Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cell phone reception in rural areas in the US

This editorial makes the case of why building infrastructure in terms of cell phone connectivity is essential in rural areas, such as the Olympia Peninsula in Washington state. Written by James Peters, chairman of the Squaxin Island Tribe in Mason County.

We cannot afford to leave rural Washington behind
People living in rural areas deserve equal access to modern wireless technologies as those living in more densely populated towns and cities. High-quality wireless service creates new economic opportunities and increases productivity and connectivity for local businesses. In addition, ensuring the expansion of wireless networks in rural Washington narrows the technology gap between rural and urban areas.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MySpace en Espagnol

MySpace en Espanol launched yesterday with it's beta version for U.S. residents, along with a Spanish language version of the MySpace IM client. For Latin American users, MySpace has also launched MySpace Latinoamerica. MySpace Mexico is coming soon and MySpace Brazil is planned for this summer.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Transform the way you text" is Samsung's new slogan

The new Samsung u740 boasts "pivoting" action. With the use of dual-hinges the phone can be opened up vertically or horizontally. They claim the phone will "transform the way we text."

It seems, in an effort to provide more versatility and flexibility to use many different services easily, there is more and more a trend of moving phone pieces and even in some cases detachable parts. Here are a couple of patents I've come accross: Sony Ericcson's "flip phone" and what I'm going to take a wild guess, is a new Treo housing a detachable mobile phone.

A Wireless Umbilical, Cut

When the Blackberry network went down for 12 hours last week, users lost more than a communication device. They lost an addictive sense of belonging. Read more >

Think Cycle

Distributed collaboration design initiative focusing on underserved communities:

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Google Phone knows what you want before you search

The team at mad4mobilephones has located a patent for either a Google mobile phone OR Google mobile phone UI. The implications of such a location aware technology are great. Using their fancy algorithms, it is conceivable that Google will be able to take our previous searches to determine when and where we look for food, entertainment, health practitioners - you name it - and send us recommendations.It seems they are getting ready to take us one step closer to a " come to me web."

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Social Software Building Blocks

Gene Smith provides a conceptual framework for social software and an interesting look at popular Web 2.0 sites such as flickr, digg and twitter. Social Software Building Blocks is a good primer for understanding different types of social software and its basic elements.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Here is a way to show micro charting in excel. This blog also has a bunch of other interesting things about analytics.
MicroCharts, A Different Take on Excel Charting

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mobile phones facilitate romance in modern India | University of Washington News and Information

An article on UW News highlights Carolyn Wei, UW Phd Candidate's work on mobile phones and courtship. Check it out here: Mobile phones facilitate romance in modern India

Remittances: Sending money back home

In the broadest sense, a remittance is a bank transfer sent from one person to another, typically over a long distance. Placing this definition in context, remittances are a way to supplement family members, and by extension, local economies in impoverished conditions. A main impetus for immigration/migration is economic. The members of a family or community that move into an economicly promising location, are often indebted/obliged/committed to sending money to families back home.

In Krygystan this seemed to work in a variety of ways. People who move to Eastern Europe, would send money to families back home. Also, some of the people we spoke to in Krygystan also sent money to their family members in China.

Another example from here in Seattle is of Mexican immigrants moving to Seattle for economic opportunity (the recent story I heard on NPR about "taco trucks" - those mobile food stands parked in semi-perminant locations around the city and attracting flocks of fans). The woman who spoke to the reporter talked about how the money they made from the business went both to investing in more trucks and saving up to open a permanent/traditional restaurant, but much of it was sent to family back home.

Remittances are highly significant in a diasporic context both for the individuals on both sides of the transations and at a larger scale of the economies that these remittances power.

From this article:
The World Bank estimates that such remittances totaled $257 million in 2005, with informal channel transfers being nearly equal.
Yesterday Mastercard announced a pilot program to help people send money, via a mobile phone to others back home. Mobile phones as a delivery method for remittances is not new, it's been going on in the Phillipines for some time. What is significant about this announcement is it's scale involving a mobile phone conglomerate which can help match local mobile providers with cooperating banks.

Read more here: Banking on Mobile.

To use a US analogy, remittance transfer fees are the pay day loans of bank transactions, sometimes charging as much as 24-50% of the remittnace as a transaction fee. Here's hoping that the focus on mobile technologies will bring some relief to that practice.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

List of Social Networking Software/Services

This list might be helpful for our kindred material, it's got an exhaustive list of current social software, including MoSoSo apps: Social Networking Services Meta List.