NPTech News for November 2013

Jim Lynch
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The NPTech News for November features the UK based Nominet Trust 100 nominations for the best technologies for social good. Not news to NetSquarians, but also the big TechSoup/Guardian Technology for Good Report went public in November, and also the soft launch of Hacker Helper. Also there’s a new free service from Square that allows us to send money over email – it’s much simpler than PayPal, so much so it looks a little scary. Find the full version of this piece here.

Nominet Trust 100 Nominations For The Best Technologies For Social Good

Several of the tech publications reported on Nominet Trust 100, or NT100, which is a new list of promising technologies for social good. Nominet Trust is a leading social technology funder in the UK. The NT100 will form the basis for a growing online resource for social enterprises called “The Social Tech Guide”.

The NT100 nomination I found most interesting is called Cell Slider. It’s a crowdsourced online tool for cancer research in which large numbers of ordinary people analyze photos of cells cultures to identify irregular shaped cancer cell cores. This project will speed up cancer research.

Find the Nominet Trust 100 list of nominations here.

TechSoup Technologies for Good

Netsquared’s own Hacker Helper is big NPTech news. It’s the soft launched free online tool that allows volunteer developers to prepare for hackathons. The project will be going public in March 2014. The tool will allow hackers and coders to read through problem statements from the people who are working on social problems that can benefit from apps or other technology. It provides the developers with links to the relevant data sets, APIs, and code bases that can be used to streamline the hackathon experience. Basically, Hacker Helper gives developers what they’ll need to come to a hackathons prepared to code instead of spending their first day doing research. 

Random Hacks of Kindness was involved in creating this online tool to improve the hackathon process and the results from the events. The Hacker Helper project is closely aligned with you, our NetSquared tribe. We tested it out at hackathons in November in San Francisco and also in Sarajevo in Bosnia. We will be launching the full version of the site in March at NTC, at a hackathon we are co-producing with Code for America.

Technology for Good Report

TechSoup and the British newspaper, The Guardian, have co-published an in-depth Technology for Good report featuring some iuses of technology for social good. The report is by our Rebecca Chao. The report covers new technologies like drone technology, and new uses for old technologies like radio and TV. There’s a lot in there. It covers 10 topics including:

• Mobile and cell phones                           • New uses for TV and radio

• Tracking technology (like GPS)              • Translation tools

• Mapping                                                  • Cloud computing

• Social media and crowdsourcing            • Portable Networks

• Data management                                  • Drones

Sending Money By Email

A new free service recently launched called Square Cash lets you email cash to anyone with an email address. The service is by the credit card reader company, Square. The way it works is to subtract money from your debit card. It doesn’t even require that the recipient use your same bank. The service requires no login or password and no special software or hardware.  Square Cash allows you to send up to $2,500 each week. It is currently available only in the U.S. Why is this a technology for good? Good question.

Ginny’s Pick for App of the Month

Ginny Mies is TechSoup's global content curator. She likes the Sunrise app (Free on iOS) that she says "breathes new life into the stale concept of a mobile calendar." It is compatible with Google Calendar and iCloud. This mobile app also syncs your calendars with Facebook events . Ginny says "What I like best about Sunrise is that you can actually do things directly from the app like add more people to meetings, find a location in Google Maps, or check the weather for the day. This alone makes it a standout from the sea of other calendar apps out there."

Once again, for the expanded version of this piece, just go here.

Images: courtesy of TechSoup Global