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Digital Digest Sept/Oct 2012


Published on

30 recent Internet and Technology developments you may have missed
from – and/or potentially impacting on - Qatar and the Middle East, curated by ictQATAR's Damian Radcliffe.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Digital Digest Sept/Oct 2012

  1. 1. Digital Digest 30 recent Internet and Technology developments you may have missed from – and/or potentially impacting on - Qatar and the Middle East Issue 4: Sept/Oct 2012 us: Twitter: @ictqatar
  2. 2. Context This digest aims to share some recent key digital developments from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It also highlights global developments which may impact on Qatar and the wider MENA region at a later date. 5 stories of particular interest in this issue include; insights into the Arab Digital Generation, major current – and predicted – mobile trends, a look at 3D printing and Internet Governance issues in both Jordan and Russia. Visit: for Volumes 1-3 which you can download and embed. (These are in PDF for formatting reasons, email me for a PowerPoint version.) These initial issues have had 8,000 views. We hope this figure will grow as we introduce, with this issue, an Arabic version of this digest too. As ever we encourage you to share and embed this presentation and the stories therein. Happy Reading! ------------------------- Disclaimer All content in these slides is in the public domain and referenced so that you can read the original sources. Any omissions, errors or mistakes are mine, and mine alone. Feedback, suggestions and comments are very welcome.
  3. 3. Contents Slides 1. Developments from across the MENA region • Understanding the Arab Digital Generation • 10 Key Stats about the Arab Digital Generation • New ITU data on global technology development • Jordan’s New Media Law passed • In Brief: Social Media News • In Brief: Content related news • In Brief: Technology News • A spotlight on interactive maps 4-12 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2. Wider Internet & Society Research • Research: News consumption on mobile devices (USA) • Youth: Gen Z: Digital in Their DNA (USA and UK) • Emerging Technologies: Tablet shipments 2012-16 • Internet Governance: 3 hot issues from Russia • Assistance Technology: 4 things you may have missed 13-19 14 15 16 17 18 3. Coming Up – three emerging issues • Research: The next 3 mobile services to reach widespread adoption • Technology: 3D Printing • Governance: new US lobby group formed 19-23 20 21 22
  4. 4. Images: and 1. Recent developments in the MENA region Including: the Arab Digital Generation, e-Commerce news, Jordan’s media law, online maps and Social Media, Content and Technology News in Brief
  5. 5. A new report by Booz & Company, in partnership with Google, surveyed 3,000 digital users born between 1977 and 1997 across nine countries. The report found that: The three main societal shifts among this group, some 40% of the MENA population, are: 1. Communication with friends and family: members of the ADG have less direct personal contact with their family and friends, as technology increasingly provides them with communication alternatives. 44% spend less time meeting close friends face-to-face and more time communicating with them online or over the phone. 2. Marriage: More than 60% in North Africa and the Levant approve of a male member of their family marrying a woman whom he had met online, with the GCC approval rate at 44%. Acceptance rates were equally high for women. 3. Religion: The vast majority (approximately 70%) reported that technology allowed them to explore the various facets of religion through websites. Source: 1.1 Understanding the Arab Digital Generation (ADG) “this segment of society strongly distinguishes itself from earlier generations; these young people are far more active as both consumers and critics… Although they have similar digital characteristics than other young people around the world, they are distinctly Arab in that they reflect the traditions, challenges and tribulations of their region. “
  6. 6. 1. 83 % use the Internet daily, with 40 % using the Internet for at least five hours a day 2. 61 % spend more than two hours per day on social networking sites 3. 78 % prefer the Internet to TV 4. 16 % access the Internet from schools / academic institutions; 76 % access from home 5. 63 % express a desire for freedom to do and say what they want as long as it does not harm others, 37 % say they can freely express opinions without fear of the consequences 6. 37 % believe that technology has reduced family communication and cohesion 7. 41 % search the Internet in both Arabic and English; 21 % chat in both languages 8. 48 % are not satisfied with the quality of local websites; 47 % are not satisfied with local versions of international websites, 37 % are not satisfied with the availability of Arabic websites 9. 8 % use an online platform to connect with government or political leaders and 24 % believe that media content is totally controlled by government 10. 48 % believe that the region’s healthcare services require technological upgrades; 43 % believe this of education services Source: 10 Key Stats about the Arab Digital Generation
  7. 7. 1.2 New ITU data on global technology development New figures released by the ITU show that ICT uptake continues to grow worldwide. Key findings: • Broadband prices drop 75% globally between 2008 and 2011 • Global revenues from telecommunication services reach USD 1.5 trillion • Korea continues to top ICT ranking • The report also identifies countries which have made the most progress in ICT development. Strong performers include Bahrain, Brazil, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia. • Qatar topped the rankings for Arab States and was ranked 30th globally. Image: Image:
