Archive for August, 2003

Of blogging and reporting

Less than a week ago, prominent blogger Jeff Ooi brought up the very interesting subject that Microsoft’s local Teched site (now down) was somehow “hosted” on a Linux box, with an addendum of how Teched Malaysia’s official registrars Crystal Edge has its site hosted on a FreeBSD box. I responded less than agreeably, and when he brought attention to a ZDnet story on how MS was hiding behind Akamai’s Linux boxes for security, I posted my thoughts again. Strangely, nobody replied.

I must admit to having felt a flux of emotions when writing those responses, partly because I have only what can be described as surface experience in these matters, and partly because I am impulsive and have to stop myself from shooting my mouth off whenever I feel idealistic. This is why I’ve taken refuge now in my own blog to say the things I could not say in Jeff’s blog. So as not to clog up his blog with my rantslah.

Being married to an MS employee and trying to maintain a neutral perspective on things to be a good journo is not always easy, anyone can tell you that. But this has nothing to do with Lokes or MS or anti-MS hate posts. This has, however, something to do with spreading information written within an opinion that may not be all that accurate BECAUSE it is an opinion. That is the basis of a blog. It IS supposed to be biased. So what damage can a biased blog do when the blogger is someone respected for his opinions, and when the opinion is based on information that has yet to be verified for its truth and all parties involved have been contacted to comment?

In short, what happens when a prominent blogger reports news in his blog in a biased manner?


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Old enemies

Have you ever ‘bumped’ into someone from your past, recognised him or her instantly in that one flicker of a second when your eyes meet (although both of you have changed considerably in appearance), but instead prefer to pretend you did not at all?

I knew who she was the instant I saw her, and I think she did me as well. We were standing in line to pay for our baby things, mine for my ridiculously expensive pair of Freego shoes and an oversized frayed denim hat for Raeven, she and presumably her hubby with either their own baby’s bed quilt or a gift.

Service was excruciatingly slow, particularly when I had wanted to rush off. For some reason, I did not want to meet her eyes again, give her that second look that would send a telepathic message that said yes, we were acquaintances from a distant past, which would ensue a long conversation about our respective dispositions in the last 13 years, our current occupations (or lack thereof), our brief introductions of our respective spouses, our polite references to our cradled purchases to answer errant questions brought on by mildly annoying nosiness. Plus I just wanted to go home because it was going to be 6pm and there would be a jam.

And so, we stood in the queue of two, she with her mate, me with my baby things that did not really go with my facade so that must mean I’m buying them for a niece or a nephew or a friend’s child when really it’s for my own. The cashier took his time changing the roll of receipt paper on his cash register, his colleague talking to him about something she had for lunch.

And then she spoke.

“Why are they so slow?” she whispered but not too softly so that I could also hear, not caring what my feelings about the issue were.

“Is there a cure for their slowness?” she asked her spouse.

“Yes. It’s called farming,” he answered, without skipping a beat. I trained my eyes on the cashier and his colleague. They did not seem to notice. I could feel her eyes on me, though. The remark escaped her.

“What do you mean?” she asked, after a second.

“Means they should just be farminglor,” he answered patronisingly.

I could not listen anymore, for fear of all hell would break loose if the cashiers DID in fact know a little English. To hasten the process, I kept my credit card and paid with cash, walking away as quickly as I could.

I guess some things just refuse to change.

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The language of cool

There he was, sitting in front of the computer, acting as though nothing mattered, not even the game in front of him. Age 18, specky, almost dopey-looking but still cool enough to wear a Coke cap, this ‘child protege’ who has made much more than many much older than him, simply by playing computer games, smirked when I spoke with him.

“They said it could not be done, but I did it,” his smirk seemed to say. His ostensible replies of shy, monosyllabic answers reminded me of how little I knew of the language of ‘cool’ today. The trick, I gathered (correct me if I’m wrong) was to speak volumes without saying a word. Alas, it was communication foreign to me. My dictionary is a decade old. It reeked of impertinence and there was nothing I could do about it.

I was impertinent once. Being a ‘crooked-As’ student (in that there were A2s laced in between the A1s, and even the occasional C3), I drove my teachers and parents up the wall as I paid little attention in class and studied even less at home. It was an enigma that I could do so well. Little did they know of the hours I spent under a blanket with a torchlight. It just wasn’t cool to been SEEN studying, that’s all, but I didn’t want to be a loser as well. It was rebellion (without doing any real damage to yourself or others), pure and simple. After all, what could you do to me if I score 8As while sleeping in your class?

“This will be in the two-pages I talked about in next month’s issue,” I finally said to Master A.

“Wow, two pages. That is so cool,” came his sarky reply, and he didn’t even look at me. I truly felt like whacking the back of his head. Instead, I walked away. Maybe that’d say something.

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Missing at work

Gosh, it’s been a while hasn’t it? My apologies, for work has been suffocating to say the least, and since blogging is so much like work, I did not want to choke!

Anyway, a nice chap by the name of Nick Fong reminded that I had something going here and like a devious chain-letter, it seems that one cannot stop blogging without inviting some sort of curse (haha no pun intended, Nick).

Life has been one helluva ride during the last four weeks that I have been kept away from this mildly enjoyable ‘pastime’. Having discovered that my hormones were to blame for my mood swings (not reflected here but you can ask my hubs), I was prescribed even MORE ‘monez, but the clinically dispensed sort in neat little tablets you take for a prescribed amount of days to ‘reset’ your reproductive cogs. Disgusting (and yet fascinating) but it’s a start.

But what have I been up to aside from having to turn and oil and turn and oil and burn my literary wheels during the past three weeks? I watched my daughter grow, for one. I have not updated her blog as well – again, curses be unto me, but read that for Raeven‘s side of things. My aunt and uncle from London have been staying with me the last few days, sorting out their paperwork because my English uncle wants to come to Malaysia and stay for good. I gave him a crash course on Surviving Malaysian Government Departments and Taxis before the two of them ventured into the Inland Revenue Dept two days ago. Being English and all principly, he didnt take too well to our “survival tactics” but after two days, he finally understood why, at the very least.

I went for the launch of the World Cyber Games here yesterday. Didnt win my free ticket to Korea. Sin Chew won again. I swear, they are too lucky for their own good. Now i HAVE to make sure I win in AoM to make it to Seoul.

Ok, there goes another month then. I’ll see you guys in Sept 😉

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