Snow and flight delay

When we travelled to Hokkaido in early February, we touched down in Japan via Narita Airport and we saw a group of tourist protesting. We later came to know that Narita Airport was closed for two days due to heavy snowing and many missed their flight and were not able to leave Japan as everyone were fighting for the available seats to leave Tokyo after the airport reopen. The heavy snow caught Narita unprepared and the airport authority simply did not have sufficient equipment to clear the thich layer of snow from the aircraft fast enough.

On the day that we are leaving Hokkaido via Chitose Airport 新千歳空港, snow has apparently start very early in that morning and when we walk to the check in counter from airport hotel, we were immediately told that all flight were cancelled during to snow. We were told to come back at 10am to check and we head back to hotel to relax. By 11am, we were still at the hotel waiting for news but we had to check out and leave for the terminal again to wait. By that time, we know by then that we will miss our connecting flight to leave Japan via Narita at 2:00pm.

chitose airport, Hokkaido

chitose airport, Hokkaido

chitose airport, Hokkaido

chitose airport, Hokkaido

The wait turned out to be a long one. Many arrangement were made to leave Japan via other place such as Kansai International Airport (Osaka) but non of them materailize as snowing continue till later afternoon.

The airport was full with tourist and business traveller and tension run higher and higher as the delay continue. By late evening, a group of Hong Kong tourist started their protest at the airport while others continue to relax and wait. Knowing that there will not be sufficient seat available to all to leave Chitose, many had to leave the airport to look for accomodation else where and try their luck on the next day. We waited at the airport and finally managed to catch a late flight to Tokyo and check into airport hotel in Narita.

On reaching Narita next morning, we were not able to get a direct flight back to KLIA and had to grap the available seat to Singapore and still not sure if we are able to get any seat to fly from Changi to KLIA. We were lucky to find out in Singapore that some shuttle flight seat from Singapore to KLIA were available and we managed to fly back to KLIA on the same day. All in all, the trip from Hokkaido to home took almost two full days but those are the things that we had to face when we travelled to snow country 🙂

Send $$$: PayPal to offer paying by text message

Online payment company PayPal is preparing to offer a service that will let consumers make purchases or money transfers using simple text messaging via mobile phones, the company said on Wednesday.

The move by PayPal, a unit of online auctioneer eBay, marks a big step in bridging the worlds of e-commerce and the physical world of brick-and-mortar stores by giving consumers a pay-as-you-go option via phones, analysts said.

The service, known as PayPal Mobile, will be launched in the next couple of weeks in the United States, Canada and Britain. Other markets worldwide will follow for the world’s biggest online payments service.

“PayPal is going to be launching a mobile-payments product,” PayPal spokeswoman Sara Bettencourt told Reuters.

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China’s Shocking Dog and Cat Fur Trade

Someone sent us a video obtained from the following URL and that video is one that I can only watch halfway and no further. Killing dogs and cat for fur trade in China is shocking and cruel. To stop the killing, all must refrain from buying and wearing fur.

“Man’s best friend” killed for fur? It’s not just a bad dream. PETA recently conducted an undercover investigation into the Chinese dog and cat fur trade to show you what the industry is so desperate to hide. Even our veteran investigators were horrified at what they found: Millions of dogs and cats in China are being bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. This fur is often deliberately mislabeled as fur from other species and is exported to countries throughout the world to be sold to unsuspecting customers in retail stores. China supplies more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States, so the bottom line is that because dog and cat fur is so often mislabeled, if you’re buying fur, there’s no way to tell whose skin you’re wearing.

Dog and Cat Fur Trade

Siberian Husky in Hokkaido

While we were in Hokkaido last month, one of the thing we wanted to try was the Dog Sled pulled by Siberian Husky. However, the weather was not on our side as snowing was extremely heavy that prohibit any outdoor activity on that day. Some of the pictures take are as below:-

Husky in Hokkaido

Husky in Hokkaido

Yahoo launches instant-message phone in U.S.

Yahoo on Tuesday said it is launching a service in the United States that lets people make phone calls through the company’s instant messaging software.

