27/12/2011

A new report suggests that we are too ignorant about the use and workings of the internet to be able to judge the kinds of regulations, if any, that should be imposed on it. The report in the journal, Science, flags up the fledgling discipline of web science which seeks a better understanding of this vibrant tool of communication. Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, discusses the report on Click.

Time magazine has described a solar-powered computer system in Uganda as one of the 50 best innovations of the year. The project called the Digital Drum aims to bring computing to people in rural communities in Uganda. It takes its name from its casing: a disused oil drum. Anna Cavell reports from Uganda on a device which some praise for bridging the digital divide.

Computers are being put to use to help solve drought in India. Jal-Chitra is based on a piece of software, an interactive mapping platform, that creates a visual representation of maps of water supplies in rural area that could help to combat drought in some of the world's arid and semi-arid areas. The water map highlights, for instance, where hand-pumps and wells might be located in a village; it also builds up a picture of a village's likely needs for water, especially in the season when drought usually occurs. Vikram Vyas of the Ajit Foundation, joins Gareth Mitchell to talk about how it works.

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New Year's Day 2012 11:32 GMT