Category Archives: Sci & Tech

Scientists get excited seeing world’s first clips of ancient fish mating

Scientists are pretty excited seeing video recording of ancient fish mating – for the first time!

It sound pretty awkward but the first act of copulation occurred in the nippy Scottish sea some 385 million years ago.

According to Australian paleontologist Prof. John Long, “With their arms interlocked, these fish looked more like they are square dancing the do-se-do rather than mating.”

Not only had scientists previously thought that the first sex act occurred on land at a later date, but Long says, “We didn’t expect these little suckers to have reproductive organs.”

But the M. Dicki were endowed, as is explained by Long and his colleagues in a paper that was published in Nature Monday.

Although their genitalia are not described in romantic terms.

Long, a professor at Flinders University, explained to the BBC that the fish’s arms linked them together, “so the male can get this large L-shaped sexual organ into position to dock with the female’s genital plates, which are very rough like cheese graters.

They act like Velcro, locking the male organ into position to transfer sperm.”

This is also the first species that displayed a different appearance between the male and female.

Experts believed ultrafast Internet opens up new possibilities


WASHINGTON: Superfast Internet connections are likely open up new kinds of communication such as “telepresence” and improve services such as remote health care, a survey of experts showed Thursday (Oct 9).

The ultrafast connections, expected to be widely deployed in the coming years, can open up a range of possibilities by delivering “immersive” experiences and virtual reality, according to the experts polled by the Pew Research Center and Elon University.

“People’s basic interactions and their ability to ‘be together’ and collaborate will change in the age of vivid telepresence – enabling people to instantly ‘meet face-to-face’ in cyberspace with no travel necessary,” the report said.

Additionally, the report said that “augmented reality will extend people’s sense and understanding of their real-life surroundings and virtual reality will make some spaces, such as gaming worlds and other simulated environments, even more compelling places to hang out.”

The report is not based on a random poll, but instead an opt-in survey of people deemed experts or affiliated with certain organisations, taken between November 2013 and January 2014. Pew invited more than 12,000 experts and others who follow technology trends to share their opinions on the likely future of the Internet and 2,551 responded to at least one of the questions.

The report focused on possibilities of “gigabit connectivity” or speeds of 1,000 megabits per second – around 50 to 100 times faster than the average fixed high-speed connection.

As some systems with these speeds are being deployed by Google and others, a number of Internet users have been questioning how useful these connections will be, the report noted.

Continue reading Experts believed ultrafast Internet opens up new possibilities

Budget 2015 fell short to create digital economy

Pikom, the national information and communications technology (ICT) association of Malaysia, feels the Budget 2015 announced today fell short of measures needed to create a digital economy.

The association said there should have been more ICT-focused initiatives as the country moves towards a high income and knowledge-based economy.

However, Pikom chairman Cheah Kok Hoong said the allocation of RM1.3 billion to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), would spur research and development and commercialisation.

He said although there were not many specific incentives for the ICT industry, the players could take advantage of the introduction of the Research Incentive Scheme for Enterprise (RISE) of RM10 million, for enterprises to fund their research and product development.

On the content industry, he welcomed the significant allocation of RM200 million for the MyCreative Venture and RM100 million to promote digital content.

“Moving towards a globalised business nature, SMEs can now also take advantage of the comeback of the Services Export Fund of RM300 million to do market studies and boost exports, while seeking new markets abroad for expansion,” he said.

He also said Pikom was pleased that the government had taken heed of the request to increase broadband uptake through the investment of RM2.7 billion over a period of three years, which augurs well towards increasing subscription for it.

“The budget, however, did not sufficiently address the issue of broadband service charges which are deemed still high compared to regional neighbours and the ICT industry’s concerns such as zero-rated GST on ICT products,” Cheah added.

Meanwhile, Symentec’s Asia South and Korea Region vice-president, Eric Hoh said while access to high speed internet presents new commercial and social opportunities to enterprises, it also opens new doors to risks.

