“Tiny, Feisty Women”, Internet Costs (And a Survey)

 I love an AP story in a recent IHT about Le Hien Duc, a gray-haired 75-year-old grandmother who has become the scourge of corrupt officials in Vietnam. But it was one sentence towards the end of the piece that caught my eye:

Duc runs her crusade from her narrow, three-story home in Hanoi, where her desk is covered with stacks of mail from people seeking help from all corners of Vietnam. She spends about two-thirds of her US$80 monthly pension on the Internet, phone calls, photocopying and motorbike taxis.

I’ve been researching a piece about the digital divide in this part of the world and that kind of figure reminds me how much people still have to pay. So I thought I’d do another one of my surveys, this time on connectivity costs. Please drop by and fill it in it the mood takes you.

Wi-Fi for the Masses Back On The Air

Lee Thorn, the former bomb-loader who I wrote about a few months back (“Wi-Fi is Aiming for the Masses”, subscription required) has been trying to help Laotians hook up to the Internet, and other Laotians, using Wi-Fi, tells me that he’s back in action again in Laos on a different site after some earlier problems with the military.

He also says he’s working on a similar project in South Africa, and, possibly, one on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.