Thursday, August 4, 2016

Introduction to Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO


I am very sure many of you heard about Pokémon Go. Many of the tech savy or younger generations know all about it, but not all..

For those who do not know what is Pokémon go, I hope I can help you out with that.


The Inside Story Of 'Pokémon GO's' Evolution From Google Castoff To Global Phenomenon


It’s not hard to spot players of the most popular smartphone game of all time. They have a peculiar way of carrying their devices in front of them with one hand, says John Hanke, the technology whiz behind Pokémon GO, as we stroll along the waterfront of San Diego’s Seaport Village the day before his appearance in front of 7,000 fans at Comic-Con.

“They’re playing,” says the 49-year-old, nodding at a couple holding hands while their eyes fixate on their phones. “That guy standing with the backpack. Those people sitting over there.”

Since its July launch Pokémon GO, a free “augmented reality” game by Niantic Labs in which players capture virtual characters mapped to real-world locations, has piled up superlatives. Apple said the game had more downloads in its first week than any other app in history. One in ten Americans plays Pokémon GO daily, according to App Annie, and SurveyMonkey estimates that the game is hauling in as much as $6 million a day from in-app purchases in the U.S. alone (the game is available in 37 countries). Beyond the numbers, Hillary C

Hanke has long loved videogames, having taught himself to code his own on his Atari 400 computer in Cross Plains, Tex., a town of 1,000 with a single stoplight. A self-described “hick from the sticks,” Hanke graduated from the University of Texas, Austin and eventually wound up at Haas Business School at University of California, Berkeley with a view to starting a gaming company. Not long after arriving there, he joined a classmate’s startup, Archetype Interactive, whose only title,Meridian 59, is considered the first 3-D massively multiplayer online role-playing game. (They sold the company on the day of their B-school graduation.)

After starting and selling another gaming firm in 2000, Hanke cofounded Keyhole, a geospatial software firm that provided users with satellite imagery of any locale on Earth. That technology caught the eye of Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who was infatuated with maps. In one meeting with Google CEO Eric Schmidt and other executives, Brin began using Keyhole to zoom in on the backyards of the people in the room while advocating for the acquisition of the startup. In October 2004 Google, which had just gone public, purchased Keyhole for about $35 million in stock.

Hanke thought he’d stay at Google only for a matter of months, but he remained for more than a decade as one of the two heads of the company’s geo team. In his time there he oversaw the 2005 launch of Google Earth, negotiated the placement of Google Maps on the original iPhone with Steve Jobs and built Maps into Google’s second-largest product by traffic, behind search.

But by 2010 Hanke wanted out and hoped to reignite his passion by exploring the possibility of combining maps with gaming. Persuaded to stay at the company by Google’s other cofounder, Larry Page, he was given personnel and resources to create a secret gaming division within Google’s San Francisco office. Hanke named his company Niantic Labs, after a ship that had taken miners to the Bay Area during the 1849 gold rush.

After dabbling in an augmented-reality product that allowed users to learn about city landmarks via mobile devices and the ill-fated Google Glass, Niantic released Ingress in late 2012. It was Hanke’s first attempt at a location-based game and allowed players on two teams to claim certain locations around the world using their phones. Although it gained traction with serious gamers, Ingress was not considered a breakthrough inside Google.

By the spring of 2014 Niantic CEO Hanke was dreaming of applying location-based gaming to a well-established intellectual property that would entice more users. Both Mario and Donkey Kong were considered, but one name that kept coming up was Pokémon, a franchise that hit Millennials hard in the late 1990s with videogames, trading cards, movies and a television cartoon. As of May 2016 Pokémon products had grossed $45 billion in lifetime sales.

linton has invoked the game on the campaign trail, Justin Bieber has gone Poké-hunting in Central Park, and a reporter was publicly chided for playing it at a State Department briefing.

