Est. 2007

Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Email- What Has Changed?

In Tech on October 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Well, I hear all the time that email was one of those things that really took off as part of the internet evolution. It was is essence what created the communication framework that we so dearly love today. Don’t get me wrong, it is also a source of misery for some. It is such an elementary part of the web that we often hear the words email and internet side by side, as if email were not part of the internet already. This, one would suppose, comes from the fact that if wasn’t so tightly knit around the internet and was a bit different thing then. It was probably, in my opinion, what created some up take of internet connections in the early years.

Since then things have changed immencely. Email today has evolved from what it was back then. Firstly, email was accesed not throught the web, but through it own client as a primary means of access. It wasn’t free either and only businesses and the elite had an address. Along came hotmail and everything changed. Free email for the masses. The mail boxes weren’t too big back then and the site ran off ads, much like today. It was not only free but web access for now the primary method of accessing mail and for some obvious reasons. After this many others have come along. Notably, Yahoo, Aol and Gmail. These are just the big ones. If you think hard, ISP’s even give email for free even if the mail boxes are small. So, the point is, every man and his dog have an account; oh wait, maybe two, or three? One for work, one for home, one for friends, one for mail subscriptions…….

Moving on, the uses for email have changed over the years too. In the beginning we just used them to write letters, both formal and informal. That soon changed; people used them to subscribe to newsletters and to send short messages or a way just to send files across the network. That all changed too. Now, we have IM for short messages, RSS for news and file transfer and sharing services to take care of that. Where are we now then? Back to square one! Emails are just for text most of the time because we can now communicate through other means, though it is funny to see workmates who are only a couple of feet apart sending emails to each other all day and not even knowing who they are talking to.

There are lots of new things about email now as well. We can access it on the move on our cell phones in various ways; whether that is actually useful is another question on its own. We can store more email for free. We can search our mail more effectively. We can tag them and place them in more than folder without using more space. We can see all messages in the same conversation together and many more things. Most notably though, we are identified online by our email addresses. They are the tickets with which we gain access to all other free and non-free services.

Later we’ll look at the providers, consolidating your email and managing your email eco-system.

The Spray Can

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Digicel Fiji

In Life, Tech on October 3, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Well, the opening of the new mobile phone giant in Fiji was done in one of the most extravagent ways with Sean Kingston performing live before a crowd of thousands for FREE. This is in line with many other launches in the Pacific where stars like Shaggy were brought in to promote the company. Local artists were also present at the event.

The day was filled with lots of hype and the media were having a feild day with it. The Fiji Times and The Fiji Sun being filled with advertisements from all communication companies, namely Vodafone, Inkk, Telecom and of course Digicel. Digicel went on further to subsidise the Fiji Sun which costed 40 cents on the day. Digicel offered phones at cheap prices and had some free credit up for grabs for all new customers in October.

The thing to analyse now is whether the company will make any headway in trying to gain significant market share as Vodafone has been deep rooted here on the account of its 14 year long reign. Though it seems that people are eager to switch if the price is right, they are not blind. The firm advertisers free credit but the credit comes with significant disadvantages. The bulk of the credit can only be used for calls and texts to other Digicel phones, which is not very useful as existing customers are on rival networks and for a new Digicel customer that means they can’t call anyone else for that credit unless their friends switch also. Secondly, the cheapest phone they have at $19 does not have a radio though were advertised to have such a feature. Thirdly, their rates aren’t all that cheap; 30 cents is only for off peak Digucel to Digicel and other charges work up from there. and climb to 45 cents, though it is good to note that the charges are all per second based which is unlike Vodafone and Inkk which charge per block on at least landline calls. You can check this all out at www.digicelFiji.com

On the other hand, they are giving more than you are paying for at the moment. $75 credit is something for nothing even though there are strings attached. The Cheapest phone they have will at least get you on their network if that is what you want. They also have phones that are better and it is good to note the F250 from Samsung which has a whole heap of features for just $125. They have even better phones like Blackberries and Nokia N series phones for cheap as well. The firm will further enhance your experience in the first month by offering free MMS messages. They basically allow pictures with text to be send together; they will later charge 50 cents for this service which is basically half the price to Vodafone which does it at 99 cents. Oh and yes, their texts cost 15 cents! Voice mail is customisable and free to access too.

Further on, the network of Digicel is 2.75G, i.e it is an EDGE network; the network is faster than the standard 2.5G GPRS networks. Digicel, according to their site will offer data plans and data even for prepay users at the rate of 1c/1kb, which is $10/1MB. Certainly not cheap. They also have no inbetween plans just a 2mb and 1gb plan. They really ought to have one at 50mb or something like that so that people can atleast check mail and access a few web pages per month.; it would be nice at around $12.

Overall, Digicel has got some competition coming up against it, though temporary; Inkk gives 30 cents all day rate and Vodafone has got the My Gang thing going for it as well. The next thing that Digicel needs is the ability to convert their Vodafone number to their network so that clients find it easy to switch, but that might never happen even thoughi tis done in countries like New Zealand. On the whole we’ll just have to wait and see what they come up with for us, but they certainly are looking promising.

The Spray Can

Where’s my 2 cents Fiji?

In Life on September 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

The RBF as of October is removing from circulation the one and two cent coins. Smart? Maybe and maybe not. Let’s look at the pros and cons and perhaps a few other countries.

Cons:

Well firstly, some inflation? Removal of low denominations ought not to cause inflation but it may it rounding is abused. This may occur in a country like Fiji. Items that a readily bought will have their prices rounded up at the shelf and when mixed with other items at the cashier the prices may be further rounded up; therefore, the stores effectively charging more. Though from research it is clear that it is a non-issue in later years and does not affect the economy when proper practices are in place.

Secondly, beggars aren’t going to be too happy. Usually we would give away our coins to charity or to religious places or to donation drives.

Pros:

Well there are many. Firstly, the one cent coin costs 4 cents to make. Added to that fact is that they are often collected and not tendered back, leaving them in drawers and other places where they will not be utilised.

Secondly, not having to deal with these coins means that labour costs are saved, not only by RBF but also by businesses who no longer have to cater for the floats with these coins. The cashier also does not need to count out and give out the coins saving them precious time.

As stated earlier, the coins have limited use; they are only given out and not taken back as counting a bulk of the coins will again cost the company or bank more money than what the coins are worth.

The value of the cent is so low that no item can be purchased by the coin alone. The FJD cent is of course valued less than the US dollar equivalent. Other countries including the Australia and certain European countries have stopped the minting of some of these low denominations. Sweden would be one of the first and hence were the ones to come up with rounding to solve the problem often caused at the checkout. New Zealand on the other hand has removed from circulation the one cent, the two cent and the five cent coins, leaving the lowest denomination as 10 cents. The ten cent coin is also a copper coin. Needless to say, they went on further to make the other coins smaller and lighter so that our wallets and pockets would not be laden with coins that were far too heavy. They are now some of the most light coins around.

Lastly, some of the things that we do not think about. The coins are small and often get lost, so they are not so beneficial to the consumer. The coins are hazardous to small kids who may find the coin small enough to swallow. Seeing as the coin is now intrinsicly valued more than its face value, it becomes a target for copper extractors who can melt coins to gain the metal components. In my honest opinion, this may be difficult in Fiji but there is no lack of motive. Thieves often loot building sites for copper wire; it wouldn’t be a surprise if they suddenly started selling out coins.

All in all, we’d better get out those money bags cause I know we’ve all been hording some of those coins. Who knows, you might get a couple of bucks richer by the weekend.

The Spray Can