State Dept offers $2.5 million for hackers to wire the Mid-East and Africa

Henry Farrell sez:
The US Department of State wants hackers to help build civil society in the Middle East and Africa. They're offering up to $2.5 million in grants for pilot projects that use wikis, blogs and social networking platforms to connect and educate young people and improve civic participation.
You can read the details of this funding opp here.

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  1. For some reason all the Nigerian hackers just laughed the offer away when it showed up in their inboxes.

  2. What’s up with the use of the word “hackers” in this post? Scanned the proposal and it looks like they are looking for programmers. The use of the term “hackers” sexes-up the story, I guess, but I don’t know that its true…

  3. setting up wikis and blogs and facebooks and youtubes and so on?
    kinda sounds like a weird idea to me.

  4. Yeah, I grew up thinking a hacker is someone who hacks into systems without authorization, but that’s apparently the old-school definition.

    1. TEKNA2007 said:
      > Yeah, I grew up thinking a hacker is someone who hacks into systems without authorization, > but that’s apparently the old-school definition.

      No Tekna. That’s the wrong definition invented and promulgated by the media. You’ve been hoaxed. The ORIGINAL meaning of hacker is well documented and started at MIT in the 1960’s, see http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html and http://catb.org/jargon/html/pt03.html sections A and B.

      Even Wikipedia has it partly right.

  5. @tekna

    those are called “crackers”, as in, “I can crack this.” Hacker was historically just an adept.

  6. I presume that these evangelists spreading the good word will be subject to the new FTC rules on disclosure – in which case will the target audience not see through the messenger and thence the message? Or have I missed the point?

  7. From the above posting:

    They’re offering up to $2.5 million in grants for pilot projects that use wikis, blogs and social networking platforms to connect and educate young people and improve civic participation.

    A pilot project is not the same as a completed effort (this won’t “wire” Mid-East and Africa, it will demonstrate how to do it), and as I read it, no wires are involved…

    Aside from the above nits, interesting the State Department thinks the best way to reduce the horrible attoricites is to get these people “on the web”…

    Exactly what problem is this intended to resolve? How many women in the Congo will have their lives improved by having Internet Access?

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