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Cool Toys Pic of the day - Mobile Stuff (Apps4Africa , DMS ER Wait  Times, Grassroots Mapping, NanoNote) | by rosefirerising
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Cool Toys Pic of the day - Mobile Stuff (Apps4Africa , DMS ER Wait Times, Grassroots Mapping, NanoNote)

I had another day where I couldn't decide what to profile, however

this time I noticed a theme. Aha! You get a bunch of loosely related

nifty things.



Apps 4 Africa:


Crowdsourcing development of mobile applications for promoting the

public good in Kenya.


In their words:

"Apps 4 Africa challenges local technologists to develop tools on a

variety of platforms that build on the needs of citizens or on open

data sets relevant to the East Africa region.

The contest runs July 1st- August 31st. Winners will receive a small

bit of fame and fortune — cash, gadgets, chances to improve your

technical skills and the opportunity to hob nob with our judges panel

of tech luminaries and civil society leaders at an awards ceremony in




Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Emergency Room Currrent Wait Times:



It seems so obvious and simple — Emergency Room Wait Times by cell

phone and mobile app. Why don't all the hospitals do this? Oh, right,

because most of them can't say they have a 9 minute wait, or even a

half hour wait.


In their words:

"Visit this page in iTunes to get the FREE DMC ER Wait time app on

your iPhone or iTouch,a nd you'll always have the most current

information on DMC ER wait times at your fingertips, as well as a

specail mapping function to show you how to get to the DMC from any


"You can text "ER" to 42660 to get the current ER wait times by a

quick reply text."



Grassroots Mapping:



Crowdsourcing again, but mobile this time means by foot, not by phone.

This time they are having real folk wander around the oil spill area

with balloons, kites, and similar low-cost items and report back data

about the severity and spread of the BP Gulf Coast oil spill. They

have tip sheets on how to set up your own aerial photo shoot, even

with a camera phone! The idea is that this may be a model for crisis

response in the future. This all gets piped into spreadsheets, a

backend data collection, and ultimately to a Google Maps overlay.


Balloon Aerial Photography:


In their words:

"We’re not trying to duplicate the satellite imagery or the flyover

data (though we’re helping to coordinate some of the flyovers and

trying to make sure the data is publicly accessible). We believe it’s

possible for citizens to use balloons, kites, and other simple and

inexpensive tools to produce their own documentation of the spill… and

that such imagery will be essential for environmental and legal

reasons in coming years."



Ben Nanonote:


Today at the A2B3 lunch, I think it was Steve who was passing around a

Nanonote and joking about carrying a portable Linux box in his pocket.

This is such a totally geek thing to do that the table was riveted. He

passed it around, and I actually held it in my hands and cringed at

some of the non-linux commands folks had entered while it was

wandering. I don't know enough Linux to make good use of it, but I

know enough to want one anyway. The very idea of a $99 code

development box that is about the size of the early iPods is ...

seductive in its own way.


In their words:

"The 本 version of NanoNote is an ultra small form factor computing

device. The device sports a 336 MHz processor, 2GB of flash memory,

microSD slot, head phone jack, USB device and 850mAh Li-ion battery.

It boots Linux out of the box and also boots over USB. It’s targeted

squarely at developers who see the promise of open hardware and want

to roll their own end user experience. It’s the perfect companion for

open content; we envision developers turning the device into a music

or video player for Ogg or an offline Wikipedia or MIT OpenCourseWare

appliance. Or you can simply amaze your friends by creating an ultra

small handheld notebook computer. You choose the distribution. The 本

Nanonote is the first in a line of products that will see the addition

of other hardware capabilities. Get your NanoNote and start a

Nanoproject today. Or join one of the existing projects in our

developer community"

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Taken on July 1, 2010