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Any Question?

Just yesterday my fellows bloggers/tweeters introduced me to an interesting site: FormSpring.me. Well, it’s a long holiday, so I gave it a try. Quite funny. Here in Indonesia we have a significant number of bloggers, tweeters, Facebook users, and other intensively-connected social networkers. I guess it will take only days for Indonesians to grab and use this service — cuz we have had the network! Finding friends etc is not a problem.

Here’s my account: FormSpring.me/Koen. If you know me personally, you would know that I always reluctant to answer personal questions. But with FormSpring.me, I feel it is obligatory to answer all questions. So far. Until I’m bored, I guess :). So, while I have no FAQ here, you may ask me questions there. You must signup, login, but you can make an anonymous questions then. I only accept questions from logged users just to avoid spams.

FormSpring.me itself is a new service provided by FormSpring. It is a service offering forms management for web sites.

A fellow, Wibi, said he was exploring the site. I asked if he found anything interesting. And he just gave me these links:

A question for social networking observers: will FormSpring.me last long enough?

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Palapa Ring

The current edition of E&T is again mentioning Indonesia. It is about the Palapa Ring: the fibre-optic development project for eastern part of Indonesia. Only three companies remain from the initial seven-member consortium awarded the contract to lay 11,000 km of optical-fibre cables starting at Manado through to Ternate, Ambon, Kendari and Makassar. Telkom Indonesia (NYSE:TLK) is leading by investing US$90m, while lesser companies Indosat (NYSE:IIT) and Bakrie Telecom are putting in $30m each. Four other companies pulled out from the consortium due to lack of funds: Excelcomindo Pratama, Powertek Utama, Macca System and Infokom Elektrindo.

The construction should be completed in early 2011, providing over 70,000 villages with access to telecommunications services.

The initial plan for the project, to cost a massive $1.6bn, was to have the Palapa Ring project as the backbone of a network connecting 33 provinces and 440 cities across Indonesia via an estimated 35,280km of undersea cable and 21,807km of fibre-optic cable. It was to involve the construction of seven rings connecting Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua, with an eighth to connect them all. But financing has been a major issue. The project was first initiated in 1997 but on a smaller scale, then shelved due to the Asian financial crisis, which crippled Indonesia.

Telecommunications penetration in Indonesia currently stands at only 21.3 per cent with fixed line a mere 5.86 per cent. Inadequate backbone infrastructure has been widely regarded as crippling the country’s telecom sector. Many parts of Indonesia currently do not have access to basic communication and those that are connected have some of the world’s highest leased line and Internet prices.

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Nielsen's Fifth Symphony

A couple years ago (it looks like just yesterday), I attended a performance of Nielsen Symphony #5 by Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Warwick Art Centre. Only a couple months ago I found the CD of symphony, and only a couple hours ago I had the time to fully listen to it with no distraction, on a short flight from Yogyakarta to Jakarta. I cannot not exactly describe what I felt, but I guess it was a sensation even Nielsen had not imagined.

Last night I worked in the front of a mirror. Facing my own face, I realised that I was carrying the me I was not really familiar with: another me with awkward ways to express his ideas and feelings. Funny that I could see it, yet without having idea whether it should be overcome, on only to be laughed at. I chose the second. But when entering the plane, I figured that since this is not the real me (you know what I mean), why don’t I create simply create another me. It should be as simple as instantiating a class into an object :D. So I chose not to listen to Wagner or Beethoven; and there came Nielsen ;).

You could read my Indonesian blog or the wiki page discussing the symphony. But I must tell you: it is sensational to listen to it while viewing the sky-wide white clouds among the scarce blue sky. The annoying percussion, the cloud, the misplaced consistent motif of the clarinet, the bluish violet sky, the rich variety of dancing strings, the scarce green land below, the annoying pain inside my head, and I see the soul, of human, of the universe, its history, its law, its mathematic formulas, its perceived causality. Then I realised: I could not create another me. I found the old me that I have so far no time to see and to talk to.

For some obvious reasons, Nielsen would not be as famous as Beethoven or Wagner, or even Debussy or Stravinsky. And I know tomorrow I will listen to Wagner or Stravinsky like a maniac, and I will work like crazy so I will be blind again :). But today I want to (like a grammy awardee) express my deep gratitude 🙂 to Nielsen. Even only for a couple minutes, the symphony had filtered the thick clouds inside my mind, so I could see myself.

Here’s an excerpt of the first movement. Play it only if you have enough time and patience. And, sorry, an excerpt surely cannot replace the complete symphony 😉

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