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Brazil Using Smartphones For Planning the Future 115

Posted by timothy
from the emergent-order-too-unreliable dept.
shafiur writes "Brazil has bought 150,000 LG smartphones and has embarked on the world's first fully digital national census. Can they succeed when the US recently failed to go digital? The Brazilians say that the digital census has several advantages over paper and pen methods. They say that the data is more accurate since GPS data will pinpoint the exact location of a household. The GPS data is cross-referenced with satellite images to ensure that responses are correctly geo-tagged. The recently begun census will underpin future publicy-making decisions."
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Brazil Using Smartphones For Planning the Future

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  • Publicy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:01PM (#33410316)

    Do you mean "policy"?

  • Cost of Labor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:17PM (#33410406)

    The claim that the US process cost 10x as much I imagine has more to do with the fact that the Census is a labor intensive process. So intensive that it altered our unemployment rates briefly.

    So yes the cost per person was about 10x higher in the US but the cost per hour for a census employee was probably considerably higher as well.

    The Brazilian Census cost about $1B USD. Of that only $75M was for their hardware. So in neither scenario was hardware cost significant. I doubt we spent $13B more than the Brazilians on developing custom hardware that we didn't use--so it's bad journalism and misleading reporting to suggest in the same sentence that our solution to develop custom hardware was an example of US waste.

    Furthermore if we have 30% more people in the US that means we would need 320,000 census devices. That's not a bad run of a product and I would say safely warrants custom hardware. Especially if you could create a far less expensive device. slow RISC Processor + Basic software + Broad-com chip w/ AGPS should be less than $100 to make. This is the census we're talking about. 7 questions. You don't need anything more than a TI-83, GPS and an 3G antenna to make that an effective product. I would be surprised if you couldn't make something which uses less than $20 in wholesale components.

  • Re:Side benefits! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FoolishOwl (1698506) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:17PM (#33410410) Journal

    Also, Brazil is a relatively wealthy country.

  • Re:Not the First (Score:3, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @07:52PM (#33411416) Homepage
    the two telcos here rely mostly on microwave links to hop from one island to the next.

    Considering the relatively small distances involved, microwave links are actually faster than VSAT uplinks. Going right across from one island to the next is much shorter than up to orbit and back, and there's no need to worry about intervening landscape getting in the way.

  • Re:First? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:33PM (#33412244) Homepage

    In the US, you worry about the government spying on you or infringing on your rights, while giving the corporations free pass to fuck you in the butthole all day and night.

    In the Nordic countries, we make sure our elected representatives and civil servants are people who do the right thing, in addition to expecting them to protect us from corporations too.

    Worrying about civil liberties? You guys won't even allow homosexuals to marry, wtf is that for civil liberties... Stop living in the 19'th century, as America is no longer the bastion of civil liberties it once was. It's frankly quite insulting and ignorant point of view that more shows your ignorance than anything else.

    BTW, per capita cost of health care in Norway (the most expensive country to live in in the world) costs less than half what it costs in the US, yet covers everyone. I believe that should be classed under 'nannying is damned cheap' if done using the Northern Europe style public management.

  • Re:Not the First (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grcumb (781340) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:40PM (#33412274) Homepage Journal

    Just finished reading the first couple posts from your blog. Any advice for someone who wants to pickup and move to Vanuatu to either do networking or volunteer work?

    Come visit first. There's a regional geek conference that should give you an idea of where things are at, coming up in mid-September. PacINET 2010 [pacinet-2010.org] promises to be pretty good fun, and registration is free. If you can pony up for the ticket and cheap accommodation (guest houses start at about US$20/night, then you'll be right.

    A more general, cautionary note to folks thinking about working in ICT development projects in underdeveloped countries: You'd better be strong, flexible, resourceful, good with (human) languages [imagicity.com] and have more than the normal allotment of patience.

    I've been stuck in cyclones [imagicity.com], got malaria, dengue, been hospitalised from the after-effects of prolonged dehydration, had more skin infections in more places than anyone really wants to know. I've been bitten by things straight out of a Tim Burton movie [imagicity.com]. I've had death threats and constant, insanely unreasonable demands on my time and my pocketbook.

    To put things into perspective: we had a 7.5 earthquake here a couple of weeks ago, and were laughing about it within the hour. Nature is tough and unforgiving here. You'd better be prepared.

    You may think all this is exciting. It's emphatically not. Put your Hollywood imagination away. It's tedious, uncomfortable and often dangerous in small, boring, trivial ways.

    I walked away from an affluent existence as one of the first few professional web developers to enter the field and survive now on a pittance (although I do live moderately well by local standards - my new house has hot water!).

    You have to measure success like a batting average. Just assume you'll strike out [imagicity.com] more than you succeed [imagicity.com]. Most projects are unwinnable from the start, and you only go through with them because to do nothing would be worse.

    On top of all of that, you'll need to adjust to a culture so foreign that it will shock you to your core [imagicity.com]. And you'll only have yourself to rely on. There won't be any police if you're in a tight spot, the fire truck - if it arrives at all - will come in time to water down the ashes.

    You'll see children maimed and even killed by trivially treatable conditions. You'll see good people die and bad people prosper.

    But once in a while, someone will smile at you like this [imagicity.com], and it will all be worthwhile....

    ... It better be, anyway, because most of the time, that's all the payment you get.

    If, after all that, you're still intent on coming, then read this [imagicity.com] and come on along.

  • by keeboo (724305) on Monday August 30, 2010 @12:50AM (#33412476)

    Did I hurt your feelings? I'm only trying to be objective here, I don't have any feelings for or against Brazil. I believe it will become a fully developed country within a few decades.

    You're just trolling.

    First you try to reduce my arguments to an emotional response, then you try to look reasonable while condescending.

    Brazil is a Western country by all means, and its history is an example on how things may go wrong in an Western country.
    Too bad it does not help the Western reputation around the world, uh?

    You're trying very hard to prove how bad Brazil and how wrong I am.
    Except that I did not deny that country's problems, instead I made clearly that many problems exist.
    Sorry if I didn't started a bash-fest against Brazil in order to keep you happy.

    I find it curious that you find so important to include Israel as, not only a Western country (it does not even make geographical sense), but as a developed one.

    Israel is clearly a developed nation in every aspect of the word.

    Feel free to believe that if you want.
    The palestinian issue is huge enough, but let's talk about the rest.

    First of all, Israel is a non-secular country. It follows jewish religious laws even for civil matters. Even wondered why certain jewish couples even bothered to get married abroad?
    Sort like Sharia. But since they don't cut your hand for stealing it's fine, right?

    The country laws (yeah, I'm saying laws) discriminate people based on their religion. You may start with their Law of Return.
    Yup, very western, very civilized and - of course - developed, if you compare to other countries during Middle Ages.

    Also, I don't think that fearing a rocket hitting your house is exactly quality of life.
    And I don't think that pushing jews of more recent immigration to live in colonies in occupied lands, risking their necks, is a good thing. - But what do I know, perhaps they're masochists and are happy with that. So it's HDI++, right?

    Freedom House's American origins not withstanding it still produces solid reports, I doubt you can find factual faults with that report?

    Funny, I don't remember accusing the Freedom House of inventing data.

    The point is that you can prove anything you want with carefully chosen facts: ommit what you don't want and amplify what does.
    Unless you're incredibly good at faking data, you do not: you select and display what suits you best.

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