Social Media in Africa, Part 3: Democracy

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Mzalendo is an aggregation platform for tracking the actions, activities and communication of Kenya’s Parliament. For people who want to make sure their elected officials are staying on task, it’s invaluable.When Moroccan blogger Mohamed Erraj was jailed for disparaging the government in his online magazine, Hespress, it was through the efforts of other bloggers (like the writers at GlobalVoicesOnline) and people using applications like Twitter that his story made international news. The added pressure of having the whole world paying attention is perhaps what convinced the Moroccan government to let him free where traditionally his actions could have resulted in much harsher punishment.Rethinking AfricaIn conclusion, Africa is producing some very unique and innovative technologies. There’s more to the continent than the things you see on TV – something people, especially in the tech industry, seem to forget. Where most other markets in the world are incredibly saturated, Africa offers the opportunity to start afresh: new ideas and a billion new people to use them. It’s a big place; nearly one billion people and a land mass where the sum is greater than that of China and the United States combined. For social entrepreneurs and investors, the innovation occurring here is a huge sign of progress that could potentially change the continent’s world standing forever. The most exciting aspect for me, however, is the decreased reliance on developmental aid and foreign groups to provide these solutions. The number of African developers who are beginning to create applications that offer solutions for their own communities is increasing and that, more than anything else, will shape the future of Africa.“If Africa is surprising, then you’re not paying enough attention.” Ethan Zuckerman at PICNIC08You can read more articles by Jon Gosier at Appfrica.net.See also:Social Media in Africa, Part 1and Social Media in Africa, Part 2: Mobile Innovations jonathan gosier 1 Traditionally, the greatest power that governments have held over their people has been information. The promise that connectivity brings to Africa is that people are now using that abundance of information for oversight of government and more interaction with administrations. To say that the propagation of internet and mobile connectivity in Africa has been disruptive is an understatement. A number of web and mobile applications are undermining the efforts of dictators and totalitarian governments, allowing them to be more readily be held accountable for their actions. In this post we profile some of them.Democratizing Information Through TechnologyWhen the Ethiopian government instituted an SMS filtering service to censor mobile communication, the developers behind Feedelix responded swiftly. They created their product Feedlix, a java-based client that supports Amharic, Chinese and Hindi characters. The application then uses GPRS, through internet protocols, to mimic SMS and bypass the censoring filter put in place by the government.Sokwanele is a civic action support group campaigning for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe. Their website includes an ‘election violence map’ that provides detailed information related to localized occurrences of violence related to the election. During the most recent crisis in Zimbabwe, Sokwanele was used to get information out of the country when the government began restricting communication. Tags:#international#web Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

USS Partners with Mojix to Expand RFID System Offerings

first_imgUSS recently announced the expansion of its electronic article surveillance (EAS) system integration capabilities and offerings to include radio-frequency identification(RFID} technology; made possible through a new partnership with enterprise RFID hardware and software manufacturer and developer,Mojix, Inc.Founded in 2004, California-based Mojix specializes in solution providers and system integrators partnerships to provide customized enterprise RFID system solutions accompanied by trusted installation, integration and maintenance services.USS Chief Technology Officer Robert Simoneau voiced his excitement for the new partnership and technology capabilities, and the possibilities they present for USS’ product development teams.- Sponsor – “This an incredible opportunity for USS to drastically expand our technology and product catalogue,” said Simoneau. “RFID technology is the way of the future,” he continued. “In addition to increasing more-revealing detection and business intelligence, it allows users to make decisions backed by data, resulting in safer and more efficient environments.The MojixViZix™ IoT solution is particularly appealing as it represents a proven middleware platform that is absolutely ready for use by our retail partners.”“By leveraging a partnership with a like-minded, innovation-driven, organization like Mojix, the resulting synergy will meet clients’ unique needs not only now, but well into the future.” Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

STANLEY Security Launches Retail Software that Integrates Exception-Based Reporting and Video Surveillance

first_imgAn intelligent solution designed to lower retail operating expense by uncovering broken processes, improving customer experience, and reducing shrinkage was recently launched by STANLEY Security. The new software, called TRENDS™, allows corporate leaders and managers to drive operational efficiency while maintaining strong business ethics inside the company.“TRENDS automates many of the day-to-day tasks that managers juggle,” said Matt Kushner, president of STANLEY Product Solutions. “The solution helps accelerate leadership decision-making by allowing them to focus more time on the actual business.”Designed for flexibility to scale regionally and nationally, TRENDS leverages exception-based insights combined with surveillance footage to uncover inefficient processes. The retail software can be quickly customized to each unique retailer’s business model, point-of-sale system and reporting needs from multiple data sources.- Sponsor – “Our solution is continuing to evolve and will soon include predictive analytics” said Kushner. “While extracting patterns and outcomes from our beta test data, we experienced an even greater increase in productivity that our customers will benefit from.”There are multiple pain points that can be relieved by three featured benefits of TRENDS:Provides timely data that allows executive leadership to engage in better decision-making with the help from clear, customizable and easy-to-use dashboards that report values across daily inputs, processes and activity.Reduces unknown theft by identifying broken processes, data discovery shows point-of-purchase successes and challenges. This eliminates frustration between departments and helps potentially expose organized crime activity.Incorporates video surveillance for advanced video visualization decreases operating expenses across the company. This provides corporate loss prevention teams with documentation needed for asset protection criminal cases and prosecuting thieves.With the integration of the solution, TRENDS customers will be able to understand point-of-sale challenges and determine which locations may need additional strategic planning.“With the click of a button, TRENDS can help you prioritize how to improve your retail customer experience” continued Kushner. “Many software alternatives on the market only include exception-based reporting. By leveraging video to accelerate decision-making, retailers can use the intelligence to reduce both malicious and non-malicious retail loss.”For more information, visit www.stanleysecurity.com/trends.  Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Business Transformation: Organizations Struggle to Find the Path to Innovation

