Feb 6, 17 16:59 UTC

Re: Special Committee: Technology For Everyone Program - Community Input  

Ulitmately, OS's already exist. What is it you'd like to be doing that these cannot provide for?

The effort involved with making an OS - or at least one worthy of being used - is immense. Take a look at one tiny component of linux - an important one, but overall a tiny piece on the scale of the full OS - the kernel. Hit up kernel.org and see how much contribution is required just to build that one piece the rest stacks onto.

Sure if using that as a base we can skip that effort, then start looking at serious OS's like RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, Debian etc and see how much work goes into them... Maybe, one day, it might actually be sensible to sink such effort in such a direction but anyone interested in learning from how the OS is working would of already started investigating the OS they currently use, and possibly even installed some open source flavours specifically to further this. Just installing Arch or making Gentoo go teaches a lot. Most users however don't really care how the toaster works - as long as they put bread in and it comes out hot n crispy they're happy. It'd be a lot less effort to make an "Asgardian respin" - basically some custom theming and differing default software payload - of an existing OS than it would be to actually develop an OS.

With respect to specific hardware requirements, It'd make more sense IMHO to develop hardware fully compatible with existing, like OpenPiton (http://parallel.princeton.edu/openpiton/docs/micro_arch.pdf) or contain hardware emulation IC's so everything else doesn't need to be redone.

Feb 7, 17 05:47 UTC

I like this initiative. On my weekly radio show I give out tech-tips on how to save money with software and hardware, or make old kit last longer. It goes hand-in-hand with my role as a PC Doctor in a poor area.

As we go further into the mobile computing era we are seeing a big problem with old android kit being unsafe to continue using. This aspect may have to be covered with resources and advice for upgrading old kit to a newer OS. Cyanogen has come to the end of its life, but does provide more security to those with old abandoned devices (eg. my aged Samsung phone has 228 vulnerabilities with the original ROM, but none (reported) with a recent Cyanogen ROM). Hopefully Lineage OS will continue where Cyanogen cannot.

The more secure each individual is, the more secure it makes the whole computing eco-system.

Feb 7, 17 12:01 UTC

It is a great idea. We all know that not everyone can afford some of the new tech that is coming or the existing high grade phones or computers. This will help alot and beside helping a person to get good tech and training that person to use it is more than a good news. this is some of the program that Asgardia need to under take. Asgardia is the future and as high end tech is, if everyone in Asgardia are able to have one and upgrade it and also be able to use it and earn a living from it then we can solve must of our new nation up coming employment problem before it becomes a problem.

Feb 7, 17 19:49 UTC

I think it is a great idea. We need to include a safety component, being safe in the web. Also, the IOT, internet of things has become a hot buzzword, where everything, including your refrigerator, door locks, sound listening devices ( think Google home, Amazon Echo, SIRI, Hound, and OK Google on your phone) can be accessed remotely and often times over unsafe connections. We need to help others be safe.

Feb 8, 17 02:56 UTC

I did start a post, about using technology a little more securely. I only really touched lightly on the subject. A lot might just be too much for most users, they are quite used to a lot of things they do and will be finding it difficult to adjust these habits.

With regards to IoT etc, then the room for abuse is simply astronomical. You don't even need a microphone for it to be a listening device. Quite a lot of acellerometer are sensitive enough to push the data through an algorithym and pull back speech. They can also be used as keyloggers for typing - things like fitbit can pull back over 97% accuracy on a cash machine PIN pad - alternate uses for "innocent" technology, combined with SoC - System on Chip, integrating many devices into a single chip package - putting more things in more places in a less avoidable fashion makes for an incredibly shady digital marketplace. IoT also has a lovely specification for "subchannel data hopping" - transmitting data on the space just above or just below standard frequency bands to tunnel data from device to device until it can access interwebs, and thanks to wonders like "smart grid" and "smartmeters" acting as effectively routers pushing data about the power grid then even if you was to faraday cage your entire house and even wavebubble the devices then your toaster is still accessible externally. Some governments have already announced intent to start turning off people's fridges, freezers, ovens, heating etc in "times of peak demand".

