Brunei Car Prices and #fixBruneiWebsites

Summary

  • You can currently find the latest of Brunei Price Controlled Car Prices at
  • #fixBruneiWebsites
    • Let us the community highlight Brunei website issues and tag them on your social media platform of choice
      • Suggest a solution if possible
      • If not, people curious to learn / offer a solution can reply to the post with an answer 🙂
    • Let’s use this as an opportunity to learn and give back to the companies that do have an online presence and let’s make the Brunei web great 🚀

 

The story

Did a Google search for “brunei car prices” which brought up a couple interesting results of actual approved prices for cars

Google search for "brunei car prices".png

 

It showed that the most recent one was June 2018 but curious as what is the latest version if any. As the results are coming from www.depd.gov.bn, did a search for “brunei car prices depd” and found the Motor Vehicles pagedepd old page.png

Which doesn’t seem updated since 2016Depd old motor vechicles page.png

Dead ends

As the PDFs show that there were more recent ones they had to be somewhere, so digging we go

Home was not useful.png

Sitemap does not help.png

Success!

More digging around and found the Competition and Consumer Affairs Department page that has the latest list on the right along with other price controlled items such as Cooking Oil and Formulated Powered Milk

Found on Competition and Consumer Affairs Department page.png

There is also the Price Control Goods page which has links to Clay Bricks and OthersPrice Controlled Goods page.png

And as it turns out it was under “Consumer Affairs” on the Department of Economic Planning and Development home page. In hind site, it makes some sense but isn’t too obvious

Consumer Affairs link on home page.png

 

What can we learn?

So from this I wondered what we could do to learn from this but instead of just complaining, what are the steps we can do to improve this. I have seen a couple websites and in Brunei that don’t seem to emphasise their web presence or just have things set up weirdly and thought it would be great to use these as learning opportunities for the local tech community in general so I’m going try a #fixBruneiWebsites journey

  • Let us the people of Brunei highlight website issues and tag them on your social media platform
    • If you can, try to offer possible solutions
    • If you can’t that is ok too 🙂
  • Then anybody who’s keen or interested could look up posts with the hashtag and could offer and answer and reply back to the original post
  • Take a look at the hashtag on
  • We can have sessions at BruneiGeekMeet for any new #fixBruneiWebsite issues and discussions

Learning takeaways / solutions for Brunei Car Prices listing

  • Have a strategy that allows you to scale
    • While I don’t know the full reasoning why the old page didn’t get updated, it could be that the way it was set up didn’t allow them to make changes easily or locked them into a certain format
    • The old Motor Vehicles page had individual pricing based on car brand. Perhaps it was too much work to break things down and upload individual files
    • There is no current Motor Vehicles page but now it is just a single PDF which helps consolidation and provides simplicity of uploading a single file which is great
  • Don’t be afraid to change things up
    • If things didn’t scale well initially, I feel that modifying the old existing page could have been something they did and not just let it go untouched
  • Update old pages
    • It could be something as simple as a link to the new current page to allow people to get the latest information
    • Or they could do a permanent 301 redirect or a temporary 302 redirect on the old page so that it automatically redirects to the new one
  • If you have a Sitemap make use of it / update it
    • This would be similar to the point above but Sitemaps are even more important compared to regular pages as they are used in SEO and help your page be found by search engines. While this Sitemap was an HTML page and not a XML Sitemap: HTML Sitemaps are still useful with the added bonus that it helps visitors to your site discover more things
  • Detail features of sections on a website
    • The “Consumer Affairs” link on the homepage isn’t a super obvious choice that it would lead to prices
    • Perhaps a shot

 

So I hope you come and join me on this #fixBruneiWebsites journey!

