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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How to ruin a great web application

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The Internet, needless to say, opens the world up in ways previously unimaginable. It has become the enabler for suppressed voices to be heard, as evidenced by the political developments right here in Malaysia over the past few years.

The development of web applications, too, has seen unprecedented growth. And there are several applications that have become indispensible for Walski, becoming either providers of interesting content, or tools to assist with his blogging.

Today, we look at two of these applications – and Project Petaling Street – both of which have pretty much sunk into the dark depths of Walski’s ocean of discontent. But their demise (as far as Walski is concerned) have happened for different reasons.

In the case of, it’s the sick symptom of big business greed (more about this later in the post).

About a year ago, Walski listed as one of his Fab Five websites, when he decided to play along with the meme thing. It does remain as a great web radio application, providing listeners to music they would otherwise not have heard of or encountered on their own.

But only great if you happen to reside in the US, UK or Germany. Because everyone else has now gotta fork out and subscribe to the site.

So, in a nutshell: Goodbye,… it was nice knowin’ ya.  
(why Walski’s pissed off, the other written-off site, and more, in the full post)

What really irks Walski is the discriminatory nature of the new subscription structure, based on geography. They had initially announced their intention via a blog posting on March 24. Not surprisingly, user feedback was negative. This prompted further explanation as to why. Radio has always been ad supported, which means we sell ads on the site to cover the cost of running the service and paying the music licensing fees. If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes on the site you’ll know that the community is international to the extreme – we are made up of people from practically every country in the world. is a better place for it.

However, we simply can’t be in every country where our radio service is available selling the ads we need to support the service. The Internet is global, and geographic restrictions seem unfair, but it’s a reality we are faced with every day when managing our music licensing partnerships.

(source: blog)

But Walski thinks the real reason is music big business greed. was acquired by entertainment conglomerate CBS in 2007 for US$ 280 million (via TechCrunch). Walski wasn’t aware of this until recently, when he changed his PC – which necessitated re-installing their player app – and noticed that something was awry.

One thing Walski knows about the entertainment conglomerates (being that he has friends in the industry) is that traditionally, they have been very much against music being available online, and never really did “get it” when it comes to music streaming. Walski reckons that this discriminatory move was a calculated one, being that the bulk of their subscribers are probably situated in US, UK and Germany. Imposing a blanket subscription would have been commercial suicide, as they would’ve seen subscribers dropping like flies. Hence, the next best thing, under the guise of “necessity” and licensing.

Well, suffice it to say that the player that has been on the sidebar of this blog will soon disappear. Walski also intends to delete his subscription to, and will do so very soon.

Boo-hoo… sob… sob… no more exposure to cool music on the Internet, right? Well, not quite. There is a rather happy-type ending to this portion of the post.

Technology blog Techie Buzz, not too long ago (end of March), in response to’s stupid move, posted 10 Free Alternative’s to’s Radio Service. Among them is the iLike platform, that Walski’s currently evaluating. Like, iLike has a Windows Media Player add-on that tracks what you play (also available for iTunes). Facebook users may already be familiar with iLike, which is where Walski first got acquainted with them. Walski will tell you more about iLike and the other apps once he’s had a chance to dick around with them some.

Moving along…

Another way to ruin a great application – ban users based on your own personal agenda, and then gloat about it as if it were some fantastic triumph. And the grand prize goes to Project Petaling Street, better known as PPS.

Recently, this well-known Malaysian blog aggregator was acquired by a company called VC-Tech Network, owned by none other than the bloggerhood’s “favorite” blogger, MENJ.

A couple or so weeks ago, Walski had already blogged about what MENJ did, banning a user purely for personal reasons, so we won’t repeat it here. MENJ even went as far as filing a police report against said blogger, Shadowfox, who has since left the bloggerhood, but not before leaving a parting shot (which gives you an idea of what the blood feud was about to begin with).

Not that the shenanigans of MENJ really bothered Walski that much, UNTIL the guy started to gloat about it. Which, too, was kinda okay. What is not okay, and is the main reason why Walski will not frequent PPS anymore, is that MENJ’s intention is to pursue Shadowfox and humiliate him publicly.

Now that ShadowFox ChickenFox is suddenly retreating and on the run, the next logical step for me to undertake is to trace this person, get his identity and most likely file a lawsuit against this person for defamation, libel and hate-incitement.

Towards this end, I am paying a visit to CyberSecurity Malaysia and enlist their help to find out the identity behind “ChickenFox”. Since this is already a police case, I am sure they will be most willing to extend their cooperation to my goodself and hopefully I will be able to get the full identity of “ChickenFox” very soon.

This is not a priority for me, but I am eager to nail “ChickenFox” and sue his arse to kingdom come. When I am finally through with this bastard, he will be shamed and humiliated publicly in such a way that he won’t be able to even beg for a living. This, I swear to do, as Allah SWT is my witness. “ChickenFox” messed with the wrong guy and he is going to get himself screwed further by MENJ, executive director of VCTech Network and owner of Project Petaling Street.

(source: Critical Thoughts)

Vindictiveness... thy name is MENJ. And yes, Walski agrees with the quoting of surah 17, verse 81 in his posting announcing the “victory”: And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish."

But it’s one thing if MENJ had a moral high horse to sit on – once upon a time, he too indulged in his fair share of hate-incitement. And insulted Walski’s mommy, by the way. Albeit indirectly.

Such spiteful vengeance, MENJ, is really unhealthy. It eats you up itsy-bitsy pieces at a time from the inside. But, who’s Walski to tell you to leave enough alone, right?  

And so, because of all this, Walski has made the decision to strike off Project Petaling Street once and for all in his book. Whether or not you care to join Walski in totally dissing PPS (read: boycott) is entirely up to you. He’s not calling for a concerted boycott (although others have – see here and here). It’s just that Walski felt incumbent upon himself to tell you folks the sort of character behind it, and why he’s personally decided to write off PPS. What you do with the information is entirely up to you.

But just like with, there are alternatives if you don’t wish to patronize PPS anymore, particularly if you’re a blogger wishing for exposure and an audience. Some of these Walski had already mentioned in an earlier post entitled “The new face of PPS”. Another one Walski found after that posting is

In fact, it’s much easier to use, compared to PPS, IF your blog can’t do automated pings – once you register, providing an RSS source, all that’s needed to update the aggregator with your new post, is to go to the site, login, and click a blog-ping update button, located at the sidebar, on the main page.

When it comes to the Internet, all good sites and applications have a specific shelf-life, for one reason or another. Walski’s clued you in on two, that for him, have had their useful shelf-life expired, as far as he’s concerned.