Friday, August 27, 2010

Best antivirus / security suite in 2010

What is the best antivirus and/or security suite for home user now?

I believe a good security solution for home computer:

  • should detect most if not all of the virus and malware.
  • should be good in protecting from new/unknown virus and malware.
  • should not have too much false positive.
  • should not diminish the performance of the computer too much. The computer should not be sluggish when the security solution is running.
  • should not consume too much CPU and memory resource.
  • should be fast in scanning for virus and malware.
After reading the comparison and benchmarking reports in these websites...
 I found that the best in 2010 is a competition between these 2 vendors:
  • ESET
  • Symantec
Slovakia company ESET produces the NOD32 Antivirus and the ESET Smart Security suite, while US company Symantec produces the Norton Antivirus and the Norton Internet Security suite.

However, in terms of pricing and availability in retail computer store in Malaysia, Symantec definitely has the upper hand.

Therefore, the best security suite in 2010 for me is Norton Internet Security 2010. I bought a genuine box of it with 1 year subscription to 3 computers at the price of RM100 in Digital Mall recently.

After installing Norton Internet Security 2010, I got free upgrade to Norton Internet Security 2011 with its Norton Update Center.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Am I scammed by the electronic ultrasonic insect repeller?

    Insect and pest repelling using the electronic way isn't something new and has been around for many years. However, until today, there is still debates and doubts whether it works or not. There are lab tests showing that it totally not working, and other lab tests showing that it does work but not very effective.

    In fact, there are 3 common kinds of electronic insect and pest repeller in the market:

    • Electromagnetic - the device changes the wavelengths of the frequency signals that already exist in the wiring of homes, thus claimed to be able to agitate rodents and insects with these signals.
    • Ultrasonic - the device emits high frequency sound above 22 khz which is unheardable by human being (thus called ultrasound) but is detectable by certain insects and rats. The effect is like putting a loud siren beside their ears and chase them away.
    • Ionic - it is said that certain insects and rodents are sensitive to negative ions, so they won't go near an ionizer.
    Nowadays they are even 3-in-1 products which combine all the features above, but selling at high price of above RM100.

    I have 2 electronic ultrasonic insect repellers in my home, which I bought for about RM20 each in Giant hypermarket. Picture as below.

    In fact, you can easily find in the Internet for circuit diagrams about electronic ultrasonic insect repellers, and can DIY make your own with some electronic knowledge and devices. Some are very simple, and here is a more complicated one from Electronic Circuits website.

    Beside that, there also exist computer software that make use of the speakers to generate pest repelling ultrasonic waves, such as SEA Anti-Mosquitoes XP, KP-Anti Mosquitoes, Ultrafobos, etc. Similar applications are available for mobile devices including iPhone, Palm, etc. For normal handphones, there are also ultrasonic ringtones that you can find and download from Internet.

    Is the small electronic ultrasonic device that I've bought effective to me?

    I put one in my kitchen, quite near to the dining table.

    Well, before using it, I used to disturbed by one or two mosquitoes at night when I used my laptop on the dining table. After using it, so far no more such mosquito disturbance.

    And before using it, sometimes I saw cockroach in the kitchen when I turn on the light there during midnight. Now, so far no such engagement after using it.

    It seems like it works fine for me so far, and I don't feel like scammed, although I've found quite a number of reports in the Internet saying electronic insect repellers are useless.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    SunCity declared 31 sen interim dividend

    Sunway City (SunCity, 双威城, 6289) has just released its 2nd quarter report for FY2010, and has declared an interim dividend of 31 sen per ordinary share of RM1.00 each less 25% income tax for the financial year ending 31 December 2010, which will be paid on a date to be determined. If I'm not mistaken, this will be the highest ever quarter dividend declared by SunCity since its IPO.

    In the last quarter, SunCity also declared a dividend of 5% per ordinary share of RM1.00 each less 25% income tax, which has just gone ex yesterday (20 August 2010), which is the same day when the other 31 sen dividend was declared after the market closed. This 5% dividend will be paid on 22 September 2010.

