Hitting Houses, C-130 Bursts into Flames

An Indonesian Air Force C-130 plane hit several houses before strucking a rice field in flames in Nggeplak village, Magetan regency, East Java, at 06.30 a.m., Wednesday.

The plane was on flight from Halim Perdanakusumah air force base, Jakarta to Iswahyudi air force base, Madiun.

There was no immediate report on the number of casualties in the accident of the plane that was trying to land on Iswahyudi air force base. According to Air Force spokesman Rear Marshal Bambang S, there are 13 crews besides around one hundred passengers in the plane flown by Air Force Major Danu. Up to 08.51 a.m, the plane was still on fire. Officers were trying hard to pull crews and passengers from the plane. Some victims were taken to the Air Force Hospital Iswahyudi and other local hospitals.
source :kompas.com

Paper company threatens orangutans

One of the world's largest paper companies plans to clear a large swath of unprotected forest being used as a sanctuary for critically endangered orangutans, according to environmental groups working in the area.
Singapore-based Asia Pulp & Paper and a local joint venture partner, Sinar Mas Group, have received a license to clear hundreds of hectares (acres) of trees just outside the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park on Sumatra island, WWF-Indonesia and four other groups said Tuesday.
Though not protected, the plush, lowland forests are considered an important area for biodiversity and have been used since 2002 as a release point for around 100 Sumatran rehabilitated orangutans - some orphaned when their mothers were allegedly killed by workers on nearby palm oil plantations.
"It took scientists decades to discover how to successfully reintroduce critically endangered orangutans from captivity into the wild," said Peter Pratje of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. "It could take APP just months to destroy an important part of their new habitat."
Asia Pulp & Paper could not immediately be reached for comment. But the company said in a statement released last month that the government had officially allocated the forest for plantation use and that it would follow all legal procedures - including carrying out an independent, third party assessment about potential conservation threats.
There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, around 10 percent of them on Sumatra, and the rest on the nearby island of Borneo, which is divided largely between Indonesia and Malaysia. Rain forests have been cleared and burned at alarming rates on both islands to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations and for timber.
The forests around Bukit Tigapuluh National Park are also home to 100 of the last 400 critically endangered Sumatran tigers left in the wild, said Dolly Priatna of Zoological Society of London, and roughly 50 endangered elephants.
The groups protesting the APP's plans - which include WARSI and the Sumatran Tiger Conservation and Protection Foundation - have written an official letter of complaint to the government. (Associated Press)

2 More Financial Bills Endorsed in July

The House of Representatives is planning to endorse two much-awaited bills – the financial system safety net (JPSK) bill and the value added tax (PPN) bill – by July this year, once legislators finish gathering input from the Finance Ministry, bankers and experts.

“We are optimistic that these bills will be endorsed by the current legislators,” House Commission XI vice chairman Endin Soefihara told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Legislators have met several times to discuss the PPN bill, one of top priority bills to be endorsed this year, since it has long been on the House list of things to do, Endin said.
“We have yet to encounter any specific difficulties in deliberating this bill because we have endorsed two similar bills; the Basic Regulation on Tax (KUP) law, and the Income Tax (PPH) law,” Endin said.

Endin was also optimistic that the Financial Safety Net (JPSK) bill, containing 215 articles, would be also endorsed by July.

“The PPN and JPSK are our priority bills this year. The House has approved those articles, so we only need a short time to deliberate them,” said Endin.
With these two bills out of the way, Commission XI will still have one more important bill left – the state financial bill.

“I don’t think this bill will be finished this year,” Endin said. (naf)

Confirmed Negative for H1N1, Co-Pilot Discharged from Hospital

After being confirmed as not carrying the swine flu H1N1 virus, ES (39), an airline co-pilot, was on Saturday discharged from Hasan Sadikin Hospital where he had been treated as a suspected swine flu sufferer.
"Based on the results of examinations by the Central Health Research and Development Agency, ES has been declared as suffering only from the common flu, not from swine flu that is caused by the Type A H1N1 virus. So today he has been allowed to return home," the chief of the team of doctors in charge of special infectious diseases at the hospital, Dr Hadi Jusuf, told ANTARA here on Saturday.
Hadi said to monitor ES’s health condition, the hospital had asked his family to continue watching over his health. "ES was referred to the hospital by a doctor at the local Husein Sastranegara airport on Tuesday, the team’s spokesman," Dr Primal Soedjana, said.
He said before being admitted to the hospital with suspected swine flu symptoms, ES had often traveled abroad , including to Singapore and Malaysia. "His activities were marked by high mobility. He often traveled overseas and once had direct contact with a flu patient at one of the foreign airports," he said. "When he was examined he showed such symptoms as headache, running nose, sore throat, high fever and a quick heart beat."

source : kompas.com

7 Diet Secrets of the Stars

Whether appearing in television or films or strutting down the red carpet during movie premiers and awards, they never cease to fascinate us with their larger than life presence. The truth is, it takes a lot of effort to look the way they do, and being the public figures that they are, they cannot afford to slack off when it comes to taking care of their physical appearances. Their livelihood largely depends on how they look. Aside from the clothes, the hair and the makeup, celebrities have to take good care of their bodies.
So it is no surprise that these stars have their own secrets when it comes to staying fit and gorgeous. Their health agenda can range from extreme workouts to well-planned meals. Who doesn't want to know their secrets in staying absolutely sexy? Here are some of the diet secrets of seven women celebrities.
1. Jennifer AnistonThe star of the phenomenal television show Friends not only mesmerized audiences with her adorable comic sense and her famous hairstyle, she was also known for having one of the sexiest bodies in Hollywood, as she appeared in countless magazine covers. To stay trim, Jennifer follows the 40:30:30 diet method. The diet consists of:
40% Low glycemic carbohydrates-Foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, legumes
30% lean proteins-Tofu, fish, chicken, turkey, beef and low fat dairy products
30% essential fats-nuts and seeds, fish and olive oils
It is essential that every meal should contain macronutrients to attain the balance of hormones and maximum weight loss.
2. Kate HudsonThe gorgeous daughter of actress Goldie Hawn gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy, which she needed to shed quickly before commencing on her next film. From her previous eating plan, she switched to a higher protein diet. She consumed high protein meals in smaller portions, and she combined this diet with an exercise program that includes weight training and cardiovascular workouts. After getting a lot of flak because of her post-pregnancy figure, Kate removed all that baby weight in only four months and has gained abdominal muscles that gained the envy of many in Hollywood.
3. Oprah WinfreyAs one of the most successful talk-show hosts in the world, there is no question that Oprah needs to maintain her physical appearance for her millions of audiences. Known as one of those celebrities who are constantly battling weight gain, she has recently toned up her figure and has never looked figure in age 50 by combining a regular exercise regime and diet plan. Oprah works out five days a week, spending 30 minutes on the threadmill and doing free weights. Her eating plan consists of legumes, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables, chicken and dairy products that are lowfat. She limits her consumption of white sugar and flour. Oprah also credits her trim figure to her habit of not eating anything after seven in the evening.
4. Gwyneth PaltrowA lot of people may find it hard to believe that the perpetually slim Academy award-winning actress actually needs to diet. Gwyneth actually follows a healthy eating plan that resembles Oprah's, avoiding sugar and white flour. She usually follows a macrobiotic diet, eating foods like vegetables, brown rice, and lean meat. She also eliminated dairy from her diet, and does yoga everyday.
5. MadonnaThe pop star known as the Material Girl has always flaunted a body that is to die for, and has become a true fitness paragon over the years. She keeps herself in tip-top shape by having Ashtanga Yoga, and follows a strict diet that mostly shuns junk foods. She adopted a macrobiotic eating plan that includes organic foods rich in lean protein.
6. Claudia SchifferThe bodacious German supermodel eats salad and steamed vegetables for dinner and eats only fruits before the afternoon. While on locations, she prefers to eat black grapes and drinks tomato juice and herbal tea.
7. Christie BrinkleyLong-time supermodel maintains her all-American good looks by being a vegetarian. She does not keep junk foods of any kind inside her home to make sure that she does not eat them when cravings occur. She snacks on sweet potatoes in place of candy bars, and she adopts a liquid juice diet when she needs to slim down fast.
Celebrities are just like ordinary people. They need to maintain their figures just like anyone else, and there is more pressure on their part since they are constantly in the public eye. Ordinary folks can have celebrity-like bodies, too, and by following these diet and fitness plans, they can also look like red-carpet worthy. (int)

