Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tech news roundup

ThimphuTech's take on technology news from Bhutan's leading news sources.


Headline: High Speed Internet  (18/5/2011)
Summary: Now that almost 100% of gewogs in Bhutan have cellular coverage, focus is shifted to closing the broadband digital divide.
Our take: A fibre optic network providing high-speed Internet to all gewogs has enormous potential, from distance learning to tele-medicine. It can also enable IT-based businesses in remote areas helping to mitigate rural-urban migration. The question is, as always, how will the technology be used. Will the to-be-established community centres be used as learning centres, communication centres, or will they turn into video-game/Facebook parlours/?



Headline: BICMA facilities better internet services (21/5/2011)
Summary: Software offered by LIRNEasia that will measure your Internet connection's performance is available for free download at www.broadbandasia.info. Note: It was not easy to summarize this article, which has a rather misleading headline and some confusing technical information (e.g., the "speed of the internet" is not "300 millisecond return trip time")
Our take: With more and more users complaining about BT's internet speed, this is a good initiative. But what is one supposed to do with the test results? Feel free to share them with us!




Headline: BlackBerry refuses Bhutan (21/5/2011)
Summary: Research in Motion (RIM), the manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphone, is not going to install a BlackBerry server in Bhutan.
Our take: One can understand the business logic behind the decision by RIM, but this is bad news for the few locals who own the device - known also as the CrackBerry due to its addictive nature - and will not be able to use its more advanced features. BlackBerry-addicted visitors to Bhutan will also be disappointed.
Bonus: Jerry Sienfeld and the BlackBerry.







Headline: Pills for piracy (21/5/2011)


SummaryIn an attempt to combat software piracy in Bhutan, an effort will be made to offer Microsoft products (especially MS Office) at reduced prices.
Our take: Good initiative! However, this will require more than a monetary discount. It is also about a change of mindset. But equally important: Why doesn't Microsoft provide free or almost-free software for schools, colleges and other educational and academic institutes in Bhutan, in the same way it does in other countries?