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links for 2008-12-09

  • A group of Wikipedians has launched a wikipedia in Egyptian arabic, a split from the classical arabic edition that's been developed for some years on Wikipedia. Global Voices rounds up reactions. A few feel like it's easier to write in Egyptian arabic, while the majority seem to feel this is an anti-Islamist political statement, or simply a bad idea that will go nowhere.
  • Apple is introducing the iPhone in Egypt with the Google Maps application crippled, at the request of the government which fears putting GPS capabilities in the hands of citizens. While some Egyptians are evading the restrictions by buying unlocked iphones over the web, it's an occasion for a meditation on whether technologies inherently help confront and change authoritarian regimes, or whether these regimes are more successful at adapting to and repressing speech via new technologies.