OKAPI Spotlight- April 2008

Every month, OKAPI Spotlight features Open Knowledge news at UC Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, join our email listserv or contact Lizzy.

On Campus

Center of Evaluation for Global Action
Thursday, April 17
4:00 – 7:00 pm
Berkeley Art Museum
RSVP: globalaction@lists.berkeley.edu.

“With the launch of the Center of Evaluation for Global Action, UC Berkeley is bringing a scientific lens to the practice of international development—by rigorously testing poverty alleviation strategies, and learning what works to improve the lives of the poor. Join us for a conversation with Ariel Fiszbein, Chief Economist for Human Development at The World Bank, followed by a discussion panel and catered reception. The full program is below.”

A Faculty Conversation About Scholarly Communication
Monday, April 14, 2008
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Seaborg Room, Faculty Club
“In the last few weeks scholarly communication issues at Berkeley and nationally have made headlines…Join your colleagues for a conversation about what these recent headlines portend for the future of scholarly communication both here at Berkeley and within the University of California as a whole. Professors Mike Eisen (Molecular & Cell Biology), Nick Jewell (Public Health) and Randy Schekman (Molecular & Cell Biology) will share their thoughts. University LibrarianTom Leonardwill moderate.”

OpenCast Community

UC Berkeley is currently working to develop a more modern and sustainable podcast/ webcast system, which will also “integrate current technological advancements such as Apple’s Podcast Producer and existing academic community source frameworks such as Sakai.” The pilot, OpenCast System, will begin Fall 2008. It appears that the user will able to easily capture, create and process, and share their work with ease. UC Berkeley hopes to “develop a flexible object model that will allow other schools to potentially participate in a broader community source initiative.” OpenCast System will be able be used within Sakai, but will also be developed so one does not need the Sakai environment to use it.

Around the World

UNESCO publishes a book on Open Access to Knowledge in South Asia
Recently published by UNESCO, Open Access to Knowledge and Information: Scholarly Literature and Digital Library Initiatives – the South Asian Scenario, this book “describes successful digital library and open access initiatives in the South Asia sub-region that are available in the forms of open courseware, open access journals, metadata harvesting services, national-level open access repositories and institutional repositories.” This book can be downloaded as a .pdf. UNESCO states that this book “may be considered an authoritative source-book on open access development in this sub-region.”

“Aluka is an international, collaborative initiative building an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. Our name, ‘Aluka’, is derived from a Zulu word meaning ‘to weave’, reflecting Aluka’s mission to connect resources and scholars from around the world. Aluka seeks to attract high-quality scholarly content about Africa from institutions and individuals across the globe. By contributing their collections to the Aluka platform, content owners will have a means of offering access to their collections to an international audience—without having to develop and support their own technology platforms. Aluka’s web-based platform provides powerful tools for research, teaching, collaboration, and knowledge exchange.”

Remix ‘Nude’ for Radiohead
Once again defying the idea of copyright and ownership in music– and embracing individual creativity- Radiohead is giving the public a chance to remix their latest single, ‘Nude’. The public, rather than just being able listen to the song, has a chance to use digital technologies to create their own version of ‘Nude.’ The participant can “buy the separate components or ‘stems’ (bass, voice, guitar, strings/FX and drums),” add their own beats and instruments, or simply just remix parts of the song in order to create their own version of ‘Nude.’ You can do this by adding your own beats and instrumentation or just remixing the original parts. Remixes will be uploaded and judge by ‘the public.’ The participant can “also create a widget allowing votes from [their] own website, Facebook or MySpace page to be sent through too.”

Inspired by the idea of mixtapes, which involves creatively arranging a mix of music to share with another person, Muxtape is an online community which creates digital mixtapes. Users upload songs, which are then streamed for others to listen to. Songs cannot be downloaded. In order to create an eclectic collection- a true mixtape- “users may not upload multiple songs from the same album or artist, or songs they do not have permission to let Muxtape use.”

Visualize African Connectivity
“This “Internet Weather”-like map shows the network performance measured from Trieste Italy to African Universities, from April 2007 to March 2008. Darker red dots indicate higher speeds such as enabled by ADSL or better. Clearer, lighter red dots indicate lower speeds, in some cases as poor as 56kbps modems. If a site is unreachable its dot disappears, so flickering dots indicate fragility. If all dots disappear the measurement host experienced an outage. Africa’s network performance is over 10 years behind that of Europe and the US and falling further behind. These measurements are made by the international PingER project and provide hard evidence of the extent of the Digital Divide for planners and policy makers. A high-quality version of this video is available upon request.”

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