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Highway Africa 2014 Extends Deadline for Registration

The deadline for registration for the 18th annual Highway Africa Conference has been extended to Friday, 08 August 2014:

Due to the influx of interest in the 18th annual Highway Africa Conference, the deadline for registration has been extended to Friday, 08 August 2014.

The world’s largest annual gathering of African Journalists takes place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, from 7 – 8 September 2014.

With the theme, “Social Media – from the margins to the mainstream”, the event will explore how social media have impacted on all aspects of our lives in the last ten years.

Trinidad & Tobago: Does Living in the Digital Age Forfeit Your Right to Privacy?

ICT Pulse reviews a recently published report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the right to privacy in the digital age.

Distribution of SMS Printers in Cameroon to Reduce Delays in HIV Testing for Newborns

Afrique IT news reports that [fr] a new type of device (SMS printer) is being installed in several HIV testing facilities in Cameroon thanks to the Clinton Foundation and the telecommunication company  MTN :    

La Fondation Clinton et l’opérateur de télécommunication MTN ont établi un partenariat pour lutter contre le diagnostic tardif de l’infection au VIH chez les nouveaux nés. Comprenant une mini-imprinante, ce dispositif mobile sera installé dans 682 centres de prélèvements à travers le pays. Pour sa part la MTN devrait mettre son réseau, ainsi que ses équipements à disposition, pour un meilleur déploiement du service dans les régions trop éloignées qui semblent être les plus touchées. Les nouveau-nés pourront subir des tests pour le VIH dans divers hôpitaux avec l’impression immédiate des résultats en envoyant des tests via la technologie SMS à deux laboratoires spécialisés du pays.

The Clinton Foundation and the telecommunications operator MTN have partnered to fight against the late diagnosis of HIV testing in newborns.  This new mobile device will include a pocket-size printer and will be distributed in 682 testing centers across the country. For its part,  MTN will share its cell network and its facilities for better service deployment in remote areas that have the most urgent needs. Newborns will be tested for HIV in various hospitals, the results of tests will be printed via SMS technology in two of the advanced laboratories in the country to allow the preparation of the treatment.

Why the Caribbean Should Care About Net Neutrality

For those who figure that the issue of net neutrality doesn't affect them, Trinidad-based blogger Activized connects the dots. The concept that “all data is created equal” is not as common as you might think:

Local telecommunications company Digicel announced that they were banning certain VoIP application services from their network…in an attempt to secure their bottomline – ensuring that users of the cellular phone service make calls using credit, not data. There’s only one problem with that – if I’m paying for my data, I should have the power to get the data that I want and use it how I want.

Cameroonian Inventor Introduces First Locally-Made Tablet to Monitor Heart Diseases

Arthur Zang at the rolex awards via his Facebook page.

Arthur Zang at the rolex awards via his Facebook page.

Arthur Zang is a Cameroonian inventor specialized in IT and healthcare. His team created Cardiopad, a device that contains an electrocardiograph, a radioscope and a digital monitor. This tablet is connected through a regular mobile phone SIM card that is able to transmit an electrocardiogram from any point of the country to specialized centers where cardiologists can diagnose patients and remotely provide medical prescription. Arthur Zang was interviewed by Beaugas-Orain Djoyum on camerpost.com after he won one of the prestigious 2014 “Rolex Awards for enterprise competition” to explain his vision for the health care industry and innovation in Africa: 

Dans notre stratégie de déploiement, nous travaillons énormément et étroitement avec les médecins. C’est sur cette relation avec les professionnels de la santé que nous basons notre développement et le succès de nos appareils. Nous sommes proches d’eux. Nous comprenons leurs problèmes et c’est en fonction de leurs besoins que nous concevons des solutions aux problèmes de leurs patients. La vulgarisation du Cardiopad dépend surtout du degré avec lequel celui-ci pourra répondre aux attentes des médecins 

 

In our development strategy, we are working hard on establishing a close rapport with physicians.We base the development and success of our products on our keen understanding of the local health professionals. We are close to them and value their relationships. We understand their problems according to the needs they express, we are able to develop solutions for their patients. A wider distribution of the Cardiopad will depend mostly on the degree to which it can meet the expectations of local doctors. 

Tips for Sharing Tweets Automatically

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Image by Rosaura Ochoa on Flickr and used with CC Atribución 2.0 license.

Infoactivismo is a blog about digital tools exchange and how to make the most out of that data to create changes in society. On this post, they explain two ways of sharing tweets with one click. 

Al lanzar una campaña en medios digitales es de gran utilidad tener mensajes que las personas puedan compartir con sólo dar un clic. [...] ¿qué hacer cuando quieres compartir una lista de mensajes que los usuarios puedan compartir en sus cuentas de Twitter con sólo un clic? [...]Te mostramos dos formas de hacerlo.

When launching a campaign on digital media it's useful to have messages people can share with just a click. [...] What to do when you want to share a list of messages users can share on their Twitter account with just one click? [...]  We show you two ways of doing it.

You can read the tips on this post. You can also follow Infoactivismo on their blog and on Twitter.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

Lucky 13: Tips for Protecting your Data on Public Computers

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Image from the blog profesoradeinformatica.com, used with permission.

