Saturday, 26 October 2013

How Much Does Google Know About You?

Internet Security Is An Issue You Should Be Bothered About
Have you ever wished to have a unique name for yourself? How many people do you exactly know having the same name as yours?

If you think you have come across more than 5 people sharing your first name and if you are not happy, I will tell you why I, for the first time ever, felt bad for having a unique name. Before I start blogging this year, there wasn't anything much about myself on the internet. Even after I started blogging, I don't remember finding anything much on Google when I 'google' myself. I did not know my blogging activity can take off so fast and I quickly became addicted to it. I found awesome people via blogging and I am going places now.

I tried 'googling' for my name a couple of days before and I was horrified to know that Google actually knows a lot more about myself than I thought it could ever know. First issue here is my name. It can be easily googled since there aren't many with the same name as mine. I never knew using real name can cause a big effect towards my privacy in the virtual world.

I used to register for new websites using my name because I don't need to think a lot about the suitable nickname and it will be easier to deal with mailing and billing (although I don't really buy things from internet). The search engines will actually locate your activities online easily with your details. I found almost everything when I tried searching for my name. This include the blog I have commented on before, the websites I have registered using my real name and there was also a website by the name of meetme.com. I was taken aback when I saw that as I can't recall when I have registered on that website!!

Yes, Google actually knows a lot about you! Have you realised that you need to use your 'real' name now when you are creating an account on Google +? I am having a G+ email and that particular G+ account is not the one I use for socialising. So upon knowing the ugly fact about Google, I have deleted that account but my gmail remained active. The next day when I logged in to check my mail, Google asked me to fill up my real name and put up a profile picture. I tried faking my name but it keeps saying invalid name and it even says that there wasn't any face detected on my profile picture I newly uploaded (as it was an illustration). Now, are we obliged to have an account on all Google products when we are using even only one of its product?

It is so obvious that google is trying to take over the world with the amount of information it stores about each and every individual who are browsing online. There is no privacy at all and their 'dynamic' privacy policy which keeps changing is also another way to completely rip our personal life off.

I found everything and everyone's images when I googled for my name. All those lovely bloggers who used to comment on my blog, their pictures appear in the search result because I am somehow associated to them. Isn't that scary? Today I made the first move to modify the existing accounts under my real name as I don't feel safe anymore about my online presence. 

I think with your details on the internet, people can easily stalk you and find information about you within a blink of an eye. Apart from that, scammers are everywhere! They are waiting to steal your information. If you find that you are having an account on some strange looking websites, don't be surprised. After all, how safe can our details be although giant companies claim that they are keeping all details secured. Be sure about what you post online too and do not expose your pictures online as anyone can grab them, edit them and use for their own business purposes. I think you would have heard about pictures of girls being misused etc. 

Apart from that, I think nobody really bothers and should no bother to do know about my details if I were to appear under a pen name. I personally do not care if you know my name. Writing using our own name has always earned the user a better credibility and audience tend to trust them more. I acknowledge that fact but at the same time, we have many other awesome blogs and blog writers using nicknames to hide their real identity from the public. What do you have to say about this? Do you care for the content of the blog or website or are you placing an emphasis on the background of the writer or founder of the website?

I would love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Life Worth Living: A Review

A Life Worth Living

I was working on T.L Scott's book trailer for the past one week. It was a fun learning process as this time, I hired a voice over artist to provide voice over for the trailer. So you might want to watch the trailer and let me know what you think about it overall. I welcome your honest critique that is constructive!

I read his book before coming up with ideas for the trailer so I thought I would post my honest opinion on the book.

Note: This review is purely based on my opinion and my preference and taste when it comes to books. My thoughts and views may be entirely different from yours if you were to read the book. This review is written constructively so that the author of the book could find better inspiration and idea for his writing journey. 

A Life Worth Living's blurb :

Dave and Debbie are a typical middle class family. They work hard to provide for their two children. They have made sacrifices to provide a good home and a good life for each other and the children they love. Somewhere along the way to making a good life they have lost sight of each other.

When tragedy strikes they have to decide if they can make theirs a life worth living.

This is a story of love, loss, and ultimately redemption.

My review: 

I find this book interesting when I got to know a few things about this book. This book is about a man who is workaholic and finds himself spending too much time on his office work. Dave is a hardworking man who equally loves his family. But Debbie, his wife is getting frustrated about his workaholic ways. 

The story uncovers the fact or reality of life as it evolves. It is about the good and bad we face in life. The family faces numerous tragedies in this story. I like the story and the way Scott has planned about the suspense elements in his book. One of it was very shocking to me too when I was reading. If you like stories that is based on family bonding, sacrifices and loss of family members as well as the emotions behind these incidents, then you may like the story of this book. I find it easy to finish reading the book within one to two days. 