Weight Loss Tip

People who want to lose weight commonly, and first of all, think about reducing the amount of food they eat. This may be quite a solution but not exactly the best there is. In fact, depending on the amount you reduce in your food intake, it may even be dangerous to one's health. So how does one lose weight effectively and safely? Here are some points one should consider when trying to lose weight:
Beware of the Crash Diets
Most people think that trimming down the calories can alone shed off their unwanted excess. Probably this is because of the fad there is in advertising about low-calorie food products and beverages. What people don't know is that this could be dangerous because when they decrease their calorie intake way to below the required levels, the body begins to digest the fats. Sounds good but it doesn't actually. Burning fat requires a lot of energy. Since there is not much energy in the body to facilitate metabolism of fat, it will run at a very slow pace resulting to fatigue, illness and weak immune system.
Low-calorie diet is also compensated for by the body by burning muscle. People on this type of diet who revert back to their old eating habits end up gaining back some, if not all the weight they have shed off. This would consist mainly of fats. And since fats have more volume per mass than muscle, they end up having the same weight as before but more bulkier. In losing weight, one should keep in mind that they should lose excess body fats only.
However, one can try out eating small meals at more frequent intervals. This way the body will not think that it is being starved and will not store food as fat.
Eat Properly
One may have considered junking the crash diet option but he should also not forget to watch what he is eating. Variety must always be considered so that one may be able to get the necessary nutrients from his diet.It is also healthier to eat food which are roasted, steamed or broiled rather than fried. It is also important to include a lot of fiber in the diet. Frequent rehydration is also necessary.
Pump Up lean Muscle Mass
Muscles burn calories when they work; they even do so at rest. Unlike fats which just lie around, bulge around the pants and dangle beneath the sleeves, muscles burn calories all-day round. With this fact, one can start weight loss by increasing muscle mass. The more muscles, the less fat will be left. This is attainable starting with working out with resistance exercises.
Engaging in Aerobics
Aerobics are not only good for the heart by increasing cardio-vascular endurance. Aerobics also help in increasing lean muscle mass while simultaneously decreasing excess body fat. Aside from these, aerobics make the metebolic process more efficient and its rate high, even after a long while. Imagine burning fat efficiently while driving along the freeway or even while watching television.
Extra "Push"
Some people believe that smoking and caffeine can actually help in losing weight. This can perhaps be true; however, they do the body more harm than good because of their side-effects. For that extra "push", one can try out taking food supplements. Afterall, 95% of these products out in the market actually does good.
On Taking Diet Pills
Over-the-counter diet pills affect the amount of weight one loses as well as how long one keeps that amount of weight off. However, one must be wary of the side-effects of these diet pills. As such, one must faithfully follow the instructions provided for in the packaging. It is also prudent to consult the physician anyway before trying out these drugs and also to find out which type would be best for the individual.
Losing weight does not have to mean sacrifice and suffering. It actually means opening up to a more full and healthy life where one may not have to feel bad about himself having to look the way he does or not being able to do what he wants to do. Losing weight might entail a little adjustments plus the discomforts, but as the old saying goes, "no pain, no gain." Besides fat, what has one got to lose anyway?/int

When you do not have to Go Over

You just have read all that you need to know about how to prevent being overweight. That simple set of instructions should be easy to follow, but not for 35% of Americans who are unable to prevent being overweight.
Of course, once we are overweight, we usually want to trim down for a whole lot of reasons, some related to health, others having to do with looks.
In addition, it is never too late to lose weight. But the fact is, it is a whole lot easier to prevent putting on pounds than to try losing them later on. And if there is one thing we all know, it is that weight gain is likely to happen if we do not take forward-looking steps to stop it.
Health experts say that most people who are into losing weight usually stray. They tend to go back to their old eating habits even after they learn to enjoy low-fat eating. They tend to return to sedentary ways even though they enjoy exercising.
But despite the momentum toward weight gain, you can stop it from happening, experts say. And there are plenty of good reasons to avoid excess pounds, reasons that go beyond vanity or social acceptance.
In fact, some health experts contend that the significance of excess weight is more than cosmetic. They say that it takes a huge toll on people’s physical health.
The Way to Losing Weight…Naturally
The nuts and bolts of eating right maintaining a healthy weight is not all that complicated. In fact, it is a good bet that most people know pretty well what is best. Hence, losing weight the natural way should not be a problem at all.
Consequently, a reasonable approach for losing weight naturally is to stick to a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, high in fiber, moderate in protein, and low in fat.
A complex carbohydrate is a baked potato. Fat is the sour cream and butter you should not put on it. Fiber is vegetables. Fat is the oil you should not fry them in. Protein is a lean cut of meat. Fat is the gravy you should not pour over it.
Moreover, health experts say that dietary fat promotes weight gain because it is a very dense source of calories. Also, when you consume excess calories from dietary fat, you store those calories as body fat more efficiently than excess calories from other sources. On the other hand, it can also help you lose weight naturally if you will not fall into the so-called “fat-free” trap. Manufacturers keep coming out with low-fat or fat-free versions of their best-selling foods, but Americans keep getting fatter anyway.
One of the greatest delusions of the 1990s is that “no fat” means “non-fattening.” The truth is, you are often getting just as many calories from the no-fat version, even if the calories are not coming from fat.
The term fat-free can be a trap if you start to believe that you can eat any amount of the foods that are advertised that way. What’s more, it is best to respond to hunger with healthful snacks. Health experts say it would be better to try eating every three to four hours, which may mean a nutritious low-fat snack between lunch and dinner.
When you feel the urge for food coming on, snacking on something healthy such as a slice of whole-grain toasted bread is a better alternative. Never skip a meal and eat snacks instead because that is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to control your eating habits and weight.
Remember, if you want to lose weight naturally, you have to keep track of every food you eat and of every activity that you do. When you say natural weight loss means that you do not have to use some accessories or helpful aids just to lose weight.
Losing weight naturally is a process and not a fad. Hence, it would take a lot of dogged determination, self-control, and discipline just to achieve your ideal weight.

