Sharing Nicely

Month: March, 2006

more from the catia meeting / remittances meets micro-finance … killer app babies

It seems (excuse my ignorance) one big issue with remittances is that the financial transaction costs are too high, because sending small amounts of money is very expensive (comparably) and some of the intended recipients live in remote places…. so rather than focus on local loans and saving, the could consider their potential role in the global flow of remittances.Also, mobile telephones are emerging as a new financial transaction instrument.

good news from africa – IXPs support increase in local Internet traffic

The project facilitators from afrISPa just presented some of the impact their work has had over the past 3 years, and they used the decreasing cost of access (more than 50% reduction of international traffic via the SAT-3 cable as well as end-user prices) and the increase in local traffic (up to 400% in some countries)…. Bottom line is that the Internet is still too expensive for most Africans, but it’s good to see that some initiatives are able to convince policy makers of the wide benefits that bringing down cost and increasing access can have for local development.

the of and to a in that is ……..

A little online gem that fits well with my interest in fat-tail (related to what some call long-tail) distributions and small world networks (not zefrank’s kind)…. WordCount data currently comes from the British National CorpusĀ®, a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent an accurate cross-section of current English usage.

how-to write about africa / a starving ak-47 waving mama dances amidst a big red zanzibar sunset

From GRANTA.Having lived in Cape Town for a good 3.5 years, I still miss the big skies and luscious red sunsets.————————original at:′How to write about Africa’Binyavanga Wainainasome tips: sunsets and starvation are goodAlways use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title…. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat.

change of focus / out of focus / serious stuff moving to A2K blog

This is what’s changing: Most of the more serious stuff that I occasionally posted here will move to the recently launched A2K Hub, a blog run by the United Nations University MERIT Institute. I work as a researcher at MERIT and will do most of the posting on FOSS and commons-based production models, but will be joined by other researchers who focus on biotechnology etc. That also means that the content on this here bokaap blog will become a little more free-form.

sobering stats for phd students (not that we'd have time to drink in order to really need them)

A first step could be to design incentive schemes that focus on interim outputs and progress of PhD students rather than exclusively acknowledge the completion of degrees or the amount of publications by Professors themselves (regardless of involvement of their students).A recent investigation by the Council of Graduate Schools discovered that after 10 years of study, the completion rates were only 64 percent in engineering, 62 percent in life sciences, 55 percent in physical sciences and social sciences and 47 percent in the humanities…. is 7.6 years – a figure that has been rising steadily over the last 30 years.(…)Since training doctoral students is a time, money and labor-intensive proposition, such data are profoundly alarming.True, some students will drop out or fail to meet required academic standards, but research shows that significant numbers of doctoral students who do not complete their degrees are performing well academically yet are alienated by poor social and academic integration into their programs, poor mentoring practices, and other factors.