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Mapping Brunei

A talk I gave at Brunei Geek Meet on the 29th April 2016 as a follow up to our Data Hackathon about my journey of creating a Brunei map and and bus routes

Mapping Brunei Slidedeck Screenshot.png

slides.com/thewheat/mapping-brunei

Links from the talk

Mapping Brunei, Hackathons and Beyond

Friday, Apr 29, 2016, 7:00 PM

Fantasea (formerly Au Lait)
Ground Floor, Seri Q-Lap Mall, Kg Kiulap Bandar Seri Begawan, BN

4 Geeks Went

Following up from a data hackathon and a community outreach program, there are things to tell and discuss!Agenda• 7pm: Event Kick off• 7:05pm: Mapping Brunei: The Journey and some Tools and Tricks for your Mapping needsTim will recount the arduous gathering data process from the previous data hackathon http://www.meetup.com/BruneiGeekMeet/event…

Check out this Meetup →

Brunei Map – Mukims & Kampongs

As part of Brunei Geek Meet’s Data Hackathon

  • Managed to gather data from the Survey Department http://survey.gov.bn/web/survey_department/map
  • To map out kampongs and mukims in Brunei
  • Webapp allows you to search for kampongs / mukims and explore the neighbourhood around any selected area

brunei_map

Demo: http://thewheat.github.io/brunei_map/
Repo: https://github.com/thewheat/brunei_map

Is Brunei Mobile Data Really that Expensive?

I’ve heard complaints that DST, one of the Brunei mobile telcos, rip people off with regards to charging for data. Let’s see if that’s true.

So I compared Brunei’s cellular data from DST and Progresif Cellular to different telcos in 4 countries

And I’ve come up with this spreadsheet.

On a cursory glance, it seems that

  • UK has pretty good prices in all data tiers
  • we have one of the worst excess data charges
  • DST pricing isn’t that great when data usage is under 5GB
  • with plans using more than 5GB of data (and especially > 10GB data), DST is actually very good so long as you stay within the quota amount

Hope to do more in-depth look soon

New Telbru Internet Plans (eSpeed / High-Speed Broadband)

new telbru internet rates

new telbru internet ratesThe Telbru eSpeed/High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) Internet rates have arrived and price wise they are going in a good direction, quota wise not so much, but here are the facts that you need to know.

  • Base monthly rates have been reduced
  • Some plans have quotas
  • If you exceed the quota you will get throttled but you pay no extra (you will still have an Internet connection, just slower speeds)
  • Throttled speeds are “about 20% of the subscribed plan package
    bandwidth throttling
  • Extra quota top-ups can be purchased if you exceed your quota which will restore your speed
    quota topup
  • Price caps are only for those who purchase multiple extra quota top-ups
    price cap
  • At the switch over, you will get the same speed but at the new reduced monthly price (and quota’s if applicable)

How to check your data usage

Notifications can be sent to you via your preferred communication channel (e-mail/text message) when you have used 50%, 80% and 100% of your quota volume

https://www.telbru.com.bn/page.php?c=193

Read more on Telbru’s site

Possible Issues

  • Is the data metering real time?
  • Are both uploads and downloads counted?
  • Best effort Internet: which sounds very similar to the eSpeed problems on yesteryear

My bandwidth at home cannot even reach 1Mbps, is there a rebate?

There will be no rebate given on your rental charge or quota. Our broadband service is best effort service. If your average broadband speed is low (approximately one megabit per second or less) we do not recommend you to purchase higher bandwidth or quota packages.

“Intro to Dart” @ Dart Flight School, Brunei 2014

On the 15th of February the Google Developer Group (GDG) Brunei held a Dart Flight School at DST’s Signature Store.

Dart is a new language that learns from Javascript and adds features that are missing in Javascript such as classes and optional static typing. It aims to provide a better developer workflow and efficiency, better performance vs Javascript and can compile to Javascript in order to be deployed anywhere.

I prerecorded an “Intro to Dart” video just in case as with all things, technology can be troublesome at times =)  There is also a 4 hour long Hangouts on Air recording of the entire event

Intro to Dart slide deck

Dart Flight School

The code labs served as a way to learn Dart and it is even deployable on Heroku. We also covered a bit of Angular JS with a work in progress AngularJS intro project on GitHub.

All in all, Dart seems compelling that it is more performant compared to Javascript, can be compiled to Javascript so you reap the development benefit while still maintaining deployability via Javascript, having a single language for both client and server and adding ‘modern’ features added to Javascript make it easier to develop in. Certainly an alternative to Javascript+Node and perhaps something to use in a future project.