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On why language is important when talking about women in tech

This is the second in a series of posts where I address technology, women in technology, and women in technology in Benin. * Accompanying the recent spate of questions about how to find more and better women speakers for tech conferences, the general lack of women in technology, and a lot of comments about women’s capabilities and skills, has been a dreadful abuse of the English language hinting that women...

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On women in tech, in Benin and back home in the States

This is the first of a series of posts in which I’ll discuss technology, women in technology, and women in technology in Benin. My clients are all businessmen. Accent on men. After over two years of developing websites and web applications in Cotonou, we have a lot of clients (what can I say, we’re good at what we do!). Of these clients, two are women. Less than 5% of all...

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On why I don’t hate on PayPal for not operating in sub-Saharan Africa

I’m just going to get this out of the way: I am quite sympathetic to PayPal and how they’ve cut off the entire continent of Africa. Going to a cybercafé in Cotonou means two out of three computers are occupied by Beninese or Nigerian boys scamming rich Americans and Europeans. Sometimes, they’re training 9 and 10 year olds. Benin has a very small IP block, which means that almost all...

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On my new job (yes, I am just that awesome)

I have a new job. I mean, a new job in addition to running Benin’s most successful web development firm. Jon Gosier at Appfrica just relaunched and hired my magnificent self to blog about technology, entrepreneurship, and other awesomeness in Africa. I’m getting paid to write about things I love! I know, I know, I know. Half of you don’t care about tech in Africa, and the other half of...

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Limited bandwith = THERESA IS CRANKY

Nigerian ISP Internet Speeds. Originally uploaded by Wayan Vota This is an awesome screencap by Wayan Vota showing just how bad the bandwidth gets in Nigeria. Normally, Benin has similar service levels during the day. Night time speeds approach a whopping 56kpbs (we are paying for 256kbps). Now image that the undersea cable connecting Benin with the rest of the world has been cut, and now our traffic is being...

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On capitalism, consumerism, and Fake Steve Jobs

I am appalled that I 100% agree with something Fake Steve Jobs said today. We all know that there’s no fucking way in the world we should have microwave ovens and refrigerators and TV sets and everything else at the prices we’re paying for them. There’s no way we get all this stuff and everything is done fair and square and everyone gets treated right. No way. And don’t be...

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West African IPs blocked again

For the past two days, a client has desperately been trying to get a hold of us. He said he couldn’t access his website. We checked, no problems on our end, and brushed him off. He showed up this morning at 8:05am with his laptop and CDMA connection. “I’ll prove to you I’m not an idiot,” he says. He’s right. Our hosting provider has blocked his IP. Except that wireless...

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OMG it’s true, Google’s announced an operating system!

GoogleOS excites me in a way that that Google usually doesn’t, and here’s why: Google Gears works. And it works really well in Google Chrome. What? You didn’t notice? That’s probably because you never have to use it. Here in Cotonou where power and internet connections cut all the time, it’s quite useful. And with internet connections that only work (well) at night, I’d even call it necessary. Gmail, Google...

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WordPress plugins for functioning CMSs, redux

It’s been a bit since the last time I posted about turning WordPress into a CMS. I’ve learned a bit more about WordPress, and some really great  plugins have come to my attention. WordPress has evolved a bit, and so have the types of sites I work on here in Benin. The following plugins have a lot in common. For the most part they are: Activate and forget. We configure...