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Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After reading repeatedly about Kickstarter and this new era of creative philanthropy, it’s interesting to see how the mechanics of such coin-in-cup operations are continuing to develop. The music industry has seen an unprecedented shift in business in the last fifteen years, attempting clumsily to keep up with technology and the public’s desire for immediate (and free) music via downloads. The industry’s indecision has also created a burgeoning DIY propensity amongst artists and also the desire on behalf of the public to fund them. The fact that said public doesn’t actually want any tactile or physical evidence of their expenditure is even more baffling – they just want to give!

There have been several recent cases that are quite extraordinary; one concerns the Kickstarter drive of musician Amanda Palmer, who in reaching out to the public to help finance her tour, ended up receiving $1m in donations and then proceeded to not pay the musicians in her band! On a more humanitarian (and Hollywood) level, CNN recently featured an article about a homeless man who found an expensive diamond ring in his coin cup, proceeded to save it and give it back to the lady who unwittingly left it with him. Read the rest of this entry »

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4Afrika

Huawei and Microsoft have teamed up to offer a bespoke Windows phone, running exclusive African-created Apps, in an initiative called 4Afrika

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 »

E-learningAn interesting article appeared in the BBC Future section recently, detailing the increasing move of universities and other academic institutions to provide their curriculum online. The power of the Internet to collate and communicate information is no longer a novel idea, but when top universities like MIT, Stanford and Harvard offer online versions of their educational platforms it becomes a very interesting notion indeed.

But, is this the way of the future – virtual lectures, online tests, degrees without ‘real’ collaboration or interaction?  It will most likely be a hybrid, and one that will obviously benefit those in the lower income strata. This is potentially a great opportunity to educate huge amounts of people relying only on a broadband connection. It’s fantastic to think of, really. One digital expert, Clay Shirky, was quoted in the piece, “The possibility MOOCs  (massively open online courses) hold out isn’t replacement.” Read the rest of this entry »


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