Wednesday, April 29, 2009

International Conference on Information ICI9

Open university Malaysia, in collaboration with Esterhazy Karoly College, Eger, Cadi Ayyad University Marrakech, Morocco and Delta Academy of Science, Egypt, will be organizing "The International Conference on Information (ICI9)" from 12-13 August 2009 at the Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Details are as follows:

Main Theme

Learning Innovations in Higher Education

Innovation has, and will always be, a key factor for the progress of humankind. Being innovative is vital for getting ahead, including in higher education. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is one such innovation that was borne to meet new global demands and break many barriers in higher education. With ODL and the technologies that come with it, learning can happen for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

This conference aims to bring together innovations and ideas in higher education unto one common platform. Innovators and practitioners will have a chance to share findings and experiences as well as explore the many technologies that have shaped, and will continue to influence, higher education and ODL.



With the advent of the World Wide Web, e-learning has truly taken off as a viable way of studying at a distance via electronic applications and processes. With the Internet at its very core, e-learning includes computer-based virtual learning environments that allow learning to happen through both synchronous and asynchronous modes. We welcome papers that discuss and illustrate the challenges and innovations that make e-learning such an integral part of today’s higher education.


Higher education is no longer just a concern for school-leavers. Many working people today continue to seek higher education as a means for self-improvement and career development. Open learning, a subset of distance education, offers the flexibility required by such individuals through various choices in admission, curricula, time, space and resources. We welcome researchers and practitioners of open learning to share their experiences by submitting papers under this sub-theme.


Mobile devices such as cell phones and MP3 players are some of the most ubiquitous technologies available in the world today. Mobile learning (mLearning) thus leverages on mobile devices to motivate and engage learners, especially those studying through ODL. Information can be relayed and stored in mobile devices, making learning a portable and flexible experience. We invite presenters to share approaches and innovations, ideas and developments, which outline this exciting new form of learning.


Since the birth of personal computers, the technology boom has moved at lightning speed with new devices and tools being introduced all the time. These technologies can considerably impact teaching and learning by providing new ways to teach, learn, research and share. We welcome all papers that address these new technologies, their implementation as well as issues, in a higher education setting.


Assessment is a focal part of education. In higher education, both formative and summative assessments contribute to measuring how much one has learned in an academic programme. We are interested in papers that reflect the types, methods, challenges, technologies and tools that can be applied for a practical and effective assessment system in higher education, and especially ODL.

Important Dates:

Deadline for Abstracts: 15 May 2009
Notification of Acceptance Abstracts: 1 June 2009
Deadline for Full Paper Submission: 15 July 2009
Conference Registration: 30 July 2009
Conference: 12 & 13 August

For further details, kindly visit:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Najib announces his cabinet

Apr 9, 09 2:59pm

Prime Minister Najib Abddul Razak today announced his much awaited cabinet.

His press conference to make the announcement started at 3pm. He is flanked by Muhyiddin Yassin.

The cabinet reflects the government's aim to focus of people-first paradigm, Najib said, adding that there would be 28 ministers and 40 deputy ministers.

He said two ministries have been merged and one new ministry formed. A separate portfolio has also been created to oversee unity under the PM's department.

He also said that he would personally look into the performance of each minister every six months.


Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Deputy PM and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department:

Unity: Dr Koh Tsu Koon
Law and Parliament: Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Religious Affairs: Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharum
Economic Planning Unit: Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop


Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Deputies: Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein


Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Deputies: Datuk Wee Ka Seong, Datuk Puad Zarkashi


Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat Deputies: Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Robert Lau


Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Deputy:: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Information, Unity, Culture and Arts:

Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Deputies: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Heng Sai Kee

Energy, Green Tech & Water:

Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui Deputy: Noriah Kasnon

Plantation Industries and Commodities:

Tan Sri Bernard Dompok Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Rural and Regional Development:

Datuk Shafie Apdal Deputies: Datuk Hassan Malek, Datuk Joseph Entulu

Higher Education:

Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin Deputies: Dr Hou Kok Chung, Saifuddin Abdullah

International Trade and Industry:

Datuk Mustapa Mohamed Deputies: Datuk Muhkriz Mahathir, Datuk Jacob Dungau

Science, Tech and Innovation:

Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili Deputy: Fadillah Yusof

Natural Resources and Environment:

Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup


Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib

Agriculture and Agro-based industries:

Datuk Noh Omar Deputies: Johari Baharum, Rohani Abdul Karim


Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latif


Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng


Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai Deputy: Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shilin

Youth and Sports:

Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek Deputies: Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Wee Jeck Sing

Human Resource:

Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam Deputy: Datuk Maznah Mazlan

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs:

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Housing and Local Government:

Datuk Kong Cho Ha Deputy: Lajim Ukin

Women, Family and Community Development:

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil Deputy: Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun

Foreign Affairs:

Datuk Anifah Aman Deputies: Lee Chee Hong, A. Kohilan

Federal Territorry:

Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin Deputy: M. Saravanan

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

E-books open new chapter for LCD makers - Malaysian Insider

April 1, 2009

Author Stephen King holds up a pink Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader at a news conference in New York in this Feb 9 file photo. — Reuters pics

TAIPEI, April 1 — Ask C.T. Liu about future growth engines for his company, LCD maker AU Optronics, and he whips out his Kindle e-book in lieu of an answer.

Strong reception for the Kindle, the brainchild of web retailer Amazon, is attracting a growing number of developers looking to tap interest in devices that let consumers read newspapers, magazines and books in a digital form that updates wirelessly and saves paper.

Sony Corp has joined the paperless wave with its own e-readers, partnering with Google to offer public domain books that are no longer protected by copyright.

Other believers in the dawn of a paperless age include Taiwan’s Netronix, which is making similar models with touch screens, and Dutch Polymer Vision, set to soon introduce a pocket e-reader with rollable displays.

“We see it as a new industry,” said Liu, a senior vice-president at AU, the world’s No.3 LCD maker whose panels are part of Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Apple PCs, as well as Sony LCD TVs.

“It replaces paper, printing, publishing, text books, and so on,” said Liu, in charge of AU’s consumer display business.

The growing number of models could help to bring down prices and boost sales, making these portable readers the next breed of must-have gadgets.

The new Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader is held by a reporter at a news conference in New York in this Feb 9 file photo.

Weighing less than a typical paperback, e-books use a new generation of light, flexible and interactive display, or e-paper. Once the power is off, its images remain unchanged on the screen as it needs no added light source to read.

Because they require no backlighting like traditional LCDs, e-books consume far less power and are also much lighter. A typical Kindle can be read for days without recharging.

The bright future of e-books is particularly attractive to major LCD makers in Asia, including AU and hometown rival Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp, at a time when they are struggling with sluggish sales of PCs and flat-screen TVs.

AU, which booked a record loss in the October-December quarter, is branching out to the new display sector by buying a 21 per cent stake in e-paper specialist SiPix Imaging Inc.

THE END OF PAPER? Inc’s Kindles have proved a hit since their launch in 2007. Citigroup estimated the US online retailer sold a half-million Kindles in 2008, about one-third more than the number of iPods sold by Apple in its first year.

Some critics argue that e-books could become the victim of their own success if cellphone makers take notice and start to incorporate the newer LCD technology into their own models and include similar reading applications.

Other kinds of devices could also try to incorporate e-book-like applications.

“There will be more low-cost digital reading platforms coming out. Netbook PCs, for example, are much cheaper,” said Jeremy Huang, who tracks the e-book market for the Market Intelligence Centre, a private industry researcher in Taiwan.

Netbooks, low-cost mini-notebook computers, sell for as little as US$299 (RM1076), while a Kindle retails for US$359 and the latest model of the Sony Reader is priced at about US$349.

Market research firm iSuppli Corp forecasts global e-book display revenue will rise to US$291 million by 2012, representing an annual growth rate of 143 per cent from 2007. That is still much smaller than about US$72 billion for large LCDs last year.

To help drive the e-reader market, some analysts say book publishers could subsidise a low-cost e-reader, or even give one away, with a multi-year subscription, similar to how telecom operators subsidise cellphones in return for service contracts.

The use of e-paper displays in other devices, such as signs, could also help to build economies of scale, bringing down costs.

Supporters imagine a day when e-paper versions of portable newspaper and magazine readers might be rolled up or folded, and carried to the beach or read on the train by commuters.

The timing of e-readers seems particularly good as the ink-stained newspaper market is struggling and some papers are cutting their print editions due to the recession and as more people go online to get news for free.

In February, US-based Plastic Logic signed strategic deals with media partners, including the Financial Times, USA Today and Zinio, for its first e-readers to target business users. The devices boast a large display and weigh less than many printed magazines.

In South Korea, LG Display Co Ltd has been developing A4-size colour flexible e-paper among other potential products for the e-reader market.

“Screens will replace papers, that’s given. But I doubt whether e-books will make a sizeable market in the next two years,” said Park Hyun, an analyst at Prudential Investment & Securities.

“They are preparing for the new business, but it won’t mean much for their business or earnings until the market grows in size.” — Reuters