Archive for November, 2011

POSIT: UCOSP Team Blog Post

Hi, I am Stanley Fung. I am a 4th year Computing Science student from Simon Fraser University. I am currently working on POSIT as part of the UCOSP team for the Fall Semester. I choose to work on POSIT because I think it has a lot of potential to benefit others on an engaging technology and platform.  I appreciate the idea that the user interface and workflows have a huge impact on real users who come from a range of backgrounds. This is one thing I try to keep in mind while working on POSIT.

For the first half, of the project I have been mainly testing the application and creating patches for bugs. Through these helpful exercises, I have gotten familiar with many aspects of the application. This was especially useful since I am completely new to the Android environment. Many times, simple tasks became important introductions to core Android concepts. I feel that slowly absorbing in the project is less overwhelming then suddenly diving in. With every task, I gain more knowledge about how Android applications work, and how POSIT works. It is also a good way to contribute to the project and gaining intimate knowledge on how application is currently working. I feel that through the testing, I gained some insight on what functionality the current application can benefit from and I carry this knowledge onto the next phase.

During the last two weeks, I have working on creating my own feature for the project. My primary goal is to create a useful and functioning extension to the project. My current idea is to enable expose Finds to more casual stakeholders who might not be actively checking through the POSIT applications. The foundation I have built in the first two months is helping me towards this goal.

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Idea Pitch at ITU World’11: HFOSS Mobile

Entrepreneurs from around the world gathered in Geneva, October 24-27 2011, to take nascent ideas and build them into products or services they could pitch to potential investors and partners at ITU Telecom World 2011.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (Union internationale des télécommunications, in French) is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies. ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world and establishes worldwide standards.  The ITU organizes the Telecom World Conference, considered one of the leading global ICT events, bringing together world leaders, representatives of governments and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology that would have long lasting impact around the world.

We had the privilege of being one of the top 15 Digital Innovators (those working with Non-profit partner organizations) along with 30 young innovators, to be selected from a pool of over 160 ideas to participate in an intensive two day training workshop on preparing investor pitches, were we learned how to prepare good pitch presentations and how to  “conceptualize” and “sell” our ideas better. We were then given the opportunity to pitch and share our ideas at ITU World’11 conference, and in the process compete for a small cash reward that we could put towards making our concepts realities.

Our selected idea (Posting on ITU World website) was:

What if you could join computing education, the latest in mobile technology and open source development to benefit humanitarian missions? Leveraging the expansion of telecommunications networks and low cost smart phones we recently built a set of Android apps to assist in data collection and program monitoring for an international NGO in rural Haiti. The apps we build are open source, so they can be shared among NGOs, and utilize accessible development technology that can be transferred through education programs. Our approach fosters local talent through skills development, improves effectiveness of programs and accountability to donors. Our goal is to help NGOs develop a sustainable program for developing mobile information tools.

Participants were not given any directives or guidelines prior to arriving in Geneva. We had an opportunity to present our ideas on day one as we had conceptualized them and then after an intense 30 + hours of training and work, with industry mentors and trainers from NoTosh and NoTosh and Snook, we all ended up with concise 5 minute presentations of our concepts:

Trishan R. de Lanerolle – Mobile HFOSS

The participants drawn from all corners of the world, were strangers and competitors in the beginning, left with new bonds of friendship and comradery that may lead to future collaborations following their chance meeting in Geneva.

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