Stories about internet

Pakistan vs India: Who’s the better hacker?

The kids were probably bored at the other side of the border. August 15 was approaching; patriotism was burning up like inferno in their passionate hearts. Their country’s pride was at stake, they had to do something to make Bharat proud. And what better way to accomplish this feat than hacking a bunch of Pakistani websites? ‘Congratulations Bhai Sahab…yeh Bharat Ratna Apka hua…Taalian!’ The Pakistanis on the other side of the border are no less patriotic. They have been on these hacking sprees on and off, with the same zeal and fervour. For these Indian and Pakistani kids, cyber space is the ...

Read Full Post

Our dual morality disorder

I was standing on a main road in Islamabad when I saw a big billboard depicting a woman provocatively posing in a nightgown. There, standing right below the billboard, hidden behind a face veil, was a woman who seemed to be a completely different specimen to the model above. Written on this billboard, in bold, was the word ‘Hidden.’ This might have been a brand name – I really don’t know what it stood for. However, to me it highlighted the hidden dual-morality disorder of the virtual and real world that is currently sweeping through our society. Let me explain what I mean ...

Read Full Post

Pul-e-Jawan in India: How talks can bring peace

The Pul-e-Jawan country forum in India, organised by the Citizen Media Network, convened in Delhi on April 14. It was a follow-up to an event in Kabul where citizen journalists and young peacemakers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India had met in February. This  event was organised just two days after the Pul-e-Jawan forum in Pakistan, which was hosted by Bytes for All in Islamabad on April 11 and April 12. So, where does the name Pul-e-Jawan come from and what is its aim? As their website states, “Pul-e-Jawan literally means ‘Bridges of Youth’ in Dari, as well as in Urdu and Hindi. The aim of Pul-e-Jawan is to transform the conflict in ...

Read Full Post

10 things I hate about being a Pakistani gamer

For many in Pakistan, video games are still in the same category as children’s cartoons – which I still watch, by the way. But for hardcore gamers, video games can be a form of art that aside from providing entertainment, can also stimulate one on an artistic and intellectual level. Personally, I’d like to see a child perfectly execute a bomb disposal with zero casualties in the tactical shooter, Rainbow Six, or lead their nation to world domination in the strategy game, Sid Meier’s Civilisation. Also, I’d love to see a child frag me in an online shooter, like Battlefield. Okay, ...

Read Full Post

10 things I noticed on my first day at work

The first day of work can be full of excitement… before you get to the office. It’s like the first day of school; you can’t contain your excitement but when you enter the premises you are already dying to leave! I’ve listed the 10 things I noticed on my first day of work. Here goes: 1. The blank look on the HR guy’s face when you arrive at the office – the same guy who interviewed you and begged you to accept the package . No one knows where you are supposed to sit, how you’ll enter the building or if you’ll need a laptop to work ...

Read Full Post

Why porn is popular in Pakistan

It’s late at night and the hands of the clock signal that it is just past midnight. The whole family is sound asleep with the sole exception of a young man sitting on the bed, with the laptop right in front of him. To anyone, including his family, it seems as if he’s studying, or working on an important project, or checking out the latest headlines online or watching innocent, comical clips on YouTube. All it takes is a peek over the shoulder and all is not what it seems. This scenario is part of an average, everyday lifestyle for ...

Read Full Post

So what’s wrong with being connected?

Look at the picture above. It was taken at an event attended by the most connected people in Pakistan, sitting row upon row, young and old alike. Something tremendous may be happening on stage, but all of them are staring into devices that are gobbling up their lives. When I was growing up, the biggest sci-fi thing out there to marvel at was the ‘tricorder’, which existed in the fantasy world of Star Trek. According to Wikipedia, a tricorder is a multifunction handheld device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data. A tricorder from Star Trek was about as capable as the ...

Read Full Post

Who trashed my comment?

Earlier this week we asked our readers what they wanted to know about policy, coverage and reporting at The Express Tribune. A lot of you wanted to know why certain reader comments never make it online. On our Facebook page Rabia Kashan wrote: “U publish comments which only support ur argument or not condradictory with themn thats very much TRUE” Ahsan Ullah wrote: “I never saw my comments on any post. Why is that?” Nur Momand asked: “The policy of comments moderation is murky. Sometimes very harsh comments get published but many a time even relatively milder critique gets censored. Is it because of the the person ...

Read Full Post

Reader comments: Do not feed the trolls

Think of reporters as bards and warrior-journalists on an epic quest. The Kingdom demands new songs and tales so we are forced to enter the wilderness regularly. There are many hurdles along the way— harsh climbs, Aabpara Road, local fauna. A lucky few are allowed to pass unmolested by the indigenous population of  internet trolls.  Others come face to face with the terror of wet jaws and a big club ready to wham their journalism degrees to a thin paste. These cyber-beasts are active 24/7. When offended (their list of offences is exhaustive, tyrannical) they show no mercy on news ...

Read Full Post

Google isn’t an MD

Am I a turncoat? Having spent the better half of my adult life denigrating technology, computers, internet, Facebook and so on, I have finally been converted. Yes, I am now learning how to operate the computer, make an email account and type. My reservations about social networking are basically privacy issues. People want a witness to their lives. It gives them an angle to ventilate, express, and validate their opinions, mistakes, grievances, aspirations and so on. However, it is an intrusive social network , giving so much access to others about the mundane everydayness of your lives. If I had ...

Read Full Post