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Arsip Kategori: literacy

My Old Article (4): Krisdayanti joins famous people by building her personal website


KD

JAKARTA (JP): She sings well, dresses elegantly and also knows how to act. Krisdayanti is probably an Indonesian 21st century icon. And yes, she is on the Net, too, with her “”still-under-construction”” personal website. Check out http://www.krisdayanti.com if you are curious.

Often, a site with a domain name that uses one’s own name, personal site for short, is sometimes not established by the owner of the name. It could be established by a fan or a group of fans. The beautiful Malaysian singer Siti Nurhaliza, for example, has a site (www.sitinurhaliza.net) established by a geek fan.

The site http://www.leary.com was constructed by young people who had met or adored the deceased Timothy Leary. He was the fascinating ex-Harvard lecturer who wrote Chaos and Cyberculture and whose ashes were scattered in outer space.

The site http://www.leary.com was picked as the Net’s Best Site in 1996. By that time, there were not so many marvelous web designs: no sound, no video and no Flash technology. Flash, by Macromedia (www.macromedia.com for a free software download), creates animated vector-based websites.

Speaking of Flash technology, there is one local personal site supported by Flash: a site set up by techno-fiend media mogul Peter F. Gontha (www.gontha.com).

Okay, Krisdayanti and Siti Nurhaliza are pretty. Leary was a guru who envisioned cyberspace far before the Internet hype took root in the 1990s. If a businessman as great as Peter Fritz Gontha establishes his personal site with amazing vision, does this mean that he really keeps track of new technology in all media?

To find the answer, I logged onto http://www.gontha.com. With the so-called sophisticated Flash technology, I had to stare at a very long and boring “”loading”” tag. After that, I registered in out of curiosity. Unfortunately, nothing happened when I logged in again after registration. Ah, this is either a ghost site, a website that is no longer maintained but that remains available for viewing, or the owner just wants to keep the domain name. No vision yet.

Get a domain name

There are two ways to get a personal site. You can purchase a domain name (see http://www.netsol.com), or you can join a provider of free space, (e.g. http://www.geocities.com). Gontha’s site takes the first route. Many recreational users take the second.

Joining the second group, I used to have one at http://www.xoom.com before http://www.NBCi.com bought xoom.com. Soon afterward, there were none. By the way, it was really fun designing, typing and posting it. For someone like me — who cannot sing beautifully or envision the Net radically — I needed to give an intro of who I was. I pasted up a picture of myself. I also mentioned what I liked and did not like.

I really felt great about it until one day a friend of mine stopped by my site. He was a computer nerd who lived in San Francisco, USA. He said, “”It’s too naive””. I didn’t understand at the time. As I found out more about Internet security and privacy, I began to understand. I was just too naive to type my real name, age and address. This could be critical.

Back when there was only a small number of people logging onto the Net, online crime and information abuse was zilch. Today, even a college student like Steven Haryanto can say “”nothing personal”” explaining his dubious sites (e.g. http://www.kilkbca.com, http://www.klikbac.com, and so forth) that snared customers who mistyped Bank Central Asia (BCA)’s web address http://www.klikbca.com. The crime stops there though: he did not take advantage of people who mistakenly typed in their passwords. BCA accepted an apology before the matter was sent to court.

Madonna has fought for her domain name in court. The last time I logged in, her site http://www.madonna.com was a retired or invisible site (one which doesn’t exist anymore and results in a “”not found”” message when you type the address). Her domain name is her trademark. She has, of course, many bodyguards to protect her privacy.

Personal sites

You may want to look around for personal sites in your leisure time. There are millions of other personal sites you can look at besides the ones I mentioned above. Log in to http://www.yahoo.com and click “”members”” to view some. Or click geocities, which is owned by yahoo, for a browse. You may want to check out some other search engines, too.

Alternatively, you can randomly type in anyone’s name with .com or .net, for example http://www.miladay.com, which is not mine. Sometimes, typing a name may lead to a different site than the one I expected to find. I typed http://www.clinton.com to find out more about Bill Clinton, yet I found a registered investment advisor firm.

If you are interested in having your own personal site, please consider some rules. Rule No. 1: know how to design well and efficiently. Let the visitors enjoy it page by page. A bit of knowledge about web technology is Rule No. 2. Actually you can upload anything with a simple program like Microsoft Word. Last of all, Rule No. 3: beware of what and how to reveal information about yourself on the web. See but not touch. Touch but … keep it for yourself. It can be a cruel cyberworld out there.

