Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BitTorrent power is now a add on in Firefox - Fire Torrent

It seems that BitTorrent has now leaped a huge gap in how it can be used. This was achieved by Firefox extension Fire Torrent. Basically what this extension does is let anyone using Firefox 3.0 or greater start downloading torrents from any source.Just like you would download a normal file, with out the use of separate BitTorrent software like FrostWire etc.

This Firefox add on is still in its alpha stage but I predict it will become one of the most popular Firefox extensions ever if it lives up to expectations. At the moment in Alpha testing it is invites only. But when it is released to the general public BitTorrent is going to take off in a big way. Thanks mainly to the global market pentration of Firefox.

If I was a big movie studio or music lable I would be very worried about the potential of such an Add On like Fire Torrent. The potential for it to be used to download copyrighted material is huge and big movie studios and music lables will stand to lose heaps. On the local scene record labels like CHM should be worried about this Firefox extension because of its ability to be used to trade copyright material. You may think in the sceme of things this is not something for CHM to worry about. But when you think about how easy it is going to be to trade copyright music etc, you will change your mind. For example now people won't need to have thrid party software to share files e.g. LimeWire, FrostWire, etc (except Fire Torrent). It is going to make file sharing a hell of a lot easier.

Look out Papua New Guinean music labels this is a sleeping Giant.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kina Facility Rate up from 7% to 8%

According to the NBC website The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has increased its Kina Facility Rate from 7% to 8% for December 2008. Which means that the BPNG is trying to tighten its monetary policy stance. NBC also reports that domestic fuel prices has fallen like international trends, but the costs of food hasn't followed.

I am no economist but I was thinking if the BPNG wants to increase the amount of savings may be they should try from a different angle like giving people a tax incentive to contribute more money to their Superannuation funds. For example in other countries like Australia you are not taxed for contributing to Superannuation. Here in PNG you are taxed for contributing to Superannuation. Then you are taxed again when you withdraw your super so as normal in PNG you are in a lose lose situation where the only person that wins in the tax lady.

I put in the lady bit because the current CEO of the PNG IRC is a lady. Even though if you were to go to the IRC website you would find that it describes the IRC sturcture: 

"CEO of IRC is the Commissioner General. Below him"

It seems that Betty has forgottern to tell her IT Department that she is a female.

Laptops out sell desktops

According to The Australian the third quarter of 2008 marked the first time ever where there was more Laptops shipped then desktop computers. It stated that PC shipments increase by nearly 40 per cent then compared with the same period in 2007. This also marks the start of a new era for the Laptop because the laptop is no longer seen only as a tool for the business market, or a computer for the well off people in our society. The laptop is now a computer for everyone.

In the local Papua New Guinea computer market in recent times the amount of people purchasing laptops instead of desktop seems to be on a rise. This I think can be mainly attributed to the fact that the price of laptops has decreased with a stronger PNG Kina in recent months. The is also the added vibe that it is cool to have a laptop that also leads to consumers in Papua New Guinea wanting purchase a laptop instead of a desktop.

For example looking at the Daltron website you will see that the standard entery level Niulogic Discovery - XPH K1,790 (does not included the monitor) which is about the same price as HP Laptop that Daltron is advertising as well. The thing is the you don't have to buy a monitor for the laptop and the laptop comes with more hard disk space then the entery level Niulogic. So you can see why consumers are choosing to go for a more mobile computer a larger disk space then desktop. Why wouldn't you go for a laptop instead of a desktop? Taking into consideration that you just a normal computer user and not some IT Geek that wants to build their on box.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

NBC website is being updated again

Great to see that The National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is updating its website again. After not updating it for over 3 months. It is great site to provide short up to date news stories of what is taking place in Papua New Guinea. Technology wise 2008 marks an important year for NBC with it officially launching both its website and the National Television Service. Keep up the good work NBC and please continue to update the website on a regular basis instead of leaving it for months.

National Television Service arrives in Madang

According to the National Broadcasting Corporation of PNG's website Madang is now connected to the National Television Service. Madang was the 8th province in Papua New Guinea to receive the television signal from NBC. The next stop on the National Television roll out plan will be Vanimo. NBC has indicated that the broadcast time for next year will increase. Great news to hear that there will be more air time next year and more competition for EMTV. I believe that competition is good for consumers in Papua New Guinea and competition for EMTV is a step in the right direction.

As seen in the PNG airline industry prices have gone down since Airlines PNG has joined with Vrigin Pacific Blue to provide oversea services to Brisbane and the quality of service has improved, since now there in no longer a monopoly on the airline industry in PNG. But in order for it to be a truly level playing field the PNG government will need to stop providing government grants to Air Nuigini and let Air Nuigini stand on its on feet.

Competition in Papua New Guinea is good for all Wantoks.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A photo of Change

This photo sums up how times are changing:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Wantoks

Wishing all my Wantoks in Papua New Guinea and around the world a Merry Christmas. Hope that Father Christmas was kind to you this year. But at times like this, it is also a time for self reflection and even if Father Christmas did not bring you anything. I for one am thankful that I am more fortunate then other people in this world. To be able to spend this time with my family and loved ones. Is a blessing in itself.

In Port Moresby you see people everyday struggling to make a living, with the prices of goods and services going up and up. For example every Saturday there is a old lady well in to her 60's that walks the streets in my neighborhood, checking the rubbish on rubbish bin day to collect tin cans and plastic bottles to sell to recyclers. I use to get frustrated about the old lady going through my rubbish on the side of the road. But then with a bit of self reflection I was thinking how luck I am that this is not me that has to sort through other peoples rubbish and waste to make enough money to live for today.

Basically what I guess I am trying to say here is Merry Christmas to you all, but spare a thought or say a prayer for those less fortunate then you are.

Free IBM open source office suite - Lotus Symphony

IBM Lotus Symphony is a freeware open source office suite which is based on the OpenOffice project. IBM Lotus Symphony offers three products Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. So Wantoks basically it is offering you a free alternative to Microsoft's Word, Excel, and Power Point. Lotus Symphony is a large download for the Wantoks that use dial up at 200MB. So you might want to consider requesting for a Free CD. All in all it is another good freeware product that can save you a few kina, instead of you having to buy Microsoft Office.

