News

Harambee project: Call for small grants applications

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 26 September 2006 (Harambee)

The Harambee project coordinators are announcing a small grants facility to provide a number of sectoral based networks and

communities in Africa with funding for the development of greater collaborative capacity.

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BETINHO PRIZE SPECIAL: MetaRecycling: “Noisy environments, unstable computers and curious people" - Part II

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 5 September 2006 (AL for APCNews)

The MetaRecycling movement is sustained by solid philosophical pillars. One of the basic concepts consists in treating computers as artisanal products.

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APCNews asks, Felipe Fonseca responds

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 5 September 2006 (AL for APCNews)

We are, with great pride, very close to certain social movements, especially those that fall within the context of tactical media.

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When talking about gender and ICT comes down to earth

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 5 September 2006 (AL for APCNews)

Influencing gender and information and communication technology policies requires a lot of patience and perseverance. And above all, the conviction that it is possible to affect change. The women’s space from APC member Pangea has took on the arduous task of incorporating the topic into the Catalonian political agenda.

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DRC: Alternatives supports a multilateral initiative for ICT advocacy

BRAZZAVILLE, CONGO 5 September 2006 (Sylvie Niombo for APCNews)

Alternatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undertaking information and communication technology related activities in collaboration with the Multisectoral ICT Initiative (DMTIC). Since last June, Alternatives has been supporting a feasibility study and advocacy for an internet backbone for open access in the DRC.

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Me, myself and i... the Summit

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA 5 September 2006 (Andrew Garton)

C2O coordinator Andrew Garton critically reports on the iSummit 2006 that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between the 23 and 25 June. The 19-page PDF entitled "Me, myself and i… the Summit" presents, in a slick format, a rare amount of references from the open source and open content movements. It also takes an in-depth look at video content dissemination and licensing models. A must read to understand today’s copyright and copyleft issues.

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BETINHO PRIZE SPECIAL: MetaRecycling - "Noisy environments, unstable computers and curious people"

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 5 September 2006 (AL for APCNews)

The Metarecyclers consider that computers are craft artifacts that must be creatively manipulated. They not only have displayed a natural vocation for experimentation, the finalists of APC’s 2005 Betinho Prize also populated recycling centres all over Brazil. APCNews reports on this open, free and self-organised movement from Brazil.

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Getting impatient with GAID: Calls for clarity on the plans

GOA, INDIA 4 September 2006 (FN for APCNews)

Like six blind men trying to understand what an elephant is all about, comprehending the Global Alliance for ICT and Development is still a challenge for most. But is it impatience, or is the GAID slow in taking off?

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Women and ICT: Finding (and finding oneself with) technology

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 4 September 2006 (APCNews)

LaNeta is one of APC’s members that is firmly investing in providing information and communication technology training. One of its most recent successful experiences had women as the protagonists. LaNeta is providing a response to the “need for common spaces for women to participate, reflect, and raise awareness on ICT and gender issues,” as Olinca Marino, general coordinator of the Mexican organisation stated to APCNews.

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Strawberry fields grow horizontally

SFANTU GHEORGHE, ROMANIA 3 September 2006 (FD for APCNews)

A strawberry field is basically kind of a horizontally connected strawberry network,” says Mihály Bakó, when trying to explain how his environmental non-governmental organisation came up with its name: Strawberrynet. APCNews met with APC’s Transylvanian member in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, in early September 2006. Read the details about ICT policy, Romanian style.

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Strawberrynet profile

SFANTU GHEORGHE, ROMANIA 3 September 2006 (FD for APCNews)

When Strawberrynet started up in 1994, there were virtually no internet service providers in Romania. Since then, connectivity improved dramatically and big players started offering a full range of internet services. Strawberrynet concentrated on the non-governmental organisation (NGO) niche, providing solutions so that they could communicate effectively and with the lowest costs possible.

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Marrying FOSS with math, South African teachers find useful skill upgrade

GOA, INDIA 1 September 2006 (APCNews)

Community Education Computer Society has been working on a project for an ICT training course for ‘computer literate’ high-school mathematics teachers, in Gauteng, South Africa. APC member CECS is itself an ICT training organisation, established in 1985. A pilot workshop took place on May 13, 2006. "I learned about techniques in drawing question papers, techniques I never knew existed," said one participant teacher.

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Bitter-sweet: mixed feelings about working to Indian language solutions

DHAKA, BANGLADESH 1 September 2006 (APCNews)

Unlike its parent-organisation, the New Delhi-based Sarai.net is young, full of ideas and peppy. Not that the institution it grew out of is not full of ideas; but it has an old-world air about it, while Sarai fits in with the trendy, cyber-generation in an unusual way. APCNews met with Ravikant from Sarai.net to discuss localisation issues.

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Training and social journalism, tools for change

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 31 August 2006 (APCNews)

Nodo TAU, APC’s member in Rosario, Argentina, adapts and applies Paolo Freire’s model of popular education to the work it does providing training for new information and communication technologies. The blackboard and chalk made room for a monitor and a mouse, but the underlying principle is the same: learners are their own vehicles for change.

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Computing workshops with neighbours to bridge the digital divide in Rosario

ROSARIO, ARGENTINA 31 August 2006 (Nodo TAU)

For a second year in a row, the neighbours of the western area of the city are participating in computing workshops. Within the framework of this initiative that arises from the participatory budget, 800 people were trained last year and the objective is to reach over 1500 neighbours this year. The municipal government adopts an approach “from the perspective of human rights, popular participation and a greater democratization of society.” The Nodo Tau civil association [APC member] was once again called on to train the trainers from the perspective of popular education.

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Alcatel bags EASSy tender, all eyes watch over who really won

GOA, INDIA 31 August 2006 (APCNews)

French telco giant Alcatel has bagged the tender for the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, an initiative to connect countries along the eastern coast of Africa, via a high bandwidth fibre optic cable system to the rest of the world. It is considered a milestone in the development of information infrastructure in the region. But what is really happening on the ground to make sure the important ‘open access model’ is implemented?

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Building a vulnerable children's service in Nigeria

GOA, INDIA 29 August 2006 (APCNews)

APC’s member in Nigeria, Fantsuam Foundation, has launched a vulnerable children’s service as part of its rural HIV/AIDS programme. This innovative project is meant to tackle prevention gaps head-on, with the help of multimedia.

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Chris Nichol: A man who made a difference

IRELAND 27 August 2006 (Maud Hand)

“If you don’t try, you can’t complain,” said Chris Nichol the first time I interviewed him at a preparatory conference for the World Summit on the Information Society in February 2003. Chris was one of the many APC members I engaged with as a WSIS virgin tasked with the job of communicating the process in a web-friendly way for the organization.

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APC launches new international free software prize

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO 25 August 2006 (APCNews)

A new prize, the APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize, was launched on Friday August 25 in Mexico City. The biennial $4,000 USD prize will be awarded to a person or group doing extraordinary work to make it easy for ordinary computer users to start using free and open source software (FOSS).

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Reduce the cost of international internet connectivity

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 7 August 2006 (APCNews)

In Argentina, internet access averages 13 dollars a month and almost a fifth of the population are online whereas in Sudan internet access costs 160 USD a month and only 9 people in a thousand are online. Africa, the poorest continent in the world, has the highest costs for internet access. In the run-up to the first-ever meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens starting October 30, APC releases a set of recommendations that encourage the IGF to tackle the availability and affordability of the internet in the developing world and especially Africa as a matter of urgency. In pdf.

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