Tag Archive | "Internet"

S’pore to shut down Internet for good

S’pore to shut down Internet for good

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Good luck and goodbye.

internet-off-spore

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who will soon perish because they cannot get online, will have to get used to not having Internet in Singapore anymore soon.

This after Singtel turned off the Internet on Dec. 3, 2016, following Singapore’s pledge to shut down cyberspace country-wide by 2017. It was decreed earlier this year that all public servants will not be able to go online using government-issued computers from May 2017.

One Singaporean, Boh Dian Nao, said she approves of the authorities stance that the Internet can cause data leaks: “It is no longer safe to keep Singapore’s physical borders secure. We need to lock down digital ones as well to ensure we do not have our secrets stolen.”

Other locals said they will cherish their Internet connection for the next few weeks and then decide if life is worth the living once it has been taken from them.

Another local, Tiaolao Zi Sah, said: “It is after all a good thing for Singapore to go back to the pre-Internet era.”

“That was a time we frequently look back on thinking how nice and quaint our country was.”

“No Internet, not many foreigners and with a two million population.”

“At least we get to have one of those three things back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





S’pore experiments shutting down Internet for good

S’pore experiments shutting down Internet for good

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Good luck and goodnight.

internet-off-spore

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who will soon perish because they cannot get online, will have to get used to not having Internet in Singapore anymore soon.

This after Singtel turned off the Internet on Dec. 3, 2016, following Singapore’s pledge to shut down cyberspace country-wide by 2017. It was decreed earlier this year that all public servants will not be able to go online using government-issued computers from May 2017.

One Singaporean, Boh Dian Nao, said she approves of the authorities stance that the Internet can cause data leaks: “It is no longer safe to keep Singapore’s physical borders secure. We need to lock down digital ones as well to ensure we do not have our secrets stolen.”

Other locals said they will cherish their Internet connection for the next few weeks and then decide if life is worth the living once it has been taken from them.

Another local, Tiaolao Zi Sah, said: “It is after all a good thing for Singapore to go back to the pre-Internet era.”

“That was a time we frequently look back on thinking how nice and quaint our country was.”

“No Internet, not many foreigners and with a two million population.”

“At least we get to have one of those three things back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





S’poreans react to 9 in 10 teen boys in S’pore exposed to naughty things on Internet

S’poreans react to 9 in 10 teen boys in S’pore exposed to naughty things on Internet

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Three thoughts you must have had.

one-in-10-exposed

A survey by an agency that gives online safety talks in schools has found that nine in every 10 teenage boys in Singapore have watched or read sexually explicit materials within the past year.

The survey, which polled 921 students aged 13 to 15, also found that some of them were first exposed to it even before they start primary school.

The first such survey on teenage exposure to pornography was conducted two years ago and followed up with a second one earlier this year.

There is an increase of 6 to 14 percent of the boys and girls who have been exposed to pornography compared with the first survey.

Here are three thoughts Singaporeans have:

 

sian-half-auntie “I pity the one in 10 teenage boys who do not have Internet in Singapore.”
Yong Dian Nao, 42-year-old computer parts retailer

 

sian-half-uncle “I rather my son watch porn than read radical propaganda and join ISIS.”
Kongbu Fen Zi, 67-year-old ex-police officer

 

happy-bird-girl “The kids probably didn’t know what porn was until they did the first survey.”
Seow Leow La, 17-year-old student

 

 

 

 

 

 





Public servants: Unfair to take away Internet as our work never that important anyways

Public servants: Unfair to take away Internet as our work never that important anyways

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This just creates the illusion public servants deal with sensitive data all the time.

public-service

Public servants in Singapore from all walks of life, who joined the government because they do not know what they want to or can do in the private sector, have spoken out.

This after the government announced the Internet will be taken away from public servants from May 2017 as a way to prevent data leaks.

One public servant, Cheng Hu Kang, said she was shocked by the government’s decision: “In my three years in the civil service, I have never done anything that can be remotely considered as important.”

“Then all of a sudden the Internet is taken away from me makes me feel as if my job scope involved dealing with sensitive information and confidential files when this was never the case all along.”