Start Your Engines Please, The Next Google ?

Move over Google, there’s a new race car driver on the track. Expected to launch in late May, 2009, Wolfram Alpha is one of the early leaders in the Web 3.0 race, and its super-charged search formula may be just the design for all future Google contenders to emulate. It’s the brainchild of Stephen Wolfram, founder and CEO of Wolfram Research who has been fine-tuning his well-oiled machine for almost three decades, in hopes of taking the pole position away from the Mario Andretti of all search engines.

But wait a minute...haven't we been down this road once before? Didn't a couple of ex-Googlites takeit upon themselves to introduce Cuil, a would-be competitor that crashed and burned almost as fast as it came out of the gate?

Can Google ever really be dethroned?

Perhaps to understand the viability of Wolfram Alpha becoming the next top search dog, we need to look at it in the context of the evolving Internet. Just in case you missed it, for the last decade, the web has taken on version numbers. As the last century came to a close, the dot-com crash ushered in the Web 1.0 era. A few years later, a man by the name of Dale Dougherty dreamt up something called Web 2.0, and the idea soon took on a life of its own as social media emerged to consume our everyday lives.

On a more serious note, Web 3.0 is being called the Semantic Web, a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee, the man (much to Al Gore's discredit) who was originally credited with inventing the (first) World Wide Web. In essence, the Semantic Web is a place where machines can absorb Web pages much as we humans read them. Its a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the Net to find what we're looking for. "It's a set of standards that turns the Web into one big database," says Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, one of the leading voices of this new-age Internet.

While some think of Web 3.0 as an almost science-fiction artificial intelligence, the truth is that a lot of here-and-now technology can make Web applications smarter and more profitable. This includes everything from extracting insights from customer behaviors to serve them better, to breaking down corporate information silos spread throughout companies to make accessing business information more actionable.

Unlike Google, which automatically indexes billions of Web pages to answer users’ search queries, Wolfram Alpha will use sophisticated algorithms to actually understand user questions, and then will utilize the resources stored in its expert-curated database to offer up answers and relevant feedback. Wolfram Alpha, or the ‘computational knowledge engine’ is the natural progression of the present-day Internet as we know it, moving away from being about mass collaboration and more about displaying information to actually making sense of the content provided.

From a layman's perspective, the search term "long-tail" means searching for keywords that are longer than a standard 1-3 keyword search. Whenever an Internet user starts to qualify their search by adding more and more keywords, they limit the eventual searches that Google will be able to source. In the case of Wolfram Alpha, the result is very different from Google, which primarily points users in the direction of web pages. Wolfram Alpha, in contrast, will display information that it calculates by itself and will display it in useful formats, offering numerous options for users to dig deeper into the long-tail term subject matter. Its capabilities for slicing and dicing data will far outweigh anything any of us have seen from just a basic Google search.
Wolfram Alpha could become an amazing tool for searching Web data. It's smarter than Google in many ways, if not more comprehensive. It could become a worthwhile destination for anyone who needs a concrete answer with lots of options, providing the question can be asked in a way Wolram Alpha understands... which is still the big question mark that will take time to assess, after it rolls out this month.

However, its worth exploring to see indeed if Wolfram Alpha will overtake Google in the SuperHighway 500 Race, as we all become more comfortable driving in this new Web 3.0 world.
According to a recent NY Times" article, representatives for Google have declined to discuss WolframAlpha, which might be telling as to the seriousness of this competition. So for those of you who want to get a jump on what that new racetrack will look like, on May 19th to 20th, Mediabistro willhold its first Web 3.0 Conference in New York City at the New Yorker Hotel. The conference focuses on the Semantic Web, mashups, text and data analytics, and how they add real-world value for end users and businesses.

Rapid Weight Loss Techniques

Other than physical appearance weight affects a person in many ways. This could be the overall quality of life, self-esteem, depression, health risks, and physical incapabilities. There are a lot of positive changes once a person experience weight loss. It is for this reason why a lot of people are searching for a weight loss technique that will surely trim down those fats and get a super slim head turner body.
The first thing that an over-weight should do is seek a doctor to recommend the best weight loss regimen. This will be done after a full physical examination, which leads to the determination of proper weight loss technique. And to lose weight fast and effectively four aspects of life should be changed: what to eat, how to eat, behavior and activity level.
Here are fast tips that can change an over-weight's life:
First: Fast weight loss composes of a multi-faceted technique that consists mindset, exercise, and in other cases, diet supplements. Begin by learning a diet food plan that can easily be accustomed with. Incorporate an exercise plan that allows even at least fifteen minutes a day like brisk walking, running, swimming, and dancing.
Second: Set realistic approaches. The ability to focus and have proper mindset enables someone on a diet to quickly lose those extra pounds. With discipline and proper mind set, a dieter will never be discouraged and lose focus.
Third: Listen as the body speaks. Each and everyone's body metabolism reacts differently to different fast weight loss programs and plans. Try substituting one program for another to compensate the body's reaction. Exercise program must be suitable to one's body, as others are not able to exercise as rigorously as others can. If walking is all that can be done, then walk for this is proven the best exercise. Muscles burn more calories than fats so it's also best to put on a little muscle and looking good too.
Fourth: Eat more fibers for it makes a person full sooner and stays in the tummy longer, slowing down the rate of digestion. A single serving of whole grain bread moves fat through the digestive system faster. Grains turn into blood sugar that spikes the body's insulin level. Thus, making the body more energized and ready to tell the body when it should stop burning fats or start storing.
Fifth: Keep away from fried foods especially deep-fried as this contains a great amount of fat. Although fish and chicken appear leaner than beef, this white meat can contain more fat than when a beef is fried. It is recommended for those on strict diet to opt for grilled food as this does not have or contain less amount of fat after the food is cooked.
Sixth: Takes lots of fluid. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day keeps the body refreshed. Since weight loss depends on how the body eliminates body wastes, the body must stay hydrated.
All in all, discipline and consistency is still the best practice and the key to a rapid weight loss success. Light dieting, workout, and right amount of supplementation applied in a regular way everyday will result in faster weight loss than having a massive action only to be followed a return to old habits as this would only lead to gaining more weight than when the weight loss plan has started.

Enjoying With Yoga

Yoga is a sort of exercise.Yoga assists one with controlling various aspects of the body and mind. Yoga helps you to take control of your Central Nervous System (CNS) and more. Enjoying yoga on a daily scale will build you up, which you will notice changes (Good changes), such as a boosted self-esteem. Your body will feel stronger also. For more than 5000 years, people have enjoyed yoga. Yoga derived from the India nations, which many believed that the act has helped millions of American citizens take control of their body and mind. Yoga has proven to reduce stress, which promotes the nervous system helping it to stay strong. Yoga when enjoyed on a regularly scale is a great method to help you with many pressures. Yoga combines spirituality, exercise, positive thinking, breathing and so on to help you enjoy healthy aging.

