Media Coverage

The Unicode ® Consortium Releases CLDR, Version 1.8
Published: 22 Mar 2010 (Unicode Consortium)
Mountain View, CAThe Unicode® Consortium announced today the release of the new version of the Unicode Common Locale Data Repository (Unicode CLDR 1.8), providing key building blocks for software to support the world's languages.

CLDR 1.8 contains data for 186 languages and 159 territories: 501 locales in all. Version 1.8 of the repository contains over 22% more locale data than the previous release, with over 42,000 new or modified data items from over 300 different contributors.

For this release, the Unicode Consortium partnered with ANLoc, the African Network for Localization, a project sponsored by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), to help extend modern computing on the African continent. ANLoc's vision is to empower Africans to participate in the digital age by enabling their languages in computers. A sub-project of ANLoc, called Afrigen, focuses on creating African locales.

The Afrigen-ANLoc project's mission is to create viable locale data for at least 100 of the over 2000 languages spoken in Africa, and incorporate the data into Unicode's CLDR project and OpenOffice.org. Implementation of fundamental locale data within CLDR is a critical step for providing computer applications that can be localized into these African languages, thus reaching populations that have never before been able to use their native languages on computers and mobile phones.

The Afrigen-ANLoc project selected approximately 200 candidate languages, including all official languages recognized by a national government and all languages with at least 500,000 native speakers. Additional languages were incorporated when volunteers stepped forward. Data was collected through the Afrigen-ANLoc project by native-speaking volunteers around the world, entered via a web-based utility designed specifically for this purpose, and then merged into the CLDR repository. In all, over 150 volunteers gathered locale data for 72 African languages, with data for 54 of those incorporated into the CLDR 1.8 release. 41 of these languages are completely new to the Unicode CLDR project while 13 others existed in earlier versions of CLDR and were enhanced with additional data. These languages are spoken in 26 countries across the entire African continent.

"The partnership with Afrigen has been a huge benefit for us," says John Emmons, vice-chair of the Unicode CLDR technical committee and lead CLDR engineer for IBM. "The Afrigen effort has allowed us to bring many new languages on board that we wouldn't be able to do through our normal process, while still maintaining the level of quality and consistency that we require for every language."

For more information about Unicode CLDR 1.8, see cldr.unicode.org/index/downloads/cldr-1-8

The Afrigen-ANLoc data collection tool was developed by Louise Berthilson of IT46, and the project is managed by Martin Benjamin, director of Kamusi Project International. For more information about the African Network for Localization, see www.idrc.ca.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization standards. The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Members are: Adobe Systems, Apple, DENIC eG, Google, Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu, IBM, Microsoft, Monotype Imaging, Oracle, The Society for Natural Language Technology Research, SAP, Sybase, The University of California (Berkeley), The University of California (Santa Cruz), Yahoo!, plus well over a hundred Associate, Liaison, and Individual members.

For more information, please contact the Unicode Consortium.

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Computer World Logo

Rekordinteresse for åpen kildekode
Published: 29 Apr 2009 (Leif Martin Kirknes)
Oslo, Norway

Konferansedeltaker Alberto Escudero Pascual har tatt turen fra Sverige, der han jobber i selskapet It46, et selskap som jobber for å få ny teknologi til utviklingsland. Selskapet han jobber for har blant annet vært med på å oversette Firefox til Swahili, og ble invitert til konferansen på grunn av et samarbeid med norske Freecode.

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ICT Update

Putting voice into the net
Published: 7 Nov 2008 (ICT Update)
Leiden, The Netherlands.

Do you need a computer to make VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone calls?

No, you don’t need a computer. An analogue phone connected to an ATA (analogue telephone adaptor) is the minimum hardware required. An ATA is a small piece of equipment that can convert the signal from a traditional analogue phone into the digital signal needed to transfer data over the internet. So you still need an internet connection but the ATA turns your old phone into an IP phone. ATAs are available from about US$30.

Is a broadband connection essential for carrying a telephone conversation over the internet?

No. In fact, the bandwidth requirements for VoIP are as little of 15–20 kbps per call. The main challenge is the ‘stability’ of the network connection, and the fluctuations in quality (known as jitter).

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Wireless Africa identifies references sites
Published: 14 Jul 2008 (Staff Writer)
Johannesburg, South AfricaCanada is funding a new two-year pan-African wireless initiative to bring low-cost broadband to rural communities.

The initiative was set up in Pretoria last month and is being led by the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) Meraka Institute.

Project leader Chris Morris believes wireless technology is a solution to connect remote communities on the world's least wired continent. “Why should rural, poor and remote areas in Africa be denied access to the information society through lack of infrastructure, or because of exorbitantly high telecommunications costs?” he asks.

“Through Wireless Africa, we will have an increased understanding of the reasons for this failure. This, in turn, will inform the development of business models that may contribute to addressing the challenge of sustainable solutions.”

