I have been horribly sick all of a sudden and a few good friends have been calling and txting and checking up which is a lovely feeling. It’s the effort and caring that really count. I had to attend a family friend’s dinner party two nights ago. The party started with everyone talking about my dad for over an hour. ...

The name board, ‘Office of Missing Persons’, whose bill that is now before the Parliament, sounds innocuous. One might even assume, it is a government run office run in collaboration with an organization like the International Committee of the Red Cross. An office, where those with missing relatives come and the officials try and match […]

Usually, these are not subjects that are seen as connected. But I connected them at a talk I gave at the Colombo Club today. When the losses in one year from one SOE that serves a limited clientele are almost double the total spent on the social safety program that touches over one million families, it is not a difficult case to make. My slides are here.

Some considerations to make “Kandy” a smart city Some time ago, Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem announced “Kandy” would be developed as the first “Smart City” in Sri Lanka. While many projects are taking place in Kandy such as Strategic City Development Project, Greater Kandy water supply project, it is important to assess the concept of smart city, and how it can be applied ...

Olympic Games Trivia 7 – Olympic Nations The previous segment focused on individual records by outstanding athletes. This, the seventh in the series, will revolve around Olympic nations that have graced the event. 1) The number of NOCs that have participated in at least one edition of the Olympic Games. 202 203 204 205 2) Athletes from these 5 countries have participated in every Olympic Games. Australia, France, ...

Last time the BJP was in power, Pramod Mahajan was Minister of Telecom. He listened to The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), a group of IT business people primarily of Indian origin based in the US and merged the DoT (in charge of telecom) and DEITy (in charge of IT). This was portrayed as a major step toward convergence. But the offices ...

Lighting bugs flickered from leaf to leaf. The dying fire crackled sending forth jaded wisps of smoke. Monk lay on his old blanket that smelt of egg sandwiches, staring into the cobalt blue sky, trying to catch stars with his mind’s eye. Unclear thoughts kept distracting him. He shook his head from side to side, to clear his brain and ...

Olympic Trivia 6 – Individual Records In this segment, let’s test your knowledge on individual records at the Olympics.1) Swimmer Michael Phelps holds the record for most gold medals at a single Olympic Games. How many gold medals did he win in 2008? 7 8 9 10 2) During the 2008 Olympics, Michael Phelps equaled a previous record set by a Belarusian gymnast in 1992 for ...

It was happenstance that New York Times commentator and US Academic of Turkish origin Zeynep Tufekci was in Turkey when the coup unfolded. Her reflections on the role played by the Internet and social media in defeating the coup are of great interest. But what caught my eye was a simple action mobile operators can take in the immediate aftermath ...

With the rapidly expanding daily use of Information Technology, we have to accept that the industry is running out of the skilled workforce to cope-up with the demand. On the other hand, census suggests that a considerable amount of youth remains unemployed while having a Bachelors qualification, struggling to find a workplace. See a problem? Academia is working hard ...

In cyberpunk novels, the world of face-to-face interactions is called meatspace. Everyone knows what cyberspace is. The doyen of cyberpunk William Gibson invented the term. Surveillance is built into cyberspace. In the case of consumption activities, surveillance allows the marketer to “know” what the prospective customer wants and to shape her desires through targeted and customized messages. In internal discussions ...

In 2012 we wrote about the dangers posed to cloud computing in our contribution to the 2013 UNCTAD Information Economy Report. When the lower court ruling mandating Microsoft to give the government access to data stored in Ireland came out in 2014, this is what we said. Now the Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Microsoft: On Thursday, ...

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