When I was a wee lad my family used to drive an hour north of the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my grandparents in Santa Rosa, Calif. My sister and I were at the age where we needed something to keep us busy at all times, so my grandparents often had to come up with things for us to do once the toys we brought along no longer held our interest. In one room of my grandparent's place, my grandfather had set up a recliner chair right next to a table with an emergency scanner on it. He … Read more
With a new product called Vine, Microsoft is tackling the issue that, in the Digital Age, contact management is no longer static--where you are and what you're doing at a given moment can matter just as much as what your cell phone number is. But instead of focusing on roving business travelers, Vine's slant is community management and emergency preparedness. It's in a private beta test right now.
Here's how it works. You download a "dashboard" application, and then you log in with your Windows Live account. Its interface takes the form of a … Read more
By now you've heard of "ICE," right? The idea is to add an "In Case of Emergency" entry to your phone's address book and fill it with emergency contacts, important medical info, and the like. That's so rescue workers have an easier time helping you should the unfortunate need arise.
ICE Lite is ICE in app form. It contains just two screens: one with personal info (name, address, phone number, etc.), and one with emergency-contact info.
There's room for your emergency contact person's name, relation, and phone number, along with separate … Read more
It won't grab headlines like the newest version of the iPhone operating system, but a Palo Alto, Calif., nonprofit today announced a suite of open-source applications that aids in communications and collaboration for humanitarian workers dealing with diseases and disasters.
InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) has released three applications to empower aid workers to use inexpensive, off-the-shelf mobile phones to better detect and respond to disasters, diseases, and economic catastrophes.
The organization currently runs projects in Southeast Asia, including the Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance project and the Phnom Penh Innovation Lab.
One of the new programs, … Read more
In an emergency, communications can mean the difference between life and death. But, in much of the world, traditional emergency communications infrastructure simply doesn't exist. Even where it does, such as in the United States, we've seen breakdowns between agencies with incompatible radio systems.
Dr. Eric Rasmussen, CEO of InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) tells Larry Magid about his organization's new software suite that helps to improve early detection, preparedness and response capabilities against global threats.
Podcast runs 10 minutes
As the developed economies crater, many vendors are looking beyond the borders of North America and Western Europe to grow into Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
For open-source companies, in particular, Latin America shows a great deal of promise, as countries such as Brazil and Argentina deliver many leads--but to too few closed contracts.
Over the past three years, part of my role has included managing Alfresco's business in Latin America. In so doing, I have sought expert advice from Red Hat, which has a booming business in Latin America, and other trusted sources. This weekend, however, I … Read more
Now that the leadership of Lenovo is back in the hands of Chinese executives, the PC maker says it plans to pay more attention to its home market of China and other emerging markets, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
It cut ties with its American CEO Bill Amelio earlier this week after a dreadful financial quarter in which the company lost $97 million. Chairman Yan Yuanqing has taken over as chief executive and company co-founder Liu Chuanzhi is returning to become chairman of the board.
Liu blames the company's current woes on the worldwide financial … Read more
The state of New York has canceled a $2.1 billion contract to build a wireless network for use by statewide emergency workers across, according to The New York Times.
Along with the termination letter to Tyco subsidiary M/A-COM, the state's chief technology officer, Melanie Mayberry-Stewart, complained that M/A-COM had not addressed technical problems in work that was already done, the report said.
The newspaper has reported that state officials are close to ending the project because problems with tests of the network had them worried the system would not work properly.
Lawyers for the contractor said … Read more
Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco plan to announce Tuesday that they are working together to help ensure that proper standards are created for measuring digital literacy.
The three companies aren't coming up with the assessment criteria themselves, but rather bringing together a group of education leaders and academics to identify the characteristics that should form the basis of global standards.
While such standards have emerged for math and science, they are also needed for other kinds of 21st century skills, Microsoft Vice President Anoop Gupta said in an interview last week.
To head the effort, the troika has tapped professor … Read more
Redwood City start-up NComputing, whose technology uses the power of a single PC to power up to seven computing terminals, is set to announce on Monday that it has started the process of equipping 5,000 schools in India with its technology.
NComputing will provide about 50,000 students with access to the Internet as part of the deal, which will use two PCs in each computer lab to power 10 terminals at schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The deal itself is part of a $100 million effort that includes operating and powering the lab for five … Read more