TechWire

Category - Web

What is the Internet?

What is the Internet ? Simply speaking the Internet is inter connected networks sharing information using standard protocol stack. However the modern internet is much more than inter connected networks. The Internet has become platform rapid and accelerated human evolution. It has been invaded into every aspects of our lives making both positive and negative consequences.

In despite of advancement in technologies and impact on our lives, fundamentally speaking the Internet is an inter connected networks even after 30 years from its birth. Computer networks depend on two different kind of protocols for traffic propagation.

1. Routed Protocols

2. Routing Protocols

TCP/IP is the well known “routed protocol” used in modern networks. It is also responsible for majority of global Internet traffic. It can carry almost any kind of internet based services including but not limited to world wide web, electronic mail, secure connectivity and streaming media. On the other hand, “Routing Protocols” provide path to propagate TCP/IP and similar transports (e.g. UDP, ICMP).

Well known routing protocols are OSPF, IS-IS, EIGRP, RIP and BGP. All the routing protocols (except BGP, which we are going discuss later) provide reachability information for each other networking hop so end hosts can reach remote service at network address. RI or reachability information is passed to each networking hop so individual hop can take the decision on packet switching towards remote service.

Reachability

So what is the uniqueness in the BGP? Instead of passing reachability information from hop to hop, BGP passes reachability information from network to network basis. BGP a.k.a Border Gateway Protocol is the de-facto routing protocol of the Internet. We can not have working Internet without BGP.

Individual network can consist of hundred of thousands of network devices. Each and every network is managed, administrated and operated by independent autonomous entities. These autonomous entities could be either ISP (i.e. Internet Service Provider) or Company/Organization/Government participate in data origination and trafficking.

Real world connectivity

Similar to network addresses are assigned to individual network hop, BGP introduces numbering mechanism for each independent network. These numbers are called “Autonomous System Number”.  Worldwide ASNs are assigned by “Internet Assigned Numbers Authority” or IANA through “Regional Internet Registries” or RIR. The word “Autonomous” in ASN emphasizes autonomy in decision making inside individual network. However, Inter Autonomous System connectivity policies must be mutually agreed between connected parties.

In summary, the Internet is highly autonomous networks inter connected to create global information super highway. Absolute autonomy can be expected inside individual network in related to traffic propagation policies and paths. This autonomy secure the Internet’s distributed architecture while preserving freedom of the information propagation between networks.

Last but not least, Let’s look into few real world examples for Autonomous System interactions in the Internet.

Sri Lanka Telecom ASN

Sri Lanakn Airlines ASN

Facebook ASN

Sri Lankan ASNs

All the links provided above are information/learning purpose only and accuracy is not guaranteed.

All you need to know about Kapruka Global Shop

When talking about Global e-shopping from Sri Lanka, sites like ebay has had a healthy increase in the number of transactions. This is mainly to obtain products unavailable locally, or in order to obtain products at a fraction of the local price. However shopping on global e-shops has its uncertain aspects as well.

Will you receive the goods? How many weeks will it take? Will there be an extra tax?

Sweat no more, as Kapruka, one of Sri Lanka’s leading e-commerce website has come up with the service Kapruka Global Shop which increases the customer experience on Global e-shopping.

How it works

In a nutshell, when you order e-bay, amazon, bestbuy products through Kapruka Global Shop, Kapruka will handle the delivery + any tax payments required. The goods will be delivered to the office in Sri Lanka where customers can pick them up.

Lets look at the step by step process

KaprukaGlobal Shop How it Works

 Why use Kapruka Global Shop?

1) Guaranteed Delivery – Kapruka will facilitate and track the shipment, so you don’t have to worry that it will get lost along the way

2) Lower shipping cost and time – Since the product will to a US based address and then coming to Sri Lanka through the routine Kapruka delivery, there will be less shipping time and cost

3) Buy Global daily deals – Ebay deals and Amazon deals are available for US delivery only. Therefore these products cannot be purchased direct from Sri Lanka. However through Kapruka these could be purchased(Yes!!), and generally these deals come with free delivery. This opens up Sri Lankans to great deals especially on ebay.

4) Know the final cost before purchase – You wont be surprised anymore by a large tax. Through Kapruka Global Shop you are aware of the final price before purchase

Kapruka Global Shop Experience

Kapruka_eshop2

So we made our way to the Global Shop and ordered some products. The workstations and internet speeds was good. The service provided by the agents was excellent. We received SMS updates when the order was placed, shipped and delivered, and got the final product afterwards from their store.

Currently you can check the final price of an item here by sending the product URL. We would like to see the ability to pay through our credit card and order the product from home in the future. (Rather than visiting the e-shop to order). Also if the cost structure breakdown, (tax, shipping, service charge) and estimated time of delivery is shown in the bill, it would be clearer to the customer.

