Showing 141-150 of 209 results


    Shedding light on bringing power to the poorest

    News, Published on 25/02/2014

    » An estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide, including 550 million in Africa and 400 million in India, have no access to electricity. Most live in rural areas where the population is sparse and incomes are low, making it uneconomical to connect homes and businesses to a grid. Nor is it feasible to generate power locally with a diesel unit, owing to high fuel costs and the need for substantial initial investment.


    A sexy new way to pay

    Life, James Hein, Published on 05/02/2014

    » Forget PayPal, what you really need is at least as The Register in the UK quaintly puts it "pay by bonk". Using the system, you knock your smartphone against another smartphone or device in a store to transfer funds from one account to another. A new payment system is also being planned at Apple, who wants to lead the near field communications (NFC) race. It will no doubt heavily feature the iTunes store (i.e. you pay money into your iTunes account and then use that to purchase items in the real world). This could essentially work like an iTunes-based debit card. Remember, however, that these NFC payment systems are also subject to those of a more unsavoury nature passing close to you and grabbing some cash for themselves. It is early days yet, but I expect that this will turn into a real issue. As for me, I bought myself a woven stainless steel wallet that acts as a Faraday cage. You could also just wrap it in tin foil, I suppose.


    The road from thirst to health

    News, Published on 17/02/2014

    » Millions of the world’s poorest people face serious water-related challenges — from lack of access and shortages to disputes over supplies — with profound implications for security, economic development, and environmental sustainability. As world leaders design a development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015, addressing these issues should be a top priority.


    Modern religion, old vices

    Life, Vanniya Sriangura, Published on 21/02/2014

    » Label me a sinner, insensible or harsh as you wish. I’ve been thinking recently that making merit at most urban temples is quite an absurdity, especially in this hideous, blackhole moment of Buddhist history.


    Goodies galore unveiled at Nevada show

    Life, James Hein, Published on 15/01/2014

    » As I write this, CES _ the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas _ is under way with its displays of awesome gadgets. Nvidia announced a 192-core mobile processor that comes in 32-bit ARM format, or a 64-bit version. Yes, you read that correctly: 192-core. There's lots more from all the usual suspects, but so far the release of the Galaxy S5 hasn't been announced. That's expected next month.


    Hands off our lunches

    News, Published on 08/01/2014

    » Faced with probably the most serious political crisis of this generation, the caretaker government has turned its attention to a different problem. The Internal Trade Department (ITD) announced last weekend it will try again to fix and then extend price controls on Thai fast food. It has been seven months since the minister of economy announced firmly there will never be price controls on the khao gaeng (literally, curry on rice) dishes that tens of millions consume every day. But the ITD says it will move immediately against food and noodle outlets.


    Will IT firms tighten their belts in 2014?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 08/01/2014

    » It is just after New Year and things are quiet in the IT world as people reflect on the past and try to work out what is coming in the future. One of the stories that caught my eye was that Hewlett-Packard is planning to make 34,000 positions redundant by the middle of the year. The problem is that HP is not selling its products _ at least not in the volumes required to keep the positions active. They blame this on a contraction of the PC market, poor enterprise demand as companies tighten their belts, competitive pricing pressures and poor currency exchange rates. I suspect that HP will not be the only company to tighten its belt in 2014.


    Drones target US shoppers

    Life, James Hein, Published on 11/12/2013

    » Duck, because that buzzing sound you hear might be the new delivery drones from Amazon. OK, here in Thailand they are unlikely to ever be seen, but in the US Amazon has plans to deliver packages up to 2.4kg within a 10km range of their distribution centres. Dubbed "Prime Air", this is still in the concept stage with all kinds of hurdles to pass before implementation. First off they need a reliable, cost-effective delivery drone. Another group is doing a similar thing in Haiti but in this case they are delivering medicine. This trial has had problems with mechanical failures due to humidity, dust and temperature. The next hurdle is the requirement for navigation ground stations, licenses to fly drones in a metro area, power line avoidance systems and crazy bird attacks. Yes, I did make that last one up. Given the current restrictions in all likelihood any realised solution will be deployed in a non-US country first.


    Decisive leadership from Democrats is needed

    News, Veera Prateepchaikul, Published on 04/11/2013

    » It was a gross miscalculation by fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, aka the Man in Dubai, that the protesting crowd at Samsen railway station would number at most 10,000. Apparently, the Man in Dubai and his cronies at home have underestimated the strength of public resistance to the blanket amnesty bill and to the man himself.


    Technology unplugged

    Guru, Sumati Sivasiamphai, Published on 15/11/2013

    » Among the attendees was Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, who offered his expertise on the power of the internet and its boundless future potential (operating under Android, of course). Besides highlighting Google's vision of a world with total connectivity, Schmidt commented on how technology has enhanced Thai politics in recent years.

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