Posts Tagged ‘malaysia’

Which Linode is the best if you serve a Malaysian audience

On 19 April 2010, I did some quick research to see which Linode host was right for you, if you were serving mostly Malaysian clients. I did traceroutes and looked at the output of curl. Linode provides speedtest files for you (they’re 100MB in size). I tested it against Streamyx 512kbps and 4mbps accounts (something that I can say was popular in Malaysia back in 2010). I intend to repeat this test again soon, but I have no longer got any Streamyx accounts available, so I expect all this should be much faster.

Server 512kbps
tracert hops
512kbps avg download speed 512kbps time spent 4mbps tracert hops 4mbps avg download speed 4mbps time spent
London 8 52722 0:33:08 8 103k 0:16:24
Newark 11 52561 0:33:14 11 192k 0:08:52
Atlanta 12 52663 0:33:11 13 261k 0:06:31
Dallas 16 47762 0:36:35 16 99k 0:17:07
Fremont 9 52338 0:33:23 9 408k 0:04:10

From the table above, you want the highest average download speed, with the lowest time spent. Upon multiple tests, on a 512kbps link, London was the quickest in terms of delivery (it also only took 8 hops to reach). However on the 4mbps link, its clear that Fremont is the best, even though it took 9 hops to reach.

Conclusion for me back then was that Fremont is a clear winner so choose a server based in Fremont. Tokyo didn’t exist before. Go on, host at Linode, they’re a great VPS provider.

MCMC policing blocks 6,400 websites since 2008

I just read that MCMC blocked 6,640 websites since 2008. That’s an average of about 1,300 sites blocked a year. Reasons to get blocked:

  • fake bank websites
  • copyright infringement (I presume these are torrent search engines, MP3/MP4 hosts, etc)
  • pornography 
  • insulting the royal institution

I have less issue with blocking fake bank websites; but rather than blocking them, they should be prosecuting them to shutdown. This is the same with sites infringing copyright – you get the content removed via a takedown notice, failing which you attempt to shut the site down. You don’t use resources to block the site.

Now, what about pornography? Isn’t it bad enough you can’t pick up pornography at your friendly local magazine store? Malaysians seem to have an appetite for porn, and I wish they woke up to realise that this isn’t a bad thing. Its much worse to have an urge and rape your child/sister/in-law/a stranger. 

The royal institution – does the MCMC know how to draw a line between insults and discourse? Malaysian authority generally has no clue of the difference between disloyalty and dissent. There is no institution that is off bounds for questioning – all societies deserve the right to ask questions in an open fashion.

Insults and slander on the Internet will not disrupt the political stability of the country. Insults and slander are published in mainstream media, by politicians, so I doubt the average Joe on the street is going to make a change. But if enough people start thinking and their minds start opening up, what it can do is impact a regime change. And remember, slander and defamation have their own laws that can be applied from the real world. Sedition needs to just go.

Why do we pay the MCMC to police the Internet when really, the onus should be on the user? If I’m a concerned parent, I could install (and pay for – i.e. spur economies) software that filters my own connection. 

A question no one has asked or received an answer for: Where is this complete list of 6,400 websites?

Boom or inflation in Malaysia?

Is the Malaysian economy experiencing a boom or is the economy experiencing inflation? All the Maybank ATM’s I’ve visited recently have begun dispensing RM100 and RM20 notes as opposed to RM50 and RM10. 

Shopify, Off The Rack Asia – e-commerce hots up in Malaysia

A trolley in loveSome interesting news happening in the Malaysian e-commerce space today.