Some of the aspects that could have been improved in this book are the writing style, paraphrasing and narration.  

I thought it would have been better if the narration of the story sticks with the first person's point of view and specifically Dave. When Dave is away from home, the narration is being made from Debbie's point of view, so when the word "I .... " comes, I find it a little bit difficult to figure out who is telling the story this time round. There were also some sentences that need to use certain punctuation marks especially dialogues.

I saw a few repetitions in the book. I found sentences being repeated not word by word but they are actually telling the same thing. This can be distracting.

I also thought the blurb should be changed because it doesn't seem to be as enticing as the story.

These are purely based on my thoughts and I can be wrong. Another person may not find these aspects of the book giving issues to their reading experience. Different reviewers will find different thoughts on the book. 

so I suggest you to read the book and Scott is looking for reviewers, so if you are interested you can let me know and I will help you with that.

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Funraising For Breast Cancer Awareness?

And Save Your Common Sense Along!


I bet you noticed the ''typo'' on my title. But you are wrong unfortunately! Read on!

I just realised that it is the breast cancer awareness month they have yearly! Thank you to Joker from Glipho (a brand new blogging platform, if you haven't check it out, please do so!!) as his post indirectly made me aware that the this month is all about the pink ribbon. Well, Joker's post with the title "Every Woman On The Planet Needs To Read This!" was also very informative. That's when I knew some ugly truth behind the Susan G. Komen foundation. We will get back to this at the later part of my post.

I knew that breast cancer awareness is a serious issue and it has to be given a lot of serious focus as MANY women out there still do not know how to check if they have lumps on their breast or even go for annual mammogram. The lack of seriousness and vigilance are the main reasons why breast cancer take the lives of women away! 

I never really had the urge to write a post on this until... I found something on Facebook and I knew I had to write something about it. Watch this video below! 

Even if you don't want to watch it is fine because they are using this video to gain more ''donation''. So the more people watch this, the more views they will earn!!



This got to be the most awful method of fundraising I have ever seen or heard off in my life! What is the whole fuss about, if you ask, this ''funraising'' campaign was started by a YouTube channel, Simple Pickup. They think they should incorporate some ''fun'' while fundraising because apparently ''we all love boobs''. What they do is to go to some random women ask if they could ''motorboat'' them (which is to stick their faces in a pair of boobs and then simulate a seizure) and promised to donate $20 for every pair of boobs they got up on.

They managed to get about $2080 and they planned to donate $100 for every hundred thousand views they get on the video.

Okay so you may say that this is just the fun way of doing things and the women gave their consent to motorboat them so what's the fuss now right? Wrong!! I do have a problem with this.

If people can do anything they want in the name of fundraising(or funraising), will the allow funraisers to dare people go naked on the street and taaa.. daaaa.. you get $100? After all, it is teh fun way of doing things. So can we expect this in the future?

If people can do anything as long as they give absolute consent for what is being asked for in a campaign, then they should have the rights to do what they feel like doing in the public too. Why must we show so much objection towards the Femen movement? They walk or march naked on streets for a good cause too, which is to fight for equality and feminism. They have their own reasons too and nobody is forcing anyone to go nude.

If people's voice and consent matter as a whole in a group of fundraisers or campaigners, then their personal voice should matter too. After, we are living in a world where every country is trying to become the champion of human rights, right? So, if I feel like having a nude walk today out there in the street, that will be and should be completely acceptable!!

If you say, ''hey, at least they get some money and raised the level of awareness'', wait a minute!!

Money? Okay, so coming back to the post that Joker has shared on his blog, Susan G. Komen foundation is supposed to be helping the pink ribbon month and raising donation for breast cancer! But guess what we found? Not every campaign has 100% transparency! Nancy Brinker is letting the foundation suffer economically while she making about a million dollars every year. The foundation has failed to continue a few campaigns initially planned for the year 2014 too.

So, the real question is, where is the money going?

And raising the level of awareness? How on earth do you think this video above is going to be educational is any way, for women or the public to get their check up for breast cancer done?I just feel that this ''campaign'' is just another marketing method to promote whatever hell they are running on the internet. Well, if the YouTube video gets more views, then they will eventually get more money via AdSense too! Of course, they can't say, ''hey,can I motorboat you and I will 'donate' $100 for Simple Pickup?'' or simply ''hey, can you donate some money for our site?". These marketing method have been failing over the years.

