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Fuck You Pay Me: How To Ensure that You Got Everything Covered Before You Start That Project

Added on by Ridzki.

Damn that's a long title. Anyway here's Mike Monteiro from Mule Designs talking in SF: Creative Morning about how sometimes, creative workers (designers, developers, photographers or just any kid with MacBook pro) are being undervalued by the clients but even sometimes by themselves.

Mike's talk are the ones that you need prior engaging a project, possibly even when you're just starting out or when you want to fire your clients (yes you read it right)

So enjoy and please apply this for your next project negotiation.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22053820]

Cheap Internet: Does It Possible (part 2 of Indonesians & Their Internet Culture)

Added on by Ridzki.

Update: The Ministry of Communications and  Information Technology said that the cost of the Internet will be reduced to allow greater acceptance with the public. Hope this will be the key to provide better utilisation of the Internet to the masses. news taken from here Update 2: The cost of the Internet will be lowered after the legislative election on April 9th. A way to attract the voters? I'm sure the user will not put too much care on it

On my last post I was talking about the lack of use of email as a mean of effective communications. There are several factor that made this e-mail communication did not become a reliable and effective method of communications.The pressing matter is the availability of the cheap internet access. When I meant cheap, I also meant that it have to be reliable in good quality (in terms of speed and signal) to ensure the process of effective communication.

Indonesia is steadily improving in its internet access, however it is far from satisfactory. In comparison with countries like Malaysia or Singapore, who enjoys cheaper price of Internet for better quality, Indonesia seems like a country full of choices but none of the choices could be considered best. Real life example should apply here; Telkomspeedy the sole provider of ADSL internet access in Indonesia as a whole, have put the price of Rp. 450.000 for their 3GB quota, while Malaysia with their Streamyx cost as much but with no cap (www.telkom.com, www.streamyx.com).

Well we can always look for scapegoat for every matter in Indonesia, which include on this laying of price, however, that is not the point of this writings. The point is how do we can achieve what Malaysia and Singapore have been able to achieve. Of course there would be a lengthy discussion and regarding what could and should be done regarding this matter, a project proposal, and to the point of acceptance and rejection.

Telkom as the national telecommunication services would automatically handling the ADSL route of Internet connection. This act as a double edged blade, first as Telkom had the technology and infrastructure they could readily deliver ADSL internet access, however, being the sole provider would mean that the market is monopolised by Telkom. There are however, gaps that could not filled by Telkom and its ADSL access, there are the people who are always on the move, People who are unsatisfied with the package offered by Telkomspeedy access and people who does not have phone line yet (but of course they have mobiles). This over the time creating a new number of ISP with competitive price and package, however, none of the new ISP are targeting the third of the market, because of the lack of infrastructure and low number of Internet user in Indonesia (only 10% of Indonesian uses Internet regularly out of its 200 million people (Kompas, 27 December 2008)) Based on the situation above it could be determined that there are several things could be done in order to sort this problem out.

1 Lower the price of Telkomspeedy, this can be done by subsidising the cost of the Internet from the education budget. 2 Build infrastructure that could support the other ISP to provide internet access other than the big cities. 3 Provide training of basic internet feature (data collection via google, correspondence via e-mail, etc.) in school, government offices and people who need to interact with other people. 4 Make a program to use the Internet for regular correspondence, for example; Students from two different secondary schools across cities in Indonesia will try to correspondence with each other via email, they could share stories or pictures regarding their school etc. 5 Create an awareness to use email as a medium for correspondence and point out the the advantage of using email rather than snail-mail. 6 Build a proper library with cheap and qualified internet access, for people who does not have computer to use.

Onno W. Purbo have an interesting idea on how to achieve low cost internet by using a frying pan. There are wiki articles on how it could be achieved; 

http://opensource.telkomspeedy.com/wiki/index.php/Teknologi_RT/RW-net

http://opensource.telkomspeedy.com/wiki/index.php/Wajanbolic_e-goen

*both of the link is on Bahasa Indonesia.

The basic idea is to share internet services in community where one household would act as the primary user for the service, while at the same time sharing the connections with people in the community. The frying pan would act as the receiver in other households. 

By using this method, people in community could actually bear the cost of the Internet together, which is rationally going to be cheaper, thus achieving the more effective communications.

