Internet Archives — Page 13 of 15


Toure supports Gyanendra’s Law

Posted on February 21, 2011  /  0 Comments

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union is elected every four years by governments who have paid their dues to the Union (or have had it paid on their behalf). This does not make him a natural advocate of anything revolutionary. Yet, this is what he says: There is no alternative, suggests the secretary general. “Once people have tasted the goodies of education and communication you can’t cut it off. If you cut it off you’re gone, and that’s what happened in Egypt,” says Touré.
Did China shut down the telecom system during the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989? There was no Internet to shut down back then. This time around, they seem to be adopting a gradualist response, according to NYT: The words “Jasmine Revolution,” borrowed from the successful Tunisian revolt, were blocked on sites similar to Twitter and on Internet search engines, while cellphone users were unable to send out text messages to multiple recipients. A heavy police presence was reported in several Chinese cities. In recent days, more than a dozen lawyers and rights activists have been rounded up, and more than 80 dissidents have reportedly been placed under varying forms of house arrest.

Can Qaddafi buck Gyanendra’s law?

Posted on February 19, 2011  /  2 Comments

Countries that have a level of international connectivity above that of Burma and North Korea have so far been subject to Gyanendra’s Law. You pull the kill switch. You look for a new job. Now Muammar Qaddafi has decided to the test the law. Libya’s main Internet service provider, General Post and Telecommunications Company, began to cut Internet access on Friday, said Earl Zmijewski, general manager with Internet monitoring company Renesys.
How many Internet providers does your country have? If five your government can do a Mubarak. However many you have, if they all go through one or two choke points as in Bangladesh, easy. The big lesson of Egypt may be less the danger of overmighty government than what it shows about how national authorities can (and can’t) close down the internet. The authorities there simply told internet service providers (ISPs) to switch off their computers.

Kill switch workaround

Posted on February 3, 2011  /  0 Comments

Looks like it’s not enough to shut down the Internet. You got to shut down all the mobile networks too. Unedited, raw, anonymous and emotional, Egyptian voices are trickling out through a new service that evades attempts by the authorities to suppress them by cutting Internet services. There is still some cellphone service, so a new social-media link that marries Google, Twitter and SayNow, a voice-based social media platform, gives Egyptians three phone numbers to call and leave a message, which is then posted on the Internet as a recorded Twitter message. The messages are at twitter.

Kill switch in Egypt

Posted on February 2, 2011  /  1 Comments

I never expected an economy as advanced as that of Egypt to shut down the Internet. But it did. Not completely, as shown by the Figure in the Wired article that I have taken the excerpt below from. Egypt’s largest ISPs shut off their networks Thursday, making it impossible for traffic to get to websites hosted in Egypt or for Egyptians to use e-mail, Twitter or Facebook. The regime of President Hosni Mubarak also ordered the shut down of mobile phone networks, including one run by the U.
As the owner of a G1, I can afford a little smirk about the ascendancy of Android. But really, the bigger story from the perspective of the people at the BOP who are our prime constituency, is the Gartner prediction that this is the cross-over year for those accessing the Internet through mobiles, though of course, one has to interrogate the basis of the prediction. Google’s operating system for cellphones has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian system as the market leader, ending the Finnish company’s long reign, a British research firm said Monday. In the three months through December, manufacturers shipped 33.3 million cellphones running Android, Google’s free, open-source cellphone operating system, up from just 4.

PCs on the chopping block?

Posted on December 2, 2010  /  0 Comments

We have been talking about an alternative path to the Internet for the BOP in emerging economies. We said this path would be through the mobile phone and talked about how it was converging with the conventional computer, through smartphone and netbooks that would percolate down to the BOP through second-hand markets. But now people beginning to talk about this happening to TOP markets in rich countries as well. Below is Item 7 in a list entitled the ten businesses the smartphone has destroyed: There are plenty of studies that insist that smartphones will begin to replace the PC as the common vehicle for accessing the Internet. Analyst firm Informa Telecoms & Media projects that smartphone traffic will increase 700% over the next five years.
It appears that the net neutrality debate is leaving the ideological domain and finding a practical place in the middle. In a speech he plans to give Wednesday in Washington, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, will outline a framework for broadband Internet service that forbids both wired and wireless Internet service providers from blocking lawful content.

Bandwidth price remains highest in Asia

Posted on November 20, 2010  /  1 Comments

The bandwidth prices in Asia remain more than 300% expensive than the western hemisphere, said TeleGeography that has been constantly reporting this constant gap. But the Asian leaders seem unmoved about this fundamentally flawed and potentially dangerous trend across the continent. TeleGeography reports only the wholesale prices up to the gateway. Once the backhaul and licensing costs are taken into account, the Asian Internet bandwidth prices become far more expensive. Spectrum had been the only raw material of ICT until the 2G mobile became pervasive.
Telephone ownership and use As latest ITU data reveals, active mobile subscriptions continues to increase the world over. Just under two years ago, mobile subscriptions were reaching the six-billion mark. 2009 data from the ITU suggests we are well on our way to reaching seven billion connections. Developing countries, in particular, experienced a 19 percent increase in mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants between 2008 and 2009, compared with a modest 5 percent growth in developed countries according to the ITU. Mobile subscriptions in the Asia-Pacific alone have now passed the two-billion mark; according to the ITU, mobile subscriptions per 100 rose by 22 percent from 46 in 2008 in 56 in 2009.
The ITU dataset is the mother lode, mined by all. But sometimes, it is good to interrogate the quality of what the ITU produces. The most recent instance of ITU data being subject to sophisticated analysis without any attention being paid to the quality of the data is by noted ICT4D scholar, Richard Heeks. In a previous essay, Heeks interrogated the numbers emanating from the ITU on “mobile subscriptions.” It is a pity the same was not done in the recent piece on Internet and broadband.

This is your brain on ICTs

Posted on August 16, 2010  /  0 Comments

A fascinating discourse among five researchers on how ICT use may or may not affect the brain, while being completely cut off from electronic communications (except for one satellite phone). A long piece, but well worth the read. “Attention is the holy grail,” Mr. Strayer says. “Everything that you’re conscious of, everything you let in, everything you remember and you forget, depends on it.
Occasionally a piece on what the Internet is doing to our brains catches our attention. Sometimes we address topics of censorship and privacy though it is not our main focus. A review of a book on the early days of the printed book in Europe (not Korea) caught our attention. Should be interesting reading–the book. The review definitely is.
Workaround, a term that describes an improvisation when the optimal solution is not available, is a key element in LIRNEasia’s work. Not that we particularly like them, but it seems that workarounds are all there are in our region, because governments fail to provide the optimal solutions. I was planning to write a short piece on the workaround that connected Sri Lanka first to email and then to the Internet back in the early 1990s based on a talk I gave at the .lk conference early July. But since the paper doesn’t look like it will get written right now and because I want to crowdsource the fact checking, I am posting the slides here: Dot LK .
The Economist has featured three below-the-radar companies that has established a major presence in the Internet space. This again shows that new industries offer the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurs from countries that do not have long histories of leading economic activity. THEY may not have the name recognition of a Google or a Yahoo!, but they can claim to belong in the same league. The websites of Digital Sky Technologies (DST) account for more than 70% of page-views on the Russian-language internet.