Kampuchea News

Kampuchea News aggregates Cambodian news from more than 30 local and international news sources. On an average day it collects about 100 stories in English and more than 600 in Khmer.

Stories in English are categorized by province and news section, such as business, politics, crime, weird, etc.

Top News is a human-curated section of the day’s most important stories.

Kampuchea News is largely a personal project that allows me to explore new topics like AI and machine learning and revisit familiar ones like speed optimisation, javascript and PHP.

Hence the term beta. There’s an ever-growing roadmap (and bug list), with better support for Khmer, story clustering and more. But as with all personal projects, sometimes work gets in the way 🙁

Check it out at Kampuchea News. And let me know what you think.

Khmer fighter

I’ll be showing a few photos from my Phnom Penh Post days on Thursday at the #26 Art Gallery on Street 118. It’s quite the hip little Thursday-night event. Drop by if you can.

You can view more online too: https://www.khmerfighter.com

Pchum Ben 2010

Thanks to Miss Lady J, I was up at oh-dark-thirty this morning to take some pictures at Wat Ounalom for the upcoming FCC newsletter.

Today marks the first day of Pchum Ben, Cambodia’s grandest religious holiday. It’s somewhat analogous to Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival, but without all the cool skeleton paraphernalia. Or tequila.

Pchum Ben — often clipped to just Pchum (p’CHUME) by the locals — lasts 15 days and culminates with a 3-day public holiday. Buffalo racing, wrestling and other pious endeavors are popular. For more than that, though, you will have to wait for Laura’s story.

Your skyscraper killed my Internet

Progress has killed my Internet connection.

One of the new high-rises in the area is now partially blocking my line-of-sight, microwave Telesurf connection, and connectivity over the last few days has become painfully slow, although not completely severed. It would probably be better if it was. That would at least be less frustrating.

The good news is that Telesurf will upgrade my 9-year-old Chinese “speedbox” to Wimax today. The technician assures me this is much better than the ancient Chinese oracle that provides access and boils coffee now. We will see.

I first got Telesurf in 2002, when the number of ISPs was still in the single digits. The modem and antennae are holdovers from those early days. While there are many more providers today, my experience with a few of the others — Online, Camnet, Mekong — has been subpar. And nearly all of them would be more expensive than what I pay at Telesurf — about $55 per month for a 128k connection with a 1000mb data allowance.

After working out a few early bugs, Telesurf has been solid over the years. It almost never goes out, dropped connections — the bane of anyone who uses FTP –are rare, and customer service continues to improve. Their policy seems to be that a second complaint to customer service triggers a house call, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes.

So I complained on Saturday. And today, Monday, they will do something about the high-rise problem. I’ll let you know how it goes.