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Reprinted with permission....Mark
01010101 bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL
n e w t e c h n o l o g i e s w i l l m e a n h a v i n g m o r e
i n t h e h a v e-n o t c a m p i f w e a r e n o t c a r e f u l
0101010101 Issue No 5 * Jan 2000
1010101010 AN OCCASIONAL NEWSLETTER TO MAKE
0101010101 COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY
1010101010 FRIENDLY TO THE NEEDS OF THE MILLIONS
1010101010 Editor: Frederick Noronha firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNET IN SOUTH ASIA: VARIED VIEWS IN PROMINENT ACADEMIC JOURNAL
Info courtesy: EPW <email@example.com>
The Economic and Political Weekly of Bombay (Nov 20, 1999 issue) carries a range of articles on the Internet in South Asia.
* The Internet offers some hope to the people of the region who live in widely disparate living environments and particularly in remote communities. But in order to take full advantage of this new technology, there is a need to evolve regional and region- specific norms and practices. A recent conference on the subject has thrown up several relevant issues.
* A review of telecommunication networks in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal reveals that they are in uniformly poor shape. There is an emerging scope for rationalising telecom policies with a view to convergence of communication technologies across the region.
* The regulatory climate in South Asia has only recently welcomed private Internet service providers. The challenge lies in creating a level playing field so that the digital divide between rural and urban, non-English and English-speaking South Asia can be minimised and eliminated.
* A review of online content in South Asian countries with a special focus on the number of websites, local relevance, community involvement, directories, search engines, advertisement revenue and third party audits. Also policy suggestions for content development.
http://www.epw.org.in or http://www.south-asian-initiative.org/epw
MAKING TELECOM AND I.T. AFFORDABLE FOR THE THIRD WORLD
Info courtesy: Vickram Crishna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
COMMSPHERE 2000 is an international conference on 'Affordable Telecom and IT Solutions for Developing Countries'. It is to be held from February 28 to March 2, 2000 at the IIT-Chennai (Madras) in India. Accessibility to telecom and Internet network is fast becoming a major factor determining the competitiveness of an individual, group or society. This conference will focus on the needs of, and affordable solutions for, developing countries.
Also contact: Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Convener,
2000, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology,
Chennai - 600 036, INDIA
Telefax: +91-44 235-2120
Ph: +91-44 235-2120/445 8414/445 8366/4909048.
NEPAL COMMUNITY RADIO STATION GOES ONLINE
Info courtesy: Media reports
RADIO SAGARMATHA is South Asia's first community radio station, and it has launched its website. Having already celebrated its second birthday with an increase in broadcast time and the development of new programmes, the station is now online at http://www.sagarmatha.org.np. The site includes a profile of the organisation, a schedule of programming, information about public access, a new programme to solicit financial support ("Friends of Radio Sagarmatha") as well as information about the media environment in Nepal and the story of Radio Sagarmatha's long battle for a license. An online audio service, weekly summaries of news from Nepal as well as an online resource center to support the development of public and community radio in South Asia are in the pipeline.
Contact: GPO Box 6958- Kathmandu Nepal. Tel +977 1 528 091
Fax: +977 1 530 227
FREE OPERATING SYSTEMS: HAVE YOUR PICK
Info courtesy: .NET, India's first Internet magazine
An India-based group has launched a new Web site that offers users 11 different operating systems, including Linux, and their accompanying documentation. The FreeOS.com site is based in Mumbai, India, and it staunchly opposes the lucrative practice of charging for operating systems. Besides the increasingly popular Linux, other operating systems supported by FreeOS.com include FreeBSD, BPMK, Cynus, FreeDos, Freedows, GNU Hurd, Minix, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and VSTa. While the site offers support for all 11 free operating systems, FreeOS.com says that the vast majority of activity in the market revolves around Linux and will probably remain that way for the forseeable future.
