In my last post, about luxuries and necessities, I did not include my computer.
This is a necessity as I use it for document production and storage. It is a tool. One doesn't need to know how a pencil is made in order to use it, and so it goes with a computer, although mine does seem to need cosseting beyond my technological nous.
Regarding the internet, and its social, rather than commercial, value, my (limited) access is also much needed as it enables me to stay in touch with what's going on in the world, internationally, nationally and socially. Some may think that blogging is a luxury but, hey, I need a creative outlet. I also recognise its power to open links to markets, especially for SMEs, and for the fast dissemination of information.
With the global economic downturn, the internet is partly responsible for the diminishing power of newspapers in their paper editions.
To celebrate 26 years of publication a recent editorial
in the Jakarta Post stated:Many people may still like to read a paper over breakfast
- I do, and in the loo - but unfortunately, when it comes to running a newspaper, this is not the main determining factor in its survival. Newspapers are going out of business not because they are losing readers but because they are no longer commercially viable with the sharp decline in the advertisement revenue.Many papers have fully migrated to the digital world. Online news has many advantages over print, such as the capacity to provide news in real time (as opposed to the next morning); it is interactive; and it has audio-visual capabilities. Online news also cuts a large chunk off the costs incurred by newspapers, from newsprint and printing, to delivery services. In short, online news runs on a completely different business model, and one where turnover is on a much smaller scale given the significantly lower costs.The Jakarta Post is not in that position to migrate completely yet, although we believe a time will come when we will need to. We are preparing for that eventuality even as we continue to improve the quality of our newspaper. We are investing heavily in our news portal, investing money and man hours to run and develop what is essentially going to be the main medium for The Jakarta Post to deliver the news.
Whilst understanding their argument, I have two caveats.
Firstly, Indonesia is not ready. At the end of last year, internet penetration
was at a lowly 11%, say 25 million. Mind you, the bureaucracy isn't interested in technological efficiency, as clearly demonstrated in the delay in the counting of votes from the recent-ish election. This delay
is as much to do with antiquated equipment as it is with the 'commissions' taken from its procurement.
There is also the matter of education. Although the national exams are in a computer biased multi-choice format, thus virtually abolishing creative thinking in favour of schooling in test taking, there is a wider aspect to consider.
Collecting a book of faces and twittering inconsequentially is a passing fad, but also, given the widgets and wotsits littering locally produced websites
, webmasters and internet users need to learn, or be taught, to keep things simple, stupid.
Still, that's not just restricted to Indonesia.
The following email exchange was generated by a relative in internet wealthy mainland Europe who forwarded it to me at Easter. Incidentally, I've yet to receive a reply.----- Original Message 1 ----- Hello Everyone,Ericsson is distributing free laptops for their brand promotion. They are hoping to increase their popularity and sales by this campaign. All you need to do is send an email about this promotion to 8 people and you will receive an Ericsson T18 Laptop. However, if you send an email to 20 or more people, you will receive an Ericsson R320 Laptop.Kindly ensure you copy Anna at Ericsson so that she knows you have sent the e-mail.----- Original Reply -----
Greetings from Jakarta F.
There is no proof that Ericsson is distributing free laptops. Why should they? After all, they're now part of the Sony empire. This email does not originate with Ericsson either.
What it does appear to be is a 'fishing' trip by criminals seeking to control our computers through 'malware'. In exposing everyone by using the Cc option ~ 160
addresses are on this one email ! ~ rather than Bcc, it only takes one of the 'named' recipients to be infected for the virus to spread to others. Note that I've removed the 'hyperlinks' by sending this in 'plain text', another safety measure.
It's mindboggling to know that there are still internet users out there who do not have a regularly updated firewall and virus detection programme installed.
So if you do make future mass mailings, please use Bcc. Oh, and don't include large (i.e. more than 100kbs.) of attachments. With my dial up connection I feel lucky to occasionally have a speed of 2kbs per second.)