first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting curt hopkins Related Posts Tags:#TWiOT#web center_img Before covering the events that have taken place this week in Egypt, I think it’s important to examine those stories that are in danger of being lost to the public’s consciousness because of the dramatic nature of what’s happening in Tahrir Square. Also, in one case, it’s instructive to talk about one case which came about as a direct result of Egypt. In fact, let’s start there, with Syria. Syria lifts Internet bans. Syria is an enthusiastic banner of social media tools. Facebook and YouTube have been banned in that authoritarian country for four years. But now, that ban has been lifted. This is a result of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. Like those countries, Syria has labored under a prolonged tinhorn tyranny; in this case, it has endured two generations of Assad-family rule. Perhaps it’s hoped this relaxation will act as a pressure release. Perhaps it is also hoped that trouble-makers in the Syrian regime will be more easily identified if they are lured out in the virtual open. “It seems like a policy to curry favor with the youth,” Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid told us. The relaxation was accompanied by the announcement of a food subsidy for the needy. Thailand prosecutes another blogger under lèse majesté. The trail for the prosecution of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the webmaster of the Prachatai website, is ongoing. The charge of lèse majesté is a popular one in Thailand when the government finds anyone it wishes to muzzle. The charge is one of bad mouthing the king and queen, who are very popular in Thailand. It is the Thai equivalent of “insulting the leader” or “insulting religion.” Burma sentences imprisoned blogger to more time. Kaung Myat Hlaing, known by the blogging name of Nat Soe, has been sentenced to an additional ten year sentence on top of the two years he’s already serving. In a secret “trial,” Hlaing was convicted of being part of a poster campaign in support of dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and others. He was deprived of food and water for ten days until he “confessed” to being part of the postering group. China bans “Egypt” as search term. Most of the countries terrified by the people who are rising up in Tunisia and Egypt are Arab ones, like Saudi Arabia. But China is nothing if not forward thinking and accounts of people forcing their governments to account are definitely outre in the Middle Kingdom. So “Egypt” has joined “Tiananmen” and “falun gong” as banned terms on the Chinese Internet. Malaysia announces Internet censorship regime. The Malaysian government is drawing up “guidelines” (read: laws) for online behavior (read: speech). The fact that these rules are in conjunction with the country’s Sedition Act tells you everything you need to know about the motivation behind them. Blogging is popular in Malaysia and several of its more prominent bloggers eventually even ran for office; one of them, Jeff Ooi, becoming a member of the Malaysian parliament, which makes the limitations all the more unfortunate. American university a hot-bed of censorship. No country lives up to its ideals, but when the place where those ideals are most openly trodden on is the country’s university system, you know something’s wrong. The U.S. is big on free speech, enshrining it in the country’s highest law, the Constitution. But over the past decade or more, more and more university systems have outlawed speech that is “offensive.” Offensive speech is the only speech that requires constitutional and legal guarantee of course. The right to say “good morning” or “nice shoes” or “I like sunshine” is not one likely to be abrogated. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has made – I swear I am not making this up – on-campus rallies on “controversial” subjects (vague, much?) subject to a set of regulations that make them difficult if not impossible to stage. That’s right. At this point, it is easier for Egyptians to protest for the end of the Mubarak regime than UM students to protest against the continuation of U.S. presence in Iraq. I would call the administration of the University of Massachusetts a bunch of douchebags but it probably breaks the school’s speech code. This week in Egypt characterized by blogger abductionsSandmonkey abducted, beaten, freed. Well-known Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey was “arrested,” beaten up, then let go. His blog was also hit, “due to problems related to traffic and attacks (many from IPs in Saudi Arabia),” and has been taken offline “temporarily suspended until the problems can be resolved.” That was on the third; a post appeared again on the sixth. Kareem Amer. Kareem was a cause celebre internationally. He served four years in Egyptian prison for criticizing Islam as well as his country’s leadership. Although many Mideast youth defended his right to speak his mind and conscious, he was reviled in the Egyptian press and elsewhere. He was beaten and otherwise ill-treated by his jailers, repeatedly during his time in jail. He went missing around 11:00 p.m. local time on February 6 after leaving Tahrir Square with a friend. Wael Ghonim. The Google middle eastern marketing executive was held blindfolded by Egyptian security forces for 12 days. When he was released, he admitted to being one of the founders of the We are all Khaled Said group, whose Facebook page organized a lot of the protests. His subsequent TV interviews and speeches have rejuvenating a protest movement that showed signs of flagging before Ghonim was released. What do you like about This Week in Online Tyranny? What would you like to see more of? Less of? How can we make it more interesting and more useful to you? Please let us know in the comments.Tahrir photo via Al Jazeera | Assad photo via Wikimedia Commons | Burmese protest photo by Alan Chan | UMass photo via Wikimedia Commons | Kareem photo via Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

