These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people, a new report suggests.
According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, consumers' mobile appetite has grown a lot in the past year, and it shows no signs of slowing. In fact, Cisco predicts global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold by 2017, with more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices by then. It also believes mobile network speeds will grow by seven times what it is now.” READ MORE
Building a More Transparent Web
“On Monday Twitter released their latest transparency report covering the period from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Their report shows a slight increase in user information requests, a larger increase in content removal requests, and a slight decrease in copyright notices.
One thing we are proud of at Herdict is that Twitter’s transparency report also includes data from Herdict. The data we contributed is our crowdsourced accessibility data for the sites in Twitter’s queue on Herdict.” READ MORE
What is Governance? And How to Measure it?
“Francis Fukuyama released a new paper titled “What is Governance?” for the Center for Global Development as part of an effort to “better measure governance.” Before governance can be improved, however, Fukuyama suggests that a better conceptualization of what constitutes good governance must be developed. Not only does good governance need to be more clearly defined, but systems for evaluating governance need to be refined as well. Fukuyama explores these issues both in this paper and on a broader scale as part of his work on The Governance Project.” READ MORE
"I was recently in New York where I met up with my colleague Fernando Diaz from Microsoft Research. We were discussing the uses of social media in humanitarian crises and the various constraints of social media platforms like Twitter vis-a-vis their Terms of Service. And then this occurred to me: we have organ donation initiatives and organ donor cards that many of us carry around in our wallets. So why not become a “Data Donor” as well in the event of an emergency? After all, it has long been recognized that access to information during a crisis is as important as access to food, water, shelter and medical aid.” READ MORE
Dictators Seem Strong, But They Can’t Take a Joke
“A thick skin is a necessary prerequisite for every successful politician, at least in democratic societies. Love them or hate them, political satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are symbols of the deep-seated respect for freedom of opinion in the United States (as well as Americans’ love of a public roasting). In nondemocratic parts of the world, however, politicians are much less willing to become the butt of the joke.
Comedians, cartoonists, satirical writers, and even ordinary citizens in many countries can find themselves in trouble with the law if they dare to make light of politicians or ridicule government corruption, nepotism, and other types of misconduct. This kind of censorship is simply another way for authoritarian leaders with no electoral legitimacy to suppress criticism and maintain a false sense of public support.” READ MORE
“No one would dare to suggest that every international development programme or policy has been a resounding success, yet finding the space to acknowledge and learn from instances of failure is still hard work. Happily though, there are signs that this is changing. Through this blog I'd welcome a conversation about how we can use these changes to increase our impact on the lives of the poorest.
Justine Greening, DFID's Secretary of State's speech at the Open Up conference in November 2012, set the tone: ‘We need to be really honest with ourselves and others about why it didn't work. And we need to share those results, not hide them away.’” READ MORE