Monthly Archives: September 2006

A Preacher For Traders

For the past few weeks, every Saturday morning, I joined in a gathering in friend`s house. Called “pengajian”, or muslims gathering, usually there`s a preacher (ustadz) speaking, and the others are listening. The topic is strictly religion-related. This one is a bit different though.

First, almost all of the audience are traders; all from west sumatera region. Second, the preacher is a trader too. A millionaire in fact. Third, questions and discussions are most welcome at any time, even if it will interrupt the speech.

Needless to say, every meeting is a heated and lively one. Religious dogma got interconnected with real-life cases seamlessly. The preacher happened to be an expert in Qur’an, instantly citing the related verses for each cases. He also happened to be a senior trader among us, definitely the richest. His responses are very much based on his Quranic expertise as much as on his trading experiences. The audience however doesn’t always accept everything willingly, questioning everything critically. The speaker responded in clarity, satisfying everyone.
There are cases sometimes when he doesn’t know the answer, and he’s willing to admit it. To which of course we have no problem.

Some of the interesting discussions :

  1. Bribery / commission : The slippery slope. A trader complained that many of his corporate customers are asking for commission. Otherwise, they’ll buy from other supplier, causing him great loss for each customer.

    The speaker responded that he definitely avoid marking-up practice; where you inflate the price on the corporate invoice, and give the difference to the person.

    However the trader raised another issue, where he didn’t do that, and he actually lowered the price so the company is getting the best deal – and on top of that he still had to give the person some money (out of his own pocket).

    Everyone agreed that this is kind of a grey area. First, this can be categorized as bribery, since he won’t give the money if that person is not the company’s staff (this is among the definition of bribe). However, on the other hand, if he doesn’t give the money, that company’s employee will buy from other supplier; which actually sells at higher price with lower customer service quality.

    A trader then told his experience as a supplier to a foreign company; he gave gift to the contact as usual; but the contact declined. But the surprise doesn’t end there, a few days later another company’s official showed up on his shop and asked him for name of employees who has received gift from him. To which he said none (which is the case).
    He was then told that if there are any of the company’s staff dared asking for gift (bribe) from him, just report them, and they’ll be sacked immediately.

    We wished if only all companies, especially local ones, are like this. It will make life much simpler for us.

  2. Government siding with conglomerates, and killing traders in the process. Especially with the rise of multi-story malls, while ignoring various planning regulations; killing traditional markets in the process.

    One of the solution is to move into “modern” market, aka the malls. But this is not always easy, and definitely is not cheap. A shop in traditional market can cost only about 20% of a shop in a mall — and generate more money. In malls, the traditional traders will have to compete with well-known, international brands. It’s as if we’ve gone to the war againts giants.

    People will need to go to the malls less often, and to the traditional markets more. And planning regulations (eg; no hypermarket in town, etc) needs to be executed properly.

  3. Business in the remote areas : surprisingly, this can be very profitable. Reason being no one else is looking to do business there. So when you come, there’s usually no competition. The speaker have even traded in East Timor, during the war time. He made serious amount of money back then, because everyone else was too scared to trade in a war zone.

    He noted that other traders have commented that the more dangerous the area, the easier to trade, because “you can make your own laws”. Needless to say, he doesn’t recommend this.

I’m currently looking forward for the next gathering.

Spam Karma 2

I just realized that Akismet marked 4 legitimate comments, today, as spam. That’s too much false positive for one day, no way I’m gonna wade through 24000+ spam to find out the other false positives.
So I installed Spam Karma 2 instead.

So far, looks like this is one quality WP plugin. I just unzipped in plugins directory, activate it, and it works straight away. Most will find no need to change the default settings, it’s already good enough.

Kudos to Dr. Dave for the excellent work. Also thanks to Eko for introducing me to SK2.

QKLK: 4 million kilometer Volvo and The latest on gender equalities

Irv Gordon and his Volvo breaks 4 million kilometers milestone : I’d really like my next car to be a Volvo — 4 million kilometers and not a single failed start ! That’s mighty impressive.

