by Staff Writers
Islamabad (AFP) June 30, 2011
Pakistani computer experts have developed a mobile phone game to help victims of last year's devastating floods -- but despite more than 90,000 downloads, only $56 has been raised.
The Relief Copter mobile phone application, or app, contains a game and shows different Pakistani landscapes, pictures and important facts and figures about the floods, accompanied by original local music.
Mohsin Afzal, chief executive officer of developer weRplay, told AFP that the app was designed to reach as many people as possible, with all revenue donated to victims of the inundations.
But it is free to download on Nokia and most Apple platforms, so that despite around 90,900 copies being distributed only $56 has been generated for flood victims, Afzal said.
"The idea was since there are so many people that spend 99 cents or $1.99 on small apps everyday why not give them an option to use that money for something good while also getting some value in return," said Afzal, 28.
"One hundred percent of the revenue we generated from this was to be donated to the flood relief effort," he told AFP.
"I still feel mobile and apps as a fund raising medium are being largely ignored by most development sector agencies."
Information technology expert Shahzad Ahmad said selling applications for aid was a good concept, but questioned how useful it could be in a developing country like Pakistan.
"Unfortunately, in Pakistan, not everyone has credit cards that can be used for online purchasing... so it may not be very good situation," Ahmad told AFP.
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Greener disaster alerts
London, UK (SPX) Jun 29, 2011
New software allows wireless sensor networks to run at much lower energy, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Sensor Networks. The technology could improve efficiency for hurricane and other natural disaster warning systems. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are used to monitor ecosystems, wild and urban environments. They have been vital in predicting events tha ... read more
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