PAYING career on which journalists can rely on for a living.

That's why I stated this blog IT.Scheiss, which is German for "IT.Shit", to counter the marketing and Utopian hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo of the information technology (IT) industry, especially the Internet industry.

IT.Scheiss

BTW. If you have any problems viewing the embedded images in your e-mail client, please enable viewing images of visit my blog at http://itsheiss.blogspot.com

Embedded graphics courtesy of Carpe Diem Blog, eMarketer.com and Ross Dawson.

====================

Creative destruction: Newspaper ad revenue continued its precipitous free fall in 2013, and it’s probably not over yet




For the last several years, I’ve been regularly posting charts like the one above showing the history of US newspaper advertising revenue back to 1950, based on quarterly and annual data from the Newspaper Association of America. Those charts have been noteworthy for several reasons.

First, more than any of the hundreds of charts and graphs that I’ve created and posted on Carpe Diem over the last seven years, the newspaper ad revenue charts have received the most attention by far. Those charts have been featured on so many other blogs and websites that a recent Reuters article referred to my most recent version as the “much-reproduced chart.” I hope this is a testament to how powerful and compelling the graphical representation of data can be!

Second, it’s possible that the attention the ad revenue charts were generating on the Internet may have contributed to the decision by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) last year to suddenly stop its long-standing practice of reporting quarterly advertising revenue data and switch to releasing only annual data. In a 2013 interview, NAA CEO Caroline Little was quoted as saying that she and the organization’s board decided it was “time to stop beating themselves up four times a year with the negative numbers.”

Without access to quarterly data, I’ll now only be able to update the charts and report newspaper ad revenue once a year when annual data are released in April by the NAA, which just released its ad revenue figures for 2013. The updated chart above shows annual data from 1950 to 2013 in inflation-adjusted (2013) dollars. The blue line represents total annual print newspaper advertising revenue (for the three categories national, retail, and classified), and appear in the chart as billions of constant 2013 dollars. Newspaper print advertising revenues of just $17.3 billion in 2013 fell to the lowest level of print advertising since the NAA started tracking industry data in 1950. In constant 2013 dollars, advertising revenues last year were $2.7 billion (and 13.5%) below the $20 billion spent in 1950, 62 years ago. Print advertising last year was almost $2 billion below the level of $19.2 billion in 2012, which was the first year that print advertising revenues fell below the 1950 level.

The decline in print newspaper advertising to a 63-year low is pretty amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is stunning. Newspaper print advertising revenues decreased more than 50% in just the last five years, from $37.6 billion in 2008 to only $17.3 billion last year; and by almost 70% over the last decade, from $56.9 billion in 2003.

Here’s another perspective: It took a half century for annual newspaper print ad revenue to gradually increase from $20 billion in 1950 (adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars) to $65.8 billion in 2000, and then it took only 12 years to go from $65.8 billion in ad revenues back to less than $20 billion in 2012, before falling further to $17.3 billion last year.

Even when revenues from digital advertising and other categories described by the NAA as “niche publications, direct marketing and non-daily publication advertising” are added to print ad revenue (see red line in chart), the combined total revenues for print, digital and other advertising last year was still only $23.56 billion in 2013 dollars, which was the lowest amount of annual ad revenue since 1954, when $23.3 billion was spent on print advertising alone.

The introduction of digital advertising starting in 2003, and the introduction of “niche publications, direct marketing and non-daily publication advertising” in 2011, have helped to slightly increase total ad revenues (print + digital + other), and the red line in the chart shows the contribution of those other revenue sources. But those sources are relatively small in comparison to print advertising revenues, and haven’t stopped the continuing, overall decline in total ad revenues. For example, digital advertising increased only 1.5% last year, the niche/non-daily category fell by almost 6% and direct marketing increased only 2.4%. Print advertising fell last year by 8.6%, and overall total advertising revenue fell by 6.5%. Those new revenues sources are certainly helping to stop the revenue decline from being even steeper, but won’t likely ever be high enough to reverse the precipitous overall decline in ad revenues in the coming years.

