Tag Archive for 'gadgets'

OLPC + FM radio = lessons beamed to computers

OLPCMarko Ala-Fossi of the University of Tampere in Finland sent me interesting link to an article about a project of some students in New Zealand using FM radio to beam lessons to the XO computers used by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative. The article is from Peter Griffen’s blog. Griffen is a member of the selection committee for a “Microsoft Imagine Cup” which, in his words, “pits teams of university students against each other in a bid to find the top four most innovative and potentially world-changing projects”.

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World Electronic Media Forum – own time / any place media

PanelistsI got a CD in the mail yesterday with the final report from the World Electronic Media Forum (WEMF III) that was held in Kuala Lumpur last December. I was invited to speak in a session on Role of ‘own-time media’/’any place media’ in the service of development. The session was chaired by Abdul Waheed Khan, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information and the panelists were: Lucy Hooberman, Innovation Executive, Research and Innovation, BBC Future Media and technology; Seema B. Nair, Project Leader UNESCO India; Bruce Girard, Expert in community radio and local media, Comunica; and Kristine Pearson, Chief Executive, Freeplay Foundation.

The session report and a few photos that were included on the CD are below, along with a link to the full WEMF III report.

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Frontline SMS

I wrote about about FrontlineSMS a few months ago. It’s a piece of software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a powerful system for sending and receiving SMS messages and that I think should be part of the essential digital toolkit for local and community radio. FrontlineSMS creator has just come out with a new version of the program, as well as a new website.

I haven’t tried the software (although I have requested it and we want to test it at a community radio station somewhere in Latin America) but Sanjana Hattotuwa gave it a pretty good grade in a blog post on mobileactive.org, although she questions whether it might be too complicated for some grassroots organisations and complained about compatibility problems with her Nokia 3110 (one that FrontlineSMS does NOT claim to support fully).

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Mobile community multimedia in a trash bin

mobile CMCUNESCO and Jamaica’s Container Project have launched a community multimedia centre (CMC) constructed in a wheeled garbage bin. The bin houses laptop computers, a radio transmitter, wireless internet and other peripherals. The bin will travel around Jamaica and be used to give creative multimedia workshops to inner-city, rural and otherwise marginalised communities.

The Container Project is an innovative, arts-driven engine for community empowerment through creativity. It is based in a bright yellow converted shipping container in the heart of Palmers Cross, a rural community noted for its poverty and associated social problems.

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Internet Radio on your telephone

More and more telephones come with built-in FM receivers but a new twist (at least for me) is Nokia’s Internet Radio Beta. It is software that you can install on certain Nokia phones in order to listen to streaming internet radio stations on your phone using whatever connection you have available. If you have a wifi connection at home or at a public access point, you can listen for free. If you don’t, you can also listen via GPRS or 3G.

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