Connecting rural parts of Africa to the Internet is changing lives dramatically – helping healthcare providers with location analysis, weather information for farmers and teaching children in ways previously unimaginable. Countries like Kenya have been seeing the benefit of frontline technological advances for several years, and the developments keep coming. Recently the BBC reported that Huawei and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a bespoke Windows phone, running exclusive African-created Apps, in an initiative called 4Afrika. This programme should ultimately see millions of people with smartphones in the next few years.
Another aspect to 4Afrika, and potentially more beneficial, are the new advances enabling the unused ‘white spaces’ of the wireless spectrum used for television broadcasting to be set aside for remote Internet connectivity. This will be solar-powered and a much more consistent and powerful connection for online use. Read the rest of this entry »
Former UK foreign secretary and brother of Labour party leader Ed Miliband, David Miliband is leading the charge on saving the world’s oceans. It’s encouraging to see the proactive, heartfelt stance being taken in a bid to raise awareness for the plight of the high seas – as over fishing, sea-floor mining and “rogue engineering” are threatening the planet and making, according to Miliband, the recent financial crisis look like child’s play. The new organization, which Miliband will lead in a non-profit capacity, is called the Global Ocean Commission, and will “try to fashion practical solutions that are an environmental win and an economic win, and with a commission which is avowedly across north-south, east-west, rich-poor divides.” This commission’s aim is to help preserve and regulate the high seas, long been an outlaw frontier due to human being’s inability to reach and navigate the deeper waters – but, the last twenty years have seen an unprecedented encroachment on marine life. Read the rest of this entry »