Available in several other countries since December, the service allows people to make calls from their computers for 2 cents a minute or less to the top 30 national phone markets, including the United States.

The “Phone Out” service also allows calls from computers to regular phones at varying rates to a total of 180 countries.

Using instant messaging for phone calls is one of the latest ways that technology companies are finding cheaper ways to allow people to talk all over the world without relying on traditional phone networks.

“Right now the competition is just about cheap voice calls,” Forrester Research analyst Maribel Lopez said.

Undercutting Skype?
The move also attempts to undercut rates offered by Skype, a similar service offered by eBay.

Yahoo Messenger with Voice rates average between 20 percent and 30 percent lower than those charged by Skype to many major markets outside the United States, according to a comparison furnished by Yahoo.

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Another quick move by Yahoo to win competition in view of the success of Skype and many other up and coming VOIP services


Malay Mail, 10 Mar 2006

HERE are some of the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) dog licensing regulations that will be amended and enforced from April 1:

* Dog owners will have to pay RM20 for a dog license (covering processing fee and microchip) instead of RM60 annually.

* The annual dog licensing fee will be fixed at RM20. Senior citizens aged 56 and above will only pay RM10 and the fee will be waived for the handicapped (provided they show their disability card during applications).

* Owners with intermediate terrace houses can keep dogs provided they have the written consent of their neighbors (to their left and right). However, existing licensed dog owners DO NOT need such consent.

* Existing licensed dog owners who acquired their licenses from other local authorities shall continue to use those licenses until they expire.

* Rottweilers are no longer banned in Shah Alam. However, those who want to adopt this breed as pets must obtain special approval from the State Veterinary Department.

* There are seven breeds of dogs that are banned in Shah Alam — the Akita, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero, Japanese Tosa, Neopolitan Mastiff and Pit Bull Terrier/American Pit Bull/Saffonshire Bull Terrier.

This is definitely good news for dog owners in Shah Alam area. Owners with intermediate terrace houses can keep dogs provided they have the written consent of their neighbors (to their left and right). However, existing licensed dog owners DO NOT need such consent.

VOIP Stunt

voip stunt

I have been trying out VOIP Stunt via PC and it works great. VOIP Stunt currently offer unlimited call the land lines in Malaysia, UK, USA and Australia and to enjoy the free call and low call rates to many countries, I have purchased and installed a Linksys ATA Adaptor and configure it to work with VOIP Stunt.

Linksys ATA Adaptor

The Linksys ATA offer two lines and each line can configure to work with one VOIP Stunt Account and by connecting these two lines to the keyphone system in the office, fellow office workers will be able to call using them and hence enjoy substantial saving especially on calls to other cities in Malaysia.

We have so far tested with two lines with one streamyx connection account and the quality is extremely good.

Not to forget that to enjoy those free calls, there is a need to make a payment of 10 Euro per VOIP Stunt account that will last you up to four months if you do not make calls to places that VOIP Stunt charge minimal fee.

Another race to forget for Kimi Raikkonen

Sepang F1 race is surely another race to forget for Kimi. Kimi went only as far as 5th corner and was brought out by Red Bull Racing’s Christian Klien. The impact caused his MP4-21’s rear suspension to fail, which sent him careening off the track and into the barriers, ending his race.

Renault confirmed their superiority in both engine reliability and speed. Honda also proved to be faster than Mc Laren and in the process, Jenson proved to be better driver than Barrichello so far. Ferrari is just not fast enough and they are have engine reliability problem to solve for the next few races, something rarely happen in the Ferrari camp. It looks like to be another great year for the Renault team and Mc Laren surely playing catch up again. If Mc Laren does not close the gap in next two races, the 2005 scenario will repeat itself. William’s Cosworth engine simply still not good enough for the whole race, something Cosworth need to solve very quickly.

Ferrari agree to drop ‘flexy’ wing

Ferrari agree to stop using the flexy wing that many claim to increase their speed on the straight from next race in two weeks time in Australia following the protest from 8 F1 teams.

