Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

I've not formatted my laptop since a year ago thanks to my holidays being filled up. A few weeks ago, I've finally formatted my laptop with the latest Kubuntu release. And, dual booting with Windows 7. Also, I'm running virtual box with Windows XP SP 3 as a guest.

So here's the err... Windows 7... blah:
Windows 7 Ultimate

So, I have to say this release of Kubuntu is the best I've used so far! Installation works fine, sound, video, wireless, etc. drivers detected without any problems. Softwares are stable, and do not crash as often as they used to.

My slightly modified Kubuntu desktop:

Kubuntu Maverick Meerkat Desktop with Pudong, Shanghai :D

About the screenshot, I have no idea why the temperature is 70+ºC when it is really not. Previously the monitor only shows 50 to 60 ºC at most.

I just gotta love the the new system tray! Especially the new network manager which is a huge improvement from the previous one. The icons are also much cleaner and even auto hides the inactive ones. And, the notification is great too!

The desktop activities seems to be usable now. However, I've not figured out how to use it yet since I remembered reading somewhere that its development is still in progress.

With Virtual box, I got a guest OS too:

Windows XP SP 3 Dark Edition in full screen mode

In seamless mode

Guess what. I did all of these without the need of using a the Konsole! Good news for command line phobic people ;)

And what's linux without some eye candy?

Kwin Desktop Cube
A review is not complete without complaints too huh?? So here goes:


  • Grub seems to act a little weird after I boot into windows, restart and boot Kubuntu. It will freeze and not able to boot into Kubuntu. This happens only occasionally though.
  • Kwin's present window effect is buggy. It will freeze the whole desktop at times. Even Ctrl + Alt + Esc does't help. So far the only solution I can think of is hit the restart button (ouch). I turned the effects off to avoid such problems. The previous version of Kubuntu works magically well :(
  • Ibus or whatever language input software should be included by default. I have Ibus now, although it works properly, it acts a little weird: 2 icons on the tray, changing input methods won't behave properly (using mouse) sometimes.
  • Flash seems to be slow. Youtube seems to be fine but if playing facebook games, you'll notice its significantly slower compared to when using windows.

*Note: I'm no professional software reviewer. All comments are based on my usage experience only

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Links on Waye xPress Facebook Page

Dear readers, if you guys have been visiting the Waye xPress Facebook Page lately, you might have noticed that  I've started sharing some content since 10th November.

I might be commenting on certain topics on the blog. Depending on popularity of the issue, and whether I'm free or not. ha ha..

So, I'm posting this short (but old) update since I've not written for quite some time and of course to invite you guys to visit the Facebook Page.

That's all for now. Ciao!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ancient Aliens Series by History Channel

WARNING: Content may be offensive to some people's religions or beliefs. View with an open mind.

Have you ever wondered how the pyramids in Egypt were built back in over 4000 years ago with supposedly, only simple tools? The blocks weigh around 2 tons each and millions of these blocks were used to construct the pyramids. And, the period of its construction - 20 years. Even more remarkable are their precision in the geometry of the pyramids and even the individual blocks itself. It is difficult to replicate even with the modern technology we posses today.

Then there are the pyramids in Mexico, equally remarkable. But what's even more puzzling is that the alignment of the pyramids at Teotihuacán, Mexico is aligned in the same way as the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, which are in the same manner as the Orion's belt. The Pyramid of The Sun in Teotihuacán is also similar to that of Great Pyramid of Giza in dimensions - their base is almost identical, and the one in Mexico about half of the one in Egypt in height. Are these coincidences? Archeologists believe that these civilizations developed independently and did not communicate with each other!

Other than the pyramids, there are other ancient monuments which leaves us puzzled about how they were built, why were they built, their functions and even who or what built them. The Stonehenge in England, the statues in Easter Island, the Nazca Lines in Peru, the ruins in Pumapunku, Tiwanaku in Bolivia and many more.

Strange artifacts are found which resembles modern objects like figurines and drawings of astronauts and flying machines, crystal skulls, complicated astronomical calendars and even computers. One will ask how these ancient people posses these advanced knowledge. The ancient texts also describe technologically advanced flying machines, events which are strikingly similar to that of a spaceship landing, and about how their gods descended from the sky.

More recently, events such as the appearance of crop circles, disappearances of ships in the Bermuda Triangle and UFO sightings. How can all of these be explained?

To explain all these, there's a theory put forward, called "The Ancient Astronauts Theory". This theory suggests that extraterrestrials have visited earth since ancient times and have influenced the development of human culture and technology. This theory has been recently been highlighted in a series of documentaries by the History Channel called Ancient Aliens.

There are many instances where it is believed that aliens might have intervened with human development, leaving monuments, cave drawings and ancient texts behind for us to somehow understand or communicate with them. Some of it is too convincing that it is hard not to believe.

