Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Malaysia national debt increased to 50.6% of GDP

According to the reply from Prime Minister Nazib Razak to Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming (倪可敏) in the parliament, the latest national debt of Malaysia now stood at RM378.3 billion, or 50.6% of the GDP.

This means that for every citizen in Malaysia, we are bearing a national debt of RM14,000 per person on average.

The national debt has surged by 19.1 billion during the 1st quarter of 2010! Compared with the national debt at RM230 billion when RMK-9 was just began, it has increased by RM148.3 billion within just 5 year! During 1997, our national debt was just 96 billion.

If the national debt continues to grow at a CAGR of 12%, by 2019, it will eventually reach RM1 trillion!

The alarm has already triggered, and the government as well as the citizen must wake up now, if we don't want to repeat the history of what is happening in Greece now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Main differences among Intel 64-bit processors: Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i3, i5, i7, ...

If you plan to buy a desktop computer with Intel 64-bit processor, you will find there are plenty of Intel processor families available in the market.

Of course, their obvious differences are on performance and price. Beside that, I have summarized some of their main differences from the technical points of view:

  • Core 2 Duo (E-series) - 2 cores, 2 threads; LGA 775 socket.
  • Core 2 Quad (Q-series) - 4 cores, 4 threads; LGA 775 socket.
  • Core i3 (500 series) - 2 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Integrated GPU; 4M cache.
  • Core i5 (600 series) - 2 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Integrated GPU; 4M cache.
  • Core i5 (700 series) - 4 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.
  • Core i7 (800 series) - 4 cores, 8 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.
  • Core i7 (900 series) - 4 cores, 8 threads; LGA 1366 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.

The current main stream Intel 64-bit processors should be those using LGA 1156 socket. Those in Core i5 (700 series) and Core i7 (800 series) worth consideration.

Performance wise, you can always refer to the PassMark CPU Benchmarks. It seems that Core i7 860 @ 2.80GHz performs very well, and Core i5 750 @ 2.67Ghz currently has the most attractive price/performance ratio.

For current price of the processors, you can always refer to the HardwareZone Price Guide.

The world is going towards Gigabit broadband, when will we have such speed at such price?

Japan KDDI is offering the Hikari One Home Gigabit broadband at the price of ¥5460 (RM198) a month using the Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology.

In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN) is offering Gigabit broadband at the price of US$27 per month.

South Korea is also among the countries with the fastest broadband service, and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is currently working on plans to make Gigabit broadband available by the end of 2012 with FTTH.

Singapore is working on their Next Generation National Broadband Network, and OpenNet is going to offer Gigabit broadband at the price of S$15 per month per residential fibre connection.

With Gigabit broadband, watching High Definition IPTV is not a big deal, not to mention having very clear IP-phone service or excellent video conferencing quality.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the so-called high speed broadband UniFi offered by TM is only up to 20Mbps (50 times slower than Gigabit network), priced at RM249 per month, and currently only available in very limited areas only.

I think Gigabit broadband is a crucial infrastructure, and should be led and subsidized by the government instead of leaving it to the commercial company such as TM. Providing Gigabit FTTH at a low cost is a strategic move to boost broadband penetration in the country, which is also an important factor to retain and attract foreign investment to the country. The effect to the national economy is multifold, despite TM might not be willing to implement it because they'll lost money in the short term.

So, the government has to take the lead, and pump in money to make it happen. Instead of spending money on white elephant projects, why don't spend the money on crucial infrastructure project like Gigabit broadband?

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.