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Posts tagged with: Technology

Who Watches the Watchmen? on Drone Warfare

A though provoking post by Kulsom from Changing up Pakistan she writes … the issue of drones goes beyond the issue of legality. It touches on the progression of warfare as a whole. Arguably the foundation of international law, is really being compromised in favor of the arbitrarily defined “greater good.”

This is not to say that human beings do not play a significant role in today’s conflicts. But is the “automation” of warfare something that should concern us. As we become more detached and more removed, are we losing touch with the humanity of warfare. Civilian casualties become dots on a computer screen, the collateral damage of the “best worst option.” And we in turn become increasingly distanced from the reasons why we engage in conflict in the first place. nevertheless. Who does watch the watchmen? – LINK

Routable GPS Map for Karachi & Pakistan

PkMaps of Karachi Its been a long time coming but independent efforts by a group of volunteers have finally paid off to present a fully routable GPS map for Karachi available FREE to the general public. Ali Ahmed and his team of GPS enthusiasts at PKMaps has been doing a remarkable job updating and mapping the entire city of Karachi (& Pakistan) in full detail. Their latest release Karachi Map 0.85 has yet again built upon their great effort. Boasting n impressive stats of 9,500 POI, 36,000 roads (10,500 km), 2,500 addresses, 40 POI with contact numbers

The zip files available for download on the site are custom made for Garmin GPS units. To install this map on your Garmin device you can either download the Mapsource version or copy the gmapsupp.img directly on your supplemental map file. If you have a non-Garmin device there are a few help files on the forums to help install the same Karachi map on alternate devices.
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Telenor EasyPaisa Launch Event: Karachi

Telenor EasyPaisaToday a number of bloggers were invited to the launch ceremony of EasyPaisa at PC Hotel, Karachi. EasyPaisa is a new service launched by Telenor for its subscribers allowing them to pay utility bills across any retail outlet in Pakistan. EasyPaisa comes in partnership with Tameer Bank allowing general retailers to signup and serve their customers with the convenience of easy utility bill payment.

A telenor subscriber goes to an EasyPaisa agent outlet with his bill to make a payment, the shop owner in lieu of his bank account with Tameer Bank credits the Utility service with the proper payment. In return the Telenor subscriber receives an authenticated SMS payment receipt on his cell phone ensuring that the proper account has been credited with details.
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Cyber Crime Bill to be used against Anti-Govt emails & SMS

Pakistan Cyber Crime Bill 2007Minister of Interior Rehman Malik has taken action to prevent people from spreading malicious and concocted stories against the civilian leadership of the country through emails and text messages. He warned that offenders will be apprehended within 48 hours and be punishable upto 14 years in Jail. It was surprising to note that the Government of Pakistan has engaged the service of Interpol to identify those international offenders. The DG FIA has been tasked for the past two weeks to identify these offenders and put them in jail.

I personally believe this is the very reason that the IT community was up in arms in 2007 when the initial Cyber Crime Bill was drafted, it contained abundant loop holes which gave sweeping powers to the Cyber Crime Tribunal and the FIA to arrest and detain the offender without even presenting a proper evidence and proof. Now we must be watchful of the statements issued by Rehman Malik it does seem that all Anti-Govt emailers, SMS’ers and website are doomed. They choose to silence the offending voice rather then changing their own corrupt ways which are leading our country down towards doom and destruction – maybe now we could start labeling them as a democratically elected dictatorship.

TEDIndia invites TED Fellows applications from Pakistan

TED IndiaFor those who have been dotting the internet arena for sometime must have bumped across one or more inspirational presentations on TED.com. Only recently Faisal Chohan had been selected as TED Fellow 2009 and it is through his efforts that we extend an open invitation to Pakistanis. The selection to this TED Fellows group is limited to bringing together some brilliant future leaders and doers from this region.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

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National Bloggers Conference Update

Today marked a historic event in the Pakistani Blogosphere, where the Sindh Ministry of IT sponsored a full fledged conference on blogging. The event was hosted at a local hotel in Karachi and was attended by a large audience and had some excellent presentations by a few well known bloggers in Pakistan. The Chief Guest was Federal Minister Dr. Farooq Sattar and was graced by Ardershir Cowasjee a prominent columnist whilst Mr. Raza Haroon, Sindh Minister of IT played host.