  8. 8. • Jordan has passed a new media law which critics say will stifle freedom of expression online. • The legislation requires "electronic publications" in Jordan to get a licence from the Culture Ministry with the BBC noting that the law: “gives the authorities the power to block and censor websites, whose owners will be held responsible for comments posted on them.” • The Associated Press estimated that about 400 Jordanian websites would be affected by the new law, whilst the Huffington Post noted criticism from Human Rights Watch which argued that asking website owners to check online comments due to this new responsibility was simply not "feasible.“ 1.3 Jordan’s New Media Law passed In late August, hundreds of Jordanian websites like Jeeran, Jo24, Wamda, and BeAmman went dark in support of #BlackoutJo — a protest against the bill, Critics included Queen Noor Al Hussein. Via:
  9. 9. LinkedIn, opened its first MENA office on October 1st. The network, which now more than 175 million members worldwide, has over five million members in the Middle East and North Africa, one million of which are based in the UAE. Their offices are in Dubai’s Internet City: 1.4 In Brief: Social Media News Remember MORSI METER, which was in our last digest? It was recently awarded first prize by the World Summit Youth Award (WSYA), a unique global contest that brings together young people under 30 years of age who have revolutionary approach to using ICT to change the world and put UN Millennium Development Goals into Action: techPresident’s article “In the Middle East, Marginalized LGBT Youth Find Supportive Communities Online”, sees Anna Lekas Miller talking to a young blogger in Lebanon known online as Lebanon Rebel and Ahmed Zidan co-founder of Ahwaa, a bilingual English-Arabic online forum based in Bahrain, about how the web has provided a forum for discussion and support. Story: Image:
  10. 10. Seven Omanis have come together to draw up an ethical code for internet publications, bloggers, social media users in Oman. “There’s a kind of boom in internet users in Oman and we felt that as responsible users we need to draw a line, especially in the light of recent crackdown on users… Obviously this is not mandatory but a volunteer group that would help people in deciding what is right and what is not.” Turki Al Balushi, in the Gulf News: 1.5 In Brief: Content related news Jordan is to pilot new software which will give parents control over when their children can use the Internet and what websites they can access. It is also expected to reduce the level of cyber crime in Jordan by reducing access to websites that contain viruses, Trojans and other malware. The UN-approved software, which was developed by Australian company TCG for the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, will be available via Jordanian ISPs at the end of October. Source: Taghreedat is working with TED International to localize its official website into Arabic for the first time. The work will be carried our by Taghreedat's volunteers
  11. 11. 25 Tech Stars of the Middle East: The team at: have put together a slideshow of the people and innovations behind the MENA’s fast-maturing tech scene. Cited examples include: Aramex,, YallaStartup! and Crowdsway. See: 1.6 In Brief: Technology News SAP has launched its MENA Field Services- Young Professionals Program in the region, aiming to turn 40 students into technology consultants with an understanding of regional culture, ways of doing business and SAP technologies such as ERP. The two-year program has been launched in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with training underway at SAP offices in Riyadh and Cairo. The 40 students were selected from 600 nominations provided by employers and universities. Via: Image: The New York Times reported how an off-the-shelf computer program, FinSpy, has been used to monitor and spy on dissidents in countries around the world, noting: “Research now links it to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes”. Full data report at:
  12. 12. Examples of interesting maps showing stories and from the region in new and interesting ways. 1.7 Spotlight on Interactive Maps Interactive Map: America’s War in Yemen, by the US broadcaster PBS: “The red dots represent 72 known U.S. drone, missile or other air strikes carried out since 2002, and the blue dots show 19 major terror plots against Western targets believed to be directed by Al Qaeda or AQAP since 2000.” Above image: Aljazeera's interactive map of Syrian defections (right image: See also: Mapping Egypt's Electricity Blackouts: “Syria conflict: a year of deaths mapped” from the Guardian which uses data from Syrian Shuhada - also used by the UN - to track the impact of the conflict in Syria:
  13. 13. 2. Internet & Society: External Research Update Images: and News on mobile devices, the digital habits of Generation Z, tablet growth, Russian Internet Governance, Assistive Technology developments
  14. 14. 2.1 Internet & Society: Societal Impact A third of all U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device at least weekly Half of all U.S. adults now have a mobile connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet, according new US data. Source: and “…for many people, mobile devices are adding how much news they consume. More than four in ten mobile news consumers say they are getting more news now and nearly a third say they are adding new sources.”
  15. 15. 2.2 Internet & Society: Youth Gen Z: Digital in Their DNA This report by JWT Intelligence provides a snapshot of Gen Z (those born after 1995). For this group, a digital connection as essential. The report is based on a survey of tweens and teens (ages 8 to 17) and their parents in the U.S. and the U.K, with a focus on digital habits: how they use connected devices to socialize, spend, shop and more as well as how their parents feel about these habits and what it means for marketers. See the report slides: • Internet connections, mobile phones and the ability to text friends are valued more highly than allowance money and various material goods, and significantly more highly than real-world activities like going to the movies or eating out. • As many as 90% of respondents would be reluctant to give up their Internet connection (vs. 78% who said the same for their mobile, and 76% for texting friends). • More than half of say it’s easier to chat with friends digitally, or more convenient. • Around 4 in 10 are more comfortable talking online than in real life and find it more fun.
