Planet Sugar

Planet Sugar is a collection of personal blogs by Sugar Labs contributors. Sugar Labs is a world-wide organization of passionate people working together to solve the same problem: giving everyone an opportunity to learn to learn. Our community members write about what excites them about learning, Sugar, and the Sugar community. In the spirit of free software, we share and criticize—that is how we learn and improve and encourage participation by newcomers. Enjoy and join the conversation.

June 30, 2015

OLE Nepal

Visit to Gorkha

Another crucial task was completed with assessment of the most affected area, Gorkha district. Our team was there last week. We did a thorough assessment of the schools which were severely damaged by the earthquake. After spending almost a week…

by Sofila Vaidya at June 30, 2015 04:06 AM

June 23, 2015

OLE Nepal

Portraits in relief center

Our volunteers from OLE Nepal have been working with children in Tundikhel relief camp for over a month. They bring interactive learning materials in child friendly XO laptops for the children. The children can explore various learning activities in Math, English…

by Dovan Rai at June 23, 2015 07:13 AM

June 20, 2015

Sugarizing Paris 2015

Let's do some calculations !

Hi !

I've been working onto the Calculate Activity for Sugarizer !

Calculate is my first app for the GSOC.
The features are :
- Modern design
- Responsive design
- History
- Trigonometric functions
- Graphics
- Degree / Radian conversion
- Output formatting


  
You can select trigonometric functions with a simple tap onto the associated toolbar button.


You can also use some functions like square or pow


The graph buttons allows the user to do this kind of things


There's also a base conversion feature
42 in base 10 => 101010 in base 2



I had some troubles using my app inside Chrome Web Application since I didn't knew that "eval"/"new Function" was forbidden, I had to rewrite lots of code to support this constraints.

The app will call specific mathematics library regarding the context.
In "full mode", Math.js is used. Otherwise, a smaller library (whitout eval) is loaded.

I started using purecss.io and then switched to bootstrap.
Bootstrap had got a great feature regarding grids. You can push and pull grids.
That means, you can reorder your layouts with specific orders for mobile/desktop/tablets. 

One great thing to notice is that sugar web toolbar use divs with classes "container" and "row", just like bootstrap.
In order to keep sugarweb appearance, I renamed some bootstrap css classes.

This first app has allowed me to see how to develop sugarweb applications and what to keep in mind when thinking about them.

You can try it : http://mikklfr.github.io/

The next app is paint ! It will provide collaboration between users !

See you ! 


by Michaël Ohayon (noreply@blogger.com) at June 20, 2015 12:01 AM

June 19, 2015

Somos Azucar

Resumen de actividades Laboratorios Azúcar June 19th

Hola,
A partir de Abril de 2015 este boletín se publicará una vez por mes.

Este es el resumen de actividad para la comunidad Laboratorios Azúcar.

Éste se compone de una agregación de fuentes como nuestro gestor de tareas, Wiki, y blogs.

Puedes publicar un comentario o participar de diferentes formas.

Si tienes una noticia o una fuente que deberíamos incluir (como un blog, etc), avísanos a todos(arroba)somosazucar.org

Hubo 28 eventos esta semana.

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by operador del sitio at June 19, 2015 04:13 AM

June 07, 2015

Walter Bender

Sugar Digest 2015-06-07

Sugar Digest

1. I am en route to the Google Code-in meet up in San Francisco. Looking forward to meeting Ignacio and Sam, our two finalists. I am hoping we’ll get some coding time in amidst all the activities that Google has planned.

2. I was home for less than 48 hours, having just returned from Tel Aviv, where I ran a Turtle Blocks workshop with 30 children. The workshop was organized by the Center for Education Technology — many thanks for Ilan Ben Yaakov for all of his preparations, including completing the Hebrew translations. The kids did great, as expected, and where as this was only the second time I had run a workshop using the Javascript version of Turtle Blocks, things went more smoothly than I had expected. I did make one change to the UI as a result of my observations during the workshop: I disable screen-dragging by default as it was definitely confusing some kids, who would accidentally drag their blocks off the edge of the screen. It is not really necessary for the smaller programs that novices tend to write; experienced users can presumably enable dragging in order to have more room to organize their stacks of blocks. Tip-of-the-hat to Larry Denenberg from Trip Advisor, who also helped with the translations and has contributed to the design. The Turtle Blocks workshop was the quid pro quo for participating in four days of meetings with CET.

