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CambodiaCircles sponsoring Barcamp Phnom Penh 2011


Founded earlier this year by initiative members living in foreign country with the support of Cambodian taskforce in term of content providing, Cambodiacircles.com has a great honor to be a co-sponsor in the Barcamp Phnom Penh 2011, a two-day conference focusing on technology.

Barcamp 2011 banner

Cambodiacircles.com is struggling to be more than a social networking site for Cambodians by gathering 6 groups of people who share the same interest, activity, or achievement. They are professional groups, civil servants, NGOs, Academics, Business Owners, and the rest of us who are still studying or unemployed.

Everyone can check every content in our website though you are not our member; however, with the registration to be our member, you can do more than that. You are allowed to post your comments, share your wonderful photos, videos, likes, and participate in our discussion once you become our member.

Please try it out!

CambodiaCircles : Get Connected to Success

22/10/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth 
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Young people remain blissfully unaware of the hidden dangers of mobile phones


ACCORDING to a 2008 census, Cambodia has a population of 13,395,682, with a growth rate of 1.54 per cent a year.

BuddeCom, a telecommunications research website, has estimated that this year, Cambodia has 8.4 million mobile subscribers.

With the rise in modern technology, and especially the introduction of the “smart” phone, mobile phones can be used for many purposes. People use their phones to take pictures, capture video, record sound, play music, listen to the radio, watch television and, perhaps most pervasively, surf the internet.

Cambodia now has nine mobile operators, up from a mere three in 2006.  These companies are competing constantly to provide the best calling rates and lowest mobile internet charges.

Those charges can be based either on data transferred or based on a package deal.  The former usually cost  about one cent per 100kb; the latter are usually around $3 a month.

These rates are not too expensive, especially compared with rates in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia.

Thanks to these reasonable rates, mobile-phone manufacturers have recently churned out a number of internet-capable phones at affordable prices around $30.

Some phone manufacturers co-operate with mobile operators by allowing users to surf the web free of charge within a given period of time.

All this means that today, there are more Cambodians, especially young people, using mobile phones than ever before.

In the past, people needed to take their laptops and USB internet modems with them whenever they wanted to access the internet.  Now, simply having a mobile phone is good enough, even for editing and emailing documents.  This is a good sign: it allows people to be more productive, even when they are on holiday or outside their office. Social networking sites have also grown in prominence now that your average phone can access the internet.

This has helped transform traditional methods of communication, with Facebook messages and/or text messages replacing letters and even email.

Nevertheless, technology  works well only when used as intended.  If not, it can lead to problems that are difficult to control.

In local newspapers across the country, stories are telling how students used their mobile phones to cheat during the recent national high-school exams.In a story titled “Ministry admits some exam proctors were bribed”, published in the Cambodia Daily newspaper on July 27, May Sopheaktra, a member of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, was quoted as saying:  “Mobile [phones] are popular in exam centres this year.  They’re used to make calls and get answers through the internet.

Students call friends to pass on the exam question, then call back during an exam break to get the answer.”

On the one hand, this is nothing new.  An article published by AFP on August 18, 2010 detailed how Cambodian students used their mobile phones to call for answers during an exam.

What’s new this year is that students are using their internet connections to acquire answers. This is only a suggestion, but I think  stricter rules should be placed on mobile-phone use during next year’s national school examinations.  Students should not be able to bring their mobile phones into the testing centres.

As chatting via mobile internet becomes more popular among young Cambodians, we need to make sure we are using the technology responsibly, or it may have drastic effects on our academic, professional and personal lives.

In some cases, reports have surfaced of students simply stepping out of the classroom to talk on their mobile phones if the subject being taught doesn’t interest them.

For people who lack time-management skills, using a mobile phone can prevent them completing any of the tasks they set themselves.

In conclusion, people should be using mobile-phone technology in a way that brings them success in life, rather than simply for pleasure.

19/08/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on LIFT, Issue 84 published on August 17, 2011

Nokia X2-01 launching in Cambodia


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It’s Tuesday afternoon that we don’t have class and want to relax after a big quiz at school in the morning, so luckily I was invited to join a party at the Cambodian Country Club (CCC), about 15 minutes away from Phnom Penh.

At 5pm, I arrived the place looking around to see a lot of journalists except me and my other 4 friends who are all bloggers that only use their hands and keyboards to spread out information to the world.

That is the third time I have joined party organized by Nokia company for its new product launching and it is as good as always since each party were made in different places. I felt warmly welcome by everybody especially a music band which play very wonderful songs in both English and Khmer.

The entire event is made to welcome an arrival of Nokia X2-01, a phone that makes mobile messaging simpler, easier and more affordable. It will be available in Cambodian phone shop from tomorrow on and its price is $99.

A presentation by Mr. Mohammed (Md.) Mesbahuddin, Business Development Manager for Nokia Cambodia and Laos, started around 6pm when everybody arrived. I was really impressed with lots of features including 1-click access to email and chat via Nokia Messaging, 1-click access to social networking directly from homescreen, and 1-click access to music provided by this new mobile device.

