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Phuket Live Wire: A galaxy of pads, a clamour of nooks and an army of androids

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Phuket Live Wire: A galaxy of pads, a clamour of nooks and an army of androids | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Welcome to the third of four installments in my ongoing series about where the computer industry is headed as we barrel along to the Christmas season.

If you are thinking about buying any new electronics – computer, tablet, phone, maybe even a TV – it would be worthwhile to stay on top of developments between now and Christmas. Some of the stuff coming down the pike is quite impressive, and we should be able to get at least some of it here in Thailand.

In this part of the series, I want to talk about Android phones and tablets, as well as Kindles and Nooks (which are, in fact, Android tablets, although you wouldn’t know it from looking at them). They’re doing well in the marketplace, and every indication is that they’ll do even better later this year.

Android phones – typified by the Samsung Galaxy S III – are outselling iPhones by a very large margin: More than two-to-one by some measures.

Of course, Apple’s only selling a very small number of different phones, while the Android universe is huge. Apple’s making an enormous profit on each phone, whereas the Android manufacturers aren’t making much at all. But in terms of sheer volume, Android is doing very well indeed.

I expect that the iPhone 5 this year will certainly take some of the steam out of Android phone sales, but exactly how much remains to be seen. Regardless, Samsung’s going to have a kick-butt Christmas.

Other phones – notably the BlackBerry and Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 versions – will probably get left in the dust. RIM has all but run BlackBerry into the ground. Nokia didn’t turn around its operation quickly enough to avoid junk-bond rating status. Maybe they’ll be able to turn the company around, but I don’t hold out much hope.

Google’s in the fray as well, particularly since its acquisition of Motorola. There are rumors of a Google “gold standard” Android phone. If true, such a phone could become very popular.

The tablet market is heading in several distinct directions. At the high end, Windows 8 on a tablet – at, say US$800 and up – will definitely eat into Ultrabook sales. Intel invented the Ultrabook design to convince people that Windows PCs can be as cool as the MacBook Air, but nobody believed it. Ultrabooks aren’t selling worth beans anyway.

At the next level – say US$400 or so – Windows RT will give the iPad 3 a run for its money, specifically if Microsoft can get the price of the Windows RT Surface machine down below the iPad 3, and if Microsoft can (finally!) get some decent Windows RT apps running.

I suspect that the iPad 3 will roll over Windows RT in the market, unless Microsoft works some magic with the price – possibly bundle it with a subscription service of some kind.

On the face of it, right now, I’d be willing to bet the iPad will absolutely roll over the tablet marketplace this Christmas, as it has every year since its introduction.

The next level down in tablets – say, US$199 or so – is due for a huge shake-up. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a dynamite book reading machine, but the competitors are moving in. Larger tablets are getting better screens. Smaller tablets are getting cheaper. And if Apple puts a Kindle-size iPad on the market for $199, all bets are off.

One of Amazon Kindle’s great selling points is the enormous collection of books available on the Kindle. All it takes is a tap, a password, and a credit card, and you can be reading just about any book ever published in minutes.

Apple’s in a unique position to match Amazon’s ease of use, and even up the ante with a multitude of competitive products.

Imagine buying a copy of the latest best-seller and having it immediately available on your mini iPad, your full 10-inch iPad, your MacBook Air and your PC. Apple’s iCloud does that already with photos. Apple might even make it work with Android devices.

Barnes & Noble’s Nook is another wild card. B&N put its Nook business up for sale, and in April, Microsoft pledged US$300 million to keep the product going. There’s a lot of controversy and smoke about the exact corporate structure, but at this point, Microsoft owns a big chunk of the Nook, and anything could happen.

I’ve even heard rumors that the Nook could be re-born as a Windows RT tablet. Or maybe Microsoft could call on its good friend B&N to supply electronic book purchases for its own Surface machines. Stranger things have happened.

There’s even more uncertainty in the small tablet business. Google’s new Nexus 7 – developed with Asus – has drawn very good reviews, at US$199. It’s showing other tablet manufacturers what a small 7-inch tablet running Android can really do.

Even Nokia’s rumored to be getting into the small tablet business, in conjunction with its new best buddy Microsoft, which is subsidizing Nokia to the tune of billions of dollars.

Next week, in part four of this series, I’m going to tell you what I expect to happen with the computer market, particularly here in Phuket, and give you a few hints about what to watch for as the holidays roll around.

Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes hold computer sessions under the tutelage of Seth Bareiss 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. Details in the Phuket GazetteEvents Calendar.

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

Follow him on Twitter,
@PhuketLiveWire, and “like” the pages at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe, facebook.com/phuketgazette.net and now Google+, or send him mail at Woody@KhunWoody.com.

— 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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