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6th-Aug-2008 11:30 pm - R.I.P
Someone I knew disappeared forever without me knowing. It was only just this morning that I heard about it. The news stunned me for 5 mins, as I just stared at the msn window and those little letters that told me of his demise.

I knew him from IRC, he was one of the 1st few to join after I asked tmchong79 to help me in my dream to build a channel for SG/NTU students. Apparently he and tmchong79 knew each other and he was my graduated senior of the same course.

In his time in the IRC channel, he seldom chatted, although one can never shake off the feeling that he was always around and watching. So it came as a surprise when it was revealed that 1 of our female member actually fell for him after meeting him in a channel outing.

I remember the day of the revelation quite vividly, though by the nature of our mode of communication, it was all text, so one can hardly call it a romantic encounter.

The girl had revealed her feelings for the guy to tmchong79 and somehow later the guy knew of it. Embarressed and thought that tmchong79 had betrayed her confidence, she had quite a serious arguement with tmchong79. Later on she realised her mistake and it added on to her shame. It got bad enough that had they not made up, it was entirely possible she would have left the group then and the relationship would not have happened. This I could remember and often recall whenever I met them, cause I was the mediator between tmchong79 and her that night. Till now I still thought I did a pretty good job.

Their relationship was one of the more enduring ones that I've known among my friends, and it was also only last year during a meetup that the girl commented that the IRC group would be invited if they ever had a wedding, cause it was the place of birth of their romance. It is sweet of her to mention it, and that time I thought it wasn't so bad that my dreams of domination and the years I spent with my IRC channel turned into naught. 'Cause at least something nice was born out of it. Or so I thought.

He was posted overseas in Saudi Arabia, and died in an accident in June, never able to fulfill his engagement promise to her. The dream ended abruptly, for her, for everyone else who knows. I'm still not sure what this means for the group cause apparently there are still a few of us who doesn't know about it.

Neither do I know what I could do at this point, everything about it just feels surreal. Knowing him through text, talking to him through text and being told that he died through text. It it simply not the way how a person should be remembered... Maybe when I have the time to really think through it, I'll have more to say. But right now, I'm really drained....
6th-Aug-2008 10:53 pm - It's been quite a long while
In another month, it will be almost a year since I last posted.

After the last post, the whole ODEX thingy went nearly underground and the outcome of the case was just briefly mentioned in the media. To sum it up, the courts agreed ODEX didn't have the rights to prosecute anybody and the names of the offenders were given to the Japanese companies.

These days, ODEX were more focused on bringing "same week telecast" anime and offering their downloadable media through the already established MediaCorps' webbie instead of their own. These makes business sense, but they are far from reversing the damage they left behind.

Basically after Sep 2007, I continued being a bum. It wasn't until a few more failed interviews before the alarms started ringing. A freshie like me with no exceptional skills listed in his paper will only devalue further as time goes by. And for a big ego guy like me, it is not sitting well that I was not found suitable for the most basic of programming jobs.

I had talks with 2 of my uncles, successful managers of their era and both advises me to go into the financial sector. 1 was a former CEO and founding member of SCS, the company I'm now working for, and the other was a regional manager for top oil companies like Shell and Mobile. Both agreed managering is where the money is.

But for me, the less than average freshie, I didn't think the option was open for me. Neither did my pride allowed me to admit that I was "lesser" than fellow graduates of the same course.

Also in any case, while my 2 uncles are brilliant, I'm starting to feel in many success stories that I heard, the entrepreneur just happens to be lucky enough to catch the "next big wave". Example is... well, the Internet. Alot of extra work is needed now to even find a gap in the internet, much less carve something out of it, while the pioneers are now so well established that digging them out is near impossible.

Maybe I'm not putting enough effort in finding one, but lately I'm believing that it would really take a genius and great luck to be able to succeed big in this current information world. Internet brought the world to the individual, but it also meant that the individual needed to be able to take on the world to succeed.

