This Week in Global Mobile | April 1, 2011

At times it's difficult to keep pace with the latest global mobile developments. I hope this selection of news stories from the past week will help you navigate the growing global network of connectivity:

  • Writing for Havana Times, Pedro Campos explained how the Internet is due to play an important role as “the great equalizer” in Cuba’s socialist tradition.
  • In a special to Al Jazeera, Jillian York examined how Western tech companies are making big bucks producing the censorship tools being employed in the Arab world.
  • The number of Americans watching mobile video increased 40% in 2010, while smart phone penetration jumped 9 points from 2009 to 31%, reported Nielsen.
  • Three Chinese dissident bloggers, arrested in February, were indicted for “issuing online appeals for a Jasmine Revolution in China,” reported Boxun News.
  • Amazon, Google, and Microsoft both revealed intentions to incorporate Near Field Communication technology in mobile payment services in the near future. More on NFC here and here.
  • In response to data caps imposed by Canadian ISPs, video provider Netflix downgraded its streaming content and compressed its content to keep it accessible in Canada.
  • Google launched +1, a social media service which prioritizes search results based on votes submitted by a user’s contacts and friends.
  • According to ABI Research, shipments of smart phones reached 302 million in 2010, reflecting a shocking 71% increase over 2009 worldwide.
  • MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, began offering life insurance to Ghanaian customers via their mobile phones, bringing security to the country’s low-income earners.
  • Nokia began distributing E8 Android-based phones to Egyptian Twitter activists, marketing the devices as important social media tools for activists.
  • Mobile money service M-PESA received a new feature allowing them to transfer funds from any Western Union account from 45 countries and 80,000 agents around the world.


Most backgammon boards fold in half. The two halves of the board are called the inner table and the outer table. The side the inner table is on depends on how you set up the checkers. If you bear your checkers off to the right, then the inner table is on your right; if you bear off to the left, then the inner table is on your left.