Blackhat

What do you get when you put Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Lee Hom (Asian heartthrob), & Computer Security together?

You get Blackhat. Yes, it is a very unlikely outcome.

It’s been a while since such movie about computer security(or hacking, for the common man) as the main plot has been made.

From the Featurette, it looks like the hacking elements in the movie will be as accurate as possible. I do hope those actors are as convincing too!

Such movie is good for the public. It educates the general public about the threat present in today’s connected world. People must know computer security is not only a concern for the corporations who provide the service. Anyone can be a victim as long as you are connected to the internet(ehem, your smartphone).

The threat is real. Be in control, or you will be controlled.

07. January 2015 by Ken
Categories: General | Tags: | 3,966 comments

Base Rate

A few days ago, our country’s Central Bank has implemented the new Base Rate to replace the old Base Lending Rate. This will not affect the effective rate. More info can be read from the Bank Negara’s website here:

http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_announcement&pg=en_announcement_all&ac=341

My friend TH has finally resigned from his startup job and is looking to be self-employed. We met today for ping pong session and some brainstorming on our next collaboration.

It’s been awhile since we last met as I was busy with events. I hope our next product will be a success!

Ping Pong is my favourite sports of all. It is always fun to play with friends. Sometimes while playing, I will consider going serious and train properly for the game.

It is good to develop extra skills in life, you will never know what you are capable of until you try.

06. January 2015 by Ken
Categories: General | 1,930 comments

Entrepreneurship Not For Everyone

Read an article today that talks about how you can never get rich by being an employee.

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-only-way-to-get-really-really-rich.html

Although I agree with the author wholeheartedly, but not everyone is fit for entrepreneurship, be it mentally or physically. I have noticed some of the people around me, the way they think, talk, & make decisions clearly show that they are not cut for it.

So just keep this in mind: if you want to be rich & yet are not willing to change, the chances of you getting rich is very close to 0%.

05. January 2015 by Ken
Categories: General | Tags: | 664 comments

Being Consistent

It’s New Year & some of us might start doing things that is supposed to improve ourselves. For example: going to the gym or learning a new language. However, how many can persist?

So what if you ran 10km today? Can you do it again tomorrow? Can you do it everyday for the whole year?

Start small but be consistent. It’s perfectly OK even if you just achieved +1% improvement from yesterday. If you do it everyday, you will improve over 300% by the end of the year!

The winners are those who can deliver consistently.

02. January 2015 by Ken
Categories: General | Tags: | 3,485 comments

Mastery

Recently, I came upon the realisation that I have perhaps spent too much time on my current comfort level without any significant change or improvement. After much searching and talking, I had managed to find the root cause of the problem and am now working towards on steering myself to the right path.

This all started when I noticed my recent freelance business income had started to show signs of steadiness at a comfortable level. This is my 2nd serious income and 1st successful venture that has been going well.

But the steadiness also means nothing exciting has happen. I realised what I have been doing now has essentially no major difference from when I just started out. It is change that I need, but not fully aware of it.

Until one day, a good friend of mine came to my place and we had a little chat. A little background of him first. He’s an engineer and has been performing very well in his firm, receiving praise from both his superiors and clients. Apart from his job, he is also an active property investor, and is doing quite well in it too.

However, on that day, he told me that he realised what he has been doing is not sustainable and he does not see the future that he wanted. It looks like he is having the same “steadiness” problem as me. But better yet, he had found a way to change this. He says he is hoping to fine tune himself and to look into other fields and opportunities that will able to take him where he wants to be exactly.

After he left, the idea of fine tuning keep lingering in my head. And so, I turned to Google and start searching for answers, as if there’s one for me.

Initial search brings me to some of the popular self-help blogs. I spent time to read through some of them, and also found some interview videos conducted by the author of the blog with some entrepreneurs. In the interview, they recommended some books to read that will take you to a higher level, which is what I’m looking for.

And that’s how I discover a book that has all the answers to the questions that aris from the current stage of my life.

The book, Mastery, by Robert Greene, which I had also used it as the title of this post.

Mastery have all the answers to what I am looking for. It basically convey the idea that everyone should discover their life task and attain mastery in the career they choose by means of apprenticeship. Attaining mastery is the ultimate goal and the highest form of intelligence reachable by a person.

