The GPS app that can find anyone anywhere

A UK-based startup has developed a geocoding tool that could revolutionise how we find places, from a remote African village dwelling to your tent at a rock festival

In common with perhaps 15 million South Africans, Eunice Sewaphe does not have a street address. Her two-room house is in a village called Relela, in a verdant, hilly region of the Limpopo province, five hours’ drive north-east of Johannesburg. If you visited Relela, you might be struck by several things the village lacks – modern sanitation, decent roads, reliable electricity – before you were struck by a lack of street names or house numbers. But living essentially off-map has considerable consequence for people like Eunice. It makes it tough to get a bank account, hard to register to vote, difficult to apply for a job or even receive a letter. For the moment, though, those ongoing concerns are eclipsed by another, larger anxiety. Eunice Sewaphe is nine months pregnant – her first child is due in two days’ time – and she is not quite sure, without an address, how she will get to hospital.

Sitting in the sun with Eunice and her neighbours outside her house, in a yard in which chickens peck in the red dirt, she explained to me, somewhat hesitantly, her current plan for the imminent arrival. The nearest hospital, Van Velden, in the town of Tzaneen, is 40 minutes away by car. When Eunice goes into labour, she will have to somehow get to the main road a couple of miles away in order to find a taxi, for which she and her husband have been saving up a few rand a week. If there are complications, or if the baby arrives at night, she may need an ambulance. But since no ambulance could find her house without an address, this will again necessitate her getting out to the main road. In the past, women from Relela, in prolonged labour, have had to be taken in wheelbarrows to wait for emergency transport that may or may not come.

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The truth about gaming disorder, from Fortnite to World of Warcraft

As the amount of young gamers has risen sharply, so have addiction narratives

Gaming disorder may be a newly recognised condition, but disordered gaming is anything but new. In 2010, a Korean couple was arrested for fatal child neglect spurred by an obsession with Prius Online. Five years earlier, another Korean man collapsed and died after a 50-hour session playing StarCraft in an internet cafe.

In the west, World of Warcraft, released in 2004, was one of the first games to trigger addiction narratives in the mainstream press, with the game blamed for causing college students to drop out of university and others losing careers and families.

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‘He was terrified of people’: when gaming becomes an addiction

Huge popularity of online games sparks fears over young people’s mental health

Kendal Parmar’s son went from being a sporty and sociable boy who loved school, to a child who would stay in his room and rarely go outside.

The change in his personality was down to a gaming disorder that crept up on him at the age of 12, when he started secondary school. Three years later, Joseph is still struggling with the problem.

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The engineering sector needs more women | Letters

Young women should be inspired to work on some of the world’s most exciting innovations, says Yasmin Ali

On Saturday (International Women in Engineering Day) we celebrate the many achievements of female engineers globally. This is a welcome time to reflect, yet here in the UK, just 11% of engineers are women. Engineering is behind many of the things we take for granted, such as roads, bridges, railways, electricity generation and clean water, but it is also behind AI, robotics, smartphones and wearable technology – some of the most exciting recent technological developments. To get more women into engineering, we must communicate its many applications more clearly to young women. Through doing so we can inspire many more to join a profession that can see them working on some of the world’s most exciting innovations. Once there, we must do all we can to challenge and inspire female engineers.

The Create the Future report, a 10,000-person global study by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, found 92% of respondents felt engineering had an impact on people’s daily lives. Yet only through a better-balanced sector will we be able to build a world fit for the future.
Yasmin Ali
Ambassador, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

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