Sunday, January 28, 2007

Issue of bloggers sued in Malaysia

Jefff Ooi is in the news. Not that he is an unknown though. He merits quite a mention in Wikipedia. Jeff is a pioneer Malaysian blogger who writes a popular blog called Screenshots. Started in 2003, the blog covers current issues relating to Malaysia, mostly concerning politics.

This website is termed "Malaysia's Most Influencial Blog" by Malaysiakini, a popular local online news publication. Also in 2005, Screenshots won the Asia category of the Freedom Blogs Awards given by Reporters Without Borders.

In early January, Ooi was sued for alleged libel/defamation by New Straits Times Press and several of its top executives. Also sued together with him is another local blogger Ahirudin Attan a.k.a. Rocky who writes the blog Rocky's Bru.

The lawsuits are the first of their kind in Malaysia, if not the world. The Malaysian blogging community and some NGOs have called it an attempt to stifle freedom of expression over the internet and some called it going back on the government's guarantee of no censorship on the internet.

However, I think they have the right to bring on the lawsuits if they think they have been wronged, provided they can prove to the court the articles/postings in the two blogs were defamatory.

By defamatory it is meant that they cause injury to the reputation or character of someone resulting from malicious false statements.

Malaysian laws protect every citizen from harm to their reputation by false and derogatory remarks. Every citizen can seek redress if they believed that they have been defamed. But they have to prove it to the court.

Another important point is, if the articles/postings are proven to be defamatory, they would be so whether they are over the internet, published in newspapers or broadcast over radio and TV. But if they were not defamatory, they were not, regardless of the medium they appeared in. Not censoring the internet has nothing to do with it; the law takes its course irrespective.

So it is wrong to say that defamation laws don't hold in cyberspace just because the government said it would not censor the internet. But the defamation has to be proven in court.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has defended legal action launched against Jeff and Rocky, saying that the internet was not exempt from defamation laws.

However, this lawsuit has spawned the Bloggers United Campaign to defend the freedom of expression.

Jeff and Rocky will be embroiled in court in an intensified situation which causes a lot of blogger related headlines in various newspapers, local and international.

Posted by Dale Ng, an Internet entrepreneur enthusiast who shares tips, info, news and articles on Internet marketing. Feel free to visit his website on Internet home business at: . You can also visit his other websites at: and and .

Monday, January 22, 2007

Three important Adsense clarifications

I received an email from Joel Comm the AdSense Guru, informing the good news that Google has relaxed its rules on other contextual ads being on the same pages as AdSense ads.

Now, contextual ads like those provided by Kontera, Intellitxt, Amazon and Chitika are allowed on the same pages as AdSense ads.

Joel says, however, you may not run ads that are designed to resemble AdSense ads. For example, Yahoo! Publisher Network ads look very much like AdSense ads. So you can't use them on the same pages as AdSense ads, although they can be on the same website. Other than that it's all right.

Since Joel has made a good deal of income with Kontera and Chitika apart from AdSense, and he has written ebooks on the two types of ads, he is recommending that we apply for those two programs to use in conjunction with AdSense. He says now we can apply for those programs and implement them on our pages without fear of losing our AdSense accounts.

However, after some checking up, I found that it is impractical for me and a lot of others to do so because of the requirements of the programs. Kontera requires that a website should have at least 500,000 page impressions per month and Chitika requires at least 10,000 page views per month.

I have less than 10,000 page views per month for both my blog and my website. As such this information is not useful to me. It will also not be useful for those who have bought Joel Comm's instant AdSense templates because they will be just starting off and will definitely not be able to chalk up 10,000 page views per month for a start.

So, thank you Joel for offering to sell your Chitika ebook at a discount, but it will be not of any use for the time being for this group of people. They just cannot fulfil the minimum requirement of page views set by Kontera and Chitika.

The email from Joel also points out that Google prefers that publishers avoid images that are lined up directly next to the ads so that it appears each ad is associated with an image. But if the dimensions of the images are completely different from the dimensions of the ads, then it's okay.

The idea is that Google does not want visitors clicking on ads because they have been deceived in believing the image is associated with the ad.

Also another point covered by the email is that whenever you see an ad for a Google service, Google is paying the publisher for that ad just as they would for any other ad. They are bidding in the auction and the publisher will be paid according to those bids.

This is good news for those who wondered if Google was trying to have a freebie by placing their own ads on their network without paying.

Joel received these clarifications from the AdSense team and he says he is very encouraged by these clarifications which make matters very clear now.

Posted by Dale Ng, an Internet entrepreneur enthusiast who shares tips, info, news and articles on Internet marketing. Feel free to visit his website on Internet home business at: . You can also visit his other websites at: and and .

Monday, January 15, 2007

Time to update to Adobe Reader 8

On the subject of software for Internet marketers, I would like to mention that it's time to update to Adobe Reader 8 if you haven't done so. This will be free from a security flaw that plagues versions 7 and earlier, as notified in one of the Adobe advisories. However, if your system is too old to update to version 8, Adobe says you should do a full install of the patched version 7.

Adobe says that the flaw let hackers use a technique known as cross-site scripting, in which they blend malicious JavaScript with a link to a PDF file on a Web site to hijack a user's computer.

The problem does not affect PDF documents themselves, and can only be used when someone attempts to retrieve a PDF document by clicking a malicious link, such as one a spammer might embed in unwanted e-mail.

There are no security issues with the actual PDF files but someone could possibly download a PDF, and then upload it to their server and put the nasty code in the link.

So to be on the safe side, don't open email attachments, or PDF files from strangers, or even from people you know, unless you were expecting something, as it's very easy to spoof an email address.

To avoid this, the easiest and safest thing to do, is to upgrade to the latest version, that is Acrobat Reader 8 or Acrobat Professional 8.

Here are the official Adobe Security Bulletins and Advisories:

You can update your Adobe Acrobat Reader here:

Posted by Dale Ng, an Internet entrepreneur enthusiast who shares tips, info, news and articles on Internet marketing. Feel free to visit his website on Internet home business at: . You can also visit his other websites at: and .

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Asia Internet intermittently painfully slow

Reports from Hong Kong say Asian companies say they have overcome most of the problems with their communication networks a week after an earthquake off Taiwan damaged undersea fibre-optic cables in Asia’s worst disruption to Internet services.

Last week, companies resorted to faxes and mobile phones after parts of the region lost Internet access. Now, from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, voice and Internet services are almost back to normal. Well, almost.

Indosat, Indonesia’s second largest phone carrier, was running at 80 percent capacity as of New Year’s eve. It rerouted its services to cables connecting Australia, Hong Kong and the US and is providing Internet services at 1.2 gigabytes per second, compared with the normal capacity of 1.5 gigabytes per second.

China Telecom Corp. said at the weekend that Internet service had returned to 70 percent of the company’s normal operation, while voice services to Hong Kong and Macau were back to normal.

From the end user point of view, services would have returned to normal because usage is low at this period of time in the year. However, intermittently, the Internet is still painfully slow and it is a torture trying to do some serious surfing of the Internet.

Apart from rerouting Internet signals to spare lines, ships had been dispatched to the affected areas with the damaged fibre-optic cables and are supposed to have started repair work today. It will take two or three weeks to get the repairs done.

Meanwhile, it this part of the world, Internet will be intermittently very painfully slow if you have to deal with websites hosted in the US, Europe and Australia. Well, let’s hope the repairs are done soonest possible without any delay.

Posted by Dale Ng, an Internet entrepreneur enthusiast who shares tips, info, news and articles on Internet marketing. Feel free to visit his website on Internet home business at: . You can also visit his other website at: .