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

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Strong Angel 3 lessons:  This year's Strong Angel exercise has received extensive coverage.  An excellent long summary is provided by Sanjana at his ict4peace blog.  The linked magazine article provides a few tech takeaways:
  • "Perhaps the most popular technology used during Strong Angel was the Fossil Abacus smart personal object technology (SPOT) watch. This is a wristwatch with an embedded FM radio receiver designed to receive text messages. Although the watches are primarily intended for personal use, a portable and configurable FM transmitter with a 50-mile radius allows the devices to operate in areas without infrastructure, power or Internet connectivity. Messages can be sent to selected groups of SPOT wearers, such as police, fire department personnel and National Guard troops. ..
  • [Also popular were] satellite dishes manufactured by GATR Technologies, Huntsville, Alabama. The dishes resemble oversized beach balls and are available in several sizes. The smallest antennas weigh 70 pounds and provide a two-megabit-per-second Internet connection. ..
  • Route 1 Incorporated, Toronto, Canada, provided all of the eventís participants with a device called a Mobikey. Roughly the size of a data stick, it fits into a computerís universal serial bus port to create a virtual private tunnel from any terminal or computer that users are operating in the field back to their organizationís server or personal desktop. ..
  • One assumption that was quickly dispelled was that wireless Internet connectivity could be easily established. ďEverybody showed up with a Wi-Fi [wireless fidelity] router and nobody could get online,Ē [Microsoft's] Kirkpatrick shares."
  9:58:20 AM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, November 26, 2006


Record-Breaking Governance Prize Launched:  Great idea: reward leaders to leave office peacefully.  "Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced today a $5 million annual prize for African leaders who were elected fairly, improved their country's standard of living, and handed over power peacefully to the next elected government.

Recipients of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership will get $500,000 a year in their first 10 years out of office, and $200,000 a year for the rest of their lives. The prize will be the world's most generous award, according to the foundation. .. [Ibrahim] hopes to make the first award by the end of 2007.

The prize's selection committee will choose winners with the help of a governance index that is being developed by Dr. Robert Rotberg at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The foundation will spend about $500,000 a year to develop and update the index. ..

Rotberg told AllAfrica that most existing measures rely on interviews and other forms of documentation for comparison, but that he will use only quantifiable, objective measures. For example, in measuring changes to the national infrastructure, the index may count the miles of paved road in a country. To measure political freedom, team members may identify the number of journalists or opposition leaders held in prison. ..

Ibrahim said his financial models assume that leaders will live 25 years after leaving office, making the estimated net prize worth $8 million. With new winners being added each year, the cost to the foundation will quickly rise into the tens of millions, but Ibrahim said .. "We are fully funded. We are not seeking money from anybody."

Much of Ibrahim's personal fortune comes from last year's sale of his African telecommunications company, Celtel, to Kuwait's MTC for $3.4 billion."
  11:18:45 PM  permalink  

WorldChanging book and book tour:  I've been a fan of the blog for years, and now it's a book, complete with big city book tour.  Bravo!
  11:11:42 PM  permalink  

Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/28/2006; 9:59:22 AM.
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