Now, the real question is, how can they ever sexualise breast cancer? Is it something they can play around with? Or take advantage of? If fun is the main underlying reason why this campaign is even taking place, then women love your balls too guys!! I would love to see if they are ever going to come up with similar campaign where women get to fiddle around with their balls too at public! After all, it is for a noble cause! I have also read about arguments on this issue where some say they should have been doing this too men as even men get breast cancer. And how come we don't see old grandmothers here?

If breast cancer awareness is really important to them, people would just donate whatever amount they could if they approach them genuinely! If you think you should donate, you will somehow donate without any ''perks''.

While looking up for information about this, I found that it is just not me, but there is another website ranting on the same video. Here is the link.

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ignorance Is Not Bliss!

Ignorance IS NOT Bliss!!

While child rape cases and teen pregnancies are on the rise today, it is sad to know that the society has not taken enough care to educate the young teenage girls the right way. This post is not about us being ignorant of the news on the latest beauty pageant or the earthquake in Philippines that took more than 100 lives away today. (Yes, there was an earthquake today, if you don't know about it yet, you can click on the link above. See, I am nice enough to update you with world news from CNN ;) ). 

I am deeply saddened with child rapes and I used to put myself in their shoes. How would it actually feel? Any child at the age of 5 will not know what has happened to her. She won't even know that she has been exploited barbarically by the Satan just to satiate his sexual needs. Can you imagine what would or should the mother tell the child if she asks what has happened to her? How will the family cope with the torture of seeing the child growing up in trauma? A child, being raped at 5, growing up and understanding that she has been violated without her knowing it would most likely feel like she has been cheated to no surmountable amount! It is not just her dignity that has been taken away, but her poor soul too that has been ripped off!

Girls are exposed to sexual education later than boys and this scenario is prevalent in countries in the East. I am not sure how it is at other places but if you take countries in the Middle East, the girls are basically treated like house-arrests! How can the girls learn about the dangerous world out there if they are constantly being kept at home and without proper guidance from their parents about self-protection? I don't see how treating boys differently than girls is justified when it comes to exposure about issues like sexual education.

Majority of girls in the East get to know about sex through their friends, that too if they are allowed to go to school! What if they are denied the rights to attend school or if they are being constantly watched over? Can you see why the younger generation is being mislead easily by the media? Because there is no proper guidance from the right person. Pornography is being so popular now because it is believed to be the source where kids could learn about sex. This situation has been taken to an advantage by the unscrupulous business people to market porn video!

It is sad to know that many parents still regard this subject a taboo and do not provide proper guidance to their girls! In a way, it is their fault why kids are not able to defend themselves. The next door uncle is not someone who your girl can 'play' with when you are away and in fact you should let them know that anyone can harm them anytime and no 'uncle' is safe or good enough to be a company or a friend! I have seen how parents teach their children to be obedient by asking them to treat anyone who is older to them very politely. Do these people really deserved to be respected in the first place? That is something they should think about first!
Educate your girls!!!
The martial arts classes and Kung Fu skills are not going to be handy if your girl doesn't know how to defend her emotions from being violated. Anyone can sweet-talk her and she would still be a victim! Teach your child what she needs to know at the right age, and the right age is no longer ten or eleven, but as young as four or five! You are responsible for your child's safety! 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

New Website Taking Baby Steps!

I.B.P
I have been a book trailer designer on a freelancing site for the past five months now. I thought of doing freelance jobs ever since the beginning of this year. I was still in the university back then and it was my very last semester (now graduated)! Yeay!! :) I had a bad time the previous year and coincidentally started blogging and venting out my feelings on social issues. That is exactly when I started to make friends with authors and writers all over the world who are SUPER SUPPORTIVE! My life has changed tremendously from that point and I never looked back! While I discovered writing as a passion of mine ( I never thought I could write and make sense at the same time, I am so glad I actually started writing), I wanted to channel my attention to other activities that are worth the time and energy, so I decided to freelance as that is the best option for anyone who doesn't want to be committed to difficult part time job. All you need is your lap top and your work can be done easily!

I have been learning about Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation lately (I know my post doesn't cater to SEO needs, how lazy I am when in fact I provide SEO articles for bloggers!!). These skills apply to promote authors too and I have been enjoying creating trailers. I made the very first step to expand my work and thus created a website. It is still under construction but the basic info is already up there! I will also get a domain name for it soon! I have created a Wordpress blog for the site and Google + page too. My YouTube site has been renamed and revamped to accomodate samples of the videos I made before. The starting price is $30 for a 1 min trailer and the trailer will have purchased copyrighted pictures and musics. 

I will have a lot of work to be done about the website before it gets established and may be devoting some time in a day will help. Stay tuned for the updates! :)

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Friday, 11 October 2013

Writing Can Be Deadly!

