“Why isn’t tech for accountability working in Africa?”

Policy briefing by the South African Institute of International Affairs about transparency and accountability technology projects:

It seems that civil society organisations (CSOs) and governments often ‘re-invent the flat tyre’: experimenting with new tools without finding out what has been tried (often unsuccessfully) before.

The conclusion includes recommending a shift from project-oriented towards infrastructure-oriented investments:

[…] those with decision-making power in the wider innovation ecosystem, including donors and governments, need to change their models of support. These changes require an understanding that innovation is a long-term process that involves a commitment to learning and improvement within organisations and between organisations. Currently, there appears to be too much focus on a product-based search for inventions.

Source: policy briefing (via Eldis)


Using Ultrasonic Beacons to Track Users – Schneier on Security

Quoting Schneier:

The idea is for devices like televisions to play ultrasonic codes in advertisements and for nearby smartphones to detect them.

Quoting from the linked article:

We spot ultrasonic beacons in various web media content and detect signals in 4 of 35 stores in two European cities that are used for location tracking. While we do not find ultrasonic beacons in TV streams from 7 countries, we spot 234 Android applications that are constantly listening for ultrasonic beacons in the background without the user’s knowledge.

Source: Using Ultrasonic Beacons to Track Users – Schneier on Security


‘Kankermedicijn van ton naar 2000 euro als we loskomen van farmaceuten’

De kosten van kankermedicijnen kunnen tot 50 keer goedkoper worden, als de medische wereld zich losweekt van de farmaceutische industrie, zeggen kankerexperts.

Er zijn voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen enkele partijen die daarover iets in hun programma hebben staan. De Piratenpartij heeft als enige een duidelijke visie op hervorming van patenten in het algemeen en in de gezondheidszorg in het bijzonder.

Source: ‘Kankermedicijn van ton naar 2000 euro als we loskomen van farmaceuten’ | NOS


How easy is it to securely leak information to some of America’s top news organizations?

Good to spread the manual… leaking is pretty much a “standardised process” by now:

One quick download and a codename: If I can use SecureDrop, you can do it too.

Source: How easy is it to securely leak information to some of America’s top news organizations? This easy » Nieman Journalism Lab

They link to a video explaining the same thing:



Useful plugin to minimise effects of “link rot”.

Amber is an open source tool for websites to provide their visitors persistent routes to information. It automatically preserves a snapshot of every page linked to on a website, giving visitors a fallback option if links become inaccessible.

Maybe combine with the Internet Archive? Ping to make a snapshot and point there as (another) fallback option?

Unfortunately, I can’t install plugins on a standard site…

Source: AMBER