Just some Tidbits

Alright peeps … you know I love you all so here is some little info from the ICT Trade Mission.

1. YouTube is NEVER getting unblocked. Nope. Got it from the horse’s mouth (funny expression, right?). Had a lively (ahem) disucssion right at the Google HQ at Mountain View. So happens that YouTube/Google has banned the blasphmous video which was why YT was blocked in dear ol’ Pakistan. NOT because YT/G suddenly becamse sensitive to Muslim feelings but because an actor in the video filed a copyright or something suit. Now PTA has no reason to keep the website blocked except that if anyone dares to give verdict in its favor some WAY BETTER Muslim than any of us will take offence and decide that person no longer has the right to live. You know what I mean? So that’s that.

2. The not-so-important ministries in Pakistan such as the IT Ministry are given away to whoever raises their hand first. ‘Nuff said.

3. Higher echelons believe we (as in Pakistanis) don’t have enough talent and hence foreign governments need to step in not only to give us monetary aid but also intellectual aid. For example, NO ONE in Pakistan knows about eGovernance so the government would like to import people who do. Ummm … I’d like to request the Pakistani government to please use google for something other than looking for stuff to ban. Thank you.

4. No one is doing business with Pakistan because we don’t have good piracy laws and the few that we do are not implemented. One point raised was about downloading movies and music. My question to them was, “I want to use iTunes and Amazon etc to buy music, ebooks, movies but we don’t have PayPal and our credit cards are not accepted online. NOT watching latest movies or listening to music is not an option. So, what choices do I have?” Was that a fair question? *Hint: Do not respond unless it’s in the affirmative.

5. Microsoft won’t come to Pakistan until we stop using pirated software. A point raised by many on the delegation: MS needs to lower its prices because when it comes to a choice between ridiculously expensive and free, guess which wins? Pakistan is a good sized market and currently we are using the software for free. If they lower the price a bit we will pay for it because who likes to see that annoying “Your copy of Windows/MS is not registered” message pop up all the time? I wouldn’t mind paying $50 for a good bundle with Outlook and Publisher.

If this gets me into trouble I promise I will write a much more detailed post ‘coz that’s how I roll 😉

OK byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

P.S. Some ministers believe that YouTube is not relevant to a country like Pakistan and small businesses working with social media do not matter. #facepalm

Advertisements

ICT Trade Mission

Been back a while from my awesome possum trip to the US. Still horrendously jetlagged or maybe its the winter creeping into my ol’ bones and making me lazy. Dunno. Either way, about time I got my act together and started workign ‘coz I tell you my peeps, I got tons to do.

This blog post is not gonna be any different than previous ones. Just confused, random thoughts all over the place. But it helps me get stuff out of the way onto this digital page so I can start thinking about new stuff or put things into perspective. So here we go.

Was invited to a one week ICT Trade Mission by the US State Department. Me and a couple other women were sponsored by the US-Pakistan Women Council hence how I was there. Yes, I am still poor and can not afford a trip to Murree never mind the US. Had some big shots from the Pakistani ICT industry including minsiters, chairman this-and-that, CEOs of fancy firms. US Ambassador to Pakistan accompanied us on the mission. Actually, the whole thing was his idea. He is really keen on geteting trade dialogue going between the 2 countries. Great guy except that he was at Google HQ in Mountain View and it was his first time and he was completely calm!! How can you not be excited about being inside Google? I asked what would get him as excited as us  and he said a trip to the beach. But why, I ask you? You can Google the beach! Oh well … !

10502009_10152528756143621_8278686722985949503_n

Spent 2 days in Washington DC. Stayed at the same hotel I did 3 years ago while on Artemis/10k. Missed the girls terribly. Walked through rain to the National Mall, visited Capitol Hill, went to the Smithsonians – and did all of this in my kolhapuris. I AM INVINCIBLE! And just in case you don’t know what a kolhapuri is:

Kolhapuris

Met Saba Ghouri at the State Department. I almost cried. Had been reminiscing about her just an hour ago with a friend and telling her how she was in Islamabad these days. And in she walked. Got to meet new director of US Pak Women Council, new director Econ at US Embassy Islamabad, had a great meeting with Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell.

Had my dream come true as we flew to San Francisco to spend 4 dreamy days at Silicon Valley. I DIED of excitement. Visited Stanford, almost got run over by the campus bus, had a mouth-gaping-wide-open lecture by 2 professors, decided I love the academia more than any other specie, was given a personal tour of the campus by one of the professors. It was one of those moments when your faith in God multiplies by a gazillion times and its reaffirmed that He listens to everything I say to Him but He waits for the right moment to grant you your wish.

Went down to Microsoft and Google and Oracle HQs for meetings. They were all great but somehow they paled in comparison to Stanford.

Here is the earliest adapter of Google Lollipop. :P

I am the earliest adapter of Google Lollipop. 😛

Forgot to nick this for brags but glad I got this photo at least.

Forgot to nick this for brags but glad I got this photo at least.

Junglee in Stanford - see that bus behind me? It almost ran me over coz I didn't wait to check if there was anything behind me. Almost the most embarrassing moment of my life.

Junglee in Stanford – see that bus behind me? It almost ran me over coz I didn’t wait to check if there was anything behind me. Almost the most embarrassing moment of my life.

Take aways:

– Made acquaintance of some wonderful people who accompanied us on the trade mission. Got to know others I knew from before more closely and some misconceptions were removed.

– Stanford tops Google.

– Academia tops programmers and coders and CEOs.

– I know about entrepreneurship … 6 years have taught me a lot.

– Being friendly comes naturally but putting people in their place early on when they get out of line is important.

– Jet lag sucks.

OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Yammer Gets Hammered

OK that was lame. But considering what Microsoft did to Skype I am worried about Yammer. Yeah, so the CEO is a happy guy coz he got $1.2 billion in cash nonetheless but if he is gonna stay on as the top management guy he may go downhill. And $1.2 billion – HOLY SMOKES! All I need for WDL is $50k. Sighhh … 

ImageYeah, the weather is great in Dubai. Saw a few familiar faces so am breathing easier. Met my online friend from YPO who was also a Network Administrator around the same time I was. Taught her how to wear eye-makeup – it was hilarious. 😀 I should keep a separate blog maybe for the super duper crazy fun things I do sometimes. OK , a LOT of times. 😀 And I saw penguins. Verdict? I am in love. They are the cutest things ever especially out of water. 

Yeah, so goodbye Yammer. You will be missed. I really liked your name – there was a zing to it. 

$1.2 billion …. GOSH! Wow! 

OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

P.S. In case you are NOT a geek and somehow on my blog, I am talking about the recent acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft