First ASEAN bloggers’ conference to kick off in Kuala Lumpur

The Blog House Malaysia (BHM) will be hosting the inaugural Malaysian-Asean Regional Bloggers Conference from 22nd to 24th April 2011, held at the Intercontinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the conference is “Blogging Mindfully and Responsibly” and will cover topics ranging from blog networks and blogging etiquette.

According to BHM president Syed Akbar Ali, bloggers from Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines are expected to attend the conference. BHM’s patron, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a blogger himself, will be delivering the welcoming address, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivering the keynote address after that.

Visit the BHM’s website for details and registration.

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1Malaysia Email with project description changed overnight


ETPThe description of the 1Malaysia Email project was changed on the ETP website overnight. On April 19, 2011, PEMANDU described the project as follow (emphasis added by GreyReview):

The 1Malaysia Email project is a government initiative in providing a unique and official email account and ID for the citizens of Malaysia.

This initiative will serve to allow direct and secure communications between citizens and the Government, as well as enhance the delivery of Government services to consumers and businesses alike.

Tricubes Bhd will spearhead the development of a web portal which includes an email account for all Malaysian citizens aged 18 and above. The web portal will serve as a one-stop centre for government services, providing value added services such as social networking, online bill checking and payment as well web development toolkits for citizen and businesses organization to creatively develop applications.

Today, the description of 1Malaysia Email is as follow (emphasis added by GreyReview):

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Government clarifies on 1Malaysia email accounts after online public outcry

1Malaysia Email

Yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that a 1Malaysia email account will be issued to every Malaysian above 18 years of age has spawned online protests by the public, claiming that the latest 1Malaysia exercise is an unnecessary wastage of taxpayer’s money and an attempt by “big brother” to keep citizens in check.

A check by GreyReview reveals that most Malaysians have gone on to popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to vent their dissatisfaction, one example being the “1M Malaysians who don’t want Najib’s 1 Malaysia email” Facebook page, which is reminiscent of the online protest against Datuk Seri Najib’s announcement about the construction of the 100-storey mega tower project last year.

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Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services

Astro Byond IPTV logo

Astro, the satellite TV provider in Malaysia, is launching its IPTV services today. The Astro B.yond IPTV offers consumers a combination of high definition Astro channels, personal video recording, video-on-demand, high-speed Internet connection and voice services. For high-speed Internet connection, Astro partnered with TIME dotcom for its Fibre Broadband service. Currently, the IPTV is only available in selected areas, namely Mont Kiara / Sri Hartamas, KLCC / Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Georgetown (Penang). Check service availability here.

According to Shahrul Imran Sultan, Director of Consumer Technology of Astro, the company is targeting to sign-up 40,000 subscribers by end of 2011. Also, it is targeting to make its IPTV services available to 167,000 homes by end of this year. Astro is targeting high-rise residences for its IPTV services, at least in the initial phase. Currently, most high-rise residential units have difficulty of accessing its HDTV services. With IPTV, Astro aims to further expand its HDTV subscribers base and at the same time, gain foothold in the IPTV market space. For Astro, this represents a viable business case for the implementation of IPTV.

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RM50 Million 1Malaysia Email to provide official virtual ID for every Malaysians


The Government of Malaysia announced the 1Malaysia Email project, as part of its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The project will provide unique email ID to every Malaysian citizens who are 18 years and above.

The total investment of this email project is RM50 million by 2020. It will be spearheaded by Tricubes Bhd, in collaboration with Microsoft. The project will use Tricubes’ FUSION, which the company describes as “a middleware platform that provides a unified infrastructure to enable the implementation of applications based on the usage of smartcard and biometrics” and m2e (Mobile to Enterprise) middleware – “provides a messaging framework ( middleware ) for system integration by providing adapters that can interface to different back-end system platforms. The system connects to Microsoft Windows Live environment.

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2011 Networked Readiness Index by World Economic Forum: How Networked is Asia?


World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday released the latest edition of The Global Information Technology Report 2010 – 2011: Transformation 2.0 report. The annual report ranks a total of 138 countries worldwide, using its Networked Readiness Index (NRI).

