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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...

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Couchsurfing, aka free and awesome places to stay while traveling

Clay Shirky’s recent tweet about Couchsurfing reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while. Couchsurfing is both a verb (to surf someone’s couch) and a thriving community of travelers and hosts. We’ve hosted several couchsurfers over the last year and met many more through meet-ups. It’s been an amazing experience. In their own words, CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and...

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What’s the difference between social entrepreneurship and plain old entrepreneurship?

Hmmm. The difference between “social entrepreneurship” and “entrepreneurship” can break down quickly. When we’re talking about African students building new web applications to make it easier to send money to families back home, what should we designate that? Entrepreneurship or Social Entrepreneurship? Or does it not matter? Should it perhaps make us wonder if we should instead be holding up that type of work to argue that real entrepreneurship is...