Frederick Noronha [फ़रेदरिक नोरोनया] on Thu, 28 Aug 2008 15:34:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> BytesForAll, August 2008

_/  B y t e s   F o r   A l l ---
_/  Making  Computing  Relevant to the  People of  South Asia

E-ASIA 2008

Upcoming event: e-asia2008 - Asia'a ICT Event. 25-27
November, 2008. Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Kuala Lumpur,
Other related websites:

TELECENTRE.ORG GRANT, a global community of people committed for
improving the capacity and sustainability of community
telecentres around the world, announced the
academy Curriculum Commons Grant of Rs 50 lakh (USD 125,000)
for improving the quality and standard of grassroots
knowledge workers, commonly referred to as telecentre
managers. is a collaborative social investment program
initiated by Canada's International Development Research
Centre (IDRC), Microsoft Corporation Pvt Ltd and the Swiss
Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


Manthan Award South Asia 2008 will recognise the best ICT and
e-content practices and innovations for development.

There are 15 categories: e-business; e-learning; e-culture;
e-government; e-health; e-enterprise and livelihood;
e-entertainment; e-education; e-environment; e-inclusion;
e-localization; e-news; e-youth; m-content & community

The Manthan Award is an initiative of Digital Empowerment
Foundation with support from Department of Information
Technology, Government of India, World Summit Award and


Online "Gold Farming": Developing Country Production for
Virtual Economies (Richard Heeks). Latest additions to the
Development Informatics online working paper series:


Deconstructing Community Participation in Telecentre Projects
(Savita Bailur) Critiques the assumed link between community
participation and telecentre success; finding no hard
evidence of a relation and a problematic understanding of the
term "community". Asks that telecentre policy-makers and
implementers treat this causality in more complex terms than
at present. Based partly on field data from India.

Researching ICT-Based Enterprise in Developing Countries:
Analytical Tools and Models (Richard Heeks). Provides a guide
for those researching ICT-based enterprises in developing
countries. Offers a series of frameworks for analysis from
basic classificatory models to those that can analyse
competitive strategy, impact, context and the enterprise
lifecycle. In each case, provides an explanation of basic
concepts, and a sense of what research using the particular
framework would offer.


Loyal BytesForAllian Deidre Williams wrote in from the West
Indies: As far as I can remember Bytesforall was born about
this time of the year. Once again - thank you - you keep me
in touch with all sorts of things that I might not hear about
otherwise, and have been doing that consistently for the last
several years.


Jeff Buderer wrote about an invitation to enter the global online competition, "I
notice that Citibank is a major sponsor. Not that I am
against all and any form of corporate sponsorship...but I am
just wondering what is the goal of Citibank in this process
and what is their influence on the process. My thought is
that all those "opinion leaders" should not so much be
influencing the process and seeking to forward their
corporate agendas in the process so much as listening to
people in the grassroots."


Nuwan Waidyanatha reported that a series of four meetings
were held between August 3-5, 2008 at the Indian Institute of
Technology - Madras campus on defining the project design and
goals in relation to the real-time biosurveillance program
pilot. The program brought together partners from North
America (University of Alberta and Carnegie Mellon
University) who joined the meeting through skype; while the
Indian and Sri Lankan partners met, face-to-face, at IIT-M's
Rural Technology and Business Incubator.


The digital Green project is developing a participatory
framework for agricultural extension The DG content
repository is video-centric. This is important for a
developing and predominantly rural country like India, which,
by optimistic estimates, has an adult literacy rate of less
than 60%. In farming communities, the literacy rate is
substantially lower.

The video based approach has several important advantages to
traditional forms of agricultural content, which is typically
not in the local language, intended for a literate audience,
uses expert terminology, lacks grassroots level
practicalities, and remains inaccessible in a sea of
scattered media. Farmers, by the nature of their occupation,
rely on their auditory and visual senses and video, though
not perfect, comes closest to capturing the scene in detail.
Video creation tends to be faster and less expensive than
other types of media, as advanced preparation in
"lesson"-planning can minimize post-production editing.

Video Repository: Digital Green is an agricultural training
and advising system that seeks to benefit rural farmers by
disseminating targeted information through digital videos. A
list of 127 agri-based videos was made available.


QUEST Alliance held a Symposium on Education & Technology in
Schools -- Converging for Innovation & Creativity in
Bangalore in end-August 2008.

Sethi says: "The symposium (aimed to) bring together
education and education technology practitioners, policy
makers, scholars and experts, academicians and students for
an exchange of ideas and to showcase innovations on
educational technology in India. The symposium is designed to
encourage in-depth dialogue and explore different
perspectives on issues and challenges related to technology
use in Indian classrooms."


Check this link, again from Deirdre:


Friends at the NGO Sangath in Goa pointed to this site, that
contains tonnes of educational presentations (Power Points,
mostly). Check it out: Pete's Power Point

It describes itself thus: "Free presentations in PowerPoint
format, and free interactive activities for kids."