Not being able to afford these devices is somewhat a blessing in disguise. It'll leave you longer before there's greater impact. But, eventually you'll pop the last lightbulb and there's no more in the cupboard - and the one you replace it with will be online. Asgardian technology - to hold with the founding ethics of free (scientific) information should be rightly open sourced. Thusly we should be able to make available(over time) "better" options. If they think they can produce it cheaper - it's open source, they're welcome to try.

Feb 10, 17 17:44 UTC

Propuesta: Fase 1- Implementar y enseñar el uso de software libre o código abierto, reduciendo los requerimientos de diferentes dispositivos a usar y sus costos facilitando su acceso. Fase 2 - Mejorar el hardware mediante nuevas tecnologías, potenciando el procesamiento con un uso mínimo de recursos. Fase 3 - Unificar o estandarizar los resultados de la fase 2, minimizando costos y para crear una tecnología propia. Fase 4 - Distribución del producto final a cada ciudadano mediante su ID. Fase 5 - Mejora del producto tomando los resultados y fallos encontrados en la fase 4. Fase 6 - Distribución a nivel global del producto.

Feb 10, 17 17:46 UTC

Proposal: Phase 1- Implement and teach the use of free or open source software, reducing the requirements of different devices to use and their costs facilitating their access. Phase 2 - Improve hardware through new technologies, enhancing processing with minimal use of resources. Phase 3 - Unify or standardize the results of phase 2, minimizing costs and creating a proprietary technology. Phase 4 - Distribution of the final product to each citizen through his ID. Phase 5 - Improvement of the product taking the results and failures found in phase 4. Phase 6 - Distribution at a global level of the product.

Feb 10, 17 20:28 UTC

I think everyone should be trained and have access and a computer to use in the ASGARDIA program, making it fair and even to everyone. Also heard about the universal translator being tested in Either Japan or China. It is to cover many languages. What I saw was a person will say spoke english to a Chinese man he watched the device and it spoke his words out for him to understand.. I thought that's pretty cool. Just a thought to add. Anything that each of us owns should respect others and there property. If they say no respect that as well but watch over it as well like your own we don't need to be greedy, we share and = amounts on things This is 1 thing we must leave behind from Earths regards. I hope this helps. Now when it comes to Marriage just asking how do we manage to work that out?? plus births ...?? pm me for anything is fine too. :)

Feb 11, 17 04:42 UTC

Hey all!

Just caught up on things, my apologies for being MIA these past couple of days.

I think I need to redirect the conversation a bit here as it is floating away from the original concept. I will clarify here and add it to the original post.

What is suggested is making technology accessible to those who cannot afford it. Yes, the Raspberry Pi computer is a great way to allow everyone to get a computer, the logistics and funding of that could be worked into this initiative.

However, think about the functioning computer pieces that many people have lying around their house but they did not make the move into their next upgrade. Not everyone takes it to a tech recycling place (I'm still trying to find a legit one in my city) and it eventually ends up in a landfill. Why not pass along those older components to people in their local area whom that component would be an upgrade?

An old laptop that has been sitting on a shelf after the newest one has been purchased could go to someone who desperately needs a laptop to do some consulting work. The last version of video card sitting in an old case and motherboard in a corner or closet somewhere could go to a community member who needs those components to finish building a computer to use for school or their children to use for school? Someone who's found the perfect job but they have no clue how to put together a power point presentation and the online resources are too confusing could benefit from the expertise of either in person or remote tutoring on the programming and putting together an effective presentation. Same could go for any program needed to upgrade skills or take that extra step to be more marketable or help someone actually put together that system that they've gathered peices for or troubleshooting a tricky software glitch they have but can't afford to take their system to the repair place.

Arranging a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly 'Asgardian Tech Swap' where community members could get together with their spare components and swap them to help others out? Start a 'tech wanted' list for the community online that people could post up what they're looking for or tutoring needed and others could arrange to help.

