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Malawian Student Makes His Own TV Station

Chisomo Daka, a student at the University of Malawi’s chancellor college, has created his own TV station, Paul Ndiho reports:

Innovation is happening across Africa, in all different sectors, from education to energy, banking to agriculture and in television broadcasting. In Malawi, a university student has created a community TV station called “analog TV project” one that he hopes will transmit all social events taking place on campus. Malawi TV Project
Chisomo Daka is a student at the University of Malawi’s chancellor college. He is pursuing a degree in education science and he is trying to make his mark in the television broadcasting industry. By his own admission, he says that he is not an engineer by training, nor does he claim to know much about engineering. But his love and passion for tale-communications has inspired him to build from scratch a community television station. Daka says he hopes to use this TV station to broadcast social events and student projects throughout the entire campus.
“We have been able to transmit a video signal and we have been able to capture that. But by the end of the day, we would want to finalize it and make it a full working television station for the campus.”
Before his first broadcasting test signal, he was just a normal student, and few students knew about his innovation. Today, Chisomo Daka has created a name for himself as the new kid on the block. His community TV station is a hit on campus and everybody is talking about him. He says operating out of the norm is what is drove him to be innovative.

Kenya Monitor: Mobile Citizen Media and News App

Kenya Monitor app is a m-Media & News app. It is the to-go citizen journalism app for all local content. It brings together all favorite news in one place from different counties in Kenya. All content is presented in a fun and intuitive manner.

Getting reliable news stories about Kenya or about development issues has become a rarity. Any story that is covered is vague and has no follow-up. The Kenya Monitor app will seek to change this. All stories will focus on what is going on in the different locales. Anyone will get to play a role in telling the story of where they live.

Kenya Monitor will provide Kenyans with a platform to tell their stories in what is known as citizen journalism. Kenyans from all walks of life will get to tell stories about where they live, how they want it to be told and at the time they think it should be told. All content will be gathered from the people themselves. Stories will be submitted through SMS enabling anyone with access to a phone to do so. One does not need a smart phone to send in or receive content.

Online Entrepreneurship: Interview With Ana Bizarro from ‘Acción Alegría’

Andrea Collazo, who we already know from her blog Profesora de Informática (Computing teacher), shares an interview with entrepreneur and creator of accionconalegría.com, Ana Bizarro.

Bizarro's website aims to provide support to “entrepreneur parents, with children and no time, this is, people who are responsible for their lives”. There is no age, gender, condition, let alone religion that may prevent someone to become an entrepreneur, claims the interviewee and discusses the advantages of online entrepreneurship:

La primera, como he adelantado en la primera pregunta, el coste: hace 15 años invertí 20.000€ e hipotequé mi vivienda ¡hoy no lo haría ni loca!

La segunda, el estilo de vida: con una simple conexión a internet y un ordenador puedo trabajar desde cualquier lugar ¡La bomba! Una herramienta vital para la conciliación laboral.

La tercera: el efecto palanca. Me explico, con un simple artículo puedes conseguir 1000 visitas en una semana, o incluso en un día. Eso era algo impensable en la era analógica. ¡¡Ni los mejores comerciales!!

The first one, as I've already mentioned on the first question, the cost: 15 years ago, I invested 20.000€ and got a mortgage on my house. Today, this wouldn't even cross my mind!

The second one, lifstyle: with a simple connection to the Internet and a computer, I can work from anywhere. Great! A vital tool for conciliation.

The third one: the lever effect. This is, with a simple piece, you can get 1000 views in a week, or even in a day. This was inconceivable in the analogic era. Not even the best commercials!!

You can follow interviewer Andrea Collazo on @ascollazo, and interviewee Ana Bizarro on @bizarroana73

This post was part of the twenty-ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 17, 2014.

The A to Z of Kenyan Twitter

Mark Kaigwa, who declared “Twitter is going to change Kenya” in February 2010, describes the A to Z of Kenyan Twitter:

Kenyans on Twitter are the ones to be rallying behind a hashtag, making light work of creating a global trending topic. Be it to bringing CNN to apologise for a story, correcting misperceptions of the country with #SomeoneTellCNN or to celebrate the humour behind the national education and final examination system with examples such as #KCPE2010, #KCPE2012 and others.

In another fleeting moment they will wage virtual war on another African nation (be the reason sparked by football (Nigeria), politics (South Africa) or foreign policy (Botswana). Again the war cry of #SomeoneTell beckoning them. And #KOT won’t stop with just trading barbs and insults, they’ll take any misperception and stereotype they can find and using what seems to be a growing lexicon of African-made memes as when attacking Nigeria.

Updates on the 18th SAARC Summit On Social Media

The ongoing summit of the The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was covered by international media with different perspectives. However non-official initiatives such as 18th SAARC Summit blog, Facebook account, Twitter and Google+ account are aggregating updates on the summit for easy archiving.

Here are some examples:

Emerging Threats in Cybersecurity Legislation in Africa

Access, an international human rights organization is troubles by emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection in Africa. Ephraim Kenyanitto explains:

The Convention was originally scheduled to pass in January 2014, but was delayed for modifications after protests by the private sector, civil society organizations, and privacy experts—all of whom had very little involvement in the drafting process. But a number of countries promulgated harmful new cybersecurity legislation after it was improved in June.

