It’s been pretty awful watching the news over the last few days, hearing about the thousands that have lost their lives, homes, families and belongings, it was only this morning that I heard on the news the number of people that are in desperate need of support after the earthquake and tsunami, the number is close to 5 Million people – I can’t imagine what life must be like for these people at this time – it’s good to see that UNICEF and others are starting to get aid into the area but there is also desperate need for more support – if you are interested in making a contribution to assist the aid work a partial list of aid organizations can be found here.

Just after moving to Seattle I signed up to the USGS Earthquake E-Mail reports - There appear to be a number of smaller quakes going on in the Asia area some registering at 6.0, imagine feeling another quake and not knowing what effect that was going to have.

A few years ago at TechEd Europe UNICEF showed a portable Identity Kit system which was being used across the world to assist with events like the tsunami - this comprised a digital camera, laptop running Windows 2000 and SQL Server - the kit was able to produce identity cards which contained a persons name, photograph, and a barcode identity strip - the card could be used to get food, clothing, and shelter, and was also used to bring faimilies together - if one family members card was 'swiped' to obtain food, clothing or other items at one location then the other family members could find this out through the SQL log being kept of transactions.

I wonder how technology is being used to bring families and friends together in South Asia right now.

– Mike