I often travel to different countries chasing stories. It’s hard for me, let alone my credit card issuers, to predict where I’ll be at any given time. This summer, for example, I moved from Madrid, Spain, to Oaxaca, Mexico, and in November I made quick trips to both California and Nicaragua. Confused by my unpredictable spending patterns, my credit card companies often block my legitimate transactions. Continue reading
A busy street climbs a hill on the edge of Oaxaca de Juárez, the capital of the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Up one flight of stairs in a fresh-painted white residential building you’ll find the FabLab community fabrication center and Oaxaca’s first locally-produced 3D printer and plastic extruder.
See also my magazine feature on this project for PBS NOVA Next: “Building a New Economy on Soda Bottles and a 3D Printer.”
This month, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration began opening the long-closed diplomatic door to Cuba. Among other things the President’s plan makes way for is the ability of U.S. companies to sell telecommunications equipment to the island. Legislation imposing a broad economic embargo still stands, but the administration has some leeway over activity that improves the flow of information under the banner of “spreading democracy.”
(Exceptions to the old embargo abound: the U.S. National Science Foundation actually provided Cuba’s first Internet connection in 1996 as part of a broader connectivity drive for developing countries.)
What remains unclear, says computer scientist and Cuba telecom blogger Larry Press of California State University in Dominguez Hills, is what use the Cuban government has for U.S. telecom equipment. Continue reading
Luís Euxebio Irías Calderón is the operator of a small hydroelectric power plant in the mountainous coffee country of northern Nicaragua, and he’s singing a song he wrote about turbines and transformers, to celebrate the arrival of electricity here in his remote corner of the country.