Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Bangkok Post website

Well, the long, behind the times Bangkok Post website finally has a new design. Good job guys. And also, thanks for this long winded introduction to RSS. It's about time you got RSS.. was that 2 or 3 years behind the Nation? Also finally good forum software, but classifieds and jobs are still seriously lacking.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thailand's black list leaked

There is a recently released black list of sites being blocked in Thailand. From Wikileaks:

A total of 860 YouTube videos have been blocked, far in excess of the blocking conducted by The Official Censor of the Military Coup; a further 200 pages mirroring those videos are also blocked. Curiously, Hillary Clinton's campaign videos, and 24 Charlie Chaplin videos are also on the censorship lists.

Although we have not yet found the opportunity to examine each website censored, an eclectic mix of censorship has been revealed resulting in overblocking of many benign webpages.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Police check point gold mine

So what happens when you get stopped at one the the police check points, and you don't have the right bribe to offer or the right 'friend' to call? Police checkpoints are out in force in December. Why? This basic formula. For every drunk driver the police nab, they will get fined starting at 5,000 baht. Of that 5,000 baht, 2,500 goes to the police station making the stop. 250 Baht goes to the Federal government and 2,250 goes to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA). So don't be surprised if they don't accept your bribe of 2,000 baht. They are going to to get minimum 2,500 out of you by following this simple procedure:

  1. Stop you, take your license or ID
  2. Make you take a breathalyzer - over 50 is a fail.
  3. Escort you to the police station where you will be asked your details.
  4. Escort you to a room with metal bars.
  5. Ignore you until someone posts bond of 20k on your behalf. (unless you got it in your pocket)
  6. Someone pays your 20k bail, and it is logged in triplicate, forms are filled, time passes.
  7. You are fingerprinted.
  8. You are released and allowed to drive back home.
  9. You return two days later to fill forms, wait in lines.
  10. You are sent to the court house. Forms filled, wait in lines.
  11. Seating before a judge with all other guilty parties.
  12. Payment of 5,000 baht and admittance of guilt.
  13. Receipt issued.
  14. Two days later go to the police station.
  15. Pick up check for 20k bond. Leave your license behind for 6 months.
  16. Cash check.
  17. Go back in 6 months to retrieve license.
All in all, a pretty darn reason to bribe a policeman whenever you can.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thailand way behind - in Facebook membership

When compared to some neighbors Thailand seems to have plenty of Facebook members:

But against others:

Some facts:

  • Average user has 100 friends on the site
  • 2.6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
  • More than 13 million users update their statuses at least once each day
  • More than 2.5 million users become fans of Pages each day


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One good thing about not having an elected prime minister?

At least the new prime minister doesn't sound like an idiot speaking English like Taksin did. More on Abhisit Vejjajiva.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Great article on the Royal backing of the PAD protests

From W. Scott Thompson in his opinion piece in the IHT:

And the demonstrators know that the king is plainly on their side. This time, more than 1974 and 1992, it would be trivial to say that democracy is what is at issue. It's whether or not those others, "unworthy to bear the dust under his shoes," as the royal inflection goes, can finally be worn out. Just wait - the king will wave his magic wand and the crisis will be over. The army - or some other appropriate delegate - will take power, and the country will find the patience to wear out the endurance of an expiring Thaksin, who in exile loses wealth and legitimacy by the day.

Thailand is paying an enormous price for this crisis, but in the end the king's determination to ensure a legacy where his type of people will rule, and Thailand will return to rapid economic growth and the iconic smiles by which it is known - with a bit of democracy thrown in. The king's move in the next few days will be worth watching.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Office staff wearing yellow down 50% today

Yellow shirts, which used to stand for support for the revered Thai King, have now become a symbol of lawlessness and extremism - which most Thais tend to avoid. On a Mondays over the past several months, a ride on the sky train meant seeing walls of yellow. Now you might not even notice as Yellow is quickly going out of fashion.


Chamlong Srimuang and PAD screwing more than just Thailand?

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