Notes from the e-fringe 001



So you are NOT one of the thousands of readers nationwide that opens the NST on Mondays and Thursdays, dutifully pulls out the Computimes section, rolls it back up, rubberbands it and chucks it back out onto the porch.

In fact, you might be making mucho RMs in the info-tech industry based on the news you get from there. You might even fit their average-reader-profile-demographics ie. fan, geek, PIKOM staff, bargain RAM hunter or like me - pseudo-technology journalist that's completely reliant on it for leads.

BUT can anyone tell me why this publication is not ONLINE?

NST has started up yet another pullout called Business Computing - but it ain't online either. Duh.... am I missing something here?


1. Every now and then you come across a website name that intrigues you. Take

Some local technopreneur cashing in on the Malay translation for "World Wide Web" perhaps?

Not really.

Webdunia is a Hindi-language portal designed by Suvi Information Systems and launched at India Internet World '99 show recently.

So does Dunia mean the same thing in Hindi? Anyone out there care to fill us in on this?

2. And what about which I discovered in my wanderings recently. No - this isn't Malaysia's new stock mart's website ( I checked) - that's at

It's actually some Filipino company cashing in on the name - note Malaysian flag flying at website and invitation to inquire on ads at "Special Starter Rates".

3. You've heard of Mimos' plan to make National PCs but have you heard of

That's right. Somebody has already taken up that name too, but it looks like it's been around for sometime - a company based in Canada with "Back to School Sale" for Mimos Computer System PCs. Any takers?

By the way, discovered also that Mimos in Greek means "imitator" - hmmm - so was the acronym planned or purely coincidental?

4. The Star has set up a subsidiary called IStar Sdn Bhd headed by comic-crazy veteran newsman, Intech founder, moviedom muse, and one-hell-of-a-BEEG-guy Davin Arul who's been named Vice President.

We pointed our mousey in that direction (and with some evil monetary intentions) and frustratingly found out that has already been wrenched from our greedy little cybersquatter hands. "Your Ultimate Geographic Resource for Wireless Network Design" ? Not something the Star sounds like it will be getting into in the near future. So we turn local instead - and point our tiny cash-in-on-webname-finder towards

Yes! It's not been taken. The ka-chink sounds of a thousand cash registers ring in my ears as I dashed off a ransom note (via email, which shows you my future in a kidnapping consultancy) to Davin who immediately shoots down my make-a-quick-buck scheme. Apparently the site's been reserved. Hmmm. Or so they say. But I guess Star could always sidestep every parasite like me by using or should it be (Cue Italian Mafia voice: "I the Star! I the Man! You NO-BO-DY.)

Where's sneaky Bala of "I stole from under the Olympic Council's noses" fame when you need him?

Note: Can anyone tell me why -- not the Star -- bounces off to Kota Kemuning?


I often read Steve Outing's columns in Editor and Publisher coz he is an articulate documenter of how old media is dealing with the onslaught of new media week-in-week-out. He used to write thrice a week but has since gone down to once a week. You can subscribe to his column and get it in the mail for free.

In fact it was his columns that inspired me to write a piece that eventually appeared in CNET Asia here (standby for shameless plug:)

Recently I wrote to Steve about his suggestion that newspapers should just give out all their archives for free.

He saw fit to include it at bottom of his latest column entitled:

When It Comes To E-commerce, Think Different!

Or if it is already archived you can find it and many other great nuggets of info - especially if you are in online journalism - here:

Yours, Julian

POSTED: OCT 20, 1999

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