Exploring the Impact of Technology and Innovation in Developing Countries

Developing Country Technology

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I happened to be in India last November when prime minister Modi announced the demonetization program, where 86% of the currency in the form of two paper bills (Rs. 500 and 1000 denomination) were made defunct. People were given time to deposit their existing currencies in the bank. Those who had unusually high volume of such currencies were supposed to declare the legal source or face stiff penalties such as 60-75% tax. The goal was to catch the money hoarders and black marketers who avoid paying taxes on such undeclared money. Four months later, I happened to visit India last February. Everyone suggested I download an app called Paytm. I could transfer money from a bank account instantly. What was convenient with Paytm was that I could use it at gas stations, small stores, and even at roadside vendor shops. Everyone seems to have installed the Paytm station where... (more)

A Tsunami of Global Disaster Communications Through Citizen Journalism

The news started hitting California early Saturday morning with an SMS alarm on my mobile phone – a major earthquake struck Chile, and there was a potential of tsunami activity in California and Hawaii (as well as the rest of the Pacific). First stop – CNN. The news source was right on the story, with real time information flowing into the newsroom from, not on-scene journalists, but through Twitter and Facebook updates. Another SMS message hits the phone letting me know there was a Twitter list at #hitsunami, and the discussion would include all the most current news related to tsunami preparations in Hawaii. Also gave a link to a web page that was broadcasting a live feed from KHON in Honolulu until the station integrated their feed on the KHON home page. Back to CNN, cell phone videos began pouring in from Santiago and Concepcion. CNN began broadcasting directly ... (more)

Wireless Moldova

Business travelers worldwide fight a constant battle of connectivity.  Can I call Home?  Can I “Skype” with my family?  Do I have adequate Internet access? During recent business trips to Chisinau, Moldova, I have had the pleasure of working in a country with excellent, if not superior, Internet access within hotels, parks, Internet cafes, and really any other location within the capital city you would like to “jack in” to the Internet. As I watch my Slingbox connecting to Channel 2 Evening News in Los Angeles, I am enjoying anywhere between 500Kbps and 900Kbps throughput, more than adequate to keep homesickness under control and keep up to date on the community. Moldova has several Internet Service Providers available for public access, including StarNet, Orange Moldova, MoldTelecom, and lots of resellers of other company Internet capacity. The cost of accessing ... (more)

A Look Into Moldova’s ICT Spirit with Grigore Raileanu

Moldova has a lot of entrepreneurs.  As you walk along the streets in Chisinau, the capital city, you constantly pass signs advertising software development companies, data centers, and computer sales.  As citizens of a “developing” country, young people know they need to work smarter, harder, and more creatively to compete with not only each other, but also others countries in Europe and the world. Grigore Raileanu is one of those aggressive young people.  And an entrepreneur with a successful company named Remsys.  In fact, you may not even know Remsys is a Moldovan company, possibly believing it is based in the US! Grigore met with us on 4 Feb 2011 to talk about ICT, innovation, and Moldova.  You can listen to the audio file HERE John Savageau: Today with have with us, Mr. Gigore Raileanu, who does business development with a Moldovan company called Remsys.  Goo... (more)

Citizen Journalism Continues Journey into Unchartered Space

Nobody can foresee events such as natural disasters. They happen, are often tragic, and history records the event as a snapshot in time. Sometimes that history is based on well-documented photos, videos, and personal observations, and sometimes it is recorded as reality determined by persons or governments with an agenda different than presenting empirical truth. The government in Egypt recently tried disrupting communications by temporarily stopping Internet and phone access, as well as attempting (in some cases violently) to restrict or limit access to demonstrations by journalists and the international media. The blockage was done to thwart seditionaries and protestors who had been using social media outlets to organize activities and share information about the uprising with the outside world. (BetaNews) But the images still found their way out of Cairo to the in... (more)

Keyloggers: The Undisputed Heavyweight Champions of the Malware World!

