Safety in Malaysia and the external perception

I am sitting at The Pier, a Cathay Pacific Lounge in the Hong Kong airport. While I still occasionally swing by The Wing, The Bridge, and The Cabin (in that order), this lounge has become my favourite, as you can get a 20-30 minute complimentary massage, which makes the transit a lot more bearable.

Today’s interesting conversation in the massage area (it is usually quiet, but occasionally you get a chatty passenger) happened to be with a gentleman on the same flight I would be on. He was born in Kerala, but grew up in New Delhi, and spent the last four years as an expat in Kuala Lumpur. His masseuse, like all ours at The Pier, are from Nepal.

She had been to Kuala Lumpur when she was about sixteen. And her friends and her were planning on going to Kuala Lumpur in September 2015, but they are rethinking it due to the fact that Kuala Lumpur is not safe.

Hong Kong she says is very safe. She takes a bus at 4am to reach the airport at 5.30am. She thinks that Singapore is safe. But KL lately, is not safe. The expat agrees. Whether true or perception, this is going to affect our tourist arrival numbers!

As a Malaysian, I wonder how many of us are waking up to this reality? What are we going to do to fix it?

Recapping rounds

I read with great interest (including the comments thread) about recapping seed rounds by both Brad Feld and Joanne Wilson. Reprehensible beahviour. Also in general angels don’t go in more than the first round.

Which brings me to a general worry/concern – companies where early employees become minority shareholders (not option holders, shareholders). Where they pay their first few salaries in exchange for shares. Or if after some M&A activity, folk become shareholders. One can easily own 1% or more of a company this way.

When the going gets tough, vultures do come along.

Minimum Viable Blogging

I’m not a huge fan of the marketing surrounding the “lean startup” or the idea of a “minimum viable product”. There’s merit to all these ideas, but the hype is what kills it (for me).

I have realised something recently — I spend a lot of time & energy writing emails and creating documents within Google Docs or Keynote. Its just the nature of how things work. When it comes to chatting, there’s IRC and lately even Slack. All this bashing on the keyboard means that I very rarely have time to blog and talk about the things that are going on via mail/docs.

So I’m going to try something new. If an email or doc I write isn’t private, and I’m having wide distribution to it anyway and it could be of interest to others, I will also blog it. The hardest part of that is adding links so far!

After all, if you’ve read the ESR guide on How To Become A Hacker, it clearly states that the world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved and most importantly no problem should ever have to be solved twice.

So maybe I don’t read things over to ‘edit’ them, but this is a blog, not a publication. And the byline does say ‘rough notes on…’

#PerconaLive Amsterdam – schedule now out

The schedule is out for Percona Live Europe: Amsterdam (September 21-23 2015), and you can see it at: https://www.percona.com/live/europe-amsterdam-2015/program.

From MariaDB Corporation/Foundation, we have 1 tutorial: Best Practices for MySQL High Availability – Colin Charles (MariaDB)

And 5 talks:

  1. Using Docker for Fast and Easy Testing of MariaDB and MaxScale – Andrea Tosatto (Colt Engine s.r.l.) (I expect Maria Luisa is giving this talk together – she’s a wonderful colleague from Italy)
  2. Databases in the Hosted Cloud Colin Charles (MariaDB)
  3. Database Encryption on MariaDB 10.1 Jan Lindström (MariaDB Corporation), Sergei Golubchik (Monty Program Ab)
  4. Meet MariaDB 10.1 Colin Charles (MariaDB), Monty Widenius (MariaDB Foundation)
  5. Anatomy of a Proxy Server: MaxScale Internals Ivan Zoratti (ScaleDB Inc.)

OK, Ivan is from ScaleDB now, but he was the SkySQL Ab ex-CTO, and one of the primary architects behind MaxScale! We may have more talks as there are some TBD holes to be filled up, but the current schedule looks pretty amazing already.

What are you waiting for, register now!

Telekom Malaysia outage, no incident report

Telekom Malaysia “broke the Internet” for a few hours on June 12. I recall I was stuck in an airport lounge in London wondering why my daily diet, bar one loaded — FT/NYT on the iPad had no issue but I couldn’t get the WSJ for offline reading. 

It was a route leak. For reference, the Hacker News thread is well worth a read (comments are particularly why you’d go there). Cloudflare had an incident report. Discussions on the nanog list. Telekoms was pretty happy with their tweet. DigitalNewsAsia reports that MCMC (SKMM) was looking into the TM outage behind the global Internet slowdown. BGPMon has pretty graphs to accompany the massive route leak.

Telekom posted a pretty quick apology. But over 2 weeks later, and there is no incident report as to what happened. When this happened in Australia, the turnaround time was 10 days – see APNIC: Leaking routes.

Will anyone be held accountable?

Music streaming – Spotify has won?

It seems clear that Spotify won the music streaming battle:

Spotify accounts for 86% of the on-demand music-streaming market in the U.S., according to data shared with music publishers. Its share of the international market is believed to be similar.

I’m an ardent Rdio user. However, they’ve lost songs that I want to listen to (in my playlists). And I just noticed that they’ve also killed Amazon Payments as a method of payment. They’re taking much less than 14% of the market, and were costing me USD$9.99/month.

It looks like I’m moving to Spotify. But I’ll hang in there to see what Apple launches in the meantime (you see, sometimes I might want to listen to some Taylor Swift). My major beef is with playlists — I’ve invested time in curating that experience, and I need to find an easy way out.


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