“If I knew what I was doing was so sensitive, I would have asked for a pay raise since so much was being asked of me.”

However, other public servants said this move helps justify their job scope.

Another public servant, Chiak Leow Bee, said: “I have a first class honours from the National University of Singapore and I get paid quite well in the civil service.”

“But my salary and annual benefits never really justified the type of mundane work I have to do though.”

“With this announcement, my peers and family start to re-imagine my role in the public service as something legitimate and even high level.”

“Now, it seems more justified for me to surf the Internet and do online shopping on my mobile phone during office hours since I’ll be using my own data. No problem.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





PM Lee must stop Facebook postings during office hours once Internet cut off for public servants

PM Lee must stop Facebook postings during office hours once Internet cut off for public servants

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He must set a good example.

pm-lee-using-computer

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who believe in fairness and leading by example, are calling on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to stop posting updates on Facebook, especially after May 2017 when the Internet is cut off for public servants.

One Singaporean, Mian Bu, said this is so as it will set a precedent: “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the foremost public servant in Singapore. His actions will set the example for the hundreds of thousands of public servants who would follow his cue.”

“It is of utmost importance that he does not post updates on his Facebook page during office hours as he should not have access to the Internet using government computers.”

“And even if he does post on Facebook using his own device, it would signal he is using his own Internet data to post, which is also not good, as he should not be social networking during office hours where he is compensated with taxpayers’ money.”

However, other Singaporeans said dictating how the prime minister should act during office hours is not a natural right of citizens.

Tou Piao, another local, said: “We need to put this issue up for a referendum.”

“The two choices are: ‘PM Lee must not post Facebook updates during office hours’ or ‘PM Lee must compensate taxpayers for posting Facebook updates during office hours’.”

“These two choices resemble the referendum asking citizens to decide if Singapore should merge with Malaysia, where there was no choice to vote against the merger.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





S’pore to turn off Internet in rest of the country by June 2017

S’pore to turn off Internet in rest of the country by June 2017

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Good luck and goodnight.

internet-off-spore

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who will soon perish because they cannot get online, will have one year left to use the Internet in Singapore.

This after Singapore has pledged to turn off the Internet country-wide by June 2017 as it has been decreed that all public servants will not be able to go online using government-issued computers from May next year.

One Singaporean, Boh Dian Nao, said she approves of the authorities stance that the Internet can cause data leaks: “It is no longer safe to keep Singapore’s physical borders secure. We need to lock down digital ones as well to ensure we do not have our secrets stolen.”

Other locals said they will cherish their Internet connection for the next one year and then decide if life is worth the living once it has been taken from them.

Another local, Tiaolao Zi Sah, said: “It is after all a good thing for Singapore to go back to the pre-Internet era.”

“That was a time we frequently look back on thinking how nice and quaint our country was.”

“No Internet, not many foreigners and with a two million population.”

“At least we get to have one of those three things back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





Cutting S’pore’s public servants’ computers off Internet will prevent adultery

Cutting S’pore’s public servants’ computers off Internet will prevent adultery

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That is the real reason why there will be no more Internet access come May 2017.

office-racing

Public servants in Singapore from all walks of life, who joined the government because they do not know what they want to or can do in the private sector, can still get to enjoy working for the government in a Smart Nation.

This after all 100,000 computers used by public servants in Singapore that belong to the government will be cut off from the Internet from May, 2017.

In return, their computers will be traded in for a notepad and pen.

One civil servant, Zheng Hu Kang, said: “This move is to make the public service more productive and efficient as the government knows a lot of man hours are actually spent on Facebook and online shopping during office hours.”

“Public servants have for the longest time been abusing the system and making it look like they are using it ‘for work’ when it clearly is for pleasure.”

“The main motivation, though, is to prevent public servants from committing adultery.”

“This is so as we all know people who hook up these days do so on the Internet.”

