21 November 2007

Brief sights

I couldn't help but admire at God's creation this morning. Not aptly captured in its glory in the photo above, taken this morning on my drive to work, my admiration was on the clouds. Seeing it from my car, I could roughly distinct 3 layers of thickness, from the very dark & daunting shade above my Iswara, to the lighter albeit still dark shade after that & the brighter skies at the horizon. Sorts off giving the 'light at the end of the road' kind off feeling. Besides that, it was a morning where I awoke to hear the start of a somewhat heavy downpour that was reduced to a drizzle by the time I left home. Traffic was like what I am accustomed to whenever I drive to work, no heavier traffic or untoward incident.

Arriving at the office, I picked up my copy of the Sun & also saw a front page article in the Star that says our 1st national car maker Proton had end talks with VW & GM on the basis that it doesn't need a strategic partner anymore due to increasing fortunes from sales (it launched the Wira replacement model Persona recently) & exports. I believe this is a real case of short sightedness on the part of its owners & the Board. One doesn't end long term strategies just because of short term gains. Hmm, perhaps there another story to it, i.e. the talks with VW & GM has truly broken down & Proton is just trying to 'save face.' Oh well, it goes to show how the current 'Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang (Temberang?)' administration looks at local auto industry. After all, we should all go back to eating ubi kayu with the constantly inflating food prices & ride bicycles/take the supposedly improving never-on-time public transport due to rising toll & petrol prices.

Maxis, 1 of the 3 local telcos, have abolished their RM3 monthly caller ringtone charge from Dec 2007 onwards. Benevolent? Think again. The monthly subscription fee is replace by an RM2 monthly rental fee for every caller ringtone you have downloaded into your playlist (you can have up to 15 caller ringtones currently). According to Maxis (as per what I read in the Star's In.Tech pull out yesterday), this move is get subscribers who currently don't have caller ringtones to take up the service by making it more affordable. Affordable, my *ss. Yes, it is affordable & cheaper if you have only one caller ringtone, which I believe is not the case. In fact, I believe Maxis' studies must have shown an average number of caller ringtones in playlist of more than one song for each of the service's subscriber. Heck, even I who use only 1 caller ringtone have more than 1 song in my playlist, all of which are from free downloads. This is just another move to milk more money from subscribers. The In.Tech article also mentioned something to the effect the recording industry was unhappy at the amount of royalties that they received from Maxis from the use of music as caller ringtones & that this new deal is a win-win situation for all. To me, since I believe the average subscriber actually has more than 1 ringtone in his/her playlist, the winners are actually Maxis & the recording industry. Oh well, I shall just delete all the other free songs in my caller ringtone playlist, stick to the lone tune I've been using (apologies for those who are bored with it but hey, at least you'll know that you've dialed the right Mark) & enjoy the lower fee.

Till later, live long & prosper.

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