As I reading through the book, everything seems to fit in so nicely with my thinking. What it also delivers is the structure and clear steps for one to attain mastery in ones chosen field or career, which is often a fuzzy path for most people. Some people know they need or wanted to be the best in their field, but they just don’t know how. Robert Greene is able to organize the ideas and steps required to attain mastery that span across well structured chapters in his book.

Reading the book is almost like finding the path of enlightenment to for my mind.

I have since spoken to quite a number of people around me about the ideas from the book. What I realised is, not surprisingly, everyone that I talked to totally isn’t ready or haven’t even thought about it before. However, it addresses exactly the main social problem that most people face in today’s material-based, consumer society. For example:

  1. Why do people feel empty or hollow in their life even though they have everything they wanted?
  2. Why do young people keep hopping jobs and never seems to be able to settle in a career?
  3. Why most people are unhappy with their life?

The following interview with the author, Robert Greene, has some answers for the above questions.

I believe that the term “hobby” has been understated of its true meaning. When you talk about hobby, people tend to think that hobby is a thing for kids, or something that adults do when they have extra time to spare, that generally doesn’t bring any real value to ones career or to the society at large.

However, the main reason people are feeling uncontented in their life because of lack of a hobby to pursue. In the book Master, Robert Greene also called it as a “life-task”. As human being, we have to be kept busy. Or else, we will feel uneasy and frustrated. If prolonged and not being addressed, it will lead to more serious problem such as depression.

It’s very interesting to observe the response that I get from people whenever I talked to them about the idea of mastery and the problems it can solved. It made me realised how clueless many people can be when it comes to their own destiny. It is conformity to be blamed, and people’s opinion does matter it seems.

I highly recommend Mastery to anyone who wishes to have a more fulfillment life. Only when one pursue his or her life task and attain mastery that he or she can be said to have really lived.

Although I have yet to discover what is my life task is, but I do believe I am very close in discovering it. At least now I know what direction I am supposed to be heading(where), and what I need to do next(what) and for how long(when). After determining my life task, the next step should be finding the appropriate apprenticeship(who), and the means of attaining mastery(how).

Or perhaps, only by taking action, that I will be discovering it during the process of doing.

Good luck!

01. October 2013 by Ken
Categories: Self Improvement | Tags: , , | 879 comments

KL Circular Transit Map

Inspired by privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~mjr/underground/circles/gallery/Circles_Maps.html, I have created a circular map version of our very own city Kuala Lumpur.

KL Circular City Transit Map

While creating the map, I felt very excited for the entire process. Partly because it took me off of my daily work routine, allowing me to actually do my own stuff, without having to think about deliverables.

Another reason is due to my long time absent from involving in personal projects. This map may be a small project, but it certainly fills my inner geek.

Up to now, I’m not sure I should continue to rant about my work & personal stuff, or actually talk more about the process of creating the circular map.

Sometimes, we should stop chasing the never ending schedule, and actually spend some time to do the things that we always wanted to do. This is one way to let your inner self to get your attention, to remind you that you need to be more “you”.

The Map

It took me 4 days on & off and 6 iterations to get to the final form you see above. 4 on paper, and 2 in digital.

While doing research, I finally gave a deeper look into the complete route of all 8 major rail lines in the city, plus the upcoming LRT extension line and MRT line. It seems they finally “leave no loose ends” in the routes and go full circle.

What surprises me most is how everything fits quite well together in the circular map form, with every turns & interchanges getting into positions that are just right.

I also tried to make the locations of each end terminal points to the correct direction where one can expect while looking at an actual map.

That’s all for tonight. Enjoy the map and feel free to leave your comment below.