“Kudos to the government for acting early as those who want to hook up will at least not be doing so while on government coffers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





Internet in S’pore has made it easier for people to cause offense, take offence & buy things online

Internet in S’pore has made it easier for people to cause offense, take offence & buy things online

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Singaporeans urged to be mindful of hateful content, while letting themselves go once in a while when buying things.

pm-lee-internet

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who rely on the Internet as if it is as important as air, have been cautioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about the need to regulate their online behaviour as it may have real world consequences.

PM Lee said Singaporeans need to be mindful of the things they put out on the Internet as it is a public space because access to comments, in particular the hateful kind, can hardly be restricted once it is out and can cause a lynch mob mentality in others.

One Singaporean, Hen Shen Qi, who uses the Internet as a medium to receive comments and occasionally spew bile and venom on others, said he empathises with the prime minister’s analysis of online behaviour: “Yes, the Internet in Singapore has made it easier for people to cause offense and take offence.”

“However, Singaporeans by and large use the Internet to buy stuff and spend a lot of money on merchandise.”

“Using the Internet to cause offense and to take offence is just a by-product of waiting for the browser to load with new items or in between transactions to clear.”

“For example, Zalora is offering up to 15 percent discount off merchandise in the month of May 2015.”

“So, as you can see, the Internet has also made it easier for people to mash up content to shamelessly promote commerce online.”

 

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Leave the Internet alone

Leave the Internet alone

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“…there is nothing any government, policymaker or even Jesus, can do about politically-incorrect speech.”

By Belmont Lay

All attempts at online regulation will be futile. Because all problems start from real life offline. Try fixing those first.

For those of you who don’t know, the Institute of Policy Studies held a closed-door discussion with bloggers and some misfits on April 26.

The topic? “Civility in Cyberspace: Going Beyond Self-Regulation?”

I mean, what gives, right?

Basically, if you ask me, what the government and policymakers really want to know today is how palatable it is to impose a code of conduct to regulate how people communicate online.

And to what extent they would look like gormless twats for making something like this come to pass, if they ever do.

They are, essentially, testing water.

For the record, I wasn’t there at the IPS.

I couldn’t attend the session at 3 p.m. because I had to work (to earn a salary that is getting so quickly eroded by inflation) so I have no idea what went down.

But if I was there, and regardless of what the topic was and where the direction of the discussion was heading at that point in time, I would have stood up and raised these four points:

1. Every piece of communication device or new app that is developed today is made so that more forms of expression and interaction exist. Not less.

2. People on the Internet will increasingly find new uses for meta-languages to communicate with one another. For instance, if you know what a meme is, how it works and why it evolves to take on a life of its own, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you are ridiculous. Worse, if you think that the spirit that produces the conversations online is something that can be regulated, you are utterly hopeless.

3. The government and policymakers should spend their time dealing with REAL problems, such as coming up with REAL rescue plans to salvage our economy, what’s left of our MRT system and to overhaul our domestic industries. Fiddling around with the Internet in the face of insurmountable problems is like trying to put a plaster on this guy after putting out his fire:

No, contrary to popular belief, emotional pain is not the worst pain you can feel.

It is pointless.

4. Last but not least, there is nothing any government, policymaker or even Jesus, can do about politically-incorrect speech. Live with it. The end.

And here’s where we need to stand the problem on its head: Because if the government can take care of people’s problems and govern effectively, why worry about what’s happening on the Internet?

The only reason there are problems on the Internet is because there are problems in REAL life. Like in times when people are offline, they experience difficulty with the cost of living, for example.

And then they go online and tell their friends about it, who end up telling other friends.

As far as I can tell, people rarely spend all their days making things up.

So, as a rule of thumb, dealing with the REAL problems and leaving the Internet alone should be the way to go.

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To end, here’s some real-life advice you can use: I was once told by someone quite famous to always judge any forum or discussion or round table yada yada by the refreshments that get served, especially if you’re a guest.

Because, seriously, if your views are THAT important, and your ideas THAT brilliant to the people seeking them, you wouldn’t be subjected to drinking out of a Styrofoam cup:

Institute of Policy Studies refreshment that was served to bloggers and some misfits on April 26.

It is a sobering thought, and a highly fruitful exercise to engage in.

