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Tuesday, September 25 2018 @ 01:05 PM UTC

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Computer Goes Tits-Up (IBC in El Dorado Is Still The Best In Town)

Internet & Technology By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - So, this morning I wander in to work, and when I fired up the (normally) trusty old office computer it sort of gave me that look like the one you get from that kid who played the banjo in "Deliverance." You know, like, something was seriously wrong in there somewhere. It wasn't a dead-in-the-water failure, but something was broke. I spent about two hours trouble shooting and decided at least one of the memory modules had fried. It was a little confusing because my current motherboard can only take memory in pairs - when I yanked the bad one and tried to fire it up again, I got a different memory error (even though the remaining stick was good, but there was only one and not two, so it barfed again.) Anyway, I loaded the machine into the Jeep and drove over to see my buds at IBC computer in El Dorado (behind the Subway). They sold me a couple of new sticks, we swapped them out, and I was back up and running in no time. While I was there I also picked up a new (better) HP printer with a high speed document scanner - much nicer than what I was driving. Every one in awhile I have to toss some money into the hardware to keep it all running like a well oiled Studebaker...

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Panama Opens First Observatory in Penonomé

Internet & Technology As of today, Panama will be part of the world map of astronomy, as announced by the rector of the Technological University of Panama, Marcela Paredes de Vásquez. This was at the opening of the First Astronomical Observatory of Panama "The universe is immense," which is located on the grounds of the regional center of the UTP in Penonomé, province of Cocle. According to the rector, the place will bring great benefits, including help to awaken the development of this science. The observatory - built at a cost of $600,000 dollars - will be led by Dr. Rodney Delgado Serrano, a native of Chitre and the the first Panamanian astrophysicist. Delgado Serrano said with the observatory they are betting on science, with which young people can find items to increase their knowledge. At the opening included other authorities, such as Ruben Berrocal, the National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation (representing the Government). Also present was the French ambassador in Panama, Hugues Guisbault. This country in 2004 donated the Meade 14 LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that is found in the observatory. And precisely during the opening of the dome housing the telescope was one of the most acclaimed moments of the inauguration, which was held despite the afternoon rain. Cultural presentations were also held as part of the event. (La Prensa)
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US TV Now - For Stateside Television Programs Via The Internet

Internet & Technology By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - As many of you now know, recently the local cable television company in Panama, Cable Onda, removed the three primary networks ABC, CBS, and NBC from their service. Since then there has been a lot of discussion about other alternatives and ways to watch television from the United States in Panama over the Internet. Someone on the Americans in Panama Yahoo! email group recently suggested the USTVNow service. I checked it out and signed up. I've been watching (or rather listening to) programs such as "The People's Court" today while working on articles. They have several levels of service. The basic level is free, which gives you access to ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS. From there they have several levels of paid services, and this is sort of like buying your cable TV over the internet. You can hook your computer to your television using a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable. Anyway, this seems like a very good option for those who need their "fix" of stateside programming. This service is aimed specifically at American expatriates who are now living outside of the United States. For more information, follow this link. So far, I'm a fan...

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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"International Call Converting" Network Dismantled

Internet & TechnologyUsing complex and expensive equipment, a group composed of Panamanians and foreigners were engaged in changing international telephone calls to local calls. After a joint monitoring operation between the National Police and the Office of the Auxiliary Prosecutor, the authorities arrested those who were allegedly involved in this network, ""in which participated Panamanian and Guatemalan citizens," according to press release from the National Police. In addition to the arrests, the authorities seized several pieces of equipment, receivers and call converters, capable of managing up to 32 international calls simultaneously. These international calls were reflected in local telephone bills as local calls, with lower costs, representing a considerable economic loss to the incumbent telephone companies in the country. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: Neat trick. No doubt the calls were somehow received in the originating country, routed over the Internet, and then regenerated as local calls in Panama. Slick. It's always a cat and mouse game with the existing large telecommunications companies trying to protect their turf, and the smart young guys finding new ways to exploit existing technologies and to provide a better service for a lower price. I see a bunch of little antennas in the photo, so apparently cell phones - or calls to cell phones - were involved somehow. Does anyone out there know how this technology works? Or, has anyone run into this before. Please enlighten us in the comments section. Thanks.

