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Faith in government declines when mobile internet arrives

A new study finds that incumbent parties lose votes after their citizens get online

THE EARLY days of the internet were full of predictions about access to information unleashing a wave of democratisation. More recently, views on the internet’s impact have soured, as states use it to spy on dissidents and influence foreign elections.

Opinions on this topic are abundant, but hard data are scarce. No one knows whether the Arab spring could have occurred without the internet, or whether Russia’s online efforts to boost President Donald Trump’s campaign had any effect. Nonetheless, scholars can sometimes find natural experiments to substitute for such counter-factual scenarios. A recently revised study by the economists Sergei Guriev, Nikita Melnikov and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, which is now undergoing peer review, uses the growth of mobile broadband to reveal a link between internet access and scepticism of government.

Google Maps makes it easier to share your location with Plus Codes — no address required

When you need to give someone your location, you usually point them to an address. Here in Addis, you often point them to an intersection instead. But sometimes an address is just difficult to find — or you don’t have one at all.

For those purposes, Google introduced Plus codes five years ago, allowing you to share your location in a short alphanumerical format, whether you simply can’t find an address or are in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem they were actually used all that much, so now Google is making it easier to share the Plus codes than ever.

Coronavirus pandemic spreads fake news, scams and malware

What happened?

Scammers, spammers, and spreaders of fake news have leaped on the coronavirus crisis, proliferating dodgy text messages and emails, hoax posts and videos, and other misinformation to flood inboxes and social media, ‘As well as messages from scammers and well-meaning but ill-informed individuals, certain nations have been accused of generating sophisticated misinformation. A report from the Financial Times suggested a series of text messages spread throughout the US purporting to be from “a friend of a friend in the FBI” or a “brother in law in the military” were probably sent by operatives in Russia and China looking to cause chaos and confusion.

Such messages, some suggesting the UK government will completely lock down the country, maybe driving panic buying and stockpiling. Other versions of the messages suggest cures or preventative measures, such as drinking water constantly or gargling with saltwater, whether this advice comes from Russian spies or from a well-meaning friend, the information is false and won't prevent infection, the only measures to avoid the coronavirus are social distancing and regular handwashing.

Other posts are a more obvious con, selling cures and treatments for COVID-19 or suggesting products that insure against infection, such as vitamins and teas - none of which will have any positive effect against the virus, such ads are already being targeted by the authorities and social networks.

Principles of Mobile App Design: A complete Guide to UX Design and Development

These mobile design guidelines will help the app designers to churn out of the box apps.

Flurry analytics has declared an average user spends 5 hours every day on mobile. And that shows the reality that a vast amount of user’s time is spent either on the applications or the web. But not all the mobile applications are making it to the handsets of the users. And the apps that are there on users’ smartphones have something extraordinary.

Today’s users want a lot from a mobile application. Not only do they look out for the latest UI design trends, but also the ease of interaction while engaging with the app, fast loading time, adoption of content, and the kind of actions included are primary for the success of the mobile application. That’s why mobile UI/UX design plays a crucial role in the development process.

Fight the coronavirus using the web

Now that the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a pandemic, it's important to keep up to date with the latest advice. Google is leading the way by placing key stories about the disease at the top of its search results. This is followed by important government and Ministry of Health, Ethiopia  facebook page ( , and a map of the affected areas. It has also launched its own COVID-19 information site (

The best advice is to wash your hands for 20 seconds, or for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday, but if you're fed up with that ditty, you can use other tunes to accompany your ablutions. Enter the name of a song and artist into Wash Your Lyrics ( ) for a downloadable infographic showing a hand-washing technique to fit. To get help with the other top virus-proofing tip, which is to stop touching your face, go to , allow access to your webcam and the machine-learning algorithm will kick in and view you via an open tab or minimised window. You'll be alerted every time you touch your face.

 To help you stay informed about the number of reported cases and deaths, Public Health Ethiopia has created a dashboard (

How to Fix (and Avoid) Traffic Drops after a Website Redesign

No matter how state-of-the-art your company’s website may have seemed when you first launched it, there comes a time when every site can benefit from a redesign. Given the multitude of algorithm changes than happen each year, and regular shifts in consumer Internet use, it can be nearly impossible for an outdated website to deliver the online results you need. 

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The importance of using SSL on your website.

Many of you may have heard the phase SSL when it comes to websites, many of you may not have; for those that have you’ll probably know that SSL is to do with a website’s security and for encrypting details which are transmitted between your computer and the ‘internet’ when viewing a website page. I would also suspect that when you think of SSL you will traditionally think of it only in respect to e-commerce websites and making purchases online? Although predominately true SSL is becoming an increasingly important element of every website and it will only continue to become more and more important as time goes by.

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The (Seriously) Comprehensive Guide to Choosing a Web Host

You’re getting ready to setup your new website and now you face a decision: “Who do I choose for my hosting?”

Selecting a host is kind of a big deal, because everything from the speed and stability of your website, to its security and uptime can depend on making a good choice. And if you pick a host and set yourself up only to realize another host would be better for you, migrating your site can be a real pain in the neck.

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Build a sign-up page with Bootstrap 3

With the recent release of Bootstrap version 3.0, big changes have been made. Most notably, the responsive frontend framework has been rebuilt from the ground up to be mobile-first. This means whenever you start using this framework, your website will be responsive and mobile-friendly from the get-go.

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14 Things Learned While Designing at Disqus

A few weeks ago I worked my last day at Disqus, the number one commenting system on the internet. My time with the company was the most exciting and educational two years of my career. I never thought it was possible to learn so much about something so seemingly simple as comments. Disqus is now used on millions of websites and is served to billions (with a "b") of unique users every month. Here are some of the lessons I learned while helping design the "web's community of communities."

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