Economic Lesson: The dramatic decline in newspaper ad revenues since 2000 has to be one of the most significant and profound Schumpeterian gales of creative destruction in the last decade, maybe in a generation. And it’s not even close to being over. A 2011 IBISWorld report on “Dying Industries” identified newspaper publishing as one of ten industries that may be on the verge of extinction in the United States.
HT: Sprewell

===================

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/04/creative-destruction-2013-newspaper-ad-revenue-continued-its-precipitous-free-fall-and-its-probably-not-over-yet/

Meanwhile, mobile and Internet ad spending is growing worldwide but are newspapers benefiting from this trend or are they losing out?

Let's see what eMarketer.com has to say below.
===================

Driven by Facebook and Google, Mobile Ad Market Soars 105% in 2013

Mobile ad spending on pace to reach $31.45 billion this year


Last year, global mobile ad spending increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion, according to new figures from eMarketer. In 2014, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide.


Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth worldwide last year. Combined, the two companies saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, claiming 75.2% of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile in 2013. The two companies are consolidating their places at the top of the market, accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile ad spending last year—a figure that will increase slightly this year, according to eMarketer.

Facebook in particular is gaining significant market share. In 2012, the social network accounted for just 5.4% of the global advertising market. In 2013, that share increased to 17.5%, and eMarketer predicts it will rise again this year to 21.7%. Google still owns a plurality of the mobile advertising market worldwide, taking a portion of nearly 50% in 2013, but the rapid growth of Facebook will cause the search giant’s share to drop to 46.8% in 2014, eMarketer estimates.


The rapid pace at which mobile has taken over the company’s ad revenue share indicates Facebook’s mobile future. In 2012, only 11% of Facebook’s net ad revenues worldwide came from mobile, and last year, that figure jumped to 45.1%. In 2014, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for 63.4% of Facebook’s net digital ad revenues. Mobile accounted for 23.1% of Google’s net ad revenues worldwide in 2013, and eMarketer estimates this share will increase to 33.8% this year.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Driven-by-Facebook-Google-Mobile-Ad-Market-Soars-10537-2013/1010690

=================

Below is futurist Ross Dawson's Newspaper Extinction Timeline which forecasts that print newspapers will be extinct in the United States in 2017 and in Malaysia in 2029.

By this timeline, the best places for journalists to be are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Latin America.

=================


 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

DouDou Linux

How to turn a Pentium III PC 500MHz with a mere 256MB of RAM into a "Ferrari" which can outrun a much more powerful PC running Windows 7.

Most people would just throw away such an "obsolete" PC, when it could usefully serve out the rest of its life as a learning "toy" for children.

Some people get terrified when they see this. "No it's not Windows", they say. "It's too hard to use", say others.

However, they forget that children still have fluid minds, with a curiosity which leads them to want to explore all new things intuitively, which is why children can adapt so readily to devices such as smartphones and tablets, even though they may not even know or understand the technology behind them.

Instead, it's such naysayers whose minds are ossified, thickened, hardened, rigid and unable to flow.

Thus they are enslaved to everything Microsoft. In their mind, they think - "A PC of any brand must come with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft OfficeSuite" - Now that's like saying that a mini-compo or fancy digital music player can only play songs by Justin Bieber and no one else.

Like a music or video player, a computer is just a piece of electronic hardware, designed to run software - i.e. human coded instructions which make it do what programmers want it to do, much like a music player will play any kind of music its user puts on it, or any video player will play any video its user decides.

(Click on these screencaps to enlarge)
















Prefer a more adult look. Well just switch.




Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The 16th May public briefing on KIDEX which was aborted on public demand

Petaling Jaya residents carry banners challenging Selangor State, Chief Minister Tan Sri. Khalid Ibrahim to come meet us on his support for the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX).
The Malaysian Insider reports on the aborted meeting and issues at hand follows below.
Pictures and videos are mine and readers are free to download and share.
IT.Scheiss
Chaos stops dialogue on controversial Kidex expressway
BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
May 16, 2014

A storm of shouts, heckling and theatrics stopped a meeting between Petaling Jaya (PJ) residents and the developer of a controversial elevated expressway from Kinrara to Damansara, held at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) banquet hall tonight.

