Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Something fishy going on at wetlands

I hope the Perak Government will not just 'look' into this matter. Despite the rendang and lemang, effort to conserve the environment must go on.

If the land is under the supervision of Perhilitan, they should have realise any new activities in that area. Luckily for us, MNS is doing a good job for us. Perhaps the job should be go to MNS instead of Perhilitan...as part of privatisation exercise. This may free up the government fund from paying salary for those government agencies.

Something fishy going on at wetlands

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creating Digital Alexandria

The library of Alexandra in Egypt was the largest library in ancient world. It was established in the 3rd BC during the reign of ptolemy. Admired by many but was destroyed by Julius Ceasar (and why I am not surprise).

Today, Google an internet giant want to emulate the Great Alexandria. It intends to convert millions of hardcopy book to digital form. The goal is to make it easier for 'books lover' to find books; new as well as out-of-print books. Ulltimately, Google will work with publishers and libraries to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages that helps users discover new books and publishers discover new readers.

However, this is effort (business effort) had attracted criticisms and oppositions. On Oct 7 2009, the Honorable Denny Chin J, a district judge in New York will decide on the fairness of the deal between the internet giant and US Publishers.

Should we leave the knowledge of mankind in the hands of corporations?

For new literature works, I will not have any qualm. It is a good way for author/publisher to reach out to the market.

However, for out-of-print and orphan works (literature works which is still enjoy copyright protection but the author cannot be traced), what Google intend to do, will indirectly giving them 'copyright' over the works.

By controlling the access to the works, Google may dictate who, how, when and at what price can the consumer access the copyright works.

The fight to control copyright since Statute of Anne 1709, now enter new level. Now, it is not enough to determine who control the copyright; the 'power' is on who 'control' the copyright owner.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bakun dam may begin to supply power in 2010

By the end of 2011, we are supposed to be proud that Bakun will be the South east asia's largest power project. The dam can generate 2400MW to virtually the whole of peninsula Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and kalimantan. Talk about 'wow factor'!

Analyst began calculating that it is cheaper to use hydropower as the water is 'free' compared to coal and gas. Perhaps, the calculation is correct. However, is it true that the water is really 'free'? How about the cost to the environment? Is there any one factor in the cost to environment? One may ask whether cheaper electricity is a justification to brutalised our rainforest?

The search for energy will not end as long as holistic energy policy is not in place. The energy consumption will increase because of our habit on energy consumption.

For example, there is no law to force developer to build environmental friendly building; one that use less energy. That is one of many gaps within the country energy policy. Until we have that, we might as well plan to build another bakun and destroy hundreds of acres of rainforest in the process.

"We don't know how many millions of barrels of oil or kilowatts of energy we could save just by thinking more about how we live rather than shrinking more of how we live"
- Thomas Friedman-

Bakun dam may begin to supply power in 2010

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Rural folk in interior Sarawak claim many pledges not made good

If this is true, it will bean example of bad governance. To give a promise 5 years ago and still unable to deliver, one may say that it is better not to promise at all.

In corporate world, if you can't deliver your target, the shareholder may want to change the management. Bring in a dynamic management to turn around the company.

Perhaps there are some development in the area. However, if we want to change the way they live, by being less dependant on the forest, we need to create jobs...amplitude of jobs to support the growing needs.

The development must be holistic or else it will be a hollow development. I recalled an except in the Hollowman by TS Elliot, 'shape without form, shade without color, paralysed force, gesture without motion'.

Rural folk in interior Sarawak claim many pledges not made good

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

petrol hike

The price of petrol increase to another 5 sen and Malaysian reacted as if it is the end of the world.

The government should seriously start to find a way to be less dependent on fossil fuels. Lowering the import tax for hybrid car is a good step. Better still, attract the main player in motor industry to set up the plant in Malaysia.

...and to national car makers, please be more innovative. It is time to change to more environmentally friendly products!