Digital Development
Communications and info tech in developing countries, especially wireless broadband and high-value applications

Ken Novak's Weblog

daily link  Friday, February 27, 2004

HP-led group sets up transaction system in Africa: "A public-private consortium that includes Hewlett-Packard has started a pilot program in Uganda to test a technology that promises to improve delivery of small loans to remote locations. The program will involve installation of an electronic transaction system designed to collect loan payment and savings information, to replace the existing manual system. The experience gained in Uganda could be useful in other similar settings, HP said.  The group, the Microdevelopment Finance Team, has committed to invest over $2.3 million in the pilot. The team includes microfinance and technology experts as well as business thinkers. "  12:16:35 PM  permalink  

daily link  Thursday, February 19, 2004

Wi-Fi HotSpot International Directory: Certainly not the only directory, but a useful one.  Currently lists 44 countries with public hotspots, including many developing ones.  11:06:37 AM  permalink  

daily link  Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Gapminder world statistics: Interesting source of software, data, and documents on international development, including income distribution and historical trends.  3:41:58 PM  permalink "is a highly specialized independent team of experts in wireless and internet technology, working with business customers as well as non-profit projects, e.g. community networks and ICT initiatives for the developing world. " They offer the autonokit: "the idea of the autonokit is, to bring together affordable, available wireless and solar standard technology, (hardware and software) test and optimize it for usage under adverse mobile conditions in order to produce a kit for inexpensive and autonomous internet access. "  1:45:47 PM  permalink  

daily link  Sunday, February 08, 2004

Brazil takes lead role in move to all-digital cinema: "Using the latest technology, Brazil plans to open in May the largest network of digital movie theaters in the world..  The hinterlands of South America's largest country are virtually inaccessible by roads, and copying and transporting hundreds of reels of film is expensive. [A] low-cost distribution system, with built-in antipiracy measures, with 100 theaters - the largest digital network in the world - [is] scheduled to be projecting pixels by May. ..

Although it is considered a developing nation, Brazil's long-standing tradition of openness, coupled with its sheer size, means that there are tens of millions of well-educated techies eager for cutting-edge gadgets and devices.  Brazil has one of the highest rates of Internet use in the developing world, with 95 percent of taxpayers using the web to make their annual income-tax declaration. The country's voting system is fully electronic and its banking software is among the most advanced in the world. Even Brazil's computer hackers are so skilled that a leading expert recently warned, "Brazil is both a laboratory for cybercrime and also its largest exporter worldwide."..

The MPEG-4 software can squeeze a feature film onto a file of just five gigabytes, 15 times smaller than the MPEG-2 technology presently used.  The films are then beamed by satellite to picture houses across the country. Depending on bandwidth, it can take as little as 20 minutes to send a 90-minute film to a theater.  By eliminating celluloid and transport costs, distributors can quickly and cheaply beam blockbusters to distant towns the same day as they première in London, Los Angeles, or Sao Paulo. They can offer a wider range of films and even live broadcasts. [Thanks to high transport costs] Brazil has one of the lowest density of screens per person in the world, an average of one screen per 105,000 people, far fewer than in the United States (one per 9,000), or even Mexico (one per 35,000)."

  5:40:52 PM  permalink  

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