The meeting was a no-go the moment that an officer from Kidex, the developer of the highway, used the term "townhall meeting" in her opening remarks as the master of ceremony to describe the gathering.

This immediately sparked tensions between the 200 residents and the company's representatives which saw some members of the crowd jumping to their feet to halt the meeting from proceeding to discuss the RM2.4 billion project.


According to several MBPJ officials, residents and elected representatives in the audience who took to the microphone, the crowd objected to tonight's gathering being classified as a townhall meeting as the company had no legal right to hold one.

PJ residents are objecting to the 14.9-kilometre expressway as 3,784 lots are affected by a land sale freeze. The developers have said that only 380 lots will be acquired.

Reports said for its length, the Kidex is the country’s most expensive highway yet at RM148 million per kilometre to construct.

The 7.7km fully-elevated Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh) was completed in 2001 for RM98 million per kilometre. Kidex costs 50% more per km. Both AKLEH and the future Kidex are two-lane dual carriageways.

Another project, the partly elevated and much wider Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (Duke) cost even less to construct at just RM65 million per kilometre while the Kidex costs 2.3 times that.

Kidex chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus said the company was holding the gathering to meet demands which it claimed had been put on them by MBPJ.

One of those demands, Mohd Nor said, was to hold a “town hall meeting” to present the proposed highway project to residents and gather their feedback.

The inflamed emotions tonight reflect the deep resentment among PJ residents to the multi-billion project, which will transform the landscape of one of the densest cities in Malaysia.

The expressway, which billed as a sky way, will tower over houses, schools and some of the busiest highways in the Klang valley as weaves itself from Kinrara in the south to Bandar Utama in the north. The residents' opposition to the project is stiff and made more severe by feelings that they have been betrayed by the politicians they had elected into the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor government.

The drama at tonight’s meeting started soon after the master of ceremony used the word town hall meeting which prompted resident Mak Khuin Weng, to immediately stand up to object.

“This is not a MBPJ meeting. We have already been told that this is not an MBPJ as the MBPJ should be with us and not with you. This is a public meeting with Kidex and not with MBPJ.”

The audience erupted in applause for Mak and boos for Kidex.

A few residents, who were also activists in the Say-No-To-Kidex committee, then stormed to the table where the company’s representatives and its consultants were sitting to demand that the concessionaire firm retract its use of the term.

The activists then argued and bickered with the company’s representatives including Mohd Nor.

MPBJ enforcement personnel were rushed in to pry apart fist-waving residents from exasperated company officials. The audience held up banners that said “No to Kidex” and shouted “No to Kidex”.

Things seemed to settle down when MBPJ councillor Lee Suet Sen took the microphone to clarify and assure residents that the gathering was not a formal town hall meeting.

Lee explained it was merely a briefing by Kidex officials and an opportunity for residents to forward their concerns to the developer.

“This is not part of the statutory process to amend the local draft plan. Kidex has yet to convince MBPJ that this is a good project for the residents.”

The company then backed down from using the term “town hall meeting”. Kidex chief executive officer Mohd Nor then said the gathering would be a briefing for residents on the project.

“We will not proceed with the town hall meeting. If you all want, we can still do a briefing tonight.”

But another resident then harangued the company over why notice for the meeting was sent at the last minute and why was it only given out to resident associations and People Volunteer Committees (Rukun Tetangga).

A resident, who gave his name as Charles from Section 5, said the notice should have been posted on billboards through-out the affected areas a week in advance so that as many residents can attend.

When the company’s responses failed to pacify the audience, one of its officers then declared that the briefing was over.

When met afterwards, MBPJ councillor Lee explained that a legal town hall meeting can only be held by the local council itself and its residents in order to get public feedback for a proposed project.

This is a necessary step under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 to amend the council’s draft local plan and be approved by a local council.

