16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE

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We seem to think that rape and
abuse have correlates: that it
only happens to the poor, the
weak or women and girls who
were “asking for it”. We tell
women that they “allow”
themselves get “stuck” in abusive
relationships. In short, society
tells millions of people who have
been abused that, that they are
to blame, and that it is a dark
and dirty secret that they should
never confront.

Nothing changes until it’s
understood and nothing is
understood until it is out in the
open. Talk about GBV, don’t let
the topic remain a passing
complaint about this ‘far away’
danger. Stop the victim-blaming
and start showing the world that
the wrong people have been
ashamed all this time. The best
way to change the world is to
change people’s minds. Activism
implies action and action starts
with conversation. Don’t leave it
up to the poets, the activists and
most certainly not the
politicians. Educate yourself, your
friends and family. That is the
best of its kind— an everyday
activism.

The international campaign 16
Days of Activism Against Gender
Violence runs until 10 December,
Human Rights Day, and hopes to
raise awareness about gender-
based violence as a human rights
issue at the local, national,
regional and international level.

The Social Psychology Of The Naked Selfie

If you’re building a tech product
that has anything to do with
photos then you’re probably feeling
an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu
lately, and it has to do with data
security.
It had become so routine
that throughout the fall it was hard
to imagine a Monday without
hearing about another set of iCloud
photos that been hacked during
the weekend.
And these aren’t just typical
pictures of the girl down the street
or the guy next door .

Apple/iCloud products were at risk
for getting hacked, but they aren’t
the only ones. So was Snapchat,
and probably all other major sites
hosting photos. Scandals have
been popping up again and
again around hacked photos,
especially nude ones. So, why do
we keep seeing these
scandals? There are two opposing
camps trying to explain why we’re
having nude photo leaks, but who’s
right?

One group says something like,
“Enough, children. Want to stop
nude photos from getting
hacked? Keep your clothes on in
selfies and the problem will go
away by itself.” Those on the other
side of the debate insist we must
not blame the victim and instead
should demand better privacy
protections for iCloud and other
digital storage accounts.

Sound familiar? That’s because it
is. We’ve had scandals about
hacked photos going back every
year for almost 10 years , and
people keep writing these same
reactions after each one.
Annually rehashing this debate for
a decade hasn’t gotten us too far.

While we should expect companies
to update security features, we can
also expect hackers will continue
improving their toolkits. And as for
warning people to not take nude
selfies, since when has issuing
warnings been the key to changing
behavior?
Education and warnings won’t solve
problems unless the problems were
caused by lack of knowledge.

Why, then, do people keep taking
naked digital pictures of themselves
and store them in places that could
be hacked? They were probably
aware of the other nude photo
scandals that occurred so it’s not
that they don’t know what’s going
on.

There’s actually a science behind
why we keep seeing these repeated
nude photo scandals — the science
of social.

The truth is, sexting — sending
sexually suggestive photos or
videos via cell phone — is
increasingly common among people
aged 25-34. According to a recent
Pew Report , 15 percent of adults
ages 18-24 and 22 percent of adults
ages 25-34 admit to having sent
such a message. Knowing that, it’s
less of a surprise that in the past
year, thousands of young people
have had their nude photos
hacked, including famous ones like
Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis.

Are we saying, then, that this is
simply a case of peer pressure?
Nope. The research at the UCLA
Center for Digital Behavior has
revealed that our perceptions of
what is normal in our social
networks affects our behavior. In
one study, college students viewed
a selection of Facebook photos of
their peers and were then asked to
estimate the percentage of
students who engaged in sex
without condoms and sex with
strangers, and whether they
themselves behave this way.

When students saw more sexually
suggestive photos of their peers
(e.g. kissing, flirting with the
camera, wearing revealing clothing),
they reasoned that more of their
peers were having unprotected sex
and sex with strangers. They also
said that they themselves planned
on having more sex without
condoms and sex with strangers.

What people think their peers are
doing (regardless of what they are
actually doing) influences their
behavior. If people think their
friends are taking naked selfies and
putting these pics online (even if
the truth is that their friends are
sitting at home chatting with mom),
then they will start uploading
selfies in the buff. And this
psychology isn’t unique to only
youth. It affects all of human
behavior.

