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
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.