- Kenyan Women Create Their Own Geek Culture (NPR) — Oguya started spending some Saturday mornings with Colaco and other women, snipping code and poring through hacker cookbooks. These informal gatherings became the Akirachix. Oguya graduated and turned her mobile phone idea into a company called M-Farm. At 25 years old, she now has a staff of 18. And 7,000 African farmers use her app.
- Ozone Widget Framework (Github) — open source webapp integrator. The Ozone Widget Framework is released to the public as Open Source Software, because it’s the Right Thing To Do. Also, it was required by Section 924 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Spook-made, citizen played.
- gtypist — open source universal typing tutor. You can learn correct typing and improve your skills by practising its exercises on a regular basis.
- Open Source Hardware Bagpipes — to practice your fingerings without actually killing the neighbours. (via Hacked Gadgets)
ENTRIES TAGGED "africa"
Kenyan Entrepreneur, Spooky Open Source, Typing Tutor, and Hacker's Bagpipes
Justin Arenstein is building the capacity of African media to practice data-driven journalism.
Aaron Swartz, Baghdad Makerspace, Teaching in Africa, and Ephemeral People
- Aaron Swartz Defense Fund — American computer systems are under attack every day of the week from foreign governments, and the idiot prosecutor is wasting resources doubling down on this vindictive nonsense.
- Baghdad Community Hackerspace Workshops (Kickstarter) — Makerspace in Baghdad, built by people who know how to do this stuff in that country. (via BoingBoing)
- Teaching Web Development in Africa — I used the resources that Pamela Fox helpfully compiled at teaching-materials.org to mentor twelve students who all built their own websites, such as websites for their karate club, fashion club, and traditional dance troupe. One student made a website to teach others about the hardware components of computers, and another website discussing the merits of a common currency in the East African Community. The two most advanced students began programming their own computer game to help others practice touch typing, and it allows players to compete across the network with WebSockets.
- Transient Faces (Jeff Howard) — only displaying the unchanging parts of a scene, effectively removing people using computer vision. Disconcerting and elegant. (via Greg Borenstein)
Angolan entrepreneur Nyanga Tyitapeka on mobile commerce and data's potential.
Infonauta founder Nyanga Tyitapeka says Angola is on the cusp of a technology explosion. Mobile and data are overcoming low levels of literacy to change the lives of everyday Angolans.
In-Line Computing, What Price All The Books?, Android SIM Toolkit, and Small Manufacturing Grows
- Raspberry Pi — the creator of the game Elite has made an inline computer the size of a thumb drive–it plugs into an HDMI cable on one end and USB on the other. 700MHz CPU, OpenGL, 1080p-capable, running Ubuntu. Pricetag: $25. The mission is to supply them to schools.
- A Budget for Babel (Tim Carmody) — What would you pony up for instant access to every book? Interesting insight into the value and utility of such a service.
- Android’s Achilles Heel: The Sim Toolkit — Now if you live in the States, you might not even know what the STK is, so a bit of explaining is in order. Put simply, the STK allows carriers to load a simple set of menus and ‘applications’ on your SIM card. Again, on your fancy iPhone, you may question the need or purpose for such a thing, but that’s because you are still years behind and using a credit card. Here, where credit cards are virtually unknown, the present and future of payments is Mobile Money, which is almost always delivered via.. you guessed it, the STK.
- Democratizing Design — AutoDesk partner with Ponoko and Techshop to allow anyone to design 3-D models, and then turn them into real-life products. Great to see this kind of small-run custom manufacturing heading toward the mainstream.
Street Demographics, Hack for Africa, Opportunity Spotting, News or Filters?
- Brien Lane, Melbourne — an alleyway painted with statistics about the area. Urban spaces as screens. Check out the other photos. (via Pete Warden)
- Apps 4 Africa — from US State Department, The challenge is to build the best digital tools to address community challenges in areas ranging from healthcare to education and government transparency to election monitoring. (via Clay Johnson)
- Hopeful Monsters and the Trough of Disillusionment (Berg London) — this was a great Foo talk, lovely to see the ideas written up and circulated widely.
- Tyranny of the Daily 10 Percent (Julie Starr) — do we have a production quality problem, or do we have a filter problem? Intersection of two trends we’ve seen: “news reinvention” and “information overload”. I find myself wanting to spend more time quantifying what we’ve already got that’s good and being clearer about what we think is missing, before thinking about what to replace it with and how to foot the bill.
Infrastructure, economics and censorship are major issues
In the United States, Western Europe and Asia, e-Books are becoming a major player, especially now that e-Readers like the Kindle and Nook are available. But people living in the Arabic speaking world or Africa haven’t been invited to the dance. Two of the keynote speakers at the upcoming O’Reilly Tools of Change conference are working to improve access to e-Books in these areas: Arthur Attwell in South Africa and Ramy Habeeb in Egypt. We talked to each of them about how e-Books are important in their area of the world, and the challenges that they are facing.
This post from Publishing Perspectives about publishing in Africa came in over the break, and it’s worth a look: Five years later, [Muhtar] Bakare is still a confident believer in the power of the internet to revolutionize the African publishing industry. “The internet is our own Gutenberg moment,” he told the Oslo audience.”The internet is going to democratize knowledge in Africa.” Publishers taking a long view should be sure to pay attention to what’s happening in Africa and the Middle East. We’ll have speakers from both regions at next month’s TOC conference.
Mechanical Turk service provider CrowdFlower and microwork non-profit Samasource have teamed up to make their services available to iPhone users. Users of CrowdFlower’s mechanical turk platform can now opt to send their tasks to iPhone users. The Give Work iPhone app takes tasks (created by real companies) and sends it to iPhone users who volunteer to complete them. Meanwhile, workers in a Kenyan refugee camp perform the same tasks using CrowdFlower’s regular web interface. In essence, Kenyan refugees work to increase the accuracy of the results provided by the army of volunteer iPhone mechanical turks.
Objectivity Be Gone, Public Screens, Lobbying Patterns, DIY Africa
- The End of Objectivity, Web2.0 Version — Our behaviour as journalists is now measurable. And measurability gives the lie to the pretence that journalists behave like scientists, impartially observing the petri dish of society. (via Pia Waugh)
- Screens in Context — ideas for the video screens spring up in place of billboards. Whilst the advertising industry has one of the longest histories of trying to understand interaction, it’s a very different set of tools that digitalness brings; ones that designers at the coal face of web and mobile encounter every day. Everything can be considered in context, be timely, reactive, and data-driven. I’m going to try to outline some dimensions to think about, with some incredibly quick, simple, off the cuff dumb ideas [...] The technology to achieve some of these may be over and above what is possible now, but the biggest step – installing powered, networked computers in the real world – is already being taken by advertising media companies.
- Interactive Network Map of Lobbying Patterns Around Key Senators in Health Care Reform — fascinating visualization of political activity, via timoreilly on Twitter)
- The Doers Club — How DIY design gave a teenager from Malawi electricity, and can help transform Africa.