It almost didn’t happen. Just 12 months ago Hanke was an increasingly restless Google employee (he launched Google Earth, among other things) and his company, Niantic, was an overlooked gaming skunkworks lost in the search giant. As Google reorganized itself into Alphabet, Niantic looked likely to be rolled back into the company’s Android division or simply shut down. But Google had the wisdom to let Hanke seek outside investors and spin the company out. That paved the way for Hanke to approach Nintendo and the Pokémon Co., which oversees the brand’s intellectual property, and make the smartest mobile-gaming deal of all time.

For Google the arrangement has worked out in spades. Google owns just under 30% of Niantic, whose game might hit $5 billion in annual revenue, according to a Macquarie Group analyst.

“If Google kept it all to themselves, I’m not sure you would have Pokémon GO, at least not at the speed at which we got it,” says Gilman Louie, a Niantic board member.

Fortuitously, an engineer in Hanke’s former Google Maps division named Tatsuo Nomura was quietly concocting a plan around Pokémon, but for an entirely different reason. With April Fool’s Day approaching, Nomura had an idea to offer mobile users a way to hunt for Pokémon while perusing Google Maps. Through a friend he was able to set up a meeting with the Pokémon Co., an entity that is partially owned byNintendo and conveniently shared the same office complex with Google Japan in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. “Their CEO liked the deal immediately,” Nomura remembers. “There was not any real negotiation.”

The success of the April Fool’s prank caught the eye of Hanke, who reached out to Nomura to see if he could set up another meeting. Hanke wanted to know if Pokémon would be interested in making an actual mobile game. By May 2014 Hanke was in a conference room with Pokémon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara, flanked by translators and discussing, of all things, Ingress. A devoted Ingress player, Ishihara immediately grasped how powerful location could be for a mobile game involving Pokémon. With the blessing of the late Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, Hanke began development of Pokémon GO that summer, agreeing to split game revenue with the Pokémon Co. and Nintendo. (Hanke declined to reveal the specific terms.)

Meanwhile, back in Silicon Valley Niantic’s position within Google had become tenuous. As the company decided how to reorganize itself into Alphabet, Google’s leaders wondered what to do with the “dangling chad” of Hanke’s group. There was talk of rolling the company into the Android group, though the idea of falling back into the bureaucracy of Google’s massive organization had little appeal to Hanke.

Instead, he broached the possibility of a spinoff and was given permission to go out and seek funding for an independent company. He met with several venture capital firms–among them Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers–though all balked at the company’s valuation of around $150 million. One investor from those meetings recalls that Hanke discussed only Ingress and made no mention of the upcoming Pokémon title. Eventually Hanke was able to cobble together a $35 million round at an even higher valuation (around $175 million) from Google, Nintendo, the Pokémon Co. and angel investors–no big VCs invested.

In defense of those that passed, Pokémon GO is barely a month old and history has not favored mobile-game makers like Zynga (Farmville) and (Candy Crush), which serve as a warning to any viral-game maker. At this point Hanke is just trying to keep the servers running. With bags under his eyes, he’s had little time to do much of anything else, not even play his own game. What level is he at?

“I’m, like, level 5,” he says sheepishly.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

20130913 Diving in Tioman with Clara, Shan, Hilmar & Wei

Hello guys! Been sometime since i’ve wet my fins… nearest dive area is Tioman… So here i am again. This time with my cute 18months old niece Clara :)
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Having said that, here’s some photos which i took underwater.
Amazing… this trip i saw 3 SQUIDS!! 3 of them!!
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Saw green turtles… It swam right in front of me :)
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As usual, i just HAD to take a photo of these cute fish!
Oooh.. and our dive master gave us a show by feeding urchins to puffer fish..
Yummy fish that made me really hungry underwater…
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Other things i saw…
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Some videos i took..

Not too many photos in this trip as its a short 3d2n dive trip.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog, portal owners must reveal identities: Najib- My Thoughts…


By R. Sittaparam
New Straits Times
Thursday, Jun 13, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia will not emulate Singapore's move requiring blogs and news portals to be licensed, but will instead opt for self-regulatory measures that make it necessary for blog and website owners to reveal their identities, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said in handling the challenges of a mature nation, the government would ensure social media practitioners are more responsible in disseminating information.

