Tag: Nepal

From Kathmandu to Paris, the selfie

Thursday, 9 November, 2017 0 Comments

Sometimes, a headline is more baffling than illuminating. Example: “Oppo to launch selfie expert F5 in Nepal”. Oppo? And who is the “selfie expert” known cryptically as “F5”?

It helps if one knows that OPPO Electronics Corp. is a Chinese electronics firm based in Guangdong that’s intent on grabbing a share of the Asian smartphone market, and its new F5 model is being marketed as the device that “takes camera phones to the next generation.” Then there’s this: “It defies the paradox of marrying Artificial Intelligence technology with organic beauty to create the most natural and stunning of selfies.” How does it do that? Time to revisit our headline about Oppo, the F5 and Nepal. It’s from the Kathmandu Post and, quoting from the press release, the writer notes that “the AI will utilise information from a massive global photo database to beautify a selfie shot taken by the Oppo F5.” Is that “massive global photo database” Getty? Or is it a Chinese venture using surveillance photos for commercial purposes? There’s a story there.

Meanwhile, London-based creative Daniel McKee notes that more than six million people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre each year and “Many share their visit on social media.” Using images found on Instagram, he created this:


Mahabir Pun

Friday, 11 December, 2015 1 Comment

This just in: “Helping out in Barpak is Nepal’s internet maverick, Mahabir Pun, who is replicating his work in establishing wireless connectivity in Kaski and Myagdi in the earthquake affected districts of Gorkha and Lamjung. Eight schools and three health posts will be connected with up to six hotspots allowing classes to have e-learning and providing health posts access to tele-medicine.” The Nepali Times

Born in a remote village in the Myagdi District of western Nepal, Mahabir Pun spent his childhood herding yaks in the shadow of the Himalayas, and intermittently attending the local school, which had neither chalk, textbooks, pens or certified teachers. Today, Mahabir Pun is the team leader of the Nepal Wireless Networking Project, which uses a mix of solar power, tree-based relay systems and wireless technology to help families communicate, yak farmers sell their products, trekking businesses find customers and children get an education via distance learning.

It’s an inspiring story and Mahabir Pun has been deservedly inducted in to the Internet Hall of Fame and awarded the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award by the Internet Society. Hiking for Emails was made by Clemens Purner, an Austrian director based in Berlin.


Because it’s there

Friday, 29 May, 2015 0 Comments

On this day in 1953, New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the first confirmed ascent of Mount Everest. They spent 15 minutes on the summit, with Norgay leaving chocolates in the snow and Hillary leaving a cross. Together, they had climbed the world’s greatest mountain.

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“Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?” is the question asked of George Leigh Mallory by a New York Times reporter in March 1923. “Because it’s there,” was his reply. Mallory made his third and final attempts to climb Ever­est in 1924 and was last seen on the way to the summit along with his companion Andrew Irvine. Mallory’s frozen body was found by climbers on the mountain’s north ridge in 1999.

Note: More than 9,000 people were killed and 21,000 injured in the 25 April earthquake that struck Nepal. Among the dead were 22 Mount Everest climbers. One of the many charities active in Nepal is Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, which is sending medical staff and supplies to the Himalayan region.