Archive | October 2011

[GEEK POST] 5 Reasons Why I’m Still Using A BlackBerry

RIM has certainly lost a lot of steam these days. With sales dropping like flies across the globe, the future looks uncertain because no one in the world will know exactly how successful – or not – the upcoming QNX-based phones will fare. It certainly didn’t do well for the Playbook, which in all accounts is actually a solid hardware product with a mediocre software product. With the trend in computing – mobile or otherwise – is obviously moving towards a focus on software (the OS and apps), we have yet to see how RIM will ride tomorrow’s waves behind the giant ships of iOS and Android.

Of course, all this doesn’t matter for the average consumer, and I consider myself one. I do keep tabs on tech news and the latest trends in computing, but at the end of the day, I choose what works for me as a consumer. And for me, the BlackBerry works.

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This Music Industry and RBT Thing, It Ain’t As Simple As You Think

The past few days, I have seen (well, among other issues filling my timeline) more or less two camps voicing their opinions on the current RBT fiasco.

One camp would be the music labels, the content providers, and such who have a stake in the business and stand to lose customers due to the “system reboot” initiated by the telcos as instructed by the government.

The other camp would be the people who hate the major label domination of music, who hate RBT as a music product, and are generally happy about the state of things, saying that RBT was the harbinger of bad music to Indonesia and it’s better off dead.

Well, I am subjective, as I have worked in the music industry before, but it doesn’t mean I have my own thoughts and opinions on how the music industry should work these days. I have written frequently on this blog about the music industry, which you can search here.

So to balance things out, allow me to ask tough questions for both camps.

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The Current Premium SMS Fiasco, Explained – And How It Relates To The Tech Startup Scene

The past few weeks, Indonesian media headlines have partly been full about the issue of ‘theft of phone credits’, with the current developing story being, that the Indonesian Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BRTI) has issued an official letter basically saying that all premium SMS services must be shut down.

To give a bit of background, since 2002, many companies, many of them essentially startups, took advantage of SMS technology and started running premium SMS services, where people who purchased or subscribed to these services would receive the various virtual wares offered by these companies, from ringtones, horoscopes, mobile wallpapers, quizzes to chatting. Due to the limited amount of data that the SMS protocol can carry, they had to be very creative in designing the services. Either the content delivered had to fit 160 characters, or the SMS had to provide a WAP link that would bring users to the content they desire. The industry slowly but surely flourished, with little or no regulation from the government – let alone support – and the premium SMS services have evolved from nice-to-have value added services (VAS) to an industry in its own right.

Jump to 2011. The push for more growth and profits from the premium SMS industry has caused some companies to be, um, too creative in their charging schemes to customers, with many consumers complaining that they could not unregister from certain premium SMS services, causing loss of money – some even not remembering registering for those services. The mounting complaints eventually brought BRTI to send out a letter to all the telecommunication companies to basically stop ALL premium SMS services.

Read the rest of the post on Dailysocial.

The Premium SMS and RBT Industry, What’s Up? [Tweet Collection]

These are a number of tweets I collected from a string of tweets I made last Saturday, bookmarked here.

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Announcement: Closure Of ‘Plis Deh Jakarta!’ Blog

Following up the string of tweets I made today about the closure of the ‘Plis Deh Jakarta!’ blog, I just wanted to write that officially on my blog. The Twitter account will remain active, but the blog will not be updated again, and might eventually be shut down or moved to a free-hosted blog site.

I and Miund made the blog initially to just talk about Jakarta in a funny way, back in 2008, but I had a personal mission to keep bringing the absurd problems of Jakarta to the surface with a comedic/sarcastic angle, to attempt to bring the issues into mainstream discussions. Friends and enemies were gained along the way, but it was never about talking about the negative side of Jakarta. In my honest opinion, back in 2008 people were not really talking publicly about Jakarta’s problems as they are now, and not actively discussing solutions as they are now. Complaints were commonplace but the mood was like, ‘it’s Jakarta, what you gonna do?’.