Echoing Symnetec’s statement is another leading security software and solutions provider, Trend Micro.

Regional consulting director, South East Asia Region,Victor Lo said as Malaysia moved towards digitalising the economy, it was imperative that it also ensured the security of the country’s ICT infrastructure.

“Over the past month alone, Malaysia has witnessed a heightened level of sophistication in cybercriminals’ methods such as recent incidences of ATM hacking,” he added.

He said information security must be treated as a primary component of a long-term strategy rather treating it as tertiary, minor setbacks. – Bernama

Google Street View now cover 90 percent of west Malaysia

Google Street View image
Google Street View image

Google announced that 90 per cent of the scenery found along west Malaysia’s public roads and highways already made available on its Street View.

“Over the past year, we’ve taken our Street View cars on a cross-country adventure of peninsular Malaysia, driving to new heights at the top of Gunung Raya in Langkawi, roving the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands and meeting the ends of many roads we never even knew existed,”said Nhazlisham Hamdan, Street View Operations Manager, Google Malaysia in a post at Google Asia Pacific Blog.

“Now a digital rendering of approximately 90 percent of the scenery found along public roads in West Malaysia is available on Street View,” he added.

However Google has yet to announce if its will expand the Street View service to the streets and roads of Sabah and Sarawak anytime soon!


Johor Bahru

Penang second bridge

Apple iPhone 6 hits record 4 million pre-order on first day

Pic - Apple
Pic – Apple

Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million first-day pre-orders were logged, double the number for the iPhone 5 two years ago.

The company said demand had outstripped supply of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which feature larger screens and longer battery life. Deliveries of pre-orders will begin on Friday and will continue through October.

Bumper first-day pre-orders point to first-weekend sales of up to 10 million units, analysts estimated.

“Assuming preorders are similar to the 40 percent of first weekend sales for the iPhone 5, this would imply iPhone 6/6Plus first weekend sales could be around 10 million,” Wells Fargo Securities analysts wrote in a note.

About 2 million pre-orders were received for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours after it went on sale in September 2012. Apple sold 5 million of these phones in the first weekend.

Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5Ss and 5Cs, which were launched last year, in the first three days in stores. The company did not reveal pre-order numbers for these phones.

Raymond James analysts said they expect sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to top 9 million in the first weekend.

“Apple will be selling every iPhone it can make, at least through October. Because of this, the first weekend sales are typically more indicative of supply than demand,” they said.

The company routinely grapples with iPhone supply constraints, particularly in years that involve a smartphone re-design.

Apple’s website showed last week that the larger 5.5-inch “Plus” models displayed a wait time of up to a month. The 4.7-inch version was available for delivery on Sept. 19.

Janney Capital Markets analysts said the large number of pre-orders was due to “pent-up demand” for bigger iPhone screens.

The brokerage raised its sales estimate for the latest iPhones to 37.4 million units for the current quarter and 60 million for the quarter ended December.

“We believe significant demand will even spill into the March and June quarters given supply and the timing of shipments in China,” Barclays analysts wrote in a note.

The company said the new iPhone models will be available to customers in its stores in the United States, Canada, Australia and some other countries on Friday morning.

AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp, T-Mobile US Inc, Verizon Wireless and some Apple authorized resellers will also start selling the phones on Friday.

The phones will come equipped with Apple’s new payments service, “Apple Pay”, which launches in the United States next month and allows users to pay for items in stores with their phones.

Apple’s shares were up less than 1 percent at $102.92 Monday afternoon. — Reuters

Fake gadget topped complaints in 2013 among Malaysians

Can you tell the fake?
Can you tell the fake?

Thousands of Malaysians duped into buying fake gadgets lured by their ridiculously slashed prices last year according to the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC).

The bulk of NCCC’s general products and services category, which recorded 7,652 complaints in 2013 at an estimated cost of RM12.6mil were about fake smartphones, laptops and tablets the consumer rights watchdog said.

