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Saturday, December 27, 2022
Friday Five
1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
I got the bloggers in Malaysia to start thinking about collaborative efforts and websites!

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
Getting the bloggers in Malaysia to start thinking about collaborative efforts and websites...

3. What do you hope the new year brings?
Some of the interesting web projects I've been inventing actually taking off.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
I never make New Year's resolutions.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
I'll be on an island beach getting a tan. Cool New Year, huh?
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Friday, December 26, 2022
Flyblog working again
The flyblog is working again.

But I found out that Maxis' WAP with international roaming doesn't work in Thailand -- only in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Philippines.

The lack of WAP coverage apparently has something to do with Maxis' CEO having a new night-vision camera phone and three pretty assistants from each of those countries...
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Wednesday, December 24, 2022
Koh Lipeh
I made it to Koh Lipeh. There's no mobile reception on those islands, yet so far out and hidden in the foliage in the middle of the jungle is a tiny internet cafe called Pooh's Cafe. The internet is a wonder.

I found only one ferry goes between Tamalung, the closest pier on the Thai border, to Koh Lipeh every day. But I missed it by 10 minutes. It leaves from Tamalung at 11.30am Thai time. (So next time I go, I have to leave Kuala Perlis before 11am Malaysia time.)

As you can see from the map, Koh Lipeh via Kuala Perlis and Tamalung is by far the simplest way of getting there from Malaysia. (Koh Lipeh is about two hours south west of Koh Tarutao.) Other routes include going to Hadyai first by bus or train then taking a 2 hour mini-bus (60 baht) to Satun then a tuktuk to the Pakbara pier (30 baht) halfway between Satun and Trang.

(Incidently, Koh Lipeh is spelled a number of ways so it is quite confusing to Google for it. It can be spelled Koh Lipe or Koh Lipay or Koh Lipai. But I found a very official sign in front of the ranger station that specifically spelled it as Koh Lipeh.)

There are a number of places to stay on Koh Lipeh. The one you should avoid is Porn Resort, although I have heard it recommended by previous visitors. If what they say is true, it is nothing like it was before. Porn Resort is the grottiest place imaginable. Sans grass, sans beach. The guests are also the grottiest of the lot. 'Resort' is too good a name for this shanty town.

The only reason why people stay on Porn is because Porn's management pays the sampan taxis to automatically take you there from the ferry. (There's no pier so you have to take a 5-minute motored sampan ferry for 30 baht -- a hidden cost.)

Instead, I chose to walk to the east side of the island (20 minutes) and stayed at Chao Le Resort, a stone's throw from Andaman Resort where there's a very nice beach of milk powder sand. From the look of the beach, it's easy to tell that the Andaman is severely pricey (300 baht - 750 baht), so Chao Le is the best bet (250 baht - 500 baht). Both are next to the island's single village where there's cheap delicious banana pancakes to be had.

But the best beach is Pattaya Beach on the south side. Like Ban Thong Krut on Koh Samui, it is a cove that's protected on both sides, forming a calm bay. The monsoon wind hit Chao Le very hard and whistled throughout the night (but kept the mosquitos away), but on Pattaya Beach, it's dead quiet.

Pattaya is a very long milk powder beach, the kind you find on Koh Phi Phi, with a frill of bright blue -- a wonder to snorkel in. It is almost 2km in length by my reckoning. The main resort, Leepai Resort is the most crowded and the biggest. It's something like 40 bungalows ranging from 350 baht to 950 baht for a very pretty and white bungalow. The 350 baht bungalow lies in a shaded area two steps from the beach -- it's made of bamboo with an inside bath and stands on stilts above a murky green pond. It's not bad, but for god sakes book early. Koh Lipeh, ever since making it into the Lonely Planet is packed like sardines. I hate the Lonely Planet -- it has opened the eyes to people for travelling, but every entry spells DEATH BY TOURISM.

Next time I go back, I'll try Koh Bulon Lae, a less populated island several kilometres north east of Koh Lipeh. I saw very few passengers getting off and on the ferry at this point so it might be worth checking out.

