:: Sonner la cloche anthropologique :: Ringing the anthropological bell ::
:: Die ethnologische Glocke läuten :: Tocar la campana antropológica ::

IT Development in Ghana

In examining how Accra adapts to technological change, we gain a better understanding of how people in poor African cities use technology and what they want from it. Debates over the so?called "digital divide" can be enriched by close studies of lived experience in parts of the world where the revolution in information technology remains more prospect than reality. A Article from FirstMonday: Black star: Ghana, information technology and development in Africa by G. Pascal Zachary

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Tribes take to wireless web

Wireless technology is helping native Americans in California go online and learn computing skills, reports BBC. Via BoingBoing

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Open Source localization for developing countries

Article at CNet about Open Office, Microsoft and localization in those small markets.

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Microsoft plans "light windows" for Thailand

Windows is currently developing a special version of its Operating System which will be available in some of the so called "emerging markets" for less money, reports the Bankok Post. My question about this is: Is this only an adaption to the special economical situation in this countries or to the different different valuation of a product in this cultures, or is it simply a move against the vital illegal software market in those countries? Via

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In search of India's grassroot inventors

BBC reports about NIF, a organisation in india which is building a national register of grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge. They write: "There are innovators who innovate in the 'laboratories of life' and yet they never get recognised (...) In a country with 600,000 villages where electricity and water still remain big problems, people continuously find alternative ways of meeting their needs." As for example the banana slicer in the picture above, which can chop 1200 pieces in a minute.

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Study about the Digital Divide

A recent report about the digital divide (PDF) states, that a digital divide is more likely to happen in societies or region where the economic differences are already huge. (Show the first Paragraph of the introduction).
"Many assume that the digital divide - the large numbers of people who are not connected to the Internet - is small, shrinking, and rapidly becoming irrelevant. It is not. The term "digital divide" refers to multi-dimensional inequalities in Internet access and use, ranging from the global level, to nation states, to communities, and to individuals. The divide is here for some time to come. It is large, multifaceted, and, in some ways, it is not shrinking. Moreover, the divide is socially patterned, so that there are systematic and meaningful variations in the kinds of people who are on and off the Internet. These patterns vary between nations and over time, so last year's divide often does not necessarily resemble this year's, and Country A's divide does not necessarily resemble Country B's. Indeed, it is more accurate to use the plural "digital divides" because the nature of the digital divide varies within and between countries, both developed and developing. There is no one digital divide; there are many divides."
You may also read this article in Telepolis (german) Via Schockwellenreiter

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Motorbikes & Internet

Spiegel Online has today an article about technology adoption in Cambodia. To provide internet access, they use motorbikes to transport the data from a satelite dish to several access points. An example for taking the word "data highway" serious :-))

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Intel and the Anthropologists

At I found a very interesting article (german only, sorry) about Intel working with Anthropologists and other social scientist. They employ them to discover the cultural differences in the use of technology, and the different needs of cultures concerning technologies. Interesting example is, that in Malaysia people prefer to have the direction of Mekka in the display of their cell phone. This is whole topic "adaption of technology", in special semiconductor technology, is not only a very interesting field, it seems its also a field where you can actually earn money as anthropologist. It's glad to see that major, international companies discovered that they have to adapt the products to the differentcultures, and not (only?) the cultures to their products (as with advertising, for which they spend much more money). Thanks, Seewolf, for pointing me to the article

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The finest stuff from ethnology social/cultural anthropology and cyberanthropology. Collected with ceaseless endeavour by students and staff of the Institut für Ethnologie in München/Germany and countless others.
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