The first two days were spent at MindCET, an incubator for educational technology in Yeruham in the Negev directed by Avi Warshavsky. Avi had organized a hackathon: we formed fifteen teams to work on project ideas. My team — Arnon Hershkovitz, Revital Rauchwerger, and Shachaf Sagi — worked on an extension of Turtle Blocks that opens up the opportunity to explore the power of “big data” by providing a “Cloud-service” for data collection and a new block, “fetch”, for programmatic access to the data. Our specific use-scenario was to address environmental issues through research-based learning, enriched via actual data collection and investigative programming. Together with the staff at CET we built a working prototype: an Arduino-based weather station that feeds data to the Cloud and the client-side Turtle code. I think the potential for such services is enormous: students engage in critical thinking in the process of being active citizens; they experience computational thinking and purposeful programming; and they collaborate on local and global levels. At the end of two days, each team presented to a panel of youth critics. Their reaction to our project was to ask, “Isn’t programming hard?”, to which I had an opportunity to quote Marvin Minsky: “Learning is hard fun.”

Back in Tel Aviv, I participated in a conference, Shaping the Future, where I had the opportunity to hear a wide variety of perspectives on education technology. The focus was on going beyond the screen. The morning session was a series of presentations from the commercial sector: Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, and ???. Lots of impressive wares, but none of the presenters made a compelling case for learning potential of their technology. Indeed, the theme seemed to be “look what we built” instead of “look at what you can build”. But things got more interesting from there: Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine and the Makerfaire, gave a nice overview of the maker community aesthetic. In my presentation, I pointed out that 50 years ago, Logo was already “beyond the screen” and subsequently give a quick snapshot of various Turtle Blocks projects involving sensors, robots, web services, etc. In the ensuing discussion, we touched on the issue of privacy. I took the minority opinion on the panel that there was never a reason to risk compromising the privacy of children and that none of the on-line tools that routinely mine identity data from children are necessary to use in the classroom. The audience, which was mostly comprised of teachers seemed to concur with my position. Next up was a presentation by Robert Gehorsam, whom I knew from his days at Prodogy in the 1980s. Robert is executive director of the Institute of Play, which has a intervention in one of the NYC public schools. The kids use game design as the basis of a project-based learning program, where the “core” curriculum is motivated by just-in-time learning. Steve Hodas completed the day’s talks with a description of IZone, an innovation incubator for the NY City public schools. His message: market disruption will not change schools; only organizational disruption will change schools. Something for us to think about as we plan the future of Sugar.

In the community

3. Call for papers for the special issue of RED (Journal of Distance Education):”Skills for coding and pre-coding”: The deadline for submitting manuscripts: 31 July 2015. The estimated publishing date is 15 September 2015. Publishing standards and guidelines for authors can be found at [http://www.um.es/ead/red/normasRED.htm#_Toc324610817]. Llamada a contribuciones para el número especial de RED (Revista de Educación a Distancia): “Competencias para la codificación y la precodificación”: * Fecha límite para enviar manuscritos: 31deJuliode 2015 * Fecha estimada para la publicación: 15 de Septiembre de 2015. Normas de publicación y pautas para los autores [http://www.um.es/ead/red/normasRED.htm#_Toc324610817].

4. We will be holding an additional Sugar Labs oversight board meeting (SLOB) this month (we hold a meeting the first Monday of each month). Please join us on 15 June at 19:00 EST (Boston), 23:00 UTC on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting, to discuss strategy and tactics as we move forward as a community.

5. For those of you who are interested, we hold our GSoC group meetings on Fridays, 11:00 EST (Boston), 14:00 UTC on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting.