You always hear about the more famous islands one way or another. (You will hear of Koh Lipeh from other sources.) But you never really hear why they are famous or who would like to go there.

I will tell you this: if you are a Brit raver in between college, you will hate it. This is not party island. You will leave this place after two days from the boredom. This is where families go. There were so many kids on Koh Lipeh.

Mmmmm... marrrrriiiieeeedddd women. Mmmmmmm.
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Friday, December 19, 2022
I found this at a cafe while waiting for my bus to Kuala Perlis to find the ferry to Satun, Thailand.

Like its predecessor,, provides auto-generated throwaway email addresses and doesn't require set-up. It's mostly useful for the purpose of signing up to things that may or may not lead to spam. But why take the chance. Use as the reply-to email address then go pick up your confirmation email at Pick them up quickly because these throwaway-email services automatically delete mail from these boxes regularly.

But is superior because it has set up an RSS feed for each email address so you can check on it on-the-fly too. Just for the hell of it, set your RSS reader to pick up account xxx at!
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Friday, December 19, 2022
I'm leaving
I'm off to discover an uncharted island.

See you in two weeks.
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Friday, December 19, 2022
Ok, has decided to finally come out of its hiding hole.

It's a free webmail/file storage service. The webmail address is

It's a bit slow, though. But it's free and it comes with a hideous email address, so don't complain.

(Well, everyone else was doing it, so why the hell not.)
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Thursday, December 18, 2022
99% of all the people on the internet have both a Hotmail and a Yahoo account. It's true. (Unless of course I'm making that up.)

It's because of the ubiquity of both MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Email accounts come with the set-up of IDs on both instant messengers. Also because everyone knows someone who has them.

It's herd mentality on the internet.

But the problem with that is that you're saddled with two systems and two interfaces. It goes without saying (although I'm about to say it) that it's less convenient to log into two than it is to log into one.

Hence Fusemail. A new webmail service launched last month that "fuses" both Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts into one interface.

You couldn't do that before because Hotmail doesn't release a POP address to access it so mail consolidation services like were less than useful if you wanted to receive Hotmail.

But it's not perfect. They haven't released details like account limits. (As it gets big and get strapped for cash, you can expect the unlimited account limit to be a thing of the past.) They haven't got the extras like importing of addressbooks like Yahoo does. And they don't have spam-reporting like Hotmail now does.

Hotmail and Yahoo have improved so rapidly over the past year that it would be a shame to switch to Fusemail for the convenience if you use the other features that are now available to either. Spam-catching is now so well-done on both Hotmail and Yahoo that spam has come down almost 100%.

Too bad. Fusemail is just a little too late to be perfect.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2022
Since I can't be MMSing, I've invented a new game with my new bluetooth-enabled phone.

I call it Bluewhacking. It's kind of like the way people did war driving to search out wireless networks using a wireless network card, I use a bluetooth phone to search out other bluetooth enabled devices that are open.

When I'm walking in a crowded place like a mall, I just turn on bluetooth and send out a message on bluetooth and hope that someone within a 20 foot radius (the reach of my bluetooth device) will receive it and send back a message.

You can't tell who or where the sender's bluetooth device is so I send a photo of a note I wrote that says "Hi, fellow-bluetooth user! I'm Tim and I've just sent you a message via bluetooth, you call me back at 012-XXXXXXX."


I tried bluewhacking over the weekend at the most crowded mall in Kuala Lumpur, and I got as many as ZERO people!

Wow. Underwhelming. Sometimes I really hate living in a third world country.
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Sunday, December 14, 2023
Stupid customer support
I am giving my mobile service provider a very hard time. More accurately, the customer support people at my mobile service provider.

I haven't been posting to the flyblog recently because GPRS services have been down since Friday. Friday!

People have been shot for less.

So when I call them up, I am not in the best of moods.

Customer support: Hello, my name is David, how can I help you?
Me: I'm trying to send MMSes to an email address and I keep getting communication errors.
CS: May I have your name please?

Now, this question always strikes me as odd. A smart confident customer support would be expected to automatically say "Let me look into this, Mr Yang" and not ask a question that shows their obliviousness to customer data.

Me: If you can read, my name is on the screen in front of you.
CS: ...

