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Comment Ripple Monetary System (Score 4, Interesting) 189

When I saw the phrase "peer to peer money's system" I immediately think of the Ripple Monetary System. Please also check out the new Ripple website,, created by Ripple's founder Ryan Fugger last year.

I am not sure whether Google was trying to do the same thing, but it would be a total waste if they gave up on the exact same idea. If there is one thing that Google should do with it's power, it would be P2P money. The entire economic system is in total mess now, and the whole world is in deep need right now for a better economic system, yet why is the financial regulation trying to stop all innovations happening?

The US government is seriously killing all financial innovations by labeling everything alternative to the USD as "money laundering". Remember how Liberty dollar and other gold currencies ended up? How about the countless payment startups that has been killed under the name "money laundering" during the dotcom boom? The Hawala System is very useful even today and it has a very similar concept to Ripple, but it's whole advantages are completely denied by US in the name of money laundering, again. I bet that the FBI would even declare Bitcoin as illegal when it generates enough threat.

I have only been staying in Stockholm for a month, but currently it gives me the feeling that Sweden and some other Europe countries have much more financial freedom than in US. If I were to create a startup based on alternative currencies ideas similar to Google's P2P money or Ripple, then Stockholm would be a much better place than Silicon Valley, all due to the absurd US anti-money laundering regulation.

Comment Correlate the Correlation (Score 1) 76

This is great! Now we can finally analyse what people are correlating in Google Trends that tells us what people are searching, then we can use this correlation search data to build Google Correlate Correlate, then we can use this to analyse what people are correlating on things that other people are correlating, then.. then the thing goes on and on and on..

1) Google Search
2) Google Trends
3) Google Flu Trends
4) Google Correlate
5) Google Correlate Correlate
6) Google Correlate Correlate Correlate
7) ???
8) Profit!!!

OMG my head is so dizzy now!!

Comment The Real Concerns Here (Score 5, Informative) 189

I am from Malaysia. The problem for this project is more complicated actually. There are several concerns that we as citizens of Malaysia are worry about:

1. The project is run by a public company named Tricubes. The company is under financial difficulty and is listed under GN3 in the Malaysia stock exchange market (which means near bankruptcy). Because of this announcement, the share price of Tricubes raised from RM0.055 to RM0.325 within a week - a whopping 491% increase.

2. Tricubes claim that the RM50 million investment is a private investment. Citizens however believe that the government will eventually pay a huge amount of service fees to Tricubes.

3. A simple analysis on the domain shows that the domain is merely using Microsoft Windows Live Mail as the back end provider. It is hard to believe that a service that directly use the API can cost that much, not less to say the entire potential vendor lock-in by Microsoft to this email infrastructure.

4. Tricubes will charge 50 cents (RM0.50) for every email sent. Do some calculation and you can tell how much it will cost the government to make an announcement by sending one email to each of the 27 million citizens in Malaysia.

From the facts that we have, it is obvious that there is a high possibility that this is yet another corruption of the government to let people with internal connection make free money.

While I understand that building an email system do cost money, it is absurd to spend RM50m in something that directly uses Windows Live services and provide nothing more than that. And it is even more absurd to charge that much for an email delivery that is essentially free. Even though we have the freedom to decline this project by not using this service, it is impossible for us to stop the corrupted government from sending costly emails to our inactive accounts, thus giving tax payers' money to Tricubes.

Comment User != Customer (Score 4, Insightful) 209

Although there are already many startup advices that ask entrepreneurs to identify who is their customers, it is only until recently I understand what it really means.

Customers are the people who pay you money, and products are the things that your customers is paying for. People who *don't* pay you are not your customers, and things that you give away for free is not your products.

Web technology companies have more complicated business models because it is usually not just about building something that you call "product" and sell it to your customers. Instead, most web sites use their core technology to build something that is free and give it away to people, who we call the users. When there are enough users, the websites turn the users into products and sell it to their customers.

Google is a typical example of such business model. Almost all of the Google "products" that we know today, including the search engine, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Android, Chrome, etc are NOT Google's products - because Google is giving them away freely. Free services are NOT products because there is no way to get money from it. To understand what is Google's products, we have to see where it's revenues come from - Adsense, that's right, is Google's real product.

But if Google Search et al. are not Google's products, does this mean that they are not important? No, because those are what allows Google to make great products - it's users. Google will continue to provide more free services to it's users as long as the added cost is believed to directly bring more revenue to Google.

