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Showing posts from December, 2008

Agraharangalude vilapa :: Documentary About Vanishing Heritage of Agraharams

Tried to watch this one at the film festival but no such luck. 'Agraharangalude vilapam,' a documentary, delves into the vanishing heritage of agraharams.
AgraharaM, an ubiquitous feature of most South Indian towns and which literally means a garland with open ends, is floundering in the wake of globalisation.Heritage buildings: Agraharams were once bastions of learning and culture.They were once the bastions of learning, knowledge, art and culture, yet they were simple homesteads at the heart of South Indian society. They are the agraharams – the traditional homes of South Indian Brahmins; invariably row houses with slan ting roofs and common walls lining both sides of the street that leads to a temple.Lamentably, today, these heritage buildings are mere shadows of their former austere glory. These living remnants of a fast fading culture have been poignantly captured in the award-winning documentary 'Agraharangalude vilapam,' ('Agrahara- a lament') directe…

Prayas The Tinkerer

Ran into Prayas the tinkerer while in Bangalore. He introduced me to two of his really interesting projects.CANOPY: temporary roofs for tea-shops CANOPY is a series of temporary (flexible, mobile, sturdy), multi-purpose roofs for shops on Indian streets.
The first set of canopies are for tea-shops in Chandni-Chowk (New Delhi) and will attempt to have these features: water collection (rain, dew, fog) space for growing vegetablesspace for sleepingLIVE solar mobile chargingstoragemarking (creating an identity for the tea-shop through art on the canopy)MausamChowk: a set of local weather stations that help you decide where to go SMS a query to a local weather station. Receive a reply with the temperature, humidity and noise levels of the space. Decide if you want to go there or someone else. This project uses the arduino

Open Source Car Project :: Build And They will come

The goal of the OScar Project to develop a car according to Open Source principles. The project started in 1999. In December 2005, it reached release 0.2. Starting in 2006, everyone is welcome to participate. In our opinion, a car is not a vehicle full of high-tech gadgets. Instead, we are looking for a simple and functional concept to spread mobility. Form follows function.Apart from that, OScar is not just a car. It is about new ways of mobility and the spreading of the Open Source idea in the real (physical) world. On this website, you will find a great community of developers and drivers who want to invent mobility anew and together.
The OS Car Project

TP-LINK TL-WN322G+ USB Wireless Network Card

On my first visit to the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurship (IISE) here in Kerala I found that they were having trouble configuring the USB Wireless (Wifi) Network Card for gnu/Linux. They use this device for all their desktops and some older laptops, this device is not very commonly used here in India and there is very little documentation about it in English. The Chinese make TP-LINK TL-WN322G+ USB Wireless Network Card is supported very well in gnu/Linux with a builtin module zd1211rw now included in main linux kernel tree, thanks to the zd1211 project. On their Ubuntu 8.04 (HH) desktop computer I first checked the USB ID of the chipset then inserted the zd1211rw module with modprobe command and the devices started working like magic. $ lsusb 0ace:1215 Zydas WLA-54L Wifi $ sudo modprobe zd1211rw Append to new line with 'zd1211rw' at the end /etc/modules file so that the module is loaded every time the computer boots.

Suneetha, The Auto Rickshaw Driver

Coming out of the Trivandrum railway station after bidding farewell to Anand Babu, I hailed for an auto rickshaw. I got into the first one that stopped and that's how I met Suneetha, one of two women auto rickshaw drivers in Trivandrum, Kerala (India). I have been travelling in Kerala for over 10 days now and this is first time any auto rickshaw driver started the fare meter. Is it because the auto rickshaw driver is a women? I am not that sure. But its a nice not being swindled for a change and I am already feeling safe in suneetha's auto rickshaw. I introduced myself and she asked me where I was from. When I replied Bangalore she told me that her daughter was studying in a nursing college in Bangalore. Its the first time I have seen a women driving auto rickshaw and it feels great to be in the company of a pioneer.Suneetha told me that women in kerala have always been independent and that she didn't face any trouble from her male counter parts when she first started dri…

President of the Ecuador Rafael Correa Talks About Free Software

TranscriptDear friends, the President of the Republic of Ecuador sends you greetings. This is the hour for the integration of Latin America in all of its aspects, including in technology and the use of information technologies.For that reason, it is necessary that we all adopt, on a public and private level, the use of free software. In that manner, we will guarantee the sovereignty of our states. We will depend on our own efforts, and not on the external forces on the region. We will be producers of technology, and not simple consumers. We will be the owners of the source codes, and we can develop many products that can, with cooperation of this effort, can be very useful to public and private companies in the region.For that, everyone must use free software. The Ecuadoran government has already established this as a governmental and state policy. This will be an important step in the integration and, why not say, for the liberation of Latin America.

