Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Free software comes to schools

Free software comes to schools

Express News Service Kochi

KOCHI: In an effort to promote free and open source software among students, a new initiative called Swathanthra Software Koottayma (SSK) has been formed at Vocational Higher Secondary School, Irumpanam, near here.

The SSK is a free software user group for students, and is the first of its kind in the State.

The first meeting of SSK was convened at the school. A number of teachers, students, free software activists and members of the Indian Libre Users Group (ILUG), Kochi chapter, attended the meeting.

The vision of SSK is to create a free thinking group which incorporates the core values of free software and use it through gaining knowledge, sharing and collaborating. There will be discussions on curriculum, syllabus and technology.

The activities of SSK include organising discussions on free software technologies, screening of movies, collaborative studies, presentations and workshops by the free software community group, bringing out free software-based newsletters and generating free software-based concepts for simple applications for the school and society.

There were discussions on the history of GNU project, GNU/Linux operating system and introduction to software licenses during the introductory session. The session on Malayalam computing dealt with the history of Malayalam computing, Swathanthra Malayalam computing project, introduction to applications like English-Malayalam dictionary and making a poster using GNU Image Manipulation Programme (GIMP).

Sameer Mohammed Thahir and Venkat of ILUG Kochi, Sanal Kumar and Thomas Yoyaku, teachers at VHSS Irumpanam, and Rimal, Geegu and Abhinav Thomas, students of the school, spoke at the meeting.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

IGNOU inks pact with ACIIL, IBM

IGNOU inks pact with ACIIL, IBM

New Delhi, July 11: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), The Advanced Center for Informatics and Innovative Learning (ACIIL) and IBM India today signed an MoU at Bangalore that they claimed would reinvent IT education in the country.

The collaboration, co-operation and joint working of IBM, with IGNOU, will what they say bridge the gap that existed till now on education, skills and national development, a varsity statement said.

As part of the MoU, IGNOU and IBM India would partner to skill students on the IT standards in the emerging verticals like healthcare, financial services and retail that have a significant growth potential, in addition to the skills demand of Open Source software and Open Standards, with live projects.

The three programs that will be offered in the first phase under this MoU would include -- a Certificate in Open Source Software, diploma in Open Source Software and Industry Vertical Domain Open Standards and Advanced Diploma in Industry Vertical Domain Open Standards (Healthcare/ Retail/ Insurance).

The Innovation Centre for Open Standards (iCos), an online platform, will be the underlying framework for the engagement between IBM and IGNOU for the execution of the courses. The IBM iCos platform links students' project based learning with IT industry and mentors.

Delhi govt to set up Knowledge City

Delhi govt to set up Knowledge City
PTI 12 July 2009, 10:56am IST
NEW DELHI: In a unique initiative to promote advanced research and encourage higher education, the Delhi government will set up a Knowledge City in

the national capital, providing best possible infrastructure to institutions offering job-oriented courses.

The Knowledge City, to be set up on public-private partnership (PPP) basis, would offer modern infrastructure and services to self-financed institutions that offer professional courses, officials said.

They said the government has decided to develop the city to overcome the constraint of land availability by the self-financed institutions.

"The Knowledge City would offer best infrastructure and services to a number of self-financed institutions so that growth of these institutions is not affected by constraints of land availability," the Action Plan of the Delhi Government for implementation of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) recommendations said.

The decision to establish the Knowledge City was taken as per the recommendations of NKC which was set up by prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 to prepare a roadmap for transforming India into a knowledge society, officials said.

The project has been already cleared by the Planning Commission and land earmarked, they added.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Red light cameras now check for insurance, too

Red light cameras now check for insurance, too
Tom Barlow Jun 29th 2009 at 4:30PM

Drive without insurance? Then you'd better stay out of Ohio, where the state is considering a program that uses red-light cameras and insurance company databases to check passing traffic for uninsured motorists. The system would use license plate numbers to verify driver insurance. According to the Columbus Dispatch, officials in Chicago, who are considering the same system, from InsureNet of Novi, Michigan, think that such a program could generate $200 million in additional revenue for the Windy City.

When the system identifies an uninsured motorist, the driver would be sent a letter instructing him to take care of the problem. If he doesn't, a fine will soon follow. In Ohio, that fine is $125 for a first offense, $300 for a second and $550 for a third.

The system is already being provided to law enforcement, free of charge, so even those uninsured drivers who managed to dodge the cameras can be busted if they catch the attention of a local gendarme. The system can also provide them lien reports in real time.

I'm all for requiring drivers to carry insurance, but I'm not pleased by the prospect of insurance company databases being opened for InsureNet's searches. I can see how this would be a good deal for the insurance companies, because it will drive business their way. For the general public, however, this feels like another step toward a Big Brother future.

To read the original article, click here

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Photo Speaks - Thoughts, moods and poses on a Saturday morning

Photo Speaks - Thoughts, moods and poses on a Saturday morning

Scene from the Madinat Zayed Shopping complex area on a Saturday morning. I was surprised to see many people lost in thoughts or problems at that time of the morning. Have to explore more on this some other times.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Towards more responsible days.....

Dear Friends,

Towards more responsible days.....

Sharing with you an achievement that happened today.

Please do visit

Please pray for more creative thoughts and willingness to work with social consciousness without inhibition.


Ramesh Menon

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking Headline Animator