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As information and communications technologies (ICTs) have become more widespread they have, certainly in more developed nations, become “invisible”; we don't see them because we just accept they are there – often we only understand their significance to our lives when they break down. When only a few people had these gadgets they were novel, but as they became more common, and were eventually assimilated to become part of our modern culture, they became transparent; they're just another part of our everyday life.

Smart technologies


Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)

The future of electricity: Diverse, connected, clever

In 2008, South Africans learnt a new term: “load shedding”.

Unlike the 2003 “Northeast Blackout” which affected 50 million people in the United States and Canada (or even larger blackouts in Italy, also in 2003, Indonesia in 2005 and Brazil in 2009), load shedding is the planned and scheduled interruption of electricity supply to specific areas or industries in order to make up for a shortfall in generation capacity.

2010 - ICTs and Environmental Sustainability

Global Information Society Watch 2010 investigates the impact that information and communications technologies (ICTs) have on the environment – both good and bad. Written from a civil society perspective, GISWatch 2010 covers some 50 countries and six regions, with the key issues of ICTs and environmental sustainability, including climate change response and electronic waste (e‑waste), explored in seven expert thematic reports.