"digital divide" entries

Who will upgrade the telecom foundation of the Internet?

A conference report on the IP transition.

Although readers of this blog know quite well the role that the Internet can play in our lives, we may forget that its most promising contributions — telemedicine, the smart electrical grid, distance education, etc. — depend on a rock-solid and speedy telecommunications network, and therefore that relatively few people can actually take advantage of the shining future the Internet offers.

Worries over sputtering advances in bandwidth in the US, as well as an actual drop in reliability, spurred the FCC to create the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force, and to drive discussion of what they like to call the “IP transition”.

Last week, I attended a conference on the IP transition in Boston, one of a series being held around the country. While we tussled with the problems of reliability and competition, one urgent question loomed over the conference: who will actually make advances happen?
Read more…

Four short links: 26 October 2012

Four short links: 26 October 2012

Windows 8 Web Theme, Taxing Mobile Payments, Digital Divide and Digital Service Delivery, and Consequences of Internet of Things

  1. BootMetro (github) — website templates with a Metro (Windows 8) look. (via Hacker News)
  2. Kenya’s Treasury to tax M-Pesa — 10% tax on mobile money-transfer systems. M-Pesa is the largest mobile money transfer service provider in Kenya, with more than 14 million subscribers. […] It is estimated that M-Pesa reports some 2 million transactions per day. […] the value of money transferred through mobile platforms jumped by 41 per cent in the first six months of 2012. Neer mind fighting you, you know you’re winning when they tax you! (via Evgeny Mozorov)
  3. Digital Divide and Fibre RolloutAs the group of non-users gets smaller, they are likely to become more seriously disadvantaged. The NBN – and high-speed broadband more generally – will drive a wave of new applications across most areas of life, transforming Australia’s service economy in fundamental ways. Those who are not connected in 2015 may be fewer, but they will be missing out on far more – in education, health, government, commerce, communication and entertainment. The costs will also fall on service providers forced to keep supplying expensive physical and face-to-face services to this declining number of people. This will be particularly significant in remote communities, where health consultations and evacuations by flying doctors, nurses and allied health professionals could potentially be reduced through e-health diagnostics, and where Centrelink still regularly sends teams out to communities. As gov2 expands and services move online, connectivity disadvantages are compounded. (via Ellen Strickland)
  4. Smart Body Smart World (Forrester) — take note of these two consequences of Internet of Things and Quantified Self: Verticals fuse: “Health and wellness” is not its own silo, but is connected to our finances, our shopping habits, our relationships. As bodies get connected, everyone is in the body business. Retail disperses: All retailers become computing retailers, and computing-specific retailers like Best Buy go the way of Blockbuster. You wouldn’t buy a smart toothbrush at a specialty CE store; you’d be more likely to buy it in the channel that solves the rest of your hygiene needs. (via Internet of Things)

What lies ahead: Net Neutrality

Tim O'Reilly on the future of smartphones and the realities of net neutrality.

Tim O'Reilly recently offered his thoughts and predictions for a number of areas we cover here on Radar. In this segment he looks at the future of smartphones and he explains why the realities of spectrum capacity will shape net neutrality.

Looking beyond the digital divide

At a previous point in my career, I benefited from professional development, autonomy in my classroom, and a superb technology infrastructure to become a connected, inspired and effective educator. Now, with the current climate in the field of education in the U.S., I fear that other teachers will lose, or never even experience, similar opportunities. As an education technology advocate interacting with teachers in a variety of settings, I see that our students are receiving vastly different types of education. This divide trickles specifically down to the educational technology experiences our students are receiving in schools, too.

Four short links: 11 March 2010

Four short links: 11 March 2010

Digital Inclusion, Bookwriting Revealed, Chip Tips, and Mobile Marketshare

  1. Digital Inclusion: How Do You Tell?[N]either means nor skills are simple binary states. A while ago, I was talking to a young man looking for a job, and asked him why he didn’t look online. Because it’s two buses to get to the public library and you only get half an hour, was his reply. Or being in a library myself and watching an older man asking a bit tentatively if he could use one of the computers and being firmly told that he could book a slot for three days time. He turned away looking crestfallen and without making a booking. It didn’t look as though he would be back. Remote, uncertain, and limited access is better than none. But it is hardly inclusion.
  2. The Participatory Museum Process — inside look at the writing of the book, and the surprises she received writing it. People preferred to comment on a finished draft rather than the work in progress. At the time, I thought people would be MORE excited to comment and help shape the book as I was first writing it than to comment on a complete draft. I was wrong. The second draft was offered to participants with a much more specific, time-limited ask, and it was much more successful than the open-ended “help me as I write it” approach to draft one. This makes sense – the second draft experience was much better-scaffolded – and it made me reconsider the extent to which participants want to be involved in the early development of other peoples’ projects.
  3. Finding Pin 1 (Evil Mad Scientist) — some interesting knowledge about hardware that’ll make you more informed the next time you peer quizzically at a printed circuit board.
  4. January 2010 US Mobile Subscriber Market Share (ComScore) — Android just overtook Palm, and is growing faster than the other smartphone platforms. And for a reality check, 28% of mobile customers used a browser on their phone. (via phandroid)

Computerization in Nilekani's Imagining India

Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation promises to occupy a central position in discussions about India as well as the world economy this year. Author Nandan Nilekani can speak with quite a bit of authority on computers, having founded and led Infosys, an early success story in modern Indian commerce and a major player in the historic rise of outsourcing. Particularly relevant to this blog are the book’s observations on computers’ role in the economy and society.

FCC discusses broadband: the job is a big one

Around the time I submitted a proposal on the White House’s open government dialog site for local forums to implement high-speed networks, the FCC released a 77-page report (in PDF format) that casts some light on the proposal. Their report, titled “Bringing Broadband to Rural America: Report on a Rural Broadband Strategy,” covers a huge range of ground (and retells a lot of standard stories, including the reasons for universal service in broadband and a history of public infrastructure efforts). This post details some of the impressions I got relevant to local forums.