Eventually it could be moved into a larger program where fund raising could bring computers and internet into third world village schools or community centers to help them to start to catch up with the rest of the world.

So please, try to think along these lines. Keep it simple, obtainable and of true benefit to the community.

Cheers! Rebekah Berg, Lead Community Administrator, Asgardia

Feb 11, 17 07:06 UTC

To be honest, most of the time shipping of older hardware, in terms of complete systems, says they'd possibly be better off buying something closer. Parts might be viable. It's far more likely for there to be something a lot closer - like a local business, schools etc - places with many computers - that's just upgraded all their workstations, they'll have a lot of computers they're getting rid of and many simply throw them out. Things like freecycle, local newspapers etc.

A Forum section or subsection for things Asgardians no longer have use for could work, but shipping is my prediciton of issues. It could also readily provide for training and If their system(or another) gets online enough to get here, then remote diagnostics and suppport is certainly feasible.

To be honest, you can assemble a mutt of a PC out of bits you've amassed, but really it's not worth the long term effort in troubleshooting and diagnosing odd and intermittent hardware errors where you have no clue of the previous abuse that lead to the hardware being sat on the kerbside. It certainly costs more, but new with warrenty results in a lot less time fixing the computer and more time using the computer. You don't spend 14 hrs figguring out ESD damages from the previous owner has caused intermittent issues with certian cells in the RAM that are only detectable when the contents of the cells next door are in certain patterns.

Age dependant ofc, the (processing)power per watt would possibly be more effective with a raspberry pi. Considering the usage requirements of most common users, a pi would probably be fine. I've seen these used in third world village schools, just bluetacked to the back of monitors.

For things like "remote tutoring" then consider something like youtube for visual examples. Allowing random third parties control over or access to your hardware is not something that is advisable.

An old laptop that's been sitting on the shelf is probably still perfectly fine to use - unless you're after the latest generation gaming experiences - as long as you use it right. If the hardware is really lesser then something like puppy linux should breath some life back into it or anything built in the last 10 or so years should do well in Ubuntu/linux mint or something like.

Feb 11, 17 18:18 UTC

Hi EyeR!

I respect your opinions but I would very much like to hear what the rest of the community thinks of the idea and if it is viable. :) If not, then we'll look at something else. However, I've had experiences with people in lower income who would welcome any computer no matter how old if it gave them a chance at getting online or doing work on it, albeit slowly. I've already facilitated a few 'hand me downs' in the past and love the smile on peoples faces when they finally have it up and running.

Also, some people work better with someone explaining it one on one to them rather than watching YouTube videos or reading FAQ's. Doesn't have to be remote control, it could just be a skype screen sharing or even an in person lesson. :)

Let's hear your suggestions community!

Cheers! Rebekah Berg, Lead Community Administrator, Asgardia

Feb 11, 17 21:59 UTC

Indeed, these are just my opinions, discarding them shall not cause me any offence. This ofc would be unwise IMHO, but I'm not fussed either way. I'm not the one with problems in this area. I've definitely had experience of "lower income", and am well aware how such things operate. As mentioned, hit the right places at the right times you can get the right prices: ie free - but to be honest, one of the best resources in urbanised areas is junkies. They'll be everywhere and have everything not nailed down commonly - and prepared to sell most things for a tenner. You'd possibly be amazed at what equipment I've had in days gone past that was simply discarded - fully working - picked up by junkie and delivered to my door for a tenner. However, there's an incredibly different environment in terms of digital devices now as to even ten years ago - apart from in hyper rural/remote areas and or third world countries - and many of the same rules do not apply. Literally, for what it'd cost you to send an old laptop to me, I could likely find the precise same model for sale at the same cost as P&P, closer, with the keyboard displaying the "right" keymap. Ignoring the fact that getting to this forum means they've likely already got a computer and further ignoring the likes of persistent malware residing in the firmwares to devices spreading between our users - like the microcode in the CPU, BIOS, HD, SATA controller, USB controller, GPU's BIOS, etc - which if the previous owner was a windows user is more than credible, it's not as if they know they're infected ½ the time - and to further ignore factors like unknown abuse factor(Most people don't filter the input to their computers, either, and peaks/troughs in the current effect it over time - and they turn them off, allowing thermal contraction. Repeatedly. Expand/contract»snap.) then it's quite likely to only be of tangible use to those close enough to physically collect, otherwise bang for buck you'll more likely get more bang via alternates. Another thing I have a lot of experience in is wasted time, and have thusly become remarkably effective in avoiding it. That's not to say such an initative is unfeasible, or even has no place, but users of such a resource should be ultimately aware of inherent risks and potentially seek alternates to see if they can get more for less elsewhere. As prevoiusly mentioned, local collection and zero cost is difficult to not be feasible.