Details from Prakash
SOME INTERESTING SITES FROM PAKISTAN
Info courtesy: SPIDER, Pakistan's Internet magazine
Urdu e-mail ... http://www.pakdata.com
Contact Pakistan ... http://www.contactpakistan.com
National Bank ... http://www.nbp.com.pk
Links to edn sites ... http://www.khs.edu.pk
Tech Inst (for women).. http://www.tipd.org
Islam, travel, Pakstn.. http://www.chopal.click2site.com
Asian Mgt Institute ... http://www.ami.edu.pk
Pak Picture Gallery ... http://www.grove.ufl.edu/~emran/pakpics.htm
Guide to Pak Internet.. http://www.pakpowerpage.com
Mera Pakistan ... http://www.merapakistan.com
Institute of Bankers... http://www.ibp.cib.net
Islamic Art ... http://www.islamicart.com
Online magazine Saher.. http://www.saher.com
E-commerce site ... http://www.giftdukan.com
BANGLADESH: A MODEM CAN COST MORE THAN A COW!
Info courtesy: Shahidul Alam, email@example.com
Language forms the biggest barrier to computer literacy in Bangladesh, and when less than 15% of the popular has access to electricity, and a far smaller fraction owns computers, it is clear that only the wealthy will have access to this technology. Here, a modem costs more than a cow. Yet this technology and this associated language both exist. To find creative routes to turn this technology to our benefit is our greatest challenge.
ON-LINE DEBATE ON GLOBAL POVERTY, SOCIAL EXCLUSION, INEQUALITY
Info courtesy: New Policy Institute firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for an e-conference on the first draft of the World Bank's 2000 World Development Report on Poverty. In Sept 2000, the World Bank will publish its once-in-a-decade 'Poverty World Development Report'. During February and March 2000, there will be a global online discussion of the draft. Its conclusions will be fed to the report's authors. The World Bank's research reports and journals are highly influential on development thinking and programmes. They achieve wide distribution, major press coverage and are frequently cited. The WDR is the Bank's flagship publication, with over 150,000 copies printed and many distributed free. This is the first time the World Bank is widely circulating a draft WDR. In January, the draft WDR will be posted on the web at http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/wdrpoverty/ WDR lead author is Ravi Kanbur. NPI is a progressive think tank, founded in 1996, and wholly independent.
To sign up for this e-consultation, send email to
email@example.com to get more info and an electronic sign-up
form. Or visit either of the two web sites
http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/reports or http://www.npi.org.uk/
ProPOOR, REPOSITORY OF SOUTH ASIAN NON-PROFITS
Info courtesy: Jayesh A. Parekh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ProPoor is a web repository of south asian NGO, their leaders, projects, success cases, events, publications, donors, jobs, and links. propoor gives free webpage/link to NGOs.
Contact details: ProPoor InfoTech Centre, 12 Prince Edward Road, 04-09 Podium B Bestway Building, Singapore 079212. Phone: 227-1184 Fax: (65) 227-1180. e-mail: email@example.com
BIGGEST LINUX CONFERENCE PLANNED IN INDIA IN FEB 2000
Info courtesy: Express Computer, http://www.expresscomputerindia.com
BANG!LINUX is "the biggest Linux conference that India has every witnessed". It is definitely meant for those who are Linux programmers, or want to become one. Others would gain from coming too. It is to be held in the South Indian city of Bangalore from February 25 to 27, 2000. speakers are to be a combination of several important local personalities, and some of the biggest names in the Linux community. Including Richard Stallman, Alan Cox and Atul Chitnis. There will be over 20 sessions covering a broad range of exciting technical areas. You could meet, learn from and exchange ideas with over 2500 progammers, developers, industry professionals, and all the big players from the Linux community including SuSE and Red Hat, according to the organisers.
Register at http://www.linux-conferences.com
Details: Vijay Tase, firstname.lastname@example.org
INFO ON SOME PAKISTANI ISPs
Info courtesy: SPIDER, Pakistan's Internet mag: http://www.spider.tm
GEM NET is a new player to the Internet service provider market. It is expanding its services to all major cities of Pakistan for a broader customer base. The ISP setup is based on ISDN PRI lines, which will enable customers to connect upto 56 Kbps.