I will never know if Plis Deh Jakarta! contributed to the recent rise in social activism in social media; questioning, criticizing, discussing and finding solutions for Jakarta, but right now, the mission that Plis Deh Jakarta! begun with has become less relevant, as the discussions do take place. We are not so apathetic anymore, and change, even the small ones, start with identifying problems and discussing them. Solutions are never easy as the problems are often not that simple, but I am glad to say that in Plis Deh Jakarta!’s 3-year history, the mood has changed from “what you gonna do” apathy to “let’s frikkin do something about this” energy.

That is what I set out to do and I believe there are more writers, influencers and leaders who are better, more focused and can translate discussions into real actions, making Plis Deh Jakarta!’s mission complete and somewhat irrelevant with the times. It was fun doing it!

Thanks to all who have supported Plis Deh Jakarta!, and those who have been against it also.

Spotify’s Asia Expansion: What Really Needs To Be Done

Recently, Spotify announced that they will be expanding into Asia and appointing Dan Brody, an ex-Googler who has also lived and worked in Asia for 10 years, as the General Manager for Asia-Pacific. Dan Brody himself, according to his LinkedIn profile, has held a number of high-level positions in China, the latest being CEO of the Koolanoo Group, which owns and operates several websites in China.

Spotify has enjoyed success in some EU countries, and has had a lot of success with their US launch, especially since integration with Facebook. They enjoy partnerships with all four major labels, which are Universal Music Group International, EMI Music International, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment; and also partner with The Orchard and Merlin Networks, which are essentially aggregators for independent musicians and labels.

While the Facebook integration will surely be a boon for Spotify considering that Asia has 3 of the top 5 Facebook user countries in the world, the tricky thing is the music content itself, especially in Indonesia as the largest Facebook user country in Asia. Referring to the Techcrunch article, Dan Brody is already in Australia to talk to potential recruits, and looking to hire in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney. I’m just not sure that’s enough, especially if they want to capture Indonesia.

read the rest of the post here, on

Bus Schedule: Lotte Mart District 7 – Phu My Hung, HCMC

In District 7, HCMC there’s a pretty nice Lotte Mart complex which, other than having a Lotte Mart, has various stores and eateries, and also has a Lotte Cinema branch. Establishments of note are:

  • Best Carings (Electronics)
  • Highlands Coffee
  • Angel-in-us Coffee
  • KFC
  • Vikings Seafood
  • Lotteria

There is also a decent food court, game area and bowling alley.

For Phu My Hung citizens, there is a shuttle bus which takes people to and fro from the apartment and housing complexes to Lotte Mart. You can’t miss it; it’s a small, red bus with the writing “Lotte Mart” in giant letters on the side. Below is the schedule of the bus, which I have obtained from Hello Saigon’s post and adapted it for better viewing.

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Music Biz: Industri Musik, Apa Selanjutnya?

Artikel ini juga dimuat di dan Majalah RollingStone Indonesia edisi 78

Akhir Juli lalu sempat semarak berita bahwa 20 situs atau blog musik ternama akan ditutup oleh Kemenkominfo; tepatnya, para asosiasi pelaku industri musik yang tergabung dalam kampanye ’Heal Our Music’ telah melayangkan sebuah surat kepada Kemenkominfo, yang juga disebar kepada kantor-kantor media berita. Sampai penulisan artikel ini, belum terlihat ada tindakan apapun terhadap situs-situs yang tertera pada surat permintaan tersebut. Ini merupakan sebuah gejala zaman, yang memiliki akar sejarah yang cukup panjang.

Industri musik rekaman yang kita kenal sekarang berawal dari mulainya komersialisasi produk musik lewat piringan hitam. Musik yang ingin kita nikmati hanya bisa kita nikmati lewat pertunjukan langsung, dan pembelian piringan hitam (dan dalam gilirannya, kaset dan CD). Para pelaku industri musik rekaman memiliki kekuasaan cukup ketat terhadap distribusi musik, karena akses ke musik dibatasi pada sebuah produk fisik, berupa piringan hitam, kaset atau CD. Sebuah pola bisnis yang relatif sempurna terbentuk – sebuah struktur industri yang menjual beraneka ragam musik, dalam format dan harga yang relatif sama, yang dapat dipertahankan nyaris secara tak terhingga, selama tidak ada kondisi pasar yang bergeser.

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