  16. 16. 2.3 Internet & Society: Emerging Technologies The continued march of the tablet – Apple will dominate till 2016 • International Data Corporation (IDC) is predicting the worldwide tablet market to ship 117.1 million units this year. • By 2016 they predict worldwide shipments could reach 261.4 million units a year. • Apple are expected to continue to dominate this growing market. • The Guardian reports data from Gartner which predicts a similar level of dominance for Apple. • Whilst DisplaySearch argues that tablets will account for a quarter of mobile PC shipments by 2015. Image:
  17. 17. 2.4 Internet & Society: Internet Governance In our last issue we looked at new Internet legislation in Russia. Here’s three further stories of interest from the country • Russian children under the age of 18 may face restrictions in public WiFi access if proposals from The Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (ROSKOMNADZOR), come into effect next year. ROSKOMNADZOR claim this is the only way to protect children from harmful online content, but critics have argued many young people will be able to crack any password restrictions. Sources: and • Pravda reported that a "black list" of domains and websites would be published at the end of September, ahead of the law that comes into force on November 1, managing sites which cause harm to children's health. If illegal online content is detected, site owners receive a warning and 3 days to remove the illegal materials. Failure to take down content means the network address falls onto the "black list." If the servers are located outside Russian jurisdiction, then sites will be blocked by ISPs. Source: • Global Voices noted that Russian media outlets had got a sneak peek [NB: link in Russian] at a report on the foreign penetration of the Russian Internet and the implications of this influence. “For example, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - can become central tools for coordination and mobilization of opposition forces.” (Quote translated from: )
  18. 18. • The first Arab AT Centre Network meeting will take place in Doha on October 22nd, bringing together Assistive Technology centers from across the Gulf Region. Organized by Mada, the meeting will allow established and developing AT centers to share resources across the region to accelerate the uptake of AT by Arabic speakers. • Nuance have confirmed that both the Voice Recognition Apps Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search will fully support Standard Arabic. The apps run on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. They are free from the Apple Appstore. See more details at: 2.5 Assistive Technology • Media Access Australia have published a report highlighting the barriers faced by disabled people in taking part in social networks and social media. Tipsheets will soon be available from Mada in Arabic and English. A major workshop in Doha on the use of technology by people with autism attracted 250 people this month. Commitments were made to establish parents support groups, make available online training, provide a range of technologies for people with autism and to produce two new communication products by spring 2013. 2012/10/04 Stories via:
  19. 19. Images:, and 3. Coming Up – three emerging themes New US lobby group3 new mobile trends 3D Printing
  20. 20. The three mobile services expected to reach widespread adoption by 2014 Mobile social networks, mobile applications stores and location-based services will be three mobile services to reach widespread adoption in the next two years, according to Gartner. Mobile Social Networks • Gartner expects mobile social networks to reach one billion users by 2014. • Currently 15% of mobile phone users access social networks via their phones. Location-Based Services Gartner also expects mobile advertising to reach mainstream in the next 2-5 years, and suggests keeping an eye on three emerging mobile tools: 1. bar code marketing, 2. mobile coupons and 3. augmented reality. 3.1 Internet & Society: Societal Impact Source: • The convergence of location functionality with social networking, news, information, search and entertainment services (SoLoMo) is already being seen. • Gartner expects almost 800 million location-based service users worldwide by the end of 2012. • Revenue generated by consumer location-based services is forecast to reach $13.5 billion in 2015, of which advertising will be the dominant contributor. • The most popular applications in the near term will be navigation, location search and friend finder/social networks.
  21. 21. 3.2 Internet & Society: Emerging Technologies “3D printing 2012 is where home printing was in 1982.” TechCrunch • Predicted as being the “next big thing” for some time, 3D Printing is a form of additive manufacturing, where a user starts with nothing and then adds material one layer at a time, with layers fused by heat or laser. Image: See a 15 TED minute video on the subject : sa_harouni_a_primer_on _3d_printing.html Or a shorter video about The MakerBot Replicator 2 printer: watch?v=3o6pcbhylmQ “3D printing will shatter the barrier between the internet and the physical world, and the law will no longer be able to distinguish between the two. If the government wants to regulate guns and other dangerous items in the age of 3D printing, it will need a radically different approach.” Andrew Sisson, Big Innovation Centre ODD's Atom 3D printed guitar: • A new UK report highlights how the technology could transform global manufacturing and create opportunities for growth, innovation and environmental benefit. • However, it also notes a number of policy challenges including the potential impact on intellectual property frameworks and internet regulation.
  22. 22. 3.3 Internet Governance: new US lobby group 14 major US Web companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Monster and LinkedIn, have come together to form The Internet Association. Their three policy areas are: 1. Protecting Internet Freedom 2. Fostering Innovation and Economic Growth 3. Empowering Users “A free and innovative Internet is vital to our nation’s economic growth… These companies are all fierce competitors in the market place, but they recognize the Internet needs a unified voice in Washington. They understand the future of the Internet is at stake and that we must work together to protect it.” Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association More at:
  23. 23. Thank you for reading. Visit our SlideShare channel for previous Issues and our monthly Tech Top 10: Disclaimer: all content in these slides is in the public domain and referenced so that you can read the original sources. Any omissions, errors or mistakes are mine, and mine alone. Contact us: Twitter: @ictqatar