Cheers

Indonesians & Their Internet Culture (part 1)

Added on by Ridzki.

Internet in Indonesia have been existed for quite a very long time, most early adopters would still remember the ugly days of using dial-up connections, visiting plasa.com and trying to log on to gain pornographic material. Today Indonesians fondness of internet and its content (which include pornographic material, celebrity gossip, information of stock exchange, social sites, online gaming, etc.) is climbing towards the peak. This could be seen not only by the increasing number of the cyber cafes but with the increase of people filling the normal cafe with their laptops or other 802.11 gadget, and increasing number of ISP. There are however several issue that did not resolve along with the increase the internet usage in Indonesia, first is the utilisation of the internet to increase productivity, second is cost of the internet service. The two issues will affect one another, awareness of the importance of internet as a mean of effective communication will increase the number of ISP thus increased market competition therefore reduced cost of the internet could be achieved. This will bring us to the topic of the writing, first how to use internet as a mean for effective communication for professionals and casuals alike and second what can be done to reduce the cost of the internet.

The forgotten one: e-mail To kick-start the utilisation of internet as a productivity machine I believe we need not to look forward, the technology that allow us to be productive is already present ever since the birth of the internet itself, which is the e-mail.

Along with the now popular blogs and forum, e-mail has been the starting line in internet interaction, before you can join forum, make blog, playing online game, chat, buying stuff over the net you got to have an e-mail address. An e-mail address will show who you are; for instance kids and adolescent e-mail address will differ with those professionals or grand parents. E-mail address also is an important part of the public address of company to NGOs, government departments to The Ministry, both public and private school as well. Unfortunately despite the increasing number of internet user and thus e-mail user, the usage of e-mail in Indonesia (as a mean of communication) could be called tragic.

Why tragic? to make a clear picture regarding this tragedy, let me tell you my story on job and information hunting;

After graduation I have been trying to convince my parents that the good thing to do is to continue my studies, get my postgraduate degree and look for work overseas, unfortunately they are not very keen of the idea, stating reasons that I need to experience in the working environment and taking postgraduate degree could be done later on in life. I swallow the bitter pill and began looking for work and information, I look for jobs over the internet and newspaper over the time. So far there is nothing different than the average Joe right? however, being a firm environmentalist I always try to sent my application through e-mail to various companies, in order not to waste paper. Over the time, none of the local company reply regarding the availability, even though their advertisement still present on the job seeking site.

So I kept wondering what went wrong with my application that is being sent through e-mail? A few possibilities remain; first, my resume is not good enough for their criteria, second, there are already a person filling for the position and lastly they just does not open their e-mail account periodically. Giving the fact that Indonesian, are not very fond of their e-mail based communication, I began to suspect that the reason they did not inform me back regarding my application is because I contacted them through e-mail not by actual or physical mail. Thus I began to look over the company websites, and unfortunately as well, some of them are very difficult to navigate, others are still on construction and some even have been expired. Therefore there are no other form of two way communication other than phone call.

The stories above are one of the example of how Indonesians still do not consider email as a mean of effective communication. a second example might be a simpler, try picturing a craftsman who would like to expand his market. He could promote his crafts by two means; produce an advertisement or waiting for buyers to come, we will not elaborate more on how the way he sit, instead we looked up how he could market his crafts. First, he could produce few brochures regarding his product and will try to market it nationally or even internationally via email or other internet interaction or he can come to the advertising agency, pay some amount of money and let them create a giant billboard and put it on the side of the main road. No need for a calculator for this one, the cost of producing email and sending it are cheaper than producing a giant billboard. This second example would only work in several condition, however, To target a national buyer, the buyer should also have internet connection and second, e-mail might easily reach people around the world, however it is also easily ignored, therefore there is a need to set up an internet marketplace; a blog, or social website account might just do it.

Therefore, given the increase of interaction between people in the world and the ever growing conscience on our impact to the environment, I believe e-mail could be an important substitution if not a complement of how we should interact with one another, both professionally and casually. People and the government of Indonesia thus, should care more regarding the use of e-mail, and by doing so hopefully, the internet is no longer a place to download any pirated intellectual property and porn but as a place to learn and growing.

Gorilla (Monster) Pod, a review

Added on by Ridzki.