Other facts : Zero engine replacement / it still has the original engine (40 years old now!), oil change about every 5000 km, engine tune up every 40000 km.
Well done Mr Gordon.

Boys try to join girls’ team on human-rights ruling : Again, a case of rarity of common-sense. Boys are different than girls (and vice versa), period. Especially at a topic like sport, where the difference is even clearer. Everyone is special, it’s absurd to generalize everyone.

I do wonder what the real reason is for the boys to join the girls team. Perhaps they just want to see how the girls’ changing room looks like, yeah that must be it πŸ™‚

ManiacMuslim.com

WARNING: Do NOT, I repeat, do not visit this website when you don’t have time to spare. Also make sure that no one is around when you browse it, to save you from embarrassment of witnessed while laughing like madman to your computer.

Joke about inter-family marriage

ManiacMuslim.com is a satire website; created by a muslim (goes by name of Hamzah Moin) that discusses about various silly things muslims does. The best thing is it’s really funny, so instead of making people angry, some people can only smile and thought “oh well, he’s right about it”. Most people will succumb to uncontrollable laughter though. πŸ™‚

For example; the Darth Vader picture is in an article (among others) criticizing inter-family marriage. In some muslim countries, there’s tendencies to marry with close family, such as cousins. This is permitted in Islam, but not encouraged – however some muslims are going overboard with it. The article criticize it in a strikingly funny way.

More surprises are in this article, about Facebook and its adoption by some Muslims. I’ve already witnessed myself one of the incident (a sister with hijab showed her photos without hijab on Friendster, to our surprise), so I think this article is not pure satire; but mostly based on real events. Sad, but true.

Some muslims are overzealous in their dawa (call to Islam). This article remind us of the potential pitfall of extremism. Made me cringe. On the other hand, this website has the best coverage of the Danish incident. Poor Kinder Surprise never even saw it coming, LOL.

There’s the classic ones as well, such as the Online Nikah (OMG, ROFLMAO). If you’re having problems understanding some of the lingo used there, please feel free to refer to this short guide.

Despite making all kind of fun on (silly) Muslims, Hamzah is actually promoting a conservative & rational Islam. In this article for example, he encouraged people to do Nikah procession like the Prophet did :

Batman beaten by Riddleress

This is the #1 justification for every Muslim male on the planet to get chummy with girls. Well more than chummy actually. E-dating… where you first exchange your life stories and pics then move onto feelings and thoughts about one another and become almost lovers when all of a sudden the guy backs off and says “no sister we are just brothers and sisters in Islam… nothing more… teehee.”

I’m sorry brothers but let’s face it… you can talk to 100 women before marriage and think you “mastered the girl situation” but as soon as that Nikkah contract is signed, you’ll soon realize that the “experience” you received from e-dating those 100 Muslim girls in the past was useless. Why? Because girls are unsolvable. Period. Ever stop and wonder why they made the Riddler from the Batman comics to be a male? It’s because if the Riddler was a female then Batman would NEVER be able to solve any of her riddles. The Riddleress would be victorious and that would be the end of Batman forever.

The islamic nikah process is simple, and there’s no need to make it complex :

The whole marriage process done the Islamic way is ample enough time to get to know your potential spouse. No need to instant message each other 4 years before the big day to “get acquainted”. I’d get bored if I already knew everything about my wife after (or before) the Nikkah, wouldn’t you?

Almost consistently in his articles, Hamzah promotes logic instead of emotion, conservatism instead of extremism, humbleness instead of arrogance.

Superior logic, excellent grammar and spelling, and great sense of humor. Even has an article with Batman in it. What more could you ask ?

Highly recommended !

Buku Edubuntu

Setelah menyelenggarakan 2 kali installfest Edubuntu, ternyata masih ada lagi kejutan dari Pak Toosa – sebuah buku berjudul “Edubuntu, Pedoman Praktis Linux untuk Pendidikan“. Well done !

