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Kindle Auction for Padang Quake Victims

5 Oct

I’m doing this with a very heavy heart. First of all, being a writer, my Kindle has been a very prized possession of mine. Not to mention that it was given to me by a very dear friend of mine, which left a deep imprint of my heart because it was given to me during my difficult times when I was hospitalized December last year.

However, after clearing this out with the said friend, I decided to auction my dear Kindle. I just could not stay silent after what happened in Padang. The town was hit by a bout of severe earthquakes and was devastated by it. Today, I am also particularly sickened by the news which stated that the help for the victims was biased against a particular ethnic. Granted, not all of the relief organizations and workers acted this way. Still, I lament those who did. How can anybody act so callously? How can you be so insolent to insult humanity by choosing who to help? All victims are human, period. Everybody must be helped, regardless of their ethnicity, race or religion.

So, solemnly I do this. I’m not going to lie, I still need an eBook reader; especially with my condition who gets too easily exhausted reading in sitting positions. That’s why, I’m keeping part of the auction proceeds to find a new reader. I hope that there will still be enough interest to bid on my Kindle, considering that eBook reader is a difficult thing to find here.

So here’s how it works :

The minimum bid is IDR 3,500,000.  It definitely is not cheap.  But again, an eBook reader is very difficult to get here in Indonesia, – and we’re doing this for a good cause.

I will keep the minimum bid for the reason I stated above. Any difference between the minimum bid and the winning bid will be donated to Padang earthquake victim. For example, if the winning bid is IDR 5 million, I will donate 1.5 million to the victims.

The auction begins at the time of this post.

The bids will need to be entered and raised by a minimum amount of IDR 100,000.

You bid by commenting on this post with your desired amount. I will contact the winner by e-mail. Please check this post regularly to monitor the bids.

The bidding period ends at Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 0.00 am ( GMT +7 ). This may be extended if there’s not enough interest.

The winner will need to meet me somewhere in Jakarta to pick up the Kindle. If he/she wants it to be sent somewhere outside Jakarta, I may be able to do so. Any shipping cost and risk would need to be separately paid.

As for my Kindle, above is the picture of it. I still have its complete accessories : charger, packaging, manual, and its leather cover. Please bear in mind that it’s the first generation of Kindle, the specification of which can be found here.

Needless to say, I reserve the right to cancel or amend any of the auction rules. However, as I ponder about what happened, it is my sincerest prayer that you all can join hands with me in doing whatever we can to help alleviate the effect of this grievous thing to our brothers in Padang.

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Updates and Rebuttals : on Depdiknas Matter

11 Oct

Dear All,

I initially wanted to write this as an update to the previous post only.  However, it got increasingly long-winded that I finally decided to dedicate an entire new post for this.  There you go.

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Beside Treespotter who started it all, I’d like to thank all the bloggers who duly passed this on and wrote about this matter in their own blogs.  Let’s keep it resonating, pals !  Following is a list of the said bloggers who were bothered by this stupidity and potential consequences ( click on their names to read their respective posts ) :

I am sorry if I am not aware of any more related posts from other bloggers on this.  I will update when necessary.  Apart from that, my hats off to Pitra Satvika, – who’s bothered enough to write an email to a rather-highly-placed person in the ministry; Boy Avianto, – who actively sent SMS to his circle of influence; and many other friends who speak up against this via various means ( mailing lists, blogs, IM, etc. )

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On the other hand, I’m also deeply troubled by some arguments I received when I raised my voice in various network about this matter.  Granted, – some of them argued innocently -, but it makes me wonder :  If we, – as the society member -, fail to see that we are being wronged here; then what incentive the government have to change its policy ? In other words, why should they make the data private, – if some part of the society ( read : parents themselves ) agree with them ? Beats me….

