Sunday, January 25, 2009
Chinese New Year is a time for reunion. It is a joyous occasion for merry making, feasting and sharing happy moments together. People are in high spirits and they are relaxed. However, when you are driving on the road you should adopt a different attitude. Here are the 5 essential safety tips:
1. Defensive driving: Your mood should not be the same like the time when you are with your friends and family members. Your attitude while driving should be in anticipation of hazards that loom ahead of you. Be on the lookout for moving objects on both sides of the read. Look at the rearview mirror to check the situation of the vehicles behind you. Obey speed limit. Sooner or later you are going to reach home. Better be safe than sorry.
2. Full concentration: You can’t be excited by talking to people you are about to meet soon on the cell phone. You also can’t be happily chatting away with your passengers in the car about seeing friends and meeting family members back home. You need to concentrate fully on the road. By talking and chatting you are only paying half your attention on the road. As you know, at this time, the highway is full of vehicles. They are all rushing home just like you.
3. Sufficient sleep: Because Chinese New Year is around the corner. You let your hair down and you paint the town red. By the time you return home it's already 4 am in the morning. You know very well at 7 you are going to hit the road. Are you able to drive safely home with just three hours of sleep?
4. Upkeep of vehicle: Service your car and check the condition of your tires before you go on a long trip home. You don’t want to be stranded on the road high and dry. Nobody is going to repair your car during the festive holiday.
5. Take breaks: When you work, you often take breaks, may be just a quick tea break in the afternoon to refresh yourself so you can continue to work with your fullest concentration. Likewise, take frequent breaks along the way. Get out of your car to breath in fresh air and relax.
Today is the eve of Chinese New Year. I wish all readers a very happy Chinese New Year. And for those hitting the road I wish them 一路顺风（yi lu shun feng）- a safe journey all the way.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Recently ringworm appeared on my right sole. I suspected that I had walked bare-footed on my car porch. It was a small one and I ignored it. However, it soon developed into a bigger ring. I started applying calamine cream around the affected area. Soon the severity subsided. One thing to note is that when you stop applying to part of the affected area (which has healed) of the ringworm, it can flare up the next day. The best thing to do is to apply the cream fully to the affected area .The other thing is that you should not touch the affected skin. It’s infectious. I apply twice daily and it should be healed fully soon.
It is a contagious fungus infection that can affect the scalp, the body, the feet and the nails. Because of the red ring that appears on the affected area it is called ringworm and it has nothing to do with worms
Calamine is a class of medicine used to relieve itching. It comes in the form of lotion and cream. When you apply the cream or the lotion it is cooling and soothing on the skin. It contains zinc oxide which has antiseptic properties. I find that it is effective for treating ringworm.
Friday, January 23, 2009
While computer hacking is the act of modifying computer hardware and software to achieve a goal outside of the creator‘s original purpose, website hacking is trying to gain access into a site unauthorized. The other website hacking is to modify or deform a website. These acts are carried out by hackers.
Phlshing (pronounced as fishing)
It is a fraudulent way to “fish” for sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details to gain access to other people’s accounts. It is done by setting up a website disguising as a genuine entity of, say, a bank.
Pharming (pronounced as farming)
According to Wikipedia pharming is a hacker’s attack aiming to redirect a website’s traffic to another bogus website by changing the hosts file on a victim's computer or by exploitation of vulnerability in DNS server software. Pharming is a major concern for ecommerce and online banking websites.
Worms can cause major damage to the files, software and data on your computer. They are able to spread themselves quickly by reproduction without attaching themselves to other programs. When you know basic programming you can look for information in the Internet and create a worm without much difficulty.
According to Fred Cohen, a computer virus is "a program that replicates by ‘infecting’ other programs so that they contain a copy of the virus. While a worm copies itself across networks and/or systems without attachment, a virus attaches itself to a legitimate program to replicate itself, when executed.
Prevention is better than cure. Take appropriate security measures to avoid computer crimes. Public awareness is also important.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
1. Slow down: When you are not rushing you will be more relaxed and you can concentrate on the work at hand. In the end you will accomplish more in less time.
