Digital Divide

19 April 2015

The internet in Vietnam: If a tree falls ... online, will the Communist Party hear anything? The Economist

Saplings have sprouted on several streets in Hanoi, Vietnam's leafy capital. They are puny replacements for at least 500 grand old trees that were uprooted last month without public consultation. The clearance was supposed to be the first phase of a city-government project to replace 6,700 mature specimens. But it spawned outrage on Facebook in a campaign which gathered 20,000 supporters in 24 hours, some of whom speculated that officials were motivated by the chance of selling the valuable timber. Three days later, on March 19th, the city's leader, Nguyen The Thao, put the cutting on hold. He later suspended scores of officials and commissioned an investigation, due to be completed in a few days.

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Should Netflix Be Accessible to the Deaf? Several court cases argue that disability laws that apply to public places should apply to online spaces, too. The Atlantic

When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 years ago this July, his hope was that the law would ensure that people with disabilities were given "independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives," and "the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream."

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18 April 2015

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg hits back in India row BBC News

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has defended the aims of his initiative after several Indian firms decided to pull out of the project.

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26 March 2015

Drones Beaming Web Access Are in the Stars for Facebook New York Times

In classical mythology, Aquila is the eagle carrying Jupiter's thunderbolts skyward. At Facebook, it is the code name for a high-flying drone, indicative of the social networking company's lofty ambitions.

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05 March 2015 Hopes to Reach 100 Countries in a Year, Up From 6 Now Computerworld, which is already offering free Internet service in six countries, has ambitious plans to connect to 100 countries in the next year.

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26 February 2015

Only 40 percent of the global population has ever connected to the internet: report ZDNet, the Facebook-led initiative to foster global internet connectivity, published a report this week that shines light on the expansive gaps in connectivity around developing parts of the world.

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20 February 2015

Mark Zuckerberg Q&A: The Full Interview on Connecting the World Bloomberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a big, expensive goal: to connect the world to the Internet. He spoke with Emily Chang about his plans, after returning from a trip through Southeast Asia and India last year as part of his initiative. The interview airs Feb. 19 on Bloomberg Television's Studio 1.0. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

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28 January 2015

Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives by Bill and Melinda Gates Gates Notes

The Kenya Financial Diaries, a fascinating project documenting the financial lives of hundreds of Kenyans over the course of a year, tells countless stories of people who had to forgo medical care or take their children out of school for want of a few dollars.

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22 January 2015

Google Hopes to Take the Web Directly to Billions Lacking Access New York Times

Google has never shied from novelty or spending big to find ways to connect more people to the Internet. Over the last two years, its ideas have included fleets of little satellites, solar-powered drones that would fly around the world and balloons that float high into the stratosphere, beaming the Internet to those below.

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17 December 2014

The Problem With the Plan to Give Internet Access to the Whole World The Atlantic

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's coalition to bring the Internet to the entire world, a global project known as, was recently the subject of a lengthy Time magazine story by Lev Grossman.

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13 November 2014

Web statistics ignore 1bn users in developing countries, study shows The Guardian

Up to a billion people using the internet in developing countries are ignored by web statistics, which focus on US-based servers and ignore mobile-only users and shared devices, says a new study.

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07 November 2014

ITU commits to bringing 1.5 billion online by 2020 ZDNet

The United Nations' International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has committed to its plan of bringing a further 1.5 billion people online by 2020, as part of its 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference Connect 2020 Agenda resolution.

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02 October 2014

Offline and falling behind: Barriers to Internet adoption McKinsey

More than 60 percent of the world's population remains offline. Without removing crucial deterrents to Internet adoption, little will change -- and more than 4 billion people may be left behind.

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15 July 2014

Tech Scene in Myanmar Hinges on Cellphone Grid New York Times

Images of Steven P. Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg adorn the walls of Myo Myint Kyaw's creative digital agency. He says they inspire him. But he imagines neither man ever worked in an environment where Internet connections were so unreliable that a "file transfer" often involved delivering electronic documents across town by taxi.

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02 July 2014

Lack of affordable broadband creating 'digital divide' in Australia ABC News

As we become ever more reliant on the digital world for communications, information and commerce, a new divide is opening up between the haves and have nots.

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06 June 2014

Internet use on mobile phones in Africa predicted to increase 20-fold The Guardian

Africa's claim to be the "mobile continent" is even stronger than previously thought, with researchers predicting internet use on mobile phones will increase 20-fold in the next five years - double the rate of growth in the rest of the world.

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24 April 2014

'Mobile reading revolution' takes off in developing world The Guardian

Unesco is pointing to a "mobile reading revolution" in developing countries after a year-long study found that adults and children are increasingly reading multiple books and stories on their phones.

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21 April 2014

Is Apple trying to torpedo the market for affordable smartphones? Salon

In 2007, when Apple unveiled the iPhone, this recent college graduate was thrilled: The future had arrived and I was going to be a part of it. Unfortunately, once I saw the price, $702, the thrill of the future turned to the agony of my economic reality. While more affordable smartphones are available today, a costly new trial between Apple and Samsung may lead to an equally financially burdensome situation for many consumers stuck in the middle.

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11 April 2014

Somalia in high speed internet 'culture shock' BBC News

Some residents of Somalia's capital have been experiencing a form of "culture shock" since fibre optic services launched over the last week, an internet provider has told the BBC.

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10 March 2014

Chart: Internet Connectivity and Income Businessweek

Less than one-third of the population of developing nations has access to the Internet, according to the United Nations. A recent Pew Research report suggests Internet access in emerging and developing nations is associated with higher per capita income.

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11 January 2014

Internet access: Blessing or curse? by Jacques Sebisaho & Courtney E Martin Al Jazeera

For many of the world's 7 billion people, it would be hard to imagine a world without the Internet. In just a couple of decades, our lives have become so intertwined with the World Wide Web that it's difficult to remember a time when it wasn't part of our lives. For the youngest among us, the world simply hasn't existed without it.

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24 November 2013

UN launches first interactive information superhighway to help bridge digital divide United Nations

The United Nations launched today an interactive map of the information superhighway to show policy makers and investors the location of the missing links in the digital divide in the Asia-Pacific region.

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12 November 2013

Fewer than one in three Africans has a mobile phone Reuters

Fewer than one in three Africans has a mobile phone and recent rapid growth in subscribers will slow if governments don't improve access to spectrum and rein in taxes on the industry, a lobby group representing mobile networks said on Monday.

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08 October 2013

Google and Sir Tim Berners-Lee lead coalition for cheaper internet The Guardian

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee is leading a cross-industry coalition to bring cheaper internet to the developing world.

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30 September 2013

Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World New York Times

Luis Perez loves taking photographs. He shoots mostly on an iPhone, snapping gorgeous pictures of sunsets, vintage cars, old buildings and cute puppies. But when he arrives at a photo shoot, people are often startled when he pulls out a long white cane.

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