One reason for the growing number of fake [see Samsung S4] or poor quality products in the local market was the high demand for cheap gadgets, especially smartphones, said NCCC legal executive Santhosh Kannan at the launch of the watchdog’s annual report recently.

Another common complaint about gadgets was the hidden costs in their repairs, even for those still under warranty.

Telecommunication services registered the second highest number of complaints at 6,404, followed by online retail at 5,763, automobiles at 4,915 and travel-and-leisure related services at 2,313.

Automobile “problems” recorded the highest value in losses at RM22mil, compared to RM9mil in 2012.

WWF Malaysia urges Pulau Bruit villagers to play roles in conservation

Pulau Bruit villagers pulling the 300kg sawfish ashore

World Wide Fund for Nature – Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) is saddened by the 300kg-sawfish caught off Pulau Bruit, stating that the sawfish is a critically endangered species in the world.

Their distinctive saw-like snouts are sold as souvenirs, curios, and ceremonial weapons, while other body parts such as skin, liver oil and bile are used in traditional medicines.

Dr Sundari Ramakrishna

The incident in Pulau Bruit, which WWF-Malaysia believes was unintentional, could have been avoided if fishermen are aware that the species is listed in the IUCN Red List, said conservation director Dr Sundari Ramakrishna.

However, she said, fishermen cannot continue to plea innocent all the time, in a statement today.

“They need to play their part in conservation by making it their business to fish sustainably, to know which species are common and rare, and make responsible choices by releasing live catch back into the sea.”

“WWF-Malaysia hoped that the incident in Pulau Bruit would serve as a lesson to all and moved the people from all walks of life to be more discerning when making their purchases for seafood,” she said.

When public are better informed and understand the impacts of our seafood choices, they will help shift our fisheries towards a more sustainable direction, added Dr Sundari.

Pulau Bruit village as seen from the air
Critically endangered sawfish being caught off Pulau Bruit
Sawfish caught off Pulau Bruit being sliced to be sold
Villagers slicing the sawfish to be sold
Villagers slicing the sawfish to be sold

Prehistoric, rare and endangered sawfish caught by fishermen in Daro

Rare and endangered sawfish caught by fishing nets in Daro

Fishermen at Kampung Bruit, Daro allegedly caught rare and endangered sawfish species recently after it was entangled in their fishing nets.

“I was informed it was already dead after trapped in the fishing nets,” said Khalidi Salfarina who shared photos of the prehistoric fish – survival of the cretaceous period (circa 145 to 66 million years ago).

This probably not the first sawfish ever being caught in the Rajang river estuary. A Facebook users by the name of Amir EMS posted a photo showing someone holding two sawfish saws

Sawfish’s distinctive flattened rostrom, or nose extension, is lined with sharp tooth-like scales and resembles a saw. The rostrom is used for self-defense, to catch prey, and to dig. WSVN notes that they typically do not attack unless provoked.

The endangered species’ numbers dwindled in partbecause they would get unintentionally caught in commercial fishing nets.

Facebook manhunt for alleged cheater impersonating as custom officer

Manhunt for an alleged cheater on Facebook
Manhunt for an alleged cheater on Facebook

This is social media Facebook type of manhunt. It fast, uncensored, personal and unpredictable often furious.

It started with a post warning netizen not to fall prey to a man allegedly impersonating as Royal Customs officer offering too good to be true deals to unsuspecting restaurateurs, kopitiam owners around Miri city.

Within minutes Li Chuinhua’s post were flooded with comments and thing get unravelling pretty fast thereafter.

The culprit immediately identified by netizen as someone they knew from school days as former classmate, other identified him as an ex-convict recently released from prison and whatnot.

“Perhaps his name is Hj. Roslan,” said Roslan Mohammad who allegedly been harassed at his office by someone searching for Hj Roslan.

Then another person identified the man as the same person that cheated her friend of RM1400 the previous month together with photo.

The man’s victims said they have lodged a police report against him.

At the time of this post the manhunt had been shared 43 times, Like by 101 and hundred of comments.

Follow the manhunt here at Miri Community group.