Are you able to think up of something that the world hasn't thought of? I can't.
19th-Sep-2007 01:12 am - Long Posts that I have written
Being active in the forums makes me forget the important pts I wrote. So I might as well compile it here for easy reference.

A collection of re-interpretation of ODEX's actions more favourable to the company.

On the feasibility of using free wireless to download.

On Odex's claims of fansubbing in their work, fansubs vs commercial dvds and my opinions of some fansub groups.

Messing around with Adryn(included just for laughs =D)

My views on the paper "Fansubs Vs The Copyrights: How Fans Made Japan Take Note of America"

Defensive statements on neutrality and current flow of events

My arguments on VCDs VS DVDs

A recent bored search on "darkonlore" in google revealed to me 2 blogs that quoted me on how ODEX was getting ip infos of downloaders. I thank them for thinking I'm qualified enough to be quoted (laugh) but the real credit goes to someone else in sgcafe for bringing it up 1st. I only sort of confirmed it to be likely due to whatever knowledge I had on how BT works. Although it has since been revealed that baytsp was the 1 involved in the tracking, it still makes little difference in the principles behind the methodology employed.
17th-Sep-2007 11:07 pm - Rise of the netizens
Referring to the news posted here http://sgcafe.com/showpost.php?p=2343295&postcount=91

Seems like the directors of ODEX belittles the power of internet. I like the quote "Mr Seng noted that the community ODEX had targetted in its crackdown was a very tech-savvy one, and so was able to employ many Internet propaganda techniques not used before."

I like the idea of many individuals, powerless when alone, becoming a potent force when gathered. This is where the internet is going, too much sensitive information is being posted on the net where they are easily available to communities who have the means to do so.
14th-Jun-2007 02:58 pm - Anime Piracy
Finally, after nearly 2 weeks since the articles on our 2 major newspaper, I'm going to write something about it. And there I was, 2 weeks ago, thinking things were going to be better for the anime community with increased coverage of anime related news in the local media. LianHe did a short coverage on cosplay while the TV8 or Channel U covered the cosplay cafe and gothic lolita fashion at Alice 88th I think.

I'll cover briefly what is happening and any discussions I found interesting in my recent browsing.

First of all fansubs are illegal, have no doubts about that. Just that there wasn't a powerful enough entity here to persue the matter. AVPAS is a new entity formed recently to combat piracy. They currenlty hold rights to the list of series found here (http://avpas.com.sg/AVPAS_Authorized.html). Funny thing is most of the core members listed are staff of ODEX, even their contact number is the same. Private commercial entity or not, it doesn't matter now since they have backing from the Japanese to allow them to ask ISPs to release private information about their users without filing for a court case first.

How are they doing it?
We(referring to the anime community) has noticed that the ones caught are all using bittorrent. This is due to the fact that each bittorrent client keeps info of who it is connected to (IPs), and is easily accessible by anyone who use the same .torrent file. There are also trackers that would list the IPs of users who are currently connected to it. So just take down the SG IPs and ask the ISPs for their info. Encryption of data in that aspect is pointless.

I do not think it is feasible for the ISPs to do an exhuastive search of everything downloaded by all their users, and since it would turn into an international affair if AVPAS requests logs from http servers that hosted the tracker/torrent file, using less well known sources might still be possible.

The more hardcore fans are enraged over this issue. To date, 3 letters from fans have been published in ST forums. Here's 1 of them with the scanned article (http://ckwiz.blogspot.com/2007/06/i-emailed-straits-times-journalist.html). In the letter, it mentioned there is a community of anime bloggers who purchases anime related items on a regular basis, and their boycott of ODEX is due to the low quality (bad subs, bad dub, outdated releases, bad censorship). The point of low quality has been beaten to death and been brought up so many times that some are irritated by it; thinking that they are just excuses for pure downloaders.

The problem here is everything is murky. DarkMirage of a popular blog has attributed some of the faults to ODEX being aloof from the fans. His letter to ODEX hightlighting these points can be viewed here (http://www.darkmirage.com/2007/01/09/an-open-letter-to-odex/).