The Pros and Cons in Yoga: Yoga is a valued practice for many people worldwide. Yoga incorporates fitness, health, gymnastics, and training in a set of rules. Yoga helps you to maintain or loose weight. Yoga is a stress reducing machine. Yoga will train your mind, since it teaches you to control your thoughts through meditation and breathing. Breathing right is essential to yoga’s creators. When you practice yoga, it keeps you in contact with your inner self. You learn to balance your mind and body, which leads to good health. Your emotions are controlled as well, which means fears, doubts, and other negative influences will not take control of your life.
Rather you will have control. As you practice yoga, you will feel comfortable with you and the people around you. The world will become yours, since you learn to communicate effectively and stop sweating the small stuff. The cons in yoga, includes that some types of yoga training is not right for everyone. Another con inside yoga is that you sometimes have to modify the workouts to benefit your body type and to withhold the workout suited for your strengths. This is not a con necessarily, but it can be if you have to figure out where beginners start.
How to get started: The first thing you should do is see your family doctor. Make sure you are able to enjoy the type of yoga you choose. When your doctor approves of your choice of yoga steps start out slowly. Guide your way into mediate exercising. Yoga will put you in connection with your spiritual side, so prepare to find a new you. When you first start yoga, perhaps you would benefit from joining groups that practice yoga. The group sessions may inspire you to continue your journey to healthy aging. Having support is essential for all of us, which yoga groups can become your support team. If you cannot find a group in your area, visit your local library. You can also purchase books that train you how to enjoy yoga. Videos are available as well.

Where do I go after I’ve trained in yoga? After you have taking the steps to get started, you will need to find a quiet area that makes you feel comfortable. You want to avoid interruptions while practicing yoga.

When will I notice the change in me? Like everything in life, you will not notice a change in you right away. It takes time to notice or feel the changes. If you do this like your suppose to do on a regular basis you will see some changes gradually. Keep in mind that yoga is teaching you how to control your mind, body and emotions. Work with yoga and yoga will work with you.

Elections in Indonesia

Learning MikroTik

User Guides

Remote Administration

IP Addressing and Routing


Virtual Private Networking

  • EoIP (Ethernet-level tunnel. Alows bridging of remote networks and bonding)
  • IP Security (Standard method for multi-protocol high-grade security communications)
  • IPIP (Fast and simple IP level tunnel)
  • L2TP (Common protocol for deploying VPN networks. Uses IPsec for authentication
  • information exchange)
  • PPPoE (Secure and authenticated way of connecting users to a network)
  • PPTP (Widely-used protocol for deploying VPN networks)
  • VLAN (Layer 2 network circuit segregation)

Authentication, Authorization, Accounting and Monitoring

  • Graphing (Tool to monitor various RouterOS parameters using graphical representation of them)
  • HotSpot User AAA (AAA services for HotSpot gateway)
  • IP Accounting (Accounting service for IP protocol on per address tuple basis)
  • PPP User AAA (L2TP, asyncronous PPP, PPTP, PPPoE and ISDN user AAA)
  • RADIUS client (General configuration interface for centralised AAA services)
  • Router User AAA (AAA services for RouterOS users (router’s local users)
  • Traffic Flow (Powerful accounting and network diagnostics tool)
  • SNMP (Allows to monitor the router remotely)
  • Log Management (System event monitoring facility)

Firewall and Quality of Service

  • Bandwidth Control (Describes the use of queues and queue trees to manage traffic data rate (traffic shaping) and provide Quality of Service for network users)
  • Filter (Packet filtering facility for protecting and limiting network hosts)
  • IP Address Lists (Supplementary tool facilitating simplified and transparent configuration of firewall services for different IP address sets)
  • Mangle (Complementary operations with IP packets including MSS and TOS fields change and packet marking for later processing with packet filters, NAT rules, queues and policy routing)
  • NAT (Network Address Translation) maps one set of IP addresses to another set of IP addresses)
  • Packet Flow General description of packet processing sequence; connection tracking description)
  • Services, Protocols, and Ports

Plug-and-Play Network Access

  • DHCP Client, Server and Relay (Dynamic IP address assignment to network clients)
  • DNS Client and Cache (DNS client facility with caching proxy functionality)
  • HotSpot Gateway (Instant (Plug-and-Play) network access points)
  • HTTP Proxy (Simple multiprotocol proxy service)
  • IP Pools (Shared use of IP address sets for IP address assignment facilities (PPP, DHCP and HotSpot)
  • SOCKS Proxy Server (SOCKS v4 universal multiprotocol port server)
  • UPnP (Transparent instant network discovery and configuration protocol)
  • Web Proxy (Advanced multiprotocol proxy service with caching functionality)

System Information and Utilities

Diagnostics Tools

Scripting Host and Complementary Tools

IP Telephony

High Availability

  • System Watchdog (Resident service for restarting router in case of crash or network failure)
  • UPS Monitor (Software status tool for UPS power supplies)
  • VRRP (High availability default path support)

Sumber : MikroTik.com

Japan's Sharp reports 1.3 bln dollar annual loss

Google News

Japanese electronics giant Sharp Corp. announced an annual net loss of 1.3 billion dollars, its first ever, due to a slump in sales, but it forecast a return to profit this year.
Sharp logged a net loss of 125.82 billion yen (1.3 billion dollars) for the past business year to March, against a profit of 101.92 billion yen the previous year. Revenue dropped 16.7 percent to 2.85 trillion yen.
The company, which makes Aquos-brand flat-screen televisions, blamed the poor performance on weak sales, a stronger yen, severe price competition, restructuring costs and losses on investments.
But Sharp, which like other Japanese manufacturers has been badly hurt by the global economic downturn, predicted a net profit of 3.0 billion yen this year, helped by job cuts and production streamlining.
"In the worsening global economy there are some favorable factors heading towards a recovery, including the economic stimulus packages instituted by governments around the world, and the fact that the stock market appears to have hit bottom," the company said in a statement.
"However, as for the future outlook, we expect that the business environment will remain unpredictable and uncertain for a while."

Adrenaline in Car


Bad dog

Google Profile Users Get a Say In People Search Results

Typing your name into a search engine is a great way to find out what the Internet thinks of you--at least until the first page of results shines a spotlight on that embarrassing episode from your misspent youth. Now Google, though, is offering people who share their profile information with the search giant more control over how they appear in its results.

Google has a complicated algorithm for determining which Web sites show at the top of its search results, presenting the top 10 picks on its results page. But in what amounts to an admission that this doesn't fully satisfy all the needs of people searching for a specific name, Google now will show a separate 11th result--a special "onebox" that presents links to people with a particular name and links to their Google profiles.

Google "is giving people more of an opportunity to have greater presence and to surface the most relevant content about themselves in a way they have some say about," said Joe Kraus, director of product management in Google's apps group. Google now can show special results when you search for people. (Credit: Google) To illustrate the utility of the feature, Kraus brings up the example of Brian Jones. If you happen to share the name of the Rolling Stone's deceased founding guitarist, you don't have much opportunity to show up high on Google's search results for that name.