ANZ ATM at Holiday Inn Port Moresby

In Port Moresby today it was a mad rush for the banks and everything else, as all of Papua New Guinea is gearing up for Christmas day and the four day long weekend. In order to avoid the long lines of people lining up to use ANZ ATM's at the ANZ branches around Port Moresby. I decided to go to the Holiday Inn to use the ANZ ATM machine there. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the ANZ ATM machine at Holiday Inn Port Moresby is a state of the art machine where you can process your transactions in a number of different languages. Not only does it do that it also allows you to withdraw cash in Australian Dollars as well as PNG Kina. Great work ANZ.

The tip here is Wantoks if all you need to do is withdraw money from an ATM, instead of lining up, try going to one of the major hotels around town e.g. Holiday Inn, etc and use the ATM's there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

XP given another life line

Great news for all those Windows XP loving wantoks out there. According to the BBC Microsoft has put in place a scheme that is going to allow hardware firms to obtain XP licenses until 30th May 2009. Microsoft has also extended XP's life previously until 2010 provided it is installed on netbooks and low-cost laptops. Originally XP was due to kick the bucket on the 30th January 2008. But I suspect due to consumers reacting poorly to the release of Vista, this is the reason why XP has being given a life line.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Software to hide data from prying eyes - HideMe

Recently my nephew came to me to seek some advice about how he could protect or hide his diary that he keeps on a shared computer with his sister. The solution I suggested to him was to use HideMe. HideMe is a freeware application that you can use to hide files in a picture. The data is hidden in the picture and can be extracted with 7Zip or any other Zip-Program like Winzip, etc. To the unsuspecting eye all it looks like is another picture, which in acutal fact it is not. Great little piece of software to hide sensitive data or if you just want to act like a sceret agent.

With the rate that laptops, etc are stolen in Papua New Guinea this may be an easy option to protect sensitive data in the event that you laptop is stolen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Credit & Data Bureau company starts up

Credit & Data Bureau (CDB) is a new company that is being launched in Papua New Guinea to store information about Papua New Guinean's and anyone else that borrows money from financial institutions in Papua New Guinea that are customers of this company. The company has a number of different shareholders that include the three main commercial banks in Papua New Guinea (BSP, ANZ, & Westpac), they also have a number of foreign shareholders.

According to the CDB's website their principal business is the operation of a Credit Bureau database, where CBS's clients can access the credit history and identify details of their customers. CDB states that they supply their customers with information from their customers and also their public records.

So what this basically means is that CDB is going to host a online database that sits on a server overseas and is run by a foreign company in a foreign land. Now this company is going to be trusted to hold all the important data information and personal details of Papua New Guinean's. I don't like the idea of a foreign company in a foreign land being in charge of Papua New Guinean's personal data and information.

The other interesting point that came to light is that only a select few financial institutions in Papua New Guinea are shareholders. The rest have not being invited to become shareholders. Yet CDB's is expecting financial institutions that join to give their bad debts data over to CDB's for free. If I was a CEO, Lending Manager, etc for a financial institution in Papua New Guinea. I would not give this data over to CDB for free. The financial gain that CDB stands to make from this is huge. For example to become a client/member of CDB costs K20,000. Then you have licencing fee that you have to pay every year which is another couple of thousand kina. On top of that you have to pay a fee for every search that you make. Which depending on the volume of searches that you make starts at K8. So you can see already that CDB is going to be a cash cow. So why not sell you data to CDB instead of giving it to them for free.

Papua New Guinean's and foreigners who have bad debts a like should be very worried. Because the good thing about CDB is it is going to prevent these people from getting loans from a number of different financial institutions. But there also can be some problems like all systems where there is cases of mistaken identity and people who are good at paying their debts are put on the system as having a bad debt.

I think the concept behind CDB is great. It is working in Fiji where this companies sister company has being run for the last six years. But I feel that all financial institutions in Papua New Guinea should be allowed to become shareholders. At the moment CDB seems to be credit data beureau that it run by a number foreigners in Papua New Guinea. They do have a very respectable long time resident of Papua New Guinea as being their Managing Director (Retired Principal of Ela Murry International School). But it still does not change the fact that this is company that is going to hold Papua New Guinean's financial data and is owned and run by people from overseas. I for one would like to see more Papua New Guinea shareholders in such a Bureau or better yet the Papua New Guinea Government should create its own credit bureau.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Serious money to be made from cyber crime

According to Spencer Kelly from the Click on the BBC hacking is big business in Russia and other countries in the Eastern Europe. He stated that organised crime gangs are operating profitable scams that involve programmers writing malicious software and viruses. According to a Russian hacker you may create a great virus, but that doesn't make you a fortune on its own. But if someone could buy it for a couple of hundred dollars. Then convert the infected traffic into cash your earnings would soar. The hacker stated that hackers achieved this by manipulating browser homepages and changing search results to get users to click on their sites and sign up for services.

These days Hackers advertise and sell their products in chat rooms and web forums etc. A keylogger that records passwords as they are typed sells on average for about US$23 around about K60 (if the exchange rate is around about 0.39 like today's interest rate).

The scary thing is any person who has access to the web could purchase these tools, and with a bit of tech knowledge could create a major crime spree. This got me thinking are big banks like the Bank of South Pacific Ltd (BSP) doing enough to protect against cyber crime. For example should BSP have a duty of care to advise all of its customers that are getting the new BSP Visa Debt cards, how they can protect against cyber crime if they are using their BSP Visa Debt cards online. I certainly think so that banks like BSP have a duty of care. The use of Visa Debt cards with a major bank like BSP in Papua New Guinea is a new concept in PNG. So there should be some protection provided by the vendor to help the inexperienced online shoppers, by protection I mean an online shopping awareness campaign. For example for someone to put you into serious financial problems all they need off you is four basic pieces of information e.g. name, address, debit/credit card number, and the pin on the back of your credit card.

