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All posts tagged "United Nations"

  • United Nations to launch its first space mission

    The United Nations (UN) has teamed up with private space firm Sierra Nevada Corporation to launch the UN's first space mission. The mission, announced at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, is meant to help developing nations launch their own payloads, the space firm announced in a press statement. As for a host spacecraft, payloads will be lifted into orbit via Sierra Nevada's unmanned Dream Chaser "orbital vehicle", being similar to Boeing's X37B unmanned spaceplane. "The dedicated Dream Chaser mission is targeted at providing developing countries the opportunity to develop and fly microgravity payloads for an extended duration in orbit; however, all...

  • WCIT-12 stumbles… we couldn’t be happier

    In two separate reports no more than a month ago, we reported on the WCIT-12 that took place in Dubai from 3 November 2012. This conference was to re-negotiate an old treaty drawn up before the internet even existed, but some will tell you it was to garner support for certain countries to have full control over what its people can see, or not see, online. The negotiations have now ended, with...

  • Is the internet poised to get an owner?

    Who owns the internet? Anybody will tell you that no-one owns the internet. It consist of about 40 000 networks interconnecting with some 425 000 routes delivering content and emails and whatnot to some two-billion people, growing at a rate of around 500 000 per day. It has no boss. It may come as a surprise, but maybe by next week the internet could have a boss, an owner sort of. Many...

  • The internet is a human right

    Recognition of the internet’s part in the Arab Spring -- the uprisings for democracy in the Middle East this year -- has cemented the role of the internet as a tool for freedom and protest. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comprised of 56 nations from across the developed and developing world, has now formally recognised this fact. In a report published last week, the transnational body recognised that "access to the internet should be seen as a fundamental human right and respected as much as freedom of expression". The OSCE's analysis was the first ever of state regulations...

  • Mobile may help heal Africa

    With the world’s highest rates of HIV and TB, health care provision has to be at the top of most African countries’ agendas -- and innovative use of mobile technologies may be just the salve they are looking for. Misha Kay, who examines cellphone technology for the World Health Organisation (WHO), recently told the Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town that there was a "fairly healthy groudswell of activity" in mobile-health initiatives. There are more than 5-billion mobile phone subscribers in the world, and 85% of the planet covered by a commercial wireless signal. In a recent global survey, the WHO...