Submitted by csik on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 23:57.
Each week we will review existing tools for social change, cover techniques for mobile hacking, and piece together new experiments. International speakers ranging from Zimbabwean activists to telecommunication experts will discuss the problems with existing ICTs, and suggest parameters for new systems. We will explore protocols and packages like VOIP, SMS, and Asterisk to look at how they may be reused or reconfigured. And we will do a variety of hacking and technical exercises that can demystify the field and act as springboards for future work.
The IAP version of the class included the following speakers:
* Katrin Verclas, organizer of MobileActive, the largest conference in the field
Future speakers may include: Tactical Tech Collective / Yes Men / Indy Media / Witness / UNICEF / Catherine Lutz / Noam Chomsky / Rich Pell / Ricardo Dominguez
We will provide an overview of contemporary mobile and participatory technology and techniques, and cross-fertilize that with theory and best practices around social movements.
The goal of the class's technical component will be to expose participants to a variety of models for mobile and participatory systems. We will constrain the scope of our in-class demonstrations (for instance, using only the Python programming language) for the sake of continuity. Participants will not learn everything about programming X phone handset using Y operating system in Z language, but rather that these are the possible approaches, and this is what an X, Y, and Z looks like and how to approach finding out more. Likewise, we will introduce some key concepts, scholars, and practitioners of social change, but will not aspire towards a comprehensive overview of their work or their fields.
The class will meet weekly. There will be regular small problem sets, readings and short responses, and three studio projects will be assigned over the course of the semester. Attendance is required, students must not miss more than 3 classes in total.
Bandy, Joe. “Paradoxes of Transnational Civil Societies under Neoliberalism: The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras.” Social Problems 51, no. 3 (August 2004): 410-431.
Submitted by nadav on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 22:57.
Two points regarding Call for Action. First, some of the more technical people got the impression from Chris' intro that there wouldn't be much technical "meat" in the class. Au contrare, for those of you who are interested, we will be building toward some very innovative experiments; we'll even try to build our own pirate GSM radio tower. We didn't emphasized this much because the class is mixed, and we didn't want to scare anyone off. But if you want to get deep into tech, you will be able to. Details below under point 2.
For everyone, point 1 covers a time-saving aspect of the class; we are distributing a guaranteed-to-work workspace for playing with handsets, gateways, gis & web applications, etc. We'd love it if you'd go through the steps below to prepare your system.
Finally, if you haven't filled out the questionnaire at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pnJjv-CnDNoerSiJzRV5fVw&hl=en
In order to focus on the interesting parts of the programming exercises and tutorials, we pre-installed a virtual machine (VM) with most of what you will need for the class. As its name implies, a VM is like a virtual computer that you can run as a program inside your computer without having to install a new operating system or partition your hard drive. The program that runs those VM's which is called, to much surprise, VMWare. So a Mac can run Windows, Windows can run OS X, or -- as is the case here -- you'll all be running Ubuntu, an easy-to-use brand of Linux that makes it especially easy to program.
If you are a member of the MIT community, we ask that you install the VMWare Fusion (Mac) or Workstation (Win or Linux). Don't worry about making it work, just install the software available at: https://nic-too.mit.edu/cgi-bin/vmware
If you are not part of the MIT community, you can get the free VMware Player for PC or the trial version of VMWare fusion for mac:
This is just the program to run the VM's - we'll give out copies of the specific VM that we made for the class in a week or so. By that time, please please free several gigabytes of disk space for that VM.
2) Technical details for class syllabus:
Emphasis of this list is on mobile technologies, I'm not including anything we'll do with web platforms, PCs etc.
- Platforms: We will go over Symbian development (mostly from the Python side), and Android. Possibly OpenMoko if there is interest.
Email us if you have any questions!