Month: February 2014

Hello Capetown

I have to say Saturday 15th February was one of my best days in Capetown. I started off my journey with an enthusiastic Nkansha Rexford at Capetown train station. With Rexford munching away at his chips , i wondered what the day had in store for me. I checked in my bag , and i had all that i needed for this photo hunt,and that’s my camera. The day was hot but the train i was seated in was even hotter and i guess the large number of people in the train didn’t help the situation.

DSC_0637 (1)

First stop was Claremont, with our GPS in hand we matched off to discover what this beautiful town had in store for us. Our first site was the Taxi park or as South Africa calls it the taxi rank. We proceeded to walk through the town and huge malls in quest for our ‘aha’ picture. But this was just the start of our journey and we have to proceed to our other stops.

After a train ride that seemed not to end we arrived at Muizenberg . I felt like the kids in that famous movie ‘ Are we there yet?’. The first thing you notice about Muizenberg is the breath taking beach with large waves. The beach is filled with large numbers of people, surfers on the water,children playing at the shore and a spirit of liveliness. Its at this stop, that i started to realize  what a great day it was going to be. For such a hot day, Muizenberg was a breath of fresh air.

Our next stop was Kalk Bay, where our stomachs started to develop their own personalities. So we decided to make a quick stop for lunch before we proceeded with the photo hunt. Kalk Bay gave off the feeling of a small town with many small restaurants and cafes. It looked like a popular tourist destination with a large number of people walking on the streets and along the beach. Fishermen were also  showcasing their beauties from the ocean, next to what looked like their fishing boats.

DSC_0649

Our final stop was Simons Town, where our  first sight was the navy ship. We visited the museums and loved the historical buildings. If my journey was a cake, Simons Town was the cherry on top.

Advertisements

MUTI

Michael Phoya is  a vibrant young man of many talents known to us as Muti (black magic). He started to write his first book when he was 20 years old. This was after his under graduate studies in Business computing at the Malawi Polytechnic. He made a three year trip around Malawi  collecting information for his first book. He then went to the institute of Journalism and later trained at a School of Film making in Capetown. To this day Michael Phoya has five books to his name.

As you talk to Michael , you realise how passionate he is about his country Malawi. According to Michael, Malawi is the warm heart of Africa with friendly people and a varied topography. He envisions that one day Malawi will join the global discourse of the open initiatives and that Malawi will tell its own story.

Michael Phoya

I met Michael while attending an open initiative course in Capetown. Where he seemed enthusiastic about the Open Movement. He hopes that his experience in Capetown  will enable him in his role as a Wikipedian and as a wikienterprenuer. His role entails not only training and activating communities in the open movement,but also getting corporate to support the open initiatives.

When you look at Michael, his love for life is quite evident. His always encouraging us to try all the different cuisine in Capetown, which explains his love for food, although you can’t see it just by looking at him. Michael is a social person who seems to be getting along and interacting with everybody around him. He loves to travel and has been to several countries like my very own Uganda.

Most of all Michael hopes to do his best in this open initiative and deliver to the best of his capabilities. ‘Its tough for Africa’ he says, so lets learn the’ sharing way’ and let it be the’ Africa way’.

CREATIVE COMMONS

Creative commons is a nonprofit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools(1). But am not writing this to tell you about the organisation. Today i would like to tell you how these tools of creative commons can help you. I could be talking to a  writer , a teacher, a musician, a blogger or whoever is reading this. Have you ever felt the need to share your work but feared it would not be credited back to you? Do you wonder how to share your work without it being stolen?

I once encouraged a singer/song writer to record their song and post it on youtube but one of their fears was that she would not be credited. Worse still, someone could take her lyrics and record them for commercial gain.So here is a talented person who is afraid to share her creativity with the world because of lack of knowledge about creative commons.

I have heard of  success stories where people share their work and all credit comes back to them. So why is it that some others are still afraid. Well i think  people just don’t know how they can do it and under which licenses. So if you don’t mind people Sharing or using your creative works, you could consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license.CC gives you flexibility (for example, you can choose to allow only non-commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified(1).

Creative commons has six types of licences; Attribution CC BY  which lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. The second licence is Attribution-ShareAlike cc BY-SA which let others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms(1).

The third license is Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND which allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you. The fourth license is Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC which lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms(1).

The Fifth license is Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA which  lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.And Finally the sixth license is Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDetivs CC BY-NC-ND  which allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially(1).

Some of the users of creative commons are Al jazeera,Flicker, Google ,YouTube which is owned by Google and Wikipedia among others. So musician  who want to post their videos on YouTube ,Writers, Bloggers Photographers can publish using creative commons licenses.

Have you ever found your self searching online and doing a copy and paste or remix without crediting the original creator or even asking for permission to use the creative work? And has it ever occurred to you that what your doing is actually illegal?  So if you are looking for content that is free and legal for use , try  CC -licensed works which are freely available.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT 

We  don’t mind copying, sharing or remixing peoples creations for our own gain but we put on all our guards when other people copy or share our work.

Uganda share your own story.

References

1. Creative Commons, Retrieved 15th Febuary 2014

 

Limited or Limitless

Today I was presented with two arguments about the open movement

The first was that the open movement is corporate oriented and that it also places much emphasis on developers.  Well surely they don’t mean real estate developers and by corporate I would assume they mean large companies like the Linux based companies.

Open movement is anything but corporate oriented. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the cooperate world has largely benefited from the open movement. But the open movement is much bigger than the corporate world. It’s about the student looking for answers on Wikipedia. It’s about the endless volunteer’s who edit pages on Wikipedia. It’s about the software developer developing a solution that he can share with others. It’s about universities providing open courses to people around the world. The open movement is much larger than its benefits to the corporate world.

open source

Open source is software whose original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open source is part of the open movement but is not the only cause. The term ‘Open’ relates to more than computer programs. It relates to open data, open access, open science and much more. But open source in itself still doesn’t put emphasis on just the developer; it also considers the consumers of these products. So to explain the initial argument, I would say that open movement doesn’t place much emphasis on developers but on all the parties involved. This includes writers, students, mothers, and scientists etc who are all contributors to the open movement.

So to whoever is reading this, the open movement is not limited to specific professions or sectors like ICT but open to everyone in the world. You can also make a contribution to this open movement.

Players in the open movement in Uganda

The Open landscape in Uganda is a growing concept that varies from Open government, open content, open science, open source, Open data, to Open access and much more.

Open government is one of the movements in Uganda which involves several players. Open government in simple terms can be defined as data produced by government which is open and can be freely used and accessed. (See links for more information) 

http://www.opendev.ug/about

http://www.w3.org/egov/wiki/images/f/fd/Open_Governance_-_Uganda.pdf

http://blog.okfn.org/2013/02/21/how-open-data-could-transform-the-citizen-government-relationship-in-uganda/

 

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics is also a player in the open movement through provision of data that is free from bias. It also has a Resource center that is open to the public.

 Mapping day is an open data initiative in Uganda with partners such as Mountbatten which is an ICT company and the Fruits of Thought which is a collection of projects. Mapping Day organizes mapping events and much more that contribute to open movements such as OpenStreetMap.

 Fundi Bots was founded by Solomon Benge King on the belief that Africa needs a local and social approach to its technical problems. One of their objectives is to sensitize and create awareness in young children about the benefits of technology through Robotic clubs in schools and holiday camps. They also make use of open-source electronics hardware and software platforms.Image

These are just few of the growing communities in Uganda that are embracing the open movement. So let’s reach out to more communities in Uganda and spread the word about the open movement.