Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Technology Predictions by "The Economist"

Ive found an article forwarded to me by Mr.Yishay Mor an IT expert from London its about Technological predictions published by the economist. I'l be posting selected excerpts here but the full article is available on:

Surfing—and everything else computer-related—will open

Rejoice: the embrace of “openness” by firms that have grown fat on closed, proprietary technology is something we’ll see more of in 2008. Verizon is not the only one to cry uncle and reluctantly accept the inevitable.

Even Apple, long a bastion of closed systems, is coming round to the open idea. Its heavily protected iPhone was hacked within days of being launched by owners determined to run third-party software like Skype on it.

Apple’s initial response was to attempt a heavy-handed crackdown. But then a court decision in Germany forced its local carrier to unlock all iPhones sold there. Good news for iPhone owners everywhere: a flood of third-party applications is now underway.

The trend toward openness has been given added impetus by the recent collapse of the legal battles brought by SCO, a software developer. Formerly known as Santa Cruz Operations, the firm bought the Unix operating system and core technology in 1995 from Novell (which, in turn, had bought it from its original developer, AT&T).

Short of cash, SCO initiated a series of lawsuits against companies developing Linux software, claiming it contained chunks of copyrighted Unix code. Pressured by worried customers fearing prosecution, a handful of Linux distributors settled with SCO just to stay in business.

But IBM, which uses Linux, was having none of it, and fought the firm through the courts until it won. SCO is now operating under Chapter 11 of the American bankruptcy code.

The verdict removed, once and for all, the burden that had been inhibiting Linux’s broader acceptance. Linux is now accepted as being Unix-like, but not a Unix-derivative.

Bulletproof distributions of Linux from Red Hat and Novell have long been used on back-office servers. Since the verdict against SCO, Linux has swiftly become popular in small businesses and the home.

That’s largely the doing of Gutsy Gibbon, the code-name for the Ubuntu 7.10 from Canonical. Along with distributions such as Linspire, Mint, Xandros, OpenSUSE and gOS, Ubuntu (and its siblings Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu) has smoothed most of Linux’s geeky edges while polishing it for the desktop.

No question, Gutsy Gibbon is the sleekest, best integrated and most user-friendly Linux distribution yet. It’s now simpler to set up and configure than Windows. A great deal of work has gone into making the graphics, and especially the fonts, as intuitive and attractive as the Mac’s.

Like other Linux desktop editions, Ubuntu works perfectly well on lowly machines that couldn’t hope to run Windows XP, let alone Vista Home Edition or Apple’s OS-X.

Your correspondent has been happily using Gutsy Gibbon on a ten-year-old desktop with only 128 megabytes of RAM and a tiny 10 gigabyte hard-drive. When Michael Dell, the boss of Dell Computers, runs Ubuntu on one of his home systems, Linux is clearly doing many things right.

And because it is free, Linux become the operating system of choice for low-end PCs. It started with Nicholas Negroponte, the brains behind the One Laptop Per Child project that aims to deliver computerised education to children in the developing world. His clever XO laptop, costing less than $200, would never have seen the light of day without its clever Linux operating system.

But Mr Negroponte has done more than create one of the world’s most ingenious computers. With a potential market measured in the hundreds of millions, he has frightened a lot of big-time computer makers into seeing how good a laptop they can build for less than $500.

All start with a desktop version of Linux. Recent arrivals include the Asus Eee from Taiwan, which lists for $400. The company expects to sell close on four million Eees this financial year. Another Taiwanese maker, Everex, is selling its gPC desktop through Walmart for $199.

When firms are used to buying $1,000 office PCs running Vista Business Edition and loading each with a $200 copy of Microsoft Office, the attractions of a sub-$500 computer using a free operating system like Linux and a free productivity suite like OpenOffice suddenly become very compelling.

And that’s not counting the $20,000 or more needed for Microsoft’s Exchange and SharePoint server software. Again, Linux provides such server software for free.

Pundits agree: neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price points being plumbed by companies looking to cut costs. With open-source software maturing fast, Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, MySQL, Evolution, Pidgin and some 23,000 other Linux applications available for free seem more than ready to fill that gap. By some reckonings, Linux fans will soon outnumber Macintosh addicts. Linus Torvalds should be rightly proud.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Deploying FLOSS-Centric Student Interns

Deploying Floss-centric Students
An Attempt to integrate FLOSS people in the Business and IT industry
By Yusuf Morales

Normally Technical Students in our school go on internship in their second year, and this is actually the second batch of interns were sending to Business, IT industry, Private Companies and Government offices. WE begun sending student interns last year both to ensure our students have actual hands on industry experience as well as test the efficacy of our curriculum if it has met or exceeded the standards that are demanded by the industry.

Our Programming (IT) students armed by PhP, Java, C++ and MySQL programming skills (although they also are familliar with counterpart COTS software )were deployed among IT companies, we deployed our Computer graphics and design (GD) students to multimedia companies among them Acid House (a multimedia outfit doing multimedia production for ABS-CBN, Rush TV productions (an outfit producing a program on studio 23 ),as well as some multimedia post prod rigs in Makati. These Kids know Blender (as well as the COTS counterpart) Scribus and GIMP (and their COTS counterparts), sadly they are still trying to master either cinellera or KINO as they are more used to their COTS equivalents. Our Business and IT (BIT) interns were sent to businesses, private firms and government offices, in addition to COTS office suites as well as web designer tools, they are familliar and activiely use Open Office, which we hope could be a good enticing mechanism for businesses to use.

We are hoping that these second batch of office interns can also serve as people who will encourage businesses to use FLOSS.

