No doubt social media is popular all around the globe. Now people are naming their non-tech tangible products getting inspired from the virtual world and online media. Recent addition to that is Twitter. Though I did not like the taste of it, it did look tempting and I ended up buying a few of them.Read More
Look what I got in my notifications on Facebook today. Facebook says it has been completely translated into Urdu and now just some fine tuning is needed. Makes me proud as an Urdu speaker. Users who have opted to help Facebook in translations get such messages and you can either translate untranslated phrases and labels or you can vote if others are translating it right or not. Facebook has already being translated in many languages. Wanna contribute? Head to Facebook translations.Read More
This is interesting to see that Lahore High Court has once again ordered to ban 9 sites including Google, Amazon, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Youtube and Bing in Pakistan. Quite interestingly, 3 of these are popular search engines and usually do not have content of their own. According to a news article, the decision has been taken as a result of a petition submitted in high court stating that these sites are posting sacrilegious material. The sites are accused of publishing blasphemous materials and twisting the facts and figure of Holy Quran.
PTA has already been in trouble with all these bans and blocking going around, some security breaches letting people log on to others’ accounts on facebook and twitter and now this new ban will put them to some real hard work. Court has ordered chariman PTA to appear in the court with all the relevant material no 28th June 2010. This ban has to be implemented immediately.
Please note that some of the social networking sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Flickr were blocked earlier due to publishing blasphemous material. This blocking was also done by PTA after orders from Lahore High Court.
** Update ** – June 23 – Noon PST
No sites have yet been blocked. Facebook is apparently not among the 9 banned sites.
According to the local court’s original order, social networking site Facebook has been unblocked by PTA, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. The site was blocked due to the blasphemous page titled “Everybody Draw Muhammad day” that has offended Muslim population all across the globe. In addition to Facebook, Flickr the photo sharing site, Youtube the popular video sharing site and Wikipedia were also blocked. Youtube and Wikipedia were unblocked earlier but Flickr has still not been unblocked.
Bangladesh has also blocked Facebook throughout the country on this weekend, though Pakistan authorities have unblocked the site according to the court’s order. ISPs throughout the country have already started unblocking Facebook though telecom companies have not unblocked BIS services yet on the BlackBerry devices. Facebook is one of the most popular apps on BlackBerries in Pakistan.Read More
It has been a year Google has launched Google Wave. Since it’s a communication tool, it doesn’t make much sense without many people using it. While the product has been its preview mode from Google Labs, you don’t expect many people being online when you log on to your wave account. That is why I have hardly logged on to my preview wave account in last six months. But now I have a reason to log on to this useful tool.
Google Wave has not only grown one year old, Google has also opened its sign-ups for the public. If you have a Google account, you can jump and sign up for this service right away.
Now as Google Wave is public, you will find more people using it, more of your friends will be online and you’ll be able to make more use of this service.Read More
Facebook was blocked yesterday after the Court’s order against the blasphemous Facebook Page and now it looks like the start of a social websites blackout in Pakistan. Youtube, the popular video sharing site, Wikipedia, a crowd sourced encyclopedia and Flickr, the popular photo sharing sate has also been blocked in Pakistan.
It has been reported that the controversial content from blocked Facebook pages had made there way to the video sharing sites, Wikiepedia and Flickr as well. That is why these sites have been blocked as well.
While Youtube has been blocked, other video sharing sites are running all fine. Similarly, Flickr has been blocked by Picasa and other photo sharing sites are also up.
It has also been reported that Google.com was also blocked for some this morning in Pakistan but now it’s working all fine.
Lemonbits.net is also blocked. The page title is “Anti-Draw-Muhammad-Day”. With the blasphemous page coming online and getting popular, many other sites that oppose or support that page have also come online. Lemonbits.net was one of them.
How to use Wikipedia in Pakistan during the ban
Wikipedia.com has been blocked but Wikipedia.org is still available. You can select any language other than English to use Wikipedia non-english version. For example you can access French version or Urdu version of Wikipedia without any problem. Even you can access non-english version and can get it translated using Google Translations or any similar service.
Response from the News websites
Popular news websites like CNN, BBC, Google News and popular Pakistani news websites like Dawn and Geo News have all reported about the ban on Youtube as well as Facebook. Though, nobody is talking about the ban on Wikipedia and Flickr. No doubt Facebook and Youtube are more popular than Wikipedia or Flickr, they are worth mentioning when reporting news.
Important stats come from an unnamed PTA rep in the Geo News article. According to these unofficial stats, more than 20% of Pakistan’s Internet bandwidth is utilized by users accessing these two sties.
Following is the list of the news articles coming on these popular news websites:
Update *** May 22, 2010 , 2:30pm GMT
Wikipedia is now accessible throughout Pakistan but there is a large number of other websites that are not working in the country. Flickr, Facebook and Youtube are still not accessible. This means that all those websites that embed videos from Youtube are also showing a white blank space instead of the video. One of my blog that serves technology news has also been blocked without anything to do with the controversial content.Read More
Here is another weird change that eventually deceives the users. From now on, Facebook pages will not look for fans anymore. This is another trick Facebook is playing to bring more fans to the pages eventually. Fans will now be replaced with Likes. Huh? What does that mean? Well, if you click “Like” under the name of any Facebook page from now on, you will be added to the “Fans” of that page actually. Well, to be tricky, they don’t call them fans anymore. They call them the people who like this page.
So if you see a page for your street’s corner grocery store or a 1960 model car you liked in your childhood and you click “like” , you are added to the fans. Anything that is posted onto that page by the owner of the page as well as the fans (pardon, likers) of that page will start showing up in your news feed making your facebook experience more cluttered and messed up.
So, either you accept that fact that you’ll have more messed up Facebook experience due to these pages from now on, or you simply stop “Liking” things on Facebook.
After almost a month, I return to post on my blog about the new Google maps that I noticed this morning. And then Google’s latitude services is a great addition. With Latitude, you can add your friends to map and then you can share your location with them. It is a welcome addition I’ve been waiting for so long.
You can not only view your friend’s location on your mobile phone, but it also works on the web. Just add latitude to your igoogle and watch your friends on your PC as well.
Happy Geosocial networking.Read More