Sunday April 03

The invention of Hinduism... in the 18th century

A fascinating article of the origins on hinduism. It wasn't actually one religion. It was a vast collection of religions based on wildly diverse stories. That is until the British East India Company conquered India and united all the parts of it. With unity came the headache of making sense of the religious proclivities of the people. So they named them all Hindus. And British scholars began the long task of travelling around India and collecting information and stories which eventually made up most of hinduism's texts.

This is why many of the olders gods have so many names. Each part of India had its own version of a similar god which might NOT have been the same one. It took me one visit to India to realise this. Malaysia's Indian population is mostly from south India. And many of their stories are confusing compared to those that I found in north India. Although the broad descriptions were similar, the details of the most popular stories were quite different and often contradicted each other.

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UPDATE: All those of you coming here looking for alternatives to emessenger because your school or workplace has blocked it, please try and find out what software the school or workplace is using to block emessenger. There is help available if I know which censorship software is being used. It is usually a commercial software like Netnanny or something of the sort. Leave a comment so I can try help you. But first, try accessing using an online anonymization site like

Web based interface for instant messenging. Works for people behind firewalls. Supports MSN, AIM and Yahoo.

UPDATE: is down. A ping to the site returns a "No response" error. It might have gone down because it became so popular that its servers couldn't handle the traffic. If you're looking for it, you have to wait till they fix this problem themselves.

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Not updating your blog in a long time is a common occurance in blogging and everyone goes through it. How common is it? You can search Google for others because some of them end up posting an apology for it on their blog. I found over 3 million such posts.'t+%22a+while%22+updated+OR+posted+OR+blogged

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Saturday April 02

RSSxl Beta - Auto feed scraping service that ACTUALLY works

I think I've just gone to heaven. Someone finally made a feed scrapping script that actually works. It's not perfect, but it works. I made one from the events page of the Tourism Malaysia website and now I get new events straight into Bloglines. The title of the feed includes some bad HTML. But it managed to scrape the last 10 events.

Better use this one while it lasts, folks. Something tells me it is going to get overloaded with requests really soon.

This PHP script lets you create a little customisable interface on your blog that plays MP3s that you upload to your hosting space. Only good for those with lots of space.

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Friday April 01

Burson Marstellar has created a website to desiminate its thinking on online opinion leaders whom they call Efluentials. The Es are basically people who participate and offer opinions in online forums, newsgroups and messageboards. (Funnily enough, BM has left out bloggers and have included newsgroups.) Es are not to be confused with tech-fluentials who offer their opinions on the specific subject of technology and are not limited by their medium and communicate both online and offline. Es however communicate primarily through the internet and are not limited in topic which can range from politics to technology.

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A free chatsite for OSX ichat users. Also for Windows users if you're on AIM. supports video chatting.

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This site has been quite happening lately. Upload your photo and it will tell you your race and your personality characteristics. Try uploading Michael Jackson's face and see what happens.

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Thursday March 31

CSS Dropdown Menu

A clever space-saving dropdown menu in CSS. And it doesn't use z-index either.

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I like this website. It's like Hot or Not. But instead of evaluating a subject in relation to yourself and your opinion of yourself, you get to evaluate two people in relation to each other. Click yes or no whether you think the two people you see make a good couple.

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Corruption helps (sometimes)

A quote from an interview with Rafael di Tella, a Harvard Business School Professor, on corruption.

There are countries that can grow a lot with corrupt governments and others where corruption is quite detrimental to economic progress. It really depends on the form of corruption and how markets are organized.

Funnily enough, Malaysia is one of those countries that I think grows from corruption as di Tella puts it. Although corruption in Malaysia is used to protect personal assets and to grow personal assets, (at the higher end) it is often used to protect the economy and large scale financial assets too. Thereby, keeping jobs and cash flow going. It is also used to speed up exchange of assets thus keeping large corporations more competitive in global and regional markets. In a way, in Malaysia, corruption is used in an arguably responsible and strategic sense.;=globalization

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Wednesday March 30

Mountain making

I coined a phrase. I think there are too many incidents recently where bloggers and internet conversations have quantitatively blown a minor occurance completely out of proportion not to have a phrase for it.

Mountain making (verb) is a form of mob behaviour occuring on the internet where a relatively minor incident has unproportional importance attributed to it due to the sheer numerical weight of published references or conversations about the incident. “Mountain making” is derived from the English idiom “making a mountain of a molehill” but does not refer to any exaggeration in connection to the incident.

The phrase has been used in relation to internet reactions to incidents such as the unveiling of Jeff Gannon as well as Malaysian blogger reactions to minor tremors after the 2005 Sumatran earthquake.

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You know those XHTML Friends Network blogrolls you can set up in newer CMSes like Wordpress and Bloxsom? There is a XFN search engine that lets you look up your relationship network if you add your site to it. That's I don't use Wordpress or else I'd have known about this sooner.

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Music and Video Downloading

Music file sharers are diversifying their online sharing methods, a Pew study has shown. In addition to using P2P networks, they're using email and IM to share files. And some are going back to the old methods and just copying files from friends they meet. So file sharing is not a problem that can be solved by shutting down a website or two. It's an attitude that must be changed.

The study was based on the context of past behaviour because Pew felt that it would be more difficult for respondents to admit to current behaviour. So the figures shown may be larger.

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I'm an online brand planner and SEO specialist in Malaysia. XHTML, CSS and PHP hacker. for branding and content planning and execution, offline and online. I'm also available for speaking and writing engagements.

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