Tag Results for Nairobi (6)

  1. Out of Africa: Black Power!

    Last Wednesday evening, I dined in a fashionable Nairobi restaurant with three recent graduates from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Big brains, these three young men have chosen to pursue a distinctly unusual set of inventive possibilities. They are seeking to design, engineer and implement new sources of energy for people in the developing world living "off the grid." Step back a moment. For generations, the "grid" referred to the national electricity grid, the cornerstone of all power-generating activities in a given country. Throughout Africa and Asia, national grids are now straining to generate sufficient electricity to …

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  2. Out of Africa: Ingenuity from a Nairobi social network

    Nairobi, one of Africa's most dynamic cities, hosted an unusual conference last Saturday -- an unlikely gathering of Afro-geeks: programmers, systems builders, youthful techie dreamers, and mobile-phone enthusiasts. Nairobi is home to Africa's most celebrated mobile company, Safaricom -- and millions of mobile-phone users. That alone creates a giant East African test-bed for all sorts of experiments in new applications. These experiments have to come from somewhere -- and that's mainly Europe and the U.S. But more than half of Nairobi's residents are under the age of 25, and increasingly the techie slice of these youth is getting …

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  3. Out of Africa: a Hacker writes his final code

    One of my favorite Africans died the other day in Nairobi. Guido Sohne was a brilliant, if unheralded, software programmer who worked for Microsoft in Kenya. He was found dead in his living room. People discovered him when he didnâ''t turn up for work. Guido was 35 years old. He was best known as a tireless and passionate advocate for open-source software in Africa. His decision to join Microsoft last year represented a decisive turn for him technically, an attempt to build a bridge between proprietary and open approaches to codewriting. …

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  4. The Agonies of an African Programmer

    Last month during a brief stop in Nairobi, I tried to meet one of my oldest friends in Africa, Guido Sohne. The post-election riots were keeping him inside, however. â''I am not quite under house arrest,â'' he emailed me. But travel to the airport was too risky. Sohne is another of those people that I think of as living in â''the Africa nobody knows,â'' people who should not exist if you never read past the screaming headlines about disaster, disease and mayhem in Africa. Sohne is a big brain, one of the most important codewriters in sub-Saharan Africa, and …

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