Bagi para praktisi pendidikan yang ingin beralih ke Linux, buku ini dapat membantu Anda mencapai tujuan yang diinginkan. Harga Rp 40.000 (sudah termasuk CD Edubuntu), bisa dipesan ke toosa@oo-linux.com. (Untuk luar Jabodetabek + ongkos kirim)

Sekali lagi selamat dan salut kepada Pak Toosa & Pak Rusmanto untuk hasil karyanya ini.

Jakarta Bloggers goes International

If you’re a blogger, or wish to be, and live in Jakarta; Metroblogging.com would like to have you on-board.

Metroblogging is a unique website where bloggers there are blogging about their own city. I think this is an excellent opportunity to introduce Jakarta (and Indonesia) from our own perspectives.

If you’re interested, [ just click here to apply ].

Here’s the email from Sean :

From: Sean Bonner
To: Harry
Subject: Re: MetBlogs Author Application – Jakarta

Thanks for getting in touch about writing for Metroblogging. We’d love for you to write for us!

Sorry for this form-lettery sounding note but there’s a bunch of stuff I’ve got to tell you so here goes:

At this point, all of our writers are volunteer. While some aspects of that might change down the line, currently we can’t offer to pay anyone for blogging. Hopefully this gets a lot of people a lot of exposure and gets your stuff in front of people it wouldn’t have been otherwise and all that.

The general agreement is this – you own everything you write and can stop writing at any point, but by writing it for our site you grant us permission to use it and keep a copy even if you leave – You own your name, we own the company and site names. You are responsible for your own words. Pretty basic. By replying to this e-mail you agree to those terms.

We’re also counting on you to post several times a week as you said you could in the application. If you don’t think you can actually do that please let us know right away. We’ll be kind of bummed if we set you up and then you don’t keep posting.

I need to know what e-mail address you want to use as your contact, this will be for internal mailings and such.

You are also going to need a short bio for the site, this is where you can brag about anything else you are working on or link to your own blog, or anything at all. When your account it set up you’ll be able to add this at that point, so it might be a good idea to get something ready.

Thanks. Once I hear back from you we’ll be added to the mailings lists right away, but it will take a few days to get you access to the site.

Again, if you have any questions, let me know, and thanks again for being involved, I think this is going to turn out very cool. Thanks!

-sean

http://www.metroblogging.com
http://www.seanbonner.com

PS – The cities that are not active yet (both those listed and unlisted) will be made active in order of what fills up first.
We are trying to get 10 bloggers per city to give things a good perspective,
so please feel free to pass this on to other people in your town
because the sooner we get to 10, the sooner we launch the city.

Agregator @ Groups.or.id

Selama ini saya kesulitan mengkonsolidasikan RSS feed saya, karena lokasi saya yang selalu berpindah-pindah dan tidak selalu menggunakan komputer yang sama. Solusinya, jelas saya membutuhkan sebuah RSS reader yang berbasis web, sehingga bisa diakses dari mana saja dan kapan saja.

Tapi setelah mencoba berbagai agregator seperti Bloglines, Kinja, dll; akhirnya justru tidak terpakai oleh saya karena LAMBAT πŸ™‚
Maklum sih, karena server mereka berada di luar negeri. Namun sementara itu, kebutuhan saya tetap tidak terpenuhi

Akhirnya saya mendapatkan ide untuk membuat layanan semacam Bloglines — namun di Groups.or.id, sehingga aksesnya bisa sangat cepat. Hal ini dimungkinkan karena server Groups.or.id berada di Indonesia.

Dengan gembira saya mempersembahkan [ Agregator @ Groups.or.id ]

Kelebihannya :

  1. Cepat ! server groups.or.id berada di Indonesia, dan terkoneksi dengan baik.
  2. Layout minimalis ! tidak ada iklan, hanya ada satu grafik, sehingga browsing RSS feed menjadi menyenangkan.
  3. Customizeable : Buat account, dan mulai membuat agregator Anda sendiri.

