On the issue of intermediaries, while acknowledging the very valid
concerns pointed out by Don Osborne, I'd just like to add that some work
has been done to try and get around some of these problems. The "voices
in their hands project" by a Philips Researcher, Paul Rankin
<http://www.stanford.edu/~prankin/eng/>, a Reuters Digital vision Fellow
at Stanford 2002-2003, addresses those very issues in almost exactly the
way Osborne envisions it should, i.e. use of handhelds (modified MP3
player), used as a service, a voice e-mail store and forward device,
privacy, leveraging use of Telecenter. It just struck me how great minds
think alike in solving problems. Admittedly there may still be technical
issues to work around. It's a work in progress. Please visit the site
for more information and send any queries to Paul Rankin. Other
solutions could be variations on this theme.

Don Osborne wrote:

> I'm not at all comfortable with the notion of person-to-person or
> web-to-individual(s) information being mediated where it's not
> absolutely necessary, and then only as a temporary strategy and with as
> few transformations as possible - i.e., if as a service, more like a
> postal relay (can what the sender says be recorded and transmitted
> exactly as such through the media to the receiver?) than like the
> traditional letter writer in much of Africa who hears in one language,
> translates into another, and writes a letter that may have to be
> back-translated on the other end. Maybe handhelds will help in this
> regard.

Kind regards,

Raphael Kaume Marambii
Microsoft Fellow
Reuters Digital Vision fellowship Program
Stanford University
Cordura Hall
210 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
+1 650 724 9258 or 9259 (tel)
+ 1 650 861 0241 (mobile)
+1 650 724 4076 (fax)

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