It lets you know how unimportant are the things being discussed and where the dialogue is headed for before it even gets started.

True story.

Two million Internet users watched porn…

Two million Internet users watched porn…

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…in the last 60 seconds. Plus, other trivial in infographics that won’t save your life.

Infographics by GO-Gulf.com web design company

PAP grapples with new media

PAP grapples with new media

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The fear of coming off looking like electricity-fearing Luddites should be great. Very great.

Wong Kan Seng's positive demonstration of embracing technology.

It comes as no surprise that new media was mentioned in President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s Address in Parliament last week, MPs and media experts say.

This group of people also see new media playing a pivotal role in deciding how well the government wants to engage the people as well as in informing the government on what the people want.

New Nation’s very own media expert, Terence Lee, argued that the benefits of using new media far outweighs the problems and feels the Government is late to the game but is slowly getting better at it.

The 25-year-old, co-founder and editor of this particularly punchy, irreverent, Twitter-versed website, said very wisely: “It is now more responsive to comments and less authoritative in its tone.”

Another new media guru, Remy Choo, also 25, who is a lawyer and who founded The Online Citizen site with former editor-chief Andrew Loh who is now at the helm of Publichouse.sg, said the inclusion of new media in the president’s address is a shift by the Government, which previously wrote off the Internet “as an echo chamber of anti-government noise”.

MP Indranee Rajah, in an apparent 180-degree about turn on the ruling party’s long-standing view of the Internet, said: “The discourse on the Internet is an increasingly important source for the Government to ascertain how Singaporeans think and feel, and what they want. So digital media is directly relevant to the agenda for the next five years.”

This is the complete opposite view the ruling party had of the Internet the previous five years. Maybe a paltry 60.1 percent win in the May General Election had something to do with it.

However, MP Baey Yam Keng, honcho at Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm, cautioned the Government against being overly concerned with the “uncontrollable element” of new media.

“It’s not possible for the Government to have the last say in every rumour. It’s not possible to explain everything,” Baey spoke with the authority of a knowledgeable PR man.

“It has to focus on platforms that have traction, and are opinion-shapers among the masses. It must pick its battles,” he authoritatively declared.

He also decried that the Government has not fully exploited the promise of new media.

“It is not just about giving information anymore, but getting buy-in,” emphatically proclaimed Baey.

It is urgent for the Government to engage this group sooner, not later, as their numbers are only going to grow, he added some more and more.

Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said the discussion on new media is appropriate as it is a relatively new platform, although the traditional media remains important.

He said: “Highlighting its characteristics reminds us to be judicious in how we regard it and how we use it. But it does not replace other forms of engagement.”

On Oct. 10, last Monday, Tony Tan’s parliament speech had highlighted the importance of the new media platform as a ‘tremendous tool to empower individuals, link us up with one another, and mobilise people for social causes’.

But he also pointed out its downsides, saying: “On the Internet, truth is not easily distinguished from misinformation. Anonymity is often abused. Harsh, intemperate voices often drown out moderate, considered views.”

Maybe he was thinking about what was said online about his son, Patrick Tan, and the issue of his supposed preferential treatment during National Service.

Or his 0.34 percent Kate-Moss-slender-near-win that secured his presidency.

This is a 60-second reduction of the original article published in The Straits Times on Oct. 12.

Borders is dead

Borders is dead

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Four reasons why the mammoth book store went under.

Borders has confirmed that it is closing the remaining 399 stores and laying off more than 10,000 workers in the US by September, following news of its imminent bankruptcy that has been reported for at least one month now.

Locally, not as if there is smoke without a fire.

The Singapore flagship store at Wheelock Place has been closed for three days. Word on the street has it that the bookstore chain is two months behind on rental.

The latest turn of events sees the bookstore’s landlord, Wheelock Properties, taking over the retail space at Wheelock Place as the Borders’ flagship store is closing down. Read the full story

Beware the Octopus

Beware the Octopus

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Is Singapore education too dependent on Internet technology?

