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A “great firewall” for Thailand?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

The Ministry of Truth wants to spend a half billion baht on a great firewall to appease those disturbed by Internet content critical of the King. After all, they assert, it seems to work in other parts of the world. What we’re talking about is packet filtering, enabled by limiting inbound traffic to going through probably one or two giant switches presumably run by CAT Telecom.

This is insanity! Hopefully they will at least wait to see the attempt by Australia to implement a similar feature fail. That program is also designed to shield folks from undesirable content.

The main two problems as I them are:
1. the task of partitioning content into good and bad sets is impossible, and
2. the potential for abuse is dangerous.
The first is obvious, but the potential for abuse to further political ends or limit access to free speech is the truly compelling reason to just say NO.

Google’s Developer Fest at Chulalongkorn

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

The Bangkok Post ran a series of articles covering the all-day event held at Chulalonkorn Universtiy known as Google DevFest Thailand. This is part of their tour through Southeast Asia promoting best practices and demonstrating best practices for building applications using Google APIs and software tools.

This is just what the doctor ordered! Getting Google engineers together with young Thai developers will result in those up-and-coming programmers getting quickly up to speed on using the marvelous new tools that allow building stable and reliable applications. Google gears, for example, seems intimidating, but if it’s made to seem friendly to developers will allow for apps to store data locally/offline, only to be stored later if at all. Google’s Open Social API allows developers to create social “Web 2.0” apps easily, and all the other dozens of APIs from Google encourage mashups and new ways of being creative. Google “code” is a repository service for developers to archive and share their code, and will be a great benefit to those not previously using something like this.

All in all, seeing these things and talking and interacting with others interested in similar “cool stuff” is always going to generate some excitement in the develop community. Hopefully a lot of Thai developers made new friends, and saw interesting things to followup on and experiment with.