How to Bypass Internet Censorship :: Book Review

The book How to Bypass Internet Censorship using free software tools is now out. The book is distributed on The interesting aspect about this book is that it is created using collaborative content development system over a period of (just) five days by various contributors.In the past I had blogged about how to bypass the filtering systems using translation services like Babelfish, however I think the book would be more informative for all.About The BookBecause of concerns about the effect of Internet blocking mechanisms, and the implications of censorship, many individuals and groups are working hard to ensure that the Internet, and the information on it, are freely available to everyone who wants it.This book documents simple circumvention techniques such as a cached file or web proxy, and also describes more complex methods using Tor, which stands for The Onion Router, involving a sophisticated network of proxy servers.FLOSS Manuals publications will always be available …

Naranda Muni Assocation

Juan says 'I now dub thee, president arky'
Initiation into Hipatia community Browsing this blog on Nokia N95 at the IFFK in Kerala No, I am not santa, You can't have this Nokia N95 for Xmas Juan with a malayalam poet after the screening Outside Buraq for dinner Juan shows off his 'Guest' badge at IFFK Food on my mind !

13th IFFK Awards

Some of the films that bagged various awards at IFFK. I could quickly note down while sitting here at the closing ceremony of the event. The Mexican film Parque Vie will be the closing film. The official news is in Malayalam, here is the link 13th IFFK Awards DeclaredAnd the Winners are Postcards from Leningrad Director: Mariana Rondon Parque Vie Dir:Enrique Rivero (86min/Mexico/2008) (90min/Venezuela/2008) Malayalam Cinema Now Lucky Red Seeds/Manjadikkuru (India/117 min/) Dir: Anjali Menon Hassan Kutty award in IFFK Lucky Red Seeds/Manjadikkuru (India/117 min/) Dir: Anjali Menon Firaaq Dir: Nandita Das (101min/Hindi/2008) Machan Dir:Uberto Pasolini (109min/Sri Lanka, Germany/2008) The Yellow House Dir:Amor Hakkar (84min/Algeria,France/2008) The Imprints Dir: M.G Sasi (99min/Mal/2007) Here is the Complete listing of the selected films.

Open Annoyances, Needs Java

This is perhaps the most annoying thing about Open Why do I need Java Runtime for OpenOffice to export a document into HTML format. Duh! ooffice why-fs.odt javaldx: Could not find a Java Runtime Environment! I know I heard about the Ooffice Java Controversy but do you think its a sound technical design to use Java for doing a simple thing like htmlizing a document.

Free Software for Movie industry workshop at IFFK

The Free Software for Movie industry workshop was conducted this morning as the part of 13th International Film Festival of Kerala IIFFK) 2008. Delegates, film Makers, editors, sound engineers, graphic designers and students attended this event. Gearing up for the workshop Juan, Anil, Arun and Paul IFFK Creative Director Ms.Paul talks about the workshop Arun introduces Free Software to the participants Anil starts his lecture with the basics of Digital Film making workflow Participants interact after the workshop Blender installed on a participants Windows XP Laptop Blender Basics tutorials shared

AUS: Update XML File Malformed (200) Firefox Update Error

Recently one my blog reader was angry that I posted something related to Microsoft Windows ;). Why shouldn't I write about that it?. There whole lot of free software that runs on it, programming languages, Office tools, editors you name it. Mozilla Firefox is perhaps the most common one. This is post discusses this odd Firefox error message which is triggered when the browser try to check for latest updates. This AUS Update XML File Malformed 200 error traps many issues, the simplest being unable to access the Internet. So, most of the time you can safely ignore this warning. Test CaseFile>Work OfflineHelp>Check for Updates Gnu/Linux users running firefox installed from the distribution package would find that Check for Updates feature is disabled.

