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MWC: LG and Apple win Global Mobile Awards, Blackberry presents Leap and Jimmy Wales on language minorities

On the second day of the Mobile World Congress, which is the largest event of the mobile industry and is currently being held in Barcelona, the GSMA announced the Global Mobile Award winners in more than 30 categories and Blackberry presented a new phone oriented towards the business sector. If Then This That won the Best Overall Prize in the app category and LG’s G3 and the iPhone 6 shared the Best Smartphone award. In the featured keynotes speech, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales remarked on the importance of minority languages on the internet. In addition, Wales presented his project to provide free access to Wikipedia in developing countries, following Monday's announcements by Google and Facebook to also provide internet access to the entire planet.

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04 March 2015 08:56 PM

by

Martín González

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (CNA).- On the second day of the Mobile World Congress, which is the largest event of the mobile industry and is currently being held in Barcelona, the GSMA announced the Global Mobile Award winners in more than 30 categories and Blackberry presented a new phone oriented towards the business sector. If This Then That (IFTTT) won the Best Overall Prize in the app category, and LG’s G3 and Apple’s iPhone 6 shared the award for best smartphone. In the featured keynotes speech, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales highlighted the importance of minority languages on the internet and presented Wikipedia Zero, a programme to give access to Wikipedia for free in developing countries. The internet encyclopaedia currently has editions in 288 different languages, with more than 450,000 articles on the Catalan site alone. Wikipedia's version in Catalan was the second to be launched after the founding English site.


Global Mobile Awards feature iPhone 6 and a timesaving app

Monty Python member John Cleese was the host at the 20th edition of the Global Mobile Awards, which aim to become 'the Oscars' of the cell-phone-related industries. Apple’s iPhone 6 and the LG’s G3 shared the Best Smartphone prize and IFTTT won the award for Best Overall Mobile App. IFTTT is an app available for Android and iOS devices that allows the user to schedule triggers when they perform a specific action. For example, when uploading a picture to Instagram, it can be automatically saved to the users Dropbox account. Other winners were the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a hybrid between a tablet and a laptop, and the Motorola Moto E for the Best Low Cost Smartphone.

The new Blackberry Leap was also presented on Tuesday. It will provide an improved OS and new security features, with a 5'' screen that falls into the mid-range category. It will cost $270 and the release date is set for April. A highlight of the presentation was a model that features a curved screen similar to that of the Galaxy S6 Edge and a slide keyboard.

Jimmy Wales addresses language minorities

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was joined by Mozilla Executive Chairperson Mitchell Baker in the main keynotes speech. These projects are both open source, a model that allows everyone access to their source code, enabling large scale user collaboration. This explains why Wikipedia has 288 editions, and why the Mozilla Firefox browser has been translated into 100 languages. Instead of depending on a commercial company that may or may not translate the software, open source allows language minorities to freely contribute their translations to the main project, improving access to local communities. An example for this is SoftCatalà, an association that promotes the usage of the Catalan language in technology. This project, which was started in 1998, has successfully collaborated with both open source and commercial actors to improve the situation of the Catalan language in technology initiatives.

Wales expressed his interest in African and Indian communities, discussing his latest project, Wikipedia Zero, which will lend access to the encyclopaedia for free, without charging the users for their data usage when browsing the site on a smartphone. According to Wales, the new internet user will not speak any major language like English or French, and this has to be one of the main focuses of Wikipedia. This is a similar project to internet.org, Facebook’s effort to provide internet access in third world countries that Mark Zuckerberg presented on Monday at the Mobile World Congress, and Google's aim to become a global network carrier. However, both Facebook's and Google's projects have the objective of earning money, which is a different approach than that taken by Wikipedia.

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  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, at Barcelona's 2015 Mobile World Congress (by J. R. Torné)

  • Mitchell Baker, CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, at Barcelona's 2015 Mobile World Congress (by J. R. Torné)

  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, at Barcelona's 2015 Mobile World Congress (by J. R. Torné)
  • Mitchell Baker, CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, at Barcelona's 2015 Mobile World Congress (by J. R. Torné)