Agung Laksono, Singapore’s Haze and Smog

If random meme images were to be created relating to this amazing dude here, the possibilities would be endless for this week.

So who’s this dude? Someone’s a step ahead of me and summed it all up @ Wikipedia.

 

So far, I’ve only read two of his public comments and that was enough to make the lazy me crawl back to wordpress and write something. (‘…must…handle…rage!’)

 

For the past week, Singapore (and some neighbouring countries, but I’ll focus on Singapore for now, you’ll know why later) had been engulfed by the amazing smog/haze from Indonesia (an annual occurrence happening around this time of the year) BUT, this year, the pollution level had reached hazardous and dangerous levels. Masks are selling out and people’s asthma and intolerance are acting up. Concerning.

Natural reaction would of course be: ‘Dear officials, please do something about this!’ and Singapore officials did. I’m sure Indonesian officials are trying their best too.

But there’s this one particular senior minister from Indonesia, sparking controversy. Not sure if he’s trying to get infamous (he’s succeeding) or maybe he is just very well-versed in public speaking.

 

Things like: “Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won’t consider accepting it,” he said. “If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget.” 

Have I told you he’s the minister for people’s welfare?

 

The PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level in Singapore had reached record high of 400. It was announced that an average reading of 400 or above in 24 hours can put the lives of those elderly and sickly at risk. Very concerning. It’s no wonder that Singaporeans are very concerned and are not too happy.

 

Here’s something more amusing from Mr. Agung Laksono: “Singapore, don’t be childish in worrying times like this” he said (my translation may be bad, but the translation from the Strait Times sparks more rage – Indonesian minister says Singapore “behaving like a small child” over haze).

Obviously he had totally forgotten about the incident where Indonesians were burning Malaysian flags. I’d like to see his reaction if someone were to set fire beside his residence and direct the smoke into his house. I wonder if he’ll complain like Singaporeans too.

Seriously though, I think he’s just trying to avoid blame and make Singapore look like the bad guy by mentioning the pending issues between Singapore and Indonesia:

 

“Earlier, he told reporters that Singapore said nothing when there was fresh air, but complained about the occasional haze. Mr Agung also rebutted criticisms that Indonesia had yet to ratify an Asean agreement on transboundary haze pollution. “Singapore is like that. The border issue hasn’t been settled, neither has extradition, corruption.”” as reported in The Strait Times

 

Kudos to PM Lee from Singapore in choosing to ignore these comments and refusing to talk further regarding this when approached by the press. Instead, he chose to focus what he can do for the country. At least he’s not trash talking. Suddenly Mr. Agung seemed to be even less respectable.

 

For the Singaporeans out there reading and raging at this senior minister dude, let me tell you, the Indonesians are raging at him for being such a disgrace too @ news sites . I saw an article this morning with at least 150 comments on it @ detiknews but I can’t seem to find the article on their news feed at the moment.

 

The haze/smog condition is very worrying to Indonesia and its neighbouring affected countries; we all know and agree that there are things the government can do to regulate controlled burnings. We also know that prevention is key. But alas, the damage is done and all (okay maybe not all) we can do now is to calm the fuck down to save ourselves some wrinkles and Gray hair.

I heard the medical masks are running out in Singapore. I hope Singaporeans will get their hands on some. I also heard that things are not going so well for Indonesians that are affected by the haze who can’t afford to buy medical masks. Well, I think one of your senior officials who happens to be the minister for people’s welfare just rejected Singapore’s help so you can blame it on him (okay, sorry, that was mean but I had to say it).

I hope in the future, such serious levels of smog/haze will not happen again. Meanwhile, take good care people. Be in good health and remember, the happier you are the healthier you will be. Calm the fuck down; drink more water, and be in good health.

 

Also, get some public speaking training maybe, dear Mr. Minister for People’s Welfare? Even Indonesians agree that you should, as you can see in most news articles criticising your public statements.

 

BTW, I don’t live in Indonesia nor Singapore. But the haze/smog crisis reached international media. That’s how serious it is this year.

True 4G & HSPA+ Phones

 

You see that H+ on your new blackberries and ‘4G‘ on your iPhone 4S after iOS 5.1 update?

They’re both the same. They’re both HSPA+, that is. They are not LTE or WiMAX, the ones that were initially declared as 4G.

