December 2007

Bytes for All…

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Bytes for All Discussion Summary for November 2007

Author in town

Stephen Joyce who is author of the bestseller : 'Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work' is to visit India shortly and plans to utilise part of his personal trip for some work.
Please see: http://www.AntHillSite com or http://www.StephenJamesJoyce.com)

Webcast on Mobile Government: The New Frontier in Transforming Public Services
Global Dialogue on Mobile Government:The New Frontier in Transforming Public Services. The event will take place at 08.30 – 11:00 am ET (13.30 – 16:00 GMT) on November 29, 2007 in Washington D. C. and in New Delhi. As an alternative you can join us via live webcast and online discussion or in one of other participating cities (via videoconference) . The event is co-sponsored by e-GovWorld 2007, Mobile Government Consortium International, Development Gateway, e-Gov Monitor, Institute for Information Society – Russia, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, and many other partners.

Mobile services are quickly emerging as the new frontier in transforming government and making it even more accessible and citizen-centric by extending the benefits of remote delivery of government services and information to those who are unable or unwilling to access  public services through the Internet or who simply prefer to use mobile devices. In theory, many government services can be now made available on a 24x7x365 basis at any place in the world covered by mobile networks, which today means almost everywhere.

A note from Nicholas Negroponte…
From now through November 26, the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non-profit association is offering a unique opportunity to help provide connected laptops to the poorest and most remote children of the world, while receiving an XO laptop for your own child. Please look at www.laptopgiving. org . You have the opportunity to Give One Get One for $399, or give many, if you wish. By popular demand, there are ways to direct 60 or more to your favorite school, as  well.

OLPC is an education project, not a laptop project. Children are a mission, not a market. After 30+ years of research at the MIT Media Lab, based on Seymour Papert's theories of constructionism, we have had three years to pilot in primary schools around the world, in Cambodia, India, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru and other places. The XO laptop is now in mass production. It was reviewed recently by the NY Times . If you have a chance, I urge you glance at David Pogue's video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM33EEAszHA) as well.

Our goal is to reach the poorest and most remote children, in countries where as many as 50% do not even go to school. The long term purpose is to eliminate poverty.

Microsoft facilitating hardware to software-based approach
The next generation communication tools will be dominated by software driven technology. Moving hardware to software approach will reduce the modern telecommunication costs noticeably.

Michel Gambier, General Manager, Information Worker product Group, Microsoft Asia Pacific observed this while he was delivering a key note presentation recently.

“Cost is an important issue for adopting better info-tech communication systems. Microsoft's unified communications solutions are designed for reducing the cost of the VoIP system. With a partnership Microsoft is making rapid advances to enable fundamentally new and improved ways for the efficient businesses communication and collaboration.” 
                                                   The Independent, 16 November

Invitation to participate in Renewable Energy Development Programme
Infrastructure Development Company Limited(IDCOL) is a public-private sector institution promoting sustainable economic development in Bangladesh by encouraging private sector investment in infrastructure, renewable energy and other sectors. IDCOL seeks applications from non-government organizations (“NGOs”), micro-finance institutions (“MFIs”), private entities for selection as Participating Organizations (“POs”) under its Renewable Energy Development Programme for installation of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in areas where grid electricity is unlikely to reach in near future.

Interested organizations are requested to download complete application packages from IDCOL website www.idcol.org. Application packages may also be collected from IDCOL office at a cost of Taka 500/- (non-refundable) . Completed applications must be submitted to the address mentioned below within three weeks of publication of this advertisement.

Infrastructure Development Company Limited, UTC Building (16th Floor), 8 Panthapath, Kawranbazar, Dhaka-1207. Phones: 9114385, 8111235, 8117526, 9143157, Fax: 8116663

Workshop on “Rural Connectivity Bangladesh Perspective” on November 17,2007 at Spectra Convention Center
The workshop brought the relevant stakeholders and come up with a set of recommendations to bridge the connectivity gap between rural and urban areas.

BTN (Bangladesh Telecenter Network) will forward the recommendations to relevant authorities including BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission). Mr. S M Wahid-uz-Zaman, Secretary, MoSICT  (The Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology) attended the program as Chief Guest.

Organizations involved in connectivity, and other related stakeholders discussed the present scenario and shared their experiences.

Internet Governance Forum held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The inaugural ceremony of United Nations second Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was  held on Monday, November 12, 2007, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Governments, business entities, and civil society members from around the world were present in the inaugural meeting of the Forum. The forum  continued until the 15th of November 2007 following a number of sessions and workshops on the issues around the internet. Mr. Sha Zukang, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, read out the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, terming the IGF as a landmark event that deals with the issue of internet governance. He emphasised that the internet has become a fact, a tool in our globalised world which serves to promote peace, security and human rights.

The Association for Progressive Communication (APC), recognised as an important stakeholder in the arena, considers the IGF as one of most significant and innovative public spaces. APC sees as the most important challenge and prime topic at the second Internet Governance Forum (IGF): internet for development. This development can be addressed by looking into a set of themes that are all related to digital inclusion: Access; Internet governance; Financing; Human rights; participation in public policy processes; Gender equality; ICTs & sustainable development. Also view the links : www.voicebd.org, http://blog.apc.org

USF – Broadband Inititative for Pakistan
In order to spread the benefits of the telecommunications revolution to all corners of Pakistan, a Universal Service Fund has been established. USF aims to promote development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country, in order to make available, affordable voice telephony and basic data services, to progressively greater proportions of the country's population at their home locations.

On the part of execution, a separate company by the name Universal Service Fund has been established, by the Government of Pakistan, under section 42 of the companies ordinance 1984 with the following Goals:

USF Co. is to bring the focus of telecommunications operators towards rural population. Through effective and fair utilization of USF, the level of telecommunication penetration will increase significantly in the rural areas.

To aim to improve the Broadband penetration in the country. In case, of Broadband the target areas will be the whole of Pakistan, and not just rural areas.

To bring significant advances towards enhancement of e-services, both in rural as well as urban areas of the country.
                                                                            www.usf.org.pk

Award for young women journalists
The Jayaraman family and the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) jointly announce the Anupama Jayaraman Memorial Award for young women journalists for the year 2008. The Award had been set up in the memory of Anupama Jayaraman, a young and promising Bangalore-based journalist who passed away in January 2006. Anupama was not only multi-talented and energetic, but she also demonstrated a keen interest in issues of human rights and social justice.

This year the Award has been extended from only English to include two other Indian languages: Kannada (since Anupama was based in Karnataka) and Marathi (since the Award will be presented at an event in Pune). Efforts will be made to add more languages in the coming years.
For more information: http://voiceofsouth.org/

Canadian invents computer to 'last a lifetime

KUALA LUMPUR: How much would you pay for a laptop computer which is claimed can last a lifetime, needs no maintenance and doesn't need to be upgraded?  Gerry Morgan, a 54-year-old former teacher from Canada, claims he has invented such a computer, which he is marketing through his company,

InkMedia Inc. The laptop, named the InkMedia, uses a Freescale processor with 512 megabytes of RAM (Random Access Memory) and the Linux operating system. It has an 8.6in SVGA screen that is capable of displaying 800X600pixel True Colour graphics and comes with four USB ports. It also has a WiFi port forwireless Internet access.
For more information on the laptop, go to www.ink-media.com

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Bytes for All Discussion summary compiled by:
Farah Mahmood, farah.mahmood@gmail.com, Pakistan

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