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Phuket Live Wire: Don’t be evil, AIS

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Phuket Live Wire: Don’t be evil, AIS | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A friend of mine – one of the Sunday morning computer clinic crowd – sends an interesting tale about his pre-paid AIS account:

“I recently went through 300 baht of phone service in 10 days. 300 baht usually takes me over a month. Couldn’t figure out why.

I routinely receive a ‘News Plus’ SMS message, in Thai, from AIS. I delete it – I don’t read Thai and even if I did, I’m not interested in AIS promotions. After a visit to the AIS office in Phuket Town, I learned that I’m being charged 9 baht per minute for calls and 9 baht per received SMS, including the News Plus advertisement.

At Telewiz in Big C, I was told I could not get those News Plus calls blocked. At AIS in Phuket Town, I was told I could get them blocked but it would take two to three days.

While there, I was offered a promotional plan for pre-paid access at 1.5 baht per minute. Signing up for the plan costs 30 baht. The only downside is that cancellation dates for top-ups on the plan are shorter: 300 baht expires in 45 days, 500 baht in 75 days, 1,000 baht in 150 days and 1,500 baht in one year.

So for the princely fee of 30 baht, I reduced my cost per minute by 7.5 baht.”

Mobile phone companies in Thailand have promotions all the time. Remarkably, some of those promotions apply to pre-paid accounts, as well – which means you qualify for the promotion even if you don’t have a work permit or retirement visa.

Here’s another friend with a different trick, for extending cancellation dates: “I just checked my pre-paid balance at DTAC and had 117 baht with 208 days validity. With DTAC, you can buy time – that is, you can pay to increase the number of days of validity, up to a maximum of 365 days. I tried to buy 180 days for 12 baht, but I couldn’t as that would take me over the maximum of one year of validity.

So I bought 90 days for 6 baht, then 30 days for 2 baht and finally another 30 days for 2 baht. My balance now is now 107 baht, with 358 days validity.”

And one more: “My AIS account was charged for MP3 music downloads from a Thai website. I’m very sure I never downloaded any MP3 songs and absolutely not from a Thai website. I looked back at my bill and the first month I was charged 500 baht, the second month 900 baht.

I contacted AIS and they immediately blocked the service and refunded the spent amount on my next bill. They said it was a service mistake, but I wonder how it could’ve happened. Can a third party just charge my phone with something I never ordered? There must’ve been a security breach at AIS.

By the way, this happened immediately after I switched my account to 3G. And yes, I’ve had antimalware software installed on my phone since day one.”

A word to the wise: check your phone bill!

4G coming to Thailand?
The Nation
reports that TOT is upgrading its wireless system from HSPA to HSPA+. That may sound like alphabet soup, but it’s a very good sign – and not because of the claimed speed advantages. “This upgrade will improve mobile broadband services for the 7.2 million TOT customers and increase download speeds to even 42 megabits per second (Mbps) compared to the current 7.2 Mbps,” says TOT.

Yeah, sure. HSPA+ is definitely better than HSPA, TOT’s old network technology, but the new network won’t be six times faster, I guarantee.

If you’ve been following my columns on 3G, you know that CAT already has an HSPA+ network. Since both TrueMove-H and DTAC use the CAT network, they have HSPA+ too. So in some respects TOT and AIS (AIS uses the TOT network) are just playing technological catch-up.

Here’s why TOT’s move to HSPA+ is a “Real Big Deal”. They’re using Nokia-Siemens to upgrade their towers to HSPA+, and the equipment Nokia-Siemens is installing can be upgraded in place to a technology called LTE. LTE is a Real Big Deal – it’s a legitimate “4G” product that could revolutionize the way we get Internet in Phuket.

In the States there are marketing and BS wars about 3G and 4G, with lawsuits flying every which way – but there’s an emerging winner. PC World just performed a nationwide study that showed that AT&T’s “4G” LTE service has the fastest wireless internet access in the US, with average download speeds of 9 Mbps. Yes, that’s the average. Yes, that’s three or four times faster than our fastest international download speeds in Phuket. Yes, that’s for a wireless service.

Several industry observers feel that LTE is so fast it’s going to displace wired ADSL, just as mobile phones displaced land lines years ago. Based on the numbers I’ve seen, that could happen. Maybe.

Seth Bareiss holds computer sessions every-other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions, or come to one of our free Sunday morning roundtables at Sandwich Shoppe Chalong. Details in the Phuket Gazette Events Calendar.

The sessions are sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

Live Wire is Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket.

Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketLiveWire and “like” pages at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe and facebook.com/phuketgazette.net.

This story was originally published in the Apr 28 – May 4, 2012 hard-copy issue of the Phuket Gazette.

— Woody Leonhard

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Events

Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to get its own version of the popular game MONOPOLY and its creators want your help with ideas for the specialised tokens. ‘MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition’ was announced last month which will see the street art on the board game replaced with that of famous places around Thailand’s famous tourist destination. Such art will include beaches, hotels, shops, markets and other popular attractions.

Jennifer Lau from Winning Moves UK, is producing the game under official license from Monopoly brand owners, Hasbro. Lau says the tokens will feature a holiday theme. The token’s departure from the original theme of wheelbarrows, boots, iron, and thimbles as well as popular sports cars and hats.

“We have had a wealth of emails and suggestions coming in for Phuket, so thank you for each and every single one of them! We are taking them all into consideration whilst putting together the design of the game.”

“We wanted to change the tokens so that they would be more suitable for an island like Phuket, where so many people like to go on holiday to.”

“There will be six themed tokens that replace the original and we want to hear your suggestions for what these tokens should be!”

Bangkok has already been featured in the Monopoly game as it came out for purchase back in 2018.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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