Light Within

making sense of social media mix

Mishri Mor

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I have been passing from Mishri Mor (called 8 RD) all my life while going and coming home. This time Husain Qazi explored the hinterland and passed through Mishri Mor and he rwange me from there. That is what reminded me of this, hence this post. Husain! this is in your name.

While traveling off the beaten track, not only you travel in soot free and serene environment but you explore new vistas too. Interesting things come in the way, which normally remain hidden from common commuters in the area. The journey on the byways embraces you with lovely colors, atmosphere, people and bits and pieces of history. And, there is no hassle anywhere in the way.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 20, 2017, , links to this post

Bear trying to claw itself to top to Devils Tower Wyoming USA

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From here 

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 20, 2017, , links to this post

Shagufta Bano - Mano na Mano

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While doing interpretership (Russian Language) from National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, we were taken to different publishing houses. Having tea after the presentation at one of the publishing houses, we got a chance to talk informally to the wonderful people there.

While talking with Dr. Farahat Naqi – the owner and brain behind the success of the concern – Dr. Shagufta Bano – one of my favorite teachers -- came under discussion. I believed and praised my teacher. Dr. Naqvi listened to my discourse for some time and finally raised his hands and said, “Please stop. Stop! I know her more than you do because she is my wife for last 30 years.”

I can’t caption this! Can you?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, June 15, 2017, , links to this post

Revisiting Abbottabad

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Located north of Islamabad, Abbottabad town is surrounded by lofty peaks and pine scented air. Among Pakistan's towns and cities, Abbottabad -- small, neat and clean in a spacious valley -- is a rarity. Apart from being famous for its educational institutions and Pakistan Military Academy, Abbottabad also serves as the gateway to some most stunning sites in Pakistan. While other hill stations are deserted during winter this place has visitors due to its bracing weather all year around. The town has beautiful gardens and tall, tree lined roads: splendid stretches of turf with plenty of room for polo, football, hockey and golf.

At 1,250 meters above sea level, Abbottabad lies below the lush pines of the Murree Hills. The importance of the town has been diminished a little after the completion of Karakorum highways because, in the past, the only track available to reach Karakorum was through Babusar pass, which could only be approached through Abbottabad. In spite of this development, it continues to be a transit town for those who want to venture to northern areas of Pakistan. Abbottabad is the junction point from where one can go to places like Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu and Indus Kohistan of the Karakorum Range. One can also reach Swat, Dir and Chitral of the Hindukush Range or can approach to Naran, Lake Saif-ul-Muluk, Shogran and Babusar Pass of the Himalayan Range. Neelum, Lipa and Jhelum Valleys are also connected through Abbottabad. It is where the hills start.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 13, 2017, , links to this post

Salman Aslam Travels Through America

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Sojourn to the US Dakotas by Salman Aslam

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 13, 2017, , links to this post

Indigenous Kelash culture

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Centuries old Kelash indigenous culture is at a greater risk today than any time in the past. Despite their remote location - landlocked in winters - last of the Kelash race is maintaining tenacious hold in district Chitral but is vulnerable to ravages of time and different pressures with external locus. The onslaughts are clearly eating at their open and nonchalant indigenous culture. Many have been forced to join the drift to the cities. But when asked what they want, their collective answer was simple: we want our old way of life. Which is why, pastoral Kelash have been able to keep some of their cultural traditions and identity so far.

Some historians and anthropologists think that the Kelash are descendants of Indo-Aryans who overran the region in the second millennium BC. The Kelash say they are from a place called Tsiam, though nobody is sure where that is. Commonly they are considered as descendants of Alexander from Macedon who came this way. Their warrior like forebears managed for centuries to keep everyone - including Tamerlane - at bay. In 1893, the British and Afghan governments agreed on a common border that cut right through Kafiristan dividing the community into two parts. Abdur Rahman who was then Amir of Afghanistan renamed Afghan Kafiristan as Nuristan - land of Light.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, June 12, 2017, , links to this post

Changing Chitral

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Picturesque Chitral town sits up in Pakistan's northwest district, walled in by the Hindu Kush range. During winters, the only way in is by air (weather permitting) as the two passes, the 3118-meter Lowari from Dir and the 3810-meter Shandur from the upper Gilgit Valley are closed to road traffic. The Fokker Friendships drone for 50 minutes and burst through clouds on decent to reveal on mountains covered with whitecaps and red tin roof houses.


This is Chitral. On the small airfield, the cold wind thrust you to shiver. The remoteness of the district has left it undeveloped in spite of grand natural beauty, hospitable people and ancient history. The town is a base camp for tourists, adventurers and researchers from across the world. And, people seem to be living there in peace.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, June 11, 2017, , links to this post

Single and Looking

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While planning for life after retirement, great boxer Muhammad Ali Clay decided to write his reminiscences and announced well thought out plan to pen down his memoirs. "Will you write yourself," after verification of the celebrity's plans a keen journalist asked Clay. "It is very difficult to write about self," he added. "Yes. That is why I will write about myself because who else knows me better," spontaneously responded Clay.

