Notes from the e-fringe 002



Was trying out this new search engine by a legally blind web-developer called:

and decided to use that ultimate test word for all Malaysians: "durian" and out pops a curious name:

Douglas Durian.

Imagine that! A Cornell-trained professor, named after our infamous icon of Malaysian-ness.

Professor Douglas J Durian who cites his field of interest as "soft" condensed matter physics and goes by the unfortunate shortform DJ Durian ( a pungent DJ who spins some sharp tunes?) and also uses the prickly email

Anyone who has opened the dang thing knows that a little understanding of F=ma and fulcrum mechanics helps. And a PhD could come in handy.

I wonder if Prof Durian has ever had the opportunity to taste the soft condensed matter of his namesake.

Wrap your tongue around some of his papers he's written eg "Investigating non-Gaussian scattering processes using nth-order intensity correlation functions," and "Foam mechanics at the bubble scale" and you wonder whether some investigation of the correlation of Caucasians scattering as soon as a durian with nth order of pungent intensity makes its presence is in order.

Please, please, Prof don't name any of your kids after me!

Read all about him here:


I caught up with my friend Dinesh at a place called Orange in KL recently over heaps of liquids, without any citrus content mind you, remarked about the Lycos-hate-the-competition search facility. Try typing keyword Infoseek or Yahoo or Excite in and see the anti-competitive, Microsoft-like veneer of the Lycosians.

Typing Hotbot though, bounces you straight to that search engine. Hmmm, I wonder why?


My friend Patrick pointed me to this 'local site' called and I soon found coincidental paths crossing which eventually led to my being invited to their launch. Four guys, two Malaysians, one Aussie-Singaporean and another Japanese guy get together set up 'localized' search engines with a 'catchy' name and investors come banging on their door throwing money everywhere.

You might have read about them - they were in every newspaper this week - and a Men's Review spread is coming up. It is easy to see why - clean-faced, young and daring - their combined ages comes up to less than 100 years. They wore ties and basic blue or grey shirts at the press conference and I doubt if any of them needs to shave daily.

But their ages belie their business acumen - they've snagged US$3.3 million in the last two rounds of venture cap investment and the company is capitalized at a cool RM76 mil with some change to spare. A listing on Nasdaq is on the cards.

They've even got a spin-off site that has potential to grow its own money-tree. And, I must say, they fielded press questions like pros.

But boy, attending this really made me feel old. Why is it at 35 no one is throwing any money in my direction. Hey, I don't use that razor everyday either!

( I have a website idea for long lost brother-in-laws to get-together called, any takers?)


Notice how the NST has chucked its black-and-white masthead in favor of its true colors. No doubt the fact it shares the same colors with a certain party has no bearing on its political leanings.


I clicked into just to check on why the MSC never got this logical choice for a site name instead of the present

The Molecular Structure Corporation who are "Experts in Single Crystal X-ray Diffraction" makes no excuses for having usurped the name from our a single sensitized but non-transparent distraction south of KL. But they do have a section for "Other MSCs" here:

which lists nine other "MSCs" except for the one we know best. I suggest you all write to and suggest we get a placement there. Being the tenth wrong MSC is better than the first surely!

Just to amuse yourself check out these as well<BR> (**Must never say or take up any action that could hurt the M.S.C.)
and and 'the key people behind the MSC' here:


In e-fringe 001, I wondered about the choice of name for for a Hindi-language portal in India and Peter Sinniah helped us with this:

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

A: "Of course dunia means the same thing in Hindi. Most of the words in the Malays language are derived from Sanskrit. Most of the dialects in India are from Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the ancient defacto language of the Indian subcontinent.

"For example - take this word

"Aniaya which means illtreatment, in Tamil it is pronounced as anianyam means the same thing. When you watch Hindi movies you can see the similarities. Korban is another word. Maya is another word. In Tamil it is mayam. It's a Sanskrit word.

"I hope this clears you up."

Thanks Peter, it does.

Yours, Julian

POSTED: NOV 03, 1999

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