Some observations:

  • A total of 19 Asian countries in the 2010-2011 NRI list, out of 138 countries worldwide.
  • 5 Asian countries are in the top 20 of this year’s NRI list – Singapore (2nd), Taiwan (5), South Korea (10), Hong Kong (12), and Japan (19).
  • Singapore is the most networked nation in Asia. The Southeast Asian city-state ranked second in the world, behind Sweden.
  • Singapore is also the only Asian country ranked higher than the United States (no. 5 worldwide).
  • Malaysia ranked first among Upper-middle Income group of countries. Malaysia is also the only upper-middle income country in the top 30 overall. The country’s score increased from 4.65 in 2010 to 4.74 in 2011.
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Latest Estimates for Facebook Users by Country – Asia (Quarter 1 2011)


Facebook in AsiaSince March 2010, I’ve been monitoring the growth of Facebook users in Asia on GreyReview. In October 2010, I’ve found out that Facebook exceeds the 100 million users mark. At the start of year 2011, there was an estimated total of 111.9 million of Facebook users in Asia.

This is the latest edition of Facebook in Asia series. The followings are some interesting observations of Facebook growth in Asia in the first three months of 2011:

  • The latest estimated number of Facebook users in Asia: 131.3 million.
  • Total Facebook users grew by 17.3% in the Quarter 1 2011, which is slightly less than the 21.4% in the previous quarter (Quarter 4 2010).
  • Indonesia continues to lead with 35.2 million users. Second-placed India with 23 million, followed by Philippines (22.4 million), Malaysia (10.1 million) and Taiwan (9.1 million)
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Google Nexus S – The Gulfstream 6 of Android smartphones

google nexus s

So what do I think about the Samsung Google Nexus S after two weeks fling?

To quote Depeche Mode, I just can’t get enough. Why? See here, here, here and here and also, here.

Sure, it may be lacking in some departments (which features may be available on its distant cousin, the Samsung Galaxy S). The fact that it runs on an unadulterated version of Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread and that it contains enough technological advancements (such as NFC) to provide its user with a sensual experience makes it more attractive than other available smartphones.

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The Diary of an Android Virgin: Google Nexus S absolute power entertains absolutely


Previously in The Diary of an Android Virgin – Google Nexus S a well endowed communication device.

The Google Nexus S benefits from a powerful 1Ghz processor and the intuitive Android 2.3 operating system to make it an excellent gaming and multimedia device. For all your gaming/app needs, there is only one place to look: the Android Market.

A Market for all your needs

Apple has the App Store on the iPhone, Google has the Android Market on the Android. And just like Apple, Google has made the market accessible both on the phone as well as the desktop. One advantage the desktop version of the Android Market has over the iTunes Store is that any app/game you choose will be synced up with your phone wirelessly, i.e. just choose which device you’d like to download your new app to (it retains a list of all Android devices your account has been set up on), it will just automatically begin downloading onto it. Less clicks to get your new app up and running compared to Apple’s.

It should be noted that a Google Account is required to access the Android Market. If you already have one synced to your Android phone, just log in and you’re set.

The Android Market has a great selection of apps for your every need, from audio players to news widgets to converters to religious references. It also has a growing number of games to choose from. And yes, Angry Birds is available on the Android Market and best of all, it’s free! And Angry Birds on the Google Nexus S’ 4” Super AMOLED screen is simply breathtaking.

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The Diary of an Android Virgin: Google Nexus S a well endowed communications device

google nexus s web browsing

Previously in The Diary of an Android Virgin – Pure, Unadulterated Google caress of the Nexus S.

As pointed out in the previous parts of our review, we have discovered that the Google Nexus S is well endowed both in its looks as well as under the hood. The presence of Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread powering its user interface is also something that makes the Google Nexus S an over all attractive choice in the ever expanding smartphone market. But how does it perform as a communications device?

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The Diary of an Android Virgin: Pure, Unadulterated Google caress of the Nexus S


Previously in The Diary of an Android Virgin – A beauty on the outside, a beast on the inside.

Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread: Purely Google

Most Android phones in the market feature a customized version of the operating system, with additional software layers to suit the respective phone manufacturers and carriers offering the phones.

Not the Google Nexus S.

This is Android as it should be, as it is meant to be used. There is no custom skin or custom user interface here; it’s the true blue Android. The default Android interface makes it easier to navigate and makes for a more enjoyable user experience, less all the clutter. This is what the search engine giant likes to term as a “pure Google” experience.

The Nexus S, co-developed by Google and Samsung, is the world’s first device powered by the latest (and fastest) version of the Android, aka Gingerbread . It was recently launched in Malaysia by Maxis, a leading mobile communications provider in Malaysia.

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