6. I am running a Turtle Blocks workshop in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 16 June.

Tech Talk

7. Martin Abente has announced that we are now in the testing phase of Sugar 105. Your feedback is important to us.

Sugar Labs

8. Please visit our planet.

by Walter Bender at June 07, 2015 08:13 PM

May 28, 2015

OLPC Tuva

Memories of Ondar

Today, I stumbled upon a photo of me with Kongar-ol Ondar, when he visited San Francisco some time ago. We had dinner that evening. It was a memorable evening, thanks to my good friends Phoebe and Ralph. I had listened to Ondar’s music, seen the documentary about him and Tuva, watched Feynman’s videos about Tuva, […]

by sv3rma at May 28, 2015 06:24 AM

May 27, 2015

Sugarizing Paris 2015

Sugar flavored community bonding

Hello everyone,

The Google Summer of Code has begun !

Last month was the community bonding period.
This time allow the students to meet their mentors and the community contributor.

I introduced myself onto the Sugar Dev mailing list and got some answers.
We started talking about Docker.

Docker is a great tool to run apps in some specific environments.
For instance, I can run Sugar from Fedora onto my Archlinux system.

I wanted to use Docker to setup a developer environment to run Sugar.
So I wrote a script and a Dockerfile to run Sugar on Docker, there's a wikipage here : http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/SugarOnDocker

Sugar on Docker

We had began to meet each others every week,
There are two meetings per week, one with the mentors and another one with the whole GSOC students and the leading contributors.
These meetings allows people to know each other and to see what's going on inside the community.

Next time, you'll get some screenshots of what I'm currently doing : the Calc application.

See you !



by Michaël Ohayon (noreply@blogger.com) at May 27, 2015 08:27 PM

May 26, 2015

Walter Bender

Sugar Digest 2015-05-26

1. It is with great sadness that write these words: Marco Presenti Gritti, the principal Sugar developer from Red Hat from 2006 to 2008 and one of the founders of Sugar Labs, passed away this past weekend after a long illness. Marco was a brilliant engineer whose work still reverberates throughout the Sugar stack and a warm, personable colleague, father, and husband. We will miss you Marco.

Sugar Digest

2. For those of you who are interested, we hold our GSoC group meetings on Fridays, 11:00 EST (Boston), 14:00 UTC on irc.freenode.net #sugar-meeting.

Tech Talk

3. Peter Robinson, Sam Parkinson, Sean Daly, and Iain Brown Douglas have done a great job of revamping the Sugar on a Stick spin site for Fedora.

Sugar Labs

4. Please visit our planet.

by Walter Bender at May 26, 2015 01:32 PM

May 22, 2015

Somos Azucar

Resumen de actividades Laboratorios Azúcar May 22nd

Hola,
A partir de Abril de 2015 este boletín se publicará una vez por mes.

Este es el resumen de actividad para la comunidad Laboratorios Azúcar.

Éste se compone de una agregación de fuentes como nuestro gestor de tareas, Wiki, y blogs.

Puedes publicar un comentario o participar de diferentes formas.

Si tienes una noticia o una fuente que deberíamos incluir (como un blog, etc), avísanos a todos(arroba)somosazucar.org

Hubo 33 eventos esta semana.

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Published Khokana Bungmati.
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by operador del sitio at May 22, 2015 04:19 AM

May 01, 2015

Tomeu Vizoso

Lucid sleep in the free desktop

For the past year I have been working on the kernel side to bring some ChromeOS features to upstream.

One of the areas I'm currently working on is what Google calls Lucid Sleep, which is basically the ability of performing work while the machine is in a low power state such as suspend. I'm writing this blog post because there has been interest on this in different communities and the discussion is currently a bit dispersed.

Small mobile devices have been able to do that since basically always and this feature brings it to bigger devices that traditionally have been either on or off. It's similar to what Microsoft calls InstantGo (previously Connected Standby).

A few examples of tasks that the system could perform while apparently sleeping are:
  • Checking if the battery level is so low that it would be better to completely power down the machine
  • Starting a network backup if the present connectivity allows it (a known access point may have become accessible)
  • Downloading email
  • Checking for new instant messages

With regards to functionality and leaving performance considerations aside, userspace could implement this without requiring any new support in the kernel as illustrated in this scenario:
  • We assume that a video is currently playing in YouTube
  • User closes the lid
  • PM daemon notifies userspace of an impending sleep
  • Browser pauses playback
  • Compositor switches off the screen
  • Kernel freezes userspace, suspends devices and puts the CPUs to idle
  • Time passes...
  • RTC alarm fires off
  • Kernel resumes devices and unfreezes userspace
  • Userspace realizes there hasn't been any user activity since it went to sleep last, so stays in "dark resume" mode
  • Userspace does any lucid tasks it wants, then goes back to sleep again
  • Kernel freezes userspace, suspends devices and puts the CPUs to idle
  • Time passes...
  • User opens lid
  • Kernel resumes devices and unfreezes userspace
  • PM daemon notices the SW_LID event, so notifies userspace that this is a full-on resume
  • Compositor switches screen on
  • Browser resumes playback

No changes needed in the kernel is always good news, but there's two issues.