Links to resources in language, arts, math, science, social
studies, seasonal and special themes, reading and writing,
art music drama and dance, plants and animals, health and
safety, abc's fairy tales, physical education, geography,
nutrition and the food pyramid, three branches of government,
reading comp, countries and continents and regions, adhd and
special need kids, rhyming words and confusing words, parts
of speech, world languages, ancient history, bullying,
library skills, children's literature and authors,
advertising and propaganda, world history, codes and ciphers
and secret messages, clip art, templates, tutorials and more.
Quite a useful site this!


The One Laptop Per Child project is in the news, with
Nicholas Negroponte visiting India over it, including with a
visit to Khairat village (outside Mumbai) where it has been

Satish Jha was named President & CEO of OLPC India. See
a profile at

Some other links:

One Laptop Per Child Lands In India

OLPC comes to Goa (photos)

Why Microsoft and Intel tried to kill the XO $100 laptop


Bangladesh Open Source Network ( in association
with CSE Society and SUST OSN announced that a two days Code
Sprint will be organized at CSE Dept, SUST on 8-9 August,
2008. A sprint is a time-boxed period of software development
focused on a given list of goals but with variable scope.
Sprints have become popular events among some Open Source


Krishnan Ganapathy, a practicing neurosurgeon, is the former
president of the Neurological Society of India and current
president of the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation.
He is also the co-founder of the Telemedicine Society of
India, a member of the National Task Force on Telemedicine
and an adjunct professor at IIT Madras and at Anna
University. He is currently involved in preliminary studies
on the clinical evaluation of patients based in rural areas
of India, Bhutan, and Bangladesh using wireless telephony.
Along with his colleague Aditi Ravindra, Dr. Ganapathy is one
of the leading thinkers on mobile health in India and around
the world.


It contains quite
some useful info and links. Incuding some to art, blogging,
books, cartoons, chess, competitions, digital story telling,
digital video, educational software, English, homework,
humour, math, morning tea, phonics games, phonics resources,
podcasting, poetry, problem solving, professional
development, reading comprehension, science education,
"shameless self-promotion", stress reduction, stressbusters,
things they don't tell you at university, thinking skills,Web
2.0, website resources, word games and writing.


>From Favelas to Townships: Mobile Use in Low-Income
[By Corinne Ramey] Mobile phone use is booming. There are
close to 3.5 billion
mobile phones in use, and mobile penetration rates are
increasing quickly, especially in developing countries. This
rise of mobile phone use by low-income and so-called
'base-of-the-pyramid' users raises a number of questions. Are
low-income people using mobile technology in different ways
than their higher-income counterparts? How can mobile phones
be desiged and used in ways that are useful to these
populations? Two new studies--one of favelas in Brazil and
the other of a low-income township in South Africa--seek to
answer these questions.


Aren (5) explains the goodies that come with the GNU/Linux
operating sytem, from a kids point of view -- specially
Gcompris, some games and more. OR


Urdu Nigar - an Urdu Editor comes from Aijaz Akhtar

Naseem Amjad has developed this new Unicode Urdu editor. The
originall Urdu Nigar that worked with Al-katib font only. Now
it is fully Unicode enabled. Download this from

Meanwhile, Abdur Rashid <> has developed a
web interface Online Hindi (Devanagri) to Urdu
Transliteration system.  Its current version is on this web

BytesForAll URLs (compiled from various sources)

FLOSS toolkit: Nepali

UN Solutions Exchange ICT community

United Nations, Solutions Exchange (India)

GNOWSYS, Gnowledge Networking and Organizing system.

Understanding the world hunger problem
Food Force is a free-to-download educational video game.

Technology-enhanced learning in developing nations: A review
by Shalni Gulati.

Creating digital libraries with UNESCO open source software:
Workshop in Kerala in Sept.

Quest Alliance, education and technology:

Sarai's Project Resource Centre:

Software for Kids:

Digital Libraries, India network:

Yahoo's Indian citygroups:

GII-India mailing list (technology, etc)

Making alt. films at the lowest cost:

Vickram Crishna's blogs

400+ open concepts:

FLOSS toolkit: Nepali

Open Everything:

A low-cost TV based computer (Bangalore-inspired!)

Shhiksha India, FLOSS in schools via the CII:

Manish Rai Jain's Desktop Flickr Organizer (DFO) software

Konkani Wikipedia (inching its way to a full-fledged wiki):

Commons-Law (interesting!) mailing list, from Delhi:

LUG-BITSGoa, focussed on Free Software/Open Source:

ILUG-Gec (Goa)

Sarai FLOSS fellowships, Delhi:

B'lore candle-light vigil against software patents (photos):

More Flickr pix on the candlelight vigil against s'ware
patents, Blore:

LinuxChix-India URL:

Christ University, Bangalore MPhil in Comp Sc.

Anant Shrivastava's useful plugin for Wordpress:

Anant Shrivastava's (WordPress plugin author) links

Raseel's unleashing the geek within: , GISsection. This is an attempt in using
Free Open Source GIS tools with Indian language interface

Hindawi Launches Open Access Institutional Membership Program

Open Source approach to textbook publishing

Compiled by: Frederick Noronha

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