Ok but everyone understands that, but what's the point of identifying what is product and what is not? Well, the notion of products and non-products is very important when it comes to competition. When a non-product enters an existing market to compete with other products, it becomes disruptive and can potentially make many competitors out of business. This is because non-product can be given away free but products can't.

This is why Gmail was disruptive to the email market because it was the first email service that do not rely on pro accounts as their product. Google identified that Gmail is not their product and therefore willing to provide so much storage space and features because they believed that doing so allows them to build better products (more users) and get more revenue from their customers (advertisers). When Gmail competed as a non-product, it became almost impossible for competitors to compete unless they changed their business model to something else other than pro accounts.

The same could be say for Microsoft IE vs Netscape. While Microsoft could be partly blamed for their anti-competitive practices, it is also clear that Netscape had a fatal business model of identifying the wrong thing as their product, making it failed to compete with IE when it became a non-product.

I had a hard time to understand how YouTube really works as a business, because it's so hard to understand how to pay for so much bandwidth just for users to watch free videos. But the answer is actually quite simple - YouTube is free because it is NOT Google's product.

If something is not your product, do NOT ever think of getting your money back from your users. Just give up your damn mind and give it away free generously, as long as you can make a product out of it.

You should have also realized that Android is not Google's product. But there is an important distinction on the business model between Android and iPhone - Google do realize that Android users are the product to sell to the App developers, who are the customers; but for Apple it's products are the iPhone and it's apps, and it's customers are the consumers who buy iPhones. The difference in business model makes it obvious how Android is different from iPhone - that Android developers are Google's top priority while Apple treats it's iPhone developers badly; Apple's iPhone is designed such that it can be sold expensively to it's customers, but Google does not care about the price of Android phones and do not try to make money out of the phone buyers. The two different business models currently creates different market segmentation for Android and iPhone, and as the market gradually merges, Apple would start to feel the pain of competing with a non-product.

So the most important lesson that we should learn is that, the reason that Google can become so disruptive in so many markets is because they have a disruptive business model that allows them to turn a traditional product into non-product to compete with other products.

Every entrepreneurs should now understand that it is extremely important to identify the right product, and never let that product has chance to directly compete with non-products, ever.

Submission + - Blender on sale in alleged violation of GPL (

crf00 writes: A press release from the Blender Foundation reports that two web sites have appeared selling re-branded versions of Blender. Allegedly in violation of copyright, these sites, 3DMagix and IllusionMage, intentionally hide the origins of the software, change or remove credits and licensing and apparently even suggest the software on offer is a cracked version of Autodesk 3ds Max.

As the press release points out, re-branding and re-distributing is a key right protected by the terms of the GPL, but only if the origins of the software are clearly stated, all credits are preserved and the software is represented as published under the terms of the GPL. Ton Roosendaal, Chairman of the Blender Foundation says there is little the foundation can do other than publicise the scam.

Comment Re:You would think. (Score 1) 348

I already knew this, but now it makes me think why not we instead use HTTP redirection strategy? That is, say the client hits the server directly at, the server detects the client's IP and permanently redirects it to http://[location], where is a subdomain managed by Akamai and [location] always resolves to CDN node nearest to the specified location regardless of the client's IP address.

Comment Re:text is one thing, symbols quite another (Score 1) 545

It is not really that inconvenient once you have made the habit. I started using vim recently and soon I have made the habit of immediately pressing esc whenever I finished typing sentences, even when I'm not in vim. Given that the delay between my last letter and pressing esc is no longer than typing other letters, and our brain usually need to pause a while and think for much longer moment on what to do next, it doesn't really slow me down much. [ESC]

Comment 43,000 fold? (Score 1) 166

I don't understand, how does it mean algorithm improvement of 43,000 fold? Who needs 43,000 fold when anyone can easily make 1,000,000 fold improvement!


Let N=1000
O(N^2) = 1,000,000
O(N) = 1000
O(log N) = 3
O(1) = 1

O(N^2)/O(1) = 1,000,000 / 1 = 1,000,000

Wait till we made improvement in O(N!) problems like traveling salesman and see how huge improvement that's gonna be!

Comment Re:Outliers (Score 1) 239

No you are wrong. No matter which stage of life you are in, whenever you attempt to walk an unusual path in your life, the pessimistic laborers will always use the 99% failure cases to forcefully stop you from ever trying; while the optimistic entrepreneurs will get excited with you that there is a 1% chance to become successful.

