Article: Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus data

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus data

“I was up all last night,” says Nnaemeka Ndodo, a molecular bioengineer at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja. He sequences coronavirus genomes during the day, and then analyses and uploads the results to an online database at night, working tirelessly alongside his colleagues. “We don’t know Saturday, we don’t know Sunday,” he says.

Researchers around the world are racing to spot variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 so that they can determine whether the mutated viruses will evade vaccines or make COVID-19 deadlier. Like many scientists, Ndodo shares SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in a popular data repository, GISAID, that requires users to sign in and to credit those whose data they analyse.

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Article: MTN launches AirFibre in South Africa

Open Infrastructure, Spectrum

MTN launches AirFibre in South Africa

Telecommunications company MTN says it will begin its first commercial installation of Supersonic AirFibre on Monday (3 May). Since the announcement of the launch of the solution in February this year, the group said it has received over 20,000 expressions of interest, with the aim to connect 60,000 homes within the first year.

This coincides with a surge in demand for affordable, fibre-like internet access in previously unreachable areas, the group said.  The first commercial rollout will commence in Soweto, Mamelodi, Fairlands and Honeydew.

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Article: Crowdfunding for children’s programming language Hedy

Language, Open Data, Open Source

Crowdfunding for children’s programming language Hedy

The easy-to-learn programming language Hedy is a huge worldwide success. To develop the language further, Felienne Hermans, associate professor at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), started a crowdfunding.

Hedy was introduced to make programming more accessible for children. ‘There was a big gap between Scratch, the block-based language to introduce children to programming, and real programming languages like Python,’ Hermans explains.

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Article: Why the cash of the future will be digital and decentralized

Money, Open Governance

Why the cash of the future will be digital and decentralized

When South Africa’s biggest banks released their year-end financial results last month, it became clear that Covid-19 has sped up the move to digital. Each bank saw an increase in digitally active clients and more transactions were done via online banking.

But online banking as we know it is only a small step towards the future of finance, experts say. And for financial institutions, Covid-19 has made this future — in which technology used by cryptocurrencies makes banking faster and central banks dole out digital money — seem even more imminent.

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