Also you should note that you can’t buy products in the auction through Global Shop, as the products need to be purchased through the Kapruka account.

kapruka_eshop

Kapruka Global Shop Location and  Contact Information

The Kapruka Global Shop is located in Wellawatta, just past Ranjanas 7 Stories building when heading towards Bambalapitiya on Galle Road

Kapruka Global Shop  Map

You can also contact them through the Kapruka call center at 071-555-1111 and press option #2 for Sales information

 

So if you had concerns on shipping and cost when buying items from ebay or amazon, worry no more and head down to Kapruka Global Shop where your online shopping experience will be great.

Visit their website for more information on Kapruka Global Shop.

Bestweb.lk 2013

Get you websites polished up as the Bestweb.lk 2013 competition is about to kick off. This competition which is organized by the LK domain Registry aims to create recognition for top Sri Lankan web sites as well as increasing the quality level of them.  To be eligible to compete, your website should have a local presence as well as a .lk domain name.

The registration is web based, quite simple and would probably take you about 5 minutes to submit. Registrations are open from today: 3rd June till 31st July. Awards will be given category wise as well as an overall winner. The winners will be announced in August. (The list of Awards is given below)

Awards

– The Overall Best three Sri Lankan websites.

– Three awards for winners in each of 8 categories and additional Merit awards.

– Three special award of “Best website developer”,“Best Sinhala website” and “Best Tamil website”

So if you have a decent eligible site, go forth and submit here.

For more information visit www.bestweb.lk or their facebook page.

Hiru Online Vesak Thorana

The streets of Sri Lanka have beautifully been lit up during Vesak by Pandals(Thoran) and Vesak lanterns. Meanwhile  Hiru FM and Hiru TV have created an online Vesak Thorana to light up the web space. The digital Thorana developed through Flash looks quite beautiful and displays the Maha Kapi Jathaka Kathawa. When accessed you get a voice intro on the Thorana, and subsequently you can click each separate sections in order to listen through the Jathaka story.

The online Thorana which currently has over 35,000 views can be accessed by http://www.hirufm.lk/vesak-thorana-2013/ .

hirufm_thorana

 

 

 

eDoctor.lk – Your Sri Lankan remote doctor

Telemedicine is the term used for the process, where healthcare advises and services are provided when the patient and the doctor are far apart. Even though there are discussions and trials on this area it is not practiced in Sri Lanka until recently.

One such initiative is eDoctor, mainly an internet based medical consultation service lead by a team of Sri Lankan medical practitioners to provide initial medical advice remotely at a family doctor level.

With today’s busy life schedule, people tend to neglect their minor health issues due to time restrictions in visiting a medical consultant, which might raise pretty serious medical conditions. eDoctor is a very relevant service for such people specially to receive advises and guidance at the initial stage of any medical condition. People can contact eDoctor from their homes, offices, while at work or even while travelling. It’s just a matter of being online and sending the issue through web site www.edoctor.lk. Medical consultations can be done in many forms such as through a filled form through web site, text chat, voice and video chat depending on the registered package.

edoctor service offers following  three packages for people to choose from.

Package Type Number of Advice Time Period [DAYS] Amount LKR
PLATINUM Unlimited 365 2490.00
INTRODUCTORY 10 365 1000.00
VISITOR 1 1 Free

 

Comprehensive information is available in edoctor website www.edoctor.lk and further updates on edoctor services are avaiable via their eMagazine, eNews-letter, blog (http://edoctorlk.blogspot.com/), Twitter feed (twitter.com/eDoctorLK) and facebook page (www.facebook.com/eDoctor.lk)

Since the first consultation is free, try it out!

edoctor_flyer

Quickee.lk – small items, quick delivery

Ever wanted a small snack quickly and you are too tired or its too late to go out. Well the new Quickee delivery service provides you an option of getting required small stuff quickly and at a low cost. By using the Quickee.lk online shopping mall you can buy snacks, drinks, small meals and other tid bits and get it delivered right to your door step. The miscellaneous section also contains some useful stuff 😉 .

So what are the possible scenarios for one to use Quickee? Your pals are getting together to watch the match and you need some bites and drinks, you are too tired to cook dinner and you want a noodle soup, your party is running past midnight and your out of drinks, you have a late night ahead and you want a red bull to give you wings, …plenty more.

After you register on the site, you can order online or even through their hotline(0112861686). The current payment method is cash on delivery which beats the hassle of paying online through your credit card. However we hope they allow customers to pay via credit card on delivery in the cases you are out of cash. Quickee promises to deliver the items within 20-30 minutes, and the delivery charges are a reasonable Rs. 100.

Quickee

This service is currently available in the Colombo residential areas which include Col 3, Col 7, Borella, Rajagiriya, Nawala, Battaramulla, Pelawatta, Thalawathugoda, Kotte, Nugegoda, Kirulapone, Havelock, Narahenpita, Thimbirigasyaya, Horton Place, Kohuwala and Maharagama. Available times would be in the night on weekdays from (7pm-5am) and 24 hours on weekends.

