Free Speech Time Zone

bullet1 S.T.U.P.ID and the No Disconnect Strategy

Published: 13 May 2012

The No Disconnect Strategy (NDS) was launched in December 2011 by European Commission for the Digital Agenda. The strategy aims to provide citizens living in countries framed as non democratic with the technological tools to communicate freely.

Major challenges of such strategy will be to ensure privacy and safety for those citizens and to develop a security framework that exploits the true potential of an open and safe Internet for all. S.T.U.P.ID is a framework that we developed time ago to evaluate the security and safety of circumvention tools. We hope that the S.T.U.P.ID methodology can help to evaluate "technologies for social change" and the need of privacy in and outside of the Internet.

Interested? Here it is a quick Presentation of S.T.U.P.ID

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Freedom Fone 1000 days

bullet1 Freedom Fone 1000 days of development

Published: 14 Apr 2012

The Freedom Fone code base is 1000 days old. To celebrate it we have prepared a 2 minutes video of the code base and its development using the awsome gource visualization project.

Here it is the Video

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Index of censorship

bullet1 Freedom Fone wins Freedom of Expression Award

Published: 30 Mar 2012

We are very happy to announce that the Freedom Fone is the winner of the Innovation Award of the Index on Censorship 2012 for its contribution to the area of Freedom of Expression.

The Index of Censorship's price recognises innovation and original use of new technology to circumvent censorship and foster debate, argument or dissent.

Our congratulations to the Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe to conceptualize Freedom Fone and to all those developers that spent sleepless nights with us writing and debugging code. Special thanks to Giovanni and Areski for your patience with us and the Freeswitch, Cake PHP and Ubuntu communities for being always there. Thanks for the freedoms of open source software to allow us to make an idea a reality.

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SPUDing Bo Kaap

bullet1 SPUD, Simple Unified Dashboard for mesh networks

Published: 13 Jun 2011

We are happy to announce the public release of SPUD (SimPle Unified Dashboard). SPUD is yet another attempt to visualize a wireless mesh network running BATMAN and its users.

During the last couple of months we have written a PHP based dashboard that communicates with the BATMAN visualization server and displays real time wireless link status.

SPUD is written in CakePHP (PHP MVC framework) and uses Google Maps API 1.3 for visualization.

SPUD is design to be as simple as possible and to enable teams that install large amount of mesh nodes to visualize their networks quickly. Some of the core features of SPUD are:

Client management: Bulk import of clients from a CSV file, Edit client position with Google Maps, Tracks new clients

Link monitoring: Easy overview of active wireless links, Mesh quality in each direction of a wireless link

Customization: Colors and threshold values for link quality

SPUD code is available at: svn co http://dev.villagetelco.org/svn/villagetelco/spud/trunk/ and the default installation will monitor our demo site in Bo Kaap (Cape Town)

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Freedom Fone - Village Telco Demo

bullet1 Freedom Fone on Africa Gathering

Published: 12 Dec 2010

IT46 has been invited to Africa Gathering 2010 held in Nairobi, to present the Freedom Fone project. We took the opportunity to combine our most recent large development projects, Freedom Fone and the Village Telco, and demonstrate an integrated solution combining both technologies.

The demonstrator consisted of three Mesh Potatoes equipped with analogue phones. One of the MP's acted as super node and was connected to the Freedom Fone server. The Mesh Potatoes offered a way to communicate with Freedom Fone free of charge. Freedom Fone 1.6.5 OR LTS was installed on a laptop with an OfficeRoute (GSM-SIP gateway) connected via Ethernet. The OfficeRoute hosted three local SIM cards which allowed us to call in to Freedom Fone via the GSM network.

During the course of the day, the Freedom Fone/Village Telco demonstrator was tried out by the participants of the event, which served as a great example of the maturity and reliability of the two products and their interoperability.

Africa Gathering is an initiative about sharing ideas for positive change. To do so, Africa Gathering provides a space to bring technophiles, thinkers, entrepreneurs, innovators and everybody else together to talk about positive change in sustainable development, technology, social networking, health, education, environment and good governance in Africa.

