Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Six Pillars of Character

Already know about this..??? well, these six core ethical values from the foundation of character :

- Be honest
- Don't deceive, cheat or steal
- Be reliable , do what you say you'll do
- Have the courage to do the right thing
- Build a good reputation
- Be loyal, stand by your family, friends and country

- Treat others with respect
- Be tolerant of differences
- Use good manners, not bad language
- Be considerate of the feelings of others
- Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone
- Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements

- Do what you are supposed to do
- Persevere : keep on trying !!!
- Always do your best
- Use self control
- Be self disciplined
- Think before you act, consider the consequences
- Be accountable for your choice

Fairness - Play by the rules
- Take turn and share
- Be open minded, listen to others
- Don't take advantage of others
- Don't blame others carelessly

- Be kind
- Be compassionate and show you care
- Express gratitude
- Forgive others
- Help people in need

- Do your share to make your school and community better
- Cooperate
- Stay informed, vote
- Be a good neighbor
- Obey laws and rules
- Respect authority
- Protect the environment

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Google to step up anti-porn efforts in China

Google Inc. said Friday that it was working to block pornography reaching users of its Chinese service after a mainland watchdog found the search engine turned up large numbers of links to obscene and vulgar sites.

According to, Google said in a statement that company officials had met government representatives "to discuss problems with the service and its serving of pornographic images and content based on foreign language searches.

"We have been continually working to deal with pornographic content - and material that is harmful to children - on the Web in China," the statement said.

The statement followed accusations from the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center that Google had failed to "filter pornographic contents from its search engine results according to China's relevant laws and regulations."

The watchdog said tests found that the search engine provided links to a large number of lewd and vulgar pictures, videos and articles, though it gave no specific examples.

China, with the world's largest population of Internet users at more than 298 million, has the world's most extensive system of Web monitoring and censorship and has issued numerous regulations in response to the rise of blogging and other trends.

While the government claims the main targets are pornography, online gambling, and other sites deemed harmful to society, critics say that often acts as cover for detecting and blocking sensitive political content.

State media reported Friday that the government had stopped some of's search functions. Details weren't given, and it wasn't exactly clear what had been closed off.

In its statement, Google said the company was working to fix any problems with improper searches. "This has been a substantial engineering effort, and we believe we have addressed the large majority of the problem results," it said.

Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California, has struggled to expand in China, where it says it has about 30 percent of the search market. China's homegrown Baidu search engine remains the most popular, with about 60 percent of the market.

The company launched with a Chinese partner after seeing its market share erode as government filters slowed access for Chinese users to its U.S. service.

While sites on topics such as the banned Falun Gong sect or Tibetan independence are perennially blocked in China, readers could still gain some access to such information through Google's cache function. returns search results on sensitive political topics only for sites not offensive to the government. Human rights activists have criticized the new service, which excludes search results on human rights, the Dalai Lama and other topics banned by the communist government.

The accusations against come as a controversy simmers in China over a government order to load Internet-filtering software on every new computer sold on the mainland from July 1.

The government says the Green Dam Youth Escort software is aimed at blocking violence and pornography, but users who have tried it say it also prohibits visiting sites that discuss homosexuality and even blocks images of pigs because it confuses them with naked human bodies, according to Hong Kong media reports.

The software has also aroused safety concerns, with computer scientists at the University of Michigan reporting last week that it contained "serious security vulnerabilities due to programming errors," and recommended users protect themselves by uninstalling Green Dam immediately.

After a major outcry by citizens used to the relative freedom of online life, legal challenges and petitions, the government appears to have backed off slightly, saying users would not be obligated to use or install the software.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Singapore, Thailand confirm new swine flu cases

Singaporean and Thai health officials have confirmed their fifth and fourth swine flu cases, respectively.

The Singaporean ministry said in a statement Sunday that a 22-year-old local woman tested positive for the disease Saturday after flying back from New York. It says her symptoms are mild and she is in stable condition.

The statement says Singaporean authorities are trying to locate passengers seated near her on an All Nippon Airlines flight from Tokyo to Singapore. They will be asked to self-quarantine.

It was unclear if Japanese authorities were trying to contact passengers on her flight from New York to Tokyo.

In Bangkok, a Thai health official says a man who returned from a trip to the United States has become the fourth person in Thailand to test positive for swine flu.

D. Paichit Warachit of the Public Health Ministry said Sunday the man received early treatment after his return May 25 and has recovered.