2. Do one thing at a time: Stop multi-tasking. When you try to do too many things at the same time you are only paying partial attention to them. Focus on one task at a time to avoid mistakes. You waste more time just to redo something.
3. Delegate more: One way to reduce your stress is to delegate your work. Work gets done and you have more time to yourself to tackle more important jobs.
4. Set Priority: As an example, your in-box has piled up. Don’t rush. Just arrange the documents according to priority and attend to each one slowly with your full concentration. Things get done faster when you are calm and collected.
5. Organize your workstation: You save time, get less stress and you don't have to look high and low for things when your records are filed accordingly. And retrieving the right document is a breeze.
Slow down and live and you will accomplish more in less time with less stress. You will be happier and healthier. Try it. It works.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
- Grammar: Develop good grammar skills by reading books and articles written by professional writers. There is a reference book which is very helpful to brush up your grammar skills: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan published by
. Using correct grammar is one of the basic essential requirements of effective Writing. Oxford
- Spelling: This is an area that I need to pay particular attention. I can type a wrong word but it is not noticed by the spelling checker like “you” and “your”. Full concentration is required to check spelling errors. I always refer to this dictionary: Dictionary of contemporary English published by Longman.
- Punctuations: The appropriate use of punctuation at the right place will help the readers understand your message better. It also helps the readers grasp your ideas easily.
- The right words: Using the right words will convey the message to the reader more vividly and more powerfully. The wrong choice of words will discredit your writing. There is a reference book entitled “The Right Word at the Right Time” published by Reader’s Digest that I refer to from time to time.
- Organization of your ideas: Put your main ideas in points first and from there develop the ideas further. The outline will help you to write seamlessly and smoothly from one main idea to another. A punchy introduction and a provoking ending will create an impact on your readers.
- Delivering your content to match the article title: The title of an article attracts the attention of your readers. Readers are influenced by the enticing title to read your content. Matching the content and the title is the utmost important thing in article writing. Always focus on the title to write your content.
- Writer in plain and conversational style: Write to communicate with your readers. Write the way as if you are talking to someone in front of your. Simple and short sentences are easier to digest and understand than bombastic words and long sentences.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
To bring up smart and obedient children you need the following 7 vital ingredients:
1. Love: Love means being in the presence of your children. On a daily basis spend some quality time to talk to your children, share jokes and stories with them. Allow free flow of conversation between parents and children. Pay close attention to questions and feelings. When you give your children abundant love you give them a sense of security, belonging and support.
2. Patient: Give your children more time to learn when you help them with their homework. As parents you are full of experience and knowledge and so you are able to do things faster. You have to give them allowance to learn at their own pace. Do not scold them when they are not progressing as expected.
3. Confidence: Believe in your children and help them to develop their self-esteem. Show pride in your children's academic growth and accomplishments. Help your children to perceive themselves as capable problem solvers. Avoid verbal criticism and praise them when you catch them doing something right.
4. Be open-mined and a good listener: Try to understand your children’s point of view. Put aside your feelings and beliefs and give your full attention to them.
5. Humanity: Adopt a learning attitude. As parents you should embrace the concept of lifelong learning. Get to know the new concepts of child rearing.
6. Moral Values: Teach your children right from wrong. Teach them about basic values and manners so that they can get along well with others. Set personal example about honesty and kindness.
7. Treat your children with respect: Say “please’ and “thank you” to your children. When you treat your children with respect they will, in turn, treat you and others respectfully.
Successfully parenting means helping your children to grow up with high self-esteem.
Monday, January 19, 2009
How do you help your child to excel at school? You don't have to be a teacher or highly educated. Here are the 10 top tips:
1. A loving home environment: Make your home environment conducive for your child to study. Shower your child with love and show your concern for your child’s school work, Set a regular time table at home for him to do his homework. Monitor his progress in all subjects.
2. Reading habit: Set a good example for your child by reading books yourself.
Supply him with adequate reading materials and he will follow your reading habit.
