Tag Archives: internet

Kathmandu Connection: Complaints and Compliments

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

Soon after Tihar celebrations were over in Kathmandu last week I was in Thamel with a colleague who was leaving the newspaper for good. As he took his bike to a nearby parking lot I stood a few metres away from the entrance of the Roadhouse Café. I started fiddling with my phone. As soon as I tapped on the email application of the iPhone it caught six WiFi signals in the area.  I was astonished.

Not in Khan Market or Connaught Place in New Delhi (where I have been living for the past two years) have I received so many signals at once. Not in Paharganj, Delhi’s Thamel, the backpacker’s ghetto. Not in Park Street, Kolkata or Colaba, Mumbai. I am aware that it will be a gross injustice to Kathmandu if I compare it with some of the biggest cities in India. Kathmandu has suffered tremendously at the hands of incompetent, quarrelling and power hungry politicians. The overall politics of Nepal has become so disgusting that Kathmandu, the capital, has no option but to cover its face in shame. Kathmandu is a humiliated city. Humiliated by its politicians and lazy bureaucrats who are unwilling to think out of box. On the other hand, Indian cities have prospered under the stability that the relatively functional democracy provides.

Kathmandu connection kathmandu post 14 Nov 2010
Kathmandu Post. 14/11/010

A few days later I was pillion riding on the bike of a colleague in Tinkune. He showed me a few signboards that advertised WiFi connections. One signboard read: “You have entered Subisu WiFi zone.” (Subisu is a cable Internet service provider.) One couldn’t have expected availability of such services in places like Tinkune until recently. Dozens of ISPs have come up in the past several months in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal. Despite the bad politics the country has witnessed a silent revolution in telecommunication. We have installed a third generation mobile phone tower on a hill that is not very far from the Everest. Thank you, Ncell. Continue reading Kathmandu Connection: Complaints and Compliments

The #Football World Cup: This Time for Twitter

It feels like everybody in the world is in one room watching the match together.

By Dinesh Wagle

the twitter world cup kathmandu post
(click to enlarge)

Every World Cup tournament is a watershed in the history of football. With the stunning display of human emotions and talents, the game rejuvenates millions of people around the world. Those who watch the games will talk about that magical goal by that particular superstar for months and years. Those goals or missed chances, in many ways, define that particular World Cup. I am not sure, as of now, what will define the 2010 edition: vuvuzela or Twitter. These are the two things whose association with the game evokes contrasting feelings in me. I dislike the “stadium horn” as much as I like the express-in-140-characters social networking site.

Vuvuzela-blowing spectators are like angry bees and wasps that make the World Cup stadium a giant hive. Some people have liked the trumpet that is apparently an integral part of South African football tradition. Many others have complained that the continuous buzz has ruined their viewing experience. On the third day of the tournament, unable to hold my frustration, I posted my displeasure on Twitter in all caps (the Internet equivalent of screaming): “#FIFA, WILL YOU PLEASE BAN THIS ANNOYING #VUVUZELAINSIDE THE STADIUM RIGHT NOW?”

My friend Mahesh Poudyal (@mpoudyal) who, according to his Twitter bio, is a “good listener, avid reader, lazy writer, enthusiastic photographer, technology/gadget freak, who is also trying to finish a phd in environment and politics” quickly tweeted back from York, UK: “oh, i love #vuvuzelas, great background buzz while i watch the match :)”

This and many other electronic conversations that I have had with many of my friends and strangers on Twitter have greatly enriched my World Cup experience like never before. This is the first World Cup that I am watching all alone in my quiet apartment in New Delhi. This is also the first World Cup to have happened in the age of web 2.0 which turnsthe whole world into a huge room. Viewers’ reactions on breathtaking dribbling and their excitement created by a stunning goal are shared not just among a handful of persons in a closed room. They are instantly shared with the world, thanks to the wild popularity of sites like Twitter and Facebook. Continue reading The #Football World Cup: This Time for Twitter

A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)

Nepal’s top leader dies. Nepalis all over the world react hysterically on the Web.

This blog entry is a supplement to a news report that I wrote in today’s Kantipur titled: निधनको खवरले भरियो फेसबुक[Facebook filled with the news of the death (of GPK)]

By Dinesh Wagle

a death in nepal in the age of twitter and facebook
click here to enlarge ठूलो पारेर पढ्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ

When Girija Prasad Koirala was born in 1925 Nepal was a closed society under autocratic oligarchy and secluded from rest of the world. There were no Twitterers and Facebookers in Nepal.

After 86 years, Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic with a vibrant and open society that is so much connected to the world that the news of deteriorating health and death of Koirala spread all over the world in an instant via the Internet on Saturday (20 March).

Messages like “Rest in Peace, Girija Prasad Koirala” or its shorter form “RIP GPK” and similar messages in Nepali spread like wildfire all over the web via numerous tweets and Facebook statuses. Some of those messages might have appeared slightly before the iconic leader’s death and certainly a couple of hours ahead of the official announcement by the Nepali Congress party in Kathmandu. That, in a way, reflected the aam janata (common man’s) concern and interest in Koirala’s health and life in general. Koirala died at 12:11 Nepal Standard Time Saturday. Here’s a sample of conversations that took place on Facebook walls (Sanjivan Gautam is a Nepali scholar who is now in Germany): Continue reading A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)

And The Magsaysay Goes to Mahabir Pun, the ‘Wireless Man’ of Myagdi

An article by Dinesh Wagle in Kantipur (7 Aug) on Mahabir and Magsaysay: महावीर र म्यागासेसे
……
Mahabir Pun who established wireless computer networks in the highlands of Myagdi district wins this year’s Magsaysay Awards

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

A trekker with a mission: Mahabir Pun is the man from Myagdi that has the famous Ghorepani village of the Annapurna trekking route. Thanks to Pun, the area is now connected to the world via wireless computer networks. Pic by Ghanashyam Khadka

Kathmandu- When Mahabir Pun returned to his birthplace after 24 years with an American degree, his own relatives in Nangi village of Myagdi district didn’t recognize him. That was in 1992. Since then he has connected the villagers to the rest of the world by establishing wireless computer networks in the hills and there is no one in the region who doesn’t know about him. On Tuesday, the world knew about the 52-year-old Nepali social development worker: Pun won this year’s prestigious Magsaysay Awards which is regarded as the Noble Prize of Asia. Continue reading And The Magsaysay Goes to Mahabir Pun, the ‘Wireless Man’ of Myagdi