This series is available online for viewing, through parts of videos uploaded to youtube:

Chariots, Gods and Beyond



Episode 1: The Evidence



Episode 2: The Visitors



Episode 3: The Mission



Episode 4: Closer Encounters



Episode 5: The Return



While many of the theories seem credible and believable, in my opinion, I believe they still require more evidence to support this theory. As before, people may use religion or god to explain anything they can't explain, the ancient astronaut theory seems to replace god and religion with aliens instead. Some other claims made however, is unacceptable to me as a search in the internet shows conflicting information.

Whether true or not, this is a very interesting view point for us to ponder about. If it is proven not to be true, I'll definitely accept it, and I believe most of the Ancient Astronaut Theorists will as well. But if it is true, then we'll definitely be rewriting human history and also the future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Waye xPress is now integrated with Facebook!

Waye xPress has once again experienced a little revamp. The blog has now a search box, share buttons and the biggest addition - a Facebook Page.

The Waye xPress Facebook Page

A "like box" is added to the sidebar of the blog to enable easy access and "liking" on Facebook. I'll try to get "liking" of individual posts enabled from this post onwards. Hope it works. I'll be browsing around the Facebook Developers site to see if there are any nice features to include.

So, that's just a short update on the blog. Do drop by to say a few words, comments or suggestions in the new Waye xPress Facebook Page!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Penang: Upcoming Shopping Malls by End of 2010

Two new shopping malls will be added into Penang's list of shopping destinations by the end of this year. The much awaited 1st Avenue Mall in KOMTAR and Straits Quay in Seri Tanjung Pinang.

1st Avenue

Part of KOMTAR's phase 3 development, built with a cost of RM 300 million and boasts a retail area of 430,000 sq ft,1st Avenue (previously Mutiara Parade) will finally be completed and opened around September. It will be among the larger shopping malls in Penang.


The mall will be managed by American based Pramerica Real Estate Investors. The target market are the upper middle class Penangites, offering besides restaurants and shops, entertainment outlets, a cineplex and karaoke. Parkson will be the anchor tenant, taking up 95,000 sq ft and 4 levels.




Straits Quay

Located in the new waterfront township of Seri Tanjung Pinang, Straits Quay is expected to open its doors in November or December.

The mall will house 100 tenants, including restaurants, cafés, bistros, bars, boutiques, entertainment outlets, a Royal Selangor Visitor Centre and an education centre. A total of 270,000 sq ft to stroll.



Within the vicinity is a marina, a events square called Straits Court, service apartments called The Suite @ Straits Quay, water front promenade, a fish market, a performing arts centre and the Straits Quay Lighthouse. The lighthouse will house a 5 storey seafood restaurant with an aquarium theme. A water limousine service is expected to ferry people from the marina to E&O Hotel in Upper Penang Road.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy 53rd Merdeka Day!


We've come 53 years since the independence of our beloved Malaysia on August 31st, 1957. We've achieved much development, physically and socially. So, this day is the day we celebrate our country's success to being a successful and peaceful country. Right?

Now, let's analyse what is the meaning of "Merdeka" or "Independence".

A definition from Wikipedia:
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory.[1]

A definition from TheFreeDictionary:
Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing.[2]

So, the important keyword here is "self-government". What is self government? Obviously, from the word itself, it can be clearly understood that it means to rule by itself.

How is Malaysia being ruled? The Website of The Parliament of Malaysia states that:
Malaysia practises Parliamentary Democracy with Constitutional Monarchy and His Royal Highness is the Paramount Ruler.[3]

Keywords: democracy, constitution

Democracy as defined by Democracy Building and by Wikipedia respectively:
Form of government, where a constitution guarantees basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law.[4]

Democracy is a political form of government where governing power is derived from the people, either by direct referendum (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy).[5]

Constitution as defined by The 'Lectric Law Library and Wikipedia respectively:
The fundamental law of the state, containing the principles upon which the government is founded and regulating the divisions of the sovereign powers, directing to what persons each of these powers is to be confided and the manner it is to be exercised.[6]

A constitution is a set of laws that a set of people have made and agreed upon for government—often codified as a written document—that enumerates and limits the powers and functions of a political entity.[7]

From the definitions presented above, a question we should be asking ourselves are:


  1. Is our government selected by the people through fair and free elections? Or are the results being tampered, manipulated or sabotaged with?

  2. Are our courts of law independent? Or being controlled to achieve certain motives?

  3. Are the people's rights protected? Or ignored and purposely misinterpreted?

  4. Is the constitution being up held? Or is it being ignored and misinterpreted (as mentioned)?

  5. Does the government that "we elect" work by the limits of their powers? Or have they gone overboard and are corrupted?

There are still many questions to be asked if we study more in detail about those definitions of words and our constitution.

In a nutshell, if you find that your answers to the above questions are similar as mine, then perhaps our Merdeka is not so worth celebrating after all, since this "independence" that we celebrate actually does not exist.

So guys, think about it, read up the news articles about our political situation (from both sides of the fence) and learn more about Malaysia in this Merdeka.

