BBC World Service

Science & Medicine

Technological and digital news from around the world.


Ethiopian Bloggers Update

July 21st, 2015

Episode 46 of 152 episodes

In April last year, six Zone9 bloggers and three journalists were detained on terrorism charges for alleged offences including attending training sessions in using encryption software. Four of the group have recently been released, leaving one still on trial in absentia and four still locked up. A hearing involving those still accused was due on Monday but has now been adjourned until next week. From Oregon in the US, Endalk Chala, a founding member, gives Gareth Mitchell the latest news about Zone9. Treemail What started out as a municipal project in Australia where citizens could report trees in decline, turned into people writing love letters to their favourite trees. Arron Wood, a city of Melbourne councillor, tells Gareth that he is amazed at the outpouring of real arboreal affection. Mp3’s 20th Birthday The technical standards for mp3 were first published exactly two decades ago in 1995, making audio files smaller whilst hardly affecting the sound quality. Bernhard Grill, now deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Germany and one of the engineers who developed the technology, explains why it took off two decades ago. Demand Response Countries around the world, rich and poor, are experiencing blackouts as demand for electricity outstrips generation. Until we crack energy storage, demand response – turning things off to drag electricity demand down during peaks, offers a possible solution. Changing the demand patterns from appliances like freezers and storage heaters reduces the need for supply. Yasmin Ali investigates how advances in technology make this possible. (Photo: Members of Zone9 before the arrests Endalk Chala)

Featured Podcast