The three other patients have also been successfully treated. Thai authorities have kept all of their identities confidential. (

Managing Your Business Reputation

The Prita Mulyasari case has touched a raw nerve among Indonesian netizens. A mother of two very young children, Prita sent an email highly critical of her healthcare provider's services to a circle of friends, which then spread to others. The hospital, citing defamation, eventually filed charges leading to the email author's incarceration for nearly a month. After massive public uproar and criticisms from various government agencies, Prita was finally released but remains under city arrest.

What can be learned from this ongoing case? News and gossip, both accurate and erroneous, can spread through the Internet like wildfire. How people write to friends via email may be vastly different than if they write a letter to the editor. And the Internet can be a hotbed for support to those who have been deemed to be "wronged".

Just take a look at the Facebook groups that sprung up for Prita's defense. Over 30,000 supporters in one group alone - 30,000 intelligent, opinionated, wired and angry people. In short, any business' potential customers.

It should be remembered that Indonesia has one of the most independent media within the region and its readers are getting used to such freedoms. The ability to voice opinions is becoming ingrained, both online and off, and is vital for the development of the nation. No one wants to go back to the days of repression. Any perception of taking away such freedoms will be met with fierce resistance.

So what can businesses do if they are at the receiving end of a negative communications campaign online?

Engage with the conversation. Learn the issues, find out from your side the exact details of the case and respond as appropriate. As some companies have media monitoring for print media, it is becoming equally important to have an online monitoring component to learn what the Internet is saying about their business. It would be easier to douse a small flame than allow it to fester and become a full-fledged three-alarm fire because your side remained quiet.

Be transparent. Like any business that depends on customers, resolve the issue. If mistakes were made, rectifying the situation would be in order. If the writer is in the wrong, posting the business' side of the situation would allow the online readership to judge for themselves who is in the wrong and who is being unreasonable (make no mistake, netizens don't like to be fooled and used)

Use the same medium. There are many ways to communicate on the Internet such as using email, message boards, social networks or blog posts. Engaging them on these mediums allows future users, who may bump into this case, to also find your side of the story, quickly resolving any potential repeat flare-ups. It can also be indexed by search engines and be close on hand when people are searching your business online.

Treat others as you wish to be treated. The golden rule of Isadore Sharp, founder and CEO of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Hotel Chain. Courts of law should be the absolute last venue (according to this public relations consultant) and only after deciding the merits of the case (Is it winnable? Is it worth the publicity?). Once in court, it all becomes public record: the cause of conflict, escalation and the attempt for mediation (if any).

Have all attempts been made for mediation? Is the writer really unreasonable? Is going to court something shareholders or future investors would support?

For online issues, with both sides of the arguments in the open, logic usually prevails. Attempts for mediation in good faith are always appreciated as many Indonesians still believe in resolving things secara kekeluargaan (within the family). But if you believe your brand continues to be under assault, then by all means defend it, not just in the courts, but also in the realm of public opinion, to explain your side of the story.

Once all the facts are in, people can easily decide for themselves who to believe and support. In this era of the Internet, transparency trumps all else as now everyone can easily search for the truth. And you don't want to anger the Internet gods, for they are not infallible yet can be swift and brutal to your brand. (article from

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thin, cool and light but not a netbook

Everyone has been waiting for a notebook that can be used for as long as an ordinary cell phone can.

Some computer makers have been able to offer such a product, but the problem is they usually achieve it with the help of an extended battery, or sometimes two batteries. The problem with the extended battery is that it usually protrudes from the back of the notebook.

There are also third-party solutions, which add another slice under the notebook. The slice is actually an extra battery. The result is a notebook that may be too heavy for real mobility. And it costs extra, too.

Acer has met the challenge with a marvel.

Drawing on its close cooperation with processor maker Intel, it hatched a new category in its consumer-oriented Aspire line of notebooks. Right out the box, the new line called Aspire TimeLine promises to give us a full day of true mobile computing.

“It can run for about eight hours with one full charge,” said Husen Halim, brand manager in the consumer marketing division at Acer Indonesia, when I interviewed him before the product launch here last week.

So, how have they done it? First, they use an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) processor from Intel, which is the Core 2 Solo SU3500. “You can tell it is an ultra-low voltage processor as all Intel’s ULV processors have SU in their names,” explained Husen.

The name of the processor itself explains the contribution made by this type of processor to reducing power consumption. The standard battery is a six-cell pack. There is no part that sticks out, as commonly found in a notebook with an extended-life battery.

But if you think the notebook is rather bulky like the other Aspires that you have seen, you are in for a big surprise. Even the thickest part is less than one inch thick. And at around 1.6 kg it is quite light, too.

The design is not overtly fancy. There is no chrome element, there is no artistic decoration. But each time you open it, people will immediately understand that you mean business.

