Homegrown software: The uphill battle to make a global impact

By Julian Matthews

Developing your own software in Malaysia is a lot of sweat and tears, and very often a labor of love. Ask Looi Hoong Thoong, he should know.

Looi started “playing around” with computer viruses in 1988 and on his own steam and imagination, sans a grant, bank loan or external seed money, came up with V-Buster, an anti-virus program which he began selling two years later.

“Although I started at around the same time as McAfee, one is a multi-millionaire and the other isn’t. Guess who is the poorer one?” said Looi.
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Undernet rejects Malaysia’s TMnet offer to host local chat server

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Internet relay chat (IRC) network administrators Undernet.org have rejected an offer by local Internet service provider TMnet to host a local server for the global IRC network as a means to end abuse by its users.

The rejection was the seventh application by the ISP which failed to meet the network’s minimum requirements.

“TMnet has neither the bandwidth nor the machine resources. We also denied them previously for incomplete applications and insufficient information, in addition to the issue of high volume of abuse by its customers,” said Angel Moss, a North American Abuse Coordinator for the Undernet.org.

TMnet made the offer this week after its customers were globally banned on Aug 15 along with users of Jaring, the other local ISP, for continual abuse of the Undernet’s network and resources.

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Malaysia’s TMnet appeals to lift chat network ban

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Malaysian Internet Service Provider TMnet has submitted an appeal to lift the ban of its users by a popular global chat network after a permanent ban was imposed today.

An earlier email submitted on August 19, apparently was misdirected, forcing the chat network, which has about 45 servers worldwide, to blanket ban all users originating from the .tm.net.my domain.

Angel Moss, a North American Abuse Coordinator of Undernet.org confirmed receipt of the official appeal today from TMnet, but was unable to say whether the permanent ban would be lifted.

“The Internet is a dynamic environment, things change constantly. It will take a firm commitment on the part of TMnet before allowing their users connectivity to the Undernet ever again, ” said Moss.

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Malaysia domain the ‘most abusive’ in the world for chatting

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Undernet.org administrators were forced to ban Malaysian users from its popular chat network because it is “the most abusive domain” in the world.

“Malaysian IP space and resources are being used to launch Denial of Service attacks against Undernet.org servers and services constantly. The last attack against one of our routing servers was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said a North American Abuse Coordinator of Undernet.org known as “Angel Moss”.

Moss said the Undernet.org was “not singling out Malaysia” which was banned from the global network on Monday.
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Major chat network bans all Malaysian users

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–One of the largest chat networks in the world–Undernet.org–has imposed a blanket ban on Malaysian Net users for “prolonged and extensive” abuse.

The ban was effective August 16 and applies to all chatters coming into the network from the .my domain.

A statement released on the Net suggested the ban may be permanent unless the two local ISPs Jaring and TMnet resolve the issue of abuse.

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E-Village: Malaysia goes Mollywood

By Julian Matthews

You will be forgiven if in five years’ time, you visit Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) expecting dust-free cleanrooms teeming with white-smocked scientists and engineers hunched over tiny electronic components, only to find otherwise.

Instead, if Charmaine Augustin of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) should have her way, the MSC would be filled with pony-tailed men in shades rather than bunnymen in masks.

As senior manager of the Creative Multimedia Cluster, the newest division of the MDC, Augustin is eager to transform Malaysia’s 15km by 50km digital corridor into an area more akin to Hollywood and Disneyland combined, rather than a clinical and sterile technopolis.

“There will be studios and sets for movie-makers, theme parks and resorts for the tourists, and digital animation labs and film schools for students,” she said.

The MSC will be abuzz with the stuff of stars. In it you can expect to find directors and producers, cameramen and editors, actors and actresses, gaffers and grips, special-effects crew and stuntmen, animators and digital effects artists–all involved in the creative process of churning out blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, and popular cartoons.

In short, it is hoped your future visit to the MSC will leave you both shaken, and stirred.

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SmartCard Set to Debut In One Year

Malaysia’s national multipurpose card (MPC) is set to be launched by August 2000, the first of its kind in the region that can be used as an identity card, driving license, passport, medical card and an e-cash card for small-value transactions.

The initial roll out will involve two million residents in Kuala Lumpur and within the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).
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Malaysia’s stalled MIT-led varsity may be revived

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–A stalled project to create an elite research university for Malaysia’s brightest science, engineering and technology graduates may be revived by end of this month.

Professor Fred Moavenzadeh of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who is an advisor to the project, said he was told the government is willing to foot half of the RM200 million (US$52.6m) needed to finance the project for five years provided the private sector contributed the other half.

“The Cabinet is expected to act upon the government funding by the end of August. Should that funding be approved we will be able to go ahead at the expected pace,” he said.

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Malaysian companies to lead telemedicine project

by Julian Matthews

Kuala Lumpur–Two Malaysian companies with strong government links have won the telemedicine contract for Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor project.

The companies are telemedicine software developer start-ups Cybercode and WorldCare Health.

Cybercode’s chairman is Azhar Hashim, a director of Arab Malaysian Development, while WorldCare is a joint-venture company linked to Mokhzani Mahathir, the son of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and executive chairman of medical group Pantai Holdings.

“The negotiations are over and now the agreement is just awaiting approval from the Attorney General’s office,” said the source.

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