Stories about internet

Generation ‘Yes, we can’: What are they doing not wasting time?

Will someone tell these twenty-something Pakistani men and women to go out and play cricket or go party with friends or something? What are they doing, writing books, learning classical singing and–you won’t believe this – fixing simulators on Naval submarines! The new crop of young professionals and fresh graduates is all about pushing their limits. They take action, here and now. Here’s how they do it: Starting early This “yes, we can” generation starts shooting for the stars earlier and earlier, barely out of their teens, they put on their thinking caps and put their genius to work. Khadijah Khan started to ...

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Is hacking always immoral?

Recently, two teenagers were tried for hacking the Pakistan Supreme Court’s website. Geo News reported that the hackers demanded the immediate release of detained Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui. This raises the question: is hacking morally wrong? Hacking then The old-school concept of hacking was taking something and making it do something it was not intended for. A perfect example of this is how a group of hackers managed to unlock Apple’s iPhone which, even after four years of its launch in the US, is still not officially meant to work outside a handful of countries, but hackers have bypassed this official clause. To ...

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The cost of technology

Humans are exposed to technology on a daily basis. There is no doubt that it has blessed us in many ways and if it wasn’t for the wonders of technology, we would still be living in the dark ages. However, at the same time, it is important to maintain a balance. For starters, children are no longer interested in outdoor activities anymore. They would much rather be engrossed in their Play Stations and Wii. The culture of reading books is dying out. We would rather spend time watching TV and spend countless hours on the internet. Another important factor is the decline of ...

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Can you imagine a world without Wikipedia?

“Wikipedia only works in practice. In theory, it’s a total disaster.” Wikipedia, supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, has accumulated over 17 million articles in 262 languages as well as inspired copycats in Google and Facebook (see Google Knol and Facebook Community Pages). It still, however,  does not have money to keep the site running – nor does it want to charge money or display ads on its websites. If you’ve been to the Wikipedia website lately, you might have seen a banner at the top of the page that says “Please read: A personal appeal from Wikimedia Executive Director Sue ...

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Pakistan’s Twitterati: The good, the bad and the ugly

I joined Twitter a few months ago after my friends couldn’t stop whining about my absence on the social network. Time passed by and I gained recognition for my pseudo-humour. People followed me and I followed a few of them. The ones that I did hit the green tab on were usually journalists, writers, bloggers or citizens who knew how to use grammar accurately. Then, one day, it dawned upon me: There were several easily-distinguishable types of users in the Pakistani-Twitter sphere. I also noticed how they followed each other almost obsessively and formed mini-clans on the desi world ...

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Chinese cell phones: The pros and cons of buying cheap

Whether we like the idea or not almost all appliances we use are made in China. The country is currently the world’s manufacturing base, churning out cheap products ranging from common pins to automobiles. They may be cheap but sometimes these products can be of very good quality. But not often. Normally, Chinese goods are what we like to call, expendable. The term “China” or “Chinese” has almost become interchangeable with third-rate – especially in the cellphone market.  So, are fake “Chinese” cellphones as good as the real thing? Trust me, I am uniquely qualified to answer this question.  I have lost ...

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Pakistani fiction hijacked by English language writers

Why is it that I can access Francis W. Pritchet’s English translation of Intizar Hussain’s Basti on the net but find nothing about the original Urdu novel? The only Pakistani fiction that is making its way on the internet is either written in English or is translated into English from Urdu. Thus a majority of Urdu fiction stays locked in the black and white pages of books – out of the reach of potential readers. The world now knows contemporary writers like Nadeem Aslam, Muhammad Hanif, Kamila Shamsi and Daniyal Moeenuddin as representative Pakistani writers because English books can easily ...

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My adventures on Shaadi dot com

Dear Diary, It is day one of my attempt to get married online, which as you may know is quite unconventional for a male to undertake on his own. However, I have decided to pursue this online adventure as I feel the need to settle down, and what the hell, I met my first girlfriend in an IRC chat room so I know there is a good chance this might work out. Shaadi.com tells me the odds are totally in my favour. The website claims to be the internet’s largest matrimonial service which has ‘touched over 20 million people’. They also ...

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Veena’s web presence: 10/10

Like other Pakistani celebrities, Veena Malik too has a website. It is veenamalik.com.pk, and not veenamalik.net, which claims to be a fansite, and certainly not veenamalik.com, which has nothing to do with the film/TV star. I thought I could write a piece about Veena Malik’s page similar to the one I wrote when I discovered Meera’s website. But after going through it, I was actually quite impressed. First of all, the website is not new. I just found it recently. Also, the vast amount of options and the information available on the page simply amazed me, not because it is done in ...

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10 things Pakistani blog readers should know

Blogs can be casual, formal or anything in between. So while writing, the blogger can interrupt the readers with an “akhhh thoo” if he wants to, without having to suffer tons of meaningless comments. It’s a blog, not a featured article in Foreign Policy magazine. Blogs are opinion-oriented. They may or may not be backed by hard facts. A blog or ‘web log’ does not necessarily have in-depth analysis that will ...

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