Malaysia Airports (KLIA) could have Infringed Payment Card Rules on Prohibition of Min Transaction Amount

This photo shown above was captured from KLIA (KL International Airport), at the parking office payment counter located at level 2, airport parking block A&B.  Timestamp 26 Dec 2017, 19.11.

I was trying to pay for RM36 parking fee using Visa credit card, but politely been refused by the personnel on-duty. He then pointed me to this notice pasted at the payment counter window. I had no choice but to proceed to cash payment machine. And this happened at, the gateway into Malaysia, in a country that the Central Bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) is supposedly promoting cashless payment.

According Visa Core Rules (PDF) published at, clause stated “Prohibition of Minimum or Maximum Transaction Amount”, described as:

A Merchant must not establish a minimum or maximum Transaction amount as a condition for
honoring a Visa Card or Visa Electron Card.

Continue reading “Malaysia Airports (KLIA) could have Infringed Payment Card Rules on Prohibition of Min Transaction Amount”

Commentary on AI

The “2017 AI Index Report“(linked to PDF file) presents metrics and dimensions from publicly available data to illustrate the state of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) activities. You could find many trend-line charts from the PDF-download link quoted in the beginning of this paragraph.

In this report, there are some commentaries from experts in the AI field. And following are some comments that caught my attention.

Kai-Fu Lee, Sinovation Ventures

State of AI in China

China has the most mobile phones and Internet users in the world, which is about three times more than that in the US or India. Many think that the gap between the US and China is just a factor of three. It is dramatically larger than that. In China, people use their mobile phones to pay for goods, 50 times more often than Americans. Food delivery volume in China is 10 times more than that of the US. It took bike-sharing company Mobike 10 months to go from nothing to 20 million orders (or rides) per day. There are over 20 million bicycle rides transmitting their GPS and other sensor information up to the server, creating 20 terabytes of data everyday. Similarly, China’s ride-hailing operator Didi is reported to connect its data with trafic control in some pilot cities. All of these Internet connected things will yield data that helps make existing products and applications more eficient, and enable new applications we never thought of. Continue reading “Commentary on AI”

Made in Malaysia, Made for the World

Where ever I travel to, when someone asks “Are you Chinese?”, my answer is “No, I am Malaysian“. Recently, when I communicated in Mandarin with a Chinese Airbnb host in Melbourne, she asked if I spent most years in China. I said “No, I grew up and groomed in Malaysia“. Despite Malaysia being named and mentioned in international medias in recent years for many unfavourable reasons, there are moments to be a proud Malaysian.

Last week, when I visited a prospect – an international electronic musical instrument brand, the IT Manager was surprised to learn that Joget Workflow, a US-based open source workflow software with international client base, is designed and crafted by all-Malaysians.

Now, let me share with you another great Malaysia-based company that designs and manufactures public seatings for the world!

Do you know that… the seating in Maracanã Stadium (Rio Olympics 2016), Emirates Stadium of Arsenal FC, Millennium Suite of Chelsea FC, the new Main Stand of Liverpool FC, VOX Cinemas BurJuman in Dubai, and many more … are all designed and manufactured by a spectator seating manufacturing company based in Shah Alam? Ferco Seating is a client of Innov8tif since our inception, for the process automation service. The photos shown in this page are captured from Ferco’s new showroom, yesterday. Continue reading “Made in Malaysia, Made for the World”

2017 Could be Klang Valley’s Wettest in Recent Years

2016 was Earth’s hottest year on record. As far as anyone in Klang Valley could remember, 2016 was a hot and hazy year.  In fact, last year’s March, we were just 0.1°C short of the highest temperature ever recorded in Malaysia. Water rationing woe was also a hot topic, as the dams reported unusually low water level.

This year, in contrast, anyone who has spent enough time in Klang Valley would definitely agree that we are experiencing unusually high rainfall, even during months that were supposedly drier.

But, is 2017 a factually wetter year so far? I dug up some historical weather data of KUL (airport code for KL International Airport) from Weather Underground, to compare the rainfall trend of 1st Jan-30th Apr, for year 2014 to 2017. The rainy day Some data and charts are summarised into a few slides.

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How Microsoft Contributed to the Rapid Growth of China’s Silicon Valley in High Tech Clusters

Excerpt from an article published in The New York Times.

“Robert O. Work (veteran defense official) asked his A.I. dudes, “O.K., you guys are the smartest guys in A.I., right?”

No, the dudes told him, “the smartest guys are at Facebook and Google,” Mr. Work recalled in an interview.

Now, increasingly, they’re also in China. The United States no longer has a strategic monopoly on the technology (referring to artificial intelligence).”

Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) – Microsoft’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in Beijing China in 1998. MSRA has published over 1,500 papers for top international journals and conferences. MSRA was named the “hottest computer lab” by MIT Technology Review in 2004.

As described in Wikipedia: MSRA operates under a mission of advancing the state of the art in computing through a combination of basic and applied research. More than 300 research results have been transferred to Microsoft products, including Windows, Office, Bing, Xbox, Kinect, and Windows Phone.

Kai-Fu Lee (李开复), Founder of Sinovation Ventures

The first Managing Director of Microsoft Research China was Mr. Kai-Fu Lee – innovator of the world’s first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system, known as Sphinx. No mention of MSRA is complete without referencing to Mr. Lee.

In year 2005, Mr. Lee moved on to Google as the Founding President of Google China. And in 2009, Mr. Lee founded Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital that invest in start-ups in China and in the U.S., at seed, Series A and Series B stages. Nearly half of Sinovation Ventures recent investments have been in artificial intelligence.

Source of portrait photo: Mr. Lee’s LinkedIn profile

Ya-Qin Zhang (张亚勤), President of Baidu

Mr. Kai-Fu Lee played a pivotal role in convincing Mr. Ya-Qin Zhang‘s return to China. An IEEE academician, Mr. Zhang was appointed as Managing Director of MSRA in 2001, and led the R&D of Microsoft’s Mobile and Embedded products from 2004-2006. In 2006, Mr. Zhang was appointed as Microsoft’s Corp. Vice President and the Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group to lead Microsoft’s entire R&D efforts in Asia Pacific. Besides the shipping of WinCE and Windows Mobile 5.0, Mr. Zhang also involved in the development of cloud computing (today’s Azure) and big data platforms.

Continue reading “How Microsoft Contributed to the Rapid Growth of China’s Silicon Valley in High Tech Clusters”