    This means that shareholders of SunCity will get dividend of at least 36 sen per share this year (there is still a 3rd quarter report to be released by this year). With the last closing price of RM3.73, the DY within the last 2 quarters is already 9.65%.

    As expected by everybody, the financial position of SunCity has largely improved after the listing of Sunway REIT, although the actual IPO price of Sunway REIT (SUNREIT, 5176) on 8 July 2010 at RM0.89 is lower than the anticipated RM0.97. I think the shareholders of SunCity are rewarded with this generous dividend, as a result of this IPO exercise of  Sunway REIT.

    The prospect of SunCity remains pretty positive, as written in its quarterly report:

    "On 8 July 2010, the Group completed the listing of the Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust ("Sunway REIT") on Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad ("Listing"). The Group holds 36.6% in the Sunway REIT.

    The Listing has reduced the Group's gearing significantly and hence enabled the Group to accelerate it's business expansion plans in the property development segment (local and overseas markets) as well as the property investment segment.

    On the back of unbilled sales of RM743 million, the Group expects the property development segment to continue to contribute positively to the Group's results this financial year. While enjoying lower interest expense resulting from the reduced borrowings as mentioned above, the Group also benefits from the share of profits from the Sunway REIT while receiving manager's fees for the management of Sunway REIT.
    Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Board is of the view that the Group's performance for the financial year ending 31 December 2010 will improve."
    With this, I feel comfortable and happy to remain as one of the shareholders of SunCity.

    You might probably also be interested to read about:

    Disclaimer: This article is intended for sharing of point of view only. It is not an advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of the mentioned stock counters. You should do your own homework before trading in Bursa Malaysia.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Intel to buy over McAfee for $7.68 billion

    McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE), headquartered in Santa Clara, California, being famous for its antivirus and security solutions, will be bought over by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) for $48 per share in cash, which is about 60% more than its listing price before announcement. The deal totalling to $7.68 billion, making it the largest acquisition attempt of Intel.

    After the acquisition, McAfee will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel’s Software and Services Group and managed by Renee James, their senior vice president and general manager of the group.

    Intel’s president and CEO Paul Otellin called security as the “3rd pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences,” behind energy-efficient performance and connectivity.

    This is another acquisition exercise of Intel right after the recently announced buying over of Texas Instruments' cable modem product unit.

    Maybank2u access denied

    Have you encoutered the "access denied" problem when you try to login to Maybank2u website, even though you are very sure the username and password that you keyed in is absolutely correct?

    I just found out that Maybank2u will suspend your online banking account if you didn't login to it for more than 3 months. You will need to call their Customer Care number, verify yourself, then only can reactivate it.

    If you didn't login your Maybank2u online banking account for more than 6 months, it will be deactivated. You will need to go to the ATM machine of Maybank to get a new PIN number with your ATM card, and reregister a new online banking account in Maybank2u.

    Is this "security feature" good or bad? You comment.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    OSK Investment Challenge (Campus Edition)

    Beside the ECM Libra virtual investment challenge StockQuest at , OSK has also launched a similar game called OSK Investment Challenge (Campus Edition).

    However, this game is only open to Malaysian students aged between 18 – 30 years with valid student IDs from colleges and universities in Malaysia.

    Registration: anytime between 26 July and 1 October 2010
    Contest period: 16 August - 1 October 2010

    Participants will be given a virtual capital of RM100,000 to begin in this game upon signing up.

    The grand prize winner will be the contestant with the highest absolute total portfolio value at the conclusion of the game, while the weekly winner will be the contestant with the highest absolute portfolio gain for the week.

