LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

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Rohan Samarajiva

Why cyber security of developing countries is most at risk

When people were getting their knickers in a twist in relation to Y2K problem, I was in government. I used to get a lot of questions about it. Part of my job was to prepare for all eventualities, without creating unnecessary panic. My response Y2K hype always included reference to a Sinhala aphorism about people […]

A foreign policy for national development

Below is what I planned to say when introducing a panel on foreign policy for national development at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute on the 29th of June. Given time constraints, I did not say it all, but it reflects what I did say. Sri Lanka is like Greater Mumbai. Our small size as well as […]

Myanmar online freelancing platform Chate Sat

I have been asked several times about the feasibility of national online freelancing platforms. There are a few in Sri Lanka. According to this report, it appears that a platform has emerged in Myanmar too. First prize goes to Honey Mya Win. She founded her startup with her programmer sister less than a year ago […]

Proportion of Facebook users in Myanmar

According to information obtained from the Facebook advertising portal, we calculate that 29 percent of Myanmar’s population has a Facebook account. I wanted to cross check from our 2016 survey. We found 35 percent of the mobile users were also Facebook users. The base here is smaller (not the entire population by telephone users in […]

What is it about SE Asia and Facebook?

I was working on some comparative numbers. Most of these are recent and from reliable, credible sources. Interesting insights. Most people think Facebook use is a subset of Internet use. But in SE Asia, Internet use is always lower than Facebook use. South Asia is different. Except for Nepal, where Facebook use is higher than […]

Publication based on systematic review on ICTs and MSME research

Micro and small enterprises play an important role in developing countries. Any improvement in their performance is likely to have a significant impact on the poor. Many studies have been conducted on the impact of ICTs on MSME performance. Research Fellow P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, who has been conducting research on MSMEs for many years, led a […]

Rule of thumb is also an algorithm

As part of our big data work, we’ve been thinking about the opacity of the algorithms we use. The pretty picture and tables that result from the research are persuasive, but if people wanted to know how they were derived, it would not be easy to explain. But then, we have to always think about […]

Thinking about artificial intelligence

Been thinking about AI for a while but realized there was nothing on the record. It’s good to have some record of what we are thinking about, as illustrated by the recent tweet I sent showing our first post following the launch of the iPhone. What is artificial intelligence today? Roughly speaking, it’s technology that […]

Low-latency satellite systems expand from equatorial to rest of the world

When I first came across O3b in the Pacific, I asked a lot of questions about latency. Because the answers were right, I’ve been recommending O3b type solutions to people who want satellites as part of the solution to broadband connectivity problems. O3b went from four to twelve medium-earth-orbit satellites, serving niche markets that could […]

What we missed when commenting on the Myanmar Telecom Law back in 2013

Hearing the many reports on prosecutions under section 66(d) of the Law that was enacted in 2013, I went back to my files. In the extensive comments we provided there is nothing that refers to the offenses sections. The offenses chapter is peculiarly drafted. Section 65 is similar to what is found in any law […]

Internet companies invest in ICT infrastructure layer

The first time this happened was when Pacific Century Cyber Works (PCCW), controlled by Richard Li, acquired Hong Kong Telecom. But that 2000 adventure did not end well. PCCW’s stock price tanked. Seventeen years later, things are different. The real story may not be a state-sanctioned infusion of private capital into a 100% state owned […]

Sri Lanka’s principal trade negotiator passes away

Dr Saman Kelegama, the head of the government supported economics think tank Institute of Policy Studies, has suddenly passed away while on official business in Thailand. He was at the helm of IPS for 22 years under different administrations which is quite an achievement and one that many will talk about. I worked with him […]

Celebrating 10 years of the iPhone

Apparently, the mechanism to shut off the screen when an iPhone was brought close to one’s head did not recognize black hair at the outset. The book review has such nuggets. The book must have much more. In fact, although it would eventually emerge as the gleaming quintessence of the collaboration between the Apple co-founder […]

Mea culpa on Sri Lanka’s weather forecasting

I saw a response to an RTI request from the Department of Meteorology on Twitter and did not adequately check its veracity. As a result, I unfairly described the forecasting capabilities of the Department in at least one occasion at a meeting attended by influential officials and also polluted Twitterspace. I am sorry. Interesting contrast […]

TRAI consultation on broadband speed

LIRNEasia started working on broadband quality of service experience as long as as 2007. The early part of the story is narrated in this five minute video. One of the earliest conclusions we reached was that speed was just one dimension of performance. We communicated these findings to TRAI as long ago as in 2009. […]

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