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Three Tech Initiatives for Combating the Spread of Malaria

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 1 2013

Mosquito via Wikipedia

Although prevention and control measures have led to a reduction in mortality rates from malaria by 25 percent since 2000, 3.3 billion people are still at risk for infection, according to the World Health Organization. The World Health Assembly’s goal is to reduce malaria case incidence rates by 75 percent (relative to the rates in 2000) by 2015. There are a number of new products or tools that help eliminate the spread of malaria, from tea to soap, but these are the top tech-based innovations:

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WeGov

IBM Optimizes Ivory Coast Bus Routes by Mining Mobile Phone Data

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 1 2013

Abidjan, Ivory Coast (credit: Flickr/SoCE)

Cell phone data might be the next indispensable resource for urban planners. Mining mobility data from 2.5 billion call records, a team of IBM researchers identified modifications to bus routes in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which could slash travel time up to 10 percent. Read More

WeGov

Google Launches Mobile Micropayments in Africa

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, April 30 2013

A Nairobi matatu (bus) (Wikipedia)

Google just announced the launch of rebranded electronic payment system BebaPay in Kenya, home to the popular and successful mobile money system M-Pesa. With the BebaPay card, Google tackles the notoriously chaotic bus system in Kenya. The BebaPay card standardizes fares and provides riders with receipts, protecting them from unscrupulous conductors charging hiked up fares or not providing change. And it costs consumers next to nothing: the card is free and there are no transaction fees, although cell phone operators can charge to transfer money to the card. With all those perks, many are asking, “What’s the catch?”

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WeGov

Canada Post Contests Open Data in the Courts

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, April 29 2013

Canada Post truck (Wikipedia)

Last year Canada Post filed a lawsuit against a website specializing in geocoding in the US and Canada for offering a free online database of copyrighted Canadian postal codes. They recently updated their claims to include allegations that Geolytica, the company that owns geocoder.ca, has infringed on their trademark on the phrases “postal code” and “code postale.”

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WeGov

Hi-Tech Pooper Scoopers: Sanitation Hackathon Winners Announced

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, April 29 2013

Not enough pit latrines to go around (Wikipedia)

The World Bank has announced the three winners of the Sanitation Hackathon and App Challenge, which techPresident covered last December when the Hackathon took place in cities across the globe. The sanitation crisis affects approximately 2.5 billion people who live without access to toilets. That statistic is all the more staggering when compared to the number of people who do not have access to a cell phone – only one billion. That statistic in part inspired the decision to leverage mobile technology towards helping alleviate the global sanitation crisis.

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WeGov

To Protest Judge's Sentence, Iranians Launch Viral Feminist Campaign on Facebook

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, April 26 2013

A collage of photos from the Kurdish Men For Equality Facebook page

On April 15, police paraded a convicted criminal dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing through the streets of Marivan, Iran, in accordance with a judge’s sentence. A local feminist organization, the Marivan Women’s Community, found the sentence humiliating to Kurdish women, and organized a protest. The protest moved online to a Facebook page with the tagline: “Being a woman is not humiliating and should not be considered punishment.” Overnight, the page garnered 3,800 fans. One week later, it now has more than 10,000 fans. The protest has prompted 17 members of Iran’s parliament to sign a letter to the Justice Ministry calling the punishment “humiliating to Muslim women.”

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Bassem Youssef Returns to Daily Show After Being Honored As Pioneer in the ‘Time 100’

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 25 2013

Screengrab from Bassem Youssef's appearance on The Daily Show

The Egyptian political satirist and TV personality Bassem Youssef returned to The Daily Show as Jon Stewart’s guest last night. Youssef hosts his own mock news show in Cairo, often compared to The Daily Show, which he started filming in a laundry room during Egypt’s revolution in early 2011, posting the videos to YouTube. The show was then picked up by an Egyptian satellite channel and now reaches some 30 million viewers.

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WeGov

New App Detects Polluted Water

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 25 2013

Image of Mobosens technology from its website.

A new dongle for smartphones can be used to crowdsource a clean water project out to concerned citizens worldwide. The Mobosens dongle senses water quality and sends the information to the cloud where it is stored, aggregated and mapped. Users can also post and share data on social media, which adds to both the collective knowledge and the all-important awareness of an area’s water quality.

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WeGov

Mobile Banking Outpaces Traditional Banking in Kenya

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Screengrab from YouTube Video The Story of M-Pesa

Kenya’s mobile networks last year collectively held more in deposits than the country’s largest bank. The telecoms regulator CCK reported the mobile networks held Sh226 billion ($2.70 billion) in deposits at the end of last year while the largest commercial bank held Sh223 billion ($2.66 billion). The report said the number of mobile money transfer subscribers grew to 21.1 million from 19.3 million in the previous period, a growth of 9.4 percent.

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WeGov

Harnessing the Power of Cell Phones for Education in India

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Hyderabad, India (Wikipedia)

You might know by now the widely publicized fact that Indian’s are more likely to have access to a cell phone than to a toilet, a troubling fact previously explored on techPresident. India has surpassed the US and UK to become the world’s second largest cell phone market, and the fastest growing, boasting more than six million new subscribers every month. A recent study conducted in Hyderabad, India, turned up data specific to young students, which the researchers hope can be focused toward creating effective mobile learning platforms.

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