So this leads me to the next question that came to mind. Is cyber crime in Papua New Guinea going to increase now that a large number of Papua New Guinea's have access to debt cards that can be used online? I really think that it will, because at the moment Papua New Guinean's aren't tech savy enough to protect themselves against cyber crime. For example a well educated reporter friend of mine came to me a few weeks ago telling me how they had just won some lottery overseas and if I could check the email address for them before he was about to send of all of his personal details to these con artist that had sent him the email. So I guess what I am really trying to say is we need some good basic rules of thumb to follow, to prevent Papua New Guinean's from getting conned. Here are some tips to prevent a con:

  • If it seems to good to be true it probably is.
  • Don't give out your debt card/credit card details even if someone calls up and says they are from your bank
  • Don't read unsolicated emails from people that you don't know
  • Make sure if you are shopping online that the website is a secure website e.g. look in the browser window where the address is and check if it is "https" at the front
  • If you use a debt card to shop online only have the amount that you need to do the purchase in the card or have low credit card limit
  • If you get an email from some lottery company that you don't know and have never played it is a scam delete it straight away
  • Don't email your personal details to people that you don't know
Wantoks we already have enough con artist in Papua New Guinea but once Cyber crime hits it is going to be sad day indeed. Part of the reason being is that currently not enough is being done to prevent against it, and PNG's police force are not equiped for it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Google releases list of 10 fastest rising queries for 2008

With 2008 fast drawing to a close Google has released its Zeitgeist list, the tool which shows what internet users are searching for. The top 10 fastest rising global queries for 2008 are:
  • Sarah Palin
  • Beijing 2008
  • Facebook login
  • Tuenti
  • Heath Ledger
  • Obama
  • Nasza Klasa
  • Wer Kennt Wen
  • Euro 2008
  • Jonas Brothers
Unfortunately there was no country specific information on this Zeitgeist list about Papua New Guinea, may be next year?

Australian ISP's rebuff filtering plan

The Australian governments plans to filter internet use have being rebuffed by Australian ISP's (Internet Server Providers). According to the BBC Telstra, which is the largest ISP in Australia has stated that it will not be joining trials for filtering. Which this blog spoke about in an earlier post regarding the planned filtering of Australian internet traffic. The initial trails of the filtering technology was due to take place before christmas. But with major ISP like Telstra going against it, this may be just the spanner in the works that the general public has being hoping for.

On the opposite side of the fence Optus has stated that it is going to take part in the trial in early 2009, but they said that they would only apply the filters to block access to 1300 sites hosting illegal content. This brings up the question of who is going to deem the sites that Optus is blocking as illegal, and what type of guideliness are going to be used to determine what is illegal and offensive. By doing such a thing is just going to open up a whole grey area of what should be blocked and what should not be blocked. Again it raises the question of who is to determine what items are on the blacklist that the Rudd government is keeping secret from the general public.

Optus has also stated that it would not block access to the 10,000 sites that the Rudd government is demading. Nor will will Optus impose the second tier of filtering that blocks sites deemed to be unsuitable for childern. It seems what Optus is really saying here is that they are going to use this filter on their terms  to block what they fill needs to be blocked. On the other hand they are not going to block other items that they deem to be ok. So basically Optus is sitting on the fence and only taking the bits that Optus likes.

At the end of the day it is great to see that Telstra is taking a stance against the filtering of the Internet. Once the Internet starts to be filtered you lose your right to the freedom of information. This leads me to the question does Rudd what to filter the internet like how Internet filtering is done in China?

Promotion of artist by Frostwire P2P client

You hear a lot of bad publicity about P2P software like FrostWire, Limewire, etc, helping to increase piracy. FrostWire is now being used as a great tool to help promote undiscovered singers/bands. FrostWire is doing this through their new client welcome screen, which offers users the option to download tracks for undiscovered singers.bands. Currently FrostWire is offering tracks from Ray Styles for download via BitTorrent. FrostWire also allows the streaming of the version, which means that the music can be sampled without even using the torroent. May be even undiscovered Papua New Guinean singers/bands my be able to promote their music via FrostWire one day.

10 Most Pirated Movies of 2008

The 10 most Pirated Movies of 2008 according to Torrentfreak are:
  1. The Dark Knight - 7,030,000 downloads
  2. The Incredible Hulk - 5,840,000 downloads
  3. The Bank Job - 5,410,000 downloads
  4. You Don't Mess With The Zohan - 5,280,000 downloads
  5. National Treasure: Book of Secrets - 5,280,000 downloads
  6. Juno - 5,190,000 downloads
  7. Tropic Thunder - 4,900,000 downloads
  8. I Am Legend - 4,870,000 downloads
  9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - 4,400,000 downloads
  10. Horton Hears a Who! - 4,360,000 downloads
It would be interesting to find out of the amount of Pirated Movies that were downloaded in Papua New Guinean.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prosthetic arm fitted to bone

In a medical breakthrough according to the BBC Kira Mason a victim of the London bombings (7 July 2005) has had a prosthetic arm fitted to her bone and skin. According to the BBC surgeons were able to fuse a metal pin with her skin tissue and a battery pack that will help ensure that Kira is able to clench her fist and flex her muscles. It is said that getting muscle and skin to grow onto the metal is a revolutionary technique. Surgeons were inspired by the way deer antlers fused to skin which lead to the breakthrough. According to surgeon Steve Cannon

"The wonderful technology in Kira is the ability to put a piece of metal inside the body, then put it outside and stop it from becoming infected, and also allow the piece of metal to incorporate into the bone."

SnapAsk - information retrieval service

SnapAsk is a great service that helps you retrieve information from the web by using simple email commands.

All you have to do is send a blank email to Ask@SnapAsk.com with the request in the subject line of the email and you will have the required information with in a few minutes. You receive the required information. So all my Papua New Guinean wantoks out there that have a slow internet connection and are worried about the time it takes to research a particular topic. Do fear because now help is here with SnapAsk it does the research for you. Great for Papua New Guinean primary and high school students that need a bit of extra help researching an assignment. But because it makes it so easy, that it may take away some of the learning process of learning how to research.

You can use SnapAsk to read Wikipedia articles, get stock quotes, get the latest news from Yahoo, etc. Just by learning to use a few of the commands from SnapAsk. Great tool to help you with basic research.

According to the SnapAsk website:

SnapAsk is a way to get information using e-mail. It's simple:
  1. Add Ask@SnapAsk.com to your cell phone or Blackberry's address book.
  2. When you have a question, e-mail Ask@SnapAsk.com with a command in the subject line (body of the e-mail can be blank)
  3. In less than 30 seconds, you'll receive an e-mail with the information!
Use the following commands by e-mailing Ask@SnapAsk.com with the request in the subject line.

What do you want to ask?Example
flight statusflight continental 14
traffictraffic los angeles, ca
weatherweather dallas, tx
dictionarydefine scrupulous
local timetime moscow
stock quotequote msft
latest newsnews iraq war
Wikipedia entrywiki cell phones (great for random trivia/bar bets!)
movie showtimesshowtimes bee movie seattle, wa
yellow pageslocal dragon bar in san francisco, ca
local pizza near van ness and clay, san francisco, ca
lyrics to find the name of a songlyrics "how to save a life" "where did I go wrong"
slang term definitionsurbandictionary crunk
sports scoresncaab (men's basketball)

SnapAsk is great for those who have e-mail access on the go (via cell phone, Blackberry, Treo, Sidekick, etc.). No need to browse or search the web over a slow connection. Get information the way you're familiar with - through e-mail.