Things have changed far too much too fast. Writing about self no more seems difficult in this digital age. Exploring unlimited cyber expanses these days one cannot move much without reading variety of profiles, personal ads and statements. Readers soon are lured (or need) to upload their own, exceptions apart. Glut of matching and dating Websites (it seems as if every one in the world is 'single' and 'looking' out there) encourage and offer guidelines to write and some social networking sites also provide descriptive questionnaires or fill in the blank forms asking users to select what is most appropriate options about their appearance, interests, age, activities, likes and dislikes and some time more intimate things. This is one of the biggest trends not only in youth trying to extend their social circles and grab some attention but also for many others. Sophists article reads, "Almost 150 million people visited online dating sites in the month of January alone."
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, June 07, 2017, , links to this post

Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing is the next big thing in the Information Technology (IT) development. The concept has come a long way since it first came on the scene in the late 1960s. Since then demand driven computing industry has started offering solutions rather than specific hardware and software to link together the complicated global infrastructure. Computing is turning into cloud computing it seems.

The “cloud” in metaphoric term “cloud computing” is a set of hardware, software, networks, storage, and interfaces that combine to deliver different features of computing as a service over the internet (either as separate components or as a composite platform) based on users’ demand. Simply put, cloud computing is a service through which everything from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration can be delivered to users wherever and whenever they need.

Internet based alternatives to using computer specific applications, cloud computing is not entirely new to those who use the internet. Many cloud based services such as webmail (Hotmail, Yahoo), social media (Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter), Flickr photo sharing and management application and many others using remote storage and processing have been a part of everyday life of web users for a long time. The main advantage of cloud computing is that the users do not have to bear the upfront costs of the hardware and software.

As per Oracle estimates, “an enterprise can save its expenses significantly with 35 per cent deduction in operation expenses, 44 per cent cost reduction in electricity charges and 85 per cent saving in physical cost”. The interest that big players (Oracle, Microsoft, Google, IBM and many others) have generated does not come only from economy of investment, but from qualitative considerations as well. Using the best cloud service available is faster and efficient than in house IT deployments. Businesses, though a cloud, can change their operational characteristics, placing less emphasis on IT operations and development, and more on core business operations and growth through the productive use of IT.

Cloud computing phenomenon is poised to make a central surge on the market for years to come. According to a global study by IBM, more than 60 per cent of organisations plan to “embrace Cloud Computing over the next five years” to boost their “competitive advantage.” These statistics can be mirrored in local market as well.

Given the known and tested benefits of the cloud, businesses and governments in developing countries can bring in cloud technologies that were otherwise beyond reach. With cloud computing, developing economies can embrace next-generation tools, applications and related IT infrastructure. A recent study conducted by GfK Custom Research reveals that turning to cloud services is topping business and software strategies in emerging markets around the world. The age of cloud is seen to gain wide acceptance across all industries with emphasis on growth of cloud services implementation in the next two years.

Cloud computing model is one of the economical behind the scenes business methodologies that the web has made possible and it is working very successfully in more connected world. Many industry analysts see cloud computing becoming a big success. Small and medium businesses can rely on cloud computing and can start using the web as a business tool rather than a commuCloud computing is ideal for countries like Pakistan. Setup a business and put the applications almost for free on the cloud without installing a huge IT infrastructure which at times may cost more than the actual capital of the business. The impact of any such development may be seismic here. Thankfully, Pakistani businesses and organisations have started to look for ways to integrate cloud computing it into their operations. 

Telecom, electronic, print media, education and banking sectors possess exceptional potential to utilise cutting-edge technologies in their businesses and many are already using cloud infrastructure for database and business applications. Cloud computing is smart, useful and attractive technology for Pakistan with its tremendous growth witnessing presently in the local and multinational companies despite of challenges and widespread misconceptions. From a technology standpoint, cloud is an important evolution of virtualisation, automation, management, and operations discipline. From a business perspective, it is all that and more. Businesses have rarely had the freedom and agility implied through cloud services today. How you combine and recombine the growing array of services available will make a difference in the long run. Cloud is ready to replace but businesses can supplement their PC centric computing to get use to it.

Hopes are that demand driven cloud computing picks up here. One wishes to see it happen as soon as possible.

Also in Pakistan Today

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, June 07, 2017, , links to this post

Spencer's Pashmina

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I am big Pashmina fan. Even the name (that comes from pashm in Persian) sound musical to me and I love that gauzy weave. Just touching soft and warm Pashmina tells you what it is! Pashmina products are all time trendy and stylish. People of class from all over the world use these products - shawl, scarf and many more.

