Meet my Virtual Friend – Mr. Nelson Wong

Mr. Nelson Wong and I connected on Ecademy, around the year 2004.  We haven’t yet spoken to each other or virtually or physically shaken hands.  We still consider each other as respected friends whose views we like to read and understand.  Ecademy was a great platform where I learnt “ Connections first – Business Later” and I later added – Business may or may not happen ever but we shall acquire a friend. And Indeed, Ecademy had a campaign called a Friend in Every City which was very popular.

When I requested, Nelson about my sort of inactive blog since 2004 which I had re-activated without any SEO or HTML, CSS knowledge and it was going to touch 100,000 views and I wish to interview and share 20 of my friends, colleagues, mentees, Mentors, Seniors – he readily agreed.

He also helped me with the editing of the interview as this is the first time I am doing these and I am grateful for his help for helping with this edition of the said interview.


So who is Mr. Nelson Wong?

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Mr. Nelson Wong was born in Singapore. He is married. By way of education, he did his BS in Computer Science & in Business Administration, both at the University at Albany, New York.  By profession he is a trade & data analyst in international trade & finance. He is also an e-Business owner of a start-up –

He has almost four decades of working experience in IT in the soft commodities, precious metals, oil & gas, accounting & forestry products sectors. He was also an external consultant & international trade analyst with the UNECE/FAO, Geneva, Switzerland, for 9 years.

His critique of current politics in USA is incisive, precise and very authentic.  I enjoy reading his posts on Facebook.



  1. What motivated you to become what you ARE today?


  1. Family background. Growing up in a lower income family motivated me to break out of that poverty cycle. A poverty cycle can become a self-feeding vicious cycle, if you don’t break out of it.
  2. This gave me the tools that I needed to move forward & ahead.
  3. They gave me the encouragement to become what I dare to be today.


  1. What is the greatest joy you get from what you do?


  1. Seeing what I do accomplished its purpose. Having a purpose in what I do is important to me. Otherwise, it’ll drain me instead of driving me.
  2. In almost everything that I do, I learned something new. This gives me joy too.
  3. The ability to share with others about what I’ve learned. Sometimes, knowledge is very much like manure. Keep it in one place & it benefits nobody. Spread it around & everybody gets a slice of the action.


  1. What do your fans mean to you?


  1. Not much. My focus has always been on the task at hand.
  2. While I’ve no problems working as a member of a team, I’ve always enjoyed working alone.
  3. While I appreciate having friends who will encourage me in what I do, I’m not too much into building a fan base. I don’t have a celebrity mindset.


  1. What are you working on next?


This is provided that I can actually call it a day anytime soon. I’ve always wanted to design a system in bringing water into dry or arid regions or areas undergoing droughts. Believe me, it’s a matter of time before some countries go to war over fresh drinking water. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” We’ve also seen the horrific effects of droughts around the world over the last few years due to climate change. The recent fires in California is a stark reminder that we need water & we need it fast. Climate change is real & it’s becoming deadly.


  1. Who are your favourite authors?


This is a very good question. I actually don’t have any favorite authors apart from JRR Tolkien. I’ve a collection of about 2,000 books in both hardcopy & softcopy versions. Many of them were written by a mixed bag of authors. I normally read what I need to read & learn something, from data science to programming & from photography to playing the bass guitar.


  1. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

One of the first was “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. I was a cub scout then & we were encouraged to read this book to understand the birth of the Boy Scouts movement. I’ve always loved animals & nature, so this story made me appreciate them even more.

  1. How do you discover the authors you read?

Usually through research & also through recommendations in technical papers & reviews, as well as in trade magazines. As I’ve said before, I’m skewed more towards subject matters than towards the authors themselves.