As Access noted in analyzing both versions of the Convention, the Convention has some positive provisions but still needs strengthening. It requires states to consider human rights in implementing cyber security legislation, but it also supports greater government control of private user data. For example, the Convention permits governments to process private data when “in the public interest,” a confusingly vague standard.

MTN South Africa launches FrontRow

Telecommunication provider MTN South Africa has launched MTN FrontRow, a video-on-demand (VOD) service. Tech Moran reports
 
According to MTN, ” MTN FrontRow, is a premium entertainment network that brings you all the TV series and movies you love, even if you’re not an MTN subscriber – and you could get the first month FREE.You won’t even have to install a dish, buy a box or take out a bank loan. From only R179 a month, you can sign up to MTN FrontRow Club and play our content instantly at any time via your browser on your computer or mobile device, or on our Android app (an iOS version is coming soon!). You can even stream to your TV via your devices, of course.”

 

Astrophysicist Shares the History of the Rosetta-Philae Mission

Foto tomada del blog de Ángel R.Lopez y usada con autorización.

First image of Philae taken over the comet. Picture taken from Ángel R.Lopez's blog and used with permission.

The comet Churymov-Gerasimenko was discovered on 1969, the same year a mission landed on the Moon. Back then, no one would have imagined that 45 years later a small spacecraft called Rosetta transporting a landing module and the hopes of thousands would touch down on surface of a comet known as Chury.

Astrophysicist Ángel R. López shares on his blog that this interplanetary journey spanned 10 years and 64 billion kilometers. Furthermore, this marks the first time that human inventiveness has made it all the way to a comet.

But this long trip isn't important just for those reasons; it also intends to clear up such transcendental doubts as life on Earth, which could have arrived on board a comet, as several experts claim.

This blogger and astrophysicist also details the cost of the mission:

La misión Rosetta – Philae ha costado a los europeos 1400 millones de euros, repartidos en 20 años. Esto corresponde a solo 3'5 € por europeo a repartir en esos 20 años. Es decir, poco mas de 20 céntimos por año.

Mission Rosetta-Philae has cost European people 1,400 million euros, distributed over 20 years. This means 3.5 € per European citizen to be distributed in those 20 years. Little more than 20 cents per year, that is.

There are also some people that are opposed to this expense, but, as Ángel R.Lopez notes, it's worth it, as a deep and important issue for human beings, if we want to stop living in the past.

You can follow Ángel R.Lopez on Twitter: @El_Lobo_Rayado

This post was part of the twenty ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 17, 2014

Promoting Responsible Use of Social Networks

Andrea Collazo, blogging for Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building), proposes educating parents about the resposible use of social networks, so they can promote it among their children.

Collazo advises parents on how to socialize their children from very early age with new technologies, promoting responsible use of social networks. She points out that constant dialogue between parents and children about social network and their risks is important, about, for instance, damages to own reputation and other people's:

Habla sobre el sentido común y cómo aplicarlo a las redes.
Hoy en día los teléfonos ayudan a capturar imágenes y videos de situaciones cotidianas.
Recomiéndales que antes de dar al botón enviar, piensen en cómo se pueden sentir los otros con esa publicación.

Talk about common sense and how to use it with networks.
Today, phones help capturing images and videos of everyday situations.
Recommend them that before hitting the SEND button, they should think and how may other people feel about that posting.

Besides, children should be aware of the permanence of contents uploaded to Internet, the so called “digital print”. What's fun today may be a headache tomorrow, when looking for a job or applying to college. On the other hand, parents can speak openly with their children about cyberharassement and how to behave when facing these risky situations.

You can follow Andrea Collazo on Twitter.

This post was part of the twenty eighth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 10, 2014.

The Internet of Things and Smart Crops

Today, it's not enough to just talk about the Internet. This concept has broadened and it's a good challenge for those who want to become electronic engineers. César Viloria Núñez, a professor at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia, explains what the Internet of things is:

Consiste en que las cosas en general estén conectadas y que no solo las personas ingresemos información a la red, sino que las cosas mismas generen información, la compartan entre ellas y tomen decisiones con el fin de automatizar distintos procesos.

It's about things in general being connected, and it's not only people feeding data to the web, but the things themselves generate information that they share it amongst themselves and make decisions with the aim of automating different processes.

Viloria Núñez tries to explain the concept with the example of a ‘smart refrigerator', but he also mentions smart crops. He wonders:

¿Qué tal una red de sensores en el terreno cultivado que identifique qué tan húmedo o seco está el suelo para activar automáticamente el sistema de riego? Tal vez dependiendo de qué tan maduro esté el producto cultivado se requiera más o menos agua, o más o menos fertilizantes, o los sensores pueden identificar si el cultivo está siendo atacado por alguna plaga para activar el suministro automático de insecticida.

What about a network of sensors in a cultivated piece of land that identifies how irrigated or dry the soil is to automatically activate the irrigation system? Maybe relying on how mature the cultivated product is, it will need more or less water, or more or less fertilizer, or the sensors might be able to identify if the crop has been attacked by some plague to activate an automatic supply of insecticide.

Welcome to the Internet of things.

If you are interested in science, don't forget to follow César Viloria Núñez on his accounts on LinkedIn or Twitter.

This post was part of the 28th #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 10, 2014.

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