News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 2

News and Notes Roundup: Feb. 2

As everyone recovers from the Katy Perry overloaded, beer/car/insurance-commercial dominated and last-second intercepted (sorry Seattle fans) pseudo-holiday that was last night’s Super Bowl, we can’t think of a better recipe to have us all feeling better than another edition of the magnificent NDItech News and Notes Roundup. As you take a read through these notes and quotes from the fields of tech, democracy, and development, feel free (as always) to tweet or email us (@nditech/ with any hot tips.

We begin this week’s look back into “Tech History” by marking the 80th anniversary of the first use of the polygraph machine. The reputation of the machine’s accuracy has certainly taken some hits over the years, but its existence can at least be credited with inspiring one of the best scenes (profanity laced - please be advised) from perhaps television’s all-time greatest show. We also celebrate the birthday of the world’s most influential social network this week - 11 years after the birth of thefacebook on Feb. 4, 2004. And we must mention the 15th anniversary (also on February 4th) of the release of the best-selling P.C. game in history. That game, of course, is The Sims. Perfect for all of us who want to while away our life playing a game about a life that is probably more boring than the one we actually live.

Now, time for the links:

Popular Tech News:

ICT and Development:

  • The digital divide is not binary - why interest in the internet is as important as access

  • Tweeting a solution to Jakarta flooding? Knowledge sharing via geo-social intelligence

  • Rwanda looking to support the development of a National Digital Literacy Policy

  • ​Using open tools to create the digital map of Cairo’s public transit

  • What we know, now, about the Internet’s disruptive power


  • Mobile subscriptions rise above 30 million in Ghana

  • Farming smartphone app out of touch with Nepal’s gendered reality

  • ICYMI: SMS service makes it easy (and affordable) to study for Kenya’s tests

  • 8 trends to impact financial inclusion in the coming year (hint: mobile phones play a role)

  • Are cellphones really changing the world? An opinion piece by Newsweek