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Australia Lags Behind on ICT Innovation: NICTA
Australia’s peak ICT research group, NICTA (National ICT Australia) has warned that Australia is lagging behind on building its knowledge capital and investments in innovation. NICTA's technology strategist, Dean Economou, notes that Australia is “going backwards” in terms of its technology capability and business innovation. Economou, a keynote speaker at the recent Tech Leaders Forum in the Blue Mountains, observed that Australia is a world leader is terms of its investments in physical capital. But as a developed nation, the country is falling behind on its knowledge base, and intellectual capital.
From http://www.cio.com.au/article/569248/australia-lags-behind-ict-innovation-nicta/, March 02, 2015

Qatar: Call for Aspiring ICT Entrepreneurs, Start-ups to Join ictQATAR's Digital Incubation Center
Young tech-savvy citizens and residents of Qatar who have innovative technology-related ideas, have a fledgling ICT start-up, or who are ready to start an ICT company are urged to apply to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology's Digital Incubation Center (DIC).
From http://bit.ly/1EEo4NG, March 02, 2015

Interactive Transcript Makes Your Video Searchable, SEO-Friendly, and More Engaging
Adding an interactive transcript to your website allows your users to interact with your video in an entirely new way. Users can search the video and navigate by clicking on any word to jump to that exact point. It’s also a great way to make your video accessible and broaden your audience reach with the use of translations. You’ll see a significant SEO benefit because search engines will be able to index all of the spoken content instead of just the video title and tags.
From http://bit.ly/1GFmSch, March 02, 2015

The Smartphone is Ubiquitous, Addictive and Transformative
The dawn of the planet of the smartphones came in January 2007, when Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in front of a rapt audience of Apple acolytes, brandished a slab of plastic, metal and silicon not much bigger than a Kit Kat. “This will change everything,” he promised. For once there was no hyperbole. Just eight years later Apple’s iPhone exemplifies the early 21st century’s defining technology.
From http://econ.st/1E8CNjz, March 01, 2015

Scheme to Address East Africa ICT Skills Divide
Organizers of this year’s East AfricaCom are recruiting mentors ahead of the launch of the event’s inaugural Mentorship Program aimed at addressing the business skills gap and quality of engagement between the region’s brightest start-up talents and the telecommunications sector’s greatest minds.
From http://cajnewsafrica.com/2015/02/26/scheme-to-address-east-africa-ict-skills-divide/, February 27, 2015

USA: AMI's Robert Pearson Appointed as FCC's Disability Advisory Committee Subcommittee Representative
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Robert Pearson, the organization's recently designated Accessibility Officer, has been appointed as a representative on one of the subcommittees overseen by the Federal Communications Commission's Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) in the United States. The subcommittee to which Robert has been appointed will focus on video programming access and will cover initiatives including Closed Captioning, Described Video programming, access to video programming apparatus, and access to televised emergency information, among others. As a representative, Robert will share AMI's viewpoints on accessibility issues and help develop recommendations for the DAC's consideration.
From http://bit.ly/1ANeMNW, February 26, 2015

Accessibility Originates With UX: A BBC iPlayer Case Study
Not long after I started working at the BBC, I fielded a complaint from a screen reader user who was having trouble finding a favorite show via the BBC iPlayer’s home page. The website had recently undergone an independent accessibility audit which indicated that, other than the odd minor issue here and there, it was reasonably accessible.
From http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/02/23/bbc-iplayer-accessibility-case-study/, February 24, 2015

Australia: Parents ‘want kids taught digital skills’
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has published a Digital Skills and Careers Report, in collaboration with National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the Australia Computer Society (ACS). The research was conducted by Newspoll. The research, undertaken in late 2014, found that 61% of Australian parents believe it is important that children learn how to design, build or program computer applications. Less than 30% of respondents thought that the current school curriculum is adequate in preparing children with the skills they need for the future.
From http://bit.ly/1BvTEwr, February 23, 2015

Huawei Drives Smart Banking Services into New Era
Huawei, a global information communication technology (ICT) solutions provider, has announced an expanded focus in helping financial institutions to deliver innovative services to their customers by bringing to market a series of next-generation banking technologies as well as additional consultancy expertise. Rising technology trends such as cloud computing, big data analytics, smart and virtual banking concepts are accelerating the digitization of the local financial industry. To keep up with the demands of a globally integrated marketplace, financial firms in the Middle East today are increasingly turning to ICT to drive innovation and deliver services to customers that are both secure and reliable. CIOs are looking to new technologies that can manage and store the influx of mission critical data. A need to ensure resilient network security that allows for extended customer services such as mobile banking is also essential.
From http://www.albawaba.com/business/pr/huawei-smart-banking-services-659868, February 23, 2015

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Cannot be Ignored in Development Agenda, UN Experts
“One billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – are persons with disabilities, and their rights cannot be ignored,” a group of United Nations human rights experts said today, as they urged negotiators and UN Member States to include rights of such persons in the new development framework. The call came as the second session of negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda closes this week in New York.
From http://bit.ly/1GFjA8K, February 23, 2015

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