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Add Me To Your Blackberry - Text Me When Shit Blows Up

Internet & Technology By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - There are thousands of foreigners living in the Republic of Panama who are members of our community of English speaking expatriates, many who read Panama-Guide.com on a regular basis. Normally when something big happens my first "heads up" comes from a reader. Once I got a call from a guy, and when I answered he said "Did you hear about the plane crash in Bocas del Toro? Well, we just landed, and the plane crashed..." He was giving me the details of the accident (actually, they just slid off of the runway on landing) while people were still crawling out of the plane. Now that the world is being taken over by BlackBerry, you can simply scan in this bar-code and add me so we can BB chat for free. Ain't technology wunderful? And if you can't figure out how to scan this barcode with your Blackberry, then congratulations, that means you're still a normal human being that has not yet been assimilated into the Borg, however you should know - resistance is futile. You should be able to just aim your phone at the screen and hit "Scan." I tried it, and it worked. Open up the BlackBerry Messenger application, click on "Invite Contact", click on "Scan a Person's Barcode" - and then just aim your phone's camera at the barcode on the screen, you should hear a "beep" once it's read. I would also request that you only use this BB chat thing for emergencies and breaking news tips. Thanks, and have a great technology-saturated Monday.

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Americans in Panama Yahoo Group - Now More Than 5,000 Members

Internet & TechnologyBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The Americans in Panama Yahoo! Email Group continues to grow steadily and recently surpassed 5,000 members. Created on 19 September 2002, the The primary mission and purpose of Americans in Panama (or AIP) is to provide support, information, and a means of communication for English speaking expatriates who are currently living in the Republic of Panama or looking for information about living here. The name of the group is "Americans in Panama" but members from all English speaking countries are welcomed; Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and others. We use this group to share information, provide mutual assistance, and keep in touch with other expatriates. As of this afternoon the group now has 5,036 members. It is a vibrant and active community of English speaking expatriates who swap information on everything, and the participants keep one another appraised on the issues they have encountered, the solutions they discovered, what they like or don't like about Panama, tips, recommendations, warnings, questions and answers, you name it.

About Yahoo! Email Groups in General: If you have never had any experience with Yahoo! Email groups - this is how it works. There is one group email address - in this case americans_in_panama@yahoogroups.com - and any email sent to that group address by any member is immediately sent to all 5,036 members. Some group participants elect to receive their messages via normal email. Some elect to only read the message traffic on the Yahoo Groups website (each group has their own specific website - in this case it's http://groups.yahoo.com/group/americans_in_panama/. In any case, each member can tweak or fine tune their settings according to their personal preferences. Need a recommendation for a good dermatologist in Panama City? Blast your question out in AIP and instantly more than 5,000 of your newest good buddies will shoot you their recommendations. Or depending on the question, they might blow you off...

Be Forewarned: There are people who follow the traffic on AIP very closely. The vast majority of the group's members - like 97% - almost never post messages or participate in the daily discussion. Most people just "lurk" on the site and gleen information from the daily banter and chit-chat, and they might pop-up and participate just once or twice a year, and that's fine. However "newbies" are expected to have at least attempted to answer their question with a simple Google search first, so don't expect the groups members to do your homework for you. If you've searched for the information yourself and if you still haven't gotten the answer you need, then say that up front.

Meet Clyde, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bouncer: Clyde is a friend of mine who is the group's primary "moderator." His job is to keep spam down to zero, to spot and eject "trolls" (those who just join the group to cause problems), and basically keep things cool. I've known Clyde for years and he does a wonderful job, especially for what I pay him (he's a volunteer.) I am the group's Owner and I try to stay out of the way as much as possible. As long as the chit-chat and banter is good natured and free flowing, then I'm happy. Anyway, with all of that having been said...

