Sunday, August 30, 2009

List of Banned Publications in Malaysia

Just in time for Merdeka - here’s a list of banned publications in Malaysia which I culled from the Kementerian Dalam Negeri (Ministry of Home Affairs) website. This includes books, magazines, letters and even music. You can check it out for yourself at this link. KDN calls it the “Ileagal Publisher List”; note that they have misspelled “illegal”. Quite ironic.

Anyway, their website is very unuser-friendly, so I wrote a little program to scrape all the pages and dump them all into one neat Excel file. Plus, I’ve translated some of the terms from B.M., fixed the inconsistent date formats, and fixed most of the ALL-CAPS words.

This list is current as of Aug 31, 2009 and you can view the complete banlist here at the Zoho Viewer website; no special program is needed. You can also download the Excel file from there, if you want to slice-and-dice it in your favourite spreadsheet program or database program.

Thanks to Erna for reminding me about this list.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

List of diploma and degree mills

In the age of Google, when info is so easy to verify, you'd think jobseekers would avoid buying fake credentials from degree and diploma mills. It would also be a pretty bad idea to post your fake credentials online, or to provide them to the press.

Unfortunately, thousands of people still choose this risky shortcut, as reported by The Star:
Dodgy Degrees

One "university" which wasn't listed in the Sunday Star story is Washington International University, which is also a well-known diploma mill.

See the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization website, where WIU is clearly listed as a degree mill:

WIU is also listed on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's page of "Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas":

You'll also get an idea of other "colleges" to avoid by browsing the above links. Obtaining a real degree takes time, effort, and commitment. Don't let your company hire anyone with one of these "degrees," and if you have a colleague with one of these credentials, you should report them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Onion skewers pessimistic news stories

This wickedly funny "story" from The Onion is an excellent send-up of all the gloom-and-doom stories in the media.

Solitary Crow On Fence Post Portending Doom, Analysts Warn