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 Tue, 08/18/2009 - 19:59.
This is an amazing new tutorial for many networking aspects on pyS60, and many general networking terms, including some pretty advanced things.
Submitted by jaekyung.jung@g... on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 07:09.
Jaekyung Jung & Sohin Hwang
Background & Problem
We investigated on and interviewed a Korean immigrant family who
Immigrants who are suffering from the socioeconomic vulnerability
Voice Amplification for Immigrants service allows the immigrants,
Upon calling the Voice Amplification for Immigrants service at the
 Choi Family Story
Submitted by interdocserv@ya... on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 19:03.
For the purpose of this class, we propose a two-component tracking/reporting system comprised of:
Further steps towards the implementation of this system would require:
Submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 16:44.
ChopWatch is an aggregated database of upcoming timber cuts on public land which are proposed by various government departments and agencies. Users can see and connect with areas for the first and possibly last time before they are deforested. Users can input their address and visually see on a map the outline of the closest forests that are planned to be cut down within the next year. Additional information including acreage, GPS coordinates, cutting method (clear cut, partial, etc) are also available. ChopWatch is primarily a geo-spatial database enabling users to easily visualize proximity, scale, and frequency of timber management practices in areas of interest.
Additionally, the aggregated timber data will be accessible via an API so developers can use the data for their own application-speciic purpose. Whether it be a concerned citizens group automatically finding the nearest forest and the corresponding district representative or a radical environmental group generating a map of large forests near city centers where support can be mobilized from, ChopWatch provides the information and basic visualization while allowing users to creatively use the data for their own application. Eventually, increased transparency of public land use and timber management policy could lead to public pressure for improved timber policy and more democratic decisions of public land use.
Submitted by interdocserv@ya... on Mon, 05/25/2009 - 17:11.
The value of Twitter as a tool for digital activism. Download guide here: http://www.digiactive.org/2009/04/13/twitter_guide/
Submitted by interdocserv@ya... on Sun, 05/24/2009 - 17:13.
The OpenNet Initiative published a post about the Internet Prioritaria campaign. Read the post here: http://opennet.net/blog/2009/05/is-internet-use-a-superfluous-expense
Submitted by interdocserv@ya... on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 22:34.
On May 17th --- proclaimed by the UN as World Information Society Day by resolution 60/252 --- an initiative (Internet Prioritaria) was launched by a group of Venezuelan academics and students to create awareness about the impending slash of government subsidy support for free internet access at public educational institutions, a move considered by some critics as an attempt to implement a disguised form of censorship and control.
To promote the campaign a web page was created along with groups in a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in order to broadcast the campaign message to the world: Internet no es lujo (Internet is not a luxury), a reference to government decree No. 6649 which includes Internet Access in a list of non-essential lavish items subject to budgetary cuts except when approved by the Vice President.
Another objective of the campaign was to create a hashtag based on the campaign slogan that would gather enough support among Venezuelan Twitterers to become a Trending Topic. On May 17th, as the Venezuelan Twitter Storm started gaining momentum, international Twitterers began picking up the message and Retweeting the hashtag #internetlujo. One the highlights of the day was when Audioslave Lead Vocalist Chris Cornell joined the cause thereby instantly spreading the word to 348.144 of his followers and giving the campaign an additional boost. Thanks Chris!
At the end, #internetlujo didn't make it to the trending topics (competing against Star Trek, Norway, Notre Dame KOBE Angels & Demons, Go Lakers and some spam generated topics), however, it did achieve place number 63 on last week's Top Twitter Trends --- according to hashtags.org --- which is quite an achievement considering that millions of people are using Twitter.
Interestingly, while the Internet Prioritaria Campaign had been more or less ignored by the traditional media, the buzz created on the Internet, and on Twitter in particular, prompted El Nacional, one of Venezuela's leading newspaper, to publish a front page article about the internet campaign. A new relationship between the mainstream and citizen generated media seems to be developing.
In conclusion, despite the achievements on May 17th, the campaign is not over yet. So, please join the cause and show your support by signing the petition to exclude internet use from Decree No. 6649 titled Presidential Instructions for the Elimination of Luxury or Superfluous Expenses in the Public Sector, since the elimination of internet in the public sector is not an appropriate mechanism to optimize investment in the development and appropriation of information technologies.
Submitted by email@example.com on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 18:11.
This is an ongoing research project, please do not cite since all the information is preliminary
The main problem for the Mexican authorities and the scientific community regarding the recent influenza pandemic is that Mexico has limited capabilites to accumulate information from citizens regarding the spread of the H1NI virus. This is due to two factors 1) the limited physical resources of the Mexican health services, and 2) the limited knowldege about viral diseases in Mexico among the population. This means that the government does not have the necessary staff to detect infected people, and that infected people don't recognize flu symptoms.
More information on the people infected by the virus would give public health officials the possibility of calculating the epidemic curve of the virus, the rate of contagion, and maybe the mortality rate.
Considering these limitations and possibilities, SMS seemed to offer a good method for getting massive information from the population.
One Mexican cellphone company agreed to carry out the project, sending 1 million SMS around the country for the academic purposes of a group of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Mexico's Secretary of Healthy. The technology used was a combination of SMS and USSD.
On May 12, 1 million subscribers received and SMS asking them to participate in a survey conducted by the Secretary of Health by entering a code which opened the USSD session in the company's network. (USSD sessions have no costs for the user)
The questions were the following:
1) Did you have a fever accompanied by cough, and throat ache?
If the first question was answered "No" then the session jumped directly to question 4.
The response rate was around 5.6% (56000 people) which is relatively low, although a large number regarding this type of information. Preliminary analysis of the information shows that it may be prove useful, except for that fact that in many cases the answers regarding dates were the date used by the example (16).
Submitted by interdocserv@ya... on Thu, 05/14/2009 - 03:38.
Due to recent budgetary problems, the Venezuelan government has decreed cuts in public spending deemed luxurious and superfluous. Curiously, among the items included in this list is government subsidized Internet access in public institutions such as universities. This contradicts directly previous legislation that made universal access to the Internet a matter of public policy in order to bring information technologies closer to citizens.
According to Article 2 of Decree 6649 the following items are considered luxurious and superfluous and only allowed subject to approval by the Vice-President:
The above list speaks for itself and, not surprisingly, has stirred up a lively debate, especially among members of the academic community. Critics of the decree are not against cutting down superfluous government expenditure, such as the purchase of floral arrangements, expensive foreign trips and arrangements of lavish parties. Rather, they are against labeling Internet access and the procurement of supporting technological platforms as superfluous and luxurious items.
By submitting internet use to the consideration of the Executive Vice-president, the decree violates the public policies of the Venezuelan state, since internet was declared a priority in Decree No. 825 and the State has made efforts to use internet for the benefit of efficiency in public administration, health and education. Decree No. 6649 could affect the development of projects linked to information technologies.
Recently, a cyber-campaign with the title Internet Prioritaria (Critical Internet) has been formed around this issue. The campaign brings together people from different countries, areas of knowledge and political views that agree with the view that properly used the Internet to effectively boost social awareness and contributing to national development and finest use of public resources.
Please visit the following links for more information and to support the campaign:
You can also follow the discussion on Twitter. Search for the hashtag #internetlujo.
Or join the Facebook Group Internet Prioritaria.