Why, oh why, not?


With our mobile phones’ abilities approaching what our personal computers do at a quick pace, it seems like a wider integration of multiple sims could be a nice idea. I still meet so many people who squabble with their multiple devices to try and separate their private lives from the professional ones. I’m not even asking to make the phones compatible with different networks as nice as that could be – I’d just like to be able to have a couple of numbers from the same operator and be able to have preset groups I want to call from specific numbers rather than revealing my private one to everyone I need to have phone contact with.

And by all means, make me pay for it, but please just make it work. How much different can creating a maintaining a phone number be to doing the same with an email address in principle? The technology is there, but why not applied on a wider scale?

P2P student loans for the developing world


I’ve been a fan of organisations such as Kiva and Zopa for a while now. Peer to peer loans make many-a-business-ideas and lives possible around the world and today I found out about an equivalent type of service for students in developing countries. Vittana is still in beta, but is already creating connections with many microfinance institutions in the developing countries to stimulate regional student loans.

I never fully agreed with the idea of free education, but I’ve always looked for systems that make it universally accessible whether through loans, scholarships or offering students part-time work. In principle, if you really want to go to university and you’re willing to work hard for it, nothing should stand in your way. If it’s complicated to get a loan in the EU, I can’t even imagine what it must be like in developing countries. Back in my student days, when I first moved to the UK, I was denied student loans in this country and the Polish banking system back home told me that since I’m not studying in Poland they didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

Education is  a key way of changing societies, governments and the economies of developing countries. Ironically, the countries that most need educated people often cannot support their own domestic intellectual potential. Provided they take off, organisations like Vittana might be the single non-governmental way to allow more students to have a university education in developing countries.