03. August 2013 by Ken
Categories: Personal Project | Tags: , , | 5,999 comments

Home Cinema

  1. Tonight I’m going to talk about one my good friend, Alvin.
  2. I met him during my high school year. He is a mix Chinese Indian and his family is very wealthy. He lives in a 4-storey bungalow on top of a hill. There’s a badminton court and a similar size swimming pool behind his backyard. Beside the court there’s another 2-storey building that was meant to be a small apartment-like house built for his sister upon her marriage.
  3. After his sister moved out to her new place, the apartment becomes vacant. So my friend decided to build a home cinema on the first floor. The ground floor is actually open and used for parking cars. Occasionally he would invite me to watch movies at his home cinema.
  4. The hill area that he lives is surrounded by many low-cost apartments that his family once lived. They moved up to the hill and bought the land to build a bungalow after his father made a fortune in the business. Albeit their new life style, neither he or his siblings are rich spoilt brats. Their family is a strict catholic family that goes to church every weekends. The best part is he doesn’t even had a television set in their house. All he have during growing up are books. I would say that’s very good parenting there. Due to that, he and each of his siblings has grown up to become a smart and wonderful person.
  5. During my schooling years, I’ve never met anyone in school who really knows a lot of geeky stuff. Things changed when he came to my school for 2 years of high school. Everyday at school we would exchange about knowledge that we know and talk about them endlessly. Usually the conversation also joined by other friends. When I got home after school, I would go on to the internet and wikipedia out whatever topic that I managed to dive into. And then the next day I would talk about it with him.
  6. Most of the time, however, he is the one who always knows more. The reason is simple: he reads more than everyone in our class combined. He just seems to know stuff. So, I really enjoyed having him as a friend, as we both understand each other pretty well.
  7. After high school, we managed to went in to the same University but different faculties. Since then, we are both busy for our own matters and seldom make time to meet up. If I can remember, we only went for lunch together once during our 4 years in University.
  8. After graduation, we started to meet more often for outings and drinks. We resumed our golden age and talk about everything and anything. It is also from him that I started to appreciate the cinemas and good movies. I don’t just opt for the latest box office, but would always look for the classics and also starting to recognize famous actors, actresses, and even directors.
  9. However, things change and people move on. One year after graduation, he decided to further his study overseas. Since then, I have temporary lost a friend that can talk about stuff we each understands. At the same time, my business is starting to requires extra attention. Due both reasons, I have cut down on movies significantly too.
  10. But that is alright. While he is studying abroad now, I will be focusing on growing my business. The next time we meet, we will both be at a different higher level. Although we may not know what the future might hold for us, but what I can say is I will always have a friend that I truely enjoy spending time with.

01. May 2012 by Ken
Categories: Midnight | Tags: , , | 4,799 comments

Materialistic

I noticed that people are becoming more and more materialistic. You will only appear successful if you drives a luxury car, uses the latest smart phone, and appearing frequently at expensive bars and café.

The sole purpose in social life seems to be just showing off among your peers. This causes less successful people to hate the ones that has the wealth to show off. But when they become successful themself, they will very likely to show off too.

In the end of the day, I don’t think they will ever find happiness in it.

Recently, there’s a millionaire who just cannot find happiness in his perfect life decided to donate all his wealth and lives in a small hut on a hill. Karl Rabeder, 49, uses all the donated funds to setup a non-profit organization that gives out micro-loan to small business owners in rural countries. Apparently his wife left him the moment he made the life changing decision. But he is now a happy man.

You can make people do great things if there is money as a reward. However, great things happen when money isn’t the prime motivation. The recent example is Instagram, who recently acquired by facebook for $1 billion. Their app is free to download.

So, I think we should not be blinded by money in any situation. But at the same time, we should reward and compensate people well who have truly put in their effort in the things they do.

17. April 2012 by Ken
Categories: Midnight | Tags: , , | 4,062 comments

Dark Side

If you believe in evolution, you know that we humans evolved from mammals. While most mammals has fur and body hair, this actually makes us the ugliest mammals among all. No? Just imagine your dog or cat without fur.

But luckily, we are blessed with intelligence and often consider our self as the upper rule of all other living things on earth. Therefore, being hair-naked seems to be unique.

When properly trained, animals can show intelligence too. What really separate us from them is our fully developed senses and flexible limbs. Without them, we’d look like a dolphin trying to build a fort, or a monkey screaming senselessly for food.

The nature is a game of ‘survivor of the fittest’. This can’t be true enough and can be observed on all living things on earth, whether in a pack or individually, including us humans. However, the difference is that we are intelligent enough to hide our ‘true nature’. While some animals can disguise themselves, but they will still kill whenever there’s a chance, disregard if their kinds are around or not.

You dress up when you are outside, and you know how to act and react in public. In contrast, of course, an animal cannot possibly care much about their action and consequences. The only time when we couldn’t care less about our appearance is when we are all alone by our self.

When a person is alone, he is more likely to be the real self. If we study closely, we actually tend to be more like an animal. For example, we don’t dress up or make up when we are not seeing anyone, and we will use our bare hand to eat instead of a fork.

Apart from that, being alone also provide a chance for some people to do certain activities that the society deem inappropriate or out of the norm.  This is what I prefer to call the dark side. The dark side can sometimes be a crime or morally wrong.

