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, November 26, 2011

Who Updates Wikipedia? Part II (K2 #27)

Question of the Week (Cont'd)
I recently noticed that there's a new article in Wikipedia on the Royal Wedding, but it contains many errors. Who is responsible for these errors?
-- Sonam P., MoE

Dear Sonam,

In the last column I talked about Wikipedia and explained how errors find their way into articles. As promised, this week I describe how to update Wikipedia articles. But first, a refresher: Wikipedia ( is one of the Internet's most popular websites. It is a fantastic, free, online encyclopedia with millions of articles. Wikipedia articles can be created, edited and updated by anyone with an Internet connection.

How to earn Wikipedia karma points
Articles related to Bhutan in Wikipedia are still scarce. Here's how you can help. Go to, and look for the search bar near the top-right. Search for a topic on which you are knowledgeable. It can be your gewog's name, favourite Bhutanese film, local flora and fauna, your high school, your favorite member of parliament, etc. If an article about the topic does not exist, you can start one. If an article already exists, read it. There is a good chance that you can improve the article. Log into your account (or create an account if one does not exist), edit the article, preview and save. That's it! You have selflessly contributed to world knowledge.
Many visitors to Wikipedia are just "readers", that is, people who read articles. However, you can also write, edit and update articles. Suppose that you read a Wikipedia article and spot an error. You can easily fix it! Here's how: look for the "Edit" tab near the top-right area of the screen. Click on it, and you'll be taken to an online editor which contains the text of the article. Find the error, correct it, then click "Show preview", and if you like what you see - click "Save page". That's it. The entire world will now see the improved article! Once you edited an article, you officially become a "Wikipedian" - someone who writes and edits Wikipedia articles. There are almost 16 million Wikipedians around the world, including some in Bhutan.

Tip 1: I recommend opening a (free) account in Wikipedia before editing articles. To create an account, go to and click on "Log in / create account" at the top-right of the page. Using a Wikipedia account improves your online privacy. If you edit an article without logging in, your IP address will be publicly displayed in the page's revision history. This means that you can be traced back. If you edit an article while logged in, only the username that you chose for your account will be displayed.

Tip 2: To learn more about editing articles, go to For creating new articles, see

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The law of one-way adjustments

When petrol prices go up, RSTA hikes the taxi fares. When petrol prices go down, taxi fares remain unchanged. Is there a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, or is it just one of nature's mysteries?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today: information session on PhD-level studies @ ISB

A quick reminder about tomorrow's open information session on the Fellow Programme in Management at the top-ranked Indian School of Business.

When & where: Wed, Nov 16 @ BCCI Hall, Thimphu (free event).
To reserve your seat: send your name and organization by SMS to 17583975 or email

Feel free to join and post on our Facebook event page.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Who Updates Wikipedia? Part I (K2 #26)

Question of the Week

I recently noticed that there's a new article in Wikipedia on the Royal Wedding, but it contains many errors. Who is responsible for these errors?
-- Sonam P., MoE

Dear Sonam,

Many Internet users in Bhutan are not familiar with Wikipedia, so this is a great opportunity to let readers know about a terrific online resource. Wikipedia - accessible at - is an online encyclopedia. It contains millions of articles about every conceivable domain of human knowledge. The Wikipedia website is one of the most popular websites in the world, currently up there in the top 5, together with the more familiar Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and YouTube. Like Facebook, surfing Wikipedia can become addictive, but it is unlikely to be blocked at your office!

Wikipedia tips
  • Wikipedia is available in many languages. To access the English version, go directly to Use the search bar on the top right to find articles.
  • "Simple English" Wikipedia, written in basic English, is accessible at It can be useful to school students or anyone struggling with English
Traditional printed encyclopedias, the most famous one being Encyclopedia Britannica, used to be housed in libraries, because they were too expensive for most people to have at home. At libraries, they populated long shelves, and required heavy-lifting. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is completely free and accessible from any Internet-connected computer. For the first time in history, people now have cheap and easy access to an incredible amount of knowledge and information.

