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Unearthing India’s mineral wealth

The McKinsey Quarterly reports that burdensome government restrictions are choking the potential of India’s mineral resources:

Regulatory approval for mining projects takes three to seven years in India, compared with about 18 months in Australia. Such delays tie up capital, raise project costs and increase uncertainty among investors…

They also blame poor infrastructure:

Low-cost, high-impact technology: $5 cell phones?

Let's see whether we get beyond the press release from Philips (via NextBillion), who promise a:

...sub-$5 system solution – an integrated hardware and software platform constituting all the electronics needed in a mobile phone – that will drive handset costs below $20... Currently, the lowest cost mobile phones on the market are just below $40.

Announcement: new RSS feed launched

World Bank tech gurus have convinced us to switch to FeedBurner for our RSS feed. The new feed is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PSDBlog. The old feed will still work, but we would invite you to please switch over.

This new feed not only gives us better stats, but it also offers SmartFeed. This means that you will see our feed the way you want to whether your reader prefers RSS 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, 2.0, atom or podcasts. This is especially relevant since much of our readership is coming from developing countries.

Collecting debts in India

The BBC reports from Orissa:

A bank in India has decided to publicly shame defaulters in order to recover outstanding loans. Employees of the Urban Co-operative Bank in the eastern state of Orissa have begun staging noisy demonstrations outside the home of defaulters. Armed with posters, they kicked off the loan recovery drive outside the homes of two defaulters last week.

Cameroon's beer bottle currency

Cameroon is one of the top-five markets for Guinness in the world, thanks in part to Africa's own James Bond, Michael Power. (Remind me to tell you about my appearance at red-carpet premiere of the Michael Power film, Critical Assignment.) Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that beer bottletops are now serving as currency in Cameroon:

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