Tag: internet

ICT Future: Lets Start with Participation in Thailand

Often young people are the first to take advantage of information and communication technologies. I see this in developing countries within the region, a prevalent desire for continuous content consumption, be it via sharing on social media, engaging on the internet, advocacy with mass dissemination and, or simply for one’s private entertainment. Traditional sense of socializing, at least during the “old days” of my youth, have been aggressively challenged and even in this day and age of modernization, we still see the present socialization challenged by young people and by people of my generation.

New technology is not only bringing about the uniformed culture of information. There has been frequent outbreaks of anti-conformism to this culture, bordering on the right to internet freedom to socio-political self-awareness of ideas and propagandas. Such culture is visible in almost every corner of the youth community, where experimentation, tentative prodding and the curiosity swells.

Though often, such in Thailand, this behaviour of internet autonomy is discouraged by the cultural conservatives, right-wings and the authorities. Some groups, traditionalists fearing a backlash to their lives or to their sense of “order” and make it a point to exclude young people in decision-making process, such as in consultation for the country’s national internet-related policies.

I’ve noticed, such exclusion takes place when authorities demand for development (in this case, a so-called “reform”) of national strategies with the secret introduction of a new set of laws, governed by a rebranded government strong-arm, called “Ministry of Digital Economy“. Though in truth, its a far-removed agency with politically motivated individuals championing its conception. I worry about the digital divide, in itself caused by the junta-inspired groups of decision-makers, with unsolved social inequality, marginalization and that obvious institutional desire to ensure conformity.

So let’s start with basic questions, by facilitating the brain juices of young people:

Are there government programs and policies that specifically address the right of participation of not just young people but also the masses into consultation in drafting laws that affect ICT? If so, what areas of focus?

Are there government-related programs to empower young people to be part of the growth of ICT in Thailand? What about NGO programs? Is the private sector involved, and what about individuals?

Have young people or youth organizations been involved with the present planning of the proposed laws? And what about the evaluation of the future impact of such laws on them?

Without their active participation in decision-making and problem-solving, and without taking into account of their concerns on censorship, surveillance and other internet regulations, the government will surely place young Thais on the wrong side of the digital divide.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Cracking My Head With ShopCrackBerry

I ordered, paid for a case via ShopCrackBerry. The site is supposedly the place for all BlackBerry mobiles and accessories. The cost of the “custom BlackBerry Passport skin case” didn’t bother me, though the USPS courier (US$47.95) did.

Priority Mail Express International, that’s what its called, and despite the hefty price-tag, I decided to burden the cost as I wanted the case to arrive in Thailand as swiftly as possible. I figured the only problem faced would be delays on the Thai Customs.

But then again, ShopCrackBerry tells me after days after the failure for timely delivery, that the stipulated time was merely an estimate. I’m expected to be patient, despite the delays and that horrid thought of not knowing what else I (they) could do. So what now? I’m left at the mercy of a foreign courier system that seems to take forever to reach Bangkok and curious why after paying so much that the package is still in the US. So how long will it be in the US?

And I’m not happy with ShopCrackBerry either, after all its my first time ordering online from them and the obvious delay is causing me to be edgy, and terrible anxious.

USPS Product Tracking Information - that doesn't seem to explain the delay
USPS Product Tracking Information – that doesn’t seem to explain the delay, and when the product would arrive.

Lesson learned:

  1. Keep on pushing ShopCrackBerry for answers, namely what’s happening with the delivery and when will it safely reach the destination.
  2. Avoid using USPS.
  3. Just maybe, this will be my first and last time that I shop via ShopCrackBerry. After all its, not worth the headache.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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GrabTaxi’s ‘Speed, Safety and Certainty’ Approach in Thailand

The state of public transportation in Bangkok is often tarnished by the unavoidable presence of drivers who either would take a passenger to where its convenient for the person steering the vehicle or when the taxi meter is not used. Welcome to the troubling state of affairs of not only Bangkok but other cities in SouthEast Asia.

What started in Malaysia, has spawned to other countries in the region, as their enterprise model cleverly supplements the urban transportation industry, a synergy of internet, gadgetry and travel.

During a “Meet and Greet Wei Zhu” event in Bangkok, GrabTaxi’s chief technology officer outlined the fundamentals of the growing company, which relies on their app to efficiently link passengers with their taxis.

Wei Zhu
Wei Zhu

Wei Zhu gives an impression of safety, of travel monitoring via the app, and that one is able to get around without the hassle of negotiating with the driver to use the meter. GrabTaxi takes pride in their selling points of “Speed, Safety and Certainty“.

Though its obvious while user-friendly technology and effective supervision makes the service attractive, there are no guarantees that you may not end up with a moody driver who may just make your trip unbearable. However the plus point on the service, since the taxi is registered with GrabTaxi, is that lodging a complaint would be easier.

There’s also the 25-baht booking fee, on top of the metered fare, that one has to pay the moment you reach your destination. I don’t mind, depending on how far I go, transportation (when using the meter) via taxi is usually affordable, unless one gets caught in Bangkok’s notorious traffic.