    The top 3 Grand Prizes include:

    • 1st Prize : RM25,000
    • 2nd Prize : RM10,000
    • 3rd Prize : RM5,000
    And the weekly contest prizes are:
    • 2 winners x Acer Aspire One AOD260 Netbook (worth RM1,299 each)
    Up to 20 players with the highest overall value from each college/university campus will be chosen automatically to represent their alma mater. The campus with the highest combined portfolio value will be declared OSK Investment Challenge Special College/University winner.
    The winning campus is rewarded:
    • RM100,000 worth of computer lab and equipment
    • OSK Investment Challenge (Campus Edition) trophy
    • Internship opportunities
    All players who log in to play the game throughout the duration of the competition for at least 75% of total trading days will also get a certificate of participation from OSK Investment Bank.

    Click here for more information about the OSK Investment Challenge (Campus Edition).

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Common types of fire extinguishers

    If you were to experience a fire situation, what would your first reaction be? Would you grab the nearest water source and throw water at the flames? Would you throw a blanket over the flames? Would you simply run out of the house?

    Fire is not a force people want to experience, especially in their home or office. Fire moves quickly to devour everything in its path, holding no regard for valuables of any sort. But while we hold a certain fear of fire, unfortunately only few people take the necessary steps to add the right kind of fire extinguishers to their homes and offices.

    Lets look at some common types of fire extinguishers so that you can decide which is the best type for your location.

    Water fire extinguishers can be used in homes and businesses, schools, theatres, warehouses or anywhere with paper, cardboard, curtains, cloth, wood, carpet. Many people like the water extinguisher because this type is easy to refill.

    However, water fire extinguishers are not suitable to be used as the only extinguisher in the home or office. Water can fight Class A fires, but NOT fires involving electrical equipment.

    Powder extinguishers are also very good to have in the home or office. However, the powder extinguisher is also very good for truck drivers or those who enjoy boating. Powder can leave quite a mess when used, but the mess of powder is far less than the destruction a fire would cause.

    It is important to look at the certifications when purchasing a powder extinguisher for your home, business, boat or truck. Powder fire extinguishers also require factory refilling or service-exchange every so often. The maintenance is worth it, though, as this type of fire extinguisher is suitable for virtually all areas, able to fight Class A fires (wood, paper, material, cloth, etc), Class B fires (flammable liquids such as petrol, spirits, and diesel), Class C fires (flammable gas) and electrical equipment fires.

    Foam fire extinguishers (a.k.a. AFFF) are quite popular for their advanced capabilities. Aqueous Film Forming Foam or AFFF (pronounced A-triple-F) covers Class A fires (wood, paper, material, cloth, etc) and Class B (flammable liquids such as petrol, spirits, diesel).

    While the AFFF foam spray versions are fitted with a special nozzle that reduces the electrical risk (tested to 35,000 volts), it is recommended that this NOT be sprayed directly on live electrical equipment. The foam extinguisher works well in homes and offices; hotels, and places where there is a risk of flammable liquids.

    Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers will cover electrical fires as well as Class B fires involving flammable liquids. The Carbon dioxide extinguisher would be one that you reach for if you work on machinery that catches fire.

    While this is a reliable and popular fire extinguisher, the Carbon dioxide fire extinguisher doesn’t cover all types of fires. This extinguisher would need to be paired with a Class A extinguisher (AFFF or water type) in order to provide full coverage.

    Disclosure: This is an original article contributed by Fire Protection Online Ltd exclusively for this website only.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Attended the 6th AGM and 1st Investor Day of ICAP

    I attended the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Bhd (ICAP, 5108) as well as their 1st Investor Day today 14-8-2010. 14th August in Chinese (一世发) means "A Lifetime of Prosperity".

    As usual, this closed-end fund is very considerate to its shareowners to conduct the AGM on Saturday, so that working people don't have to take leave to attend it.

    The AGM this year was held in KL Convention Centre. 3 halls were taken, 1 for the AGM, and another 2 for the Investor Day event after the AGM.

    Same as previous year, Mr. Tan Teng Boo, the fund manager of ICAP, presented a talk to all the shareowners in the hall right after the AGM. The latest investment portfolio of ICAP was disclosed, each of them were explained why they are chosen by Mr. Tan, and their financial as well as share price performance over the years.