But to date Lee said, MBPJ refuses to hold a town hall meeting until it receives documents from Kidex concerning assessments of how traffic will be affected by the project.

“We don’t want to have a town hall meeting without all the information about the project because then we cannot address the residents’ concerns.” – May 16, 2014.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/chaos-stops-dialogue-on-controversial-kidex-expressway

Footnote: Charles corrected himself mid-speech and said he's from Section 14, Petaling Jaya. - IT.Scheiss


What happened at Kidex briefing – David Yoong
May 18, 2014


The Kidex briefing called by Kidex at the MBPJ Civic Centre on Friday was widely reported as a heated affair between Petaling Jaya residents and Kidex officials.

The Say No to Kidex (SNTK) committee would like to put on record that we had put in every effort to stave off the confrontation that occurred on Friday night with letters, emails and electronic messages to the council, councillors and our elected representatives to ensure that the meeting that was being called for had no legal implications whatsoever and that it was strictly a briefing.

However, the presence of MBPJ engineering department director Ismail Shafie on stage with Kidex officials and the emcee's announcement that the meeting "is part of the due process in the implementation of Kidex into the Selangor State Structural Plan” dictated otherwise.


This was not what the invitation said and to attempt to frame it in such a manner was disingenuous of both Kidex Sdn Bhd and MBPJ.

Kidex Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Mohd Nor Idrus himself proved the point when he said the meeting was part of the demand they had to fulfil from the Selangor government to hold a public consultation hearing and that he would rather not have a consultation if he could get away with it.

"When he asked me, Datuk, to do a briefing, I said 'No' because I'm required, I'm instructed by the (Selangor) state (government) to have this town hall meeting... because we are not in the position to invite the YBs, ADUNs, councillors because it is not us... If possible, I don't want to have a town hall meeting.”

To further back up Kidex's assertion that it was indeed a valid town hall meeting, they produced a letter from Ismail stating clearly that the town hall meeting was called on behalf of MBPJ and that it was with the agreement of MBPJ deputy mayor Puasa Md Taib and councillor Lee Suet Sen.

For Kidex, the meeting was only a matter of fulfilling the requirements set by the Selangor government and pushing the project forward with an additional agenda to include the project in the Selangor State Structure Plan.

The Selangor State Structure Plan is not a document to be trifled with as it is a statutory document that has numerous legal implications, one of which is the understanding that anything mentioned within becomes a promise that would be implemented by the government.

What was actually transpiring at the time had been totally contradictory to what was promised by the politicians and the SNTK committee had no choice but to intervene and call for a point of order, which we could not present without shouting as the microphones next to the residents were turned off and subsequently removed.

The SNTK committee wish to reiterate that we are not intentionally confrontational but were provoked into action because of the attempt at misrepresentation that would have hoodwinked Petaling Jaya residents of their rights.

We would like to impress upon the Selangor assemblymen and the MBPJ councillors that the sequence of events leading up to the confrontation painted them as either not in control of their own government (at best) or untruthful (at worst).

As ratepayers, we deserve an answer to the conduct of the local council and expect the full investigation into the miscommunication. – May 18, 2014.

* David Yoong is secretary of the Say No To Kidex committee.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/what-happened-at-kidex-briefing-david-yoong


Video: Petaling Jaya Section 14, Roads 1 to 14 Resident's Association, Protem Secretary Selve Sugumaran gives an earful to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) engineering department director Ismail Shafie over the council's involvement with the KIDEX expressway development company's public briefing on the KIDEX expressway at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre banquet hall at 8.00pm, 16th May, 2014.

The MBPJ had issued a letter describing the private event held at an MBPJ facility as a "town hall meeting", when in fact it was a public briefing by a private company which booked a hall at an MBPJ facility.

The public objection was over the MBPJ director sitting at the same table as KIDEX company officials.

There were many front row seats amongst the audience reserved from MBPJ councillors and officials, though many of these reserved seats were empty.

  

The MBPJ official subsequently left the hall after bring told off for involving the council with what essentially was an event organised by a private company.

IT.Scheiss