I feel the problem is information too. Nobody actually knows the potential market for anime. Nobody knows how many are downloaders and how many are buyers. In fans' view, ODEX underestimates the hardcore fans, believing them to be a minority of the total market. In ODEX's view, Hardcore fans overestimates themselves to be the biggest group of potential buyers. Who is right?

Another favourite arguement for fansubs is promotion of the series. Something like the "try before u buy" idea. Which was the original purpose of the fansubbers. Nowadays some fansub groups continues a licensed series, simply ignoring the code of honour. The temptation to just keep the downloaded version is probably too great for most. The "try before u buy" idea is only suitable for people with buying power, i.e the hardcore fans. They are able to get latest releases of DVDs via imports which are too expensive for the average viewer. However watching fansubs is like being exposed to a whole wide range of options, nobody, hardcore or not, would willingly go back to the confinement cell that is ODEX.

The anime community is slowly moving into society, the pioneers should be well into their 30s. As more and more of us infiltrates(lol?) the society, hopefully it will be easier to find people with power sympathic to our cause. Like this lawyer student in sgcafe, digging through the law books to inform us about the legal implications of certain actions. Some things I found interesting from his posts are, watching videos on youtube-like sites should not be chargeable (for the viewer), fansubbers could sue ODEX for using their translation of Gundam Seed Destiny without permission.

To me the part about youtube video seems to be based on how he interprets a "network" and viewing videos from it. Not being a law student makes me unsure about this. Haha.

The part on fansubbers sueing ODEX was just for interest. According to him in reality, since fansubbers could be sued in return by the japanese company, the fansubbers will never take a stand against licensing companies that uses their translation. This has been exploited by ODEX quite a few times, which I can only give confirmation from a person who once worked in ODEX. Unfortunately out of irritation I posted that info in sgcafe which his boss frequents and it sabo'ed him. I removed the post the next day but the damage was done, quite sorry about that.
21st-Apr-2007 03:27 am - Bored
So peaceful lately. Someone please pick a fight with me~~

Joking....sianz... No interesting subject has caught my attention lately, be it games, study or gundams. Haiz... Not even the new season of anime has been able to drag me out of boredom.

Seems like my school life will just slowly end like this too. Without fun, flair or fulfillment.
17th-Apr-2007 08:23 pm - The 3 MG models I have


Strike Freedom

Strike Noir

Sigh, gotta do something to freedom soon. Still unpainted...
16th-Feb-2007 01:50 am - My Hair
I was born with 2 swirls, such that I could actually chose left or right parting when I combed my hair. I picked the slightly weird right parting (my right) cos when young I combed to match the left parting of most people in the mirror, without actually realising it was actually reversed.

By the time I realised it was already a habit, though I tried to change once. The weird look of the parting in the mirror didn't feel natural so I gave it up immediately. Another weird fact is my hair tends to set naturally in the left parting after washing, even though I always forced combed it to the right. I guess how I view myself is more important than how others view me.

Ah hahahahahaha...
23rd-Oct-2006 02:02 am - Power of groups
There was this Malay girl during my secondary school days. During the days where I was so morally rigid that I didn't know how I managed to make any friends then. Haha...

Anyway, I started knowing of her during secondary 3, cause of some jokes that you know boys of that time were always making. This is like 10 years ago, so I don't really remember her name, but I do remember she's not really attractive or outstanding.

Why is she the target of jokes then? I dunno the exact origins, but the main rumour is that anybody whom she touched fell sick. Sounds like a superstition, huh? Well, to me, I have never heard of the victims' names in the rumours, even if there were, they are probably coincidences. I doubt if any of the boys then believed in it either, they probably just wanted to have some fun and to be "in" with their peers.

My main irritation came from the boys in our class. I must say that time I'm not very popular with the boys in class, as there exists a guy that seems to be the exact reverse of the moral values I held. He had his own group of course, in which he is more or less the initiator of the group's action. I still preferred 1 to 1 relationships then, and was so rarely seen with a group.