Lost input events


Sometimes the event from the input device that woke the system up gets lost before it reaches userspace, so we don't know if we can stay dark and do our lucid stuff, or if the user expects the machine to power completely on.

This is in any case a bug, but if it needs to be fixed in the firmware, we may not be able to do much about it. At most we could get the kernel to synthesize an input event, but sometimes it may not have enough information to do so.


Performance


When the system wakes up, there tends to be a lot to do in the kernel and userspace, so it could take several seconds for the screen to come up from the moment the user opened the lid in the scenario presented above.

For ChromeOS this isn't acceptable so they are carrying some patches in their kernel that make some shortcuts possible (the screen is left on at suspend time, and the kernel knows at resume time whether it has to power it on based on which was the wakeup source, thus not having to wait for userspace).

Fortunately, there have been some changes recently in the kernel PM subsystem that can speed up resumes quite a bit and we can make use of them to offset the penalty of dropping those shortcuts.

The first is idling the CPUs instead of suspending to firmware, which on modern SoCs should be quite efficient and much faster, by a few tenths of seconds.

The other is to leave idle devices that are already in a low power state alone when suspending, which means that we don't have to wait for them to resume when the system wakes up. In every system I have seen there's always a few devices that take a long time to resume, so this can shave several tenths of seconds from the total resume time.

Both need some amount of support in either the platform or in device drivers, and that's what I'm currently working on for the Tegra-based Chromebooks.

by Tomeu Vizoso (noreply@blogger.com) at May 01, 2015 01:27 PM

April 28, 2015

Mel Chua

On the diversity-readiness of STEM environments: “It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor.”

My thoughts from an online discussion with other female Olin engineers on this NYT article on “how to attract female enginers,”, edited for context. In particular, we brought up the (well-worn) claim that women don’t want to “just focus on the tech stuff” and want to “do sociotechnical/humanitarian work that makes a difference in the world.”

I’ve built my career as a “technical community person” who “thinks beyond the technology,” and as a teacher and researcher of learning environments — so this may come as a surprise to people who know and have worked with me. But if my teenage self had had her way, I would have VASTLY preferred to “just focus on the tech stuff.”

As a kid, I wanted to choose the privilege of being oblivious and keeping my head down and immersing myself into the beauty — the sheer beauty! — and joy of STEM for STEM’s sake. I didn’t become an ECE to work on educational computers or hearing aids or anything like that. As my friend (and former roommate) Kristen Dorsey said, “I just geek out about nerdy stuff, OK?”

But I couldn’t “just geek out about nerdy stuff.” The environments where I was trying to “learn about nerdy stuff” were sociotechnically broken in a way that made it hard for me (as a disabled minority woman, among other things) to join in. If I wanted to even start being part of the technical community, I had to start by fixing the technical community — patching the roof and fixing the plumbing, so to speak — before I could even walk inside and start to live there. And when I patched the leaking roof, I patched the roof for everyone, and other people who needed non-leaky roofs to be in the community could now… be in the community as well!

For instance, I got really, really good at facilitating meetings because it was the only way I had to make meetings accessible to me — when other people facilitated meetings, they’d often forget I need to lipread, so… I just quietly started leading them myself, and ended up making meetings work better for everyone. And I found that when I drifted towards “humanitarian” projects, the people there were much more conscious of sociotechnical things and more likely to have already-healthy environments, so I would have less leaky roofs to patch, and less resistance when I tried to patch the roofs — and people actually recognized and valued roof-patching labor instead of looking down on me for not writing code full-time.

