Want bite-sized Bangladeshi news? Then two services are online at the mo:
If anyone knows anymore please let me know ( Rezwan?)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just published a league table of countries that are economically better off because of their adoption and use of modern IT. The WEF, if you recall, is that outfit which provides
junkets a forum for meaningful dialogue for t he world’s super rich A listers and political elite concerned entrepreneurs, individuals and policy makers in the Swiss ski resort “think-tank” town of Davos.
This kind of list is very difficult to compile and I suspect only marginally more useful to the world than my laundry list for my local dry-cleaning shop. But the good news is that Bangladesh is not at the bottom. No. Not by a long shot. Of the 127 countries surveyed Bangladesh comes in at 124. What a fine testament to the stewardship of our IT sector by the governments of Khaleda and Hasina. We are just pipped by India (ranked No 50 and ahead of us by only 74 countries).
Here look for yourself - Rankings pdf.
Want to save yourself a lot of grief? Avoid dial ups. Want to save money? Avoid dial ups. Want acceptable speeds? AVOID PROSHIKA, AVOID BOL-ONLINE. Want freedom? Avoid flippin dial ups.
Get yourself a data card ( pcmcia) or a usb card and connect at 2.5G to 3G speeds. Anywhere. In traffic jams. In your Dhanmondi or Gulshan flat why look out at ugly construction sites when you can surf the web? It is simply amazing and I don’t know why I havent subscribed before. Grameen does an EDGE version but if your PC is Vista, then you are scuppered (at least for now). However CityCell’s is compatible with XP and Vista ( and they have software for Mac too). Yes I know its a crying shame to use American cdma technology but life is about compromises.
â€œIf it looks like a fraud, sounds like a fraud and quacks like a fraud, it is a fraud.â€
That is what Paul Farelly MP had to say about the First Solutions matter in parliament. The story has finally been taken up by the mainstream press. There was a report on Channel 4 News the other day too. Money laundering has a “terror dimension” and so it is surprising it has taken so long for editors to pick up this story.
Justice for Sheika Hasina (sic) and Bangladesh Petition
Anyway, I was not suprised to find the petition signed by “Fred the vote stuffer” at no 65 ( at 0216 hours British time). That was preceded by Fred and Fred2. Come on AL, lets have a bit of finesse here.
Counterfeiting Luxury report
And how does one give one’s report the best chance of being picked up by the media? Link it to terror, stupid! So law firm Daventport Lyons ( these bloody lawyers….) have studied social attitudes to owning fake goods. And they say they have unearthed “a deeply concerning shift in consumer behaviour” because up to two thirds of people find it acceptable to have fake luxury goods (clothing, watches, bags). The purchase of fake goods apparently could fuel terrorism! Yes folks- bling fuels terror! And the magic word “terror,” I suspect, was enough for BBC online to publish the story So there you are, if you can’t afford the real thing, you must be supporting terrorism.
So here is the man himself - the grand old man of Bangladeshi blogging - Rezwan. We met at an airport, as we jet set bloggers do….I was flying in from Scotland. Rezwan was flying off to Berlin. What did we talk about? Web 2.0 products and social networking of course!
As my trip is again delayed for the usual reasons, I am coping with the tension by viewing photographs of Dhaka on Panoramio - a Spanish based site recently acquired by google.
Check it out HERE. Some lovely snaps there.
Panoramio is a community photos website that enables digital photographers to geo-locate, store and organize their photographs — and to view those photographs in Google Earth. Other users can search and browse Panoramio photos and suggest edits to the metadata associated with the photos. Panoramio also offers an API that enables web developers to embed Panoramio functionality into their websites. (blurb from Google blog)
So sign up and start geo-locating!
When I was in academia I used a fantastic program called Endnote to sort out my bibliography. Now I have discovered an equally fantastic web2 product called LibraryThing. I was forced to do this because “friends” come and borrow books and I never flippin see them again ( Daoud - this includes you). So I searched around, and goodness me this product took my breath away. I have just added 85 books on Bangladesh ( about half my bangladesh collection) in the last three hours to my online catalogue ( SEE HERE) . It is incredibly simple. Punch in the author or title and if you are searching in the right places ( amazon and the library of congress did it for me) you get your book and the details about it within seconds. Click on it and there it is added to your own catalogue. As a web 2 product it is of course a social thingy and you can see other usersÂ who have the same book etc ( if they have chosen not to be private). Incredible. It is an invaluable resource and only $25 for “lifetime” use. You can manually add books too - very useful for publications from bangladesh with dodgy isbns etc.
The embattled Bangladesh Election commission has a lot on its plate. There have been the constant calls for the resignation of Aziz, the appointment of a new secretary and there has been a policy u-turn etc etc. And so I thought I would check out their web site. It is not a great web site. Not terribly well updated. But what got me was the google adsense ads on the page. What kind of government agency cashes in on web advertising for goodness sake? And who is getting the money? And surely this is ultra vires? This outfit is NOT supposed to be making money.
I dug around. I found that the registrant of the domain bd-ec.org was a certain Mohammed Nazrul Islam of Winux Soft Ltd. And their web site is that of a web design company. So is this web design company cashing in on a government outfit? Did they get permission to do this? And if so, what are the financial arrangments?? Does Transparency International Bangladesh know about this?! The identical web site but without the ads (but again hosted by by Winux) is here. and this has the .gov.bd extention. Mr Islam even links to that site from the bd-ec.org index page. He keeps the ads on a page that is registered on the web but with no direct links from the bd-ec site (the page is election.php3). So it is possible that Mr Islam shows his clients one web site but maintains both on the web having registered both on search engines, and he derives profit from the page with the google ads. There really cannot be any innocent explanations. He has big shot organisations on his portfolio and this behaviour is more than reprehensible.
Z of DP wrote to the esteemed Mr Islam above threatening exposure at a greater level and Mr Islam gave, shall we say, a not terribly professional response. Anyhow, Mr Islam seems to have removed the pages and the ads now.
Ah yes, the BMF proudly proclaim on their main site that they have entered the “push button publishing” age with their new blog site. Only it is a third party application …..yes you guessed it, its google’s blogger service. Nevertheless the more info the better. I hope they keep it updated.
Hawa Bhaban ( PM’s son’s office in Banani) should also consider setting up a blog site. Politicians all over the planet are at it. Gives aloof politicians that human and accessible touch..a damn good election tactic I would say. Also guaranteed to generate huge numbers of hits… just think of the advertising potential …?
I am having lots of geeky fun trying out so-called Web 2.0 products. In my AJAX haze I would like to engage in a pointless exercise and bring to your attention some of the â€œbetaâ€ products which i have tried and â€œtagâ€ them with a few comments.
I guess Google had Â no choice but to capitulate in China?Â Question is - will they continue to resist the US administration and the demands for search records? Kind of internet racism no? Let the chinese users suffer but users in the US and the west will be defended….well, at least for the mo.
Bizarrely, this blog HERE points out that Google has also caved into German government requests to block a particularly extreme body piercing site. Yup strange world.