3. A suitable place to study: Provide him with a study corner so that he can do his homework and reading. Make sure that the place is well ventilated. The other point to note is that the table should not be facing a window. It is to avoid distractions from outside.
4. Set realistic goals for your child: Depending on your child's capability, you set attainable but challenging goals for you child.
5. Examination time: Help you child to organize and prepare for the examination. You must know his examination timetable.
6. TV and Internet: Place a limit for him to watch TV. Actually TV is a time waster. Do not let the TV take over your place to look after your child. Be vigilant when your child is surfing the net.
7. Motivate and reprimand your child: Show your appreciation and reward him for his good behavior and good performance at school and reprimand his misconduct accordingly.
8. Health: A robust health and fitness will ensure that your child can concentrate on his study. Encourage him to be physically active like going jogging with you on a regular basis.
9. Be active in school: Get to know the school better by participating in PTA meetings and joining events organized by the school.
10. Meet your child’s teachers: It is an excellent way to find out your child’s progress in school by talking to his teachers.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Have you heard of Plurk? It is an interesting social networking site quite like and is different from Twitter. As at January 2, 2009 it has a Traffic Rank of 7141 and a PageRank of 6/10.
You sign up just the way you do at any social networking sites. When you are at the site you will be able to see postings by members according to a timeline. When you move to the right side you can see older postings and when you move to the left you can see the latest postings. The postings are shown according to the time as they are posted at the bottom of the page, Like Twitter it is limited to 140 characters per posting. Plurk supports group conversation as well as one to one and allows usage of emoticons together with the usual text micro-blogging.
At your profile page your will see a numerical value attached to your “Karma”.
You can get more karma by updating your profile and by quality plurking each day. You can also gain karma when you get responses from other plurkers. Inviting your real friends will also boost your karma. Your karma will be lower if you request friendship and get rejected, getting no-follow by friends will also lower your karma. Spamming other users and inactivity for a long period will decrease your karma. High karma gives you access to exclusive emoticons.
Plurk stands for Peace, Love, Unity, Respect and Karma and Plurk = People +Lurk.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Blogsvine.com is a widely accepted site with the following impressive statistics though it is still at beta stage:
Popularity Rank: 54128
Traffic Rank: 57078
(As at December 26, 2008)
It is very popular in
I find that submitting article links to them is a breeze and very smooth going.
You can even bookmark the site and then submit your article links whenever your articles are published. All you need to do is to bookmark the link provided at your profile page in your favorite browser. After that, the only thing you have to do to start submitting a story is to click the bookmarklet in your browser.
It is very rare to find social bookmarking sites to share ad revenue with you and as far as I know blogsvine.com is the only site that is doing so. You supply your AdSense ID to them and they will take care of the rest.
The most popular tags at the site now are blog, blogging, google, health, internet, money, news and many more. You should submit you article links accordingly.
It’s fun and easy to submit article links to blogsvine.com and I urge you to do it today to get more traffic to your blog.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The first stage is writing the article and the second stage is to edit the article.
This is a preliminary stage to gather your initial ideas and thoughts. It is the so-called freewriting stage. At this stage you write very quickly to capture the ideas that occur in your mind. At this point don’t worry about grammar and spelling mistakes. The most important thing is to record your points in writing. When you are stuck with a word just put xxx and continue to write. This should not take too much of your time for the first draft, perhaps about 20 minutes. When you are running out of ideas you can have another round of writing when there are fresh ideas.
When you have all your ideas recorded in your first draft you can now turn on the spelling and grammar checker to look for all the mistakes. As you know, there are many spelling mistakes that it cannot detect. You have to check the whole passage carefully yourself. I can tell you two common mistakes of mine here:
You and your
Manger and manager
It is also at this stage that you fine-tune your writing by inserting the missing words that you get stuck in the first draft and replacing words with more suitable ones. It is also prudent at the stage to engage someone to proofread your article especially on grammar and spelling errors. If you can't, you can do it by yourself by reading it aloud. It is effective to identify mistakes when you read the article aloud yourself.
