Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Voices of Africa
July 27, 2007 11:37 AM   Subscribe

"Thanks to tremendous progress achieved by the General Packet Radio System (GPRS), the wireless communication protocol, it is now possible for Africans to send articles and images (still and moving) about events taking place in their countries without using a computer and without having internet connection. Under those circumstances, the bigger the number of people expressing their opinions through that technology, the stronger becomes democracy, and the more valuable is the contribution to good governance efforts in Africa" - Voices of Africa, Mobile stories and videos from Africa. Quote above from article Mobile Reporters in Africa.
posted by infini (11 comments total)

 
Well they are using computers, just not PC's.

/nitpick.
posted by delmoi at 11:45 AM on July 27, 2007


I have to say that this is the best news I've heard from Africa in a while. It's notoriously difficult for corruption to survive sunlight, and perhaps some of the more egregious abuses and horrors being perpetrated by regional and local tin-pot dictators can finally be redressed.
posted by scrump at 11:54 AM on July 27, 2007


yes. in the same way television has cleaned up the western world.
posted by quonsar at 11:56 AM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think television (or at least broadcast media) has probably cleaned up the western world (isn't at least some of Africa part of the "western world"?). It still seems somewhat corrupt, but:

a) there's always going to be some corruption
b) broadcast media also make it possible to learn about corruption in other areas, which makes it seem like there's more than there is locally
posted by DU at 12:08 PM on July 27, 2007


false analogy alert. Television is a one-to-many medium, GPRS is many-to-many. Don't know if the telephone cleaned up the western world, but it's made it faster and more transparent. More in that direction is good.
posted by absalom at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2007


I have to say that this is the best news I've heard from Africa in a while.

Are you actually paying attention to news from Africa on a regular basis?
posted by delmoi at 12:17 PM on July 27, 2007


GPRS is many-to-many

GPRS is actually a one-to-one connection (On GSM phones, SMS messages, voicemail alerts, etc often run over GPRS).
posted by meta_eli at 4:37 PM on July 27, 2007


Well, if you can use it to connect to the web, then it's one to many, and if lots of people have them, and can all do this, then it's many to many?
posted by absalom at 8:21 PM on July 27, 2007


Neat.

Observation: I spent a while digging around in the site, and it seems everything is in English. That's a little odd.

Another observation: the site is encoded in Latin-1, which suggests that not a whole lot of thought has been given to internationalization -- Latin-1 certainly isn't going to handle N'Ko, Tifinagh, or Tigrinya. Hope that changes in the future...
posted by snifty at 8:25 PM on July 27, 2007


the packet net probably uses ASCII, too.
posted by quonsar at 8:27 PM on July 27, 2007


Are you actually paying attention to news from Africa on a regular basis?
Yes.

And, to repeat myself, this is the best news I've heard from Africa in a while. Make of that what you will.
posted by scrump at 11:24 PM on July 27, 2007


« Older Mutatoes...  |  I consider myself to be one of... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments