NPTech News for October 2013

Jim Lynch
See all of Jim Lynch's blog posts

Sorry about this. I’m a bit late in catching ya’ll up on NPTech News this month.

The developments that caught my attention this month are:

Yet another huge new digital inclusion initiative, this one is called The Alliance For Affordable Internet and is being spearheaded by Google, the Omidyar Network, USAID, UKaid, and a host of additional charities and tech companies including Microsoft and Cisco.

A new free mobile phone data plan compliments of FreedomPop. This is actually for real, but in the US only and in specific zip codes. You buy a $99 refurbished HTC EVO Design 4G smartphone from Freedom Pop and you get 200 free voice minutes, 500 free texts and 500 MB of 4G or 3G data per month.

For whatever reason, the Internet of Things (IoT) is getting big buzz this month. IoT is where the sensors and microprocessors are increasingly imbedded in buildings, cars, appliances and pretty much everything to collect info on human affairs. International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that IoT technology and services generated global revenues of $4.8 trillion in 2012 and will nearly double to $8.9 trillion by 2020.

The most futuristic tech for good thing this month is something called the bionic eye. Its real name is the is the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System and just like the character Geordi in Star Trek Next Generation is a set glasses that allows blind people to see.

In privacy news, former Google and NSA engineers have launched a free service called Disconnect Search that lets you use the best search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo without anyone including your internet service provider tracking you.

In mobile computing and social media, Ginny’s Mies’ pick for app of the month isSafeNight. This is an app from TechSoup’s own Caravan Studios. SafeNight is a Windows 8 mobile app that helps domestic violence nonprofits crowdsource funding for hotel rooms when there is an urgent need and no available shelter space.

Find much more detail on all this on TechSoup.org

Image: courtesy of Shutterstock