Quickee ultimately provides an important service of getting tid bit items delivered at odd times at a good rate. We believe that they will add more items as they progress and offer other payment options such as eZ cash or Sampath Vishwa.

How Search Works – A new resource by Google

Google recently unveiled a new resource that interactively shows how a Google search works and its various dependencies. You can find it on ‘How Search Works: The Story’. The web page itself is quite nifty with a behaviour of a dynamic infographic. Basically as you scroll down the page you will unfold the Google Search Story: Crawling and Indexing, Algorithms and Fighting spam. So take a scroll down on that page and educate your self a bit further on this complex process that gives us simple results in a fraction of a second.

http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/

Radio99 – The Online Sinhala Radio Station

Radio99 is one of the latest music channels but ironically you cannot listen to it on the Radio. We believe that this is Sri Lanka’s first pure online based music channel. When you listen to it, it seems like just another Radio station with mostly back to back music. It is accessible through www.radio99.lk or through the android app.

On the web, you are able to view the top 10 songs, and fan comments. It also provides an interface to request your favourite songs. The android app is more limited with only playback options available.

radio99 Mobile

So why have an ‘online only’ music channel. Best guess is that they wanted to test run the station for a few months before registering for a high priced radio frequency. And also with the increasing internet penetration in Sri Lanka, they would be able to make their own netizen fan base. But then again, with most radio stations being available online, Radio99 will have to come up with some new features if they are to come through as an online ‘Radio’ Station.

Radio99 Web

Pixlr – A powerful online Image Editor

With the amount of digital documents we work with, we  frequently require to do some image editing. Paint would be fine for very simple edits, but most of the time it falls short on features. More advanced image editors such as Photoshop or fireworks are the preferred choice when there is a fair amount of editing to do. However sometimes you find without any of these softwares and in urgent need to do some image editing. Enter Pixlr, an online image editor that provides you a powerful set of image editing tools directly on your browser.

You can launch the Pixlr editor through http://pixlr.com/editor/. You are initially prompted whether to start from scratch or open an image. From then you are brought into the image editing workspace which anyone who used Photoshop will find familiar. On the left side your favourite tools from magic wand to clone stamp are available. On the right side the important layer panel and the history panel are placed.

Pixlr Splash screen

Pixlr Environment

The standard image adjustment options and standard filters are provided giving quite a powerful range of editing choices. We were quite pleased to find layer styles are available, however they are limited to Shadow, Glow and and Bevel. The features we missed the most compared to Photoshop were the other layer styles(such as stroke) and a Save to Web option.

Once your editing is complete you can save your image as .png, .bmp, .jpeg or .tiff. To preserve the layers you will have to save it as a layered Pixlr image (PXD). Just tried to see whether the PXD format is compatible with Photoshop but no such luck.

All in all Pixlr provides a very powerful image editing capabilities for an online browser. Remember to bookmark the site as we are certain you will find it useful.

The first Google Doodle for Sri Lanka

In celebration of the 65th Independence day of Sri Lanka, Google has rolled out a Doodle for Google.lk . The Doodle contains the Sri Lankan lion holding the kastane sword with the Google letters in the colours of the Sri Lankan flag. To our knowledge this is the first Doodle relating to Sri Lanka. The Doodle is only visible in Google.lk and for Google.com viewed through a Sri Lankan IP.

Google brings new Image search

This week Google rolled out a neat feature for its image search, making it more convenient and less time consuming on image searches. Earlier when you clicked on a  image from a Google image search it redirects you to a different page showing the picture while loading its source web page in the background.

With the new version its a lot more easier. Clicking on a search result image pops up a grey bar in the same page with a larger version of the image, its resolution, source webpage, and option to view the image only. Although these options existed in the earlier version it was another page load away. What more, with the new feature you can scroll through the image results using the arrow keys. For people who do a lot of image searches this is a small but valuable feature. Click here and try it out.

Google Image Search

Google “Good to Know” : Informative Trilingual website on how to keep you and your data safe online

It is a known fact that the recent advancement in the internet industry has allowed Sri Lankans to unleash their potential in many ways. The internet has helped us to stay connected with each other, grow our businesses, learn on new areas and much more. However the internet, just like other technologies is a doubled edged sword; we have its benefits but it can hurt us as well. Therefore it is vital that we are aware of its pitfalls and how to stay safe from them.

To create that awareness, Google together with ICTA and the ministry of child development & women’s affairs recently launched(29th Nov) an informative trilingual website “Good to Know” for Sri Lanka. This site aims to provide information to keep you as well as your data safe online.You can visit the site here. I guess the recent privacy concerns raised on Google is also a reason for this initiative.

The site provides information in four main categories

Stay safe online – Best practices on browsing and sharing your data online

Your data on the web – How the web collects information about you and and how it makes websites more useful to you

Your data on google – Understand the data google collects on you, and how they use it to give you better service

Manage your data – How to control what you share with other web sites and Google.

The site does have some useful information, and I recommend you dive in and check out the information which are good to know.