Keylogging has taking center stage, and it now deserves our proper attention. After all, keyloggers have been identified as the #1 Global Threat to consumers, corporations and government agencies in the recent 2012 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Symantec Corporation coined 2011 as “The Year of the Hack,” when they saw an 81 percent increase in cyber attacks. Keyloggers have been credited for many of the world’s most notable breaches: RSA/EMC, Lockheed Martin, Google Epsilon, Oakridge Nuclear Weapons Lab, Citibank, World Bank and tens of millions of consumers around the world. What makes the keylogger the preferred weapon of choice is that they have been designed to avoid detection from anti-virus and anti-malware programs and the fact that they can be embedded into any type of download (mp3, video) or attached to any type of web link. Social Networking web... (more)

Content / Context / Device Aware Cloud Data Protection

In this two-part blog, I am going to talk about the Intel Cloud Data protection solution that helps our customers utilize their data, in both a context and content-aware manner. This is a newer set of technologies that has hit the market in the last few years. In the past, we used to think just encrypting the transport layer (such as TLS/SSL) was good enough. Given the complex nature of services and API composition, we quickly realized that it was not enough. Then we moved to protect the messages (most of the time,  the entire message), or at a field level to protect the specific sensitive fields. The problem with any of these scenarios was that it was somewhat static in nature; somewhere there was a definition of what “sensitive data” is, and details related to strict protection of that data. However, when there is a real need to send sensitive data out and a need... (more)

Changing Face of Technology By @JohnSavageau | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

The Changing Face of Technology and Innovation A friend of mine's son recently returned from an extended absence which basically removed him from nearly all aspects of technology, including the Internet, for a bit longer than 5 years. Upon return, observing him restore his awareness of technologies and absorb all things new developed over the past 5 years was both exciting and moving. To be fair, the guy grew up in an Internet world, with access to online resources including Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications. The interesting part of his re-introduction to the "wired" world was watching the comprehension flashes he went through when absorbing the much higher levels of application and data integration, and speed of network access. As much as all of us continue to complain about terrible access speeds, it is remarkable to see how excited he became when lea... (more)

USAID Food for Peace Program Picks MicroPact's entellitrak® to Help Monitor and Assess Effectiveness of U.S. Food Aid Programs Worldwide

HERNDON, Va., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development's office of Food for Peace (FFP) program has chosen MicroPact's entellitrak business process management platform to help the agency monitor and assess the effectiveness of food aid programs provided worldwide by the United States. entellitrak is used by more federal agencies than any other BPM product. FFP is responsible for awarding contracts to support emergency and non-emergency, single or multiple year assistance programs that support USAID's mission to combat food insecurity and famine in developing countries and regions around the world. Under the 2002 Farm bill, USAID's FFP was mandated to make improvements in its management systems to expedite and provide greater consistency in the program review and approval process for its Title II program, and to streamline info... (more)

Europe Foresees "Positive Stability" with Putin Re-Election

VENICE, Italy, February 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- International conference calls for closer bilateral ties between Europe and Russia following the return of Vladimir Putin as President of the Russian Federation A panel of senior European and Russian politicians has said that the likely return of Vladimir Putin as President of the Russian Federation will ensure "positive stability", at an international conference in Venice today. Despite recent protests in Moscow, and protests across the major cities of Russia expected in the lead up to the election, the panel said that Mr Putin is still the most popular politician in Russia. H.E. Hon. Franco Frattini, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, said: "There is still some mistrust in Europe of Russia. But we should be the best friend that Russia has... Russia and Europe are too small to work individually. We must wo... (more)

SunEdison, IFC, OPIC and UniCredit Complete €155m Project Financing Arrangement for a 60.4 MWp Solar Power Plant in Bulgaria

BELMONT, California, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider and subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE:WFR), today announced it has completed a €155 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and UniCredit Group for SunEdison's 60.4MWp solar power plant in Bulgaria.  SunEdison expects to complete the sale of the equity of this power plant in 2012.      (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20120329/523234 ) IFC provided €46.1 million and mobilized an additional €41.1 million from UniCredit through a syndication loan, while OPIC provided a $50 million parallel loan. UniCredit Bulbank acted as the Bulgarian local bank and provided a local currency VAT facility worth approximately €30 million (58,7 mil... (more)