By Kwan Jin Yao

MEET the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

This amphibious creature can reach an average size of 30 to 33 centimetres; and after spending its early years and mating season in aquatic environments, its adapted skin conditions have allowed them to live in moist rainforests away from pooled water.

Incredulously, whilst one of its arms – covered in suckers – grabs onto a branch for stability, the Tree Octopus strikes at insects or small vertebrates with one of its eight limbs; aided largely by its human-like eyesight, which coincidentally also helps facilitate inter-octopus relations.

The catch? The Tree Octopus does not exist.

Schools facing learning crisis spawned by Internet: Pearson

The fictitious amphibian was created by a group of researchers at New Literacies Lab, as part of a study funded by the United States Department of Education to comprehend students’ usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as well as the consequences on online learning.

A group of students, identified by their institutions as competent online readers, participated in the research study; in which they were required to find out more information on a campaign to “Save the Endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus”.

After being directed to a fabricated website committed to the cause, the students stubbornly insisted that it exists, even after researchers explained that the available information was entirely made-up.

Despite contentions over statistical accuracy, research integrity and cultural implications, relevant concerns can be gleaned from the findings.

First, is our education system too dependent on ICT? Second, do our students have the proficiency to process information; or possess the abilities to discern and verify virtual content? Finally, how can ICT evolve from being a mere fad into something that is technically stable, academically sustainable and ultimately complementary to teaching-learning pedagogies in the long run?

Is ICT becoming too popular and laissez-faire?

ICT usage in Singapore has been greatly proliferated. On a consistent basis, education institutions – often funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE) – employ ICT methodologies in their syllabuses and training methods: Schools use iPads in language lessons, departments adopt e-learning for students, educators utilise social networking sites as platforms for discussions et cetera.

Given the sheer volume of ICT-based projects and initiatives, it is worth contemplating about the genuine benefits; or whether its widespread – often laissez-faire – adoption is a mere fad for educators and their institutions.

Unfortunately, what makes evaluation tricky is the difficulty in gauging ICT’s effects upon learning behaviours and overall academic performance. Proponents point to the convenience and interactivity of materials, as well as adequate preparation for a highly-computerised world and workplace

Opponents, however, quickly point out that a plethora of unreliable information exist online (a knowledge minefield, as highlighted in the opening case study), instances of plagiarism, and an assortment of distractions – for both teachers and students.

Without conclusive findings, heightened usage of ICT might not necessarily mean better-quality education for our students.

Moderating online learning

My experience with ICT back in high school and junior college has not been the most constructive. Notably, prior to its nomination as a FutureSchool, there was a tremendous reliance upon online portals to host everything: from year-long lessons plans to PowerPoint slides.

As a result of the readily available information, select students take the content for granted; without independently adding their input, or simply switching off during lessons. Second, on occasions, teachers even have the audacity to lazily rip exact texts or sites and pass them off as teaching notes.

Furthermore, home e-learning often borders on farcical: with messy interface (picture multiple students trying to make themselves heard on a cluttered live-chat window), slow loading, experimental errors, and so on.

One positive thing was how the school reinforced the importance of research integrity, and to analyse provenance and source backgrounds instead of utilising “facts” blindly. We were generally cognisant that given the accessibility of the Internet, any individual can simply publish information or purported “facts” online without ensuring complete accountability or accuracy.

Instances of plagiarism were kept minimal; and students were careful to treat ICT delicately as a double-edged sword.

Efforts must be undertaken to properly integrate and orientate ICT methodologies into school curriculum; instead of rushing blindly. For instance, it has been contended that even with the proliferation of school-based resources, there is a lack of inter-school interaction using ICT, creating duplicity in resources and portals. Such management needs drastic improvements.

Moving forward, reviews of ICT practices are necessary to reduce bureaucracy, and to ensure the effectiveness of the programmes instituted by the respective schools. Standards and benchmarks must be set; and genuine user sentiments must be gathered consistently through quantitative and qualitative means.

Otherwise, our pedantic reliance on ICT in education might prove to be a bane for generations of students to come.

Jin Yao blogs on education at http://guanyinmiao.wordpress.com/

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