Now is the time for your organization to consider starting a community radio staiton. In the Spring of 2007 the FCC is expected to open a filing window for ownership of new non commercial eduacaiton radio staitons or an NCE. Why is this important?
This is lilkely to be the last opportunity in our lifetimes that this window will open. If your organization has ever considered starting a station now is the time. There are several resources availabe for you. In a nutshell, this means that you need to hire a broadcast engineeer to find out if a frequency is available in your area. This costs around $2000.00 and then you need to hire a broadcast atorney to help with your application.
This is impossible to keep up with. Great session on the Media Lab's $100 Laptop. Michail Bletsas and Michael Brown. Highlights:
50% of the world's kids don't have electricity at home
learning happens not just with teachers - learning happens with communicating and doing
the internet was not meant to be mediated by servers (Shades of Mark Bernstein's puzzlement at educators' concern about hosting from edBlogger 2003. Is there never any progress?)
main goal is to get the kids to create their own content
teachers are the bottleneck - building a teacher infrastructure is a waste of time, they learn slower - best to get them out of the way
And OK, OK, once again the emphasis on hand-helds, on cell phones. I resist and resist and it's probably time to cave in and buy one. For what - spam students with news of new library books? spam staff with news of summer tech training opportunities? Hah!
This project has been talked about a lot. Interesting presentation was from Michail Bletasas, a MIT engineer working on the project. Besides the technical challenges, there are the social issues. The idea is to put a simple laptop into the hands of children in many developing countries. The capabilities of children is important to the idea. Children explore and learn without manuals; they learn from each other; the point is not just to receive information but to develop a core of kids that are part of the future of the cultures involved. Key is a using a wireless mesh networking system so the users are not dependent entirely on massive server systems. They expect software to be open source. There are soures of information out there for cultures if the the channels to get them to people can be developed.
If you are trying to solve accessibility barriers for your software and / or Web 2.0 site, we will host a round table during the 3:15 sessions. Anyone having accessibility interest, expertise or phobia...come join me and Glenda the Goodwitch for a lively problem solving session.
When the $100 laptop is closed it continues to act as a router for all of the laptops in the village. If one laptop gains a connection to the internet all the laptops gain access through the peer network. This means even when the laptop is "off" it is not really "off". It is running on a low level of energy to keep the network in tact.
If a woman or girl needs examples of how technology can have a postive impact on the world's people, this project is it.
The $100 laptop does not have a harddisk. The designers of the $100 laptop found that hd's are one of the first things that often break in a computer. To get around this problem they are using Flash memory.
Flash memory is a solid-state memory. In the most basic way that means it has no moving parts. The iPod uses it.
Over the last several months I've wondered why I have such a "big" hd on my laptop. I have 60 GB, but honestly I don't use it so often now. I put my documents on servers - at work, my isp, services like snapfish. Really all I need regularly is an internet connection, a browser and a place on the web I can lay my docs.
I have talking about this throughout the conference.
Free the Data
Data interoperability and Open Standards so that people who own the data have control.
Planetwork has been working on this for a while - we published the Augemented Social Network white paper in 2003 about the vision of the Social Web. Members of our community have been involved in the development of and the first implementations of two Open Standards at OASIS (one of the three internet standards bodies - IETF and W3C being the others). eXtensible Resource Identifier XRI and XRI Data Interchange XDI. Datasharing creates the Data Web. Boeing and Visa are involved in these efforts along with civil society interested parties. (xri) i-names is a namespace for people and organizations governed by XDI.org. The first major implementation is being done in a large international women's nonprofit OoTao is a company leading the way in implementing in this space.
Tobias Eigen is the founder of Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa, a nonprofit tech assistance provider based in DC/Seattle. Kabissa began providing web hosting and domain services for African organizations in 1999 and today does training-the-trainers capacity building. They are looking to next move into online social networking tools to facilitate information sharing and networking among African civil society organizations. We sat down at the Net Squared conference for the following interview.