For parts... That's fine if the end user is comfy elbows deep inside a PC, knows what an ESD bracelet is etc, but honestly most users want something that works OOTB - hence my suggestion at Pi, all of them are cheap, and thusly within reach for most, and inserting an SD card an HDMI cable n a few USB cables isn't beyond anyone's skillbase really. Slapping in part isn't complex IMHO but when it comes to diagnosing and troubleshooting failures caused by incompatible or intermittently faulty hardware then most users are likely to want to avoid this. If they want to engage in this, I'd suggest they acquire another computer for such so they always have a working computer. It's a lot easier to fix a computer with a computer. Testing rig FTW. By only attempting to operate on known good hardware - ie: new in box, under warrenty - you are afforded a greater chance of actually retaining productive use. Having built a countless mutts over the years and even once a computer out of scrap left after my equipment was confiscated as forensic evidence and running it in a jaffa cake box for a few months whilst secure and reliable hardware was located does leave me in a postion to talk highly of the virtues of reliable computers(even that was reliable, unless you moved it). And if it's not reliable, something somewhere is seriously wrong.

My comments with getting more use out of older hardware was in view that to get to the forum it's likely they already have a computer and seek "upgrade". Instead of abandoning their existing hardware, it's likely "better" use can result in increased performances enough to mitigate the requirement for replacements. A least effort, least cost, maximum impact solution.

Skype is remote control - it's just rarely engaged and the users are not supposed to be able to get near the server side exploits like that. It does far more than share the screen, and to more than the person(s) you intend. It's really not a safe technology to entertain. There are secure solutions. It's not the concept of the education that draws disfavour but the tools and techniques proposed are inherently unsafe, and promotion of is frankly irresponsible. Ironically so in a proposal to improve technological access and usages.

Feb 14, 17 20:34 UTC

Good Night Rebekah... I live in Barcelona, I have a good level as usuary, and I'll be happy to help. My son is informatic, and know how to build PCs and recycle, he will write you also to offer his services. Have a nice night. Greetings Asgardian!

  Last edited by:  Susana Buono (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Feb 14, 17 20:34 UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Feb 15, 17 06:10 UTC

Ok! So that definitely clears somethings up. Thanks for the update Rebekah.

So, having a background in tech repair (computers and basic electronics), and hearing a lot of people have similar backgrounds, this should be completely doable. It obviously depends on Asgardian communities getting together, and as EyeR has already pointed out, cost for moving older equipment around via shipment may be higher cost than brand new. However, having said that, even if there isnt a call from Asgardians in local areas for recycled electronics, putting together a generalized program for Asgardians to participate in the repair side of things, then just donating tech to ppl that ask for it, well the experience and confidence Asgardians gain might be worth it alone.

The more official Asgardia could make this program (is there a global charity status or something?) would probably mean tech would show up from the local communities too?

The biggest problem I see is we're all a little spread out at this point, so a pilot program in a location we have a few Asgardian in?

Feb 15, 17 06:23 UTC

Groups for:

Linux operating systems
Open source software
Secondhand hardware
exchange databases
...

Grtz. Dirk.