So what should you do if you’re
working on a photo-related
technology and want a solution
other than more data security to
keep your product out of the
hacking spotlight? My advice, as a
behavioral psychologist, is that
adding another few lines to your
legal page or slapping on a data
security warning pop-up about the
risks of photo hacking won’t work —
just like it doesn’t work for
smoking, alcohol use or most other
behaviors.

You’ve got to change the social
environment to change the
behavior. The short answer to
change user behavior is to build a
community around how people
upload and share pictures. Create
a social norm on what types of
photos should be taken and shared
using your technology.
It might sound difficult, but there’s
a science behind how to create a
community for positive social
change, and you can find that
information right here .

Behavior-change campaigns work by
understanding and changing the
social environment. If a site wants
to reduce the amount of sexts on
its platform, they must similarly
apply this science of social.

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South Korea: $27k fine, 3 yrs in jail for unregistered ‘selfie-sticks’

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Selfie-taking South
Koreans have one-
upped the rest of the
world with the rapid
popularity of “selfie-
sticks,” or low-tech
solutions to improving
self-portraits taken with
our high-tech phones
while in public. But
now the country is
getting ready to crack
down on the tools, even
making them illegal. For
becoming public
nuisances? For being
used as weapons? No,
it’s simply because
they’re unregistered
Bluetooth devices.

There are two kinds of
selfie-sticks; basic
models, which cost
around $5, have no real
technology in them and
simply hold your
smartphone at a
distance after you’ve
set the timer setting on
the camera app. The
other kind offer
Bluetooth connectivity,
are priced around $25,
and allow it to be
paired with the phone
so that users can
trigger the camera
shutter via a button on
the stick’s handle. It’s
the later that South
Korea’s Science Ministry
is addressing in its new
ruling, and in truth only
applies to retailers
selling the sticks.

Because of the
Bluetooth feature, the
country labels the
advanced selfie-sticks as
pieces of
communication
equipment, and
therefore must be
certified before getting
sold to the public that
they don’t cause
interference. Those
caught selling
unregistered sticks can
face a maximum of
three years in prison, or
a fine of $27,000.
In a report from the
AFP , even the South
Korean authorities
admit that this new
regulation is based on
technicalities, as it’s
easy to recognize that
any wireless signals
emitted by selfie-sticks
wouldn’t interfere with
airplanes overhead or
emergency frequencies.
“It’s not going to affect
anything in any
meaningful way, but it
is nonetheless a
telecommunication
device subject to
regulation,” said a
ministry official. The
announcement of the
regulation was said to
mainly serve as a
warning to retailers,
with several bigger
stores already getting
rid of some stock in
response.

The Web Is Getting Slower, At Least in How We All Experience It

One thing you can always rely on technology to do is speed things up. Everything, from processors to phones to
networks gets faster. Heck, there are actual laws that define this phenomenon. So when at a recent Akamai
analyst event a speaker made the offhand comment that the Web is getting slower, it pretty much made me sit
up in my seat and say “what?”
My first gut instinct was to say “No way, this is technology, things don’t get slower. I used to have a modem,
now I have fibre. I used to use a WAP browser for mobile web, now I have fast 4G and LTE connections.” But
once that initial instinct passed, I had to admit, it sure did seem that many of my recent web browsing
experiences were less than satisfactory from a performance standpoint.

So what’s causing this slowdown? Is it the result of problems in the core of the Internet’s infrastructure? Well,
while there have been cases of hardware problems causing Web slowdowns, as well as performance issues
caused by political fights between major carriers and streaming video providers, the cause of the Web’s
slowdown is actually coming from the other side of the infrastructure.

To find out what was causing the Web to drag, I sat down with the Akamai speaker who had made the
comment about the slowdown, Mike Afergan, SVP and GM of the Web Experience Business Unit at Akamai. And
he said that the reason the Web is slowing down for so many of us isn’t a problem with the Web itself, but
with how many of us now use the Web.

Afergan said, “In technology we typically think about things getting better, cheaper, faster.. And then faster,
faster, faster. And that’s kind of just generally our perception.
For a given situation, a given hardware, a given
connection, a given webpage, etc., things do get better and things have been getting better. But if you just think
about how we’re interacting with this thing we call the Web today, it’s so much more situational and as you go
through situations, whether it be devices, whether it be cellular, whether it be richer pages, whether it be more
congested networks, that you actually see across many situations that the performance numbers are getting
worse.”