Skype 4 beta 3 release - Windows only

All the Wantoks out there who use Skype will be pleased to know that Skype has released Skype 4 beta 3. It looks lots and feels very much like Skype 4 beta 2. But it does included a few new features:

  • Bandwidth manger - used to improve call quality
  • Full history feature which allows you to serach and browse past conversations and calls
  • Abuse reporting feature that allows you to report users you block to Skype
  • Microsoft Outlook contacts support
  • Call quality feedback area

Friday, December 12, 2008

Open++ add items to your right click menu

Open++ is free software that lets you add a new sub menu to your right click context menu. It has advanced options for adding almost any function that you want. Basically what Open++ does is provide a utility to add your own functions, when you right click. It also allows you to launch applications, files, folders, etc. Currently it is a Windows only product. A great tool for the Wantoks that want to speed up their ability to access key applications, files, and folders quickly.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 10 most Pirate TV Shows on BitTorrent

According to TorrentFreak television "shows are by far the most wanted files on BitTorrent". Last week the 10 most Pirate TV Shows were:

  1. Heroes
  2. Prison Break
  3. Dexter
  4. House
  5. Desperate Housewives
  6. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  7. Fringe
  8. Top Gear
  9. Stargate Atlantis
  10. The Simpsons
Currently with the limited amount of broadband users with in Papua New Guinea and the cost of having an internet connection is preventing large scale pirating of TV shows in PNG. But as the network infrastructure improves and bandwidth and internet cost go down. Piracy in Papua New Guinea is going to be a bigger problem then it already is. Major local music companies like CHM may be fighting an up hill battle when the internet technology in Papua New Guinea improves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Use NORAD to Track Santa on Google Earth

In 1955 an American department store had an advert listing Santa Claus phone number. Which resulted in thousands of children calling the number to speak to Santa Claus. In fact the number had being miss printed and was the emergency number of NORAD (back then it was CONAD).

To cut a long story short the director of CONAD at the time asked his staff to to give children a speculated position of where Santa's sleigh was. As the years passed NORAD modernized its techniques to follow Santa using 47 radar installations and a number of different geostationary satellites to monitor Santa's progress around the world dropping off presents for christmas. This year marks the 50th year (1958 - 2008) that NORAD will be following Santa's progress around the world.

So this year if you want to track Santa Claus's progress around the world you or the children in your life can use the following website to track Santa noradsanta.org

E-Wave Chip to protect against Mobile Phone Radiation Threat

Are you worried about mobile phone radiation? Well Omega a Belgian health product company is concerned enough about what mobile phone radiation can do, like making popcorn pop to decreasing the sperm count in males. So the health company has invested in, and developed protective technology like the E-wave chip. Which is a computer chip that connects to a phone and is suppose to offset electromagnetic radiation. Which in turn reduces the heating effect that is created by electromagnetic signals.

Should Papua New Guinean's be worried about using such technology? At the moment there is no medical research to provide substance for or against Omega's claims regarding the E-wave chip offsetting electromagnetic radiation. But the next time you or a Wantok is using a mobile phone and feel it heating up or it heating a body part. Just to be on the safe side don't use your mobile phone until it cools down again.

Port Moresby Internation Airport to Small

On Monday afternoon when arriving back to Port Moresby from Brisbane on Virgin Pacific Blue. I was horrified to see the long line of people waiting to pass through immigration. Between 12:30pm and 1:30pm four flights from overseas destination arrived. To put it simply the international airports arrival lounge could not handle the amount of passengers that arrived. After waiting in a long line for almost an hour there was further delay because the one baggage conveyer belt in the terminal could not handle the amount of bags coming through. To be honest wantoks with the increase in the amount of international flights coming in and out of Papua New Guinea the International Terminal in Port Moresby needs to be made bigger.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The cheek of the Pirates in PNG

You don't have to be a brain surgeon to work out that movies that are just being released on the big screen in the United States and are already on DVD in Papua New Guinea are pirated copies. A friend of mine recently purchased a few DVD's from a DVD shop that use to be located at RH Hyper mart here in Port Moresby. The quality of the DVD's was fine for the amount of money that they spent on the DVD's. The problem they had with the DVD's was that the people who Pirate the DVD's put a crypted trailer etc on the end of the movie to prevent the owners of the DVDs from burning copies. The cheek of the people who pirate these DVD's in PNG. They steal these movies in the first place then modifiy it in such a way as to prevent the people that they sell these movies to, from making copies or transferring the movies that they purchased to iPod's, etc.

Monday, December 1, 2008

P2P freeware software - FrostWire

For those wantoks out there that use the peer to peer software Limewire I would suggest you take a look at Frostwire. Frostwire is a peer to peer file sharing software on the Guntella network and uses BitTorrent protocols as well. It is writtern in Java, and comes under the GNU licence and is a free software. It has all the features that Limewire Pro has and the best thing about it for people that use file sharing software is that it connects to BitTorrent. So basically don't pay for Limewire when you can get Frostwire for free and it connects up to BitTorrent.

The features that Frostwire offers are:
  • Completely free & open source
  • No spyware or adware
  • itune intergration
  • BittTorent Support
  • Connects to more sources then Limewire & Limewire Pro
  • Junk result filters
  • Community Chat rooms
  • Proxy support
  • Firewall to Firewall transfers
The Frostwire GUI is looks the same as Limewire and opperates the same as Limewire. With a fee add bouns of having a section where you can connect up to BitTorrent. To be honest while trialing Frostwire over the last week to do this post, and you would not go back to using Limewire or Limewire Pro. So file sharing wantoks save a few kina and use a free and more superior product then Limewire. If you are going to do Peer to Peer file sharing use Frostwire.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Australian Governent is planning to install ISP filtering

It is scary to think that the Australia Federal Government under Kevin Rudd is planning to install internet filtering at the ISP level. According to the Getup website:

"The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’. Under the plan, the Government can add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist."

What Kevin Rudd's government is trying to install is the type of internet censorship that happens in China. Where a Government chooses what is appropriate to view and what is inappropriate to view. Then it is only a small step away from getting to the stage where if the Government does not like what is being said about it, the government will just filter it away. Removing an individuals right to freedom of information and people's civil liberties.