  1. What are your five favourite books, and why?


  1. The R Book by Michael J. Crawley – This is a favorite reference book of mine in R language programming. It’s almost like a Bible to me as I’ve been programming in R for only 2 years.
  2. Financial Risk Modelling & Portfolio Optimization with R by Bernhard Pfaff – This is a favorite reference book of mine in understanding financial data science from an R programmer’s prospective.
  3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien – I can hardly think of anyone whose writings that could challenge & stretch the human imagination just as much as JRR Tolkien’s.
  4. Music Theory for the Bass Player by Ariane Cap – A very helpful & enlightening book in merging music theory with fingering (finger aerobics) in a very logical & progressive fashion, for bass guitar players.
  5. Various books on photography & travels by the National Geographic Society. These books helped to broaden my mind & enlarge my vision. Very hard to read these books without their amazing photographs embedding themselves inside my mind, for almost a lifetime.


  1. What do you read for pleasure?


Reading & browsing through books on travels, nature, animals, photography & music.


  1. What is your e-reading device of choice?


It has to be my iPad mini. I’ve up to 100 of my favorite books in my iPad & at my age, it’s also much easier to read the news from my iPad than from my cell phone.


  1. What inspires you to get out of bed each day?


I think of it more as an ingrown self-discipline than an inspiration. I used to get up at 5:30am in the morning while growing up in SE Asia. Now that I’m working from home, I still get up at between 5:45am to 6:15am in the morning, even on weekends.


  1. When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?


Spending time with the family to create memories, listening to music, playing the bass guitar, going for nature walks, nature photography & catching up with friends in church on weekends. Apart from a good movie & watching the news, I’d avoid watching any TV at all. And of course, I still take my wife to the movies, romantic dinners & shopping every now & then.


  1. Do you have some work and rest related non-negotiable rules?


I spend up to 12 hours a day working on my eBusiness & my consultancy business. I’ll take a catnap after lunch if I can spare the time. Other than that, no work is to be done after 10pm & weekends. Weekends are for the wife. I take over the things she would have to do otherwise on weekends.


  1. Do you remember the first assignment you ever did?


Well, as a fresh computer science graduate, one of my first assignments was in data entry at an infamous investment bank in New York City in the early 80’s. I say “infamous” because this bank was liquidated & shut down later. And some of the bosses went to prison. No prizes for guessing here.


  1. What is your working process?


I tend to spend a lot of time on planning. I want to know if the task before me can be done within the time & with the resources I have in hand. I want to know what am I supposed to deliver. If there are constraints, I like to know where or what are the compromises that I’ve to make. I want to know what is the objective or purpose behind the task. I want to know who are all the stake-holders involved. So my working process is a bit like creating a mind map or running an ERP system inside my head.


  1. What is your unique Work Style?


  1. Always under promise & over deliver.
  2. Always document everything.
  3. Remember a good income is important but a good outcome is much more important.


  1. What is your approach and how do you Plan the Finishing touches to the work?


From the very onset, I’d try to visualize & imagine what the final deliverables would be like. From there, I’ll try to work backwards in streamlining the processes in factoring in the finishing touches. In working with any clients, I’d query them on their expectations & on what kind of deliverables or end results would they expect to see. If your clients cannot verbalize their expectations, you’ll end up working with a moving goal post.


  1. Please describe your desk.


A very respectable & decent organized mess, seriously.


  1. Where did you grow up, and did this influence your business, If Yes – How?


No. I grew up in SE Asia in the 70’s. In those days, I doubt anyone knew what a computer was, unless they were working in a bank or a major organization. To be fair, neither eBusiness nor big data existed anywhere back then. It was a girlfriend of a good friend of mine who introduced me to the world of computer science. She was doing her first year in computer science at Monash University then.


  1. When did you first started what you do?


Shortly after I got married in the mid-80’s. I realized that there was little financial security in working for somebody else. Worse, if I was working for a family business, which I did a few times. The lack of financial security & an absence of a career path in these companies awakened a deep desire within me to start my own business & put my nose to the grindstone. In striking out on my own as an entrepreneur in the early days were fraught with disappointments. There were many challenges. At one point, I decided that it was best to get a full-time job & worked on my business in the evenings & weekends, until I was really ready. Since then, I’ve been on my own for the last 10 years. It was quite a journey. I learned a lot.


Thank you, Mr. Nelson Wong.

