Computing


I’ve just started getting into podcasting and am loving it. There is a wealth of information out there on podcasts, and they are perfect if you have a long commute or do a lot of driving during the day. Why let the radio decide what you listen to anymore?

Here is a Stamford university podcast that looks interesting, but I haven’t tried yet: http://itunes.stanford.edu/

Today I gave my first IT tutorial lesson to the staff at my work. I started with what I thought was a simple question, “What would you like to know?”. There was much discussion in Lao, before the response, “We would like you to teach us basic IT skills”. I tried to nail them down on the specifics on what they wanted to know but was hindered by the language barrier. I’ve tried to teach them about the benefits of using google and wikipedia.

Youtube.com is blocked in Laos, although I do not believe this has been initiated by the Lao government. Lao Internet Service Providers (ISPs) access the internet via Thai ISPs. Thailand has blocked youtube due to videos being shown that were thought to be offensive to their King. Offending the King is a heinous crime in Thailand. His revered status is probably more so than the British royals, even at their height of popularity. A Swiss man was sentenced to 10 years jail, though later pardoned by the King, for painting graffiti on portraits of the King while in a drunken state.

Apparently very little internet filtering takes place in Laos, apart from the odd pornographic site. Other than youtube.com I have not encountered any internet censorship issues.

I asked my Lao counterpart at work if they had a software CD with some Adobe programs on it. In particular I was looking, for Adobe InDesign to use to make a brochure. He said he would ask about it and maybe purchase it. 30 minutes later I have a copy of it on my desk. Someone in the office went off to a local PC store to buy a copy, probably at the cost of one or two US dollars.

There are no copyright laws in existence in Laos at the moment. Probably no human rights laws either.