 

 

Is HSPA+  a 4G? (are Iphone 4s 4G? Are my new blackberries 4G?)

  • Yes according to telco providers like AT & T, and fact is:
  • No! – sorry to say, according to the newly (2012) approved official specification for IMT-Advanced (Next Generation, 4G).
 Maybe AT & T and others (feel free to name them providers in the comments and I’ll add them in) will call it 5G since they fudged a 3.5/3.9G HSPA+ as 4G.

Let’s use another name for 4G, its requirements/specification name – IMT-Advanced – Now approved by the ITU. It’s official.

 

 

Quote from a very good article http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/01/meet-the-real-4g.php :

To understand IMT-Advanced, you need to know how we got to this point. If IMT-Advanced is truly the fourth generation of wireless technology, there obviously are three generations that preceded it. Let’s take a quick look at the history.

 

1G (Pre-1990): Analog Mobile Phone System and Frequency Division Multiple Access (AMPS & FDMA). The forefather of all cellular technology. Think of satellite or car phones or those really big things that used to require a brief case to lug around. I am always reminded of Martin Cooper and the original one-pound cellphone and how people used to gawk at him while he walked down the street in New York City chatting away.

 

 

2G (1991-2000): Time Division Multiple Access and Code Division Multiple Access (TDMA & CDMA). This is where the great rift between AT&T and Verizon originated. Ma Bell used the TDMA standard while Big Red has been built off of CDMA and its evolutions. This is the era when cellphone became more commonplace but by no means ubiquitous. Cellular adoption ramped up through the 1990s as phones evolved, going from the relative blocks of Kyocera and Nokia to the concept of flip phones that would dominate well into the first half of the 2000s.

2.5G (2000-Present): General Packet Radio System (GRPS) and CDMA 1x. The rise of the data packet, BlackBerry and the first versions of the mobile Web through Wireless Access Protocol (WAP). Speeds at 2.5G were about 156 kilobits down per second.

2.75G (2003-Present): Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution (EDGE). The iPhone was originally an EDGE phone. This is a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard employed by AT&T and T-Mobile.

 

 

3G (2000-Present): Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and CDMA 2000. This is where we really started getting speeds that could handle full Internet data packets, up to 8 megabits per second down. This is also where the precursor to what the ITU calls “4G.” Before announcing the standards for IMT-Advanced, the last standards that the ITU approved were for IMT-2000, what is generally considered to be 3G. GSM and CDMA continue to be separate and incompatible. This is also the beginning of the rise of in your face marketing from the carriers in the United States all claiming to have the fastest 3G networks.

3.5G (2006-Present): High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Evolution-Data Optimized Revolution (EV-DO). The approved 3G standard starts to evolve and speeds get faster and data is carried over cellular connections more reliably. This is the foundation that the current app economy is based on.

3.9G (2008-Present): Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
(WiMax), Long Term Evolution (LTE) and HSPA+. When the carriers shout, “my 4G is blazing fast!” this is what they are talking about. Though this is not technically 4G, the ITU begin allowing carriers to market these technologies as 4G in December 2010 stating that any technology is that a significant advancement to the 3G standard can be called 4G. Speeds here have the potential to be up to 45 to 80 megabits per second down under ideal circumstances, which basically never exist. Currently, the best these standards can operate under real world conditions is about 14.4 megabits per second down. Sometimes higher, mostly lower.

 

Based on the last pink (purple? Fuchsia?) sentence it seems that ITU ‘allowed’ carriers to call them 4G, but just so you know… It really isn’t the next Gen after the official IMT-Advanced.

 

 

(more…)

Twitter Phishing

Dear readers,

I apologize for the lack of quality and formatting done in this post. I am writing this from my iPhone on the go and I realised I cannot delay telling you all any further.

Seems like a number of people had fallen for this phishing method (including my friends sadly! Don’t let your friends get phished or hacked too! Spread the word!)

The phishing URL is different from usual / the common older style ones as it uses a shortened link, with a name very similar to tinyurl.com (tsk!) the original shortened link is: tnijurl.com/dc0393f329cd/

Here’s the example message to trick you, it reads: “Someone said this real bad thing about you in a blog…”

20110724-092856.jpg

As you can see, there’s no way to tell what that URL actually is at one glance. It will redirect you to:
http://berichtenversturen.com/twitter-login/” with the following page:

20110724-093324.jpg

Although the page might look exactly like a twitter login page, it’s not. Look at the URL. Don’t get fooled. Do NOT log in! Do NOT!

