technology

VIDEO via Frontline: India-The Missing Girls

March 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Frontline Roughtcut Website In 2006, when my wife and I traveled to India to live and work, the one issue that kept grabbing our attention was northern India’s deep cultural preference for sons over daughters. The desire for sons can be so great, that some families, after having a girl or two, will abort female fetuses until they bear a son. The practice is called female feticide or sex selection. In some ways this is a very old tale. Long before medical abortion became available, unwanted girls were killed after birth or not given enough food and medicine to survive. But modern technology has changed that. Ultrasound machines, which make it possible to determine the gender of a fetus, have spread from big city hospitals to small country clinics. Portable machines are taken to remote villages by motorcycle. As a consequence, infanticide has given way to feticide. Despite a law banning sex selective abortion in force for a decade, as many as half a million female fetuses are [...]

NEWS via FCW.com: EPA: Using maps to make sense of water pollution data

March 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

EPA: Using maps to make sense of water pollution data By Frank Konkel Mar 17, 2014 West Virginians did not need an app to know that the Elk River had been contaminated when this Freedom Industries facility’s retaining wall failed, but there are tens of thousands of less famous waterways that the Environmental Protection Agency has identified as polluted. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) In early 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water began an effort to simplify how it conveys the complex information it has collected for decades. Nine months later, the agency launched a map-based application called “How’s My Waterway?” that allows users to check pollution levels in almost any U.S. lake, river or other waterway via the Web. The project’s launch coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to report data on waterways to the EPA. The agency in turn periodically updates Congress on the condition of the [...]

NEWS via CNN: Plugging China’s talent pool

March 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Plugging China’s talent pool By Zarina Banu for CNN March 20, 2014 — Updated 0603 GMT (1403 HKT) Many are leaving China for reasons like education, food and wealth security and air quality. STORY HIGHLIGHTS China sees 8.5 million mainly middle-class living abroad with less than 10% moving in Paper in China calls exodus “the world’s worst brain drain” Hong Kong (CNN) — “Culture is not the main reason why most Chinese people leave. This is a romantic view. Most people leave China because of practical reasons like education, food and wealth security and air quality.” This is the view of Li Chen, who moved to Hong Kong from the mainland two years ago. A combination of pragmatism and aspiration led the 32-year-old Masters of Journalism student to leave. He said when his wife was offered the chance to relocate to Hong Kong, the timing for the couple was just right. The move allowed Li to pursue his passion for photography and will earn him [...]

NEWS via FCW.com: Why Maps Matter

March 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Why maps matter By Frank Konkel Mar 17, 2014 People used to use maps so they wouldn’t get lost. But in recent years, access to the Global Positioning System and the proliferation of mobile technology have made paper-based maps almost irrelevant. Unless you’re in uncharted territory, it’s hard to get lost anymore. Basic geography is as easy as inputting an address and letting your mobile phone tell you how to get there. And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public. The allure of mapping lies in its intuitiveness. Even simple “dots on a map can be a powerful way to see trends in data,” said Josh Campbell, geographic information system architect for the Humanitarian Information Unit at the State Department. “Maps [...]

NEWS via Guardian Liberty Voice: China Population Structure Change Demands Economic Reform

March 15, 2014 // 0 Comments

China Population Structure Change Demands Economic Reform Added by Tina Zhang on March 15, 2014. On March 13, China’s annual parliament meeting closed. Reforms in financialsector, economic structure, environmental protection, and many other areas were proposed. During the nine days of the meeting, there was plenty of news showing disappointing performance in areas such as investment, retail sales and factory output in the first two months of this year. These already invited speculations that policy easing from the government should be imminent. Beijing repeated said it would tolerate slower economic growth in exchange for economic structural transformation. Aside from the often-quoted reasons for such reform, the unstoppable change of the population structure demands China must tough through the pain of slowing economy and its structural reform. China’s working-age population shrank for the first time in 2012 by 3.45 million. Looking into the future, the number of 15 to 24 [...]
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