Selamat menikmati !

nb : ada yang mau membantu membuatkan template CSS yang bagus untuk ini ? πŸ˜‰

Breaking news : Website pra sejarah ditemukan kembali

Well, gak pra sejarah amat sih πŸ™‚ tapi yang jelas sudah lenyap dari Internet — sampai kemudian saya temukan kembali di http://archive.org .. wuih, terharu euy…

  1. Blog jadul : Belum ada WordPress dkk, gak mau nebeng di blog gratisan (takut contentnya nanti lenyap/tersandera) walhasil blognya dibuat sendiri πŸ˜€ pakai PHP3, hihi.

    Sudah up sejak Januari 2001 (halo Mas Budi, keduluan saya beberapa bulan ya πŸ˜‰ ).

  2. Birmingham’s Citizen Forum : Suatu saat ketiban tugas untuk membuat forum agar masyarakat bisa berinteraksi dengan para wakilnya. Masalah: phpBB tidak mendukung Oracle, database standar di Birmingham City Council. Alhasil, selama beberapa minggu pontang-panting mempermak phpBB, sampai akhirnya bisa konek ke Oracle, hore!

    Sayangnya, setelah kepergian saya, tidak ada yang bisa meng apply patch-patch udate dari tim phpBB, sampai akhirnya forum tersebut di hack, dan terpaksa di shutdown sampai sekarang ….

Wow, nostalgia ….

Freenode founder died, family in debt

I was frozen for a few moments when I read the news.
Rob Levin died at age of 50 on 16 September, when a car hit him on 12 September. He left behind a wife and a children, Benjamin.

No prejudice / cynical remarks on him not wearing helmet please; I didn’t wear one when I was cycling in Birmingham – the helmet belt was choking me and I wasn’t able to find one which doesn’t. I’m sure Rob has a good reason too.
I ended up taking emptier routes – Birmingham’s canals sports only people and cyclist, no cars. Rob seems to has no choice on this aspect.

I have a family and kid(s) too, so I’m very sad to find out that they’re (quite deep) in debt. The fact that their son, Benjamin, suffers from ADHD doesn’t help the situation. Yes, I read a lot from his blogs and website tonight.

And, some people still had to make it more difficult for them, by spreading lies about Rob. Unbelieveable, but part of me is happy that Rob is now free from these bullies.

Rob has dedicated 12 years of his life for Freenode. For this duration, he lived in poverty. Yet he believed in it, and persisted. He helped grew Freenode from 3000 users service to more than 30000 users; profiting many open source projects in the process. We may owe this man more than we know.

Rest in peace Rob. You deserved it.

I’ll register a monthly donation through his spinhome website, to help support his family a bit. If you can as well, please do. It’s the least we can do now for him.

5 Movies for the Bubble child

Let’s pretend that recently there’s a bubble child just stepped on our world, finally able to get out from its plastic prison thanks to its body’s immunity system recovery.
Having lived all his live in isolation, you’re asked to choose 5 movies to show to him which will quickly get him to understand the world he’s in now.

Which movies will you choose ?

Here’s my list :

  1. Living with hunger : If you have easy access to food & clean water, you’re actually a minority on earth.
  2. The Insider : Mega corporations are indeed abusing us.
  3. Erin Brockovich : to realize the most important fact about legal system in most countries – they are not siding with the weak and poor.
  4. V for Vendetta : The government doesn’t always work in your best interests.
  5. Kingdom of Heaven : it IS possible for various religions / races / skin colours to live together in peace and harmony.

What’s your list ?

Thanks to Stephen Booth for the idea.

A+, bahasa pemrograman untuk bidang Keuangan

A+ adalah sebuah bahasa pemrograman yang dibuat khusus untuk kebutuhan bisnis, terutama pada bidang keuangan.

Uniknya, A+ ini di develop oleh staf Morgan Stanley, dan lalu kemudian dirilis dengan lisensi GPL ! Morgan Stanley terus mendukung development A+ sampai saat ini.

Morgan Stanley adalah perusahaan terbesar 38 di dunia, dan masuk di dalam daftar Forbes 500. Morgan Stanley banyak menggunakan berbagai software yang dibuat oleh staf IT mereka sendiri dengan menggunakan bahasa A+, dengan hasil yang bisa kita lihat sendiri.