While Encyclopedia Britannica was written by reputable experts, Wikipedia entries are written, edited and updated by anyone who wants to help. It is a collaborative effort by Internet volunteers. This means that information is usually very up-to-date. For example, a few minutes after Muammar Gaddafi was killed, the Wikipedia entry about him already contained his date of death: a volunteer edited this piece of information. But since anyone can update Wikipedia, it also means that information can be incorrect. This does not mean that there isn't plenty of useful and correct information on Wikipedia, but it does require critical reading.

As to Wikipedia's royal wedding article (, it was mostly created and updated by non-Bhutanese volunteer editors, many of whom lack the knowledge that Bhutanese have. For example, the royal wedding article currently designates Dasho Kinley Dorji as "Bhutan's Minister of Information", which is obviously wrong; he is the Secretary of MoIC. Of course, by the time your read this, someone might have already corrected this error. From my experience, there are many errors in other entries about Bhutan as well. In the next column I'll share some tips on editing Wikipedia articles. Until then, check out articles about Bhutan and see how many other mistakes you can find!

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to

Spotted in Thimphu

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's with the MoE Website?

The official website of the Ministry of Education,, is dead. And it's been dead for the last few weeks. We first tweeted about this a few days ago.  My guess is that it went down about 3 or 4 weeks ago. That's a pretty long time for a website of that importance to be unavailable. In the online world, it's almost infinity. It's down for so long, in fact, that the website does not even come up in Google search results. Try looking for "ministry of education, bhutan" or any other query related to education in Bhutan. The ministry's official web site is just not there. It's gone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unemployment among Google Chrome users?

Like many young people in Bhutan, one of my students who uses Google Chrome as her web browser is looking for a job. Google Chrome is my preferred web browser, as it is faster and more secure than other browsers. Hence, we have Chrome installed on our lab computers. Back to our story. The student went to MoLHR's website, and clicked on the "Job Vacancy" link. Here is what she saw:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New in Thimphu: bookshop, café

While the landscape of bookstores in the West is drastically changing in the direction of going out of business, in Bhutan things are different, and bookshops seems to flourish. The tasteful Junction Bookstore (just below the main traffic) has become a favourite destination for books in the capital, and now, with the help of the Loden Foundation, a first-of-its-kind children's bookstore is opening:

Faster browsing coming soon

According to an article in today's Kuensel (page 2), DrukNet will soon be using Google Global Cache (GGC), a service by Google that will speed up the download of Google content, including YouTube videos, in Bhutan (YouTube is owned by Google). This is altogether excellent news. The Kuensel article explains very clearly the idea behind the cache and the benefits it provides. The article, "DrukNet to host Google global cache", it still not avalable online, but I'll add a link to it if (and when) it appears in

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where Should you Post Your Status?

Need to decide where to post your updates? Use this flow chart.

Open Information Session on PhD-level Studies at the Indian School of Business

The Rigsum Institute of IT & Management will be hosting an open information session regarding the Fellow Programme in Management studies (PhD-level) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. ISB is a world-class institution, ranked #13 in the 2011 Financial Times Global MBA Rankings.

Information will be provided about the study programme, admissions, scholarships and an academic research career. Holders of Masters degrees with an interest in management-related academic careers are invited to attend.

Venue & time: The open session will be held on November 16, from 4-6pm at BCCI Hall, Thimphu. 
Cost: The event is FREE of charge.

Tea and snacks will be served.

Please RSVP at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This is NOT Thimphu TechPark's Website. However...

Our blog's name is ThimphuTech. The newly inaugurated IT park on the capital's outskirts is Thimphu TechPark. I'm sure you see the resemblance. Thimphu TechPark is also variously spelled as Thimphu Tech Park, TTP, Thimphu Tek Park, Bhutan IT Park, and so on. Due to the similar names, when people search Google for the IT park, some of them end up here. If that happened to you, we're here to help. Here are a few external links about Bhutan's first IT park:

A Week Later, Kuensel Online Still not Accessible

We first reported about this issue a week ago: Internet users within Bhutan cannot access the website of Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. Users outside of Bhutan have no problem at all. Surprisingly, a week has passed, and the issue is still not resolved, although we are told technicians are working on solving the problem.

In the meantime, Kuensel on their Facebook page recommend that you use a proxy server, such as to access the website. It will be slow, but at least you can read the articles. Here's a direct link to the proxified version of Kuensel Online.