How Developing Nations Can Leapfrog Developed Countries with the Sharing Economy
Electricity is now coming to remote areas in Africa, which never before had access to a centralized power grid. Not surprisingly, the introduction of cell phones has helped precipitate the development of a nascent Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure. Virtually overnight, millions of Africa’s rural households have scraped together enough money — from selling an animal or surplus crops — to purchase a cell phone. The phones are used as much for carrying on commercial activity as for personal communications. In rural areas, far removed from urban banking facilities, people are increasingly relying on cell phones to facilitate small money transfers. The problem is that without access to electricity, cell phone users often have to travel on foot to get to a town with electricity in order to recharge their phones. A single solar panel affixed on the tin roof of a rural hut would provide enough electricity to not only charge the cell phone but also power electric lights.
Street protests continue to rock Brazil and, frustrated by mainstream media coverage, a new group of citizen journalists is using digital tools to tell a different side of the story
But the battles are not just being waged on the street. Angered by what they see as a misrepresentation of the issues by traditional media, new independent media collectives and networks have emerged over the past year. Armed with smartphones, digital cameras, and apps such as Twitcasting and Twitcam that allow them to broadcast live online, they are presenting their own version of events. Some of them are reaching a huge audience across the country and are now looking to expand their reach internationally.
Now owners of Android phones can connect to each other without an internet connection thanks to Serval Mesh app
Serval Mesh, full mesh darknet, quietly released for Android “You set up your phone, I set up my phone, it connects them directly, so no infrastructure is needed. It can also relay calls, so if you can get a connection to bob and I can get a connection to bob, we can both talk even though we can’t get a connection directly to each other.”
Serval Project “Serval is revolutionary, free, open-source software under development for mobile telephones, letting them communicate even in the absence of phone towers and other supporting infrastructure.”
Serval Android App page “So with using your existing number, and not requiring Internet Access, our software is making the best of what you have, whether in a disaster or emergency situation, or where poor economies or regional & location restrictions can mean zero infrastructure, we enable communication using just existing mobile phones. Our software is :
1. Continuous learning 2. Educational leap-frogging 3. A new crop of older life-long learners and educators 4. Breaking gender boundaries, reducing physical burdens 5. A new literacy emerges: software literacy 6. Education’s long tail 7. Teachers and pupils trade roles 8. Synergies with mobile banking and mobile health initiatives 9. New opportunities for tradtional educational institutions 10. A revolution leading to customized education
Phi Beta Iota: Entire article strongly recommended. We would have added “just enough, just in time learning” but find the over-all list compelling.
Tired of high cost mobile phones? Feel guilty that while you’ve got a paper thin phone, it’s hard to recycle elements are destroying the planet ? Turns out, you don’t need Samsung or LG to stay in touch with those you love.
David A. Mellis, from MITs High-Low Tech group, has created a DIY mobile phone out of easily obtained electronic parts and a little bit of plywood. It may not have the internet connectivity or giant touchscreen of your current mobile phone, but it’s a completely self-made, operational phone, which means it’s low impact and free from the constraints of mass production.
According to Mellis, the initial prototype combines a custom electronic circuit board with a laser-cut plywood and veneer enclosure. The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display may only be about 1.8″ across, but it does offer color images. Currently, the software supports voice calls, but the folks at High-Low Tech say SMS and other functionality could be added with the same hardware. Altogether the prototype contains about $150 in parts.
“By creating and sharing open-source designs for the phone’s circuit board and case, we hope to encourage a proliferation of personalized and diverse mobile phones,” say the designers. Want to give it a try? The source code, circuit design files (Eagle), and case design files (Inkscape) are hosted in the damellis/cellphone repository on GitHub.
Phi Beta Iota: Combined with OpenBTS and Open Spectrum, this puts the stake in the heart of both governments and corporations seeking to create scarcity instead of infinite access.
Here’s the scene: you’re traveling, and you walk into a little restaurant and the menu is entirely in a language you don’t understand, without pictures. You’ve got a couple of choices. You can leave, and try to find a place with English translations. You can try to hack your way through a conversation with the waiter, who also doesn’t speak your language. Or, you can point randomly at the menu and live with the consequences.
Well, in the future there will be another, better, answer. Live, realtime translation built into your glasses. Enter: Project Glass. British hacker and DIYer Will Powell has built a pair of glasses that can (albeit roughly) project a translation of your conversation onto your glasses. Here’s what it looks like:
The purpose of PeaceTXT is to use mobile messaging (SMS) to catalyze behavior change vis-a-vis peace and conflict issues for the purposes of violence prevention. You can read more about our pilot project in Kenya here. We’re hoping to go live next month with some initial trials. In the meantime, we’ve been busy doing research to develop an appropriate monitoring and evaluation strategy. As is often the case in this new innovative initiatives, we have to look to other fields for insights, which is why my colleague Peter van der Windt recently shared this peer-reviewed study entitled: “Mobile Phone Technologies Improve Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment in a Resource-Limited Setting: A Randomized Con-trolled Trial of Text Message Reminders.”
OSINT is passe. Governments and vendors to government have wasted 20 years and perhaps 25 billion dollars in that time. The refusal to focus on machine-speed translation and inserting geospatial attributes at all points of collection across all collection disciplines, while also refusing to accept multinational human sources unemcumbered by the idiocy of the clearance bureaucracy, have left governments in the stone age. The next big leap is going to be M4IS2 that routes around governments or — if governments reconnect to their integrity — embraces governments as beneficiaries of M4IS2 (they will never be the benefactors, but one Smart Nation could transform everything overnight). The biggest change in our own thinking has been the realization that education, intelligence, and research must be reinvented together, and that Open Source Everything is the only agile, acalable, shareable, and affordable means of achieving the necessary pervasive transformations.