You Should Join: If you have any kind of interest in the Republic of Panama, in any way, shape, or form, then you should be a member of the Americans in Panama Yahoo Email Group. There is no better way to stay informed about what's going on. For instance, if there's breaking news, a plane crash, a tsumani warning or what have you, I will publish that information on this website and also send out a "Panama Guide Flash" alert via email - and those hit AIP in real time. Many Panamanians subscribe to AIP as well, and those who do tell me they are better informed about what's going on in Panama than their friends who rely solely on the local Panamanian media. So anyway, we would like to welcome you aboard as member number 5,037 (grin).

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Panama Government Restricts The Use Of Email

Internet & TechnologyThe National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG), through Resolution No. 42 of 1 December 2010, restricted the use of emails in state institutions. The resolution states that business and personal communications should be conducted exclusively through private email accounts and through those of the institution where they work. Similarly, it states that people should only mark email as urgent when it really is, and those require a response in not more than 4 hours. Other measures outlined in the resolution say that the leaders, managers and directors of the entity will be responsible for their personal and how they use email. This is to restrict the irregular (or illegal) actions of some government officials. (El Siglo)

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Warning - Email Carrying Virus Making The Rounds - Supposed Eruption of Volcan Baru in Chiriqui

Internet & TechnologyAn email that has been circulating in recent days in the province of Chiriqui which announces the alleged reactivation of Volcan Baru has generated alarm among residents in the province of Chiriqui. The email that supposedly comes from an international medium of communication has caused many people think the information is credible. However, the Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) denied on Wednesday in the province of Chiriqui the veracity of an email which announces the supposed eruption of Volcan Baru in the coming days.

"This is a virus that has been circulating, which uses this supposed announcement of a pending eruption of the volcano as a hook to get people to open the email and click on a link, which then damages your computer," said Donderis. He said they are investigating the origin of the email, which has been sent via email and through mobile phones. He added that currently there are about 9 sensors positioned at strategic points on the volcano that have not given any signs of activity. However, the message has caused alarm among the people in Chiriqui, who are asking the authorities to speak clearly on the matter. (La Critica)

Editor's Comment: I got a copy of this email which talked about supposed increases in seismological activity on Volcan Baru. It included a link to "click here" for more information. Rather, I just checked with the US Geological Survey website, recognized that it was garbage, and deleted it (without clicking on the link, of course.) This virus carrying email has made the rounds about three times in the past few days. Some people are really gullible, I guess. Anyway, Volcan Baru is still sleeping. You can safely open and read this email if it gets sent to you, but don't click on any of the links it contains.

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In The Category of "Cool Shit My Mom Sends Me..."

Internet & TechnologyBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - About once a week or so my 79 year old mother sits down at her computer to check her email. She has a network of friends, and they trade jokes and other cool stuff they find on the Internet. Well, today she sent me this...

  • Get ready to experience an hallucination.



    1.- Click on the link below

    2.- Then "click me to get trippy",

    3.- Look at the center of the screen for 30 seconds, and then.

    4.- Look at your hand holding the mouse, without moving it away from the mouse...

    NOT BEFORE!

    ( it is called "cenesthetic hallucination")

    http://www.neave.com/strobe/

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Slow-Going for Web-Privacy Software

Internet & Technology By CARI TUNA for the Wall Street Journal - Looking to tap into Web surfers' privacy concerns, new companies are popping up to help people browse the Internet and send messages anonymously. But these companies face a major challenge: getting people to pay for Web-privacy software. The majority of Internet users remain unaware of how visible their Web behavior can be to marketers, identity thieves and others, say executives at Web-privacy companies. And those who are concerned about privacy are often reluctant to trust an unfamiliar company with their information, they say. "It's hard to get users to pay for anything these days, especially on the Web," said Joseph Collins, founder of VaporStream Inc., which for $7.50 to $9 a month allows consumers and corporate users to send email and instant messages that can't be forwarded, saved or printed and leave no electronic record after they are read. "Individuals don't understand the risk of privacy online." (more)
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