According to the nocleanfeed website:

This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access. Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts

APC states that the top 5 reasons why this plan should not go a head are:
  1. It will slow everything down (meaning that recent trials showed that by using Kevin Rudd's ISP filtering technology it was 30% slower to view sites etc then it was with out Rudd's technology.
  2. Offensive is in the eyes of the beholder
  3. It pressumes families care about this stuff
  4. It makes Australia look stupid on a global scale
  5. The people supporting it don't like mounting rational arguments (for example why not make the blacklist public and debate on what should be on it or not on it)
The reason why I find what Kevin Rudd and the Australian government is doing scary is because in recent times in Papua New Guinea we have seen members of the National Parliament trying to dictate to the Papua New Guinean media what it can say and can not say. A good example of this is what our PNG Finance Minister did to Post Courier at the 2009 National Budget lockup. Where reporters from Post Courier were locked out of the budget which according to Post Courier was to teach them a lesson because they had printed something that he did not like. Now if the PNG Government was to install laws like what the Australia Government is doing I fear that this technology would be used for Government propaganda in Papua New Guinea, to filter out anything from the press that the Government did not like.

Should Papua New Guinean's be scared of what is happening in Australia? I really think we should. The PNG Government may follow the Australian Government's lead and use this technology to regulate the media in Papua New Guinea.

Website for online safety tips - Get Safe Online

While surfing the web this morning I can across a educational website that gives tips on online safety. The site is call Get Safe Online. The foundation was founded by Microsoft, HSBC, HM Government, and SOCA. Other partners include Paypal, Symantec, and Cable&Wireless.

The aim of the website is to provide expert online safety advice to people for free. To counter internet crime by answering questions and providing advise on:

  • What are risks?
  • How do I protect my pc?
  • Avoid online rip-offs
  • Where do I get more detailed advise
  • Where do I get alerts?
  • How safe am I?
  • etc
There is also a section where you can test your online safety skills, which takes a few minutes to do and can give you insight into how much you do know or don't know about online safety. I for one think that this site is a great initiative by Microsoft and co to help everyone including my wantoks in Papua New Guinea learn how to do things safely online.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Are Papua New Guinea newspapers dying?

I was reading an interesting post by Erick Schonfield about the declining advertising in the Newspaper industry in the United States. Basically what was said was:

"Print advertising has been declining for ten straight quarters, but this marks only the second quarter that online advertising also went down. More concerning is that the overall rate of decline seems to be accelerating"

Based on these comments and statistics from the Newspaper Association of America I began to wounder is the newspaper industry in Papua New Guinea eventually going to die out because of the web? I for one believe not in the near future. The main reason being that there is a huge gap in the digital divide between developed nations like the United States and developing countries like my beloved home Papua New Guinea. My argument is best summed up in the words of a fellow Papua New Guinean Jeremy Ningiga in his Knol article on the digital divide:

"Currently ICT is making the gap worse in developing nations like P.N.G. The reason being is that until ITC becomes an affordable or free commodity for the nation’s poor the gap will continue to get worse. For example in P.N.G a minimum wage earner who earns 66.68 Kina (K) per week as stated on the Investment Promotion Authority of P.N.G (2007) website. When converted to the Australian dollar is $26.00 a week at an exchange rate of 1.00 Kina to $0.39 at per the Bank of South Pacific website exchange rates (2007). Now if you take in to consideration that standard dial up plan with a local ISP Daltron Ltd costs K45.00 for 10hours. It is not feasible for a minimum wage earner in a developing country to use the Internet let alone buy a computer, once you take living expense in to account."

Although the exchange rates used in the above article are out of date now. The general sentiment of the article is still the same. In Papua New Guinea currently not everyone can gain access to the web. To read up to the minute news articles, Blogs, Knols, etc. Until such time that this is possible all of our Papua New Guinean published newspapers are safe, from the web taking their ad revenue to the extent that it is not economically viable to run and print newspapers in Papua New Guinea. So the answer to the question "Are Papua New Guinea newspapers dying?" Not for now or the near future for that matter. I don't think they have to worry to much about the web stealing their thunder just yet.

Here is some food for thought, will the day come when online ad revenue in Papua New Guinea is large enough for a person to sustain his or herself financially, and to make a comfortable living from something like blogging about Papua New Guinea or Papua New Guinean issues? Who knows, only time will tell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Playing for change - music created by people around the world

While surfing the web tonight I came across a great music clip that inspired me so I wanted to share it with my wantoks. The song in the video clip is Stand By Me and it is played by different people from all around the world. The Playing for change foundation is making a documentary about the filming and recording of different songs around the world in areas where the foundation provides support.

What the Playing for change foundation is "dedicated to connection the world through music by providing resources (including but not limited to facilities, supplies, and educational programs) to musicians and their communities around the world."

Have a look at the clip and if you are interested in finding out more about the people and foundation behind this video go to www.playingforchange.org May be there might even be a chance for communities around Papua New Guinea to benefit from this foundations work. I reckon it would be great to see a couple of Papua New Guinean wantoks dressed up in traditional gear belting out a few all time greats like Stand By Me. Below are a couple of other Playing for change music videos that were recorded while people from the foundation were doing providing assistance to communities in need.

Fedora 10 released - free linux operating system

Just the other day I was over at Tuuans & Dukduks and was posting a comment regarding freeware operating system Ubuntu. Well the Fedora project has just released the latest version of Fedora 10. Fedora 10 is a free Linux based operating system which is sponsored by Red Hat.

The latest release is around 682Mb in size so sorry for all the wantoks out there with dial up connections but it is going to take forever and a day if you were going to attempt to download such a big ISO file. But never fear there are other options out there for wantoks with dial up connections. If you want you can purchase a copy of Fedora 10 online or you can order a copy of Fedora for free online (click here for free ordering of Fedora).

For more information on Fedora I suggest you visit the Fedora website by clicking on the link above.

What does this mean for my wantoks in Papua New Guinea well it is a free operating system. So you don't have to spend money on paying for a operating system for your computer which can set you back well over K800 at Datec, etc. Not only does it save you on spending money on an operating system, it also comes with open office so you don't have to buy programs like Microsoft Office, etc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to track your bandwidth usage for free - bitmeter

For six months when I was using Daltron's (ISP) wireless service at the end of the month I would see the bill and wounder if I really did use the amount of data that they were charging me for. I know that Daltron does offer a page where you can see how much data you have used. But how do I know that their data is correct. Well this post is going to introduce you to a tool that I have recently discovered that that allows Windows users to see how much data they are chewing through. The tool is called bitmeter which is offered free from download.com.

