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Making Lives Easier, One Drop at a Time

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We often think of technology in terms of flashy gadgets and slick new applications. But the technology with the biggest impact is often more prosaic. It’s about using straightforward tools to solve basic problems that make people’s lives better.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is NextDrop, out of Hubli in the state of Karnataka, India. NextDrop is attacking a problem that affects millions of people in India and in much of the developing world: unpredictable and unreliable water supply.

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Three Years Post-Quake, Emergency Channels Still Vital Resource

Neelley Hicks, UMCBy Neelley Hicks, Guest Columnist

Near the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, less than three months after it occurred, Clif Guy of Church of the Resurrection (COR) encountered a unique challenge: how to build a communications infrastructure so what was happening on the ground could be conveyed to incoming relief teams and others who had invested themselves in the Petit Goave community.

As director of IT at COR, Guy was used to technical challenges – but not of this scale. Spotty electricity and lack of Internet access in an area that had just suffered its worst natural disaster presented issues like never before. (Read how Clif used Google Earth to engineer a network to connect Haiti’s most needed areas.) Read More »

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Common Traits of Intelligent Community Superstars

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Lou Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, has a foolproof way of identifying which cities are most likely to be successful deploying broadband networks: business cards.

The ones who do well at broadband, he says, are the ones whose municipal employees collaborate across departmental boundaries, and with elected officials.

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Innovations that Enhance the Cinema Experience

Have you seen a good movie lately? I have seen a couple – and I truly enjoyed the whole experience.

As a boy growing up in London, my parents taught me to appreciate the joys of cinematic storytelling. We would make the trip to the Odeon Cinema at Leicester Square in Soho, mostly for the viewing pleasure that we gained from their huge wide-screen 70mm film presentations.

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Mobile Internet: Envision the Socioeconomic Impact

I admit it; there are times when I have been shortsighted. While I try to keep an open mind about the upside potential of networking applications for socioeconomic advancement, I’ve had my share of moments where I’ve missed the obvious — by not seeing the full spectrum of opportunities for advancement.

Case in point: when I started to publish my research, thoughts and observations online I was myopically thinking that my market reach would most likely be limited to people within North America.

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