first_imgGood Housekeeping staffers reminisce about special people who inspired them and taught them lessons they live by even today. Read on, take out some time and make the effort to catch up with them this Teachers DayKnowing Right From WrongI remember Mrs Kiran Singh (My Standard XII English teacher who also doubled as the class teacher) to be a fair lady, who always wore the same shade of lipstick even if it didnt match the colour of her saree. Her knowledge of English was impeccable. She had just returned after a long stint in the US, which probably explained her incessant complaints to the authorities to install air-conditioning in the classrooms. From just being one of the teachers??, over time, she became someone from whos memory I still draw inspiration. At that time, I didnt believe in the concept of mentors or idols. The only people I looked upto were my parents. However, I took to Mrs Singhs way of teaching from the beginning. She would often read out and explain Shakespearean tragedies and love poems with equal fervour we would all be mesmerised. We were reading Great Expectations. Before I start the novel, I must warn you that a lot of you girls will fall in love with Pip (the protagonist), so be prepared! she announced. Probably a technique to bind our attention to the novel. It worked. She was a stickler and would be aghast if someone used wrong grammar in her class? At the same time, she once confessed to feeling like a criminal?? the moment she saw a student cry when faced with one of her famous bad temper?? day. What I liked about her was that she knew exactly what her role was she was a teacher. But, even though she never tried to be a friend?? to us, we found ourselves opening up to her. In those days, when you are in an all-girls school, in relatively small-town Lucknow, having a boyfriend was the biggest sin?? you could commit. Mrs Singh made it a point to take up cudgels for a girl who was apparently seeing?? someone, announcing in class that as long as you know what you are doing, it was fine. This was revolutionary for us back then. She had a particular way of dealing with everyone whether it was the quietest girl in class or the most talkative one, the compulsive liar or the kleptomaniac, she managed all, often going out of her way in giving compassionate counselling lessons. Looking back, one thing that I have learnt from her is to always strive for perfection. It doesnt matter what you do, you just have to do it right. Or keep trying. Else, dont do it at all. And even though its been years since I have left school, the memories of her English lectures and bright lipstick linger on?Lessons LearntIt was 4pm. I half-heartedly walked into an isolated room lined with books on grammar and language. I was sent there by the Principal to spend some overtime learning English that is because all my teachers and I never agreed on anything, owning to my not understanding a word of what they were saying. This entire ordeal can of course leave a 10-year-old feeling quite miserable. My tutors name was Sister Dora, who taught English. She didnt shun me because of my inability to express myself in the language. Instead she started talking to me, nudging me politely about what I got right and what I didnt. As the weeks went by, the quality of our communication (or rather my part of it) began to improve by leaps and bounds, and the results were there for all to see. The teachers had less to complain about and my parents were often surprised when I would suddenly launch into a series of questions typical of childhood curiosity, only this time they were in English! I was quite the hyperactive child too, which is explained by the rather long nickname Sister Dora gave me: Monkey sitting on hot bricks.?? As the years rolled by, I almost never had to face a problem with English in academics. Out of all the teachers who Ive had in my life, I think I feel most indebted to Sister Dora for teaching me a skill that precedes all others and the ability to interact with the world around me. Thanks, Sister Dora. Vishveshwar Jatain Fact And Fiction When I was given the task of writing about my favourite teacher, contrary to some of my colleagues flipping coins to decide which teacher to write on, I had no doubt. It had to be one the best people (and teachers) I had known, Miss Urvashi (sitting, extreme right in the picture), who taught me mass communication in IP University. I was never the teachers favourite??. Probably staying more out than in, I was happier