Based on the results of this batch's progress we may then see how we could situate more in the world of IT education.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

English and Blogging

English and Blogging: drawing experiences in teaching
By: Yusuf Morales

Ive been trying the Blog-English teaching method with my students and so far, all of my students have reciprocated.... they have posted some original compositions as well as some "plagiarized" ones. But so far they have been improving.

Ive started them with Gmail and gdocs last semester, and so far my students (who are either 2 year tech students or BS students) and they have realized the possibilities of blogging as a form of expression far better that just putting a friendster profile because they can configure the page as well as do a lot of designs by interphasing flash presentations converted from open impress presentation, that they may have uploaded directly to blogger as a flash file or uploaded to Youtube then pasted the HTML code into the blog.

My English 2 students are exploring the possibilities of the blog as a way of learning and expression. heres a few examples:


Well of course these students come from public high schools and from the info they come from the lower sections, so their English is understandably new and developing. I'm hoping that the school newspaper people would also set up their own blogsite where they may post the school paper newsbits. as a form of training and learning for them.

As of the moment also I am also requiring my BS in Information technology students in their Biology class (which I handle them) to post a blogger site their experiences, learnings and new discoveries both in Biology and Blogging.

I do hope that by utilizing a new methodology in teaching by the use of blogging students will be able to improve their learning styles as well as make them more competitive eventually in the modern world.

By the way.... I also emphasize that my students use open office as their productivity suite. I use both open office and Star Office as i am an open document advocate.

As always i say.... open source rocks

Monday, December 17, 2007

Teaching Students your subject through IT

Teaching Students your subject with IT
Musings of a Teacher trying to make his subject relevant today
By Yusuf

Ever since Ive started handling classes here at the school I manage, ive noticed that since most of the students here are graduate of public high schools, i really felt the impact of mis-education of these students during their elementary and high school education. Normally public students in Metro manila are jampacked into classes of 50 nay even as high as 75 students per class. so in this context... how do you expect them to fully learn?

Ive been teaching in this school (asian academy) for three years and i've been teaching General education subjects, particularly the english 1 to english 4. It was quite frustrating during the first semesters as I was still trying to find a way to be able to make students cope up with English in College. at times, i would even teach them my subjects elementary English (the English that I use to teach my Korean students). Until i realized two semesters ago that why not utilize blogging?

Right now, I made almost all of my students do their schoolwork and assignments by either e-groups (for my non-english subjects) and letting my students blog (provided its done in English) right now my English 2 and Biology 101 students are blogging it out ... and they are enjoying it while learning.....

I do hope that others will also learn that blogging is a good way to teach your students to learn.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bridging the Digital Divide in Depressed Areas in the Philippines

A Personal look at the Digital Divide.
By Roque Santos Morales

As far as the statistics of Education (particularly IT education) in areas outside of the Urbanized areas (primarily in the depressed areas), it appears that there is a dearth of information as to how there would be policies to address IT education.

Take for instance, Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao which does not only earmark for a small passing rate in the NEAT and NSAT exams compared to other regions.

In our school, I've noticed how technologically challenged are my students who come from ARMM areas in Mindanao.

Understanding that it is already a privilege to be functionally literate in these areas and this is a very big issue, imagine elementary and secondary students from public high schools not having access to information technology in the Philippines.

I salute the Open source people in Mindanao for doing their share in trying to popularize FLOSS in the southern part of the Philippines, but I believe that there should be a more bigger role to be played by fellow FLOSS advocates in Mindanao like doing a FLOSS project aimed at ARMM areas, like for instance piloting a primary and secondary school with implementing FLOSS. What I mean here is embarking on setting up a FLOSS laboratory in one targeted elementary and high school. At least from one end we would be able to actively show that Open source indeed can help in doing projects like bridging parts of the digital divide.

Netherlands adopts open-source software

Netherlands adopts open-source software

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer Fri Dec 14, 4:40 AM ET
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The Dutch government has set a soft deadline of April 2008 for its agencies to start using open-source software — freely distributed programs that anyone can modify — the Netherlands Economic Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

Government organizations will still be able to use proprietary software and formats but will have to justify it under the new policy, ministry spokesman Edwin van Scherrenburg said.
Van Scherrenburg said the plan was approved unanimously at a meeting of two parliamentary commissions on Wednesday.
Many governments worldwide have begun testing open-source software to cut costs and eliminate dependency on individual companies such as Microsoft Corp. The government estimates it would save $8.8 million a year on city housing registers alone after switching to open source.
Microsoft has raced to achieve "open source" certification for its Open Office XML standard, but has so far failed to receive endorsement from the International Standards Organization, the certifying authority recognized by the Dutch government.
Microsoft Netherlands spokesman Hans Bos noted that its Word documents were still allowed as equal alternatives for the moment and said he expects the company to receive approval soon for its Open Office XML to qualify as open source.
But he said the company was worried about and opposed other aspects of the Dutch policy, especially the provision that agencies should prefer open source.
"We think it's not in the best interest of the wider software market to single out one model for endorsement like this," he said.
The numerous European towns and cities, notably Munich, Germany, and Vienna, Austria, using open-source systems remain a tiny slice of the overall software market.
The Dutch policy directs government organizations at the national level to be ready to use the Open Document Format to save documents by April, and at the state and local level by 2009.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Hi Folks.....

This blog is dedicated to sharing experiences of teachers and students at the Asian Academy of Business and Computers using FLOSS in education.....

well be posting comments, articles and reviews on other IT blogs also shortly in the next few days.....


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