When you have edited your article you can hit the submit button to post your article.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This is the website that answers most if not all of your questions starting with “how”.
The subjects cover from business to weddings and from alternative remedies to weight loss. Go and take a look at some of the interesting articles:
How to plan a ski vacation
How to let hard financial times bring you close together
How to relieve back pain cheap
How to speed up a sluggish computer.
How to dance like Justin Timberlake
The best part is that you don't have to be just a reader looking for answers. You can contribute articles in the area of your expertise. While your articles are exposed to a wide audience you can collect earnings from your articles as well. The more popular your articles are the more money you will earn.
The other wonderful thing is that you can make fiends easily at ehow.com, much easier and faster than Facebook or twitter and they are a friendly lot.
I have just joined ehow.com and I am surprised and overwhelmed by the number of friends that I can have in just a day. It's amazing. And I haven’t yet contributed any articles to it.
Join ehow.com today and you will be thrilled.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Testing an incomplete system or program is call alpha testing. Alpha version may contain known bugs and it certainly contains unknown bugs. It does not have all the features of a release version.
You can check out an alpha site at: http://www.opera.com/browser/next/.
Software at a beta stage is close to a complete system. It has all the features of a final release. It probably contains many bugs not yet discovered. This is a beta site: http:
Final release version software contains no known bugs. It may contain undiscovered bugs. Here is a good example of final release software: www.google.com/chrome.
According to Wikipedia, a software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure or fault in a computer program that prevents it from functioning as intended. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made by people in either a program's source code or its design, and a few are caused by compilers producing incorrect code.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Office politics is part and parcel of office culture, be smart and you will not be stabbed at the back or overlooked when opportunities present itself. Here are the smart tips:
- Make friends and not enemies: Do not gain personal advantages at the expense of others. You work as a team in the office and you cannot afford to have enemies at the workplace.
- Be ambitious but do not show: When your colleagues know your ambition, they may be jealous and may try to sabotage you. Work the smart way; do your job well without encroaching into your colleagues' boundary. Do not “endanger” their livelihood.
- Hasten slowly: When you think that you are better than your boss and you can take over his post by going to his boss, think again. You may not get what you want and at the same time you have created ill-feeling between you and your immediate boss. Play your role well and wait for the green light before you make the next move.
- Getting along well with your boss: Communicate with your boss often. Do it in a low-key way so that it is not being noticed by others. Your boss is lonely at the top. If he finds that you are the one that he can confide in, you will be in his good book.
- Accept extra assignment: You should readily accept additional tasks beyond your role especially when you are aiming for a position which you don't have much experience. As you gain the necessary experience you are much closer to the position that you are looking for.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Statcounter.com is a website that provides vital statistics of your blog. It is like a doctor monitoring your health 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In this case statcounter.com is checking the popularity of your website round the clock.
When you sign up you will be able to check out, among many other reports, the following:
Summary: A summary of your website by the day, week, month, quarter and year.
From the summary you will be able to see Page Load (the number of times your pages has been visited), returning visitors, first time visitors and unique visitors. From the summary you can see the trend of your website. Is it moving up or is it coming down? On a day to day basis you will be able to identify your popular articles.
Popular pages: From this report you will know what your popular articles are and you should be writing more of them.
Came from: This report highlights the sources of your readers. Are they coming directly to your website or from referral sites? When you have more direct visitors it means your site is well known and they go to your site directly,
Keyword analysis: This report is about search engines and it is able to give you a clue of the popular search words used. You can write articles based on these popular keywords to attract more readers.
Visiting length: How long the visitors stay at your website will determine how compelling your articles are.
Returning visits: The more returning visitors you have means the more loyal readers you have.
Country/ State/City/ ISP: This report tells you where your readers are from. The more countries listed means the more widely your site is able to be reached.
The reports are so comprehensive that you need to spend quite a while to digest. I would advise you to focus on a few keys reports such as the summary, recent came from and recent keywords activity. The other beautiful part is that most of the sites in the reports are clickable. It means you can go to the sites mentioned in the report.