This means that, as we’ve moved to a world where we are more likely to surf the Web from a mobile device,
using a wireless broadband connection, we face the increased possibility that we’ll see performance problems
that we wouldn’t see on a PC or laptop. Afergan said that one way to see this phenomenon in action is to look at
Web performance numbers over time for both desktop and mobile users. He said, “The last time the desktop
metric was as slow as the current cellular metric is, it was ten years ago. Basically, we’ve lost a decade of
innovation, by innovating.”
So as we have moved to an increasingly mobile first Web, we are seeing performance issues that bring back
memories of modem connection tones and slow dial-up connections. We are even seeing the return of old-school
performance tweaks, such as dynamic image optimization and caching. In a mobile first Web, high performance
isn’t a given, even with a 4G network, if the user is in an area with poor coverage or interference.
What can businesses who need to deliver Web content to an increasingly mobile user base do to boost Web
performance up to desktop-like levels? Afergan said, “I think in the area of performance we all want that one
silver bullet, but it’s not quite that simple. There’s no one technology that’s going to optimize the experience
for say, a smart watch on a cellular environment and a TV on a connected environment and a laptop trying to
get a SaaS application. Typically your challenge is, if you optimize for one, then your trading off somewhere else.

So really the fundamental point is having a framework where you have a variety of optimizations, and then you
pick the right ones based on the situation.”

This is the challenge of the mobile web. We all love the ability to access information and rich content wherever
we are. And if we’re lucky enough to have a fast connection, this can be pretty spectacular.
But sometimes we
don’t have a fast wireless broadband connection or access to a strong WiFi signal. And in those situations,
surfing the Web can be so slow that you can almost hear the modem screeching in the background.

The Web may not be slowing down from a total standpoint, but in many situations, it sure does feel slower.

Jim Rapoza is a Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group.
A version of this article was originally published at Tech Pro Essentials.

The American Diesel Plane That Could Bring Private Flight to China

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If you’re the kind of person that In addition to costing less than avgas, diesel actually has advantages for aircraft: The extra weight is balanced
out by a lower burn rate that allows pilots to fly farther. Using diesel also means letting go of many levers and
dials usually needed to ensure smooth engine running: they use a single level throttle control and a constant
speed propeller. So it was a logical choice when Mooney started putting together the M10.

The Texas-based Mooney Aviation Company was founded in 1929 and is known for making blazing fast metal
propeller planes. In 2009, it stopped production due to financial difficulties, entering a sort of cryogenic survival
mode until it was acquired by a Chinese real estate firm a year ago. Back in action, the company, still
headquartered in the US, with some production of the M10 planned for China, got to work developing two
versions of the M10: the M10T, a 135-hp trainer, and the M10J, a 155-hp long-range tourer.
The engines they run on were actually first designed by Mercedes-Benz, for use in cars.
They were converted for
aviation by a now defunct German company called Thielert. Through a series of bankruptcies and acquisitions,
the design ended up with Continental Motors (itself recently acquired by Chinese state-owned aerospace
conglomerate AVIC), which counts Mooney as a customer.
The company is famous for making blazing fast metal aircraft, capable of hitting 240 knots (276 mph), but with
the price tag and convenience of a single engine piston. The two-seater M10 is expected to be a bit slower (160
knots for the T version, 180 in the more powerful J), and to offer 500 to 900 nautical miles of range.

While production of Mooney’s faster and pricier legacy models will remain in Texas, the M10 will be mostly
made in China, closer to what’s poised to become the world’s largest basic training aircraft market. With
certification and first deliveries due for 2017, Chinese future pilots have another fancy pair of wings to look
forward to. tends to notice these things, a fair weather weekend stroll in any Chinese city
or town lacks a distinct sound: the buzzing of light propeller aircraft in the sky. Outside the commercial and
military realms, aviation is strictly limited, and private citizens who just want to take to the air have few
options. That’s problematic, since booming growth in the country’s airline industry has generated a need for
pilots, and it’s easier to recruit when you’ve got a population of men and women who already know how to fly.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the majority of Chinese airspace is controlled by the military, and thus hard to
access. Any fix on that front would come from the government (and rumor has it an overhaul is in the works),
but a new plane from American-Chinese company Mooney could help address the other problems that are
holding back Chinese aviation.
One problem is that airplane fuel is not only in limited supply, it’s extremely expensive—about double what it
costs in the US. That makes training pilots costly and impractical (many learn to fly outside the country) in a
place where flying even with a license is tricky. The Mooney M10, announced at China’s Zhuhai Airshow earlier
this month, gets around that problem: It’s a diesel.