  • Shopify, the Canadian company, is now in Southeast Asia thanks to SingTel backing. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India get access to Shopify, and by September, you can work with local payment gateways as SingTel will help Shopify get onboarded. In Malaysia, that means working with MOLPay (NBEPay) or iPay88. Both have woefully terrible pages that break the flow.
  • With Maybank pushing e-commerce and “blogshops”, I’m surprised they didn’t have the foresight to do this. Shopify could have chosen Malaysia as a headquarters, no? Alas, the sufferance when Singapore is your much more welcoming neighbour.
  • I read about a startup, Off The Rack Asia, that aims to compete with Zalora/FashionValet/Rakuten/etc. The story broke at FZ, which is also worth a read. They don’t disclose how much Cradle gave as a grant? It’s anywhere between RM150,000 – RM500,000 isn’t it (CIP150 or CIP500)?
    • This is great for merchants. They have more places to distribute their goods. Love that they’re supporting locals.
    • Target market is 18-35 – I think that’s two broad, you get at least 2 distinct age groups there, if not three!
    • I checked out the site – nice design. I notice that the items are generally quite pricey, so definitely not mass market fast fashion prices.
    • Checkout page can do with improvements. (I must accept terms but can’t read it via a clickable link?) Payment page basically sucks, it heads to MOLPay.
    • No idea if they’re drop shipping or holding inventory. Zalora started via drop ship, but soon realised that fulfilment was an issue, so they have a warehouse with inventory.
    • Zendesk is their Q&A platform (odd choice that you’d pay for such a service).

    Overall, I’m hoping to see improvements in payment gateways with lobbying by all these players. And I wish the girls at Off The Rack the best, it’s a tough space to be in, but one that can only grow as Malaysia itself grows digitally (as does the region).

    On startup factories

    I read with great zeal the article about Y Combinator in the NYT titled: Silicon Valley’s Start-Up Machine. I think there are a few important takeaways, especially with people trying to build this kind of thing elsewhere.

    1. People take the $100,000 at a 7% stake because of the whole experience. Advice from seasoned entrepreneurs (like pitch improvements, etc.). The importance of the network they bring (which is hugely underestimated by many clones). Dumb money remains dumb.
    2. “The general public doesn’t understand start-ups at all,” Buchheit said. “They’re mystified how a company with no revenue can be worth a billion dollars. It’s because of this power law: If a company has a 1 percent chance of being a hundred-billion-dollar company, then it’s worth about a billion dollars. That kind of thing doesn’t happen in your normal life experience. If I get a cup of tea, it’s a cup of tea — there isn’t a chance that it’s actually made out of solid gold. But that’s how this works.” – direct quote from Paul Buchheit
    3. “One of the reasons,” he said, “is because there’s nothing else to invest in. If you have money, there’s nothing to put it in. Bonds return nothing. And the stock market — what public company do you feel reasonably assured is going to go up at historical norms of 8 percent a year? It could all just fall apart. . . .” If, on the other hand, you discover the next Google, you can increase your investment by “a thousand X.”

    Nothing else to invest in. Interest rates in the USA are low. In Malaysia (or Singapore), you have property as an investment that should return more than 8% per annum. Refer to my old post about the startup ecosystem in Malaysia.

    Its nice to see lots of funds and accelerators pop up, but without the experience, the lack of vision, and other investment vehicles that return sufficiently, I’m not sure how even the angel incentives help.

    Updates on Malaysian censorship/filtering

    With mouths wide openMore updates on Internet censorship in Malaysia (follow up from yesterday, As elections nears, Malaysia filters the Internet).

    1. MCMC denies that there are access restrictions, claiming high traffic is what slows sites down. Sheikh Raffie Abd Rahman, the strategic communications chief needs to realise that he’s dealing with people smarter than he is, so this kind of bullshit isn’t going to work.
    2. Brian Ritchie made an infographic on helping people bypass the censorship. Should be good for most end users.
    3. Khairil Yusof from the Sinar project made a simple Python app to help you see if your connection is being filtered. This requires you to have a Python interpreter.
    4. An anonymous source pointed me to For Their Eyes Only. The report is chilling. Do a search for Malaysia (it’s a long PDF, I’ve not been able to read it all). It is covered in TMI and security.my. Avoid this file: SENARAI CADANGAN CALON PRU KE-13 MENGIKUT NEGERI.doc. If you’ve opened it, you’ve got FinSpy. This was brought up before by TMI via the NYT, however MCMC ended up investigating TMI over this.

    In other news, it’s World Press Freedom Day. Remember that access is equally as important as freedom of expression. 


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