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, January 26, 2013

Getting alerts (K2 #55)

Question of the Week
I noticed that one of my Facebook friends is always the first to find and post links to interesting news and articles about Bhutan. How does she do that? Is she constantly using Google to find the new content?
— Raj K. in Thimphu

Answer
Dear Raj,

No, there is no need to keep searching the web. Let me reveal the secret: Google Alerts. This free service by Google allows subscribers to get an email whenever new content that matches predefined keywords becomes available on the web.

Google Alerts is very easy to use. Go to alerts.google.com, enter the keywords (for example, climate change, bhutan, lionel messi, or gross national happiness), select what kind of results you are interested in (news articles, blog posts, and more), how often you would like to be notified (instantly, once a day, or once a week), and how many results you want to handle (only the best, or all results). Finally, click Create Alert. That’s it. From now on, you will receive an email when newly-created web content matches the criteria. You can create up to 1000 alerts, and manage these alerts using the Manage your alerts button.

Better 3G Reception

Bhutan Telecom recently changed the frequency used for their 3G service from 2100 MHz to 850 MHz. The lower the frequency, the better a signal can penetrate through obstacles. In an urban environment, where there are buildings and walls, 850 MHz has better coverage than 2100 MHz. We can expect better reception and higher data rates following this shift.

When buying a smartphone or data card, it’s a good idea to check whether it supports multiple frequencies (also known as bands). The four most common frequencies are 850, 900, 1900, and 2100 MHz. A quad-band phone is one that supports all four frequencies, and will thus work almost anywhere in the world.

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to boaz@thimphutech.com