“Avgas is really hard to find in Asia” and it’s very expensive, says Peter Claeys, Mooney’s head of sales and
marketing for China and a longtime champion of general aviation (the official term for civilian, non-commercial
flight) in the region. Only one refinery in mainland China makes high octane low lead avgas, and delivery needs
to be arranged ahead of time. It can cost more than $4 per kilogram (about $15 a gallon). Prices in the US—
where fuel is also a cinch to find—fluctuate, but are often about half of what the Chinese pay.

Diesel engines have been around for more than a century but are a recent addition to the light airplane world.
Traditionally, they’ve been heavy and offer short lifespans due to the higher compression rates in their cylinders,
not good qualities for powering aircraft. Today’s diesels are marvels of engineering with low fuel consumption
and emissions, and bulk and weight only marginally higher than those of conventional engines. And now those
advances are finding their way to aviation.

Airtel launches its first 4G service in Africa

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Airtel has launched first 4G
services in Seychelles the
service on a state-of-the-art
network based on FD-LTE,
amongst the first countries
in sub Saharan Africa to
commercially deploy this
cutting edge technology.

The infrastructure is a new,
nationwide LTE (Long Term
Evolution) 800 MHz network,
which will more than meet
the growing customer
demand for mobile
broadband services, whilst
delivering superior network
performance. The network is
expected to cover 10,000
LTE subscribers in the first
phase and will greatly
enhance connectivity giving
Airtel’s customers an
improved smartphone
experience, with faster web
browsing, downloads and
improved quality of service.

The deployment of the next
generation mobile network
across the Seychelles will
enable an enhanced mobile
experience and reliable
services; and will facilitate
new and exciting
opportunities for
businesses, the society and
the people in the country.

The move is therefore a
major milestone for
sychelles and Airtel in Africa
already having the
continent’s widest 3G
footprint, being present in
17 countries.

This is Airtel’s first
commercial LTE network in
Africa. Besides offering rich
content, Airtel’s 4G will
allow superfast access to
High Definition (HD) video
streaming, multiple
chatting, instant uploading
of photos and much more.

Developing: Facebook And Safaricom Clash Over Free #Facebook With #Airtel

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Facebook and Airtel partnered
sometime back to get more users
access the internet for free on
mobile. The plan is to get some
sites accessible to mobile users
without needing data access. This
is currently a plan between
Airtel and Facebook that also
involves other players as service
providers. For one to get access
to the internet-free Facebook
among other sites, one needs to
have an Airtel line.

But that’s not the problem.

Facebook is now advertising on
their site for all and sundry and
this is where things get thick.
Safaricom is not pleased with the
move where Facebook is
targeting Safaricom users on
their user profiles with a
message that they should get an
Airtel SIM card if they want to
access Facebook with no data.
Safaricom has allegedly asked
Facebook to remove the ads from
Safaricom user profiles as they
consider that hostile advertising.

As much as Facebook is
partnering with Airtel, Safaricom
is quite big on Facebook ad has
worked with them on projects
previously including promoting
posts on Facebook.

We are reaching out to Airtel to
see what they think about this
and will update you should we
have any updates

A Stylish App That Helps You Stick to a Budget

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Pennies is a new spare, but colorful,
personal spending app, created by
two British app designers.

Emile Bennett and Ollie Aplin have
tried out over 50 personal finance
apps. They’re not schizophrenic
spendthrifts, or trying to hide their
money from the government or
anything like that—they’re
designers who, for a over a year,
have aspired to build a better app
for tracking expenses.

“It’s insane
how complicated they are,” Bennett
says. “Some of the top budgeting
apps don’t even tell you how much
money you have left. It’s just a list
of what you’ve spent. But I don’t
care, what I really want to know is
how much I have left today, or this
week.”