ROBONET is the first Internet service provider in the market to offer a 15% discount to students and embark on an educational programme for young sufers.
AKNET was established with the express vision of providing a premium quality Internet service.
ORBIT NET is a nationwide backbone for Internet dial-up connectivity with high speeds of Internet applications with one of the largest multi-home TCP/IP backbone in Pakistan. Orbit provides prepaid service packages for individuals with variable rates at no registration or monthly rent. You can purchase any number of hours, irrespective of consuming it within a limited span of time.
DEVELOPMENT TOOLS FOR INDIAN LANGUAGES
Info courtesy: Centre for Dvpt of Advanced Computing, CDAC India
ISM API Software Development Kit contains fonts, keyboard driver, API library and DDE server that enables application development for data entry, storage, retrieval and printing in Indian scripts using Windows-based front end development tools (VB 5.0 or 6.0, Visual FoxPro, MS Access, Power Builder, etc). It facilitates processing of Indian language strings in alphabetic characters, allowing sorting, indexising and searching.
NTrans is a software that undertakes transliteration from English to Indian languages and vice versa. Ideal for applications like preparation of telephone directories, pay roll, invoicing, custom application, etc. Available for both South and North Indian languages. Available as an utility for conversion of Text and DBF files, and as a library which can be integrated into one's application.
GistSDK (Software Development Kit) uses Microsoft's advanced ActiveX technology and provides a seamless, transparent and self- contained Indian language layer for data entry, storage, retrieval and printing in Indian scripts for your MS Windows 9X or NT applications. It can be used with any of the latest application development tools providing 'OLE Container' support like Visual Basic 5.0 or 6.0, Visual C 4.2 or later, PowerBuilder 5.0 or later, Delphi 3, etc. GistSDK consists of a set of DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) with necessary APIs, a set of ActiveX controls and true type fonts. One can develop a completely self- contained Indian language enabled application rapidly with ease using standard front-end development tools.
Also available are the GIST Card and GIST Shell Library for application development under the DOS platform.
Details from: email@example.com
MEXICAN WEBSITE TO HELP LOCAL FARMERS
Info courtesy: Margaret Wertheim / Sunday Age, Australia
As a symbol of the Internet's power to assist local communities, it would be hard to beat the Mexicali-based website of the Rio Colorado Irrigation District in the north-west corner of Mexico. Created to assist the local community of some farmers' organisations, the site, with its attendant Internet services, has become a focal point for the region's small-scale indigenous agricultural producers. Through Internet connections, the farmers can send email, submit reports on irrigation quotas and planting activities and access important information on weather and market conditions and a host of other relevant data. Moreover, via the Internet, they can let the world know about themselves. Their homepage charmingly describes their work "in this dry but fertile land full of changes and illusions".
STUDY SHOWS POVERTY BLOCKS SPREAD OF CYBER- BENEFITS
Info courtesy: Margaret Wertheim / Sunday Age, Australia
It is becoming clear that opening up the net to everyone will be a good deal more problematic than much of the rhetoric would have us believe. A report in June by the prestigious Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), entitled The Internet in Developing Countries, stresses that, for most of the world, Internet access remains a rare and costly thing. In Ghana, for example, the cost of an account with Africa Online is $US50 a month, almost twice the average monthly income - and more than twice what it costs for unlimited access in the US. The ACM report notes that in many countries there is a crippling lack of low-cost regional IP (internet provider) backbones. Moreover, in many regions of the world telephone services are still extremely limited; and for billions of people poverty remains an enormous barrier. That point is reinforced by Indian net activist Venkatesh Hariharan, an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Information Technology. Forget logging onto the Internet, he says because two-thirds of the world's people have never made a phone call.