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bullet1 Village Telco - Bokaap mesh network grows

Published: 28 Oct 2010

The first mesh network in Bokaap now has over 20 nodes. The geographical situation of Bokaap (in a slope) makes the mesh very alive! In the screenshoot you can see a screenshoot of Afrimesh and the top part of the network with several nodes with redundant voice links

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The Mesh in Bo-Kaap

bullet1 Red Potato: An integrated Telco Platform for human beings!

Published: 22 Oct 2010

It has been two weeks of hard work in the Village Telco Camp and all the pieces of the Village Telco architecture start to fit into place. As part of the validation of the platform, fifteen wireless nodes have been installed in Bo-Kaap and we expect a total of 100 nodes in the network before the end the year.

Two major milestones of the integration are now completed:

Scalabity: The server includes support for Asterisk Realtime and our Installation wizard install a server in less than 5 minutes.

Autoprovisioning: First round of real testing of SIP auto-provisioning is giving good results. We are getting closer to a scenario where a mesh potato can be put into the network and auto-configures without intervention.

It is a very special feeling to see a system that starts to behave in the way I always dreamed about!

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Village Telco Entrepenour Server (VTE)

bullet1 Village Telco Server Software

Published: 22 Sep 2010

We are happy to announce the public release of our development version of the Village Telco Entrepreneur (VTE) Server. The Village Telco is an initiative to build low-cost community telephone network hardware and software that can be set up in minutes anywhere in the world. No mobile phone towers or land lines are required. The Village Telco uses the latest Open Source telephony software and low cost wireless mesh networking technology to deliver affordable telephony anywhere.

The VTE combines in one single software package a specially customized version of a2billing, a simple wizard to set-up your customers and create vouchers and a monitoring/provisioning component that interacts with the Mesh Potatoes and the Afrimesh monitoring software

Development website is now available at: http://dev.villagetelco.org

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Tifinagh alphabet

bullet1 54 Afrigen locales included in CLDR 1.8

Published: 17 Mar 2010

The Afrigen team is proud to announce that 54 African locales have been submitted to Unicode, and included in the CLDR 1.8 release. Out of the 54 locales, 41 was completely new to CLDR, while 13 was improvements of existing locales.

This bulk submission of locales has greatly improved the footprint of African languages in CLDR, that hosted only 10+ in the previous release (most of them created by LocaleGEN, the predecessor of Afrigen). The next step for these African locales is submission to OpenOffice.org.

If you want to see a beautiful script that finally has made it to CLDR, have a look at Tachelhit, a Berber language spoken by 300,000 people in Morocco written in Tifinagh. The Tifinagh script is used by around 20 million people in Morocco for writing Berber languages including Tarifite, Tamazighe, and Tachelhite [source: www.unicode.org].

If your local language is not included in CLDR and you are willing to spend a few hours creating a locale, please contact us!

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UTF8 expansion in the web!

bullet1 Four years creating OpenOffice.org and Unicode locales

Published: 28 Jan 2010

What started as a small programming project it has now became the reference software to create locales for OpenOffice.org and Unicode. Our first tool (localegen) has generated 170 locales in four years. Around 25% of them has made them all the way into OpenOffice.org and Unicode's Locale Repository.

Locales come from all other the world, latest additions include: Uyghur, Maithili, Urdu, Maltese, Sardinian, Asturian and an Arabic-based locale for Oman.

During 2009, we rewrote localegen to facilitate the creation of 100 African locales. Today, Afrigen is the major effort in the world to submit African locales to Unicode!.

As you can imagine, tools need to be adapted with time and managing so many languages, scripts and features still takes considerable time of our research and development. In 2010, we are looking for a sponsor to continue our work, we plan to include more advance features in our tools (support for collation, community grading of locales, discussion forums, etc). Interested? Drop us a line!

We want to thank the IDRC for supporting us and our partner in the 100 African Locales Initiative, Kamusi Project International , as part of ANLoc. Thanks to the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden for hosting our development platform. Specially, we want to thank all contributors that have made Localegen and Afrigen a success!. We love to see (our) software used!

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