That changes with the new people-search feature, he said, though it doesn't affect the regular search results above. There's a quid pro quo, though. To appear in Google's special people-search results you must set up a Google profile. The more information you include on your profile, the better your odds that your profile will appear among the four names that can appear in the special result, Kraus said. At least for now, Google profiles are a collection of information you are willing to share publicly--photos, interests, Web sites about yourself. Through integration with your Gmail contacts, which lets you identify people you trust and share contact information with them, Google's profiles are gradually becoming a deeper reflection of ties called the social graph.

Kraus wouldn't comment on how the profile page fits into Google's social strategy, though he did say in general that Google's strategy in general focuses "not on how you make any one site more social, but how you make the entire Web more social." One thing is sure, though: spotlighting profiles this directly in search results, given Google's immense search clout and people's concern about their self-image, extends much greater power to the profiles site. To lend even more prominence, Google is beginning a "Google Me" promotion in which people who search for "me" will get an opportunity to see their profile or sign up for one.

Google, music labels launch China download service

Google Inc. and major music companies launched a free Internet music download service for China on Monday in a bid to help turn a field dominated by pirates into a profitable, legitimate business.The advertising-supported service will offer 1.1 million tracks, including the full catalogs of Chinese and Western music for Warner Music Group Corp., EMI Group Ltd., Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music and 14 independent labels, the companies said. It will be limited to use by computers whose Internet protocol, or IP, addresses show they are in mainland China."This is the first really serious attempt to start monetizing online music in China," said Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia and regional head of the global recording industry group, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries. Chinese pirate Web sites offer downloads of unauthorized copies of music despite repeated lawsuits and government crackdowns. Legitimate producers have no estimate of lost potential sales, but some Chinese performers have announced they were no longer recording because piracy made it unprofitable.The venture gives Google a new way to compete in a market where its research shows 84 percent of people say finding music is their main reason to use search engines, said Kai-Fu Lee, Google's president for Greater China."With today's offering, we complete the puzzle and offer a complete set of services that are fully integrated," he said.China has the world's biggest online population, with some 300 million Internet users, according to the government. Online commerce is still modest in China and most Web surfers are looking for music, games and other entertainment.Lee said the company was optimistic that use would grow rapidly but he declined to give any revenue forecasts.EMI launched a separate venture with China's dominant search engine, Baidu Inc., in January 2007 to compete with pirates by allowing free streaming pop music from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It sells downloads for a small fee.Google's service is to be run by Top100.cn, a 3 1/2-year-old Chinese Web site partly owned by Google. The site will sell advertising on its download page and split revenues with music companies, said its CEO, Gary Chen.Providers will abide by Chinese censorship and withhold songs that are banned by the communist government, Rutherford said."When you're in the music business in China you know you have to follow the regulations," he said. "We wouldn't give files to people in China (in situations) where a song has been banned."Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California, has struggled to expand in China, where it says it has about 30 percent of the search market. Baidu's market share is just over 60 percent, according to research firm Analysys International.Google's Lee declined to comment on Beijing's blocking of its YouTube video-sharing service last week. China occasionally bars its Internet users from seeing YouTube to prevent access to videos considered critical of communist rule or unflattering to the government.

Joe McDonald

Taste Central

Semarang is a steamy coastal city that is usually given a miss by tourist more interested in Yogyakarta's draws. When it comes to food, however, the capital of Central Java has something for everyone,
Toko Oen
Jalan Pemuda 52 - Semarang
I visited the restaurant for the first time as a boy in 1981 with my grandfather. Its was a memorable experience. I remember very well the delicious croquette he ordered as starter; warm an fat, with crunchy fried breadcrumbs giving up tender mashed potatoes with chunks of chicken.
Heavenly! A full 30 years later, it seemed nothing had changed in this Dutch-style restaurant. There were the same low wovwn chairs, old piano, yellowing photos and white-outfitted waiters in peci (traditional caps), Oen's icons. I sat down by the old piano close to the bakery counter and ordered Oen's Symphony (a bowl of assorted homemade ice cream). Then I Commenced to enjoy not only the ice cream but the relaxing ambience.
Toko Oen Semarang was wstablished in the 1930s in Bodjong street (now Jalan Pemuda, in front of Sri Ratu Supermarked) after the old Toko Oen founded in Yogya in 1922 (the Toko Oens of Yogya and Jakarta are long closed, although the Malang Oen, no longer affiliated with the Semarang eatery, is still open). Toko Oen Semarang's main claim to fame is the appetizing Dutch menu and Indonesia cuisine, as well as the nostalgic atmosphere. Its homemade cakes (my favorite is oentbijkoek, a spicy cake heady with cinnamon and nutmeg), breads, cookies and ice cream are standounts. For me, Toko Oen is a place where I can sit back and think back to the goog old days.
Istana Wedang
Jalan Pemuda 121

In kampong my uncle, wedang (say whey-dunk), means beverage, usually hot ones, such as tea, coffee, wedang jahe (a ginger drink) and wedang ronde (a fiery ginger drink served in a bowl with glutinous balls filled with palm sugar and sprinkled with peanuts). Usually hot tea or hot coffee are served in a tall glass or a cup. Wedangan is the term for when friends hang out over hot drinks, the traditional forerunner of today's urban coffee culture. Wedang are easy to find in warung (food stalls) and local restaurants in Semarang. But Istana Wedang venue in Semarang. It also serves delicious traditional snacks and Chinese food. Price range Rp. 3,000 - Rp. 30,000.
Tahu Pong
Jalan Gajah Mada 63B
Pong or kopong or kosong means empty. The tahu (tofu) is cut into dice shapes and then deep fried. A bite into the crispy tofu reveals the empty center, and it has became one of Semarang's local specialties. My favorite is Tahu Pong at Jalan Gajah Mada, located near Gumaya Hotel, right in front of Bethany Church. The Stall's stamp of authenticity is that it has no brancher and has been in business since the 1970s.
Tahu pong is served with bumbu kecap ( soy sauce mixed with fried chopped shallots and garlic), and acar timun (pickled cucumbers). special is served with egg and gimbal udang (shrimp fritter). Price range Rp. 3,000 - Rp. 15,000.

Lumpia Mbak Lien
Jalan Pemuda Gang Grajen

As with many foodies traveling to Semarang, lumpia (spring roll) is always top of my list, with Mbak Lien's my all-time, must-have favorite. The spring rolls filled jullienned rebung (bamboo shoots), chopped shrimp, chiken meat, egg, garlic and pihie (a dried fish touted for enhancing virility). When other lumpia stalls abd shops sell their wares in a Rp. 3,000-Rp. 7,500 price range, Mbak Lien's are Rp. 8,000, and the thick, fat and so luscious rolls are worth every penny. Many love the fried version, with the flavorsome filling encased in the crunch pastry, but I am devoted to the unfried ones (lumpia basah) because I focus on the succulent stuffing. Enjoy either version with spring onions, acar timun (pickled cucumbers) and saus kelwa (a jelly-like sauce) for truly authentic Semarang spring rolls.
Semarang's spring-roll history reportedly began at the end of the 19th century when Tjoa Thay Yoe moved to the Java town from China. He sold authentic versions of the rolls of his homeland. Mbak Lien's is a third generation seller.