Followings are their arguments and my rebuttals to each of them :

  • ARGUMENT : “Let’s ask first what’s their reason for doing so. Maybe they have a valid goal…”
  • MY ANSWER : What ? I don’t know what’s their reason, and frankly, I don’t want to know.  There is no valid goal, – however noble it may sound -, that can be prioritized above our children’s safety.
  • ARGUMENT : “Where’s the link ?  It’s just a cheap talk without any proof..”
  • MY ANSWER :  To post a link is to go against our very own purpose : to hinder this sensitive data sharing, can’t you see that ?  Or are you implying that I and 5 other bloggers are a very accomplished team of concerted liars ?  If yes, please tell the world about it, – we might well deserve an Oscar for the performance 🙂
  • ARGUMENT :  “The data is not completely valid anyway…”
  • MY ANSWER : First, the data is valid.  Me and several other bloggers have downloaded the files and see that they contain what we suspected.  Some bloggers even found their own children’s data there.  Second, say, even if the data is only 40 % valid; I will still raise this issue for that 40 %. Hell, I will still do it even if there are only 100 valid data.
  • ARGUMENT : “Why does it matter ? Names and addresses are similar to what you’ll find in a phone directory.  It’s the sensitive data like bank accounts which can not be shared publicly…”
  • MY ANSWER :  Unless you live in an utopian world, crime happens.  Would you give your kids’ data to anyone you meet in the street ? Also, the fact that you mentioned bank accounts as a more sensitive data, – tells me that you value finance more than the children’s safety.  Should I say more ?
  • ARGUMENT : “We could spend months debating about the validity of the policy….”
  • MY ANSWER :  Am I hearing things ?  We’re dealing with lives here.  I say take it down first, – and then we’ll talk.
  • ARGUMENT : “Why are you so hyped-up about this ?”
  • MY ANSWER :  Because I’m a father. Because if I see this grievous, sad and capital mistake is happening; and I don’t do anything as a society member to speak against it, – then I consider my hands dirty.  Please ask yourself this question, Sir : “If even just one of those kids got kidnapped or molested; can you sleep at night, – knowing that you didn’t do anything about it ?”  I can’t.  If you can, then I salute you for being a truly remarkable person..

That’s about some of them.  There are many more, but I won’t risk your boredom 🙂  Please understand that on the course of translating them to English, I might have paraphrased.

They seriously saddened me.  They make the word of an online friend of mine rings true :”Indonesia needs to be put outside Beta status..”  I can only pray that there are more people with deeper and more complete personal capacity in our society…..

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Last but certainly not least, let me re-state that I will continue to be loud about this until there is a satisfactory solution.  For those who agree, please relay this message in whatever media of your choice. For those who don’t, please recall that this is my blog, – I decided to take a hard stand about this in my domain.  And that’s that…

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UPDATE :

The prominent Indonesia news portal, Detik, has written several news post about this. In one of them, a Depdiknas official responded verbally to this matter.  Among all others, one of the things he said was ( translated ) : “But this is still nothing more than a worrying development.  Has it been proven yet ?  If it has, please inform us, we at Depdiknas are ready to receive your complaints..

Is this exactly how we are going to steer this country ?  With idiocy and justificationWhat needs to be provenDoes the aforementioned official really recommend us to wait for a proven crime sparked by the available data ?  Wait until there is a lifeless, molested body of a child available ?  I repeat, this is idiocy….

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UPDATE :

Several bloggers, – my wife included, reported that the files are still available, but with the address deleted.  This looks like a good development.  I will continue to speak until all the data is made unavailable or guarded by a restricted access.  For those of you who are not aware of the danger of possible identity theft from even a minimal number of data, please read Jeremy’s good article first before commenting.

Also today ( 14 October 2008 ), a famous Indonesia newspaper, Koran Tempo, has written about the danger of this matter in its editorial, and reported it in a different news story ( The links may require you to signup/login first before you can read the article image ). This is a small step to victory because it tells me that we are loud enough to be heard by a mainstream media who in turn tells the tale. 🙂

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UPDATE :

On the 15th of October, the Depdiknas portal posted an official notice stating that “the online access to the data is now closed”.  Following is an excerpt in Bahasa Indonesia :

Penutupan Fasilitas Download dan Upload Data Siswa

Berkenaan dengan berakhirnya jangka waktu upload pemutakhiran data siswa (NISN) dan sekolah (NPSN) per 1 Oktober 2008 dan proses verifikasinya. Seiring juga dengan masukan dari masyarakat terkait dengan kerahasiaan data maka fasilitas download dan upload detil data siswa secara online real time ditutup. Khusus upload data siswa dapat dilakukan hanya untuk tingkat 1, 7 dan 10.

