I spent a week researching and writing the report. It was pretty clear to me that the Australian government was lagging behind NGOs and the commercial sector in terms of a response to dealing with technology waste.
Australian's have been chucking out e-waste for decades, but it wasn't until the early 1990's that any serious attempts at recycling were implemented. But it'll take until 2011 before we will have a national response to this problem regulating what can and can't be thrown into land-fill, for instance, by our government.
Read the full GISWatch 2010 Australia Country Report.
GISWatch 2010 argues that for technology to really benefit us, consumption patterns have to change.
It's a rallying cry to electronics producers and consumers, policy-makers and development organisations promoting ICTs to pay urgent attention to the sustainability of the environment. Many of the report's authors argue that business plans, roll-out agendas and developmental strategies will have to adapt for a sustainable future.
GISWatch 2010 spells out the impact the production and disposal of computers, mobile phones and other technology is having on the earth’s natural resources, and the massive global carbon footprint produced by their use.
The potential of ICTs to mitigate and adapt to climate change is also discussed, as are the roles of international institutions, the global research agenda on ICTs and climate change and “sustainability” as an evolving concept.
GISWatch 2010 covers some 53 countries and six regions including Latin America and the Middle East, with the key issues of ICTs and environmental sustainability explored in ten thematic reports.
The report is produced by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the world's oldest online social justice network and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos), the Dutch development agency.
For more on GISWatch go to http://www.giswatch.org/
We are very pleased to announce the release of a beta version of Plumi, our free software video-sharing application, based on the new Plone 4. This is a major step forward for the Plumi project, which includes all the improvements available inside Plone 4. Plone 4 is faster and easier to use than ever, you can read all about it here. The beta also includes a simplified installation process, updating of components including taxonomy and tagging, and improvements to the underlying code architecture. Read more about the beta release on the Plumi blog.
We also released Plumi 3.1.2 as an important security update for previous versions of Plumi based on Plone 3. November was a busy month for Plumi, also including the Plone Conference and Plone Video Sprint. We are looking forward to another busy period over December and January, with new features such as p2p video sharing and video analytics on the horizon. Plumi is currently developed by Unweb in conjunction with EngageMedia.
Dear friends, EngageMedia is moving out of the old Manggarai office, or SEL 49 as it was once called. Infact, it's not only us leaving that house, our partner Jaringan Video-maker Independen (Javin) is also jumping into another space. We loved the place, but we need a different kind of space.
The office space that we're after is somewhere in the proximities of Menteng, Cikini, Tebet, and Kebayoran Baru. The space should be spacious enough for 4 to 6 people, preferably close to a coffee shop, food stalls, and other hangout places. We are looking for a clean place, good water, and a small kitchen to experiment with our cooking skills. Oh yeah, a flood-free area would also be nice. Aside from doing the usual office work, we'll be using this space to organise small discussions, preferably outdoor screening, and just a space to surf the net, and uploading and downloading cool EngageMedia videos of course. It can be a small house, a ruko, or part of a bigger office building.
So, folks, if you know a space like this, please do share it with us, and we'll make sure you'll get a courtesy office desk for you. Our budget is ... reasonable. Please contact us through:
What is https you ask?
Https is a more secure way to browse the web. It prevents people who may
have access to your network from seeing what you are doing or
"sniffing" (aka stealing) your passwords.
Why should you care? Because there is now software like Firesheep that makes it easy even for amateurs to access your data and get into your Facebook, Twitter etc. accounts.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and The Tor Project are running an https-everywhere campaign to help with this. They have built a Firefox addon that automatically redirects you to https when a websites supports it.
So, when we were presented with the challenge of conducting a workshop in Makassar, we gladly responded it. However, all the usual questions came to mind. Is it true that Makassarian's are rude? Is the sunset really beautiful? Is it true the food there is just so good?
Day one we were welcomed by Anata's smile at the airport. We met Anata at Camp Sambel. She promised to accompany us in Makassar and we were really pleased to see her cheerful face on our arrival. At that point question one was deleted. Instantly. The belief that Makassar is a place of rude folks is entirely exaggerated. The next day we found that the sunset was beautiful too and we spent everyday with excellent food.
Enough about food and sunsets, let's talk about our work there. Everyday we met new people. From the youth with their vast curiosity to the seasoned activists who have spent years dealing with environmental and social justice issues in and around Makassar.
We found many social problems in Sulawesi. Labour disputes and lack of infrastructure being two of the more prominent. The Indonesian government has paid too much attention to Java and little on its other island territories. Our new friends shared with us stories of the culture that have not been properly documented, opening our eyes to our brothers and sisters across the Banda Sea.