Comment Worst Decision by Yahoo (Score 4, Insightful) 311

This is the dumbest move I see Yahoo doing, for shutting down the only Yahoo product left that is ACTUALLY USEFUL. (besides Flickr, but I don't use it anyway)

Seriously I am horrified and disappointed if this decision is for real. I have over 300 bookmarks stored in Delicious, and Delicious has been an extremely useful search engine for me. Because the search is based on social tagging that has gone through by human mind, Delicious is far more powerful than even Google for generic terms search, especially for single term queries that are too generic to return any useful results from other search engines. I don't know why such a useful site has become so less popular, but I believe it is just largely due to the lack of marketing and ignorance by Yahoo since the acquisition.

So far I don't know any other social bookmarking site that is better than Delicious. Perhaps I should start searching, but if anyone here in Slashdot knows one, please do tell me.

Anyway for those who are desperate like me to backup their Delicious bookmarks, here is the export link.

Gawker Source Code and Databases Compromised 207

An anonymous reader writes "Passwords and personal data for 1.3 million Gawker Media readers — this includes readers of sites like Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku, and io9 — have been released as a BitTorrent by a group of hackers called Gnosis, who also managed to gain access to both the Gawker CMS and Gizmodo's Twitter account. Gawker confirms and urges readers to change their passwords: 'Our user databases do indeed appear to have been compromised. The passwords were encrypted. But simple ones may be vulnerable to a brute-force attack. You should change the password on Gawker (GED/commenting system) and on any other sites on which you've used the same passwords. Out of an abundance of caution, you should also change your company email password and any passwords that may have appeared in your email messages. We're deeply embarrassed by this breach. We should not be in the position of relying on the goodwill of the hackers who identified the weakness in our systems.'"

Submission + - Doctor Uses Information on Facebook to Save Life (

crf00 writes: When doctors were stumped in treating a woman with chest pains, they found lifesaving answers from her earlier Facebook postings about her health. The case was just one example of the impact of social media on medical treatment that Newt Gingrich and Dr. Kamal Thapar examine in this opinion piece.

Social media has become a tool in the medical world to diagnose patients, treat them and save their lives. In the past few years, we have urged hospitals and doctors to move from a paper record system to an electronic one to reduce the number of medical errors, improve efficiency and, as a result, save lives and money. Among the many benefits, an electronic medical record should give the treating physician a portable, immediately accessible and thorough account of a patient's entire medical history. But now social media is helping the medical community enhance the practice of medicine even more.

Comment What I really want is FREEDOM (Score 1) 88

When I purchase an ebook the most top criteria that I look for is freedom:

1. Freedom to read it on any device.
2. Freedom to read it using free software.
3. Freedom to archive and read it offline.
4. Freedom to copy/paste and print selected pages.

Now Google eBooks gives me the first freedom to read it on most of the devices, and have some nifty features such as nice Web UI and synchronization through cloud. But it still doesn't meet my criteria 2 and 3. Now I don't mind too much about criteria 4, but there is no point to prohibit printing if digital duplication is allowed.

The freedom of offline access is the most important criteria that I need. The time when I have no Internet access is the time I have the least distraction and the time I need to read the most to pass my time, and I want to read anywhere including on the bus and plane. The ebook must also readable in Linux as I spend most of my time in front of my Linux laptop, and there is no way I want to be forced to read on Windows or other reading devices if I already have a laptop sitting in front of me.

It is kinda sad that even with so many choices, most of the ebooks stores are still encumbered with the stupid DRM stuff. I know it's not Google or Amazon's fault as there is no way the publishers allow them to sell DRM-free ebooks. But until the day DRM-free ebooks are widely available, no thanks I'm not buying eBooks from any of the store. And if I really want to support the author, I would rather purchase physical books, and then download pirated copy of the DRM-free ebooks for the sake of really reading those books anywhere I want.

Comment Actroid F (Score 1) 140

I don't know much since most of the materials are in Japanese, but I think before this it is called Actroid F. There is a Youtube video on the late testing phase of Actroid F. Three months ago I also saw two obscure videos with translated title "Long Distance Service Terenoido" which I believe shows the early prototype of the robot. Through the videos of the naked robot we can see pretty clear why the robot can only sit still and not move it's hand.

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