IT NEPAL AND UNIV. DEGREE PROGRAMME AT KATHMANDU
Info courtesy: Padam Sharma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Kathmandu Campus of Purbanchal University is planning to start a three-year degree program in Computer Applications and they are looking for an IT buff, preferably, with an academic- administration background. The job is worthy of challenge to advance the cause of IT in Nepal. IT Nepal is a mailing-list to discuss information technology issues in Nepal. To subscribe, write to
AFRICA IN THE INFO & COMMUNICATION AGE
Info courtesy: Albertina 'Tina' Almeida <email@example.com>
GhaCLAD was founded as an international all volunteer organization to ensure that countries throughout Africa, particularly Ghana, take their rightful place in the Information & Communication Age. GhaCLAD is the Ghana Computer Literacy and Distance Education conference. Its next conference will be held in Accra, Ghana, from July 27-30, 2000.
UN's W.I.D.E. TO FOSTER TECH COOPERATION AMONG THIRD WORLD
Info courtesy: Yzette Terreblanche <YzetteT@beauty.hsrc.ac.za>
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) is in the process of launching an Initiative known as Web of Information for Development (WIDE), designed to foster technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC). WIDE Online is a public access database containing user- maintained data on experts, institutions and "best" practices. WIDE Online is up and running and will be launched globally very shortly. Under a UNDP agreement with the Brazilian government WIDE Online now provides access to the bio-data of 38,000 Brazilian experts' and to over 300,000 Brazilian publications. This data is available under a collaboration agreement with the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology.
ENQUIRIES: Atsede Worede Kal, Information Services Officer of the UNDP - TCDC
WWW: http://www.undp.org/tcdc or http://www.wide.org.br
BETTER STATISTICS CAN FIGHT POVERTY BETTER...
Info courtesy: Yzette Terreblanche <YzetteT@beauty.hsrc.ac.za>
Development experts forum calls for better statistics to fight poverty in the 21st century. Better statistics can make efforts to fight poverty more effective both at the national level, by improving the ability of governments to formulate appropriate policies, manage economic and social development, and monitor improvements in living standards, and at the global level, by providing data to monitor the International Development Goals which have been set for the 21st century. In order to ensure adequate funding and support for national statistical systems, development experts from donors agencies and developing countries agreed to launch a shared international strategy, PARIS 21, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century.
COMMONWEALTH'S ROUNDTABLE INFO ON THE INTERNET
Info courtesy: The Commonwealth of Learning <Info@col.org>
Outcomes from The Commonwealth of Learning's Knowledge Management Roundtable (November 1999) have now been posted on the Internet. Experts in distance education libraries and information databases discussed the changing nature of knowledge management and available technologies and examined how COL and its Information Resource Centre can best meet the needs of stakeholders around the Commonwealth. The group drafted a mission statement for a Commonwealth Open Learning Interactive Network for Knowledge Sharing (COLINKS).
USING E-COMMERCE FOR MICRO AND SMALL ENTERPRISES
Info courtesy: Nidhi Tandon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In a recent meeting of an association of women entrepreneurs in Cameroon called ASAFE, there were just under 100 entrepreneurs from the region and from some English-speaking African countries gather to explore e-commerce and its applicability in the contexts of micro and small enterprises. Nidhi Tandon is from the Networked Intelligence for Development, 210 Indian Road Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 2G3 Phone: 1416 763 0371 Fax: 1416 763 0372
PACT FOR RURAL E-MAIL IN THE THIRD WORLD
Info courtesy: Gary Garriott <email@example.com>
On December 10, Henry Norman, President of the nonprofit Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) announced the signing of an innovative agreement that will permit it and its collaborators to bring low cost email services to rural and isolated areas of developing countries. The other signatories to the unique agreement are commercial companies, Wavix, Inc. of Maryland (Wavix), and the Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd., of Guildford England (SSTL). VITA is dedicated to bringing technical assistance to the developing world. In 1993, VITA received a "Pioneer's Preference" license from the Federal Communications Commission for its early work in non-military applications of low earth orbiting satellites. A three party agreement has been worked out under which, SSTL will lease a transponder on UoSAT-12 to VITA, and VITA will operate the transponder in accordance with the terms of its FCC authorization for a low earth orbit satellite system. VITA will sub-lease capacity to Wavix, which will make financing available for the arrangement with SSTL. VITA is entitled to use 50 percent of the capacity to serve rural populations in the developing countries and Wavix, Inc. will use the balance except for a small amount reserved to SSTL. This complex arrangement took a year to negotiate. However, the parties feel they have achieved a win-win situation in which the interests of all three organizations, particularly VITA's commitment to bring communications to rural populations, are dramatically advanced.