Our class and the girl's were lined up next to each other during the morning's flag raising ceremony. So when it was time to walk back to class, we were ahead and her's was behind us. And since girls walked infront and guys were at the back, my class boys found themselves quite close to that notorious girl and promptly "attempted to flee" from her, all the while grinning among themselves like idiots.

I who was oblivious to the rumours at that time found myself suddenly quite alone, walking with her just abit behind me. When I turned around, I didn't know why I knew the target of my class's actions was her, maybe because I unconsciously followed their gazes. Since then, the scene would replay itself every other morning. Even when I knew what was going on I kept my pace, just out of spite of my class, not really cause I pity her or anything. This spread quite quickly throughout the school, since from time to time I saw some boys from other classes doing the same thing when they saw her along the corridor or at the canteen.

Though she never showed much emotions at the antics, I think it must had affected her anyway, since one fine day, I heard she transferred out.

I've teased my share of girls in my secondary school days, so I'm not saying I'm a saint. But while my actions were often independent and I do feel guilty whenever I pushed it too far (been slapped in public before), I doubt the news of the girl's tranfer even pinched the boys involved a little, since afterall, none of them is solely responsible or played a large part in it.

Fear the power of "groupthink". When what is wrong becomes forgivable in a large enough group, be surprised what the group can pull off.
*sacarsm mode*

Wanna be known in the forums using the least time and effort? Frustrated at not getting heard? Just follow the steps below! The idea is based on the fastest way to fame is to discredit others while boosting your own credibility.

1. Identify the well known and popular members in the forums and monitor the threads they posts in.
2. Strike 1 of them after he proposed something new or is discussing a controversial topic.
3. Prepare a multi-pronged attack that will hit him at many levels as possible. This step is lengthy and further elaborated below.

First of all start with something related to the topic that the victim has posted. Criticise his posts yet do not offer any constructive remarks. This is to prevent him from pointing out your own naiveness and mistakes if you are not familiar with the topic being discussed.

Wack him in every area you can find, his mental capabilities, his upbringing, his attitude, his friends, his work, his family etc. This is to drive him to lose his cool as soon as possible. Paraphrase his sentences to make them say the things you want, even though you know he is saying something else. At no time interpret his sentences as they are intended by him. Do not at any point try to understand your victim, except to cause further damage on him. This will get easier when your unconcscious self-defense and self-justification mechanism kicks in for your ego. All this will soon cause the topic to degrade into a flame war between you and him, which is what you want. After that point, whether you are knowledgeable in the original topic does not matter anymore.

A note is, try not to lose your own cool or have doubts about the course you are taking. One way is to keep in mind although he might counter-attack you with the same attacks, just use the common self-justification methods. A good example would be if he accuses you of being an ill-mannered bastard, you just have to remind yourself of a counter-example where you behave nicely to others, such as among your close friends. This would also further convince yourself that the victim knows nothing about you and fuel your will to flame him for his baseless assumptions.

When the flamming get more heated, the time is ripe to get your friends to read the flaming posts. Those friends who believes that they know the "real" you would, hopefully, try to defend you. If things proceeds smoothly, your victim would flame your friends outright and as soon as your friends get personally involved, they would be caught perfectly in this vicious cycle that they will not escape from and become your loyal supporters. Your victim would more or less have the same backup, but that's playing into your hands as this means more and more people would start knowing about you.

Finally, the topic would simmer down eventually. However your purpose would have been fulfilled. You will henceforth be known as the prime member of a faction that had a fight with a well-known member of the forums. And you archived this with nothing more than typing some insults and acting like a bastard.

You may have contributed nothing to the SG anime community, but why would you care? In the end, you are known in the community and gathered yourself a clan, which is all that really matters.

Congratulations. If you followed the guide you would have added another clan to the SG anime community that directs all their energy to discredit one another. You do not have to care about the possibilities that would have been if the anime community had worked together. Only your ego matters, afterall, since there are other bastards like you in the community, 1 more or 1 less wouldn't have mattered much to the community.
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