Listverse: 10 Crimes committed using a Drone.


10 Crimes Committed Using A Drone


Drones have drastically changed the way we explore the skies and film breathtaking landscapes. As much as this revolutionary product changes our lives, however, it can pose a threat if it’s used for sinister purposes.

It’s disturbing to discover all the things that criminals can do with technology as advanced as this. With drones, they can exploit various kinds of privacy laws that aren’t as strict as they should be. This makes it easier for them to commit their devious acts of malevolence and get away with it.

Listverse – Daily Highlights

Sponsored by Connatix

10Filming A Cashpoint (ATM)

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Everyone knows that when you go to an ATM to withdraw money, you need to be aware of your surroundings so that nobody sees you entering your personal identification number (PIN). Banks have even installed privacy screens and dividers specifically for this reason. Back in August 2016, a drone could be seen filming people standing at an ATM in Templepatrick, Northern Ireland, and possibly recording the input of their PINs.[1]

Once someone noticed the offending drone sticking its camera in other people’s business, it flew away and ended up colliding with a nearby taxi. Although a male suspect was forced to pay the owner of the taxi for damages, the police were unable to prove that the video footage was taken with criminal intent.

9Drug Delivery To Ohio Prison

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Instead of trying to smuggle in drugs the conventional way, a prisoner’s buddies thought out of the box—as in outside of the prison yard. They strapped 7 grams (0.25 oz) of heroin, 57 grams (2 oz) of marijuana, and 142 grams (5 oz) of tobacco onto a drone and sent it flying over the walls of the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio.

Once the drone dropped the drugs for the intended prisoner, a fight broke out among the inmates. One of them grabbed the special delivery and threw it over the fence to another recreational yard.

Correctional officers managed to bring the fight under control with the use of pepper spray. They had to strip-search nearly 200 inmates to find the drugs, and the nine prisoners who were mainly involved in the fight were placed in solitary confinement.[2]

8Lethal Weapon Delivery To Oklahoma Prison

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Another group of criminals took note of the Ohio prison incident just mentioned and tried it for themselves. This time, they upped the ante by including a cell phone, hacksaw blades, drugs, and super glue.

They tied everything to the drone with a fishing line so that the contraband could simply be swiped from the drone. Unfortunately, the drone clipped the razor wire of the prison walls and crash-landed, leaving the savage inmates to fight over the forbidden materials until correctional officers were able to step in.[3]

The crashed drone was taken as evidence by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Its director, Robert Patton, applauded the quick action and diligence of the staff working at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, where the event took place.

It is unclear if anyone was ever successfully prosecuted for this incident. Charges were dropped against Marquis Gilkey in 2016, although they may be refiled later. Gilkey had been charged with attempting to bring contrabandinto a penal institution and related offenses.


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To catch a hacker, you have to think like one. Fran Brown and David Latimer, who work for security consulting firm Bishop Fox, developed a drone that can gain unauthorized access into various kinds of Wi-Fi networks. Dubbed the “Danger Drone,” it’s basically a Raspberry Pi computer loaded with hacking software and strapped to a kit-built drone body.[4]

The device has a 1.6-kilometer (1 mi) range using normal radio control, but it can be configured to receive its signals using cell towers. As an example, this drone can “rickroll” vulnerable Chromecast devices. It’s the equivalent of secretly changing the TV channel to mess around with someone watching.

Although the idea of a hacking drone is nothing new, this particular concept can change things significantly as it can make hackers more discreet and less at risk of getting caught.


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The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) managed to get their hands on hundreds of inexpensive, portable drones. These devices were used to slay and terrorize dozens of their enemies on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. When ISIS’s Mosul bastion was defeated in 2017, Iraqi forces found scores of drone factories.

ISIS manufactured two kinds of drones. One dropped a small explosive, and the other detonated itself once it came close to its target, which completely destroyed the drone as well as damaging or destroying the target.