Selamat Hari Merdeka fellow Malaysians!!!

References:
[1] Wikipedia Contributors, Independance, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independance
[2] TheFreeDictionary, Independent, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/independent
[3] Website of The Parliament of Malaysia, Introduction, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://www.parlimen.gov.my/eng-pengenalan-lblakng.htm
[4] Democracy Building, Definition of Democracy, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://www.democracy-building.info/definition-democracy.html
[5] Wikipedia Contributors, Democracy, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
[6] The 'Lectric Law Library, Constitution, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c290.htm
[7] Wikipedia Contributors, Constitution, Retrieved 30th August 2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Majestic Mount Kinabalu - A Geological Story

Mount Kinabalu from Kundasang Town

Introduction
Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in the country needs no further introduction to fellow Malaysians, though it is not very well understood geologically. Aki Nabalu as the local Kadazandusuns call it, meaning "the revered place of the dead"[1] as it is believed that the spirits of the dead will reside on the mountain when one passes away. It is however, popularly translated to 神山 (pinyin: shén shān) in Chinese meaning Mountain of the Gods.


View of the peaks of Mount Kinabalu from near the Kinabalu Park's Timpohon entrance


Geography and Location
The tallest point, Low's Peak is at 4095 m above sea level[2], and is 1453 m higher than Malaysia's 2nd tallest mountain, Mount Trus Madi at 2642 m above sea level[3]. It is often touted as the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, this is in fact disputable. Some might have heard of Puncak Jaya in the Indonesian Province of Papua (Irian Jaya) as the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia at 4884 m,[4] but the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia is actually Mount Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar, which is part of the Himalayan Mountain System, at 5881 m.[5] There are also many other mountains in Myanmar above 5000 m tall and in Papua, above 4500 m tall! See the List of Southeast Asian Mountains.


Peak of Puncak Jaya
Source: 
Alfindra Primaldhi, Wikipedia


While there are 9 mountains listed on the list that are taller than Mount Kinabalu, those in Papua are geographically considered to be in the continent of Oceania and those in Myanmar are bordering southern China (but some still consider that as part of Southeast Asia). So, the claim of Mount Kinabalu as the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia might be accurate, depending on the geographical definition. Within political borders, however, that claim is far from true.


Myanmar's Hkakabo Razi
Source:
burma-all.com

Geology
Climbing Mount Kinabalu has a good explanation of Mount Kinabalu's geology:
Mount Kinabalu is the youngest large mountain on earth today. The whole structure of the granite dome has been pushed through the sandstone in about a million years, which is exceptional young in geological terms. Mount Kinabalu thus is a huge granite dome, pluton or batholit that was pushed up from the earth’s 1-1.5 million years ago by the hardening of a mass of molten rock that rose beneath the sedimentary rocks of the older Crocker Range. The sandstone and soil that once covered the granite have been eroded to reveal the underlying bare granite rock. During the Pleistocene Period at about 100,000 years ago, the mountain was covered by ice and glaciers which flowed down its slopes, scouring its surface in the process and creating the 1800 m deep Low's Gully on its north side. The ice fields covered some 5,4 square kilometres, and projected into two glaciers with moraines. Only the sharp summit peaks projected through the ice. The ice sheets disappeared 3,000 years ago, but the glacier-smoothed slopes of the summit plateau and the jagged ice-plucked peaks still bear witness to the icy past. No snow falls on the mountain today and there are rare reports of ice forming in the little rock pool at the summit, this is the ‘Sacrifice Pool’, it was a traditional site of offerings to the mountain spirits.[6]

Low's Gully
Source: Universitas Bergensis


Mount Kinabalu is essentially a massive pluton formed from granodiorite which is intrusive. It is still pushing up at the rate of 5 mm per annum.[2] The glacier at 100,000 years ago, cuts the mountain and formed Low's Gully, a huge U shaped gorge 1.5 km large, splitting it into the "two sides of Kinabalu East and Kinabalu West".[7] This gorge led many to assume that Mount Kinabalu is an extinct volcano, which is untrue. Volcanoes, extinct and active do exist in Malaysia though in the Semporna Peninsula. See my previous post here.

Low's Gully
Source: Stoncel
Conclusion
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth a visit as it's the only place in Malaysia where one can find an alpine forest, only mountain over 3000 m high, and the geological features will just blow you away! A climb up the mountain, however is becoming very unaffordable due to efforts to limit visitors in order to protect the mountains.

References
[1] Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com, The Legends of Mount Kinabalu,  http://www.mount-kinabalu-borneo.com/mount-kinabalu-legends.html
[2] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, Mount Kinabaluhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kinabalu
[3] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, Mount Trus Madihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Trus_Madi
[4] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, Puncak Jayahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puncak_Jaya
[5] Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, Hkakabo Razihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hkakabo_Razi
[7] Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com, The Geology of Mount Kinabaluhttp://www.mount-kinabalu-borneo.com/mount-kinabalu-geology.html