A happy game to win Nokia X2-01 came after the presentation and followed by a nice buffet dinner. The program went on and on until 3 different kinds of Nokia cellphones were given to one winner in the game and two lucky people from lucky draw. You know what? Two bloggers among the five who join this afternoon party win 1 cellphone each. (Don’t be confused! I didn’t win!)

Music band was still playing, but for me, it was end at 8pm when it’s time I had to leave that place to prepared myself for tomorrow mid-term exam.

by: Dara Saoyuth
04/01/2011

Invitation to IDEACAMP


Dear Student Blog visitors,

As the author of the blog, I always try not to get all of you down after typing https://saoyuth.wordpress.com. Despite the fact that in most of my day, I have piles of homework to do and mountains of books to read, I still spend my rather limited time doing something for my blog. SO far, I have joint plenty of events including workshops, conferences, concerts, voluntary works, such and such. Some of you may wonder why I should do this, and, of course, the reson is that ‘I just want to satisfy my visitors curiosity’.

Below is the information about an event so-called ideacamp which will be held on 27-28 November 2010. More information please go to this website: http://yitcambodia.org. NOTE: Hope to see all of you there, and for those who cannot join, please don’t worry that you will miss the event because I will stay update with all of you since I’m one of the facilitators in the event as well.

.: IDEACAMP

As IDEACAMP organizer, I accordingly invite you all to participate our free IDEACAMP conference on the theme of “capacity building and social participation” which will held on 27-28 November 2010 at American Intercon Institute (AII), located at #270 ABCD, Mao Tse Tong Blvd, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

The IDEACAMP is to bring together high school, college/university students and young people from diverse institutions to meet with other youth and educators, professionals, researchers, academics and provide them a venue where they could share their ideas, views and knowledge on language, technology, leadership, social and also learn from others.

This conference will take 2 days from 27-28 [Saturday-Sunday] November 2010 which got the main sponsor from American Intercon Institute (AII), Moreover everyone can take your own laptop to be with you to access free internet wireless (WiFi) during the conference.

Nokia press launch N8 & C7 in Cambodia


The Nokia N8 has just been launched in Cambodia last Thursday (28 October, 2010) and now it’s available in any mobile shop in Phnom Penh and in some provinces in the kingdom. The Nokia N8 comes with large 3.5 inches touch screen with resolution of 640 x 320 pixels and is available in five colors including dark grey, silver white, green, blue and orange. I surfed the internet this morning and saw the price of Nokia N8 in a phone shop in Phnom Penh, HAKSE, is $530.

I’m very lucky to be invited to join the launching event at Himawari hotel organized by Nokia International (Cambodia) and Phibious (Cambodia) Ltd. In the launching event, William Hamilton-Whyte, General Manager of Nokia Indochina, mentioned that Nokia N8 is very suitable for businessmen whose jobs need them to travel to many places to do any presentation. “With Nokia N8, we can do our slide presentation, show video from phone with good quality, and do something more than this,” said William Hamilton-Whyte.

Below are some photos taken at the event. Enjoy!

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Also read: Reputation with NOKIA Symbian^3 N8 & C7
by: Dara Saoyuth
03/11/2010

Moving ahead through innovations in mobile-phone


Every day technology changes the way we live and communicate with each other. In the past, people relied on letters to learn about what was happening in the world and what was going on in the lives of their friends and family members. It was slow and inefficient, but it was all we had.

The invention of the telephone transformed the way we communicate by making our connections to other people more direct, reliable and immediate. But that was only the beginning.

The development of computer and mobile-phone technology has now revolutionised not only how we communicate with others but how we live and work.

GeoChat, a collaborative tool developed by the Google-funded international NGO InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) debuted in the Kingdom in 2008. The programme helps groups stay connected through alerts relayed by SMS, email or Twitter feeds.

GeoChat enables rapid response teams in the public health sector to improve early detection of, preparedness for and response capabilities to health or natural disasters.

Suy Channe, a product manager at InSTEDD, explained how the system works. If any member of a specified group sends a message by a mobile phone, Twitter feed or email account that has been configured for use with GeoChat, the message will be sent to all members of the group, she said, adding that if the user has also set a specific location, the message will appear on map that can be viewed from the GeoChat website.

“I expect that in 2011, we’ll expand our tasks in the Kingdom and within neighbouring countries to help all institutions working in the field of health and disaster management to benefit from this technology.”

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health has been practising with the GeoChat system since 2009 with the aim to implement the technology on a national level to communicate swiftly with provincial offices in times of crisis.

“Dealing with communicative diseases requires the quick exchange of information. It is beneficial and important for the ministry and for the people of Cambodia,” said Sok Touch, director of the Communicable Disease Control Department at the Ministry of Health.

While GeoChat helps health professionals protect people’s lives, other technologies focus on making people’s lives easier by simplifying daily tasks.

Companies such as the ANZ-owned WING have harnessed technology to make it easier for people to transfer money via text message without the hassle of waiting in line at a bank.