first_imgBusinesses aren’t happy with themselves.  A report by KPMG found that 96 percent of businesses say that they need to change, transform and become more innovative.Stephen Hasty, Global Transformation Leader at KPMG International, said that “business transformation can no longer be a ‘one and done’ initiative.  Top executives realize that their organizations must create mechanisms to continuously evolve and respond to their external environment. Unfortunately, these business leaders are up against serious barriers to reaching goals, as well as massive disruptions in technology and customer preferences and demand.”The KPGM study has the following three recommendations for achieving transformation and innovation:Focus on the customerEmbed innovation in the businessLearn to thrive on changelast_img read more

Woman killed in downtown Columbia crash

first_imgA deadly crash over the weekend has left a woman dead.Katie Paul, 25, died Saturday night after she and Patricia Beasley, 25, were hit on Ash Street in downtown Columbia Saturday morning just after midnight.According to Columbia police, Kelsey Stephens, 25, was driving east on Ash at Eighth Street, and hit Paul and Beasley while they were walking south across Ash on the east side of Eighth.Law enforcement said it’s still investigating whether Stephens was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.At last check, Beasley was in critical condition.last_img read more

Intel Chip Chat: Shaking up the Cloud

first_imgIf you haven’t noticed, cloud computing has been evolving from marketing hype to technology development and solution delivery in 2010. We’ve been talking about cloud for about a year on Chip Chat focusing our discussions on the technologies required for cloud innovation. Last week I chatted with Raejeanne Skillern on the Intel Cloud Builder program, and she packed in more info per second than I can recall in a Chip Chat episode.Today Intel, the industry, and data center customers took the conversation to a new level. The big news is the launch of a new data center customer driven group called the Open Data Center Alliance. The group is garnering a lot of attention with their launch, both from the media and from their peers. I was able to catch up with Alliance chairman Marvin Wheeler, who earns his living as Chief Strategy Officer for Terramark. Marvin filled me in on the Alliance and shared why he’s so excited about what the group brings to data center computing.Today’s announcement also featured a lot of new info from Intel including news that Intel will serve as technical advisor to the Open Data Center Alliance and that we’ve greatly expanded our Cloud Builders program to rally the industry towards open, interoperable cloud solution delivery. I caught up with two Intel execs we’ve had on Chip Chat before, Data Center Group Marketing VP Boyd Davis and Jason Waxman, General Manager, High Density Computing, Data Center Group, to learn more about the Cloud announcements. Boyd provided a unique look on what the development means for the industry and why Intel is the perfect fit as technical advisor to such an Alliance. Jason drilled down into what it will mean to have a cloud requirements roadmap available to the industry and how Intel plans on working with other cloud leaders to meet customer requirements through our Cloud Builders program.The interviews signal a new series of Chip Chat episodes on delivery of the cloud…hope you enjoy the chats, and as always I’d love any feedback on the conversations as well as on topics you’d like to hear in the future.last_img read more

Anil Kumble inducted into ICC Hall of Fame at MCG

first_imgFormer India captain Anil Kumble Anil Kumble. File photo: PTI.Former India captain Anil Kumble was on Sunday inducted into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Kumble is just the fourth Indian to be included in the elite group, joining Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Bishan Bedi.Australian legend Betty Wilson was also inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame on Sunday, along with Kumble.”It’s an honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame,” Kumble said.”Indeed, it will be a great moment of pride to receive it during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground I deem it as a great privilege to join the list of great cricketing luminaries,” he added.The 44-year-old played 132 Tests for India, capturing 619 wickets and became the second man in history to take 10 wickets in an innings when he dismantled Pakistan in 1999 to finish with figures of 10-74.”Anil was an outstanding international cricketer, a very well-respected opponent, a great statesman for his country and a role model for millions of aspiring cricketers,” said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.”He played hard but within the spirit of the game. His performance and record speak volumes for his tenacity, commitment, endurance and service to the game.”Alongside Kumble, Wilson becomes the second Australian woman in the Hall of Fame behind champion batter Belinda Clark.Wilson, considered one of the greatest female cricketers of all-time, played 11 Tests between 1947 and 1958, scoring 862 runs at an average of 57.4 and claimed 68 wickets at 11.8 runs apiece. In 1957 against England, Wilson became the first cricketer, male or female, to take score a century and take 10 wickets in a Test.advertisementKumble and Wilson become the 77th and 78th inductees into the Hall of Fame.last_img read more