Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday 31st July Meeting

John Wesonga of Multiple Choices, peupe.net will be giving a talk.

Will be at 6pm at the Wananchi Online Training Room on 1st Floor

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Skunkworks on Business Daily Africa today

We got famous :)

Bob Bell of Business Daily did a pretty incredible article on Skunkworks published today.
Kiania's "apple" laptop gets some visibility in the photo :)


Thanks to Bob, and everyone else who's played important parts in building the movement.

Oh - BarCamp Reloaded coming up in August - stay tuned for details. We'll focus on Software Development.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zimbra talk (in progress)

I came late for the meeting.

Among the attractive features of Zimbra

Push Mail functionality

Zimlets - Interface with google maps - enter a US (hopefully a Kenyan one :) ) and go to the location
- open application for voip dialing

Spam training
Administration console:

Can split up tasks e.g
  • MTA
  • Mail Box Servers
  • Proxies
Server Statistics: overall and drilled down per server.

Can cluster servers with professional version

Monitor MTA queues (typically postfix)

Also command line utilites (70-80) if you prefer

Network edition - backups available - full backups and incremental backups

In terms of data storage:
LDAP - user data
Metadata for email - MySQL

Connectors for Outlook and ActiveSync

How does it compare
Exchange -$20 a month / user ?
ZImbra - $28 a year / user

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Meeting on 24th July

For the next meeting, Zimbra - 'the schweetest thing that happened to your email'

Wananchi Online training room
Loita Hse, 1st Floor,
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
by Riyaz

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kengeles - 17 jul 2007

Tuesday meeting will be held at Kengeles on Koinange Street - 6pm


captired by Timothy Kariithi from last week's meeting.

Manu Raghavan
Georgia Institute of Technology
Masters Student Electrical and Computer Science

The speaker presented a talk on Initiative for Development and Education in Africa (IDEA).
The main aim of IDEA is to
Target the social economic conditions in Africa
To come up with something tangible (a tangible result)
There are three projects running
A collaborative teaching project.
Essay competition

Collaborative teaching Project
The objective of this project is to come up with curriculum and joint instructors with African Universities (in Kenya Kenyatta University KU)
In KU they have a course and two projects
Digital Media

Text to speech interface
This project will enable the illiterate to use their mobile phones.
The application is being developed in python.
Apart from text to speech there is also development of locally relevant icon to enable illiterate user ability to use the phone

Open Source Course Management System
Currently KU is using an Course management system called Black Board that cost a lot in term of licenses. IDEA is
helping so KU students to configure an open source equivalent system which they will modify and put relevant material on and also modify the Graphical user Interface (GUI) to reduce migration time and training cost. The motivation for the students is that they can later sell the finished product to KU at a fraction of the cost.

The Githurai commodity Exchange
The objective of this project is to make farmers aware of the cost of there produce thus reducing increasing their profits.
This will be done using information transmitted through an SMS gateway that will provide the suppliers of the info with credit loaded to their phones and those requesting for use of the information will get it at premium cost say +5/= above the cost of the SMS thus making it a self sustainable project.

Essay Competition
An essay writing competition targeting undergraduates and graduates to write on Pan African perspectives on development and technology.
This competition will open mid August to end of December.
The objective of this competition will be
voice out opinions of African Youth.
Identify new action driven approaches.
Create a forum on African Development.

This usually facilitates African leaders to speak Georgia Institute Of Technology
Previous Speakers are president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nathan Eagle - talk on 3rd July 07

Speaker – Nathan Eagle

email - i forgot :)

Nathan is a research assistant at MIT Labs, currently in Kenya where he works with KEMRI in Kilifi and with University students in UoN (why UoN only?) to develop mobile applications.

He gave a talk on his Phd research whose aim was to use data obtained from people's mobile phones to demonstrate social patterns and predict their social behaviours. Basically, social studies based on mobile phone data. I hope i am right on that one.

He developed this cool application that runs in the background of a mobile phone collecting all sorts of statistics.. e.g, calls made, messages received, which cell towers the mobile phone is, e.t.c. The data was sent monthly via GPRS to a server. He actually got kicked out by AT&T coz of the large amount of data he was transferring coz they saw it as a Denial of Service attack.

He also had stations throughout the campus with devices that continually scanned and recorded all bluetooth devices around the station.

Next step - analysis of the data, and he actually showed that patterns were repeated every 24 and every 168 hours. He could do all kinds of cool things with the data...even predict who is a friend to a subject.. with relatively good accuracy. He used some mathematical models that were quite frankly, scaring. Some very complicated and huge formulas.

The discussion then turned to why don't the mobile phone companies provide the data to the subscribers? Kina safcom and celtel actually have all this data. Suggestions were made as to how the data can be useful in real life, e.g. for observation of traffic patterns, or even auto-diaries. Mobile phone applications were also discussed, with the question of whether to use J2ME or Python for the applications arising. I didnt even know that python can be used for mobile applications.

He also has data about all calls made in UK for Aug. 2005. He is trying to make sense of it by making some advanced mathematical models... Good Luck!

Nathan - can you share the presentation online?

Lionbridge Internet Assessors Program

This is a part-time gig that I highly recommend to any of you (in Nairobi) who consider yourselves web-savvy and have a high-speed internet connection at home.

See full description here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday 3rd July Meeting

Dr. Nathan Eagle will be giving a talk on the research he did at MIT at today's meeting.