Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ZunZuneo, then Piramideo. How about Firechat?

Some free apps might work as well or better in Cuba than the ones that the U.S. government spends millions of dollars to develop.
Take, for instance, Firechat, developed by a tech start-up called Open Garden. The app is new and already has 3 million users.
The Associated Press said Firechat:
...harnesses a technology called wireless mesh networking, which might someday allow a myriad of devices to connect like links in a chain. (See related story: "Cuba may be target for mesh network").
The technique might someday be used to tie together thousands of devices with built-in radios and make it possible to be online without having to pay for the access. It could also enable online communications in remote areas or disaster zones without Wi-Fi or cellular signals. Furthermore, the conversations in these so-called "off-the-grid" networks can't be easily hacked into by spies and mischief makers or shut down by governments trying to stifle free speech.
Open Garden CEO Micha Benoliel told the AP:
We trying to create networks built by the people for the people.
Perhaps Firechat could be an alternative to similar U.S. government projects. Or would the embargo prohibit the use of such applications in Cuba?
I suspect that a USAID contractor already has been working on a mesh network targeting Cuba (See "Cuba likely target for mesh network").

Here's what Firechat does, according to its creator:
Chat with everyone around you, even when there's no Internet connection available. It just works and it’s free. Whether you’re on the beach, camping, at recess, watching a big game, doing business on the street, or attending a company meeting, simply fire up the app with a friend, or add a few to start a group chat.
Open Garden is based in San Francisco. The company has openings in case you're looking for work. Before applying, Open Garden asks that you answer this simple question:
The 2010 Census puts populations of 26 largest US metro areas at 18897109, 12828837, 9461105, 6371773, 5965343, 5946800, 5582170, 5564635, 5268860, 4552402, 4335391, 4296250, 4224851, 4192887, 3439809, 3279833, 3095313, 2812896, 2783243, 2710489, 2543482, 2356285, 2226009, 2149127, 2142508, and 2134411.

Can you find a subset of these areas where a total of exactly 100,000,000 people live, assuming the census estimates are exactly right? Provide the answer and code or reasoning used.

No comments: