Archived entries for Around-The-World

Bangladesh to curb ‘vulgar’ calls

grameen1.jpg Bangladeshi authorities have ordered mobile phone operators to stop offering free calls after midnight, to protect the morals of young people.
A telecommunications regulator said it had received scores of complaints from parents that children were using the service to form romantic attachments . They said children were losing sleep and some indulged in “vulgar talk”.

hmm, so i guess no phone sex business in Bangladesh?

Asia’s Biggest Solar Power Plant, in India

Indian newspaper The Hindu reports today that construction of a five megawatt solar power facility, claimed to be the largest in Asia, is set to beging in the Rashtrapati Bhavan region of India. Most solar power generation in India is currently in the kilowatt or smaller range, providing local and community power in off-grid areas. Programs like the Barefoot Solar Engineers have helped to expand the use of off-grid solar in India. The five megawatt project will be part of an ongoing attempt to increase the use of renewable sources for grid electricity.

(Posted by Jamais Cascio in QuickChanges at 12:57 PM)

Too Good To Be True?

UK online retailer Good Gifts wants you to buy a Kalashnikov rifle (most likely an AK-47) — £25. Or perhaps a rocket launcher (£55). Or a tank, for £1000. Not for your own use, mind you, but to provide the raw materials for enterprising blacksmiths and metalworkers in Sierra Leone, who turn the iron and such into “farm implements… hoes and axe heads… pickaxes, sickles and even school bells.” A single tank will provide a year’s work for 5 blacksmiths, they say, and convert into 3,000 items.

This sounds amazing and clever. Although the Good Gifts site provides few details about how it’s accomplished (and how everyone’s certain that the AK-47 goes to the blacksmith and not the local militia), the organization behind the site, the Charities Advisory Trust, is reputable, and several UK media outlets have profiled the Good Gifts program.

It’s not every day we actually get to turn the modern equivalent of swords into plowshares.

(Via HippyShopper)

(Posted by Jamais Cascio in QuickChanges at 03:21 PM)

Via WorldChanging: Another World Is Here

Brit backpackers take Indian call-centre jobs

Cory Doctorow:
British backpackers in India are taking call-centre jobs for wages that are very low by UK standards, but which can bankroll an extension to a trekking holiday by a month or two.

Among the first to land in the subcontinent was Kenny Rooney, a 28-year-old from Livingston in Scotland. He had worked in a call centre at home, but after nine months in India says he does not want to return. “This is an incredible country,” he said, speaking from Bombay. “I have had a brilliant time and met people from all over the world…”

Young Britons of Indian origin are also finding the jobs offer them a chance to rediscover their roots. Among them is Hasmita Patel, who is also working in Pune. “This has been the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Ms Patel, from Leicester. “It has really allowed me to see the country and get to know people. I’ve learned so much about myself.”

Brilliant! Here\’s your tip to travel India!

Dutch MP to make gay Islam film

A Dutch MP forced into hiding for working with director Theo van Gogh is to make a new film about Islam and homosexuals.

Tesla’s 150th birthday party

Cory Doctorow:
Croatia is planning a big blowout for the 150th anniversary of the birth of my hero, Nikola Tesla.

The government will finance the finishing of restoration of Tesla’s home in a village in central Croatia and turn it into a museum. Conferences and lectures on Tesla’s work are also planned.

(via Fark)

Via Boing Boing

Chirac in new pledge to end riots

The French leader vows to create new opportunities for young people, saying France faces “a crisis of identity”.

Today Shanghai, Tomorrow…

British design firm Arup is set to announce that the Chinese government wants them to take their “eco-friendly city” model to up to four more major Chinese cities, the UK Guardian reports.

Up to four more eco-cities will be built, though exact locations have not yet been revealed. […] The eco-cities are intended to be self-sufficient in energy, water and most food products, with the aim of zero emissions of greenhouse gases in transport systems.

Arup’s work with the Shanghai expansion, Dongtan, is underway. The first phase, a 630-hectare development intended to house a 50,000-person community, is set to be completed by 2010.

(Posted by Jamais Cascio in QuickChanges at 12:05 PM)

China tops the world with 376 million mobile phone subscribers

The number of mobile phone subscribers in China is predicted to top 380 million by the end of this year and rise to 520 million by 2008 and 600 million by 2010, according to Xinhua.

that\’s just madness!

Hurricane Wilma: snapshots of damage in Cuba

Xeni Jardin:

Via Ned Sublette, snapshots of Hurricane Wilma’s impact on Havana, Cuba. Sorry I don’t have better metadata, but some of the filenames describe location coordinates. Most appear to be from the city’s malecón area.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

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