Makassar's smile is too big to be called rude. The energy, to tell you the truth, is too immense to be described as anything but dynamic. Makassar is big, too big to know its full power within a week.
For a taste of what Makassar can be, we have a selection of videos produced by our friends there, to open our mind a little bit about another island across the sea. We've also included some videos about another region outside Sulawesi:
BOMAR / Dur: 19:38 / A documentary about factory workers' struggle at PT. Bogasari Marinusa, Makassar, South Sulawesi. https://www.engagemedia.org/Members/imasusila/videos/bomar.mpg
SENANG SENANG DI JALAN (BEING HAPPY ON THE STREET) / Dur: 03:10 / An alternative street action.
JANTUNG SULAWESI (HEART OF SULAWESI) / Dur: 16:23 / Tokalekaju is the last area in the inner Sulawesi that still has forests, savannah, water resources, and paddy fields. This place has been protected by two indigenous tribes, the Toseko and the Torampi. However, for many years, mining companies have tried to enter this territory and to take over the land. http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/rudyasho/videos/jantung%20sulawesi.mpg/view
BRIKET ARANG TORAJA / Dur: 21:58 / People from Tana Toraja made charcoal briquettes, utilizing waste from the surrounding areas. This effort was facilitated by the Village Women's Guild Foundation (YPPK). In this way they're making environmentally friendly alternative energy. http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/rudyasho/videos/BriketArangToraja.mpg/view
MASALATA CIKA (These are our issues guys) / Dur: 10:50 / An illustration from subjective perspective. A program from a private radio station in Makassar that discusses the problems found in our public spaces.
LANTING PART 1 / Dur: 22:31 / Stories about the social lives of people in West Kalimantan, who live in houses near the Kapuas River. These houses are also known as Lanting.
LANTING PART 2 / Dur: 19:32 / Stories about the social lives of people in West Kalimantan, who live in houses near the Kapuas River. These houses are also known as Lanting.
13 PAMALI DI RUMAHKU / Dur: 04:59 / Video about 'pamali' (something that you must not do for cultural reason) in Makassar and the response of teenagers about it in their own house.
Written by: Nova and Yerry
Edited by: Andrew Garton
Malaysia is one of many countries where activists trying to spread humanitarian messages through audio-visual media face many obstacles. According to independent human rights organization SUARAM, in 2009 alone, the Malaysian government detained some 1,000 people for involvement in political activism. Given the risks involved, I have great respect for Komas and the volunteers who have been carrying out this event since 2004.
The winner of the 2010 festival was "Hak Dinafikan/Rights Denied", a video about the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples in Malaysia. The film, made by Yuk Chopil and Shafie bin Idris, depicts one of the many strunggles to democratize the country. Other notable films screened at the festival include Loo Que Lin's inspiring call for a new student movement.
Another video that screened at FFF that did not take part in the competition, but that still has a strong human rights message was "Mencari Kartika/Looking for Kartika". This video, produced and directed by Norhayati Kaprawi, tells the story of Kartika, a Muslim woman who was sentenced to be whipped, fined and imprisoned for drinking beer, and who is angry at the Syariah system that sentenced her.
These are just my reflections after attending the FFF in Kuala Lumpur. The festival continued in Johor Bahru (23 October), Miri / Sarawak (31 October), and Georgetown (13 & 14 November). We would love to hear reports from people who were able to attend these other events.
On October 30-31 EngageMedia coordinated a "Plone
Video Sprint" as part of the 2010 Plone conference.
What's Plone and why am I reading about it here on EngageMedia you ask?
Plone is one the key pieces of software EngageMedia.org is built on, basically it's a system for building websites. EngageMedia adds another layer to Plone called Plumi, which gives you all the video features available on this site. Plumi is free and open source and used by around 20 other sites. Plone is used by many thousands.
In order to improve the video features of Plone we put on a "sprint". A sprint is a short period where programmers from different organisations work intensively together to solve common problems. After the conference there were 12 different sprint topics involving more than 100 hundred developers, video was one of those topics. EngageMedia also held a Budapest video sprint after the Plone conference last year.
So what did we actually do? Quite a lot! Including...
- develop a statistics system to see hits, downloads, page views and more on videos
- bittorrent integration, so when you upload a video it is
automatically seeded as a bittorrent file
- initial development of a system to easily publish videos from Plone/Plumi straight up to Facebook
Note that all this work is still rough and under construction, but
we hope to have a lot of it working in EngageMedia over the coming 6
months. If you want to find out the full details and check the geeky
stuff you can look
at the wiki. If you are interested to get involved please feel
free to join
Stay tuned to EngageMedia.org or on the Plumi blog for development updates.
Thanks to the Open Society Institute for sponsoring the sprint and to all who participated.