What bitmeter does is that it allows you to visually monitor your Internet connection by showing a scrolling graph that shows your download and upload speed over a period of time. The features of bitmeter are:
  • Graphical and numerical displays of historical data,
  • Web interface,
  • alerts,
  • stopwatch,
  • calculator,
  • transparent/float/click-through modes,
  • help file,
  • audio notifications,
  • configurable color-schemes
Follow these instructions to set up the monitoring notification to let you know once you have hit your monthly megabytes limit.
  1. Download & Install bitmeter from download.com
  2. Once bitmeter is installed and running click on the bitmeter icon in your windows task bar to see a graphical view of your data usage.
  3. To access bitmeter's features right click on the bitmeter icon and it will show you a list of options. The one that we are looking for is called ISP restrictions. Now select it.
  4. Make sure that you select ISP restrictions apply check box.
  5. Select what day of the month your new billing period starts.
  6. Then you need to put in your monthly down load limit.
  7. Then select when bitmeter should alert you that you are getting towards the end of your limit.
  8. click Apply

Monday, November 24, 2008

Microsoft to release free anti virus software

According to the APC website Microsoft is in the process of releasing it's own free security software in the second half of 2009. Due to an anti trust ruling that prevents Microsoft from building virus protection in to Windows. The new software code named "Morro" is not going to be a direct replacement of OneCare, instead it is going to be a stripped down version of OneCare. Morro is going to be aimed at defending against viruses, malware, trojans, etc.

What effect will this have on the average Papua New Guinean wantok? I believe that it is going to have a positive effect because if Microsoft releases a free anti virus program. Anti Virus vendors like Symantec, McAfee, etc will be forced to release free versions as well. I believe they will have to base their business modules on AVG's (by the way is a great anti virus software). Where a free version is offered but the Grisoft (Company that produces AVG) recommends that you purchase the premium verison because it also does x amount of extra things that are not offered in the free version. To cut a long story short in long run if Microsoft does something link release free virus software it is going to increase compertition and choice. Which we have seen in Papua New Guinea in recent times is a good thing e.g. Digicel Vs B Mobile, Airline PNG Vs Air Nuiguni. Due to compertition bring down prices and improving customer service.

Time how long it takes your blog to load - Stopwatch

In the pursuit to find out which items on IT Tok Tok are taking the longest time to load, and to take measures to fix the loading speeds. I came across a website that has Stopwatch on it, which times how long it takes particular items to load. Which I found while surfing the Blogger Help Center.

The idea behind Stopwatch is that you put your url into the stopwatch box and it times how long it takes to load all the items on your page.

Great little tool for all the wantoks out there that want to improve their blog loading speed times. Click on the Stopwatch link above to be taken to the Stopwatch website.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Firefox extension - Video DownloadHelper

Do you ever run into the problem when you are surfing the web while killing time before you have to do something and you run into a video that you would really like to watch? But due to time constraints you are not able to watch the video. Well if this is you here is a Firefox extension that can solve this problem for you. The extension is called Video DownloadHelper.

Video DownloadHelper is a tool for web content extraction. The purpose of this Firefox extension is to capture video and images from websites. It works by detecting if there is any video images content on a particular webpage that it is able to download. If there is and you have the Video DownloadHelper icon on your tool bar the icon will change from being Grey in colour to Red, Yellow, and Blue. It works on all types of sites like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, etc.

From version 3.1 onwards Video DownloadHelper is able to convert downloaded movies to your preffered video extension automatically.

A great tool for all the Wantok's out there that want to download a video and watch it later when they have time. Also another benefit of Video Downloader is that it downloads video's one at a time. So for those Papua New Guinean's that like to multitask and do a number of different things at the same time. It will free up bandwidth for you to keep on surfing the web, using Skype, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pacific Blue makes travelling to Australia easy

The introduction of competition has being great for the airline industry in Papua New Guinea. For starters the cost of air travel to destinations within Papua New Guinea and to overseas countries has become a lot cheaper. For example this week Airlines PNG was offering specials to Lae for K99 from Port Moresby.

On Wednesday I had a bit of time to kill so when a friend asked me to accompany them to the Air Nuigini travel center at Wagani next to Stop n Shop. I decided to tag along for the ride. In hind sight I wish that I had not gone. There was a long line and after waiting for what seemed like ages my friend suggested that we log on to Virgin Pacific Blue's website and see if it was possible to book a ticket to Sydney. To cut a long story short using a credit card it took a whole 5 minutes to book and pay for the ticket online. The great news about this is now you don't have to wait in a long line any more to book overseas flights as long as you have credit card or debit card (e.g. BSP Visa Debit Card).

It is times like this that it makes me think that the gap of the digital divided it getting smaller. If you don't know what the digital divide is click on the link above to read a paper that I found on Google Knol that I fellow Papua New Guinean has writtern.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Google release's "Let me google that for you"

Google has recently launched Let me Google that for you. Which allows you to do a Google search and copy and past the resulting link to an email or instant message, etc. It is designed to help enable the search savvy people assist those that are not capable to use the correct syntax to get good result with links that are relevant.

I am constantly getting asked by friends and relatives a like to do searches for them or look up something for them. That a simple Google search would provide them with answers. In regards to how this would benefit my Papua New Guinean wantoks well it is quiet simple. A lot of my fellow country men and women, who do not fully understand the whole syntax concept when doing searches. So it will allow someone like myself to do a search and provide them with a link that is relevant to the topic that they are after.

When it comes to syntax it does take some getting use to. I know it took up a whole lecture in ITC113 a life time ago when I was at university and learning all about the web and html. It has made helping our wantoks a lot easier when it comes to doing web search's. Thanks Google.

Skype - free calls from Papua New Guinea

Since the start of November 2008 I have being able to make free calls to Australia land line telepones and 29 other countries through Skype. Currently Skype is running a promotion where for the next 30 days you will be able to make free calls to a number of selected countries around the world. When I say free I am not taking into account the megabytes that are used for the calls. So there is some cost by it is an ISP that is making money instead of say Telikom or Digicel.