Writing Can Be Suicidal
I am back as promised! Why writing can be suicidal? Well, if you are a fiction writer and you are writing about something doesn't exist in reality, that is completely fine because it involves nobody in the real world. But what if you are writing about something that is happening around you? About social issues and politics or even about your own thoughts and views on certain people or politicians? Now could you smell the possible danger arousing due to this?

I have been a member of Global Voice and I am very excited about it because it helps me lend bloggers and social media users a louder voice to highlight what they are saying collectively! Let's take the issue or news about who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize recently. I'm sure many people across the world will be talking about this and voicing their opinion about the result. Some would or may say that Malala should have been awarded instead of the OPCW. What authors of Global Voices do is to summarise what people are saying about a particular issue.

Now, being an author on GV is as risky as being a blogger. While people may support the good deed  of exposing the truth, abolishing crime and terrorism; the ugly truth is nothing guarantees that we will be safe being a whistle blower. I will tell you why people don't get involved in social work that is 'risky' like this or may be sometimes it is a better option to just keep quiet and mind our own business.

Sometime ago, we had a case in Malaysia where someone was shot while he stopped at a traffic light. He is in charge of the My Watch movement which basically works as a whistle blower. R. Sanjeevan was a young man who was inspired to do something beneficial and transform the corrupted society into a better community. My Watch is about ten months old and has successfully revealed a few corrupted authorities. Guess what he got as the prize of it? He was shot after getting several threats by people and luckily survived but still suffering from the aftermath. Sanjeevan shared his story with a reporter lately that the movement is now dying as there is nobody to protect him or to support his fight for Malaysia. In fact, he also told that he has lost many friends after this incident as they were afraid of their own lives.

While I was reading this issue, I came across another updated blog post on one of the most popular blogs in Malaysia. It is written by someone with a blog name of  ''The Raged Indian". As I was reading this, I learned that he stayed away from blogging for quite sometime as he has received threats from some people as well since he writes a lot about social issues and influences thousands of Malaysian Indians particularly. He raised a very good question in his post too that made me think he was right. After all, if something happens to him, who will be at lost and who will come to defend him? It is still an unanswerable question isn't it?

Today, I came to know that Malala's book is out. It has been written by Malala with Christina Lamb as the contributor. She is an advocate for women and she got shot by the Talibans. When you do good in the public, you will be scrutinised heavily and then discriminated!. She was expected by some to win the Nobel Peace Prize but it was awarded to OPCW. I got goosebump while watching one of her interviews today and it made me feel so proud of her! It also explains the power we have as an individual and this is what I like the most. I think Malala's life has changed to reveal the real potential she acquires.

I feel that one doesn't need to be an activist in a global level. Anyone who is able to instill changes in another person's life is an activist. As we live in a dangerous world, it is better to start from below and act like the termites. Termites are small and eats your wood from within silently and you will only know when everything is totally destroyed; when the entire furniture comes crashing down on your head! Any social activist should be working like that so that you don't alert people in authority who is capable of bringing you down.

Like +BV Bharati said, it can be dangerous exposing the activities of people especially politicians. She has written an article about it earlier which can be viewed via this link. On the other hand, if you have not heard about author Jean Sasson, you can check it out here and see for yourself how she got into trouble by stalkers who file cases against her! She shares her experience with her reader at her website. She writes about life in the Middle East and I love reading her work!

Sharing what Jean says here:
For anyone who is considering writing a book, you might want to read my personal account of what it is like to be stalked, and, for that stalker to find attorneys willing to file a frivolous lawsuit. -- Jean

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Guilty As Charged!

Sooooo Sorry!!!
I know I took a looooong break and I think it has been about two weeks since I wrote anything new here on my blog BUT I have a lot to post and  will never forget what I need to write as I'm having a checklist for my blog!

So where have I been and what was I doing? I was busy with my graduation celebration last week and it was one of the most momentous events in my life! We had to travel far and get things ready for graduation and travelling back to where I live has been very time consuming and tiring! Nevertheless, it was fun and enjoyable!

I have promised +BV Bharati that I will be writing a post soon about why writing and exposing truths can be deadly and I haven't forgotten my promise yet. In fact, it is one of the posts I am having on my checklist. Now that I am back, I will get that done soon.

On the other hand, guess what I found? I saw a story that was covered in the front page of the local newspaper! It is about child marriage in Malaysia and I was completely shocked with the appalling number of child marriages happening in Malaysia. I never knew this issue could be so bad here and I will cover this issues under Child Marriage chapter of my book.

You will be so surprised to know what is happening across the world when you start researching facts and I think I love what I am doing for my book!

I'll be back real soon with consistent posts!

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