April 2007

Bytes for All…

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News and Announcements:

Illegal VoIP: case against grameen phone

RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) has filed a case (no: 32(2) 2007) against Grameen Phone for their alleged involvement in illegal VoIP business. In the FIR it is mentioned that RAB carried out an operation on February 12 at 11.30 pm at the basement and fifth floor of a building near Boro Mogbazaar, in the capital city of Bangladesh. RAB seized activated indoor BTS of Grameen Phone, 14 pieces of tellular sets, 36 wireless sets of Anik company, local loop, 3 quantums, 40 pieces of Grameen SIM and a number of VOIP instruments.

Call for papers: JoCI special issue community wireless networking and social justice

Around the world, projects have developed, that have appropriated, and integrated emerging wireless technologies to provide access to local media, promote digital inclusion, solve communication problems, and promote civic engagement. Yet what are the long-term impacts of community wireless projects? Where do CWNs (community wireless networking) contribute to the policy-making process and how do policies differ? Interested, people may contact joci@saschameinrath.com

FOSS

The development agenda of free software

Free software work in a free-of-charge high quality training environment. For a budding programmer, participating in free software projects works like an informal apprenticeship. One not only hones the technical skills but also learns about teamwork and management. According to surveys cited in the report, such skills are often more effectively learnt through community participation than from formal courses.
http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/pb/unu_pb_2006_01.pdf

Linux + Windows = Bliss

There are many compelling financial reasons to install Linux in small and mid-sized businesses, corporate departments and in smaller subsidiaries.

Still, some prospective Linux buyers avoid making the move for a variety of reasons including a fear of complexity, and worries that it won't integrate well with Windows. To address these concerns, Novell has teamed up with IBM to build a low-cost turnkey Linux implementation that is extremely easy to deploy within an Windows environment.  
http://mailer.idgconnect.com/t/538588/3020562/24174793/0/

Pakistan 'opens up' open source training toolkit to everyone

When it comes down to developing and sharing ICT based open knowledge, Pakistan is never behind in the arena, it being the third largest low-cost IT enabled and offshore BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services provider nation in Asia after India and China. Such is an example set forth by the Open Source Resource Centre (OSRC), a project of the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan. OSRC has developed and released a FOSS resource kit titled 'OSS Training Toolkit originally put together in order to facilitate OSRC's training, comprising of free-of-cost workshops that it carries out throughout Pakistan. The toolkit contains step-by-step manuals comprising of six modules covering various free and open source software applications.
http://www.osrc.rg.pk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=4

IOSN and UNDP-APDIP release publication on free/open source software network infrastructure and security

This e-Primer, with a foreword by Robert Shaw of the International Telecommunication Union, introduces readers to the network concepts and architectures, and the major networking functions with FOSS.

It also discusses network security functions with FOSS, including security best practices and 'to-dos'. The e-Primer also contains useful tips on network planning, design and development, which will help to diagnose and solve problems that occur while running a network.
http://www.iosn.net/publications/network/foss-network-primer,//http://www.apdip.net/news/fossnetwork

Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code 2007 is on! We are now accepting student applications. We've also published some additional web app documentation for mentors and organisation administrators. All the information for participants in Google Summer of Code 2007, including student abstracts and other information provided by them, is available by visiting the individual mentoring organisation pages below.
http://code.google.com/summerofcode.html

ICT4D

IGNOU, India, plans to establish 8000 tele-knowledge centres in rural areas

As part of the 11th plan proposal Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), is planning to establish 8000 tele-knowledge centres in rural India to disseminate information to cater to the need for sustainable development to rural and under privileged region. Read the rest of this entry here…
http://community.telecentre.org/en-tc/node/30088

Can community radio work for India?

After years of discussions, workshops and petitions from within the country and outside, Indians finally breathed relief and applauded the government for finally opening up radio broadcasting. Read the rest of this entry here…
http://community.telecentre.org/en-tc/node/30221

LibriVox

LibriVox is a project that describes its mission to be the 'acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.' It is a digital library of free public domain audio books that are read and recorded by volunteers. It was started just a year and a half ago, in August 2005, and already has amassed over 150 recordings. Most of the recordings are in English but there are also recordings available in German, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Japanese as well as other languages.
http://creativecommons.org/text/librivox

Google logs into rural India

The latest company to seek a fortune in India's rural markets is Google. It is developing with local vendors a simpler search engine, as well as content tailored to the needs of rural users. The customised content for rural customers would include weather updates, crop patterns and other local data. Google is also betting heavily on the mobile platform (as PC penetration is low) and plans to introduce services like Google Talk (instant chat application) , and Google Maps through tie-ups with Indian mobile operators. Google is further looking at licensing partnerships with Indian publishers, broadcasting companies and those that own Bollywood content that could be made available on its sites.
http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/mar/21google.htm

Biometric smart card, a fool proof ID for Citizens

eWorld recently chatted up Kris Dev or Gopala Krishnan Devanathan, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and e-Governance Consultant, and NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) Implementation Activist on his Biometric Smart Card (BSC) device. The device won the 2006 Manthan award for creating India's best e-Content in the category 'e-Inclusion and Livelihood' for Biometric Tracking of Payments under NREGA. 'Today there is no unique and foolproof identification of citizens. A Biometric Smart Card is the answer to this. The process is simple. Every citizen could be uniquely registered by a Citizen ID and all their particulars

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