Careful when clicking shortened links that requires you to log in anywhere. Always check the URL on your browser when you are logging in somewhere! Your credentials might be compromised! If you were phished/fooled and had logged in, I recommend changing your password immediately.

Also useful: http://www.justprofessionals.net/2011/07/new-twitter-phishing-scam-preys-on-curiosity-about-criticism/

Ali Yakubov – The Koran/Qur’an skin mystery.

Have you guys read about this?

Ali Yakubov - from russiatoday.com

Ali Yakubov - from russiatoday.com

I am baffled. I read this in news.com.au, but we don’t know the ‘truth’ behind this yet. People are wondering whether its the work of their parents, or it was really verses from the Qur’an/Koran appearing on Ali Yakubov’s skin without any manipulation from parents or some sort.

I will quote a few sentences from certain sources (I read up quite a bit from various sites), here’s the one from dailymail/UK.

Miracle or hoax? Russians puzzled as phrases

from the Koran start appearing ‘spontaneously’

on baby’s skin


That article together with thesun article (the one that has been quoted for Alfie Patten) as well, were probably the two most quoted article.

The parents of nine-month-old Ali Yakubov were stunned when the word Allah appeared on his chin soon after his birth.

Since then scores of writings in Arabic script have emerged on his back, arms, legs and stomach.

Amazingly his family claim the old markings vanish before the new words arrive — twice a week.

Personally, the article that I really love, would be from russiatoday[dot]com. It may seem a bit biased (but God, which Media AREN’T?!), but I liked it because it is the only one so far (that I have found) to state these information (which I couldn’t really find in a lot of news media) :

Meanwhile, doctors think otherwise. They are almost sure the signs have been written by Ali’s parents.

Lyudmila Luss from Russia’s institute of immunology says the writings have been most likely made physically or chemically.

“Substances like pepper or salt can produce such a reaction on the skin,” she says. It can also be a result of urticarious dermographism, she added, which is a skin disorder seen in 4–5% of the population. The skin then becomes raised and inflamed when stroked or rubbed with a dull object.

So far, Ali’s family has refused to make any meticulous dermatologic examination. In the meantime, Russian media report that Ali was initially diagnosed with coronary heart disease and cerebral spastic infantile paralysis, but when his abnormalities began he miraculously recovered.


Read more from Russiatoday : http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-10-19/signs-allah-infant-skin.html

and more : http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/koran-verses-appear-on-babys-skin-ali-always-feels-bad-when-it-is-happening-he-cries-and-his-tempera.html

on an unrelated note: The baby is so cute!

So, is it true? We don’t know yet – there aren’t any proof at the moment, but only speculations so far. People over the internets have been saying that it might be the work of their parents, but some also claim that it IS a sign from Allah. What do you think?

Personally, for me, this is really awesome. My friends were freaked out, but, I don’t know. It is probably till now I am still a freethinker (with my dad), and we do question world’s biggest questions often. Religion, how it started, lineage, history, mysterious events, other realms, ghosts, devils, demons, etc.

So, If there really IS a sign (which is proven true that those signs on Ali appeared without any manipulation from the parents), I would be amazed, and would probably jump into reading researches that people will make regarding Ali.

If it’s false, or a hoax, or even, by Ali’s parents, shame on you parents, (for getting my hopes up) and for doing that to your beautiful baby’s skin.

I guess we have to wait for more information from Russia to tell us what’s really happening. And whether they have seen it happen (I guess they will wait on Thursday – Friday night for the real sighting of it appearing, man, I think someone would actually videotape it and upload on youtube). Poor baby, getting all the media attention in such a young age.

Honestly, I hope this is not a hoax, and verses are indeed appearing. Would be another extra piece of information for freethinkers like me to consider.

UPDATE : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33425758/ns/world_news-europe/

Pinkish in color and several centimeters high, the Koranic verse “Be thankful or grateful to Allah” was printed on the infant’s right leg in clearly legible Arabic script this week, religious leaders said. Visiting foreign journalists later saw a single letter after the rest had vanished.