Semawis, the Semarang Chinatown

Semarang, like almost every large city in Indonesia, has pecinan (Chinatown). In all my years livingin the city I had never visited this section of town, which is known for the ethnic Chinese community's efforts to preserve and revitalize their culture. After the repression of Chinese-Indonesians during the New Order regime through draconian regulations, in 2003 the Chinese community set up the Komunitas Pecinan Semarang untuk Parawisata (Semarang Chinese Community for Tourism) populary known as Semawis. In the beginning it was proclaimed as a Chinese New Year Marked where people could purchase food and worship items such as candles, flowers and fragrance. Klentang (Chinese temples) are in every corner and deliver magical ambience through their bright red and gold decorations. The area has since emerged as a place to visit during a trip to Semarang.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, Pasar Semawis becames a lively, exciting nightspot. red lanterns, karouke joints playing Mandarin songs, fortune tellers and stalls offering jade accesories stalls are part of the Sun. Some of the Chinese dishes include sate babi (pork satay) and swikee (frog soup) are at every corner, and Muslims like me seeking halal food (prepared according to islamic dietary rules) also will not go hungry because there is a whole smorgasbord of delicious food to be found. My favorites include nasi ayam, rice with chicken meat and egg in coconut milk soup ( Rp. 7,000) and Es Cong Lik; ice cream-like, served with jelly, shredded coconut and ripe durian (Rp. 7.500). Mouth-watering! The food price range in the area is abaut Rp. 2,000-Rp. 25,000, which is a steal for the taste.
How to get there: Semawis is located at Gang Pinggir, abaut 10-15 minutes by becak (Rp. 10,000) from Simpang Lima or Jalan Pemuda.

Kedai Mama
Jalan Gajah Mada 125

Its tag line-the heritage cuisine-on the sign outside the restaurant drew me in. Mr. jongkie Tio, the owner, told me the story of how he and his wife, Puspawati set up the small restaurant in 1991. In the beginning they offered European and Indonesian dishes but then chose on Indonesian heritage cuisine. jongkie Tio knows very well abaut local cuisine. In his book, Kota Semarang-Dalam Kenangan (Semarang City in Memories), he describes the interraction between Chinese and Javanese in Semarang, culminating in its unique cuisine.
My favorite beverage in Kedai Mama is bir Jawa (literally Javanese beer but actually a non alcoholic refreshing spicy beverage). And the Lontong Cap Go Meh reminds me of my grandmothers's lontong opor (ricecake served with chicken and egg in coconut milk) Price range from Rp. 5,000-Rp. 35,000

New Orangutan population found in Indonesia

Conservationists have discovered a new population of orangutans in a remote, mountainous corner of Indonesia - perhaps as many as 2,000 - giving a rare boost to one of the world's most endangered great apes.A team surveying forests nestled between jagged, limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of Borneo island counted 219 orangutan nests, indicating a "substantial" number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy."We can't say for sure how many," he said, but even the most cautious estimate would indicate "several hundred at least, maybe 1,000 or 2,000 even."The team also encountered an adult male, which angrily threw branches as they tried to take photos, and a mother and child.There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 90 percent of them in Indonesia and the rest in neighboring Malaysia.The countries are the world's top producers of palm oil, used in food, cosmetics and to meet growing demands for "clean-burning" fuels in the U.S. and Europe. Rain forests, where the solitary animals spend almost all of their time, have been clear-cut and burned at alarming rates to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations.The steep topography, poor soil and general inaccessibility of the rugged limestone mountains appear to have shielded the area from development, at least for now, said Meijaard. Its trees include those highly sought after for commercial timber.Birute Mary Galdikas, a Canadian scientist who has spent nearly four decades studying orangutans in the wild, said most of the remaining populations are small and scattered, which make them especially vulnerable to extinction."So yes, finding a population that science did not know about is significant, especially one of this size," she said, noting that those found on the eastern part of the island represent a rare subspecies, the black Borneon orangutan, or Pongo pygmaeus morio.The 700-square mile (2,500-square kilometer) jungle escaped the massive fires that devastated almost all of the surrounding forests in the late 1990s. The blazes were set by plantation owners and small-scale farmers and exacerbated by the El Nino droughts.Nardiyono, who headed The Nature Conservancy's weeklong survey in December, said "it could be the density is very high because after the fires, the orangutans all flocked to one small area."It was unusual to come face-to-face with even one of the elusive creatures in the wild and to encounter three was extraordinary, he said, adding that before this expedition, he had seen just five in as many years.Conservationists say the most immediate next step will be working with local authorities to protect the area and others that fall outside of national parks. A previously undiscovered population of several hundred also was found recently on Sumatra island, home to around 7,000."That we are still finding new populations indicates that we still have a chance to save this animal," said Paul Hartman, who heads the U.S.-funded Orangutan Conservation Service Program, adding it's not all "gloom and doom."Noviar Andayani, head of the Indonesian Primate Association and Orangutan Forum, said the new discoveries point to how much work still needs to be done to come up with accurate population assessments, considered vital to determining a species' vulnerability to extinction."There are many areas that still have not been surveyed," she said, adding that 18 private conservation groups have just started work on an in-depth census based on interviews with people who spend time in the forests.They include villagers and those working on plantations or within logging concessions."We hope this will help fill in a few more gaps," said Andayani, adding that preliminary tests in areas where populations are known indicate that the new interview-based technique could provide a clearer picture than nest tallies."Right now the information and data we have about orangutans is still pretty rudimentary," she said.Some experts say at the current rate of habitat destruction, the animals could be wiped out within the next two decades.

Robin McDowell (JP)