After a while of patching roofs and unclogging toilets and plastering the rotten drywall, I got a reputation in industry for being really, really good at open-source software/hardware (technical) community facilitation. It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor. And part of me resented that, but never said so. But, I told myself, at least I was in the building. And I saw that my “janitorial” work made it possible for other people to enter the building and do the things they wanted to do — which were often the things I wanted to do, too! — and so I thought: okay. That’s okay. At least somebody gets to do it. I can see my gift to the community doing so much good, that I will give up my desire to learn and do the technical things — so I let my own STEM learning slide. I am good at “community work,” and I did come to genuinely love it, over time.

But if I had the choice, I would have never gone into “community work.” I would have chosen — if I had the choice — to focus on “shiny tech stuff” that… didn’t save the world at all. If my teenage self had had her way, I would not do community-facilitation-anything, I would not be thoughtful about women or minorities or disabilities or any underprivileged group in engineering… I would be oblivious to all my privilege. I’d be a kernel hacker, or an embedded geek, or something “hardcore technical,” Because I could be.

But I didn’t have the wherewithal (or the desire) to shovel all the stuff out of the way that I would have to do in order to do that. If you think of “caring/environmental labor” as a sort of tax some people have to pay in order to get to “learning/doing technical things,” my tax rate has always just been too frickin’ high.

So I have been “the full-time community person who is ridiculously good at tech stuff that she no longer gets to do,” instead of “the technical person who understands and listens to and cares about inclusion and community.” Because I cannot not patch a leaky roof. But I have always wondered what I might have grown up into, if I had learned STEM in an environment that was ready for me — without me having to fix it first.

by Mel at April 28, 2015 08:07 PM

April 14, 2015

Daniel Drake

Endless – a computer for emerging markets

My current project is Endless:

Read more on our website, and if you’d like to support us, head over to Endless Computers on Kickstarter.

by Daniel Drake at April 14, 2015 10:48 PM

March 30, 2015

OLPC San Francisco blogs

RACHEL

At the May 15th, 2014 meeting of olpcSF.org (I believe this was the meeting hosted by Bruce Baikie at Inveneo, 972 Mission St., San Franciso,) Bruce introduced us to the Rachel Pi project: a content server developed by WorldPossible.org.  It provides a Server/Service combination using the Rasberry Pi along with system software and content compiled by the WorldPossible team. (The "Three-Minute World Possible Intro", accessible from their home page, is well worth viewing.)

A system was soon up and running but unfortunately the video material comes in a format (mp4) that can not be rendered by the XO OLPC laptop. The most straight forward solution seemed to be to convert the mp4 files to ogv and make the corresponding edits in the html files.  Scripts were developed to do this and we had a version usable by the XOs within a short time.

At the February 2015 meeting, a consensus was reached that webm would be a better choice and so now the scripts were re-written to support conversion of mp4 files to either format (ogv or webm.) These Python scripts are available on github:

$ git clone git@github.com:alexKleider/Convert.git

In the mean time the Banana Pi has become available and WorldPossible has released a version of Rachel for it.  The Banana Pi is based on a dual core ARM processor and should therefore support more clients than the single core ARM of the Raspberry Pi B model.  A version 2 of the Raspberry Pi with a quad core ARM processor has also appeared on the market.  Both of these platforms are under study and it is hoped that we can have a version of Rachel running on all three.

There is a project planned for Tanzania, spear headed by Camille Harris with help from Hilary Naylor, and that's where our modified Rachel running on one (or more) of the Pi platforms will go; The primary school is in Nyamagongo.

by akleider at March 30, 2015 02:55 AM

March 28, 2015

Luke Faraone

Key transition

I'm migrating PGP keys from 0xF9FDD506 to 0x0C14A470. If you signed my old key, I would appreciate you signing my new key as well. Feel free to ping me with questions.

Accordingly, I've published a transition statement signed by both keys.

by Luke Faraone (noreply@blogger.com) at March 28, 2015 07:55 PM

March 21, 2015

Sugar Cordova

IMPORTANT INFO FOR GSOC APPPLICANTS APPLYING FOR SUGAR CORDOVA PROJECT

Hi,

I would request all the GSOC 2015 applicants to kindly go through http://plugins.cordova.io/#/ page and find out the plugins relevant to sugar. Also provide a brief description of how you'll go about making your suggested plugins.

Think of something apart from those implemented already !