The GrabTaxi app on my BlackBerry Passport looks amazing, compared to a tight, poorly aligned visual when one uses the BB Q10 or of a lesser OS. Its available in BlackBerry World, a free download. I recommend this app for those travelling in Bangkok and especially in Malaysia.

If you’re planning to travel in the city, check it out, download and then use it.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BBM Channels, However Not a Twitter Replacement

For months, I’ve been toying with the BBM Channels, which one can access via the BlackBerry Messenger. Its not half bad, the ease of uploading images and writing (e.g. add post) whatever comes to mind, well with a 400-character limit. A micro-blog of some sort, its actually quite fun.

I created a “Thailand” channel with photos of my travel, news and opinions.

All you need is a BBM app in your smartphone, and you’re off into another realm. I don’t see this replacing Twitter, nor would I categorize this as in the same league with it. With my BB Passport and the wide screen, the interaction, data input/output gives it a different but enjoyable experience.

Menu Snapshot of "Thailand"

Simple to use.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BlackBerry Prepaid Packages from TrueMove, AIS, TuneTalk and Celcom

I travel often to Thailand, and depend a lot on my BlackBerry for internet and communication. In the land of smiles and armed with my BB Bold 9790, I have tried the local telcos, for prepaid BB packages from Dtac, AIS and True. While as in Malaysia, I’ve tried TuneTalk, Maxis, Digi and Celcom. Huge difference to the pricing of the packages and the service.

Let’s start (click on the images) with…

MALAYSIA

I’m inclined to stick with Celcom at this rate, solely for the internet volume and naturally the features. TuneTalk is great when it comes to customer service (though at times they get confusing via call), though most of the time with far better responses than Celcom.

THAILAND

I’m never going back to TrueMove. Quite a horrid experience, since 2011. I recommend AIS, and if you’re a foreigner in Thailand, best to speak to a customer service officer who understands English, patient and professional. I have no problems with their service whether in the AIS stores and the call centre. Problem with Thailand: BB is unpopular and dead.

AIS, along with other Thai telcos, offer expensive BB prepaid packages. There are questionable moments of whether Thailand’s 3G coverage is actually working or simply an illusion. Don’t hold your breath.

As for Malaysia telcos, the main problem is the lack of efficiency in their customer service. Many personnel do not seem to have the right training in managing the customer, or maybe its the “tidak apa” (loosely translated, “Hey Mister, I don’t give a shit”) behaviour of those answering the calls and those manning the booths/stores. Epic fail on Malaysian courtesy.

Oh well…

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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My first time connect the internet in 1994

Moui

I'm not Geek, just a Thai internet addicted gal. Love to be surrounded by good heart people. Follow me on twitter : @moui or Facebook : PoomjitS

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25th.TH Anniversary

อินเทอร์เน็ตไทย ผ่านร้อนผ่านหนาวมาเยอะ ผ่านพ้นวัยเตาะแตะ วัยรุ่น มาสู่วัยทำงานแล้ว
จากวันที่ค่าเน็ต ชม.ละ 40 บาท ผ่านโมเด็มความเร็วต่ำๆ มาถึงวันนี้ 3G Unlimited ราคาต่ำกว่าพัน ใน 25 ปี

 

Moui

I'm not Geek, just a Thai internet addicted gal. Love to be surrounded by good heart people. Follow me on twitter : @moui or Facebook : PoomjitS

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the WORSE part of advocacy on social media [tools for change?]

For a long time, the streets and the social-media platforms are where advocacy lives and breathes. Gone were the old-school ways of sharing the passion face-to-face with another worthy ally or opponent, though now I do enjoy seeing (and reading) advocates pitting themselves against politicians, corporate captains and other advocates sitting on the opposite side. Nowadays Twitter is the radical-age of swift messages and propaganda. It is where a wannabe makes his career in advocacy, plying his wits and cunning against his rivals and foes as skillfully as a raging barbarian armed with a wooden spiked-club.

While his Twitter life depends upon his proficiency with the keyboard or smart phone, the repetition of shared news and views hang in the balance. How will messages such as those incite and provoke the minds of mankind? Even when (IF) society changes its perception of a particular social issue (such as access to clean drinking water or prevention of child abuse, as a human right) who is left on the ground to ensure the delivery of that basic right? People love to talk, gossip and lecture, but where are the grassroot workers for the community? Or are they fossils waiting to be buried.

An advocate’s primary focus is in spreading his views and news via social media to the masses or a group of concerned individuals, as frequently and as accurately as possible. Though this causes many ‘advocates’ to lead sheltered lives in the cities or in the comforts of their living rooms. How many advocates strike out into the real world to find the glory of advocacy and meeting the needs of the common folk in the slums or in the rainforests?

Twitter and other social media is adept at manipulating or bringing about the emotions of others. Why not use such facilities, and as we Malaysians say “turun padang” ~ go down to the field and help someone. Stop talking, start being part of the change from direct action.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand
This work by Moui is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand.
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