Eat Pray Nepal Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A rant against Google Chrome - a bloated web browser in 2016

I was a regular user of the internet and have used Google Chrome as my main web browser for the last five or six years. But over the years I have noticed I have gotten tired of the sluggishness and the constant background updates. 
Chrome leads market share in December 2016

Chrome with tiny market share in 2009

Background updates
Yes Google Chrome web browser updates itself in the background without your knowledge and you cannot stop it. There are many so called work-arounds designed to stop Chrome from auto-updating but the reality is none of these methods work. I have tried using various methods such as updating the Chromes registry entry to stop it from updating to implementing a firewall rule to stop Google Update as well as actually deleting the actual Update file. Despite all these measures I was not able to stop it. Somehow it finds a way to update.

These updates are good from an IT security perspective but Chrome itself has become really big and bloated over the years.

Google Spying on users ?
All web browsing done on Chrome is reported to Google and your surfing records are stored. Some people think Google might be spying on people, but I think it may mostly be used to see peoples browsing habits and probably not for any nefarious purposes.

Limited Data 
These auto updates are worse for people in developing countries such as Nepal with limited internet bandwidth. The consumer internet in Nepal is slow by modern standards and is not unlimited bandwidth which could result in extra unwanted data consumption.

Its time to move on to other web browsers if you are concerned about having privacy choices and not being forced into updates.

I will write another post next time on some alternatives such as Firefox, Opera, Chromium and others.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ratna Park - Kathmandu's version of New York's Central Park

View from middle

Ratna Park has gone a huge renovation as of last year. It is now much cleaner and worth visiting than in the past. Also in the past it used to be a free park while now there is an entry fee. It is quite reasonable price of Rs 20 if I remember right for locals. I only paid the fee to use their bathroom. After that I checked out the park. You can see some people enjoying the modest quietness and privacy of the park. It is hard to find anything like this in middle of Kathmandu unless you go to the Garden of Dreams in Thamel.

People sitting down enjoying the sun and talking

Pond in the middle of Ratnapark

The sign reads "It is prohibited to enter the Pond"

I didnt see any fish

Overall Ratna Park is a big upgrade the past and old version. However it is still not really a place to hangout with your friends or family. And definitely not a place to go for a swim in the pond. Would you enter the pond pictured above ? Leave your comments below.

Rating: 7 / 10

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nepal's first Social Network site is Neprican

The Neprican has been released on the internet and the android market. It is focused on young men and women from Nepal to connect with all over the world. 

I tried out from my computer and also tested their app from my Google Nexus 5p phone. I found the website responsive and the experience was consistent on both the web and app. 
According to the creators of Neprican, their free social network service is aimed to make it easy to find Nepalis for news sharing, finding new friends, finding new jobs, college and more.

When you login from the computer and sign up, it shows a three-bar icon on the upper left corner of the app accesses the main menu, which includes options such as Profile, Pictures, Friends, Messages, People Nearby and Groups. You can post status updates on your profile, search for other users by name. I found it easy to connect with some other current users that are living nearby by using the ‘People Nearby’ feature. The groups feature was also useful in having a private discussions.

I spoke with Katrina Shrestha, a grade 12 student from St Mary's School in Jawalakhel, Kathmandu. According to Katrina, she says the app has helped her connect with other students in ISA and learn about the college admission process and scholarship opportunities. She is planning to apply for college in Minnesota in the next year where she is hoping to qualify for In-State reduced tuition at Mankato State University.

In conclusion my overall impression of the Neprican website and app is very positive. The Neprican app has a clean UI and user friendly. 

Rating: 10 / 10