July 2006

Bytes for All…

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Open Source/Open Access
FOSS localisation consortium at Bytesforall launched
A network to link Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS, or FOSS) advocates in South Asia, with an intention of building regional links and especially encouraging localisation efforts in this populous part of the planet.

Are you a South Asian FOSS Hero?
Bytesforall, FOSSFP Pakistan and Sarai India including a number of partner organisations at the 'South Asian FLOSS Consortium' are in the process of compiling information about people from South Asia who have made a significant effort to promote FOSS in their regions. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bytesforall_floss/

Urdu L10N to be reinitiated
FOSS Localisation Consortium at Bytesforall requests developers to join the forces regarding computing in leading south Asian languages. The consortium is in process to bring pan South Asian localisation efforts on one platform. Already Sarai India, FOSSFP Pakistan, Bytesforall Pan-South Asia, Nepalinux Nepal and various other groups have teamed up. http://urduweb.org/
and http://groups.yahoo.com/urdu_computing

Open access journals
Over 80 Indian journals are open access journals. These include 11 journals published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, four published by the Indian National Science Academy, Indian Journal of Medical Research (ICMR), three journals published by the Calicut Medical College, and 38 journals whose OA version is brought out by NIC and thirty journals whose OA versions are published by MedKnow Publications, Bombay. All the content is accessible at

SanskritaPradipika – a Sanskrit e-Tutor
SanskritaPradipika [a little lamp for Sanskrit], a freely downloadable e-Tutor for the Sanskrit language, is intended to help English-speaking people learn Sanskrit, as well as the Devanagari script in which the language is written today.

India lays down 'open' challenge
It was heartening to know that more and more south Asians, particularly Indian programmes, are writing open source code and customising it for their needs. After his first trip to India, regular columnist Bill Thompson looks forward to the end of western domination of the free software community.

Software piracy
After a recent campaign launched by BSA and the Government of Pakistan against software piracy, FOSSFP Pakistan has announced to help migrate the organisations to open source software. It is a welcome chance for all those who are running pirated software in companies, schools, colleges, universities, departments, shops. It will save them from legal litigation by the BSA and the government for loading and running pirated software in businesses and organisations.

e-Survey – development of Bangladesh's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
The survey is a one way to include the civil society in the process. The research will help the development of PRSP and properly address wide ranging issues. BNNRC calls for civil society organisations to actively participate in the survey and have their say in the process.

Parliamentarian's caucus on ICTs in Bangladesh
With a vision of promoting the use of ICTs in activities related to economic development and social well-being of the people of Bangladesh, particularly with respect to Millennium Development Goals, an ICT caucus has been formed in Bangladesh Parliament with the participation of twenty four elected constituency representatives with different political background.

Governments go online – without Windows
e-Governance promises to cut corruption and improve transparency. Open source software offers a way to break South Asia's technological dependence on industrialised countries, experts say.

Internet Governance
Global Alliance for ICT and Development' (GAID)
We are pleased to inform that two of our 'Bytesforall' family members have been nominated to the strategy council and champions network of GAID due to their untiring efforts for the cause of ICT and Development and is in recognition to their experience and background for working on ICT4D issues. We particularly congratulate A H M Bazlur Rahman of BNNRC in Bangladesh who has been nominated to Strategy Council and Frederick Noronha, Co-founder Bytesforall who has been nominated as member to the Champions Network. http://www.un-gaid.org/

ICTs for Development
US$20 Million Knowledge and ICT Fund at ADB
The Government of the Republic of Korea has set up a US$20 million e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund at ADB. The fund aims to bridge the digital divide and promote improved access to information and creating and sharing of knowledge through ICT in the Asia and Pacific region.

SMS campaign to save water
A sweet shop owner in Indore has launched a Short Message Service (SMS) campaign to save water, being concerned about scarcity of water in Madhya Pradesh, India. 'Sir, kindly save water for a safe future,' says the SMS doing the rounds.

Software for rain forecast
A large volume of rainfall data from various locations and Australian Rainman software package enabled scientists at the Department of Agricultural Meteorology at the Directorate of Soil and Crop Management Studies at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University to to create the seasonal rainfall forecast for the South West Monsoon.

China steps up efforts to bring Internet to rural areas
As per a news item, China steps up efforts to bring Internet to outlying rural areas. Farmer now can use a computer to get help about rice planting from an agronomist several hundred kilometers away. Statistics from the Ministry of Information Industry show that only 15 percent of the rural population has access to telephones and that 2.6 percent of them are Internet users.

Students to get special rate for Internet use
The post and telecommunications ministry in Bangladesh has decided to provide special facilities to the students on Internet use at a rate as low as 3 paisa per minute. The students, however, will be entitled to enjoy these facilities only in their respective institutions.

The AirJaldi summit, Dhasa, India
The AirJaldi summit will address some of the ways that wireless communication can be used to provide affordable Internet access in rural communities. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying best practices for rapidly increasing connectivity for regions most in need. The conference will be held from 22-25 October, 2006 in Dharamsala, India. http://summit.airjaldi.com/

The International convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS)
The International convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) is listed among the largest gatherings of research scholars from Centres on Asia and Asians studies, especially in the humanities and social science fields. The convention is being held at Convention Centre, Kualalumpur, Malaysia on 2-5 August 2007.

APC news
APCNews, the monthly newsletter of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is published and was shared electronically.

ICTs for poverty alleviation
This report reviews the evidence on how (or if) ICTs should be used in support of poverty reduction exercises.
http://peacejournalism.com ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=8919

Wikipedia – Indian states
The goal of the Wikiproject Indian states is to create comprehensive articles on India's states and union territories. The final goal is to have as many articles on India's states as a featured article, one of Wikipedia's best.
ITU and infoDev launch new module of online ICT regulation toolkit

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for telecommunications, and infoDev, a multi-donor programme focusing on ICT for development, launched the second module of their collaborative online ICT regulation toolkit, the legal and institutional framework.
www.itu.int and www.infodev.org

Bytes for All: www.bytesforall.net
Bytes For All Readers Discussion: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bytesforall_readers
Bytes for All RSS syndication: http://www.bytesforall.net/index_html/RSS
Bytes for All Readers Forum RSS syndication:
Bytes for All Summary Archive: http://www.bytesforall.net/Summary/
Bytes for All discussion summary compiled by:
Shahzad Ahmad, Bytes for All, Pakistan

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