Sunday, July 31, 2005

The No.1 economic sector of Mauritius
Few of us have to worry about Mauritius. As seen in elections, most of us worry about our own standard of living, or about our privileges and rights.

But somewhere we should all worry if Mauritius is going broke. It does not matter if one party has more money than the other, if, for instance, Mauritius keeps importing more than it exports. Obviously all the wealth will drain away to foreign land.

Given that the sugar industry has worn itself out, and so has the textile industry, can you name anything else which can become the No 1 economic sector of Mauritius? I have tried this question on my friends - it would seem that the answer is not so obvious.

Is it tourism ? No. Is it the cybercity ? No. Is it small and medium enterprises ? No.

If you are not getting the answer right it is probably because you are considering Mauritius to be just land, forgetting about the huge extent of our territorial waters. With the other islands forming part of the Republic of Mauritius, we have a vast area of sea - or should I say, a vast volume of sea - as resource. The Ministry of Fisheries has always been considered as a "small ministry", whereas it ought to be a major ministry, with a large operating budget. Students come from overseas to learn and make research at the MSIRI. We would need to have universities on the coast, studying oceanography, fishing, and - why not - ship building. Most Mauritians should have been able to ride boats. Facilities ought to exist at selected points for anybody to go and rent a boat. Just as there are road marks and traffic lights, we ought to have plenty of those at sea, so that swimmers do not get hit by boats. Did you notice that the export of textile is going down, while that of seafood and pearls from the sea is going up ?

"I am a sea, but who will dive into its depths? The scatter or the flow is all they see who settle on my shore" - Iqbal.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Everybody is gradually getting used to the idea that politics - meaning, authority - is corrupt. They are even getting used to the idea that to succeed in the world, you have to participate in, or, at least, tolerate, this corruption. But at the same time, how enjoyable it is to criticize this authority for its corruption!
But in truth the real ones to be blamed for existence of corruption are the uncorrupted persons. I was talking about this to my friend yesterday, and he didn't seem to agree. Yet, if there is an increase in thefts, would you not blame the police for not cracking down the thieves ? In our ignorance, we are in fact appealing to thieves to stop stealing. No. Only the uncorrupted persons can remove corruption. By not doing anything, we, the honest people, are guilty of allowing anarchy to settle down: a situation where the police are the accomplices of thieves; a situation where the guilty ones define the law; a situation of pure anarchy.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mass Mailing

We all feel helpless against spammers. They operate from countries where spamming is not necessarily illegal; hence anti-virus programs cannot be extended to cover spamming and spying.

This may result in feelings of anger and vengeance. If you are enjoying mass-mailing a whole population: think twice. I had received anonymous mails from a well-known company in Mauritius; I worked out from hints given here and there what the company was - and called the director. My name has been removed from their list. But initially they had been telling me the usual story - "oh well, this is an automatic process, we can't remove the name".

The most notorious of all spammers has just been murdered. Read about it here:

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Monday, July 25, 2005

These days Internet network in Asia is suffering from 50% packet loss, according to online report Does anyone have any idea why that is so ?

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Privatised Sales Tax

Did you realise that a private company may levy sales tax (or VAT) on every purchase that you make, including foodstuff and medicine, which are exempt from Government VAT ? I realised that when I went to purchase medicine from a pharmacy. I saw a credit card reader on the counter. I asked the pharmacist how much the bank was claiming for the use of that credit card facility - he answered: 3%. Imagine if the government collects an additional 3% as VAT, everybody would grumble. Yet when a private firm does that, nobody finds it shocking. Banks used to earn a percentage on money lent to you; now they earn a percentage on every transaction.

Considering that most tourists pay with credit cards, and that the tourist industry is one of the biggest in Mauritius, what a huge amount of money collected for just changing the mode of payment from paper to electronic!

This is no different than Sales Tax collected by a private company.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Earthquake tremors (level 2) were felt in Port Louis yesterday in the morning. I did not notice anything in Quatre Bornes. I wonder how the tremors could be so localized when the seismic disturbances originate from deep under the earth's crust.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

I would like to draw your attention to the proliferation of a spyware virus plaguing our PC's these days, especially Windows XP.

To check if you have that virus, press Alt-Ctrl-Del simultaneously, and check the list of processes. If you have LSSAS.exe (not LSASS.exe) then your PC is infected.

The solution (the only trustworthy solution) is to reformat the PC.

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Less than 48 hours left 

There are less than 48 hours left till elections.
Alliance Sociale is very aggressive in its campaign, including email and web marketing.

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