Net Prophet

Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog tracking new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia

Krugman-Ilves Twitter war lives on in song

Jan 18, 2013
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings—or, in this case, the bow-tied president and the Nobel Prize-winning professor. A quarrel between Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and American economist Paul Krugman over Estonia’s alleged “economic triumph” that erupted on Twitter last June has been transformed into a short operatic piece, reports Agence France Presse. Read More »

Third time a charm for Tajik Facebook block?

Jan 17, 2013
As Tajikistan’s elections approach this fall, authorities in the Central Asian country have blocked Facebook for the third time in recent months.  The blockage, something that seems to be becoming increasingly common in the country, also seems to extend this time to Radio Free Europe’s Tajik service. Read More »

New evidence emerges in TeliaSonera bribery case

Jan 15, 2013
Swedish prosecutors have filed new documents in an investigation into claims that Scandinavian mobile operator TeliaSonera paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to secure an operating license in Uzbekistan, according to Radio Free Europe. Read More »

Unfazed by controversy, TeliaSonera boosts its share of Kazakh mobile market

Jan 9, 2013
Swedish mobile network operator TeliaSonera has taken another big bite into Kazakhstan’s telecommunications sector, spending $170 million on 4G technology for KCell, the country’s largest mobile provider, Total Telecom reports. Read More »

Critics question neutrality of Kazakh Wikipedia

Jan 8, 2013
Ties between the Kazakhstani government and WikiBilim, the NGO founded to promote the expansion of the Kazakh-language version of Wikipedia, have prompted critics of the online encyclopedia to accuse it of providing the Kazakh regime with an opportunity to use the website as a propaganda machine. Read More »

Looking East: The Russian example of volunteerism for Belarus

Dec 24, 2012
Social participation is something that works for Russia sometimes as well as in the West. Or at least, OK, better than it does in Belarus. Read More »

Mapping Czech open data (and dangerous food)

One of the biggest topics we cover at Net Prophet is the growing acceptance of open government data. At least in some sectors, many countries are beginning to see the benefits of opening up their wealth of information to their citizens and journalists. Some interesting platforms have been developed in the process, but we have noticed that even the best examples really only go so far in truly opening up their data. Yes, a ministry may make a document or database available online, but often they are too difficult for average citizens – and even journalists – to use. Read More »

New Russian website sets targets on apartment repairs

Dec 13, 2012
After struggling to coalesce the increasingly targeted Russian opposition movement, anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny has launched a website to tap into public frustration over poor conditions in Russian apartment blocks. And after a month online, the site seems to be hitting a nerve, The New York Times reports. Read More »

Estonia decodes IT future

Dec 12, 2012
The European Union launched an information technology agency in Estonia last Saturday, just months after the Baltic country announced it would begin teaching computer programming to first-graders. Read More »

In Belarus, converting online power to offline momentum

Dec 10, 2012
Belarus is known for its peculiar attitude to its own culture (or maybe it’s better to say we have a peculiar attitude to our president who has been running the country without any changes since 1994). Read More »

Space race in the Baltics in full swing

Dec 7, 2012
Latvia recently stole the lead in the Baltic space race, stating it would launch its first satellite into orbit early next year. Read More »

Hunting black swans with big data

Dec 6, 2012
In times of worldwide economic crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, one often wonders if such events couldn't have been mitigated or avoided altogether with the help of the latest technological developments. The United Nations Development Programme offers a potential answer in the form of a software that allows better data visualization and detection of irregular patterns. Read More »

‘Carousel Voting’ Goes Viral in Kyrgyz Elections

Nearly three months of intrusive and irksome electoral campaigns in Kyrgyzstan came to an end as votes were counted for the five municipal elections held on November 25. But with the results in, a scandalous piece of citizen media has left a sour taste in the mouth. Read More »

Moscow court orders removal of ‘extremist’ Pussy Riot online videos

Dec 3, 2012
Four videos made by the dissident punk band Pussy Riot are extremist, a Moscow court ruled 29 November, according to Radio Free Europe. Read More »
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