Famous sites

Local: http://www.gontha.com (Peter F. Gontha), tya.iscool.net (Tya Subiakto), http://www.krisdayanti.com, http://www.anggun.com (Anggun C. Sasmi), http://www.peggymelatisukma.com,

Overseas: http://www.rupertmurdoch.com, http://www.leary.com (Timothy Leary), http://www.tlc.com, http://www.sitinurhaliza.net.

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, July 29 2001, 7:03 AM

 

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My Old Article (3): GPRS — A new technology to put you on the fast track


gprs

JAKARTA (JP): What will happen in 2004? Some politicians aren’t prepared to wait that long to see a new president rule the country. Some of us cannot wait that long to see many changes in Indonesia.

If that year ever comes, global players in the telecommunication and information technology (IT) industry will be celebrating one billion subscribers of wireless phone services. According to Hong Kong-based consultants Strategis Group, this year alone wireless phone subscribers have reached 530 million worldwide.

Anticipating the trend, Telkomsel, one of the largest mobile phone operators in Indonesia today, is planning to enhance its telecommunications technology with general packet radio services (GPRS). Through this initiative, Telkomsel will be able to offer much improved services.

Service, or as IT people would call it QoS (Quality of Service), will become a major concern for subscribers. Who would want to have “”network search”” blinking on the phone screen all the time? In its early days, GSM (Global System for Mobiles) could also be called Geser Sedikit Mati or, move a little and the phone is dead.

On the Internet and other networks, QoS is the idea that transmission rates, error rates and other characteristics can be measured, improved and, to some extent, guaranteed in advance.

With GPRS, Telkomsel is running in the fast lane. Based on GSM communication, GPRS has higher data transmission rates which allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia web sites in any part of the world. GPRS promises data rates from 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) up to 114 Kbps, and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users.

Today’s plain flavored Internet dial-up connection in Jakarta can reach as high as 8 Mbps (Indosat Net connection). Soon enough, users of mobile devices will enjoy the comfort of Internet in their palms at faster speeds. As the speed is gradually improving, mobile Internet keeps its magnetic charm for most of its users.

However, with the possibility of the value-added tax being raised to 12.5% in July and the prices of consumer goods climbing off the wall, apparently the mobile phone industry in Indonesia will remain stable.

More on technology

Another trivia question: what will happen if an effective, acceptable government is finally functioning in Indonesia? Everything goes well according to market demand. Politicians and economists are wearing smiles. Then we can talk about technology advancement further.

Today’s cellular systems are mainly circuit-switched, with connections always dependent on circuit availability. Like that used by Telkom’s POTS (plain old telephone system), most cell phones use a circuit-switched network, where no one else can use the physical lines involved during a call.

In contrast, the next generation of GPRS is already coming. It is called Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS). It offers a consistent range of services to mobile computer and phone users no matter where they are located in the world. As with any evolving technology, worldwide deployment of UMTS may take some time.

UMTS is one of the approved standards by the International Telecommunications UnionTelecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T). Located in Geneva, ITU-T is the main international body that develops cooperative standards for telecommunications equipment and systems.

UMTS meets with the requirement of providing transmission rates of 144 Kbps when mobile, 384 Kbps when pedestrian speeds outdoor, and 2 Mbps stationary indoors.

While it becomes a little faster at each new phase, wireless technology will mature in time. Most European countries and Japan already have the facilities to utilize UMTS, which will be in service after 2002.

Something to ponder

Once UMTS is fully implemented, it will keep people connected at all times and in all places. Phone and PDA (personal digital assistant) users can be constantly connected to the Internet as they travel and have the same set of capabilities no matter where they are.

Privacy and security on the Net is something to consider. If cell phones or PDAs stay online 24 hours a day, this could tempt hackers. With fingerprint, retinal, or voice recognition systems, security is also advancing.

Some of us would like to have time for ourselves; often disconnecting the phone while on vacation. If not, the cell phone in the pocket could be spotted thousands of miles away from where we are. This is made possible by global positioning satellites.

Owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, but available for general use around the world, the global positioning system (GPS) is a constellation of 24 well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth.

It is possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location. These days, GPS receivers, which can be attached to any electronic device, are becoming consumer products.

Some experts say that technology, bit by bit, chips away at our privacy. Is it possible to design a technology that could conceal personal information? Once we live in borderless space, expect the information explosion at any time. Make use of it, or make the best defense from it.

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, June 17 2001, 7:29 AM

 

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