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After the Protests – NYTimes.com

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After the Protests – NYTimes.com.

“LAST Wednesday, more than 100,000 people showed up in Istanbul for a funeral that turned into a mass demonstration. No formal organization made the call…Protests like this one, fueled by social media and erupting into spectacular mass events, look like powerful statements of opposition against a regime. And whether these take place in Turkey, Egypt or Ukraine, pundits often speculate that the days of a ruling party or government, or at least its unpopular policies, must be numbered. Yet often these huge mobilizations of citizens inexplicably wither away without the impact on policy you might expect from their scale.
This muted effect is not because social media isn’t good at what it does, but, in a way, because it’s very good at what it does.”

Africa’s big data scene is centered on the mobile carriers

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Gigaom

Is there a big data opportunity in Africa? TA Telecom CEO and founder Amr Shady believes there’s a big one. Only 15 percent of Africans may have access to the internet on a PC, but there is a wealth of information to be mined from the mobile operators who effectively have a lock on data services on the continent, Shady said speaking at Gigaom’s Structure Data conference on Wednesday.

“To talk about big data in Africa we have to look at where the data is being is being created,” Shady said. 60 percent of internet traffic comes from mobile phones. Only a third of mobile users who generate that traffic have a mobile data connection. The rest are using basic voice and SMS services, he said.

If you sampled data from social media to try to understand consumer behavior or public opinion in Africa, you’ll most likely reach incorrect conclusions…

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Music from Senegal – Laba Sosseh

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World Music - the Music Journey

Laba Badara Sosseh (* March 12, 1943  in Bathurst, now Banjul, Gambia; † September 20, 2007 in Dakar, Senegal) was a senegambian  salsa musician.

Here is song “Aminata ”

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Day 11: Why Did Thailand Withhold Data?

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Out of Control – NYTimes.com

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Out of Control – NYTimes.com.

Out of Control – NYTimes.com

 

“WASHINGTON — WHEN mass murderers took over the cockpits of four American airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, one of the first things they did was turn off the transponders, so the planes would not register properly on civilian radar.

A few months later, the Council on Foreign Relations published a book, “How Did This Happen?” about the mistakes leading to that awful day. I wrote the aviation security chapter, which highlighted vulnerabilities in the way airliner transponders operate.

If the transponders had not gone silent on 9/11, air traffic controllers would have quickly realized that two jetliners en route to Los Angeles had made dramatic course changes and were bound straight for Manhattan. Instead, controllers lost precious time trying to figure out where the aircraft were.

At the time, I would have bet my life’s savings that the transponder, which broadcasts an aircraft’s location and identity, would be re-engineered to prevent hijackers from turning such units off. But nothing was done. Almost 13 years later, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 sparked a lengthy worldwide search when, it appears, another transponder was turned off.

The issue today is exactly as it was on 9/11…”

 

Greens galore for St. Patrick’s Day

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Why corruption remains a way of life in the public service in Africa – Opinion – nation.co.ke

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Why corruption remains a way of life in the public service in Africa – Opinion – nation.co.ke.

When colonialism ended, Africans made no attempt to establish a link between the people and the government.

Government remained a hostile entity that has no real attachment to the mwananchi.

Growing up in the village, the other boys and I would run away when we spotted policemen at a distance for absolutely no reason.

That’s because to society, the government, i.e. the public service, is a threat to be feared, not a legitimate entity concerned with the public interest.

This is the mind-set of public servants and elected officials who see ‘public money’ as nobody’s money that is therefore fair game.

It belongs to the ‘government’ not to the people. In Sweden or Japan, on the other hand, every single coin in the hands of a public official is seen as belonging to the society at large and something to be treasured and put to the right use.

To eliminate corruption in Africa, we must rethink the African state. We must ask ourselves how to re-establish its legitimacy and get everyone to understand the link between taxation and delivery of public goods and why stealing public funds is the same as robbing a grandmother in Kangemi who pays a huge amount of tax on her jerrycan of paraffin…”

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