He was speaking at the Malaysian Journalists Night 2013 and Malaysian MPI-Petronas Media Awards 2012 here last night.

Najib said the government would study the proposal for blog and news portal owners to provide information about their identities in their websites.

"No more anonymous writers, as is practised now. This is to ensure that information presented isn't considered libel (fitnah), which can jeopardise unity. It is also to ensure that writers are responsible and accountable for what they write."

He said the authorities would take action against owners of blogs and portals who failed to do so.

Najib said under the Communications and Multimedia Act and MSC Malaysia Bill of Guarantees, there would be no filtering of the Internet.

However, through the implementation of self-regulatory measures, action would be taken against blog or portal owners who spread false and slanderous information, he added.

"The government, for instance, will not move to license news portals, as what has been done in a neighbouring country.

"However, to safeguard national harmony, the government will enforce laws to ensure that anyone attempting to create factionalism using race, religion, language or try to belittle the royal institution or subvert the democratic parliamentary system, will face action."

He said the country's media and news organisation landscape had evolved tremendously, with print and electronic media being complemented by online media.

"Media democracy and the freedom of expression have become a reality. We have witnessed the full use of new and traditional media in the 13th General Election."

Najib said the dissemination of false, slanderous and provocative information that incited hate in social media, which was prevalent during the polls by those who called themselves journalists, did not benefit anyone.

"This will bring a negative effect to the country's future, if it is allowed to persist."

He said it was undeniable that issues of democracy and freedom of speech were being debated by the people, which had resulted in a never-before-seen consequence called the "butterfly effect".

"The demand for freedom of speech is not only due to globalisation, but is also stimulated by greater access to the Internet and improved socio-economic and education status.

"Freedom of speech is important and will bring positive effects to the country's development, but any information presented to the masses must be accurate."

Najib said he believed that the key to success was for the people to reflect and ask themselves whether freedom of speech was suitable for their identities as Malaysians and moral values.

"It is not wrong to disagree and have different opinions. However, do we need for such differences to create distrust among us, which is against our culture?

"For democracy to function, the people and media practitioners must hold firm to their moral values."

Najib said differences in opinions must be within people's identities as Malaysians, and they must not allow it to make them distrustful.

He said being a developing country, Malaysia must also be creative and innovative in managing these new realities as the middle class had become more assertive in its demands for more discussions on government policies.

Najib urged media practitioners to highlight important issues such as unity and development, and that freedom of speech must be practised ethically and responsibly. "The people's voices and opinions are crucial in our aim to be a developed nation by 2020."


My Personal View

I am against this ruling. Why should we have to register and reveal our true identity? To reveal ourselves to spam, identity thefts and so on? This is crazy.

If you really want to go after those that posted racial remarks (mostly by Pro-BN Cyber Troopers) go ahead. There are many ways to do that. You can track the IP usage to ISP, and from ISP to their office/household.

You can get cooperation from web/blog hosting company to help you trace. You can also trace from cybercafes.

Having bloggers to register our identity is just crazy. I will not support this.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

20130530 Brunei Oceanic Quest OWD Certification & Leisure Dive Trip

Hello again. Yet another dive trip completed successfully. This time our dive group consist of 7 OWD learners and 9 Leisure Divers. 1 OWD didnt manage to complete her dive course due to her unable to grasp the “Mask Clearing”. Others was successfully certified and 3 leisure divers got their Nitrox certification as well.

In total we did 9 dives. wanted to do additional 2 dives on the first day but was unable to because of bad weather.

Went to my favourite WW2 wrecks and a new dive site i have not been to before, IceBox. We were even “interviewed” by a TV crew from Hong Kong on why we chose to dive in Brunei.


Enough said… here’s some photos.


Meals from Airasia
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Kuala Lurah Malaysia (Sarawak) - Brunei Border Town

Map picture

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ok… i’ll come back with more food later.. here’s some photos taken underwater.

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Cuttle Fish EGG!!

Burrowed Blue Spotted Stingray

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Burrowed Stingray
Cute Pufferfish
Beautiful Bubbles
Cuttle Fish / Sotong
Moray Eel