Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desire Leads To Temptation: Telkomsel iPhone 3G Preorder

Oh dear. The long-awaited, yet dreading (especially for the wallet) is almost here, heralded by the surfacing of this page.

Thanks to @yonan32 for the link.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting Used To A New Bike

I've been sporadically biking again lately. It's been a while since I did, because I last time I biked every day was freshman year, over 10 years ago. I bought a bike, and my wife eventually got a bike from my parents as a birthday present. So this afternoon, we took out our bikes for a short cruise around the housing complex, and luckily the weather was perfect.

The thing about bikes though, is although they say you can never forget how to ride a bike, but if you have 10+ years between your last bike ride and the present, your balance is bound to be a bit off, not to mention while braking or changing gears - not to mention if it's a new bike that still needs a few adjustments.

But there's definitely only one way of starting again - just get on that saddle and make the first push on the pedal. The ride may not be smooth and straight at first, but it will get better.

So let the riding begin...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dear!

Today is my wife Saskia's birthday! Hope you will enjoy the present, dear :)
From Saskia

Microsoft Vomitsmith

Ever heard of Apple's GarageBand? It's basically a really simple music editor, complete with riffs and music modules, even for learning. Even professional musicians have used GarageBand to sample music ideas.

Enter Microsoft Research's Songsmith, a valiant effort by Microsoft to do one up on GarageBand. I think the video below describes it best - but don't watch it after a meal, seriously.

And seriously, try looking for a better name. Even the name makes me wanna barf.

Thanks to Cousin Didi for the link.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Menyalip Ditukar Dengan Nyawa

Kalau setiap hari nyetir atau naik kendaraan umum, pasti sering sekali melihat para pengendara motor menantang maut dengan menyalip kendaraan-kendaraan di depannya dengan beda beberapa sentimeter saja. Entah kenapa, mereka ini sangat sangat harus melampaui kendaraan di depannya, tanpa memperhatikan risiko nyawa. Mungkin ada sebulan sekali juga, kita lihat tabrakan antara motor atau motor dengan kendaraan jenis lain, seolah-olah sudah menjadi sesuatu yang lumrah. Dan pasti sesekali kita mendengar kejadian kecelakaan di mana pengendara motor menyalip kendaraan yang sedang berhenti, dan alhasil akan bertabrakan dengan kendaraan yang datang dari arah berlawanan. Dan semua itu untuk apa? Ada tujuan mulia apa sih yang membuat pengendara-pengendara motor ini mempertaruhkan nyawa demi sedetik lebih cepat, atau menyalip satu dua kendaraan? Ini belum menyentuh soal tidak pakai helm, tidak menggunakan lampu waktu malem, ataupun tidak menggunakan lampu sign saat belok ya.

Daripada dianggap lumrah, apa nggak lebih baik kita bertanya 'kenapa'?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Tendency To Grandstand Is Stronger Than The Will To Help

Let me just say this first: Israel's attacks on Gaza and the Palestinian people - who are, I should note, not entirely Muslim - are appaling, indiscriminate and condemnable. I can't believe in this day of 'political correctedness', a country like Israel performs blatant human rights abuses in front of the world and justifies it by claiming to be 'eradicating Hamas'. The entire Gaza strip is not Hamas. Really.

But when an Indonesian political party leashes 200.000 of their masses to demonstrate in front of the US embassy, something is somehow wrong. First of all, it's more of a political statement from the so-called Muslim front, and yet again, these people are pulling their efforts and energies towards things that are happening abroad. Yes I agree that we should denounce the atrocities and violence, but don't we have enough problems at home? You want to make a political statement, try using all that money that is obviously needed for mobilizing a large crowd, to giving food to the poor, improving the quality of life, free education classes.... I could go on.

This is one of many incidents that the US embassy was sieged by demonstrators for something or other; the most notable (and insignificant) being FPI protesting because of a certain mural in the CIA buidling has some sort of imagery that is claimed to be the writing 'Allah' in Arabic. Or something. I have never seen the pictures.

So these demonstrations happen, a strong political message is sent (or not), and neither the Palestinians or the Indonesians are any better from it.

Then we hear FPI wanting to send people to Palestina to help the struggle - OH FOR GOD'S SAKE! There are soooo many people in JAKARTA who need help, let alone other areas in Indonesia. You want to do a political good will act? Try helping the river cleanup, or helping those people whose homes are flooded. I'm pretty sure you'd get good points with God as well.

Stop thinking of collecting your blessings, and start thinking of ways on how to do good deeds. I'm pretty sure helping an old lady cross the street - whatever her religion - counts for more than maintaining a beard.