Ever since I bought my new digital camera, I always found difficulty to take timed pictures which include myself on it. This is mainly because : first, I didn't have a tripod, second,We were unfortunate enough to take pictures in a place that didn't have elevated flat surface and lastly I didn't trust random people easily to take pictures with my camera (because sometimes the pictures would turn out to be bad) Then one day after reading an article in lifehacker, regarding a tripod which you could use ANYwhere and attach itself to almost anything. The tripod itself is called a gorilla pod (even though I didn't see the resemblance between the tripod and gorilla (it look more like a monster to me)), it is bendy, small and lightweight thus essentials for photographer who is always on the go.

Finished with the article I went to the product website, found out that the price for the tripod is USD 25 (with international shipping, the total would be USD 45) for the packaged. The "eco-packaged" is priced cheaper due to the lack of packaging (USD 22), and both comes with 6 different colours.

Then yesterday, I went to the Sunway Pyramid and see that there is a promotional fair of digital photography and video recording with brands like Nikon, Canon, Samsung and JVC presents. Interested I went to the one of the booth and realised that they have the original gorilla pod, priced only for RM 50 or USD 16. To make the review short I bought it, and tried as soon as I got back.

The first impression I got when I have the Gorilla Pod that felt light yet sturdy, of course because of its ability to bend, it somehow looked very bizarre and creepy in some kind of way. Then I attached the clips onto my digital camera and begin to play around with its "tentacle". The very first position that I tried is of course the normal tripod position and found that it is very stable on the flat surface.

Next position would be more difficult like attaching it on my chair's handle, very stable as well

Well after this I'll try to attach my camera on it, but I don't dare enough to put it in my chair handle, thus I put it on my water bottle, and then again it was stand there like it was climbing it, very stable.

The tripod also comes with safety precaution for those worried about their camera. It included the lock to securely attached your camera which can be seen in the picture below.

In conclusion, I was very satisfied with the product and believe that USD 25 is already a good price. It is very secured and strong when it is attached to any surface, Joby also provide the Gorilla Pod for DSLR and DSLR zoom for those looking one (of course different price). The only drawback with this tripod that I found is that sometimes it is hard to turn the lock or to detach your camera from the tripod, other than that it is top notch.

Cheers

Tools to keep up and running

Added on by Ridzki.

As much as I wanted to keep up this blog, I still haven't figure out how to manage the time writing this while writing my reports as well and sorting out my life. Fortunately lifehacker.com had a post on 10 tools that can help us in keeping up our blog, which is probably could get pretty handy at times. As I read through the commentaries I found out that there is something interesting, it is about  Windows live writer, which is a privilege to Windows users only. My good friend Gerry had mentioned in his post. Unfortunately for OS X user did not have this privilege, which is quite embarrassing as the it had and always been portrayed as the creative machinery. 

Well anyway, I would probably try some of the tools provided above, and write another post again. 

Cheers

Testing with safari

Added on by Ridzki.

On my last post, I was trying to use flock to post a writing to this blog, which is done successfully (and beautifully, even though I still couldn't post a picture using its web clipboard. To tell you the truth, I was always using my firefox (version 2) to writing my post. Not because I hate Safari, but when it comes to blog posting in Wordpress, it sucks.And then yesterday the Apple have upgraded their safari to version 3.1, now I'm trying to use safari to blog posting, and will see the outcome as soon as I finished writing this.  Wordpress on SafariThumbnail above is how the posting should appear in my blog, I'll update you guys how it appear actually in my blog.Update: This is what actually what's coming out  Wordpress on Safari 

A trial

Added on by Ridzki.

Now, I'm trying to use flock to post my blog posting, which is seems pretty awesome but let's just see how's the results going to be shown on the blog. For you guys who have no idea what flock is, it is actually a new free web browser, which is aimed and made specifically for the web 2.0 world. It is provided with a side bar which contain all the social networking (facebook, filckr, youtube, twitter) as well as media sharing, blogging and online bookmarking site which is generally almost all those you need to kill time.

flock in action

why is it cool? aside you could post up blog directly from your browser (you don't need to go your site), you could check facebook without also going to the site, it is also functioning as a great normal web browser because it is powered by mozilla (see the thumbnail).

So if you guys a new web browser directly use for your web 2.0 life, you could get flock here and found all the information there as well.

Cheers!

Blogged with Flock

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