My main concern about WorldSpace is that it is billed as a
"communication" system. Most electronic communication systems are
two-way, they allow conversations. But WorldSpace is one-way. It is, in
fact, a broadcasting system, not a communications system. Just as you
would call TV a broadcast system. WorldSpace users are passive
observers.

I think it is a good broadcast system. It supports data broadcasting,
which is new and has many uses. But if we are talking about ICT,
information and communications technologies, this is an IT, not a CT.
While communications systems involve connections and interaction,
broadcasting involves transmitters and receivers.

Although WorldSpace's own websites are very careful to speak only of
transmission and reception, others make mistakes.

" The WorldSpace satellite network is an innovative communication
technology that enables people to access information even in the
remotest villages where there are no telephone lines or electricity."
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1608394.stm

"The unique, patented technology allows inexpensive connectivity to the
computer directly from the satellite."
       
<http://thinkcycle.media.mit.edu/thinkcycle/main/
development_by_design_2002/
publication__innovative_internet_access_to_a_remote_school_in_kenya/
Implementation_of_SchoolWeb_Project_at_Kabarak_High_School.pdf>

The internet is very poor at broadcasting. But it's excellent as a
communication medium. As another person recently wrote:

"Because the WorldSpace product is a satellite receiver, there's no
back-channel for data upload. As a result, you can't send email, request
additional cached webpages or give feedback on whether a particular
piece of content is useful."
     http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/xdev/000022.html

So, in conclusion. WorldSpace is an innovative and obviously useful
information dissemination tool. But, on the other hand, a basic, slow
email system (even with intermediaries) is better at communication.

simon


On Friday, November 28, 2003, David J.A. Sawe wrote:

> Arguably, the initial step towards joining the information society is to
> receive information, and not to transmit blindly. In the same way, a
> newborn's first breath is always to inhale and not to exhale. Especially
> in terms of educating, informing and entertaining, there is much that
> can be achieved through being able to merely receive broadcasts. If this
> were not the case, then the traditional forms of media dissemination
> (ie. radio/TV/print) could never have become as pervasive as they are
> now in our more privileged urban areas.
>
> So WorldSpace satellite radio "receivers" bring about inclusivity by
> merely offering a new option for reliably receiving high quality audio
> and data content in locations hitherto excluded from any of the
> traditional media forms. Of course, as with traditional broadcast
> media, other options would need to be looked into on a case-by-case
> basis to contribute anything in return; but at the outset, this
> requirement is not a sine qua non.


--
99% Devil, 1% Angel
anti-spam: do NOT post this address publicly
homepage http://www.simonwoodside.com
for the developing world http://www.openict.net
member of http://www.mozilla.org/projects/camino



------------
This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative
Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides
more information.
To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
For the GKD database, with past messages:
http://www.GKDknowledge.org

Reply via email to