Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Cell Phone Localization

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

You’d think this belongs on my other blog, which is tech oriented, but…

Well, okay, it probably belongs there, too. Wired News ran this story about the efforts of researchers to localize cell phones for Ethiopia last week. It’s interesting to me for a number of reasons.
First, there’s the “alphabet”, which is actually a syllabary. It’s got over 300 characters and is nothing at all like the Roman alphabet. (You can see what it looks like at A bit of a challenge for the English-speaking cell phone designers!
Second, it’s a fascinating look at the way technology effects us and the way we effect technology. The goal was to get SMS into the hands of farmers who could use it for communication and weather prediction to better manager their crops.
Thirdly, it’s a look at a section of the world that I hear about all too little. Africa is most likely the birth-place of man, or at least the tribe of man from which modern Europeans descended, but it seems so primative by our, oh, so refined Western standards.

In short, it was a very interesting look at an aspect of life that I rarely see. How will all that change in the future? Where will it all end up? How much will situations like that be the norm out on space colonies, if we ever get them? Language and technology make for very interesting idea combonations. There’s lots of stories there.

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