Launched in 2009, the WING mobile money transfer service has made it much more convenient for subscribers, particularly in rural provinces, to send money safely and cheaply.

Peng Liya, a marketing executive at WING, said the service has given people a safer alternative to sending money to the provinces via minibus or taxi driver. After receiving a text message, a subscriber can go to any of 500 WING agents across the country, including mobile-phone shops, grocery stores, micro-finance institutions and others to receive transferred money.

“In the past, garment workers have worried that their money would be stolen from their rooms, but WING can assist them in sending the money safely to their parents in the provinces. And it allows parents to send money safely to their children who might be studying in Phnom Penh.”

As of September, WING had partnered with two-thirds of mobile phone service providers, excluding Mobitel, Beeline and Excel, and attracted more than 150,000 users.

WING also provides a bill pay service that allows residents of Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces to pay their electricity bills by text message. Users can also top up their phone anywhere and any time, Peng Liya said.

Mobile banking is growing in popularity throughout Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, about 8 percent of the country’s unbanked population have subscribed to some form of mobile banking, according to a McKinsey report in February.

“Today, only about 45 million people without traditional bank accounts use mobile money, but we expect this number could rise to 360 million by 2012 if mobile operators were to achieve the adoption rates of some early movers,” the report said.

Mobile-phone technology has also had a big influence on the way people do business in Cambodia.

The Electronic Market Communication System uses text messages to help business people and farmers stay up to date on market information, including prices of agricultural goods, exchange rates and market demand for specific goods.

“In business, we need to have up-to-date information on the markets. This is very important,” said Chan Nora, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce.

In an interview with Lift in July, Khath Chen, the deputy chief of market management for EMCS, said the system makes communication between buyers and sellers much easier. “Using messages is not as hard as using the internet, and system users do not have to know much English,” he said.

“We provide workshops to farmers and traders and distribute guidebooks that contain product codes so farmers will have easy access to the system.”

New technology doesn’t always work the way it is designed to, and any new idea is bound to face challenges as we look for better ways to live and work. EMCS is no different.

Network problems and the cost of sending text messages has prevented EMCS from truly taking off, Khath Chen admitted, but he remains optimistic that future technology will bring farmers greater access to knowledge that will benefit their livelihoods.

“If there is support, we will be able to disseminate more information to farmers, and everyone will be able to use the system.”

by: Dara Saoyuth & Koam Tivea
Additional Report by: Sun Narin
This article was published on Lift, Issue 41 published on October 20, 2010
You can also read the article on the Phnom Penh Post website by Clicking Here

Surprising Trip to “Phnom Penh Evolution”


Walking about five minutes through a narrow street surrounded by old tall buildings and some small shops, we (Me and two other friends) started thinking that it wasn’t the place where our friend recommended us to go. Lots of eyes from some strange people standing on the sides of the road were staring on us like we were aliens from mysterious world and this made us more inconvenient in walking through.We felt more strange after we had arrived the spot because everything around us were not mentioned in our friend’s description and even the stairs connected from one floor to another were wet so that we had to be careful as we walked to the upper floors.

For me, it is hard to imagine that a lot of wonderful photos were showed in a small room in the second floor of an anarchy building, but it did. Actually, in a new painted room on that floor, there was 10 people inside already and there was a screening of some photos that will be showed in the upcoming photography exhibition at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center. We are lucky to have chance watching the photos before someone else and learning some techniques of shooting photos from those photographers.

“Phnom Penh Evolution” is the photography exhibition on the ongoing transformation of Phnom Penh. All photos were shot by Cambodian photographers who have strong interest in social changing though some of them don’t have a modern camera to shoot it.

Below are the summaries of what each person have done (Taken from a poster given during the screening this afternoon):

WALKING ON GOLDEN LAND, by: TITH Narith

… In 1979, Borei Kela was the former place where sportsmen lived; it was where people came to stay and build small huts that were affordable to live in. they started their living by growing vegetables and feeling fish, and hence, buildings were built in accordance with the development of the country…

DOUBLE CITY, by: PRUM Seila

… In the early 2000s, Phnom Penh became a booming city where the price of property sky rocketed. Hundreds of flats were built, and as a result, the city dwellers had to adjust to a new lifestyle. Now, Phnom Penh has become a city within an old one…

WRAPPED FUTURE, by: LIM Sokchanlina

… The memory of one particular place becomes surrounded by developing areas marked by the boards. A few persons know, but most of the people do not know exactly what will happen here. For myself, I am wondering too. Will there be a skyscraper? A park? Or a private area? Worry is mix with appreciation of what will happen to that particular area…

ALIGNED CUTS, by: PHA Lina

… Phnom Penh is the heart of Cambodia. This city became a paradise for me since I saw it for the first time, 18 years ago. I was choosing the subject concern “Phnom Penh’s street” so that I could focus on taking photos of the city’s streets…

The Photo Exhibition on Phnom Penh Evolution will open on Thursday, September 2nd 2010, at 6:30pm at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center
For Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center website Click Here
For more information about the exhibition Click Here
by: Dara Saoyuth
28/08/2010
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