X11::GUITest Build Errors

X11::GUITest and X11::GUITest::recordCPAN modules help you control X11 applications using perl programming language and do some rather simple automation tasks. But building these modules can be a pain, if don't know about the right dependencies like libxt-dev and libxtst-dev . # Build Fails cp blib/lib/X11/ /usr/bin/perl /usr/share/perl5/ExtUtils/xsubpp -typemap /usr/share/perl/5.8/ExtUtils/typemap -typemap typemap GUITest.xs > GUITest.xsc && mv GUITest.xsc GUITest.c cc -c -I/usr/X11R6/include -I/usr/X/include -Wall -O2 -DVERSION=\"0.21\" -DXS_VERSION=\"0.21\" -fPIC "-I/usr/lib/perl/5.8/CORE" -DNDEBUG -DX11_GUITEST_ALT_L_FALLBACK_META_L GUITest.c GUITest.xs:41:27: error: X11/Intrinsic.h: No such file or directory GUITest.xs:42:28: error: X11/StringDefs.h: No such file or directory make: *** [GUITest.o] Error 1 root@arky-laptop:~/.cpan/build/X11-GUITest-0.21-4tUEBB# less README root@arky-laptop:~/.cpan/build/X…

Free Software for Movie industry workshop

The Free Software for Movie industry workshop is scheduled for 10:30 am on 18th December 2008 at Hotel Horizon, Thiruvananthapurum (India). This event is organized during the 13th International Film Festival of Kerala by free software community. About Free Software and cultural productsFree Software is software that gives users the freedom to use, copy, share, study, and modify. The freedoms also make it possible to get the software free of cost. The Free Software Movement, started about a quarter of a century back, is a global movement today and a number of governments and public and private organisations are opting to use Free Software for their purposes.The Free Software movement pioneered the various movements for freedom in the digital world -- for instance, free knowledge represented by Wikipedia or freedom of creative works from copyright restrictions represented by Creative Commons. We also see a new form of social production where collaboration becomes more important than co…

Wikia Search :: Opening up the Search

Jimmy Wales had talked about few of his new initiatives at conference in Kerala, India.Search Wikia is one of them. Unlike other search engines the methods of search indexing (algorithms) are open for all to see and understand. Would it change how the search engines work in future is yet to be seen.

Another one is Green Wiki, it aims to become the global clearing house of all information pertaining to Environmental Issues,Sustainable Living and the interesting "How to" pages that tell how you can start healing the planet right from your home .

US teacher detains student for using Linux

A teacher in Austin, Texas has lashed out against the open-source Linux operating system, punishing one of her students for demonstrating and handing out copies of the HeliOS Linux distribution and writing an email to the distributor claiming the software may be illegal.After confiscating the discs and detaining the student, the teacher, known only as Karen, wrote an email to Linux evangelist Ken Starks from HeliOS, most of which he posted on his blog together with his response.
Read the full story

Triskaidekaphobia Attack, That Dreaded Number 13

As I turned this mornings newspaper I suddenly had a triskaidekaphobic attack, I realized that today is December the 13th and am at the 13 th International Film Festival of Kerala bearing delegate badge number 1300 . Darn!

Free Software Free Society Conference on Freedom in Computing, Development and Culture ( 2008 ):: Full Roundup

Three years ago Anand Babu lent me his laptop to blog live from Technopark, the venue for the First Free Software, Free Society Conference in Kerala and I promised my blog readers that I will do that same this time around. I wrote in a blog post announcing the event you bet! I am gonna do that again and I am happy that I have kept my word. For some technical reasons and largely due to my lazyiness I ended doing photo blogging instead. I thought this would be easier than sitting and writing posts on FSFS website. How wrong I was!. I had corrected some content on that site and had editor access. However I didn't find the Drupal content interface very appealing.Anyway I was running all over the place ducking in and out of conference halls and hankering people to pose for the camera and interupting conversations with an unexpected flash and then running back to media room on the first floor where I had my laptop running hooked up to internet via a lan cable (sorry, GPRS too costly!)… 2008 :: Day 3.6 :: Long Hair Post

Unni strikes again and Juan Carlos is the latest victim Juan Carlos delivers a fatal blow by signing it with a witty remark! Game Carlos Stallman relax's in the media room after yet another interview Stallman's new gal, the Lemote Laptop Ivan captures me with his crayons Came here you young rogue, Awwww, that hurts See, you don't mess with Ivan the young warrior 2008 :: Day 3.5 :: Openmoko Hack Session

Day 3 :: Got a Openmoko Hack session underway in the media hall after the ended. Watch out here the GPS pigtail doubles as the stylus !