Tag: internet

Updates and Call for Village Hackathon

Background: Agenda 2030

The United Nations have established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing 17 goals with a total of 169 targets. Given the ongoing development, it is obvious that development need digital inclusion, and the transformation towards digital societies.

Basis for digital societies is information for all, and the digital access. Given that roughly 4 billion people (status 2016) are not connected to the Internet, the first focus is ‘Goal 9 on sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. We see that target 9.C Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020 is directly addressed through the InfoInternet standard on free access to information for all.

Updates

My colleagues and I, at the Basic Internet Foundation, invited 9 partners for the DigI activity “Non-discriminating access for digital inclusion”, with the goal of piloting digital health in Tanzania (TZ) and the digital ecosystem in Congo (DRC). The Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are supporting this pilot.

As part of the activities, the consortium has established a pilot installation of a village hot-spot for digital health, and is now planning the Connectivity of the 4 pilot villages in TZ and the villages Kano and Palu in DRC. During the pilot, we identified the need for cost-effective infrastructures in the villages. Regarding connectivity, we have standardised on cost-effective equipment from Mikrotik and Witelcom.

However, we have seen the need for a village server and an IoT gateway. We envision student work or hackathons to establish the infrastructure for sustainable development.

Village Hackathons

Village platform

We currently discuss a “village platform” as the digital hub for the remote villages. Goal of this hackathon  would be to establish a low-power community server for a village of 2.000 – 10.000 people. Given the costs of communication and electricity, we envisage:

  • a low-power (<50W) platform for storage of local video information
  • PoE or solar-powered operation
  • server for local community content
  • social network platform for the village society
  • cache server for network content
  • low-cost server

Hackathon: IoT home platform

Goal of this hackathon or student work is to establish a low-cost IoT gateway, first of all controlling the power from the solar panel, charging of battery, and priority of attached devices. Current low-cost solar regulators have no Internet connectivity, thus remote configuration and assistance is not possible.

The goal of the implementation would include:

  • a solar charge regulator for panels up to 1000 W
  • communication interface, typically Ethernet or Wifi based
  • controlling of produced energy, consumed energy (e.g. USB), batteri status
  • interface towards IoT devices, e.g. controlling other IoT devices

Both hackathons are done in collaboration with industry (Eye Networks, Witelcom, IPXextenso), the Partners of Partners of DigI, and the University of Oslo.

Women’s Hackathon

Goal of this hackathon is showcasing the talents of women and girls in coding and software development, and encouraging them to become involved in the world of technology through the creation of solutions using technology. This hackathon is expected to attract women in Africa who are already in a technology-related field, and who are helping other women. The goals of this hackathon are:

  • coming up with solutions affecting societal problems and women today in Africa. Solutions such as: inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG 4), including girls development, women’s health, and assisting rural women to upskill.
  • one day “Digital media literacy” workshops on the following topics: 1) Bridging the gender divide on the internet, 2) How to use social media to address digital inequality, 3) education and leadership for girls and women.
  • helping women and girls in science.

 Contacts

If you have an idea on whom to include, how to involve, please help and contact me or Prof. Josef Noll, Department of Technology Systems (ITS), University of Oslo

 

Digitial Frontiers: Going Mobile

Index on Censorship Cover[an update 13.02.2013.] you can download the article directly from SSRN database.

Who controls our free speech online? What are the limits of free expression on social media? Index on Censorship launched Digitial Frontiers, the latest issue of its award-winning magazine,  and the only publication dedicated to freedom of expression with an expert discussion on internet freedom.

I’ve contributed an article on how mobile technology plays  a vital role in activism, spreading news, and bridging digital divides. An excerpt:

…it takes more than a computer to bridge the gap. The mobile phone is emerging as a powerful tool for social engagement; mobile technology and social media applications are playing a vital role in giving excluded groups a voice. And mobile technologies are almost ubiquitous. Around 70 per cent of mobile phone users are in developing countries, mostly in the global South, according to the UN agency the International Telecommunications Union.
Mobile phones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing rather than developed world – with no legacy infrastructure to service, new providers are jumping straight to mobile. Advances in technology have made mobile phones an indispensable part of development. New mobile platforms are simple and portable.

Many thanks to Global Voices community for the insight information and conversations with citizen media activists, and to Simon Phipps for contributing. Subscription options are available from Index and Amazon. The publication will be available to order from December 15th.

Citation:

Radovanovic, Danica (2012). “Going Mobile: digital divides must be bridged”. In Digital Frontiers – Index on Censorship. SAGE, Vol. 41, No.4, 2012. pp: 112-116.

DOI: 10.1177/0306422012466804

Interview / Marcus Foth

As an internet researcher and social media consultant, I ask some of the guests to tell me and my readers more about themselves, their current projects, and their views on topics including internet technology, the use of the Web in science and education, and certain aspects of the digital technologies that influence our everyday lives and work.  Earlier this month I had a conversation with Marcus Foth, the interview is published for Australian Science.

Marcus Foth is an Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, as well as the Principal Research Fellow at the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology. He has authored and co-authored over 90 articles published in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings, as well as the Urban Informatics web site. You can follow him on Twitter.

mfWould you, please, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? Where do you come from, both geographically and philosophically? What is your scientific background, and your professional scope? 

Certainly. I was born and grew up in the Northern part of Germany, in a town called Lübeck, at the coast of the Baltic Sea, about an hour from Hamburg. After high school I moved what appears to be as far away diagonally as possible within Germany in order to commence a computer science degree at the University of Furtwangen in the Black Forest that offered a – at the time – unique specialisation: Medieninformatik which combined technology applications and media studies. This was in 1997. The internet was just starting to become commercially successful, and many current students were still working on kiosk installations and multimedia CD-ROMs which were the latest fad at the time.
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