This Week in Global Mobile | September 10, 2010

After a brief end-of-summer break, I'm honored to be re-joining the NDN team as a Policy Associate in the Global Mobile Policy Initiative. Over the next few months I'll be picking up right where we left off, blogging about the ever-increasing potential of 21st-century technology throughout the world, and I'm excited to be a part of the growing Global Mobile program.

At times it's difficult to keep pace with the latest global mobile developments. I hope this selection of news stories from the past week will help you navigate the growing global network of connectivity:

  • In an effort to connect active military members with their families back home, Google has teamed up with Blue Star Families to distribute a digital literacy curriculum to military kids, making it easier and safer for them to communicate electronically with their parents serving abroad. 
  • Michael Scott Moore digs into the U.S. Senate's Internet "kill switch" plan and compares it to similar forms of e-censorship employed by governments throughout the West.
  • FrontlineSMS:Legal was launched on Wednesday, using mobile technologies in dispute resolution by bridging access to legal solutions using local networks throughout the developing world.
  • Despite his 84 years, Fidel Castro has emerged from seclusion as an Internet addict, consuming between 200 and 300 Internet news items daily.
  • Organizing for America just released new iPhone and iPad applications which allow users to view interactive maps, share canvassing information, and connect with nearby volunteers.
  • A Japanese journalists held hostage in Afghanistan bewildered his captors by showing them his phone's Twitter app -- and he used it to tweet his way to freedom.
  • Time explains how young Kashmiris are using video and social media to record and distribute videos of violence in order to unite towards independence.
  • As Google's gKenya Conference took off this week, the tech giant and Chinese firm Huawei announced the release of a $100 Android-based mobile phone -- the cheapest smartphone to hit the Kenyan market.
  • According to the FCC's recently-released  biannual report on broadband connections in the U.S., mobile data service subscriptions rose 40% in the first six months of 2010.
  • Google launched Health Speaks, a crowdsourcing initiative in East Africa intended to translate high-quality online health information into local languages to increase accessibility and health quality.
  • Tech company Virtual City rolled out a mobile-based system to track produce from the farm to the supermarket in a bid to improve EU satisfaction in goods imported from Africa.
  • Americans streamed 650% more live video this year than during the last -- amounting to 1.4 billion minutes per month -- according to a new report by ComScore.
  • The U.S. Government plans to work with various institutes to finance a digital library of scholarly research stretching from Morocco to Libya in order to "increase scientific cooperation between between North Africa and the Middle East."
  • Juniper Research estimates that 90 billion mobile banking text messages will be sent in 2015 -- roughly two texts daily per user.
  • The United Nations High Commission on Refugees partnered with various organizations in Africa to provide an SMS-based service which allows refugees to reconnect with family and friends using their mobile phones and an anonymous database.
  • Tweens on Twitter: A hilarious quote from a Twitter employee reveals, "At any given time, Justin Bieber uses 3% of our infrastructure. Racks of servers are dedicated to him."