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Mówimy w suahili
Published: 20 Jan 2008 (Linux Magazine )
Poland

Article in the polish Linux Magazine about the release of OpenOffice.org in Swahili back in 2005

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Svenskarna övervakas allt mer
Published: 18 Jan 2008 (Lars-Peter Hielle)
Sweden

Sverige fortsätter att närma sig länder som England och Kina i när det gäller att övervaka befolkningen. Övervakade arbetsplatser blir vanligare och politiker har blivit mer positiva till övervakning. (P3 Nyheter) ”Sämre på att tillvarata människors integritet”

Och att kameror med zoomningsmöjligheter spanar på en i Gallerian är inget problem, tycker Lina Söderberg och Ellen Lindblad i Växjö.

  • Jag tycker hellre en kamera för mycket än en för lite, för det kan ju hjälpa mycket med, säger Lina Söderberg.
  • Man tänker inte så mycket på det, man är ganska van nu, säger Ellen Lindblad.

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Counting the Gains of Fantsuam
Published: 16 Jan 2008 (Efem Nkanga)
Nigeria

In this analysis, Efem Nkanga reports that the wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP) feat achieved by Fantsuam Village in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, has reinforced the importance of Information Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool that drives development, especially in the developing world.

As 2008 unfolds, the call for the rural areas to be included in the drive by Nigeria to work towards becoming a knowledge economy with the uptake of technology is beginning to yield dividends. A remote village called Fantsuam in Kafanchan area of Kaduna has hearkened to the call and is running with this vision to become a digital economy by becoming the first village in Nigeria to establish the first rural wireless ISP. Already, stakeholders have agreed that one of the indicators expected to push the nation into reckoning as one that is technologically compliant is the entrenchment of broadband everywhere in the country, to drive the wireless culture.

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EnRedando

Mientras construimos infraestructura creamos comunidades
Published: 31 Oct 2007 (NodoTAU)
Rosario, Argentina

Alberto Escudero Pascual es español pero vive en Suecia. Tiene una trayectoria amplia dedicada al estudio de las nuevas tecnologías. Impulsó proyectos comunitarios de tecnología inalámbrica en áreas castigadas por la exclusión y la pobreza y actualmente es uno de los coordinadores del proyecto TRICALCAR. En diálogo con enREDando refuerza la idea de producir tecnología, potenciar la comunicación y generar capacidad para crear debate, contenidos y comunidades.

enREDando dialogó en exclusiva con el español Alberto Escudero Pascual sobre el desarrollo de tecnología inalámbrica en áreas rurales y comunidades excluidas social y digitalmente. En su paso por Rosario para coordinar el proyecto Tricalcar, que tuvo lugar entre el 22 y el 27 de octubre en Rosario, reflexionó sobre los alcances de las llamadas TICs, sus potencialidades como así también las dificultades que presenta. La apuesta es multiplicar lo aprendido para generar la capacidad de creer que en comunidad es posible crear tecnología para el desarrollo, infraestructura y comunicación.

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Climbing above the stereotypes

Omolayo Samuel: Climbing above the stereotypes
Published: 22 Oct 2007 (Katherine Walraven, APCNews)
MAPUTO, Mozambique"As John Dada of APC-member the Fantsuam Foundation pointed out in a recent interview, while about 80% of its microfinance department is female, only half of the staff members in its ICT department are women. He explained that “the prevailing male-dominated culture [t]here is so pervasive that many women believe that certain careers are meant for men.” And yet, one young woman in Fantsuam’s ICT department became a role model for women in ICT when she became the first woman to climb a communications tower in northern Nigeria, and quite likely even in the whole country, on August 1 of this year."

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Broadband guerrillas
Published: 8 Jul 2007 (Dominic Tonner)
Stockholm, Phone interview

This article was published back in 2002 by Dominic Tonner in Infoconomy (paper format). We included it here in electronic format 5 years later. The article describes the very first years of the wireless community networks.

Could community wireless networks run by so-called 'broadband guerrillas' threaten the 3G mobile business case?

Atop a Swedish hillside lies a disused ski centre, an apparent victim of global warming. The slalom course is covered with grass rather than snow, rusting ski lifts stand motionless, and where cowbells once rang out only bird song can now be heard. It is in unlikely places such as this, a peaceful corner of picturesque Dalarna county, that a telecommunications revolution is being hatched by a small global army of self-styled 'broadband guerrillas'.

'I am a dreamer,' says one such 'guerrilla', Alberto Escudero-Pascual, a Spanish-born researcher at the Kista IT University near Stockholm. "I like trying out new things." He clambers up a 30-metre radio mast next to an old ski building and fits a dish to the top. From there he can see for 40 kilometres, spotting villages and isolated holiday homes far off in the distance. Most of the villages are in range of the dish, and each house contains a potential subscriber to his service.

Escudero-Pascual, who has also rigged up a similar wireless network at his university campus, is the leader of a non-profit organisation that is installing wireless local area network (W-LAN) equipment throughout the region. Anyone with a laptop computer and W-LAN plug-in card, which cost around €150, can access the web at speeds of up to 11Mbit/sec, provided they are in range. The network organisers also plan to trial voice-over-IP technology, allowing users to make free voice calls, once they have acquired a VoIP 'gateway' to connect the W-LAN to the phone network.

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