Monday, June 25, 2007

Imperial Tobacco "encourages" Africans

The Minister of Health's mandated message at the bottom of a highway billboard attempts to counter an audacious Lambert & Butler slogan.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

african friend or foe?

I often pass this building minutes from my home and wonder...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

an open response

C|NET asks an "open question on open source".

My answer: Sure they can. It's called GPL3.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

meshing with OLPC

A third video installment regarding the OLPC project is out. This video helps explain mesh networking.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

RMS on the Creative Commons

With good reason, RMS and others have been critical of licenses offered by the Creative Commons forbidding the noncommercial sharing of complete works. With this news RMS says:
"This is a big step forward, and I can now support CC." (email 5/07)
And in typical fashion he offered some sound advice:
"However, the remaining CC licenses, while all ok in my opinion for some uses, remain very different. So we still need to encourage people to say which CC license they are using or talking about."

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

commons sense prevails

I had a big smile on my face when I read this. (via Glyn)

It's been unfortunate having to explain to others that while I support the Creative Commons organization, I do not support the phrase "creative commons license" when it lacks a clear qualifier. I've never thought favorably of either the DevNations or Sampling licenses. These options, while rarely employed, made declarations such as, "That song is under a creative commons license!" practically meaningless. As far as one can tell, with these two licenses gone this declaration now has significance. It now implies, at bare minimum, the freedom to make complete copies for others with whom you wish to share.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Jim Klein on OLPC

Jim Klein brings up several good points about OLPC and its inhernet design favoring the learner. He finishes his post with the following -
"We've been so bogged down answering questions about reliability, availability, price, performance, implementation, etc. that we've lost sight of what makes the OLPC a solution that can work. The learner is the goal - not the teacher, institution, or government, but the learner. And empowering the learner always has, and always will, generate more knowledge, skill, and ability than any institution or government can provide."
One would hope that any country's government/educational officials deciding between the learner-centered OLPC and other more market-centered options (e.g. Intel's Classmate PC) will take this point seriously. Assuming one understands the pedagogy and intent behind the OLPC project, the decision becomes a no-brainer.

On another note, Jim starts his post by pointing out common, shallow declarations and questions such as "[The XO] doesn't run Windows", "who will teach the kids to use the machines?" and "how will we protect these kids from Internet addiction?" A specious argument against OLPC Jim didn't mention is, "Kids in developing countries need food, shelter and medicine more than they need a laptop!" True on a superficial level, but I beg to differ.