Here's where I go ballistic:

Me: Listen, shit-for-brains, I have paid for a leased line with your mobile phone service. That means that you have all my customer details including my name, address and my credit card number. When I call your hotline number, all these details are automatically flashed on the screen because the computer system at your company has the ability to track the phone number of the person calling. As a customer service representative, you are sitting in front of a computer logged into the system, are you not? Then the details are on the screen in front of you, are they not? Then READ THE FUCKING SCREEN AND STOP WASTING MY TIME!!!!! WHO ELSE WOULD BE CALLING YOU WITH MY PHONE???!!!"
CS: Yes, sir.
Me: Now what is the problem with the GPRS system?
CS: Problem? Our technical department reports no problem.
Me: [slap forehead] Do you seriously want to find out what your own guts taste like as I rip them out of your gaping abdomen with my bare hands?

They have a file on me this thick at my mobile service provider.
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Thursday, December 11, 2023
New blog
i am more likely to post more often at
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Wednesday, December 10, 2023
What everyone will be doing next year

I just spent the rest of this month's paycheque on a moblogging phone. A Sony Ericsson T610.

It lets me engage in impulse blogging -- blogging anytime anywhere -- a subset of real-time blogging or moblogging with a stream-of-consciousness element thrown-in.

With roaming, I'll be able to blog on the road from Thailand too. I call this on-the-fly blogging or flyblogging.

I've just set up my own flyblog at

With the increasing popularity of camera phones, moblogging will be the way everyone will be blogging in the near future.

To accommodate that eventuality, Paul is working on a MSS-to-web publishing system that works like Text America but is self-hosted rather than remotely-hosted. Go Paul!

The new system will have a number of features -- including free MMS parsing. That means you don't have to pay your mobile service provider that MMS-sending fee (in Malaysia it is RM1 per MMS).

This opens a number of interesting issues:
1. Stream-of-conscious flyblogging will now be a cost effective past-time. Before, it would be too costly to pursue. It will now be more popular with the cost barrier removed.
2. Mobile service providers will be under increased pressure to reduce or remove the MMS parsing fee.
3. More applications for moblogging will open up because it will be more attractive to users. For example, posting photo evidence to public-service websites for road accidents, police websites and even websites for errant taxi drivers (all currently under development by us).
4. As a result of more apps available, moblogging phones will have more and more uses and become more attractive and valuable to purchase.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2023
The RSS feed
Should be working now. I'm using a remotely-hosted system at Works with all non-Blogger Pro blogs. Should work with Blogspot blogs too. There are some titling problems with the feed, but I can live with that.
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Monday, December 08, 2023
Paintball session on the weekend
Lesson 1: Paintball in the forest is nice. Paintball in the jungle is not. Things live in the jungle. They are called mosquitos.

Lesson 2: Paintball pellets shot at point blank range hurt when you get hit in the neck.

Lesson 3: They also leave a fist sized bruise that you can show off to all your colleagues the next day as an extreme hickey from a cute girl.
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Thursday, December 04, 2023
I've been laid out for a couple of days with a very high fever and running nose.

But it's been a revelation.

When mosquitos suck on high temperature blood, they go eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-BANG!!! and implode.

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Monday, December 01, 2023
Eight stages of a blogger's life
Stage 1: Omigod I got a blog!
- Characterised by rampant blogging every 2.186 seconds

Stage 2: The paranoia sets in
- Who's reading my blog? Gotta check my Sitemeter! Gotta check my Sitemeter!

Stage 3: Gotta get more readers!
- Starts listing the blog in everything from to

Stage 4: Google-stasy!
- Starts posting entries about all the "strange" search terms that reach the blog.

Stage 5: Alienation
- I got so many readers, I can't tell who's reading my blog anymore!

Stage 6: Omigod I got readers!
- Characterised by acceptance of readers and increases posting to 2.121 seconds to "satisfy" them.

Stage 7: The burn-out
- Stops blogging for lengthy period of time.

Stage 8: The prodigal returns
- Who cares who reads my blog. I've ALWAYS blogged for myself anyway. Yeah, that's right.

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