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Phone Apps for Toilets: Hackathon Mobilizes Techies for Hygiene Solutions

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, December 6 2012

Last weekend the International Sanitation Hackathon took place simultaneously in 40 cities across the globe, from Vancouver to Jakarta and Helsinki to Porto Alegre. The World Bank-organized event brought together development workers and techies to brainstorm solutions to a problem that confounds the developing world — poor sanitation and waste disposal, which causes disease and raises mortality rates. Read More

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India's Successful AIDS Prevention Program Threatened by Proliferation of Mobile Phones

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Inexpensive mobile phones have brought independence to India's sex workers. Rather than work in brothels, where the madam takes a cut of their fee, they can now deal directly with their customers. But this financial freedom comes with a prices — a steep rise in HIV and AIDS rates. Read More

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Following Government Orders, Tajikistan's Telecoms Have Blocked Facebook

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, November 27 2012

Facebook is now totally blocked in Tajikistan. Starting from last week, the Ministry of Communications ordered the country's six mobile service providers and six Internet service providers to block access to the popular social media platform. Read More

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Reporting from Uzbekistan With a Lens Hidden in Plain Sight

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, November 26 2012

A BBC journalist who recorded interviews with her iPhone and Skype in order to circumvent official restrictions on the media discovered that these tools were so effective in producing broadcast quality content that she no longer needed the bulky conventional equipment, reports Journalism.co.uk. Read More

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Free Phone App Teaches Afghan Women to Read

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 15 2012

The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan is rolling out a free phone app that it hopes will raise the literacy level amongst women, reports Wired.co.uk. Currently, only 15 percent of Afghan women can read and write. Read More

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In Zambia, a Phone App Allows Citizens to Participate in Drafting Their Constitution

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, November 2 2012

Screenshot from phone app page.

Zambia is in the process of writing a constitution that will reflect the aspiration of the people. In order to make the process inclusive, the government has created a phone app that allows people to read the draft, sharing and commenting on pages. The Zambian draft constitution app is available free for download on Google Play — but not on iTunes, which shows the extent to which low-cost Androids are kicking dust in the face of the prohibitively priced iPhone in developing nations. Read More

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Inexpensive Smart Phones Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, October 31 2012

Image from the Mozilla blog

While the release of low cost smartphones is a welcome development, their rapid proliferation could come at the cost of presenting an opportunity for malicious hackers. Read More

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To Protest Electoral Corruption, Putin's Opponents Hold Their Own Parliamentary Elections Online

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 19 2012

Screenshot of candidates for the "shadow parliament" from their website.

To protest irregularities in the Russian elections, opponents of President Vladimir Putin are putting their time where their Internet is: They are, reports Reuters, "instead holding their own Internet contest to choose a "shadow parliament" they hope will reinvigorate the flagging opposition movement." Read More

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Phone App Helps Locate People in Disaster Zones

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 4 2012

Image from Earthquake Buddy

An Australian mobile phone app developer has produced Earthquake Buddy, which allows users to track down their loved ones when conventional communications break down in a disaster zone. Read More

WeGov

Indian Gov't to Distribute Low Cost Android Tablets to Millions of Schoolchildren

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 4 2012

Screenshot from Aakash website.

The Indian government is rolling out the distribution of millions of small, affordable Android Tablets for Indian schoolchildren. Read More