Quote :

A+ is a descendent of the language “A” created in 1988 by Arthur Whitney at Morgan Stanley. At the time, various departments had a significant investment in APL applications and talent, APL being a language well-suited to the manipulation of large arrays of numbers. As technology was moving from the mainframe to distributed systems, there was a search for a suitable APL implementation to run on SunOS, the distributed platform of the period. Not happy with the systems evaluated, Arthur, motivated by management, wrote one geared to the business: large capacity, high performance. He was joined in his efforts as the language took on graphics, systems’ interfaces, utility support, and an ever-widening user community. Over the course of the next few years, as the business began to reap tangible value from the efforts, the pieces were shaped into a consistent whole and became A+.

A+ soon became the language of choice for development of Fixed Income applications. It offered familiarity to the APL programmers, the advantages of an interpreter in a fast-paced development arena and admirable floating-point performance. A significant driver was that many of Morgan Stanley’s best and brightest were the developers and supporters of the language. Through their practical application of technical values, they instilled fervent enthusiasm in talented programmers, regardless of their programming language backgrounds.

Respons untuk Respons terhadap pidato Paus

Dari milis is-lam :

Ada berbagai disinformasi yang disebarkan oleh berbagai pihak untuk membela Paus pada saat ini :

  1. Paus telah dikutip secara serampangan oleh media massa, dengan tujuan untuk meningkatkan oplah koran ybs :

    Tidak benar. Saya sudah membaca langsung naskah pidato aslinya, dan memang ada berbagai kesalahan di situ.

    Detilnya bisa dibaca misalnya disini.

  2. Paus telah dikutip di luar konteks, sebetulnya inti dari pidato Paus adalah mengajak dialog antar agama agar bisa tercipta kedamaian :

    Tidak benar, saya sudah membaca teks pidato lengkapnya, dan inti dari pidato Paus adalah mengajak rekonsiliasi antara sains dan agama. Dan dalam pidato tersebut, Islam dijadikan contoh mengenai agama yang tidak “reasonable” / tidak menggunakan akal pikiran; dan bahwa agama Kristen tidaklah seperti itu.

    Jadi sebetulnya isi pidato Paus yang selengkapnya malah mungkin lebih parah daripada yang dikutip oleh berbagai media massa.

  3. Paus mengatakan Muslim barbar, dan lihat bagaimana respon mereka (Muslim) terhadap ini (2 gereja di bom, dll), memang barbar kan ?

    Ini sama seperti jika saya melihat beberapa orang Padang pelit, dan lalu berkomentar bahwa SEMUA orang Padang itu pelit. Hal ini disebut generalisasi – ketika ada sebagian yang bertindak namun kemudian kita menuduh bahwa semuanya sama.

    Ada banyak komunitas muslim yang merespons pidato Paus ini dengan rasional dan bijaksana.

  4. Umat Islam baru ribut kalau agamanya dihina, tapi diam saja jika ada muslim yang melakukan terorisme:

    Ini hanya sok tahu, memangnya ybs bisa memonitor seluruh media massa yang ada di seluruh dunia ?

    Komunitas muslim di inggris sering memprotes berbagai kegiatan terorisme yang mengatasnamakan Islam, namun seringkali tidak dimuat oleh media.

  5. Paus hanya mengutip saja, dan tidak lantas berarti bahwa Paus setuju dengan tuduhan (Nabi saw memerintahkan untuk menyebarkan Islam dengan kekerasan) tersebut.

    Tetap ada kesalahan Paus, yaitu tidak menuliskan pendapatnya sendiri atas kutipan tersebut. Karena tidak ada, maka wajar jika kemudian ada orang yang mengira bahwa Paus setuju dengan tuduhan tersebut.

Silahkan disebarluaskan agar kasus ini menjadi lebih jelas.

Salam,
Harry

Mailserver on Ubuntu 6 (Dapper Drake)

Should be pretty easy huh ? Well, not really… there’s one glitch with Exim4 — by default, it delivers email to “mail_spool”, as can be seen from the /var/log/exim4/mainlog here :

=> wanto <wanto@kantor> F=<harry @kantor> P=<harry @kantor> R=local_user T=mail_spool

Incoming email ended up never arrived in my users Maildir.

