5G: slow and steady wins the race?

While living in South Korea, I had a few friends working at Samsung. Samsung equipped them with smart homes and all seemed good, apart that they could not talk about sensitive work topics at home, because the technology might be listening. As the Internet has turned 30, it has evolved a lot and is now something we often take for granted. The newest technology is the 5th generation of Internet…

Read more

👍, 👎, 🤔?

As more and more people around the world communicate using smartphones, ‘representation by emoji’ is becoming a coveted (and often political) act. This post looks at how concepts become symbolised in emoji form, considers campaigns for more inclusive emoji representation, and asks: is there a point to all this?   Who chooses new emoji? At some point every year, no matter what operating system our phone runs on, its software…

Read more

The deep, cavernous depths of data mining in development

One could argue that mining, for minerals and deposits, is inherently an exploitative undertaking. The environment is brutally opening up, leaving huge holes in the earth—some are over 500 metres deep—forever changing the landscape. In many countries, the workers are underpaid or enslaved (think “blood diamond”). Mining is deemed necessary, but it isn’t pretty. Whoever coined the term data mining may have subconsciously realised similar issues. Data mining isn’t data…

Read more

Jeopardized by digital services

Digital services brought a huge facilitation in our lives. Having the possibility to access e-services, like to request e-certificates, declare child’s birth, shop online, pay parking tickets or even declare tax income right from your phone saves time, money and increases efficiency. However all digital transactions automatically convert our traditional lives into the data streams, which can be captured and analysed for marketing or security purposes by those who hold…

Read more

Communicating development NOT Communicating isolation

Two occasions that I witnessed and took part in made me write this following ambivalent post about opportunities and challenges in which the digital world bring into our communities. Five years ago, I participated in a series of lectures, delivered by the Multifaith center of Dalhousie University, in order to improve the wellbeing of youth in Nova Scotia (Canada). The pastor who was scheduled to talk before me started his…

Read more

Webinar review: Bridging the research and policy gap – one tweet at a time

This blog post is several things in one. Firstly, it is a review of an event that happened yesterday – a webinar hosted by Social Media for Global Health (SM4GH) on ‘Bridging the Research and Policy Gap—One Tweet at a Time’. Secondly, it is a highlights reel, covering some of the points from the webinar that I found most interesting. Thirdly (and this is where things get a bit meta),…

Read more

Empowering women in fragile Afghanistan

Nothing new: many are expressing their doubts about current models of development and slow progress towards eliminating global poverty. Still, time from time some revolutionary approaches emerge and break through with unexpected outcomes. One of these companies, Roshan, was also named by the Fortune magazine in the top 51 companies changing the world globally. Roshan is Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications provider that started operating back in 2003, when the country was…

Read more

We’d rather not walk the plank: Data piracy and privacy in development

When the word “piracy” comes up, many remember the “You wouldn’t steal a car” adverts on DVDs or downloading torrents to avoid paying for music and movies at all. The advent of quicker download speeds and new business models has allowed for the renting, buying or streaming of content legally.   Even if digital piracy for average consumers is now relatively low—businesses face a growing threat. The issue has been…

Read more

Show me your home – Data privacy in the global north and south

Most of us know how it is to be aimlessly navigating around the streets, sometimes out of boredom and sometimes trying to find landmarks to help us. This human behaviour of using landmarks for orientation purposes isn’t exactly new. But what now is, is that we can do it in lying on the couch, eating spaghetti carbonara, on our devices. It easy to forget that an app or website, for…

Read more