Naming and shaming, the Indonesian way

I was assigned by a magazine for to write about family planning in Europe. I was sent to the Oxford Family Planning Association to meet the director, only to find that his name was, ahem, Tim Lusty! Naturally I told him how appropriate – or ironic? – his name was. He just grinned. ‘People always comment about it’, he said. No. Really?
Eric Chen is another name that would cause embarrassment if its owner worked for the Family Planning Association (just read it out loud quickly, if you don’t see what I mean).
And what about DR. Happy Bone Zulkarnain, an MP from Golkar? He’s clearly in the wrong job (or maybe not…?)
And then there’s my Japanese journalist friend from many years ago, who appears in his card simply as “S. Awanohara” because when he gave his full name, ‘Susumu’, Indonesians would start giggling. Why? Because in Indonesian it means “your boobs”!
Malaysians, always happy to get tough to make sure everything stays polite and boring, have cracked down on all this sort of indecency.
I read that their National Registration Department will no longer allow names with silly double meanings in the country’s main ethnic languages — Malay, Chinese, and Indian.
Thus Malay names — such as Zani (male adulterer), Zaniah (female adulteress) or Woti (sexual intercourse) — are banned, as are Chinese names including Ah Kow (dog), Ah Gong (loony), Chow Tow (stinky head) and Sum Seng (gangster).
Ah well, Malaysia’s loss I suppose! Back here across the straits in Indonesia, no such strictures exist. Our government does not impose niceness restrictions like Malaysia and that means the well-established social rule for Indonesian names continues to apply: there are no rules.
Indonesia thus remains a global paradise for weird and wacky names (or hell, if you’re the bearer of one of these names), and the sheer crazed lunacy of some Indonesian names continues to amaze even the most hardened observer.
Let me offer you just a small selection …
Some of you may have read about the now famous Batman Suparman, a 19-year old Singaporean of Javanese descent, who had problems with the Department of Homeland Security in the US when he tried to enter, as they thought his name was a joke. Can’t imagine why.
I’ve also come across a Hitler in Kalimantan, and my husband Tim knew a Goering from Medan.
I’m not sure if his that was his first or last name, or whether his first name was Hermann, or if he had met another Hitler Tim also met (that would be a worry), but their names would probably be criminal offences if they had been born in Germany, another country with lots of rules about names.
Wiwik and Toto are other (common) Indonesian names that create problems in the West. Toto is usually a boy’s name but it also happens to be the brand name of a well-known sanitary ware company and, of course, the little yappy dog beloved of Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
As for Wiwik, it can be used for both boys and girls, but in either case it is pronounced “wee-wee”, which always causes great hilarity for Anglo-Saxons, for whom it means taking a pee.
And there’s the class-mate of a researcher I know, named Eva. I‘ve always thought Eva a nice name, except that in her case it’s short for ‘Evaluasi’ (evaluation). A testing name by any standard! Her parents must have been avid project managers, I suppose.
It’s not hard to find utterly bizarre names anywhere in Indonesia. In fact, the recent flood of posters
promoting candidates for election that now plaster every available meter of public space across the country, has proved to be a real motherlode. Take for example Flavius O Caesa of the Justice and Unity Party (PKP).
Caesar is, of course, an imperial title, derived from Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), and Flavius Augustus Honoris (384-423) was an exceptionally weak emperor whose most notable achievement was the assault and sack of Rome.
So the exact source of the inspiration for the parents of the Indonesian Flavius O Caesa remains mysterious, as does that enigmatic ‘O’ (unless, of course, he’s part Irish as well!).
But the best example of Indonesian parents naming their kids after their heroes or figures they admire must be a legislative candidate from the Christian Peaceful and Prosperous Party (PDS): Tom Jones Tarrigan. His mother probably had the hots for the Welsh singer, Tom Jones, famous for being sexy-as-hell (even now, aged 69).
If so, I hope she hasn’t been disappointed — while not bad looking, her son comes nowhere close to his namesake’s raw magnetism. Seems this is yet another case where one can’t help wonder what the parents were thinking when they decide to burden their child with a name against which he or she will be measured for the rest of their lives.
And that is a question that should especially be put to the parents of a friend of one of my nephews. Dad was a gyneacologist, so when his lovely daughter arrives, what name does he pick?
Brace yourselves folks, yes, it’s…. Vagina Modesiana. Talk about not bringing your work home! Let’s just hope her friends call her Gina or, better still, Desi.
Well, the very least we can do is match-make her with her logical counterpart, a participant in a training course on intellectual property law that my husband was involved with in Kalimantan. His name is (I swear this is true!) Hansem Pinis. Thank God his parents were bad at spelling.
Or perhaps they could try a threesome, with Ms Modesiana and Mr Pinis getting together with another legislative candidate, also from PDS. His name is (I kid you not) Rimhot Turnip. Turnip is, of course, a root vegetable. As to what Rimhot might mean, I suggest you just google the first syllable and see what the bottom line is.
I’ve had so much fun researching this column that I may well write another one. But I need your help, dear readers. Please email me more bizarre Indonesian names, with evidence (a photo or document to prove the name is real). I will send a free copy of my book “Sex, Power and Nation” to the one I like the most.
So, start naming and shaming, folks!
The Jakarta Post

Do you know where your kid is? Check Google's maps

With an upgrade to its mobile maps, Google Inc. hopes to prove it can track people on the go as effectively as it searches for information on the Internet.
The new software to be released Wednesday will enable people with mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.
The feature, dubbed "Latitude," expands upon a tool introduced in 2007 to allow mobile phone users to check their own location on a Google map with the press of a button.
"This adds a social flavor to Google maps and makes it more fun," said Steve Lee, a Google product manager.
It could also raise privacy concerns, but Google is doing its best to avoid a backlash by requiring each user to manually turn on the tracking software and making it easy to turn off or limit access to the service.
Google also is promising not to retain any information about its users' movements. Only the last location picked up by the tracking service will be stored on Google's computers, Lee said.
The software plots a user's location - marked by a personal picture on Google's map - by relying on cell phone towers, global positioning systems or a Wi-Fi connection to deduce their location. The system can follow people's travels in the United States and 26 other countries.
It's left up to each user to decide who can monitor their location.
The social mapping approach is similar to a service already offered by Loopt Inc., a 3-year-old company located near Google's Mountain View headquarters.
Loopt's service already is compatible with more than 100 types of mobile phones.
To start out, Google Latitude will work on Research In Motion Ltd.'s Blackberry and devices running on Symbian software or Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile. It will also operate on some T-1 Mobile phones running on Google's Android software and eventually will work on Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iTouch.
To widen the software's appeal, Google is offering a version that can be installed on personal computers as well.
The PC access is designed for people who don't have a mobile phone but still may want to keep tabs on their children or someone else special, Lee said. People using the PC version can also be watched if they are connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi.
Google can plot a person's location within a few yards (meters) if it's using GPS or might be off by several miles (kilometers) if it's relying on transmission from cell phone towers. People who don't want to be precise about their whereabouts can choose to display just the city instead of a specific neighborhood.
There are no current plans to sell any advertising alongside Google's tracking service, although analysts believe knowing a person's location eventually will unleash new marketing opportunities. Google has been investing heavily in the mobile market during the past two years in an attempt to make its services more useful to people when they are away from their office or home computers.
Michael Liedtke

Crying Child-Crying Child and his crying doll-Random fun doll

Child healer miraculous sensation in Central Java

A THIRD grader from a village in Jombang, Central Java, Muhammad Ponari, became famous overnight as word spread he could heal numerous diseases using a purpoted miracle stone.
Thousands opf people from remote areas have come to see him in hopes he can cure their illnesses just by drinking water into which he dips the stone. Some have waited several days and nights just to meet the boy.
As the news spread, so many people rushed to see him that Ponari's house was mobbed; four people died after being caught up in the crush of the crowd.
After the tragic incident, police closed down Poaris's practice, but many people continue to seek him ou to be healed.
Ponari said he had found a stone in his yard abaout the size of a chicken egg. Three times he threw it away, but he said, it kept returning so he decided to keep it

