Wireless living: Limited Internet access in North Korea affects country’s development

February 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Wireless living: Limited Internet access in North Korea affects country’s development

Fascinating article by Imana Gunawan about how the lack of Internet and social media can hinder the growth of a nation. North Korea is a closed, secretive society and its lack of Internet access has isolated its citizens from the rest of the world.

Notable comments from the article:

“In 2012, the World Policy Journal rated the DPRK as the most isolated country in the world. The publication used the percentage of individuals connected to the Internet as one of the factors in determining whether a country is isolated.”

“Even though North Korea and South Korea have a similar amount of compulsory school years (10 for North Korea, 12 for South Korea), Sorensen said that North Korean refugees with high school-level education who go to South Korea may not be able to compete academically with South Korean students.”


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North Korea Revealed Through Instagram

February 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

An AP photographers look at North Korea through Instagram. See previous post for more details. These images are beautiful and very compelling.

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North Korea: first Instagram images emerge as social media final reaches country

February 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

North Korea: first Instagram images emerge as social media final reaches country

“The first pictures to be posted to Instagram from North Korea have emerged, in new evidence that the social media revolution has finally reached the hermit kingdom.”—By. Julian Ryall

This is an interesting piece about the use of Instagram in North Korea. Many of us are familiar with North Korea’s closed society. Although the article is a bit dated (last year), I think it’s still very relevant. After the uprisings in the Middle East, many researchers and political analysts are suggesting that North Koreans will follow their lead.

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Leslie T. Chang: Factory Girls

January 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


We’re reading this book in class! The students in my Mobile Technology in Developing Countries class are really enjoying it and the discussions are wonderful. Our focus for the class is how mobile technology changes the way these women/girls traverse through a modern and changing China, but it has so much more to offer. As a second generation American from Pakistan, I understand how migration can change people. I see a lot myself in these characters, which is why this book was so powerful.

Author Leslie T. Chang delivers the 2011 First Readings Lecture on her book Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China.

Factory Girls examines issues of migration and industrialization in contemporary China by focusing on the stories of two young women from the provinces who come to the city of Dongguan to work in the factories, learn new skills, and achieve “success.” As Brown celebrates the “Year of China” in 2011-12, Factory Girls should cause you to reflect on the question of a country’s relationship to both its past and its future and how that attitude can affect the lives of ordinary people trying to get ahead.

Tuesday, October 11
Brown University

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Blood Coltan (2008) Film

January 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I’ll be showing this film in my Mobile Technologies in Developing Countries class. It’s not in Asia, but it’s an important aspect of mobile phones.

Description for video:
“This is a story about the real costs of our need to stay in touch. Mobile phones have hidden tariffs with unimaginable human consequences: rape, murder and illegal slave labour.”

Modern conveniences for the Western world come with dire consequences for developing countries.

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On Location Video: Mental illness is rising in Pakistan and Afghanistan

January 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

On Location Video: Mental illness is rising in Pakistan and Afghanistan

This video discusses the rise of mental health in countries like Pakistan. Please see the previous post about the use of mobile tech in developing countries.

The rise of mental illness in Pakistan and Afghanistan is not surprising. Both countries are conflict zones and have major issues with terrorism (in country and out of the country).

It’s a topic that is not discussed enough.

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Mobile phones, apps, throw lifeline to sufferers of brain and mental disorders in remote world corners

January 27, 2014 at 6:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Mobile phones, apps, throw lifeline to sufferers of brain and mental disorders in remote world corners

A really fascinating look at how mobile phones can be used to treat mental illness. 

Basic information:

Project sponsored by Grand Challenges Canada. In many cases mental health specialists will be directly working with patients.
6 of the projects will focus on children and youth.

Selected through independent peer review from 125 applications, the 22 projects break down as follows, by institution:

  • Canada: 8 (Toronto (4 projects), Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver)
  • Africa: 5 (Nigeria, Uganda, Union of Comoros, Ghana, Ethiopia)
  • Asia: 5 (India (3 projects) Laos, Pakistan)
  • Latin America / Caribbean: 4 (Guatemala, Colombia, Jamaica, Peru).

This is really great to see that technology can be used in the health environment.

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Radio Bridging Education Gap in Rural India

January 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Despite the prevalence of mobile technology, radio continues to remain a major source of information to many developing areas. Here’s a look at how education radio programming works for rural children in India.

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China to lead mobil payment technology

January 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Smart phones are simplifying the art/chore of making payments. Check out the guy that buys a vending machine water bottle with his phone. China is gearing up to the next global economic superpower so it’s not surprising that mobile tech is part of this.

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The Social Media Scene in Pakistan (Rev1.0)

January 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Social media usage in Pakistan is huge. When traditional media isn’t enough…social media can add so much.

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