Cultural & linguistic diversity
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.
An Indo-Pakistan encounter, in war or cricket, leaves behind tonnes of bitterness and rivalry. But, in information and communication technology, the main regret facing techies from both sides of the troubled South Asian sub-continent, is why they can’t work more effectively together, to tackle the common problems their people face.
Many telecentres are located in Mapuche communities, particularly Pehuenches, and are administered by associations that group these indigenous peoples: Melipeuco, Lonquimay y Villarrica. Until recently, these communities were completely cut-off from ways to access and unable to use these technologies.
Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. ICT Software Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!
Here’s an early initiative to flow out of the APC South Asia Consultation: BytesForAll has just launched a new mailing list, specifically focused on Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS, or FOSS). Details of the group are below. We invite all interested to join.
"Whatever is the state of localisation in India, the government is definitely responsible for framing the policies. We have dreams of software superpowerdom, yet basic tools are not in place. They have spent crores (tens of millions by Government of India organisations) CDAC and TDIL, and that too all in the name of undertaking work in Indic computing and benefitting the people," says Ravikant of New Delhi, who has been closely keeping track of Free Software localisation efforts in India.
It is assumed that everyone who buys a cheap illegally-copied ("pirated") copy of music or software CD would actually buy
the costly ‘official’ version. Links have been made by piracy and terrorism, which are actually quite ludicrous. ‘Intellectual property’ is used as a term, instead of ‘creative expression’. When something is called property, we are stealing, poaching and pirating. Instead of what we should be really see it as being — sharing, creating and enhancing cultural products.
A bunch of us WAM-ers learned how to create a 5 minute radio news piece in just 50 minutes this morning! Sonali Kolhhatkar, host and producer of Uprising, whisked us through the anatomy of a radio news feature and how you put one together.
You know what happens nowadays when you get find yourself on a list you didn’t ask to join. You feel your blood pressure rise and you send a restrained yet cutting message to the list-admin person asking to be removed immediately. Last year, I started getting messages from a list called [WAM!]. What the F*&&*^%&*?? I seethed. Until I started reading the subject lines, and then the mails, and that was it, I was hooked. WAM! has become the one list that I now stop work to read when a new post comes in. And now Erika from the APC women’s programme and myself are off to our first ever WAM! conference. We’ll be blogging live (we hope!).
But I’ve many interesting experiences at WSIS. For example, one evening in
Tunis I was travelling back to my hotel by bus and the lady who was sitting
next to me was talking to me in French. When I’ve problems explaining
things in French, she started speaking to me in English and informed me
that she used to work with a writer group in USA.