    These are the crucial benefits and priviledges of investing in the closed-end fund of ICAP from unit trust funds:
    • There is an AGM every year, and EGM(s) when needed. Investors can interact with the fund manager as well as question him on his investment decision.
    • The fund manager will disclose the latest full portfolio to the investors, rather than just the "largest holding shares as of several months ago" by unit trust fund managers.
    • The fund manager will explain his investment view and strategy to the investors.
    • There is chance when the fund is trading at a discount to its NAV, which is in favour to the investors as they can buy at a cheaper price.
    • Investors can vote for the issues and matters tabled in the AGM/EGM.
    • Investors can ask the board of directors, face to face, on anything in the report, especially the financial statements.
    This year, ICAP has even go a step further to organise the 1st Investor Day after the AGM and talk by the fund manager. Companies that are in the investment portfolio of ICAP, including F&N, Integrax, Parkson, Suria, Mieco, etc. introduced their company, business and financial highlights to the audience in the hall. Beside having top management people to give talk and answer questions from the audiences, they also had a booth inside the hall.

    Unlike the previous year where ICAP had a bullish view in Malaysia, this year, they are more cautious and have a more pessimistic view. If you have listened to the talk by ICAP, you should have sensed this too.

    The door-gift bag this year has more things inside, including:
    • 3 pens
    • A Padini 20% discount voucher
    • A pair of Royal Selangor chopsticks
    • MSC key chains
    • Fisherman's cap
    • printed version newsletters
    The chopsticks are pretty nice, and if I have not heard wrongly, they are the special souvenir given with "prosperity" blessing by Mr. Tan our fund manager to all the shareowners of ICAP who present in the AGM.

    The overall event last for one whole day. AGM started from 9am until 12pm. We are then given a pre-packed lunch box and a bottle of water. Investor presentations and talks started from 1pm until 6pm. There was even a lucky draw session at ICAP booth by 6pm.

    I'm looking forward to attend the next AGM next year.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    ECM Libra virtual investment challenge

    ECM Libra Investment Bank has launched a virtual stock trading challenge game.

    This game is open to their clients in the real world investment market only. All players must successfully open an online trading account with ECM Libra prior to the start of on 20 September 2010.

    Each player will start with RM100,000 virtual money at the begining of the challenge. The player with highest virtual portfolio value in ranking will be the winner.

    Registration: open now
    Contest period: 20 September - 22 October 2010

    Every week during the contest period, the weekly winner will take home RM200.

    Prizes for final are:

    • 1st Prize : RM 10,000
    • 2nd Prize : RM 5,000
    • 3rd Prize : RM 3,000
    • 4th - 6th Prize : RM 800
    Click here for more information of StockQuest.

    You might probably be interested to also read about:

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    My CLiPtec GZJ160 universal travelling plug adaptor with USB charger port

    This 85 gram, light and compact CLiPtec GZJ160 universal travelling plug adaptor with USB charger port was purchased in Digital Mall at the cost of RM25.

    Its 2 main functions are:

    • International universal plug adapter that supports 150+ countries
    • High power auto-switching USB charger for any electronic gadgets that support battery charging with USB
    I find it to be a very handy travelling companion, as it can be used to convert the power plug from one type to another, and it can also be used to provide charging power for USB devices without the need for computer with USB port.

    This is how it is in action charging my Garmin Nuvi 255w GPS navigator with its DC 5V 1A USB output.

    This adaptor can be plugged into 3 types of socket with its detachable 3-in-1 design as shown below:

    It supports 4 international plug standards, namely:
    • Europe round pin
    • UK
    • USA
    • Australia
    this makes it supports for 150+ countries.

    Even at home, we can still use it as a USB charger without the need of a computer to recharge the battery in GPS, handphone, digital camera, MP4 player, etc.

    Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.