The thin casing is another outcome from the close Acer–Intel cooperation. Intel has created a cooling technology especially for the ultrathin notebook.

The technology, adopted from the design of a jet engine, is called Intel Laminar Wall Jet. The focus of this technology is on optimum airflow to keep the skin of the notebook cool. So the TimeLine is not only razor-thin, it also runs cool.

“It is around five degrees cooler that an average notebook,” said Astrid Warsito, PR specialist at Acer Indonesia.

The new TimeLine category comes in three sizes. My demo unit is the smallest, with a 13.3-inch backlit LED widescreen. Its bigger brothers are the 14-inch and 15.6-inch versions. All come with the 16:9 aspect ratio. The 13.3-inch may be small in its packaging, but the one to be offered here in Indonesia will be equipped with a 320 GB hard disk and 2 GB of DDR3 RAM.

While there is no CD or DVD ROM drive in the 13.3-inch model, the 14- and 15.6-inch have it. As it is a consumer notebook, the operating system is Microsoft Windows Home Premium. In addition to Wi-Fi with Acer’s radio enhancement called SignalUp, it also comes with an integrated Bluetooth.

There are several things that I like about the TimeLine. First, it has the so-called “floating” keyboard, which is quite comfortable for touch-typists. Acer makes full use of the body width by adding a separate row for Home, PgUp, PgDn and End. This is definitely how a notebook keyboard should be laid out.

Another important feature is the gesture-sensitive touchpad, the same as the one we see in a MacBook or an iPhone. It allows us to zoom in and zoom out, and navigate up and down. Still another attractive addition is the touch buttons.

I was looking for the regular Fn-F2 key combination to switch off its Wi-Fi. It was not there. It turned out that all I had to do was to touch the lighted Wi-Fi button.

You may recall that Acer used to brag about its Empowerment Technology, which allows the users to make adjustments by clicking on some options on the screen.

In TimeLine, the software applications have been replaced by the touch buttons.

For example, one of these buttons allows us to run the configurable backup utilities and set the power level. As expected, the eight hour battery life is only possible with some performance compromise. It is also selectable through another button. To maximize the battery life, the screen will have to be set a little bit dimmer than it already is.

This is also a Green computer. The power adaptor has a sleep mode, which it enters each time the battery is fully recharged. It consumes around 0.1 watt, as opposed to the maximum 0.3 watt required by the Energy Star standard.

Remember, however, that the Acer Aspire TimeLine is not a power user toy. The Windows Experience Index of my demo unit is 3.1, which is not too bad. It still enables us to run corporate applications with ease — even Microsoft Office. “The 13.3-inch version is designed with mobility in mind,” said Astrid.

The truly bad news for netbook makers must be the price. The 13.3-inch version can be had for around US$760, which is not much higher than the price of a stylish netbook. Acer will have to work hard to help Intel in making consumers understand the distinction between the netbook and the notebook.

A netbook is meant to be a tool for content consumption. The full benefit of an Intel-Atom netbook can be realized only when it is connected to the Internet, where most of the content resides. If you need something to help you create instead of consume content, you will need a notebook with Core 2 Solo- or Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor

If I were to criticize this notebook, the only thing I do not like would be the hinges that do not let me open the screen flat (180 degree). Other users, of course, can easily live with that.

The next generation of TimeLine will have support for 3G or WiMAX. It will also feature a discreet graphics processor. It seems that the thin and light TimeLine, with an extra-long battery life, will be the upcoming wave in notebook design. Today, if you need a notebook with acceptable computing power and a mobility that allows you to be away from an AC outlet for many hours, you should absolutely check out the TimeLine Series.

Air France says no hope of survivors in Atlantic

Air France has told families of passengers on Flight 447 that the jetliner broke apart and they must abandon hope that anyone survived, a grief counselor said Thursday as military aircraft tried to narrow their search for the remains of the plane.

Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told the families in a private meeting that the plane broke apart either in the air or when it slammed into the ocean, according to Guillaume Denoix de Saint-Marc, who was asked by Paris prosecutors to help counsel family members and was at the Wednesday meeting. The plane, carrying 228 people, disappeared after leaving Rio de Janeiro for Paris on Sunday night.

Investigators were relying heavily on the plane's automated messages to help reconstruct what happened to the jet as it flew through towering thunderstorms. They detail a series of failures that end with its systems shutting down, suggesting the plane broke apart in the sky, according to an aviation industry official with knowledge of the investigation. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the crash.

"What is clear is that there was no landing. There's no chance the escape slides came out," said Denoix de Saint-Marc, who heads a victims' association for UTA flight 772, shot down in 1989 by Libyan terrorists.


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