Some people like collecting weird item like their pet feces, fingernails, hair, old dolls, used diapers, and do god knows what with them. Some people like to do things on other people like stalking, frightening, torturing, demon rituals, sex fetishes, kidnapping, raping, killing, and the list goes on. Some like to write or draw explicit content. Some will do stuff to their body like self-inflicting harm, dress as opposite sex or other creature, like a cow or something, shower their bodies with food or other stuff. Some just uses their imagination like talking to themself, imagining impossible scenario, planning murders, having an imaginary friend, or thinks he is a god or messiah and everyone else doesn’t matter.

Don’t be surprised, but the more extreme ones will mostly occur in wealthy and well to do upper class society. When you have the money, you can almost do anything to anything or anyone and no one will know nothing about it. People without such economy power will tend to settle on less extreme stuff such as item collecting.

The question is, why? Why they have to do it? The reason is simple. Why do you scratch your feet? Because it’s itchy and scratching makes it feels good. People do it is because they can get a ‘kick’ from it. When they are doing it, they suddenly have a sense of uniqueness, they feel special among their kind. People like to feel special and selected. In short, people enjoy to be in the dark side.

I believe every single person has their dark side. I have one too, but I’m not telling you because it has no value to be gained from it, and I think the society might think it is crazy or inappropriate. If you know someone that appears to be very innocent, or just doesn’t ‘fit in’, believe me, they are not who you think they are. Even if they don’t show it, it is somewhere in their head.

Think about it, up til today there’s still no one who knows about your dark side, so what makes you think you will know other person’s if they have one? The fact is, you will probably never know in your entire life. Even if you think you are very close to that person, they are not going to like just invite you to their dark side.

If you don’t agree, or you don’t think you have a dark side, convince me. The comment is open for you.

Welcome to the dark side, you are not alone.

05. March 2012 by Ken
Categories: Midnight | Tags: , , | 3,239 comments

Narcotics

Sometimes I like to imagine I’m a policeman working in the narcotics department that bust drug rings by using state of the art equipment. I don’t remember when I started to have this fantasy but the idea was definitely came from tv shows.

I’m pretty interested in everything that is related to illegal drugs. From the types of drugs, origin, distribution, uses, cartels, victims, price, war, agencies, and their operations. The fight against illegal drug trade and drug abuse will never end anytime soon. Therefore, of all the activities I just mentioned, anyone can choose to be a grower or manufacturer, a small time seller, a big time distributor, an enforcement agency, a spy or sting, a researcher, or a regular user.

For me, I’ll choose to be an enforcement agency that fight against those who produce and distribute illegal drugs and protect those potential victims and their family members. Particularly, I would like to be responsible for the intelligence part where my job is to gather and process information that can lead to the capture or “busting” of a drug ring.

Needless to say, I’m a big fan of crime genre movies and tv shows. Whenever I watched these shows, I’ll always keep in mind that “it’s not so simple”. No matter how close the show portrays it, it is always not the whole picture. In the real drug world, people suffer and die for real. There’re are no heroes or 1 man show. In the real world, the enforcement work as a team.

In the country that I live in, drug trafficking is a death sentence. Occasionally, we can see successful drug busting operation carried out by police. The media only reports the outcome, but the public will never know the amount of time, effort, and sometimes lives that has been put in to just bust 1 single operation. Not to mention the failed ones.

I’ve even at some point in life considered the option of joining the law enforcement force. But I’ve never seriously look into the recruitment process.

Aside from risk, I think the job is pretty fun. I’ll get to plant bugs in enemy quarters and listen from a mobile station not far away and ready to give order to strike. Another aspect is to look into bank’s and business record for illicit transaction and potential money laundering activities. I could also be working with stings, where they are the most dangerous job in the whole operation.

After collecting the information, we must also never assume all information are accurate. Sometimes, the enemy may be smarter than we think. The worse that false information can cause is just wasted time. However, false information can also be a trap too. It is important to never assume anything.

Besides gathering information, I think protecting them is equally important. What stops the enemy to plant bug or sting among us? I’ll not be surprised if mole is a common thing that exist among the law enforcement forces. Even after a successful drug raid, all the information shall remain classified as the enemy might use it to get smarter.

In the end, the winner in this battle will be the party that has the most information.

21. February 2012 by Ken
Categories: Midnight | Tags: , , | 3,259 comments

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