The solution :

  1. Edit /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf.conf : gedit /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf.conf
  2. Add the following line at the end of it : dc_localdelivery=maildir_home
  3. Shutdown Exim4 : pkill exim4
  4. Reconfigure Exim4 : dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config
    (Follow the guide below if you’re confused what to answer on the questions)
  5. That’s it ! Now incoming email will be delivered to your users’ Maildir

I’ve setup this particular server so users can send and fetch email locally.

Email for external destination (Internet) will be relayed through a smarthost. This makes sending huge email very speedy. So they can return to their work quickly and happy (leaving this server working hard trying to send their multi-megabyte emails through a tiny internet pipe *grin* )

With help from Dovecot, they can also send email to each other by [my_name]@office email addresses. This saves me from the headache of setting up a file server AND controlling the access rights.

To set it up this way, follow these steps :
(disclaimer: this is from on top of my head, so please CMIIW)

  1. aptitude install exim4 exim4-config dovecot-pop3d
  2. When configuring Exim4, follow these steps :
  3. Split configuration into small files? NO
  4. General type of mail configuration: (there are 6 choices) : mail sent by smarthost; received via SMTP or fetchmail
  5. System mail name: Whatever, mine is “office
  6. IP-addresses to listen on for incoming SMTP connections: Leave this blank
  7. Other destinations for which mail is accepted: I entered office again here
  8. Machines to relay mail for: Enter your LAN network, mine is 192.168.10.0/24
  9. Machine handling outgoing mail for this host (smarthost): smtp.gmail.com, or whatever works for you
  10. Hide local mail name in outgoing mail? YES
  11. Visible domain name for local users: Set to your company’s internet domain name, example : ToughNut.com
  12. Keep number of DNS-queries minimal (Dial-on-Demand)? Up to you really, I chose NO because my company got a fixed (always-on) internet access
  13. Once everything done, Exim4 and Dovecot will be running. But there’s still one thing left to configure – the smarthost
  14. Setup the Smarthost (relay for external/internet email) :

    # gedit /etc/exim4/passwd.client
    # Then put something like this : smtp.gmail.com:my-email@gmail.com:mypassword

  15. Restart exim4 :

    pkill exim4
    invoke-rc.d exim4 start

Done ! Now your mailserver is functioning.

On your users’ computer, set up as follows :

  • SMTP server : office
  • POP3 server : office
  • POP3 username : Their username in that server
  • POP3 username : Their password in that server

Enjoy.

Google Co-op – a better DMOZ ?

While browsing Google Blog, I found out about Google Co-op from the blog entry made by GOOG_DOC on Google Blog. At a glance, it may seem that Google is creating a competitor to DMOZ.

Well, not really. In short, Google Co-op is DMOZ on steroid.

On top of that, anyone can become a contributor (an equivalent of editor in DMOZ); which means more freedom for us to choose our source of information.

More on these later, let’s see how we can utilise this, shall we.

How to use Google Co-op :

  1. Get a Google account. If you haven’t got one, you can register for a Gmail account. Or click here.
  2. Go to Google Co-op Directory
  3. Browse to the topic that interest you, and subscribe to any contributor that you feel will benefit you

That’s it ! Now whenever you’re doing search on the topic, you’ll see links from your Google Co-op subscription(s) on the top of the search results. These are links which are supposed to be highly relevant to your query.

So with Google Co-op, you may be able to find the results you’re looking for straight away; instead of looking at 1,483,552 of the results one by one.

You can also contribute to it.