I personally have being using Skype for well over 2 years now to ring friends and family overseas which uses VoIP. I have found that this has dramatically decreased my phone bill. For example if you were to ring from your Digicel mobile in Papua New Guinea to a telephone land line in Australia it would cost you 99 toea per minute using Digicel. Normally when there are no Skype promotions on and you are ringing from Papua New Guine to Australia it would cost almost 3 australian cents. Which when converted at todays exchange rate of around 0.54 Aus$ to 1Kina it would cost you all most 6 toea per minute to call an Australian land line. You don't have to be a Uinversity of PNG accounting student to work out that you are saving 93 toea per minute by using Skype.

There is a large potential business use for this technology in Papua New Guinea. For starters companies can use Skype to call overseas to reduce their phone bills. They can also set up overseas numbers that are linked to there Skype account so when people from overseas want to call them they can dial a local number in the country that they are in, so that the call cost will be for a local call instead of an international call. Better yet people can do Skype to Skype calls so it will only cost you the megabytes that you are using. You can also do video conferences, instant messaging, send text messages to mobile phones, transfer files, etc.

Only real draw back of using Skype in PNG for the wantok on the street apart from an internet connection would be the ability to have access to a credit card. But now with the introduction of Bank of South Pacific's Visa debt card it would make it more viable for wantok's to pay for top ups of their Skype accounts.

I know as a fact that some of the large mining companies in Papua New Guinea are already using Skype to communicate. For example one of the mines that has a very remote site uses Skype to communicate the weather details so that helicopters that fly in and out of their site are aware of the weather forecasts in the area.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LogMeIn - Remote desktop software

LogMeIn has made my IT support role a lot easier. Recently I have started using log in to work remotely from home. I am now kicking myself for not using LogMeIn earlier. For starters it saves me in fuel costs and the environment. Because every time something goes wrong at work and I need to do something on a server etc. Before LogMeIn I would have to drive back to work to fix things. Now a days it is simply a matter of me connecting to the internet and logging in to the computer/system that I need to attend to.

What LogMeIn is a remote desktop software that is web based. You do need to install some software on the machine that you wish to control. But after that is done you can control that computer from any computer that has a connection to the internet, which will allow you to log on to the log me in website (please note that you do need a decent amount of bandwidth, otherwise it can become a bit like watching paint dry).

What does that mean for Papua New Guinean's well instead of paying an arm and a leg to get a VPN set up to access your network from home or from work to home. You can now use log me in to do the connection for you. Provide that you are able to install the LogMeIn software on the computer that you wish to control.

Well wantoks instead of giving your hard earned Kina to Datec or Daltron etc, if you need a cheap fast solution for a remote desktop/VPN give LogMeIn a go.

Traim LogMeIn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woolworths Deli number system better then Australian High Commission's

If you have every being to a deli section of a Woolworths or Coles supermarket in Australia. You would notice that you have to take a number from a roll that gives out numbers. Then you would watch a small screen that shows the number that is going to be served next. A simple idea that puts order into customer service and works on the principle of first come first serve. Which is great during the busy times and the slow times a like.

The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby could learn a lesson or two from the above example technology. For starters it seems that there is a million and one different hi tech gadgets in the Visa section in the Australia High Commission. With a big flat screen television and cable TV. But the number system for the order that people get served is straight out of the stone ages. The current set up is you pick a number from a roll just like in the Woolworths case above but that is where the similarities end. The way that the different service counters communicate is by the ladies in the different counters yelling out that they have finished. Then whoever is keeping count will yell out the next number that is suppose to be called. It works out that three or four minutes go by before the correct number is called out and someone goes to the counter to be served. In the mean time a number of people have jumped the line and have gone on to get served. Even though their number is not going to be called this century.

Wantok's the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has forgotten about customer service that simple technology like the one above could improve dramatically. So the next time you go to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby to apply for an Australia visa. Don't expect to much.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Travelling overseas and need accomodation - wotif.com

If you are traveling overseas whether it is Australia or where ever else. Take a look at www.wotif.com I found this site to be extremely useful. For example a family member of mine is currently traveling in Australia and needed accommodation in Sydney the next day. I logged on to Wotif and using a Papua New Guinean credit card I was able to book and pay for the accommodation online.

The best thing about it was that the accommodation was around 50 per cent cheaper online then it would have been, if I was to book in person or through a travel agent. Another problem that I had with other online accommodation websites was that they did not accept Papua New Guinean credit cards.

With the introduction of BSP Visa Debit card. Now online transactions are only a website away. At the moment online sales have not really taken off on Papua New Guinean websites. But that should not stop you from logging on to a website like Amazon.com to buy books, etc, that you can not find in Papua New Guinea, or getting cheap last minute accommodation.

Well to sum it up Wantoks if you have a PNG issued credit card or debit card and need to book overseas accomodation try having a look at wotif.com to find the best deals.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Telikom's ADSL Versus Daltron's Wireless

Telikom PNG is offering a great ADSL Broadband service compared to ISP's like Daltron. I have being using ADSL now for over three months and have had no major complaints. Over the last three months I have only had the system fail on me once and that was due to a power surge which knocked out the router. But with in a couple of days the problem had being resolved totally and I have not had any service provider problems since.

On the other hand before I swapped over to Telikom I was using Daltron's wireless service. The service worked fine when the Daltron DNS servers weren't down. Which I kid you not seemed to be like every other day. I also had a number of problems with the billing. Where Daltron on three separate occasions double billed me for bills that I had already paid. When Daltron's wireless service was up it worked fine, but due to the poor customer service that Daltron offers and the constant down time. I decided to take my business else where.

The swap to Telikom ADSL from Daltron's wireless has being great for the pocket. For example for a 1.5 Megabyte service at Telikom it cost about K170 per month that is with 500 Megabytes of downloads included. Now for a 512Kb plan with Daltron will cost you K1,250 per month with 2400 Megabytes of downloads included. The cost per Megabyte is Telikom = K0.32 per Mb and Daltron = K 0.52 per Mb. This does not take in to account that Telikom's service is a 1.5Mb link and the Daltron service is 512Kb service. The only good point about the Daltron Wireless service is that it provides more Megabyte before the excess Megabytes charging starts.

Now to be honest who in their right mind would not choose the Telikom ADSL service over the Daltron one. I for one have swapped over to Telikom and am really happy with the decision. Not only is it saving me in the pocket but Telikom's ADSL customer service is a lot better then Daltron's customer service. The only downside to this is that at the moment Telikom is not able to roll out their ADSL service to more customers because they are awaiting new equipment. I had to wait around 6 months to get installed. But it was worth the wait.

