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Posts from May 2011.

Food and Technology

Was in KL few days ago, my usual monthly trip to our KL office. Time flies, our KL branch is already 7 yrs old. I have been observing KL’s progress since my early trips till now, things hasn’t changed much though.

Day one in KL, feelin very hungry after a long journey from the airport to office, can’t wait to go to this very unique place for lunch. You must be thinking of some sort of high end restaurant in a 5-star hotel. On the contrary, this is a small eatery nested in an old zinc house somewhere off Jalan Ipoh at a place that resembles the kampong (village) we used to have in Singapore back in the 1980s.

My colleagues and I called it “Xiao mei mei’s stall” because the pretty granddaughter of the operator, who is barely 10 years old, will be helping out taking orders in her school uniform. This place has its old world charm, you will only see makeshift tables and chairs and some stone tables and stools, it is surrounded by lush greenery forming the natural shades from the hot afternoon sun.

Pretty nice huh?

We always like to sit under the trees next to the pond listening to the Chinese oldies of the 1980s coming from the two old speakers under the zinc roof shed.

Small pond full of fishes big enuff to be eaten.. hahaha

This time round, that xiao mei mei wasn’t there, her mother took the order instead. We ordered our usual favorites, KL Hokkien mee, pan mian (mee hoon kueh), ko rou mi feng (Mee hoon fried with stew pork ribs), and dumpling soup.

KL Hokkien mee.. looks yummy, doesn't it?

These dishes are really our all time favorite as they are very home-cooked style food! She asked if we would like to try their Sushi, to which we all blurted out “huh down here got Sushi ah???”.

Not bad unagi sushi from this eatery

She said “ya, we even have facebook! .. And we recently setup a website also”. My colleague replied jokingly “do we get a discount if we “Like” your facebook?”. Lol.

This comes as no surprise, any business or ALL businesses need at least a website to have an Internet presence and use it as your 24 hours salesman to bring in sales. Having a website with no traffic is also useless, you must leverage on the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to bring in the traffic.

That’s still not good enough, one also need to make use of the latest social media marketing, like facebook and twitter to entice your customers to drop in and spend money. This may sound simple though but not many companies are embarking on this yet, surprisingly. They dunno what they have missed out on!

Sedap!

Though the “Xiao mei mei’s stall” is in an old zinc house doing small business but they are embracing the powerful Internet technology and keeping up with the trend.

An old-school eatery

I am sure their business will prosper as more and more people will get to know about them thru this virtual channel.

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Search Engine Optimization – Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Setting up your company website won’t automatically mean instant traffic flow. There are millions of websites and probably thousands that sell something similar to your site. Your goal is to stand out from all other competition by utilizing SEO services. SEO stands for search engine optimization and can be accomplished in various ways like social media marketing. Here is what working with an SEO company can do for your business.

Improve your search engine placement. An SEO expert knows how to get you from page 10 or higher on Google to page 1 or 2. This is so important because search engines—Google in particular—serve as the number one way in which websites are found and visited. An SEO consultant can pull out all the stops to ensure the content on your web page is working as an effective search engine marketing method.

Boost your website’s popularity. Apart from being accessible to your target audience, SEO services also aim to spread information about your website in a positive way across the web. This can be accomplished when an SEO expert advises you to write quality articles, newsletters, and other write-ups, and then assists you in the actual writing process. By circulating positive information about your company, you are sure to get more targeted traffic to your site.

Increase your business’s revenue. The reason why an SEO company will focus so hard on getting more traffic to your website is so you can improve your bottom line. Hiring an SEO consultant to help you master all the necessary techniques is an investment, but one that will certainly pay off if you follow the advice of the SEO expert you choose to work with. They are called “experts” for a reason, and their goal is help your website be more productive and earn you a greater income. This could be directly with sales earned on the site or indirectly by passing along information about your website and getting customers to walk through your door.

The bottom line is that SEO services are here to supply you with useful tips for getting more traffic to your site and converting those visitors into paying customers. Hiring a reputable SEO company will be an affordable and effective way to boost your online presence and make your website begin to work for you. Trying to achieve great SEO on your own can be far more time consuming and fruitless than it’s worth, so save time and energy with an SEO consultant by your side.

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Easy-to-guess passwords

Just received a SMS from friend complaining about having to clear over 500k of spam mails in one of his mail servers. He has cleared only 10% of the spam mails in the mail server queue after 7 hours! OMG! Apparently spammer had guessed the username and password of a user who has used a password that is the same as his username of his email account. i.e. username@domain.com, password = username

Why do so many people continue to use easy-to-guess passwords, despite so many warnings about the risks? Are they being just pure lazy or they are totally ignorant about security? This people can’t be bothered with their own security at all. If you think this is not important, think again, this irresponsible behavior will cause much inconvenience to your own self and others!

What will happen when a mail server is being exploited to send mass volume of spams?

1. The mail server will be overwhelmed with mail sending request, as a result slows down its performance tremendously and may even stall.

2. The outgoing mail server will be filled with huge number of spam mails queuing to be sent out, as a result causes delayed delivery of legitimate emails of the other users in the same server thereby causing inconvenience to all users.

3. With this huge volume of spam mails going out from the same email server, commercial spam filters from messagelabs and barracuda networks, etc and filters from Gmail, hotmail, etc are likely to blacklist the mail server’s IP address. This will cause emails sending through these mail servers to be blocked thereby causing inconvenience again. It may take quite a while to be delisted from these spam filters.

One of the simplest ways by professional spammers to gain access to your information is through the use of a Brute Force Attack. This is accomplished when a spammer uses a specially written piece of heavy duty software that cycles through a bunch of common usernames and passwords, hoping to hit a match that works. If he gets one that works, he effectively has an open relay. Thereafter, he will blast huge volume of spam mails through the email server using this email account.

The most commonly exploited accounts are guest/guest, admin/admin, test/test, demo/demo, sales/sales123, admin/admin123, administrator/administrator123, guest/guest1234, test/test1234, demo/demo123 and webmaster/webmaster1234, although any account with a weak or missing password is vulnerable.

A strong password is therefore vital. A good strong password must have a mix of characters, symbol and numbers, should be randomly-generated to avoid guesses based on your name or domain, but should also be reasonably memorable since you are likely to need the password to access your Webmail from remote locations.

I sincerely hope all email account users will be responsible enough to set a strong password to their email account thereby eliminating the unnecessary work and stress given to the technical support engineer and reducing the inconvenience caused to other users.

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