More info: Gary Garriott (VITA), firstname.lastname@example.org
John Borden (Wavix), email@example.com
Holly Ladd (SatelLife), firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Ward (SSTL), email@example.com
I.T. IN ASIA, A GREAT DEAL OF INFORMATION
Info courtesy: Roger Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copies of the proceedings of CITA'99 (520 pages), Conference on IT in Asia, the Asian regional conference of the IFIP 9.4 Working Group on the social implications of computers in developing countries, held in Kuching, Malaysia in September 1999, are available at US$25 plus post and packing. The conference featured 40 papers from 10 countries organized into six tracks: national perspectives; applications; IT in education; organisational responses; adoption of IT; and cultural aspects.
Contact Hadijah Morni, at email@example.com
SECOND GKII MEET IN MALAYSIA IN MARCH
Info courtesy: Rinalia Abdul Rahim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Second Global Knowledge Conference (GKII) begins on March 7, 2000 in Malaysia. Some of the themes to be taken up include building knowledge societies; addressing the information divide; transforming governance and empowering people; knowledge and innovation for sustainable development; enabling effective participation in decision making; empowering people through the knowledge-based economy; building virtual communities and cultural diversity in the 21st century; promoting life-long learning; shaping collaborative ICT development and initiatives for global prosperity; balancing economic development and environmental protection.
The Knowledge Fair runs from March 7 to 10, 2000.
NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE PARTNERSHIP
Info courtesy: Lesley Anne Simmons <email@example.com>
PARTNERS is the newsletter of the Global Knowledge Partnership, and brings you news and views from GKP, via mail and the Internet, monthly. Submissions are welcome. Partners is issued monthly, if you wish to receive this regular briefing, or if you know of others who ought to receive it, please send mailing details or e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments and suggestions? Items for inclusion? Send them to the same address. Partners is the newsletter of the Global Knowledge Partnership, a growing partnership of public, private and not-for-profit organizations working together to help people access knowledge and harness information and communications technologies that will help them live meaningful and fruitful lives.
Editor: Lesley Anne Simmons, The Global Knowledge Partnership Secretariat, c/o The World Bank Institute, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington D.C. 20433
Tel: 1 202 473-1785 Fax: 1 202 522-1492
THE HOW-TOs FOR WRITING EFFECTIVE GRANT PROPOSALS
Info courtesy: Firoze Manji <email@example.com>
Does the thought of writing a proposal fill you with dread? A new CD-ROM offers a learning module, designed for not-for-profit organisations, which could help you to write effective proposals that make a difference. By following the steps, you could write your proposal clearly and easily, and without the stress that most people associate with this task. There's information on what is a proposal; writing proposals; the project document; and a resource centre (offering useful links and recommended reading).
Contact: Firoze Manji <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 38 Western Road
Oxford OX1 4LG UK. Tel/Fax: +44-1865-436446
'HEALTH TRAINING' NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
Info courtesy: Thomas Schwarz MedicusMundi <email@example.com>
The new "Health Training" website is an internet-based inventory providing comprehensive information on postgraduate training and further education opportunities in the field of International Health. International Health focuses on poverty-related health problems in low and middle income countries. It includes the promotion of health, prevention and treatment of diseases, palliative care and rehabilitation.