I gave this a try with the “Indonesia” topic. Since it didn’t exist, I had to create the topic first. Here’s the file I submitted to Google Co-op to create the Indonesia topic :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<TopicSearchDefinition version="0.9">
<Title>Indonesia</Title>

<Context id="country">
<Title>Indonesia</Title>
<Facet>
<Title>Facts</Title>
<FacetItem>
<Label name="for_researchers"/>
<Title>For researchers</Title>
</FacetItem>
<FacetItem>
<Label name="fun_facts"/>
<Title>Fun facts</Title>
</FacetItem>
</Facet>
<Facet>
<Title>News</Title>
<FacetItem>
<Label name="in_english"/>
<Title>In English</Title>
</FacetItem>
<FacetItem>
<Label name="in_indonesian"/>
<Title>In Indonesian</Title>
</FacetItem>
</Facet>
<BackgroundLabels/>
</Context>

<TopicSearchTriggers>
<DataObject id="indonesia-facts" type="facts">
<QueryName value="indonesia facts"/>
<QueryName value="indonesia data"/>
</DataObject>
<DataObject id="indonesia-news" type="news">
<QueryName value="indonesia news"/>
<QueryName value="events indonesia"/>
<QueryName value="breaking news indonesia"/>
</DataObject>
<Query>[facts]</Query>
<Query>[news]</Query>
<Query>about [facts]</Query>
<Query>learn about [facts]</Query>
<Query>teach about [facts]</Query>
</TopicSearchTriggers>
</TopicSearchDefinition>

After creating a new topic for Indonesia, now we can start submitting links on that topic :


<Annotations file="indo-anno.xml">
<Annotation about="http://thejakartapost.com/*">
<Label name="in_english"/>
<Comment>The Jakarta Post - biggest Indonesian newspaper in English</Comment>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://www.antara.co.id/en/*">
<Label name="in_english"/>
<Comment>Antara News</Comment>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://detik.com/*">
<Label name="in_indonesian"/>
<Score>1.0</Score>
<Comment>Detik.com - biggest Indonesian online news site</Comment>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://www.antara.co.id/*">
<Label name="in_indonesian"/>
<Comment>Antara News</Comment>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia">
<Label name="fun_facts"/>
<Label name="for_researchers"/>
<Score>0.9</Score>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://countrystudies.us/indonesia/3.htm">
<Label name="for_researchers"/>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/id.html">
<Label name="for_researchers"/>
<Score>0.7</Score>
</Annotation>

<Annotation about="http://www.zilvan.com/funnyfacts/facts_about_indonesia.htm">
<Label name="fun_facts"/>
</Annotation>
</Annotations>

As you can see, you can put a lot of information in Google Co-op, which is not possible with DMOZ. But of course they have their own strength – DMOZ is simpler to contribute to.

My profile can be viewed here.

Google Co-op is probably the Google’s implementation of the Semantic Web, the next generation of Web as envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor. Whatever it is, I found it interesting, and I’ll be keeping watch on it.

Google Co-op is an open service which require quite an effort to contribute in. As the result, there isn’t much in it as yet. But as more people found and use it, and found that you can easily annotate websites with Google Marker, then we may start seeing surprises in the future from this service.

Author Gravatar For WordPress

I was looking to show gravatar (photos) on the author’s post on a WordPress website. I looked around, but most WP plugins are designed to show gravatar on the comments, not on the actual post.

There are hacks around for this, but they seemed too complicated for this simple task.

One had the promise, but strangely ended up not working.

In the end, I’ve had enough, and delved into WP’s source code. Lo and behold, it’s actually pretty easy. Just insert this in main template’s code, and voila — author’s photo.

<img src="http://www.gravatar.com/avatar.php?gravatar_id=<?php global $authordata; echo md5($authordata->user_email); ?>" />

Hope it helps someone.

(credit to tyr for the idea)

Die Hard(est)

If you thought Bruce Willis is rock-hard in his “Die Hard” movie series; well, he’s nothing compared to Castro. According to The Guardian, US government and CIA have tried 638 times to kill him.

CIA tried many things; from the conventional (mafia-style hit) to the bizarre; exploding molluscs, exploding cigars, killer diving suit, snipers, and so on.
None worked, obviously. Officially, US gov’t has given up on trying to kill him. But that doesn’t stop Castro’s security from keeping on alert.

Anyhow, I guess there is a (very good!) reason why many nation leaders chose to become a yes-man to US gov’t, rather than standing up to this bully. The risk are just to high. Just look at what they’ve tried to do to Castro.