being with my gang of friends, getting just more than enough marks to see me through. However Miss Urvashi made me realise that studies too can be interesting. From getting us to make documentaries on the Dharavi slums in Mumbai, to helping us understand what journalism is all about, she would always take the lesson one notch higher. On the job, her advice has always worked for me? She inspired us to think (something which we sadly miss out on in the everyday hustle-bustle of life). For her, every decision that we take in life, should have a reason, else there is no point. Contrary to what people perceive that one should always listen to his or her heart, she taught us to be more practical and follow our minds. Years down the line, I still wish I could be a little like her, in all walks of life. Priya Saini Breathing Life Into Studies Syntax and Semantics can be far from fun! However little did I know that a man called Tanmoy Bhattacharya would soon change all that for me. Returning to India after a post-doctoral stint as a research scientist in the Cognitive Science Group at the University of Leipzig, Germany, he also was involved with disability studies. He taught us to be focussed a 100 percent on the task at hand, above all. To a 19-year-old, this seemed to be a Herculean task. Lectures and diagrams aside, he also inculcated the habit of reading in us. Tanmoy Sir taught us one more valuable lesson in life: Be nice to people. It doesnt matter whether they are good or bad you just do your part. Neha Dey Teacher Talk When I think of Neha, words such as industrious, attentive, conscientious, self-starter, studious, helpful and confident come to mind. She was a brilliant child and I am sure she will always do well in life. Tanmoy Bhattacharya M iss U rvashi expl ained that sometimes life gives you difficult choices. You must always listen to your mind more than your heart. It might be tough initially, but will benefit eve ryon e in the lon g run Change For The Better Having had to transfer schools from Mumbai to Delhi (and totally hating it!), I felt an instant affinity for Mrs Rudola (who taught me Math in Standard VII and was my class teacher in Standard IX) as she was from Maharashtra! Her kindness and empathy endeared her to me and helped me through the difficult period of transition, from different cities, school mates and to a different syllabus – which now included Sanskrit! She was always encouraging, supportive and great fun to be around. When I look back and think about my school years, she is one teacher who will always hold a special place in my heart. Vanessa Fitter Teacher Talk I taught Vanessa for two years. In Standard VII, I found her to be an innocent child, who was adjusting not just to a new city (her parents had moved from Mumbai to Delhi) but also the rigours of a new system (ICSE to CBSE). She had fitted in well and was a confident child by the time the term came to an end. In Standard IX, I found she had matured into a lively and well-rounded student. Whilst Math was her bugbear, she brought herself up to speed and did very well in the board exams the following year. Looking back, it was a pleasure having Vanessa as a student and I wish her best of luck in life. Sunanda Rudola The Modern?? English Connection Coming to Delhi from a relatively conservative town (Lucknow) for my post-grad studies, my first few days as an English Honours student at Hindu College, Delhi University, were full of surprises (eye-opening and most inspiring). With my peers, I was somewhat prepared. I was warned there would be a variety: The nerds, the punks, the intellectuals, the multitalented lot, the sports stars, the creative souls, the losers, and so on… But someone I was not prepared for, was Dr Brinda Bose, who on our second day of college, graciously told us she would be teaching us modernism??. And what joy it was! Specially for me since I loved the subject. The fact that the Bengali, softspoken Dr Bose had studied at the Universities of Oxford and Boston, added greatly to the wow?? factor. Her classes were brilliant, to say the least; in no other class did I sit in row one and listen with such rapt attention. And this was only the beginning of my long association with the inspiring educator and human being, which later carved my future. In the little time I have known her, shes been a part of numerous conferences across the globe on gender and cultural studies, has edited the book Amitav Ghosh: Critical Perspectives, Translating Desire And Gender And Censorship and co-edited Interventions and The Phobic And The Erotic. She is also the secretary of the Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies… A few of her many achievements. On the last day of college, Dr Bose wrote a small note in my flowery little diary (one that I still have tucked away in my drawer), stating the faith she had in my abilities to go far, while spreading good cheer. And only recently, a picture compliment she sent me on Facebook, brought back all those wonderful memories of her and my time at Hindu College. I make sure I keep in touch with her through the Internet? A reminder not only of the good times we had in her lectures, but also the undying support she had in me. Mohini Mehrotraadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more