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India's IT Ministry Sets a Tech Agenda for the 21st Century

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 24 2013

Indian IT Minister Kapil Sibal (Wikimedia Commons).

Indian IT Minister Kapil Sibal has made his plans clear to digitalize government, with online portals and e-governance measures meant to streamline bureaucracy and increase accessibility. Now Sibal has put forth an ambitious one-year agenda for the for the country’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (acronym: DEITY). Read More

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Abayima Makes SIM Cards Into E-Readers to Combat Information Blackouts

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, January 22 2013

Over the past decade, mobile tech has grown into a dominant force in journalism, activism, and revolution across the globe. Yet one organization is going lo-tech to get information in the hands of the people – by transforming basic cellular phones into e-readers loaded with news that might be otherwise censored by the government. Read More

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Mobile Apps to Combat Street Harassment Follow Brutal Delhi Gang-Rape Case

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 9 2013

Screengrabs from ICE, a New Mobile App from KPMG and the Mumbai Police Department

Last month, techPresident reported on India’s first all-female hackathon, where many programmers focused on apps to help tackle issues of sexual harassment. Only a handful of days later, the country was shocked by a horrific gang-rape and murder case, in which a young medical student from Delhi who died after being brutally sexually assaulted on a moving bus became the symbol of an escalating crisis of violence against women. Read More

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Dhaka is Getting a Crowdsourced Bus Map

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 4 2013

The Dhaka bus map, from the project's Kickstarter page.

The capital of Bangladesh is among the most densely populated areas in the world. Like many cities in Southeast Asia, it is serviced by a labyrinthine bus system used by millions of commuters every day. The problem is, dozens of different companies provide bus services, and there’s no map, making travel around the city far from intuitive. Read More

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Mobile Phone Use in Zambia May Be Enabling Violence Against Women

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 4 2013

A study in Zambia has revealed that, in a country where men often have the upper hand in society, mobile phone use may actually reinforce patterns of violence against women. Read More

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Women Make Their Mark on Kenya's Expanding Tech Sector

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 3 2013

What’s the best way to get women engaged in tech? In Nairobi, a burgeoning African Silicon Alley, it’s to have women implement tech culture in the first place. A NPR story from late last month dropped in on the Akirachix, an all-female collective of programmers and technologists who are collaborating to tackle social issues in Kenya. Read More

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Police Surveillance in Sao Paolo is at All-Time High, as Crime Wave Shocks City

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 2 2013

A military police officer with a camera-mounted EagleEye backpack, from BBC Future Video.

BBC Future has a look into the Orwellian surveillance technology that police in Sao Paolo are using to monitor crime in the metropolis of 41 million. An integrated network of databases, tablet technology and mobile cameras are giving law enforcement officials an unprecedented eye on activity in the city streets. Read More

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Women Programmers Fight Sexual Harassment at India’s First All-Female Hackathon

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 13 2012

Bangalore was the scene of the first all-female hackathon in India this week. The event brought developers together to collaborate on humanitarian projects that could improve the lives of women across the country. Read More

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Chinese Social Media App Poses a Threat to Activists and Authorities Alike

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 13 2012

The most popular new social media app in China is raising suspicions over its geolocational abilities. WeChat, a phone app that combines the functions of Skype, Twitter, and Facebook with the power to locate nearby users, has ousted traditional texting as a contact method for many young people in China. But as the Guardian reported last week, a technology that tracks its users’ movements can be dangerous: Read More

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For Afghan Women, Bright Screens and Uncertain Futures in Mobile Learning Effort

BY Naheed Mustafa | Wednesday, December 12 2012

Literacy program for Afghan women (credit: Aga Khan Foundation/ Sandra Calligaro)

Mobile phones are in the hands of about 15 million Afghans and some 85 percent of the population lives in a part of the country with network coverage. Given high mobile penetration and low literacy levels for women, the Paiwastoon Networking Services recently developed the Ustad Mobil literacy program using $80, 000 in U.S. aid money. But while the project's initiators are no doubt well intentioned, they have not taken into account obstacles resulting from local culture and custom. Read More