The event was extensively Live Blogged and the updates can be seen here & here

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of Umema Adil who completed her MCP [Microsoft Certified Professional] certification at the tender age of 11, she was presented with a laptop from the Minister and a heavy wrapped gift [?] from Cisco. The event was moderated by Rabia Garib and Barrister Ali Chishti and it kicked off with a short introduction and welcome address by the Sindh Minsiter of IT, followed by a number of presentation by fellow bloggers like Jehan Ara, Ammar Yasir, Farhan Chawla, Raja Islam, Ramla Akhtar, Ammar [Urdu Blogger] and myself.
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National Bloggers Conference

The First National Bloggers Conference is slated to begin at 5:00pm at Regent Plaza Karachi. The event will be covered live here using the Coveritlive application as we have a plenty of good speakers with an exclusive list of guest who will be in attendance. It must be appreciated and mentioned that this event is supported by the Sindh Ministry of IT.


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Karachi Bloggers Meetup: Dec 6th

Well after the success of the Lahore Bloggers Meetup, Google Pakistan and CIO Pakistan have quickly cobbled together an event in Karachi.

The location is yet to be announced as the team is just finalizing the last minute preparations but do register yourself quickly as the seat will most definitely be limited. Should be a fun event, and with the growing buzz around the new media, I think this is a must attend event for anyone even closely associated with the new media

Considering the deteriorating situation in Karachi, it does stand a little concerned, but lets see how the situation slowly unfolds over this upcoming week

Register here or visit it the Facebook event page its a FREE event

Twitter Hashtag to follow #KBM08

P@SHA ICT 2008 Awards

Last night P@SHA held its annual ICT Awards 2008 Ceremony in Karachi recognizing Pakistan top leading IT companies for their excellence in promoting the ICT Sector in Pakistan.  The event was held at the Karachi Marriott and was attended by a large crowd quite a few of which had flown in specially from around the country to attend this ceremony.  The impressive ceremony was conducted by the Pakistan IT sectors super personality Jehan Ara who in her typical style kept the ceremony light hearted and entertaining in stride.

The event kicked off with the Quranic recitation followed by a short address by the President of P@SHA, Jehan Ara and also by the Chairman P@SHA Imran Zia.   Jehan Ara in her speech also launched the P@SHA Earthquake relief collection drive from Lahore and Karachi.  Dr. Qasim Sheikh of the National ICT R&D fund who highlighted opportunities for innovators to tap into some funds available to many qualifying projects

The award ceremony was followed by a lavish dinner where many executives of the IT sector were seen to be networking amongst their colleagues and the evening wrapped up with a musical evening as well

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[MiniLinks] Humvees being built in Taxila

Saleem Shahzad of Asia Times Online reports that an order has been placed by the US Army for about 1000 military grade high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles Humvees at Heavy Industries Unit in Taxilla, Pakistan. The report does voice a concern to say that this new influx of military business is a worrisome understanding between America and Pakistan of a “a new and dangerous level“, but in all honesty I see it as a much needed influx of investment into our failing economy which might actually help bolster the foreign reserves and have an important side benefit of the much coveted ‘transfer of technology’. It must be noted that the report has not been fully confirmed by the ISPR spokesperson Major General Athar Abbass, but whatever be the situation it should be important to keep an eye on this development

The Zong Mystery

In Pakistan as we all know that Zong is the brand name of a pre-paid mobile SIM offered by China Mobile Pakistan, a subsidiary of China Mobile that has already invested over $700 million in Pakistan to the launch of their cellular company in Pakistan.

Momekh a fellow blogger and a recent twitter acquaintance stumbled across a very interesting discovery. In his online adventure he stumbled across a blog being hosted on a sub-domain blog.zong.com which flouts itself to be”‘the first and only mobile payment system enabling Facebook application developers and Web Publishers to seamlessly bill 95% of the US and European wireless subscribers on their phone bill” billed to launch itself at the TechCrucnh50 party in the US.

At first glance this could very well be just another website with no links with the Pakistani compatriot Zong but if you were to go to their home page ie Zong.com the website ironically it forwards to the Pakistan Wikipedia page, how interesting but definitely mysterious
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