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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can Lantern be useful in Bhutan's schools?

Launched in 2013, the Sherig Collection is a free, offline set of educational resources for all schools in Bhutan. The resources can be loaded on a 32 GB pen drive or an external hard drive. It does not require internet, and can be installed on any Windows machine. Content includes Wikipedia, Khan Academy, and many other resources tailored to the Bhutanese curriculum.

In the last couple of years, other initiatives for providing information to users with no internet access have been popping up around the world. An interesting one is Lantern, a crowd-sourced project. Lantern is a tiny web server with a built-in wireless hotspot. Any WiFi-enabled device (laptops, smartphones) can connect to Lantern and access its content. What's unique to Lantern is where the content is coming from. Lantern has a satellite receiver; and it constantly downloads content (at the slow rate of 2MB/day) using a broadcast signal from an Outernet satellite in space. It then saves the files on its internal storage, and users can then access the offline content using their devices.

Friday, November 7, 2014

@KuenselOnline Publishes a Correction. What about @BBSBhutan?

Three days after we first wrote about the mis-reporting of Bhutan's Ease of Doing business ranking, the Kuensel published a correction on its front page. Kudos to the newspaper for taking responsibility and informing the public.
Hopefully BBS will soon follow suite.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Is it Really Easier to Do Business in Bhutan?

Creating an environment conducive to businesses is a top priority in Bhutan. The private sector is where jobs are created. That's why the World Bank's annual Doing Business report, which includes the famous Ease of Doing Business ranking, is a yearly ritual that businesspersons, investors, decision makers - and the public - are watching carefully. The report for this year was published on Thursday.