Filed Under (Reviews & Opinions, Tips) by David Wiles on 06-04-2009

ScrIM_Logo Most people know they shouldn’t post their e-mail addresses in plain text on the Web anymore. Bots and spammers regularly scan sites for e-mail addresses and add them to their subscription lists. Trying to hide your address with a trick like "myname AT sun DOT ac DOT za" is helpful, but some bots can see straight through that. Scr.im hides your e-mail address behind a link and a captcha to make sure that spammers don’t get a hold of it, or at least have to prove they’re human before they can see it.
You want to give your e-mail address to a friend on a forum, but neither of you wants to go first publicly. Perhaps you want to trade addresses with someone on Twitter, but you’re afraid you’ll botch the direct message and it’ll be public. With Scr.im, you can get a URL to give out instead of your e-mail address, and the person who sees it can click on the address, confirm their humanity, and they’ll see your address.










Most services already have workarounds in place to help you keep things like personal information private between you and the person for whom it’s intended. For example, Twitter has direct messages, forums usually have private messages, and there’s always IM. However, there are some times when it’s just easier and faster to reply with your contact information, and Scr.im allows you to share confidently.
To use the service, you do have to give Scr.im your e-mail address. Type it into the front page, and the service will either generate a Scr.im URL for you, or your can type in your desired suffix if you want something a bit more personal. Once the URL is activated, you can post it freely, and anyone who wants to use it will have to verify they’re a human before your address is displayed.








Scr.im isn’t the only service that protects your e-mail address behind a captcha; Tinymail has been doing something similar for years. However, Scr.im gives you the option of personalizing your address, something Tinymail doesn’t offer. If you post your Scr.im URL publicly, you still run the risk of people you didn’t intend to have your e-mail address getting it, but it’s much safer from an anti-spam perspective than simply typing your e-mail address on the Web.


Thursday April 2, 2009

Now that mobile devices have become a primary communication tool for over 60 percent of all humanity, the effects of widespread cell phone use in the developing world are beginning to receive more attention.

eLearning Africa (eLa), the continent’s largest annual assembly of eLearning and education professionals from Africa and beyond, has announced that on May 27th, 2009, they will conduct their fourth pan-African networking event in Dakar, Senegal. The event focuses on discussing and training participants on how to use a variety of technologies for development and education within different African countries.

Last year, over 1500 attendees from 83 countries gathered to discuss e-learning and distance education in the developing world. Recently, eLa announced that it its call for papers for 2009 has resulted in over 430 submissions from around the globe.
“The recent election of US President Barack Obama has elicited an unprecedented frenzy of hope across Africa,” said Kenyan journalist Reuben Kyama in a statement. “With an African-American president in office, the majority of the continent’s 750 million people anticipate a new dawn in the realm of socio-economic and political affairs.”

Conference organizers have set up a scholarship program to ensure participation of Africans with financial constraints. The organization said that conference participation will help the African practitioners lay the groundwork towards achieving their goal of education for all.

“In Africa, we have a lot of challenges particularly with connectivity,” said Chijioke A. Eke, a past conference participant from Sidmach Technologies Nig. Ltd in Nigeria. “Students in rural areas have a lot more challenges. Those that are there are not in touch with what is happening out in cities and they have less access. How can we take e-learning down to where the challenge is? Mobile,” he said, holding up a handset. (See the full video here.)

Conference attendees at past events have included representatives from Google and Cisco, plus hundreds of smaller independent technology and educational firms. Today, eLa is working on collecting donations to sponsor men and women from remote regions who would not otherwise be able to attend. For more information on the eLearning Africa Scholarship Program or to make a donation, visit www.elearning-africa.com.

Posted By:  Jamie Lendino