For all my Papua New Guinean Wantok's out there instead of wasting your money on Daltron's wireless service. If you get the chance swap over to Telikom's ADSL service and keep the money in PNG. Instead of giving it to an oversea's company that provides a poor service and charges you and arm and a leg for the privilege of getting a poor service.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video tutorial site - Howcast

While taking my daily dose of blog's I came across a blog about Howcast. A video tutorial website that provides tutorial's on a number of different topics. From Banking and Finance to website development and a lot of topics in between.

The reason why I liked this website was it provides video tutorials on how to do things. I know a lot of websites provide written explanations on how to do things, but it is not the same as watching it getting done, and getting it explained to you during the process. Just like prac's at school are a lot more fun then the theory and you seem to take in a lot more then when you just do theory. Going over this website for an hour or so I found that it teaches you a lot of different things and is a handy URL to have booked marked.

Another IT video website that is great to have bookmarked is bestechvideos.com which allows you to search the web for specific IT video's from DNS explanations to Active Directory installations and more. For the average home user this may be a bit to much in depth for you but again it is a handy resource to have.

From the Papua New Guinean view point the bandwidth may be an issue when trying to view this website. So I would only recommend it for broadband users. These websites are great for learning stuff which you may general not be able to find a course to learn about. So in summing it up it is a great way for Papua New Guinea's to teach themselves about new things without have to fork out some Kina.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Microsoft launches online store in USA

Yesterday Microsoft (MS) launched its USA online store. Where people can buy MS products online and download it. In other words the death of packaged software has began.

What the store is offering is for consumers to purchase MS products like MS Office, Vista, etc, then download the product. Thus reducing the delivery time.

This sounds great but it will only benefit people that have broadband connections. For the majority of Papua New Guinean home internet users that have dial up access. The idea of having to download large software packages is ridiculous. When you take into account that ISP's like Daltron Ltd offer 56kb dial up connections (in reality it is more like 28kb or even less, don't let their advert's fool you!).

The death of the package software may have began with MS opening online stores to sell their products. But for developing nations like Papua New Guinea such steps like this will only make the digital divide even greater.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google release's video chatting from with in Gmail

Google's official blog has announced the release of video chatting capabilities from with in Gmail. What does this mean for Papua New Guinean's not a lot if you have a small dial up connection. But for those Papua New Guinea's that have services like Telikom's ADSL broadband. It means that if you have a Gmail account after downloading a plug in you will be able to have video chats using your Gmail account. Instead of having to open a third party software like Skype, etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't waste money on Microsoft Office

Yesterday's Post Courier came with a Courts Furniture lift out. I was horrified to see what Courts furniture is charging for Microsoft Office 2007. The price was around Eight Hundred Kina.

There are Open Source Freeware alternatives available like Open Office. It offers all the basic Microsoft packages like Office 2007 but does not cost you anything to own it. The major draw back in that it is around 120 Megabyte download, so the average Papua New Guinean dial up connection would take forever and a day to download this software.

If you were to do the sums it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to go to somewhere like Datec, etc and get them to download Open Office for you. Then it would be to buy it and the best thing about it is that you could give it to all of your family and friends to use legally without infringing any copyright laws.

So may be next time before you rush out to by Microsoft Office what work out how much it is going to cost you to download, and if you could get someone else to split the cost with you it becomes even cheaper.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free software to convert DVD's for Portable Players

Back in the old days Port Moresby use to have Video rental stores. These were the days when VHS Tapes ruled the home entertainment industry and you could get a 285ml bottle of Coke for 25 toea. Fast forward 25 years when all the VHS Tapes are now paper weights or dust collectors and a 375ml can of Coke will set you back Two Kina.

With the death of VHS video came the dawn of the new era of the DVD. The problem was that all the movie rental stores died with the VHS video in Papua New Guinea. Now a days when you want to watch a new release you have to buy the movie on DVD. Mind you most of the time you can watch what is in the cinemas around the world on DVD in PNG. Due to this problem it has lead to me have a large collection of DVD movies.

To cut a long story short if you want to be able to transfer your DVD's to a portable player like an iPod you need a software. Instead of going out and spending a couple of hundred Kina at Daltron or Datec etc. I suggest you try using Handbrake.

Handbrake is freeware open source program. Which I have found to be extremely powerful to use when converting DVD's to be played on my iPod. It also can be used to convert DVD's to other portable players like PS3, Quick Time, Television, Apple TV, etc. So if you want to save a couple of bucks and get a great product try out Handbrake.

Handbrake works on Windows, MAC Leopard, & Linux. It is only a couple of megabytes to download by this I mean the biggest download for Handbrake is the MAC download. All the others are smaller then the 5.2Mb download for the MAC. So taking in to account the small bandwidth dial up connection that most Papua New Guinea household's have it is still possible to download Handbrake.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Simple way to start programing

Microsoft has recently launched a program called Small Basic which is aimed at teaching children how to program. The software is 4.06 Mb in size so it is small enough for the typical Papua New Guinean dial up internet connection to download. Small Basic is based on .Net and inspired by the Basic programing language. Even thought Small Basics is aimed at children it can be a great way for an adult to learn how to program.

Small Basic is made up of three parts: Language, Environment, and Libraries. The Language is made up of only 14 Keywords, it comes with a simple programing environment, and its own libraries. Which you have the option to create new libraries or modify existing ones. Small Basic also allows third party libraries to be plugged in.

Requirements to run Small Basic is a Windows XP or Vista operating system and .NET 3.5 Framework.

What does this mean for the people of Papua New Guinea. Basically it gives any Person in PNG the opportunity to learn how to program with out having to attend expensive courses. It must also be noted that this is not a open source software.

Text messages can help the fight against AIDS in Papua New Guinea

Over the last couple of weeks I have taken a keen interest in reading up on articles of how HIV AIDS is being fought in African countries using Technology. An article that was of particular interest to me was the use of text messages to remind AIDS infected people to attend appointments at clinics. The reason why this article was interesting is that it is using a "Please call me" service similar to the one that Digicel PNG is offering.

How it works is quite simple a medical clinic sends a text message to a patient using the "Please call me" service to remind a person to contact the clinic.

To implement such a system here in Papua New Guinea would be quite simple considering that Digicel all ready offers the free "Please call me" service. It would just be a matter of clinics obtaining a Digicel mobile phone. There would also be a number of other steps that would need to be taken like obtaining a list of patients mobile numbers. A major limitation would be that since the "Please call me" service is only offered on the Digicel network it would only work on Digicel phones.