Go though the repos you get on this link : https://github.com/apache?query=cordova-plugin and think of a similar structure for sugar ! For any kind of help, dont hesitate to ping me.

by Puneet Kaur (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2015 03:21 AM

March 15, 2015

OLPC San Francisco blogs

Harmonic Effect

One of my old-time hobbies has been the open reel tape recorder. I'm a big fan!

Magnetic tape adds a certain "warmth" to the music. It seems this effect comes from the harmonic effect generated as the tape slides past the tape head. People like this effect so much, that modern-day digital music editors come with "tape effect plugins" for popular tape and decks.

So, I ran an experiment. I took the OLPC XO laptop and used Pippy Activity to generate a sine wave (6 beeps) and recorded it on tape. I should see one peak at 1000Hz.

Then, I played it back from tape, and looked at the signal on Measure Activity. We see a major peak at 1000Hz, but smaller peaks at 3000Hz and 5000Hz.

 

Very exciting! Definitely some harmonic effect going on here. Will have to investigate more to see what else happens on tape, and how it differs across brands and machines.

by sverma at March 15, 2015 06:03 AM

March 13, 2015

Fargo XO / Sugar Labs NDSU

Book chapter on building smarter computing cultures.

Chris, Matt, and Kevin have a chapter in Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities.  The chapter is a white paper that comes out of our three-year work on Sugar Labs @ NDSU; it isn’t an academic study but instead some thoughts on how a community could tie initiatives together in order to build their smarter (as well as more equitable and just) computing cultures.


by kab13 at March 13, 2015 02:16 PM

March 10, 2015

Sugar Cordova

To the students applying for GSOC - Part 2

To the students applying this year to the sugar cordova project - I would like to let you all know a few pre-requisites for the project. We expect that students should complete the following before they apply and also include their work in their application, the better you accomplish, more your chances of getting in ! So pull up you sleeves for some real work ;) Here are a list of tasks that you must all look into :

1. Go through all the post on this blog
2. Go through my sugar cordova related repos on github : https://github.com/puneetgkaur, setup the cordova for sugar with the help of my repos : https://github.com/puneetgkaur/cordova-cli, https://github.com/puneetgkaur/cordova-lib, and https://github.com/puneetgkaur/cordova-plugman. Clone these repos, follow the README on each repo and install cordova for sugar on your system.You should be able to make a simple web app for sugar with the help of this installation by using simple commands : cordova create, cordova platform add sugar, cordova build - you'll get an xo which you must try installing on sugar development environment using sugar-install-bundle command.
3. Setup your sugar development environment : http://developer.sugarlabs.org/dev-environment.md.html and explore around try making changes in code , see where the code rests and try making a few changes to the code, play around with the GUI and get a feel of the sugar environment if you arent familiar before.
4. Know all about cordova - from in and out , visit the cordova repos : https://github.com/apache/cordova-lib, https://github.com/apache/cordova-cli, https://github.com/apache/cordova-plugman , https://github.com/apache/cordova-js and some pltforms repo too : https://github.com/apache/cordova-android, https://github.com/apache/cordova-ios etc. Read the docs : http://cordova.apache.org/docs/en/4.0.0/
5. Know about sugar -web architecture : http://developer.sugarlabs.org/web-architecture.md.html , https://github.com/sugarlabs/sugar-web , https://surajgillespie123.wordpress.com/
6. Carefully read through the last post of how the cordova plugins are made and make a demo plugin for sugar  - note - we want a working prototype of the demo for you to be eligible for the gsoc project - it can be a very simple prototype - just to judge whether you got the workflow or not - if you need help you can mail me.
7. Suggest a list of plugins you aim to code this summer along with the relevantworkflow as to how you think you'll approach each of them - Note : Its shouldn't be the one in air ! We want a concrete set of list which you think you would accomplish, a result of thorough visualization and observation of yourself of how much time you would take to complete each plugin and what all you can do, a complete list of plugins which you think are feasible and good for the sugar community - If you wish to discuss your ideas feel free to discuss them on mail - note : better the list and more feasible it looks on your profile - higher your chances of getting selected.
8.Lastly, keep a blog about your progress on these points, a record of all what you have done and whats remaining, a place where you jot down your daily progress on the above points and present to us in a systematic manner and dont forget - we are always there to help you when you need help - email at puneet.gkaur@gmail.com for help if needed.