Recently, Bennett and Aplin
launched Pennies, a spare but
colorful app for sticking to a
budget. The prototypical Pennies
user is young—no family or kids—
has a steady income, and has pretty
straightforward recurring expenses,
like rent and bills and beer.

This kind of user doesn’t need charts or
digital ledger balances, he just
needs to know if buying that new
pair of shoes is going to blow his
weekly budget or not.

The Pennies
creators understand this type of
user, because Aplin says he is was
one: “I’m notoriously terrible with
my money. I have no idea what I’m
spending it on and then I have no
money left.”

To that end the duo, who live and
work in Brighton, England, built a
simple UX for Pennies that asks
users to enter only a few pieces of
information, and in turn, gives little
more than an “overview so I can
know how I spent today, and how I
can spend tomorrow,” Bennett says.

To set up, you specify four bits of
criteria: What’s the name of the
budget (like, “Lunches”), how often
should it repeat (like monthly,
weekly), what’s the currency, and
how much money you’re starting
with. From there, anytime you buy
something, you tap a ‘+’ sign on the
bottom of the screen, plug in the
amount, hit the check button, and
your remaining funds instantly pop
up in a friendly looking, rounded
typeface.

You can even type in an
expense before you make it,
immediately see how that will
affect your funds, and make a
decision from there. There’s very
little room for confusion.
Pennies doesn’t link to users’ bank
accounts, like Venmo, so each
expense has to be entered
manually.

That extra step—reaching
for your phone in the bottom of
your purse, while juggling
grocery bags and subway tickets—
leaves ample room for
forgetfulness, which poses a
problem for Pennies: the app might
work best for Type A personalities,
who don’t really need it. That could
change in the long term, as mobile
payment apps like Apply Pay
become the norm. As that the shift
from wallets to phones takes place,
users will need a new way to track
and organize spending. Once the
payment happens on a phone, the
user already has his phone in
hand, so there’s no fumbling. That’s
when the Pennies UX will become
more useful.
In the short term, Bennett and
Aplin approached that potential
negligence problem by making the
app feel like a toy for grown ups.

A simple color code communicates
how healthy or out-of-control
spending is: “If you’re spending
quicker, say you’re halfway through
your month and you’ve spent 75
percent of your money, Pennies
shows red, so slow down,” Bennett
says. “If you’re halfway through the
month, and you’re green, go buy as
many records as you want.” When
you punch in an expense, the app
emits a chime, like when you score
a banana on Donkey Kong. “It’s like
a Fischer-Price toy.”

These positive reinforcements tie
into the underlying philosophy of
Pennies: Spending money shouldn’t
make you feel guilty. You’ve earned
money, and you’re allowed to have
fun with it—just be smart. “We
want to make [users] feel confident
with their spending, so they can
quickly see, ‘Okay I’m safe to
spend.’”

Peek Retina adapter brings eye exams to smartphones

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Peek Retina is a
smartphone adapter
that aims to bring eye
examinations anywhere
they’re needed, such as
remotely located
medical clinics that
don’t otherwise have
access to the necessary
hardware for performing
eye assessments. Peek
stands for Portable Eye
Examination Kit, and as
its name suggests the
adapter is entirely
portable — small
enough to fit in a
pocket along with the
smartphone to which it
will be attached,
offering both a retina
camera functionality
and an ophthalmoscope
while leveraging the
smartphone’s camera.

Peek Retina allows
medical workers to snap
pictures of patients’
eyes — including the
back of the eye — using
an ordinary
smartphone. The
process is shown in the
video below using a
Samsung Galaxy S3, for
example. With this,
clinics can diagnose
cataracts, glaucoma,
and other eye
conditions for
treatment.

Because the adapter
works with a
smartphone, the images
can be instantly saved
and then wirelessly
shared with specialists
located in other
regions.

According to
the makers, Peek Retina
has been tested for two
years in Kenya and
other regions in both
field and clinical trials.

The device is being
funded through
Indiegogo, where the
makers are seeking
£70,000 for
manufacturing and
other costs. Thus far
about about a third of
that has been raised.

A pledge of £60 can be
used to donate an
adapter to a medical
worker or to get one for
yourself. Shipping is
estimated for October
2015.

SOURCE: Indiegogo