If you are about to go on holiday and you are thinking of taking your computer and get connected to Wi-Fi or using computers that are available in hotels and other public places, you must read this post with 13 tips to protect data, as published by Andrea on her blog:

¿Conoces los riegos de utilizar ordenadores públicos?

Desconoces el “estado de salud” de estos ordenadores, es decir estos pueden tener virus o programas maliciosos instalados para robar tu información (malwares). Entonces si no quieres que el estrés post-vacacional sea más agudo por problemas con tu información, lee con atención.

Do you know the risks of using public computers?

You ignore these computers’ “health condition”, and they can have virus or malware set up to steal your information. So, if you don't want post-holiday stress to be more serious for problems with your information, read carefully.

No doubt about it, now the 13 will be a very lucky number.

This post was part of the seventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 16, 2014. 

App Created by Global Voices Contributor Selected to be Developed Online

Lawyer, blogger, digital activist, dreamer and Global Voices Paraguayan Global Voices contributor Gabriela Galilea, was selected by Techpeaks program from European organization Trento Rise, a startup promoter, to develope her online game platform Mr. Patch:

[un] videojuego para tabletas, smartphones, televisores inteligentes y web (PC), que ejercita los músculos de los ojos encargados de realizar los movimientos. El objetivo es ayudar a las personas que tienen deficiencias en la visión.

(a) videogame for tablets, smartphones, smart TV and web (PC), that exercises the eye muscles in charge of the movements. The gola is to help people with impaired eyesight.

Gabriela has been receiving support on Twitter:

Did you know a Paraguayan lady has created a videogame that helps people with eyesight problems?

Gabriela Galilea represents Paraguay in Italy with her videogame for ophtalmology health.

The Demo Day will be held on July 18 in Trento, Italy, where Gabriela will present her app.

Biofortified Bananas for Beta Carotene Deficiency

Félix Moronta Barrios is a Venezuelan biologist who spreads scientific culture among Spanih speaking community. He recently explained the researches and biotechnologic findongs about transgenic bananas in Uganda and the United States.

The banane cultivated in Uganda has no A vitamin. That's why its modification is necessary. Moronta Barrios warns the skeptical:

Antes de que piensen cosas como “natural es mejor”, “otra vez los científicos jugando a ser dios”, “lo modificado genéticamente es malo malísimo”, etc, etc, etc. sepan que la transgénesis también ocurre naturalmente, como expliqué aquí. Que el plátano, banana o cambur que consumimos hoy en día es un invento humano, tal como explica Ciencia de Sofá en “El oscuro pasado de los plátanos“. Y para que no termine ahí la sorpresa, les cuento que es un alimento radiactivo por su alto contenido en potasio; tanto, que camiones cargados de plátanos hacen saltar las alarmas en algunas aduanas. Incluso hay una unidad de medida al respecto, la dosis equivalente a un plátano.

Before you think of things such as “natural is best”, “again scientists playing God”, “genetically modified is not good”, etc, you better know that transgenesis goes on naturally, as explained here. The bananas we eat are human creation, as stated by Ciencia de Sofá on “The dark past of bananas“. And for more surprises, let me tell you this is a radiactive fruit, due to its high content of potasium. So much that banana trucks start the alarms in some customs control. There even is a measuring unit about that, the dose equivalent to a banana.

For updates about biology and biotechnology by an expert written in Spanish with a simple language, visit the blog by Felix Moronta or follow his tweets on morontafelix.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

A Missed Opportunity for Bolivian “Quipus” Laptops?

Quipus

Image of a quipus. Image on Flickr by user Phil Dokas (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The Bolivian government recently announced a new program where high school students attending their final year will have access to a new laptop. These computers, called “Quipus,” are being assembled in the city of El Alto. The term comes from a traditional Andean form of record keeping on a series of knots.

Blogger and software developer Fernando Balderrama applauds the initiative and sees the benefit of providing access to technology to more sectors of society. In his blog, he examines the comparative costs of the assembled computers to those that can be obtained in stores. However, he is puzzled why the new laptops will arrive with installed proprietary software. He writes:

Supuestamente el Gobierno promueve el uso de software libre, y buscan que Bolivia tenga soberanía tecnológica en base al software libre. Pero parece que esto es solamente en palabras, ya que los hechos dicen otra cosa. Las laptops quipus ensambladas en Bolivia vienen con Windows, el cual además de ser software privativo, encarece el costo final por el pago de licencias que deben hacer a Microsoft.

Supposedly the Government promotes the use of free software and seeks technological sovereignty through the use of free software. However, it appears that these are just words, because their actions send a different message. The quipus laptops assembled in Bolivia come with Windows, which in addition to being proprietary software, increases the final cost due to the payments to Windows to obtain the licenses.

However, in the comments section, Sergio Bowles, General Manager of Quipus, clarifies that the laptops will come with a dual boot option for Windows and Linux, but some others still have their doubts and dismiss the argument that students must also learn Windows because much of the business and academic world still relies on that operating system.

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