Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

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Benetech: the Equilibrium Change Machine

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Even though I’m a Skoll Award winner, it really made me think about my organization, Benetech, and what we are trying to accomplish.

A Worthy Read: National Education Technology Plan

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I just finished reading the National Education Technology Plan , and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the future of technology in American education. These kinds of plans can be impenetrable, but I found this one quite readable and understandable. Of course, one thing might be that accessibility is put right up top, front and center!

Commercial Availability: The Poison Pill for Marrakesh Treaty Implementation

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

If you can buy a book, you can’t borrow it. That’s the lobbying position of some companies in the intellectual property field when implementing the new Marrakesh Copyright Treaty. Marrakesh is intended to end the book famine for people who can’t read regular books because of their disability. Bookshare was created under the Section 121 U.S.

Why I’m Scared of the SOPA bill

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech, is a leading nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley. We write software for people with disabilities as well as human rights and environmental groups. We’re against piracy, and have made commitments to authors and publishers to encourage compliance with copyright law. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. And then they go away.

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Seeing Through Walls for Greater Independence!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Kent Presents 2016 I just attended the second annual Kent Presents conference in Kent, Connecticut. It’s the brainchild of Donna and Ben Rosen, a New York power couple with connections to science, technology, politics, the arts and more. There were too many awesome talks to do them justice, but you are welcome to sample the session titles here.

Open Source Means Strong Security

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

“Your secure software is open source: doesn’t that make it less secure?” Now, let’s say I’m choosing a safe for my valuables. No, it does not.

Crowdsourced data is not a substitute for real statistics

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Guest Beneblog by Patrick Ball, Jeff Klingner, and Kristian Lum After the earthquake in Haiti, Ushahidi organized a centralized text messaging system to allow people to inform others about people trapped under damaged buildings and other humanitarian crises. We think that this is important and valuable.

Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

President’s Update Fall 2011 Don’t be surprised, but we’re picking up the pace of change at Benetech! and James L. Read2Go Bookshare goes mobile!

Contemplating Boulder and Social Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Social enterprise. Technology. Contemplation. Chuck was the second chair of SEA and I succeeded him as the third chair.

Why You Don’t Want this Job!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Almost anyone from the human rights field will tell you that the work can be as rewarding as it is challenging. And yet there are also amazing and fulfilling benefits—bringing the truth to light, making human rights defenders more powerful and helping victims find peace through acknowledgment, reconciliation and even, sometimes, justice.

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A Tale of Two Angels

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

When I first started pursuing the idea that technology can be harnessed to the cause of social good, it was pretty far out. Social entrepreneurship has its own conferences, publications, academic programs and awards. After all, any great idea needs a vote of confidence, great advice and an infusion of cash to have a large-scale impact!

Bookshare Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary at Google

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The event was hosted by Google on its campus in Mountain View, California, which is home to some of the most cutting edge technologists in the world.

Big Data Means More Than Big Profits

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This post originally appeared as part of an online debate about How Big Data Can Have a Social Impact, which the Harvard Business Review Blog Network hosted jointly with the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. Right now I''m in Oxford, England, for the annual Skoll World Forum! Big Data is all the rage in Silicon Valley.

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Making the Book Truly Accessible for All Students

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Schools are back in session, and with them millions of American children who struggle daily to learn using traditional printed books. Having learning disabilities or various learning differences, they need alternative reading environments that rely on their strengths rather than on their weaknesses. In September 2007, the U.S. There are some 7.5

From Money to Meaning

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Big complex social problems. Your skills and experiences. Benetech. Combining those three potent ingredients is how we change the world. If you’ve been burning to use your considerable talents to make a difference, rather than make a lot of money, it’s time you considered joining our growing team. Flexibility is one of our core values.

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Silicon Valley’s Developing Conscience: It’s Called Apple

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Silicon Valley has a problem. In our quest to build better products and better meet the needs of the world for information, we built the most amazing system for effortless government surveillance as a byproduct. It is now incumbent on Silicon Valley to remedy this situation. Who they love. What religion they profess. Their ethnicity. Every secret.

Unlocking Technology-for-Good Innovation

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This keeps us focused on projects that offer the greatest social impact for the resources invested. Let me explain how this is so.

DIAGRAM Center

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I just attended two days of meetings in Washington DC on the first year of the DIAGRAM Center , held at the Office of Special Education Programs in the Department of Education. Of course, just as we're solving the text problem, more and more content is moving to richer, more visual forms like graphics, simulations and flash!

Supporting Artists With Disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For the past ten years, Benetech’s Bookshare library has provided accessible books for people with print disabilities. You can too!

Accessibility Excitement in Geneva

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

One of the reasons I started the Beneblog more than ten years ago (!) was to keep the Benetech team in the loop. decided to follow through and attend.