Ferrari have agreed to scrap their ‘flexy’ rear wing ahead of the Australian Grand Prix following a quiet word from the FIA.

The FIA were forced into action regarding the Italian outfit’s rather flexible, and therefore illegal, rear wing after receiving a letter of protest from Ferrari’s rivals. Eight teams are believed to have signed the letter, with Red Bull, who use Ferrari engines, and Toro Rosso, RBR’s B-team, the only exceptions.

According to reports, Ferrari have now conceded that they had misinterpreted the regulations governing the cars’ wings and had assured their rivals that they would use modified wings at the next race, the Australian GP.

And in return, the eight teams have agreed not to protest the outcome of today’s Malayasian GP, which they had threatened to do prior to Ferrari’s compliance.

The FIA have also committed to do a thorough check on whatever wing the Italian outfit brings to Melbourne in two week’s time.

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Google Launched Video Player

Google has launched Google Video Player which can be downloaded at

Features of the Video Player as below:-

  • Watch videos downloaded from Google Video
  • Browse scenes within a video using thumbnails
  • Skip to anywhere in the video, even if that portion hasn’t downloaded yet
  • Sit back and watch videos in full screen mode
  • Resume video downloads automatically

The moment of truth

Before the race in Bahrain, there has been many reports that Honda is having the most powerful engine and Mc Laren is facing problem with their reliability and lack of power of the Mercedes engine.

Now the the Bahrain race completed, the reliability problem of the Mc Laren is obviously still here and that contribute to the breakdown of the silver arrow during the qualifying session. With that Kimi had to start from the tail end of the race. His impressive drive to finish 3rd, with merely 19 seconds from top two finishers, is a prove that Mc Laren car really has the speed and power to match both the Ferrari and Renault. This is definitely good news to Mc Laren’s fans.

It now look like 5 teams are in the running for the top title. They are Renault, Ferrari, Mc Laren, Honda, BMW-Sauber Team.

Super Aguri Team is definitely not ready for the race as they are obviously very slow

01 F. Alonso Renault 1:29:46.206 10
02 M. Schumacher Ferrari + 1.246 8
03 K. R�ikk�nen McLaren + 19.360 6
04 J. Button Honda + 19.992 5
05 JP. Montoya McLaren + 37.048 4
06 M. Webber Williams + 41.932 3
07 N. Rosberg Williams + 1:03.043 2
08 C. Klien Red Bull + 1:06.771 1
09 F. Massa Ferrari + 1:09.907
10 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 1:15.541
11 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:25.997
12 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1 laps
13 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps
14 R. Schumacher Toyota + 1 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda + 1 laps
16 J. Trulli Toyota + 1 laps
17 T. Monteiro Midland F1 + 2 laps
18 T. Sato Super Aguri + 4 laps
Did not finish
19 Y. Ide Super Aguri + 20 laps
20 J. Villeneuve BMW + 28 laps
21 G. Fisichella Renault + 36 laps
22 C. Albers Midland F1 + 57 laps

Visit to Rusutsu Ski Resort, Hokkaido

One of the highlights during our visit to Hokkaido was the visit to Rusutsu Ski Resort. A popular ski resort that attract skiier from all over the world. There are plenty of ski activities at the resort and visitors to the resort get a chance to learn and try skiing. Those who do not wish to ski can enjoy the hot spring bath which is very popular in valcanic area of Japan as well as doing shopping at more that 30 stores situated at various wings of the resorts.

We spent one afternoon and the next morning at the resort but we were not able to visit much places or doing anything outdoor the next morning as it was again snowing heavily.

We made the right decision to travel on the southern part of Hokkaido this time as we later learnt that those who had chosen to go for the ice breaking cruise at the north faced some problem with snow as the heavy downpour made their visit to certain places not possible.







Dog Park – Good news for dog lovers

The Datuk Bandar said City Hall had also identified a 0.4ha site at a corner of the park to be turned into a place where dog lovers could bring their pets to while they exercised in the area.

“They can exercise with their dog. We will have to fence up the place in case the dogs are unleashed. We will contract out the place, so users will pay for the services rendered by the provider,” he said.

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