INTERNET RATES IN PAKISTAN
Info courtesy: M. A. Hameed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The rates for Internet access in Pakistan are, in comparison, much lower than in other parts of South Asia. BrainNet (http://www.brain.net.pk), a pioneer in providing email and Internet services and one of the largest ISPs in the country, charges Rs 25 per hour as the standard basic rate. The rate comes down to Rs 18 for 50 hours used in a month, and only Rs 16 for 100 hours. Another private ISP, ZoooomNet (http://www.zoooom.net) has pioneered the introduction of a prepaid card, charging Rs 1000 for 50 hours, which can be used at any time, not necessarily within a month. (There are no other charges of any kind.) In Pakistan there is no surcharge for phone calls. Just one local call is charged, irrespective of the time one remains connected with Internet.
NEPAL CENTRE FOR MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT'S WEBSITE
Info courtesy: Sangeeta Pandey <email@example.com>
In Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has its website at the address below. It can also be contacted through Sangeeta Pandey, Documentation Officer/Web Person E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WEBWORKS
Info courtesy: Scott Anderson <email@example.com>
Are you a communications professional working on sustainable development? Do you use the Internet in your work? If so, visit the SD Webworks [Sustainable Development Webworks], a new online community sharing knowledge about using the Internet more effectively for sustainable development. To SUBSCRIBE to the sd-webworks mailing list, send a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the following command in the body of your email message:
subscribe sd-webworks [your name]
SD Gateway: http://sdgateway.net/
Email contacts: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
GIVING SCHOOLS EFFECTIVE ACCESS TO INTERNET RESOURCES
Schools Online recently released a new version of their web site. It helps to ensure that all schools have effective access to the communication and information resources of the Internet. As part of the Alliance for Global Learning, WorLD and Schools Online are working together to bring the Internet and computer technology to schools in nine countries.
GLOBALED, EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
"GlobalEd", a great educational resource for students and teachers sponsored by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), features information about various Global Issues such as Health, or the Environment, as well as many country profiles.
NEW SITE THAT EXPLORES THE USE OF I.T. IN EDUCATION ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Info courtesy: The Commonwealth of Learning http://www.col.org
TechKnowLogis is a new on-line resource for exploring the use of information technology in education. Free subscriptions available on the web-site.
WANTED: COLLABORATORS FOR BYTESFORALL
Comment by Frederick Noronha
BytesForAll, a not-for-profit network meant to focus on how computers and the Internet can be used to address the human needs of South Asia, earnestly seeks collaboration from volunteers. In particular we seek inputs and information from those keeping track of developments taking place in other areas of South Asia. Any volunteers? Please contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org that is Frederick Noronha (Goa-India) and Partha Sarker (Dhaka- Bangladesh).
Meanwhile, a big thank you to Zubair Faisal Abbasi <email@example.com> for offering to send in updates for BytesForAll from Pakistan. Abbasi is Information Manager of the Sustainable Development Networking Programme in Islamabad. More about it on the site http://www.sdnp.org.pk
We are also more than grateful for all the kind words and offers of support for this young project. You can help us greatly by (i) spreading the BytesForAll message by circulating this issue among relevant mailing-lists and individuals (ii) sending us news-clips from your region that fits into the BytesForAll agenda (iii) putting us in touch with people doing similar work worldwide (iv) building up regional BytesForAll initiatives in areas not currently adequately supported (v) in any other way you deem fit.
Further details about BytesForAll from http://www.bytesforall.org
bYtES For aLL * Compiled jointly by
Frederick Noronha, Journalist 403511 Goa India firstname.lastname@example.org and
Partha Pratim Sarker, Drik Multimedia, Dhaka 1209
Compiled in public interest * CopyLeft
May be freely circulated provided entire message is left intact.
Please draw our attention to any incorrect links noticed above.
Updates, earlier issues and more at http://www.bytesforall.org
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