When you have a blog I would urge you to install the widget at your site to track the performance. It is FREE and it is a very essential tool that that you can't blog without it.
Friday, January 9, 2009
A blog carnival is a blog event. It is a collection of articles based on a particular theme of the carnival hosted by a blog owner. There are three parties involved in a carnival:
The Organizer: An organizer makes arrangements to gather information in one place about all carnivals so that interested parties will be able to find out the following:
The theme of the carnival
The host of the carnival
The date of the carnival
The submission criteria
The host: This particular blog owner will compile a list of all accepted articles pertaining to the theme stipulated. (e.g. A blog carnival about traffic tips) and post them at his blog. You do not see the actual articles at his site but only links to other sites where the actual articles are located.
Bloggers: Bloggers submit their article links to the organizer to let the host to decide on the final selection. You are either notified when your article is selected or you have to find out yourself at the host’s blog.
One such famous organizer in the blogosphere is blogcarnival.com. When you go to their site you will be able to see a listing of carnivals stating:
Name of carnival
Date of carnival
When you click on one particular carnival you will see more details such as the name of the host and submission criteria.
You, as a blogger, will go and visit the organizer's site and in this case it is bolgcarnival.com to look for suitable carnival to participate. When your article is accepted, a one-way backlink to your site is created at the host’s site. Here is an example of a blog carnival: www.pennyjobs.com
At the site of the host you can see a list of clickable links to all the articles accepted by the host. When you click a particular link you will be directed to the site where the article is originated to view the article in full.
I make it a habit to visit blogcarnival.com at the beginning of every month to look for suitable carnivals to join. You will be happy to note that when an article is accepted there is link juice to your blog.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The present worldwide financial crisis is the worst in the history of business. For Malaysia the worst is yet to come. It is prudent to take precautionary measures to keep your job. Here are the 7 effective tips:
- Accept a pay cut: Accept wholeheartedly the proposed pay cut. It is better than getting retrenched. Brace the hard time with the company that you are working for and go through this difficult period without complaining.
- Keep your smile: Do not listen to rumors. They disturb you mentally. Be happy and carrying on working as usual.
- Create value for the company: One positive thing that you can do at this critical stage is to create value for the company by increasing revenue, reducing expenses or enhancing the image of the company. Do one of these things well and you will be highly valued by the boss.
- Lifelong Learning: Keep yourself up-to-date in your area of expertise and increase your knowledge of other relevant skills like communication, negotiation and management. Create room for you to move side way and upward.
- Information alert: Study the news like national policies, business trend and the decisions taken by your company. You equip yourself with the latest information and be ready with the next move.
- Networking: Fine-tune your people skills and keep in touch with your circle of influence. Knowing the right people is more important than knowing the right things to do.
- Do better and do more: Expand your role. When you can do your job and still take on more assignment you will be the last one to be considered for retrenchment. At the same time take a look at your job critically and see how you can be more valued to the company by improving your performance further.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
• My job can be considered routine.
• Even if nobody does my job there is no immediate impact to the company.
• If someone takes over my job he can master it within a very short period.
• I always refuse new assignments given to me by my superior.
• I have never taken the initiative to suggest new ideas or better ways of doing things.
• My performance review in the last three years is only mediocre.
• I am not able to reach the performance standards set by the company.
• My salary is more than commensurate with my work.
• I always apply for leave, come late to work and knock off early.
• I always leave on time and I have never volunteered to do overtime.
• There is a very slim chance of me getting promoted.
• I am unlikely to be given important assignments.
When you answer more yes to the above statements you are at a higher risk of getting retrenched. You need to change your attitude at work to keep your job.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Facebook is the No. 1 social networking site as reported by Google Zeitgeist 2008. Even headhunters go to Facebook to look for new staff. Ernst & Young is the first company to recruit new staff at Facebook in 2006.
I am glad that I have made friend with Wan Ahmad Farid at Facebook and according to a local Chinese paper he has already got 200 friends. Datum Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh is the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election on January 17, 2009. I wish him success.