Given my interest, one of the best places I have found to shop for Pashmina is Spencer's Pashmina. Neatly laid out and user’s friendly site has a great collection of Pashmina products. Explore and find what they are offering and how. They have something for everyone. Imagery of the products is good and it gives a feeler of how one will look wrapped in one of those shawls.

What is more, their custom dye option makes them stand out from the rest. Ask for color you want and Spencer's Pashmina will deliver exactly the same.

Some of their shawls are already on my wish list.

posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, June 07, 2017, , links to this post

QR Code

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Hyperlinks are the strength of the internet, the primary building block of the web that ties reference points to useful content. Without these semantic connections, the internet can hardly serve as a global marketplace. Generally, hyperlinks live in browser windows on computers. Businesses and online marketers have always wanted to move hyperlinks offline where consumers could click them – QR (Quick Response) Code technology does just that. In today’s world of iPhones, iPads and other smart mobile gadgetry, this technology actually makes more sense than forcing the users to type in a link, no matter how short. As consumers take greater ownership of information and integrate technologies in real life, QR Codes continue to merge the real and virtual worlds.

Jump points to the internet, QR Codes can hold infinite amounts of information. Printed on any product, paper, billboard, manual or even a visiting card QR Codes allow consumers to quickly link them from the real world to rich web content via smart phones. QR Codes can be placed anywhere; giving marketers another groundbreaking outlet to their mobile customers’ base.

QR Codes (also called matrix codes, two-dimensional bar codes) have come a long way since they were first created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. Later, Microsoft offered a similar solution called Tag. The popularity of QR codes is on a fast growth trajectory and a study shows that ‘smart phone users scanning the QR codes to access products and services information has led to a measured 9.840 per cent year over year increase for the third quarter of 2011.’ In another study conducted to determine the growing usage of QR codes by ad agency MGH, 72 per cent of smart phone users indicated that they would be likely to recall an ad with a QR code. This growth opens new opportunities for businesses and marketers seeking to leverage the mobile web. The main advantages of the QR code are cost, simplicity and ease of implementation. QR codes provide no incremental cost to a business already printing or selling ads, and add quantifiable potential to mobile commerce.

Smart phone scan-able black and white squares are not yet seen in Pakistan. In local market, I raised the subject of QR codes among tech savvy entrepreneurs. Rafay Bin Ali, IT Operations Manage, Lading Solutions Interface says, “there is little question that like bar codes, QR Codes are going to be part of our reality and everyday life in the local market. Given the convenience, I believe they’ll soon be recognized as one of the best suited options to connect real world to the online world.”

If there is one thing that can be counted on in our technological future, it is that information will continue to become more widespread, available and relevant. The internet will expand from a network of computers to a network of everything, with interactivity pre-programmed into nearly every object we use. Seeing the popularity and availability of smart phones, businesses need to adopt QR Codes and offer smart phone scan-able content that offer true value to consumers. Behaviourally speaking, the mass scanning of QR codes will most certainly depend on the utility of what the QR codes hold for users. That is where marketing innovations come in. The catalyst for marketing success will ultimately lie in the creative ways implementation of codes. Give consumers an enriching experience, a reason (or incentive), and they are likely to follow.

It may take some time before businesses start offering scan-able objects for offline use, but the direct relationship between an object’s online persona and the offline consumers will ultimately lead to better marketing and business growth.

Also in Pakistan Today 



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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 06, 2017, , links to this post

E-commerce

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E-commerce is global in nature. Connected users from all over the world will resort to online shopping if businesses can offer safe, user-friendly online shopping experience. A recent international ecommerce survey conducted by Pitney Bowes has crossed my desktop that points out major preferences that can be mirrored anywhere in the world. As per the findings, “71 per cent international internet users look for competitive prices, 42 per cent want a broad selection of products and services online and some 35 per cent opt online-shopping for an easy checkout and other savings; deals, free shipping and taxing costs”.

In any market based economy, prices convey all of the information that consumers require to make learned decisions. On both the production and consumption sides, market prices act as coordinating signals. In order to make informed decisions about what to offer and how, businesses need to know the prices of inputs. Similarly, consumers need to know the prices of the goods and services they might buy so that they can make appropriate decisions. The internet offers a very advanced means to communicate prices that were never possible before.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, June 05, 2017, , links to this post

King's treatment

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I was off line for some day because I had been to my village. In my absence, my urban friends were enjoying their space while I was busy collecting lot of love that is always in store for me when I am there.
Going to my village is like coming home. Every time I go, I have a king’s treatment there when I meet everyone and anyone. One of the good traditions in the village is that ever one around the range of one’s parents’ age is chaha (uncle) or khala or phoopo (aunt). You call them not by name but ny relationship and they respond you accordingly  Lot of real and pure love permeates from these titles and one can feel the warmth. I love this very much and enjoy with pride.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, June 01, 2017, , links to this post


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