One very long weekend in New York City for Megan Price

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Me? I go to New York City to spend the weekend staring at my computer screen. Not all such stops actually result in a search or arrest.

Recruiting Geeks for Human Rights!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Scientist / Data Analysis Engineer / General Techie Want to help save the world with your code? Like going to hackathons and wish you could get paid to work on a good cause full time? Want to help assemble evidence used to convict dictors of war crimes? We're Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and we're hiring right now !

International Human Rights Day 2011

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

T, December 10th, the international community is observing Human Rights Day to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since its adoption at the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the Declaration has become a universal standard for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

Verdict in Guatemala Disappearance Case!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Just got late-breaking news: the judges just rendered a guilty verdict in the trial I was about to discuss in the following blog post! Will share more details from our team later, but this is a great day for fighting impunity around forced disappearances. The estimated 31.7 You can read more about the case at [link].

Breakthrough on Global Access at WIPO in Geneva!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

There has been a major breakthrough recently on international copyright negotiations in Geneva around improved access for people who have print disabilities. Through negotiations, four competing proposals have been merged into a single document supported in June by the Latin Americans (led by Brazil), the U.S., the European Union and others.

Engineers Without Borders Canada

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I greatly enjoy talking to students, and I am now in Ottawa, Canada, just having spoken to an incredible group of students, Engineers Without Borders Canada. Now, I had heard of EWB before, but I hadn't grasped how large, sophisticated and ambitious an organization this is! Oh, and at least half of the engineering students here are women.

Issues with Crowdsourced Data Part 2

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

A recent guest guest Beneblog explains why we believe a correlation found between SMS text messages and building damage by researchers was not useful. Some of the questions we received made us realize we need to be clearer about why this is important. Why did we bother analyzing this claim? Why does it matter? So, we’re speaking up.

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Gaming for Sustainability: How Balaji Prabhakar’s Lottery Beats Traffic Congestion

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Imagine someone offered you $1 to leave the house an hour earlier in the morning so as to shift your commute to an off-peak train. Will you do it?

Why We're Blacking Out Sites: PIPA and SOPA

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

In November, I wrote a blog post entitled: Why I’m Scared of the SOPA bill. But, we're not for piracy. Don't Break the Internet!

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Beneblog: Technology Meets Society - Untitled Article

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech's Dr. Patrick Ball has just been awarded the ACM's 2003 Lawler Award for humanitarian contributions using computer technology. The ACM is the leading organization for computer science professionals.

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SocialCoding4Good: Mobilizing Technology and Volunteerism for Transformative Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech, like many nonprofit organizations building open source software for social good, often relies upon the contributions of experienced software developers to help its solutions grow and scale. We frequently have more volunteers than we have projects; while at other times, we have a list of tasks we could get done -- if only we had the people.

UpEnergy: cool for-profit social enterprise

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The rise of for-profit social enterprises has been quite exciting. Although I'm firmly on the nonprofit side with Benetech (because we focus on big issues where the market is failing), it's definitely easier to get funded sustainably if you have an exciting and invest-able business plan. Evan Haigler is a social entrepreneur I've known for years.

Guatemalan National Police Archive Goes Online

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Guest Beneblog by Ann Harrison In 2006, the Benetech Human Rights Program was asked to participate in one of the most important human rights data projects in the world. HRDAG designed a process to randomly sample the Archive and the archivists began using Benetech’s Martus software to organize and secure information generated from the samples.

Benetech Truths

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech has spent a good part of this last year thinking about what's next for our mission and our team. crucial part of that effort has been to identify what we think is uniquely true about Benetech. This portion was an internally focused effort based on conversations with our team. We came up with the following truths as part of that process.

Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech President's Update Winter 2011 I’m pleased to provide you you a detailed update on Benetech for the first time in two years.

Promise and Peril: Martus for Human Rights in Burma

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We have extended Martus capacity building and technical support to ND-Burma since its inception in 2004. Thank you in advance!

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Benetech’s Framework for Developing New Social Enterprises

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

look forward to continuing the conversation the book has opened. We’re learning new ways to create and sustain social value. copyright law.

Advancing Reading Equality with Bookshare’s Exponential Growth

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Recently Bookshare has reached two major milestones in its efforts to bring reading equality to disadvantaged populations around the world. First, Bookshare’s collection has surpassed a quarter of a million titles and, in fact, is growing so rapidly that at the time of writing this post it is almost at 300,000 titles!

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Why Your Country Should Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Access to information and knowledge is a basic human right and a necessary first step towards personal, economic, and social development.

Zerofootprint: A Cool Approach to Sustainability

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We’ve been exploring the area of sustainability a great deal lately. We have some new ideas for software Benetech could be developing. But, one of our core values is to see what’s already out there and to not duplicate great work already being done. That means we frequently run into cool projects (and mentally check the box: taken care of!).