Have you joined yet? I look forward to seeing you at Facebook.
Monday, January 5, 2009
It is further reported in the paper that quite a number of Malaysians married men do not like to use condom when they have sex with their wives. It is like having a shower with your raincoat on. Moreover, they do not want their wives to be suspicious of their extramarital affairs. However, there are cases where the wives are infected before they get married and they are not aware of it.
The situation can be summed up in a Chinese proverb: 乐极生悲（le ji sheng bei）. It means extreme pleasure brews tragedies.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
You have your to-do list ready for the day, but your in-box is loaded. Your boss is asking for a special report immediately. There is an urgent phone call to make right away. How do you juggle all these tasks with your fullest concentration? Here are the top tips:
- Sufficient Sleep: One of the factors that contributes to your razor sharp concentration is when you have enough sleep. Sufficient rest recharges your battery and provides you with the energy to tackle a day’s work.
- Do one thing at a time: You can’t do two things at a time, can you? While you are busy with your work your mind is thinking of so many thing to do. The best thing is that you write down all the things in your mind and prioritize them. In this way you mind is free of clutter so that you can focus on the task at hand.
- Take a break: As the day goes by your concentration capability reduces. So, it is good to take a break, such as a tea break. A short break will restore your power of concentration when you go back to your workstation.
- Working environment: Make sure that there is no noise disturbance. Your table is tidy and pleasing to you eyes. A messy desk will disturb you mind and also your concentration. Get rid of unnecessary items on your table. Ensure that there is sufficient lighting at your workplace for you to work comfortably.
- Do not eat and work: You think you can save time by eating and working at the same time? You are wrong. When you are not concentrating on eating you may overeat because your mind is not sending you the correct signal to tell you that you are full. It is an unhealthy habit. Go out to have your lunch but eat slowly and chew each mouthful.
Friday, January 2, 2009
1. Fewer is better: Choose a few resolutions that will bring you the greatest benefits rather than a long list that is not achievable. When you focus on a few areas you are more likely to succeed and reap your benefits.
2. Maintain a detailed list of your resolutions: Put them in writing. A detailed list will serve as a constant reminder of your commitment. Display it somewhere so that you can read it every day.
3. Do it daily so that it becomes a habit: For example one of my New Year resolutions is to do social networking. I only need to make one friend a day at Facebook, Orkut or Twitter. Just once a day and in a year I have 365 friends.
4. Review and revise your resolutions: Things and situations change after a while and you need to be flexible to revise your plan to achieve your goals.
5. Keep a record of your progress: Congratulate yourself when you have made progress according to your resolutions and kept to your timetable.
6. It’s OK to slack off: We are not perfect and you are not going to do things perfectly. Allow yourself to sidetrack once in a while and don’t feel bad about it.
7. Announce your resolutions to the world: By doing so you will get the support of your family members and friends. For example, I have posted my resolutions on my blog so that readers know about it and I am motivated to keep it because I know the tremendous benefits that will bring.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Time flies. It is yet another year. I have involved myself in the blogosphare for more than a year. After learning from trial and errors I am finally able to get myself around to do blogging easily. With what I have learnt in more than a year it took only a few days for my son to be noticed by search engines and other bloggers. What a world of difference!
Here are my resolutions for 2009:
- Write More Compelling articles: This is a real challenge. I would like my articles to be useful, interesting and are able to solve the readers’ problems.
- Comment More: It’s a good way to get connected when you communicate with others. Another thing is that your comments can motivate other bloggers.
- Participate in forums: Now that I have learnt about blogging I should join forums to share my knowledge with others.
- Social networking: I will make more friends at Facebook, Orkut and Twitter.
- Reach out: I will continue, like I always do, to submit my blog to blog directories and feed directories. I will also bookmark my articles at social bookmaking sites and participate in blog carnivals.
The focus of my resolutions is article writing and networking because I feel that my articles are not punchy enough and I communicate very little with other bloggers.
I wish all the bloggers out there a very happy New Year and lasting success in blogging.