All the best guys !!

by Puneet Kaur (noreply@blogger.com) at March 10, 2015 05:11 PM

February 26, 2015

OLPC fun in Bhagmalpur, India

Bossa Nova in Banaras

In my previous post, I had written about unencumbered codecs that ship on the OLPC XO, versus the popular demand for video in MP4 container (usually H.264 video). This post has a strange twist with another container: WebM.

WebM is a container put forth by Google. They also proceeded to embed the codec support within Chromium/Chrome. Firefox supports it natively as well. So, videos in WebM will play in Chromium/Chrome and Firefox without a plug-in.

When I travel, I download my favorite tunes from YouTube by using the “FlashGot” plugin. I prefer to download these in WebM (the irony!). Perhaps I am violating some “Terms of Service” somewhere, but that’s a rant for another day.

After my Bhagmalpur visit in Jan 2015, I headed back to Hyderabad. I took a train from Shahganj to Varanasi (aka Banaras) and then after a short stop, I was scheduled to take a flight out of the Varanasi airport in Babatpur (rural Banaras). As fate would have it, or rather as Indigo airlines would have it, their pilot wasn’t experienced enough to land the aircraft in the fog, and so, we had no return aircraft. I was stranded at Varanasi airport with no way to take another flight. Long story short, I ended up spending the night at the airport (usually a No No, but we had special permission!) along with two other travelers. They turned out to be visitors from Brazil and Italy. We had a great conversation that evening and the next day, hanging out at a small airport, eating stale cheese sandwiches. I got reminded of the Langoliers!

Waiting for the Langoliers at Varanasi airport!

Waiting for the Langoliers at Varanasi airport!

Towards the afternoon, I recalled that I had a copy of some “Bossa Nova” tunes downloaded in WebM format. What luck! Here were two people who spoke [Brazilian] Portuguese, stranded in the thick of rural India, and I had “Desafinado” and “Girl from Ipanema” on my laptop! We sat down and listened to a somewhat strange rendition of “Desafinado” by

1) Nova Music LA and

2)  an interesting version of Girl (actually Boy) from Ipanema by Dionne Warwick and Sacha Distel

(with appropriate apologies to Vinícius de Moraes, Antônio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto).

Such great coincidence, or perhaps I’m just cool like that :-) Shortly after that, we thankfully got onto our respective flights and headed our different ways. After keeping in touch with my new friends, it turns out they are biodiversity researchers. I hope they’ll come visit us in California to see the Redwoods for themselves! I hope the Langoliers will enjoy the Bossa Nova when they get to the Varanasi airport ;-)

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="312" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FolEno814Gk?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" type="text/html" width="500"></iframe>

 

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="312" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iRIxByKzIJE?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" type="text/html" width="500"></iframe>

 

Desafinado on the OLPC XO-4 in HTML5

Desafinado on the OLPC XO-4 playing natively on YouTube in HTML5


by sv3rma at February 26, 2015 02:39 AM

January 31, 2015

OLPC fun in Bhagmalpur, India

To Ogg or not to Ogg, that is the question

In this recent trip to Bhagmalpur, Anish Mangal and I discovered something interesting. We’ve strived hard to keep the content available through unencumbered formats such as Ogg Vorbis for audio and Ogg Theora for video. Unsurprisingly, the OLPC XO laptop supports these out of the box, but will not run MPEG 4 videos.

Some kids were upset. How would they watch Shah Rukh Khan on their XOs? These kids go to a repair shop nearby and get videos copied over to a USB stick for a small sum of money. However, the videos are in MP4, and they don’t play on the XO.

Yet, we found a Shah Rukh Khan song number on a XO. How did that happen? Did they install the MP4 codec on the laptop? Some conversations later, we found out. They first figured out that the TED videos that do play on the XO are in OGV format. Next, they asked the guy at the shop to convert the Shah Rukh Khan MP4 to OGV. That’s it. Simple as a samosa. Now Shah Rukh Khan lives in OGV! Richard M. Stallman and Shah Rukh Khan are happy together in some universe :-)

SRK in OGV

SRK in OGV


by sv3rma at January 31, 2015 04:49 AM