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Using Search To Reconnect Refugees With Their Families 22

Posted by timothy
from the we-haven't-located-us-yet dept.
Lanxon writes "A lengthy and emotional feature on Wired this week goes behind the scenes of Refugees United (RU) — a US-registered non-profit, founded in 2006 by two Danish brothers, Christopher and David Mikkelsen, that aims to be a Google for refugee search: an easy, accessible platform that enables the displaced to find their families. On a grey July day in the RU office in Copenhagen — typical tech-company open-plan — Christopher and David, and Tomas Krag, chief technology officer, explain how the project came about, and the impact it has had on the world."
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Using Search To Reconnect Refugees With Their Families

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  • One step nearer to my E17 desktop being actually E17 instead of E16.999999

    I've been using E17 for over a year as my primary desktop environment and the number of crashes is liveably low and a quick restart (of Enlightenment, not the OS, not a logout event, takes less than a second) makes it all better.
    • by sltd (1182933)
      ? Did you click on the wrong link, or is this the work of a /. port of the Android SMS messaging bug?
      • by peragrin (659227)

        no it is the new slashcode. You click on one link and randomly another article or link will come up.

        I have very nearly done it my self 2-3 times in the last few days.

        Who ever designed the new slashdot went to MSFT's interface design school and was a good study. All sorts of random crap is happening, and we get to beta test it for them. Loading slashdot on my phone cuts off comments, articles, and both menu bars

        • by DavidTC (10147)

          And what's more fun, <I> tags no longer appear to work, including retroactively. See look, not italics.

          Which means it's utterly impossible to figure out what people quoted for about 30% of all slashdot posts, ever.

          I point to below the posting buttons, where it explicitly (We'll see if that ends up bold) says you can use an <I> tag.

          • by eltaco (1311561)

            And what's more fun, tags no longer appear to work, including retroactively. See look, not italics.

            let's see if quotes still work.

            • Anyone else seeing this?

              Look at a single post, i.e. click the (#nnnnnnnn), and it looks like there's a reply to it underneath. But it's actually a link back to itself.

              I'm wondering what it was intended to do, or whether somebody thought it might be useful.

  • "...on Wired-" Lost me there. Hackneyed attacks on what is probably among the most hated of tech magazines pretending to be more independent than they are aside, this is certainly a good idea, but what's to stop people searching for people whom they have nothing to do with? The information on the site, from what I could ascertain from the article, doesn't appear to be meaningfully secured and is open to abuse.
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      I gave up reading after what would have been the first 5 pages of magazine print. I didn't even get to the subject material. What do they want to do, make a registry web site for refugees world wide?

      We already have plenty of infrastructure for such things. Friends and family know our email addresses, social media presences (facebook, myspace, etc). The problem here is, we're talking about people who likely didn't have Internet access before. For those in refugee camps, g

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        To further this...

        I had a quick look at the CIA world factbook for Rwanda. 70% literacy rate. So 3 in 10 people won't know how to spell their own names, much less how to go to http://refugee-registry.example.com./ [refugee-re...xample.com] Once there, they won't be able to read what it says.

        There are 11 million people in the country. There are 2.9 million cell phones in use. There are 0.455 million Internet users. So, it would be fair to say that most of the population has had no ex

      • by DavidTC (10147)

        This entire thing is stupid to have to do.

        Various governments should be collecting that information. In places where the government can't or won't collect it, the UN should.

        We need to establish national and international clearinghouses for that information.

        It's a damn list of people. It's not rocket science to maintain.

        This list would then be made available over the internet, and trusted organizations like the Red Cross could have access to put things in the list.

        But it's not actually an 'internet' thi

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          Of course, the entire fact we still have refugees is pretty absurd also.

          Well, there are always going to be refugees. By definition, it is anyone displaced, or seeking refuge, for reasons including political, social, economic, and environmental reasons.

          So, anyone seeking refuge somewhere else, for whatever reason should be included. In my example, the building was a county owned building (a school). It was guarded by the local sheriffs department (4 deputies, if I remember co

          • by DavidTC (10147)

            Well, refugees from natural disasters are understandable.

            I just meant it was absurd to have political refugees, people forced out of their house for political or religious reasons, in the modern era.

            Anyway, with your situation, there should have been somewhere to notify. A web site, or even just a place they could call to leave information saying where they are. (Yes, I know they didn't have web sites back then, but now they do.)

            • by JWSmythe (446288)

              Anyway, with your situation, there should have been somewhere to notify. A web site, or even just a place they could call to leave information saying where they are. (Yes, I know they didn't have web sites back then, but now they do.)

              I think you're close to having the right answer. Damn, two Slashdot people discussed it, and figured out the solution.

              The problem would be, in the case of political refugees, who could you call that could be trusted with knowing where you are? I

  • Websites want to be found. Some even pay a lot of money to be found first

    I dont wanna discourage the effort, but thats not always the case with refugees. They like to blend in and get on with their lives

    • Yes, because refugee families are never separated. And on the rare occasion that they are, they prefer to forget about their parents, wives, and/or children and just want to "blend in and get on with their lives".

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross has been connecting people separated by conflict and disaster since it was conceived in 1859.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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