Untuk selanjutnya bagi para sekolah, siswa dan para orangtua siswa yang berkepentingan melakukan pemantauan validasi dan verifikasi detil data terkait dapat dilakukan secara offline melalui Kantor Dinas Pendidikan Kota/Kabupaten setempat. Adapun untuk segala masukan dan laporan masyarakat terkait dengan validitas data siswa dan sekolah dapat disampaikan langsung ke Kantor Dinas Pendidikan Kota/Kabupaten di wilayah kerja masing-masing.

Mohon maaf atas ketidaknyamannya pada layanan online ini dan mohon senantiasa peran aktif masyarakat untuk memantau ketersediaan data pokok pendidikan agar selalu akurat dan valid untuk masa depan online kemajuan pendidikan Indonesia.

Ttd
Admin Dapodik

Does it mean that the battle was won ?  Not until this has been verified, and until Google has deleted its cache as well.

THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED

11 Oct

This makes me so angry.  I read about this from treespotter, a Twitter friend of mine.  You can read the full post here.

In short, Indonesia’s Ministry of Education ( Depdiknas ) has just made available online the data of 36 million of Indonesian studentsNames, addresses and other details in XLS files. Of your children.  Your very own children.

Now I know that it’s not easy to verify this news.  Treespotter didn’t include any links for obvious reasons.  And I will do the same even if later I find the link to the files to verify this story.  But mark my words, readers, I will raise my own version of hell until I hear this issue has been resolved.  I’m just an ordinary man, but I’ll be as loud as I can about this.

If you do care about the security and safety of the kids, please raise this issue in your community as wellLet’s not be silent and watch this country become a dream for kidnappers and child molesters …!

UPDATE : I HAVE DOWNLOADED ONE XLS FILE AND VERIFY THAT THE NEWS IS INDEED TRUE. THE FILE CONTAINS THE COMPLETE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF THE KIDS. DO WHAT YOU CAN, PEOPLE !

I am in the National Team.. !

10 Oct

Now, this one, I admit, is rather unimportant. In fact, it borders to silliness you might wonder what is this post doing in this blog 🙂

Call it vanity if you must.  Yet I can’t stop myself from writing this.  I’m so happy like a child in a candy store, because I’ve never been in any kind of national team in my whole life…!

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Back in the days when I was still trying to cope with my newly-acquired 24-hour internet connection, I stumbled upon a little Facebook game called Wrestler.  The habit stuck on, – and stubbornly refuses to leave me ( or vice versa.. ).  In this game, people create a wrestler figure and fight each other within the realm of Facebook.  If you are on FB, you can see my Wrestler profile here.

I won’t bother you with the details of how the application works.  Far be it from me !  I am just sharing the news that about a week ago, I got a news telling me that I got selected as a team member to represent Indonesia in its biggest tournament so far : The Wrestler World Cup.  Apparently, my wrestler is not doing so bad in its career…

Well, at this point, I can only say :  Bring it on !  Let’s take on the world and make up for the failure that is PSSI ! 🙂

Have you ever been in any kind of National Team ?  Please share your experiences in the comments.

P.S. :  On the pic, my wrestler is the one in the far right.  His name is Kannibalistiqúe.

Old Blog(s) Posts

5 Oct

For the purpose of documentation, it became apparent to me that I need to move some assorted few of my old blog posts from the wordpress.com free server to my own site here.  They are mainly, – but not limited to -, from my disorganized rambling blog and my book blog.

All the imported posts will be categorized as such.  If any of you has read them, feel free to skip it. I apologize for any inconvenience caused…

Test Post

25 Sep

I’m really glad that I finally acquired my own domain.  This site is currently still under construction as I am a novice in the dirty work…  Please be back…! 🙂