First-Time voters can maka a bit difference

Do you care abaout your country?
WE can all learn something from the recent historic presidential election in the United States. The first African-American candidate to be elected president, Barack Obama used web-savvy and message-savvy strategies to get fisst-time voters to polling stations in record-breaking numbers. Eleven percent of the votes cast were from voting virgins. Thanks to his grasssroots organizing efforts, young students and recent American citizens found that Obama's campaign messages resonated with their own beliefs.
For all you first-time voters, here are some reasons why you should, no question, vote this time around!
This direct democracy thing is still new for us. When we voted for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono four years ago, it was the first time we had voted directly for a presidential candidate. In past elections, the president was elected by our People's Consultative Assembly: we only voted indirectly. We can appreciate what it means to have the right to vote for the person we belive should lead this great country.
By voting, you are exercising your obligation as a citizen of a country. This is an exciting time because you are considered a fully fledged citizen because your of age. Your vote will influence the way the indonesian government decides important things which in turn affect our everyday lives. How does that sound to you?
Making decisions is an important life skill that you must learn to master if you want to go places. And voting is a great way to practice. First you must listen to what the candidates are offering. If their campaign messages resonate with your own beliefs or values, that might be the reason to choose them. If you hear a candidate give a speech you like and she or he offers a good plan of action, perhaps they are your choice.

France's Golden Girl

FLood swamp several cities across the country

A RAINY February brought on the same old, same old, as Jakarta and neighboring lowland areas flooded from the heavy downpours. In Jakarta, flooding affected almost every area of the city with East Jakarta getting the worst of hit: 13.000 residents there were forced to evacuate their homes.
The Coordination Boards for Disaster Mitigation (Satkorlak) reported 42.000 city residents in all fled theirs homes to find dry shelter because their houses were inundated. Elsewhere, heavy rains lasting for days in several regencies brought on flooding anl landslides which killed at least six people and damaged paddies and rice crops.
In Surakarta, Central Java, Bengawan Solo Rivers burst its banks and flooded homes with waters as high as 1.5 meters. The swelling of the river was likely caused by flash flooding in the Bengawan Solo's uppers tributaries. The floods also disrupted transportation system.
Airport in Semarang, Central Java, and Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara closed down when their runways were submerged, delaying some flights. Trains on Java had to interrupt their service as rail lines connecting western and eastern parts of the island were also flooded.


Indonesia held its held its first legislative elections in 1955, when it elected representatives to the People's Representative Council. Five major parties participated, including the Indonesian Comunist Party, which was latter banned.
This year we are getting ready for our 10th round of legislative elections. On April 9, 2009, we will elect 132 people to reprensent us in the Regional Representatives Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah), and 560 people to represent us in the People's Representatives Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat). A major difference since 1955 is the number of parties participating. Forty -four parties are putting up candidates for these seats.Once new members are elected to these two national councils, they togethers form the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat), which is the highest legislative body of Indonesia.The General Elections Commission which oversees the whole election show, keeps records of all registered voters. They have reported 171,558,775 people are eligible to cast ballots, including 1,502,892 voters who live and work outside of Indonesia.Presidential elections determine who will lead the executive branch. Only two months after the general elections, Indonesians will again be asked to go the polls, on July 8 to be exact, to choose a president and a vice president for the 2009-2014 term of office.After President Suharto's resignation in May 1998, the number of people who have stepped up to be presidential candidates soared. Fifteen diffrent candidates will compete this year for the presidency, including the incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice President Jusuf Kalla abd former President Megawati Soekarnoputri. But you do not have to be a national leader to run. The actress, playwright and activist Ratna Sarumpaet is also running for the highest office in the land.

Australia's wildfires kill more than 200, destroy hundreds of homes

OVER 400 fires raged across Australia's state Victoria on February 7, scorching more than 1.500 square miles of farms, forests and towns. More than 200 people were killed and over 1.800 homes were destroyed in the deadliest round of seasonal wildfires recorded in Australia's history.
Some died in their cars as they were trying to escape the blaze and others never made it out of their houses. Wildfires are common during the Australian summer, when high temperatures cause dry forest land tinder to smolder and blustering winds serve to fan the embers. Despite the wheather conditions, Australian's police suspected at least two of the fires were deliberately set and have charged one man with arson for causing death and provoking a wildfire.

Facebook: Taking a cue from Twitter in sharing?

The popular online hangout Facebook is revamping its home page and plans other changes so its millions of users can more easily choose the types of information they see.

Perhaps taking a cue from Twitter, the rising service for letting people express themselves in 140 characters or less and keep up with what celebrities have to say, Facebook said Wednesday it will let users follow public figures like President Barack Obama and swimmer Michael Phelps, bands like U2 and even institutions like The New York Times.

Facebook's fan pages currently work as static destination sites for anything from bacon to Coca-Cola to Jane Austen. The social-networking site will eventually make them work more like profiles, which individuals can now continuously update by posting photos, links and other tidbits.

"As more and more information flows through Facebook, the need for people to easily discover the most recent and relevant content has grown," Founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post.

Beginning next Wednesday, Facebook will also launch a redesigned home page that lets users receive continuous updates from their friends instead of every 10 or 15 minutes.

It is also adding filters so people can choose which of their friends to keep up with and which to silence, limiting news from tiresome or annoying acquaintances you don't necessarily want to "de-friend." Currently, people can choose to receive less information about certain friends but can't silence them completely. With the changes, users will even be able to filter updates so they only see photos or videos, for example.

Facebook will also tweak its central feature, the status update, which now invites people to broadcast to their friends a response to "What are you doing right now?" Responses can now range from mundane to poetic to uncomfortably personal.

Facebook's new question, "What's on your mind?," may encourage people to dig deeper into their subconscious and post more entertaining updates than "Kevin is updating Facebook."

In hopes of avoiding complaints that followed past redesigns, the company posted a preview of the changes Wednesday and invited feedback.

In a conference call with reporters, Facebook executives did not spend a lot of time on the business side of the changes, though Zuckerberg noted that the site is moving in a direction where brands can interact with people.

Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst with eMarketer, said Facebook has been "very aggressive in trying to rethink what advertisers can do, and more importantly, how they can interact with consumers."

"In many ways Facebook is the poster child of the future of communications," she said. While there is a lot of hope and excitement about the marketing opportunities on Facebook, Williamson said growth has been slower than "anyone has expected."

As millions of people embrace these online hangouts, consumer brands and the social-networking sites have been looking for ways to capitalize on this captive audience.

But so far, ad dollars have been elusive.

Williamson noted that this is uncharted territory, much as Google was in its early days before discovering the cash cow that is search advertising.

Companies have been getting their feet wet with varying degrees of success.

As of Wednesday afternoon, for example, a search for Skittles on Google brought up a link to the candy's Facebook page, where fans declare their love for the rainbow-colored snacks - typos, exclamation marks and all.

It's part of a larger marketing campaign for Skittles, which earlier this week redirected its home page to Twitter's search page, such that every short post that included the word "skittles" got automatically displayed. That experiment turned sour when some tweeters posted vulgar comments. Soon, the candy's page moved from Twitter to Facebook.

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