Some drones that dropped explosives were also kitted out with a camera, taking footage of the chaos caused below. It wasn’t long before other militant groups started using drones as well. For example, Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa have already adopted this tactical approach but on a comparatively limited scale.[5]


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In June 2018, a drone was spotted hovering over a Cambridgeshire village for four consecutive days. A few days later, a home was raided. This led to suspicions that the drone was used to stake out potential homes to rob.[6]

The thieves knew exactly the best point of entry as they managed to break through a bathroom window and ransack the house. The police were unable to link the drone sightings with the burglary.

There’s been a surge in incidents like this, with police called out to investigate because of safety or security concerns. This excludes all the times they were called about drones being a nuisance and violent fights occurring between annoyed neighbors and drone enthusiasts.

4Flying Over Restricted Airspace

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In mid-2018, records revealed that airport pilots had reported almost 250 unregistered drones illegally flying around restricted airspace at airports the prior year. This poses a serious danger for large planes as drones can get sucked into the engine or crash through the cockpit windows, potentially injuring or killing pilots in the process.

Pilot Jeff Munford was enjoying his leisurely ride across the sky in his Cessna when a drone nearly hit him and his passengers. Traveling at those speeds, the drone would have easily caused severe injuries or even death.

According to a local police department, offenders flying their drones in restricted airspace cannot be prosecuted in any way unless they commit a local or state crime. This is because nobody is sure who regulates a restricted airspace and who exactly needs to take legal action.[7]

When the question was posed to the FAA, they simply said that they don’t impose criminal penalties. According to them, that was a question that local law enforcement could answer. It’s just an endless blame game. Meanwhile, drone enthusiasts keep doing what they love while potentially endangering the lives of the people around them.

3Obstructing An FBI Hostage Raid

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In 2017, an oddly impressive criminal tactic hit FBI agents trying to complete a hostage raid outside an unidentified US city. While the entire rescue team was set up in an elevated observation post to assess the unfolding situation beneath them, a whole swarm of drones approached and circled their position, essentially rendering the agents blind.

Not only did the criminals anticipate the FBI’s arrival, the cameras that were affixed to the drones were continuously streaming video of the agents via YouTube. Organized criminals have used drones to watch law enforcement and identify potential cooperating witnesses who visit police departments.

In Australia, drones are even used to aid illegal smuggling operations. The criminals stuff their shipment of drugs or other prohibited goods inside a shipping container. When a drone shows that port authority workers are getting too close to the container, the criminals call in a false alarm to divert security forces.[8]


In Utah, a couple got the fright of their lives in early 2017 when they noticed a drone hovering outside their bathroom window. John Henson was getting ready for work. When he got out of the shower, he noticed the whirring sounds of the drone outside the bathroom window.

When he opened the window to investigate, the drone flew off. He chased it until the drone landed in a church parking lot. Henson grabbed the device and called the police.

Officers found that the red lights on the drone had been taped shut so that it could fly unseen in the dark. They examined the footage on the camera, which was extremely disturbing. By peeping through windows, the drone had recorded the view inside several different houses, including one high-rise apartment’s bedroom.

Police were able to track down the owners of the drone because one of them had filmed himself in front of his truck with his license plates in clear view. Posting a message on Facebook for the criminals, the officers said that they had found the drone and knew who the perpetrators were.

The police added that the suspects could turn themselves in or the officers would come knocking on their door with a warrant for their arrests. Aaron Foote and Terisha Norviel turned themselves in shortly after, and each was charged with voyeurism.[9]

1Photo Of Sunbather Ends Up On Billboard

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In 2014, 50-year-old Mandy Lingard from Australia was utterly mortified to find her photo plastered onto a billboard without her consent. Normally, a situation like this would only result in a small lawsuit. However, she was photographed while sunbathing in nothing but a G-string, which caused embarrassment for her whole family.[10]

The photo was taken by a real estate agent’s drone. The agent uploaded the picture to the Internet, printed it in a real estate magazine, and slapped it onto a massive billboard. The billboard image was quickly taken down, but Lingard still felt violated.

Australia’s laws about filming people on their property are currently not as strict as they should be. Another woman from Darwin was filmed skinny-dipping in her pool in 2017.