Archive for the ‘ICT4D’ Category

Microsoft updates its software donation program

July 28, 2011

Microsoft announced on Wednesday several updates to its software donation program.

The updates are designed to make it easier for nonprofit and community organizations to get access to software. The program has provided more than $3.9 billion worth of software since it was formed in 1998 and is available in more than 100 countries around the world.

  • The number of different Microsoft software products that can be requested has been expanded from six to 10 to allow nonprofits to get the software they need, such as Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010.
  • Three new categories of nonprofit organizations are now eligible for software donations, including medical research organizations, private foundations, and amateur sports and recreational organizations.
  • The donations program includes a new Get Genuine offering so nonprofits can ensure their existing computers are running genuine versions of Microsoft operating systems to help keep their software up-to-date and security-enhanced.
  • Nonprofits can now request a software donation from Microsoft through the TechSoup Global Network whenever they need it instead of the previous limit of only one request per year.
  • Nonprofit organizations ordering their donations through the TechSoup Global Network can now easily get key donations details in one place with the Microsoft Donations Center, a new website where organizations can review their donation history and identify products their organizations can request.

“Making technology more accessible enables nonprofits to increase their productivity, reach more people and deliver new, improved services that directly help local communities,” said Akhtar Badshah, senior director of global community affairs at Microsoft. “Although we already help a sizable number of nonprofits, we want to help more, and the changes we’re announcing today are designed to make the program more relevant and accessible to a larger number of nonprofits, which will in turn have a positive impact in local communities around the world.”

Microsoft is well known for its donations to charities. Microsoft’s Los Angeles Store recently donated $250,000 to The Call of Duty Endowment which assists veterans find job placement in their post military careers. The software giant has also lent aid to the Japanese government following a powerful 8.9-magnitude earthquake and Tsunami in Northern Japan in March.

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Microsoft and Toyota Announce Strategic Partnership on Next-Generation Telematics

April 7, 2011

Press Release

REDMOND, Wash., and TOYOTA CITY, Japan — April 6, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) today announced that they have forged a strategic partnership and plan to build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform. Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles; it can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.

As part of the partnership, the two companies plan to participate in a 1 billion yen (approximately $12 million) investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, starting with TMC’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. TMC’s goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to Toyota automotive customers around the world.

As part of its smart-grid activities, aimed at achieving a low-carbon society through efficient energy use, TMC is conducting trials in Japan of its Toyota Smart Center pilot program, which plans to link people, automobiles and homes for integrated control of energy consumption. TMC believes that, as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular, such systems will rely more on telematics services for achieving efficient energy management.

Microsoft has a long history of delivering platforms and services to the automotive market, including in-car infotainment systems built on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, in-car mapping services with Bing and the Microsoft Tellme voice application, and many other consumer solutions.

“Today’s announcement of our partnership with TMC is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and of our commitment to power the services that are important to consumers,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Windows Azure platform will provide the enterprise-grade, scalable platform that TMC needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide.”

“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Akio Toyoda, president of TMC. “To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

Virtual Press Conference Information

Following a signing ceremony today at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash.-based headquarters, Ballmer and Toyoda will hold a virtual press conference online from 1 to 2 p.m. PDT. Media can register for the event at http://www.studiosevent.com/press-event and ask questions of both company leaders. More information on the announcement is available at the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/newscenter or the Toyota USA Newsroom at http://www.toyotanewsroom.com.

About Toyota

Founded in 1937, TMC (NYSE “TM”) is a global automotive company with production in 27 countries and sales in more than 170 countries. Founded in 2000 as a wholly owned subsidiary of TMC, Toyota Media Service is a consumer IT service provider for Toyota automotive customers that actualizes the connected, in-car experience.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/apr11/04-06toyotapr.mspx

Silicon Valley’s Peery Foundation Invests in Paradigm Initiative Nigeria

January 12, 2011

Lagos, Nigeria. January 11, 2011 – Peery Foundation, a Palo Alto-based family foundation established in 1978 by Richard Peery, has invested in Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN).

“We’re excited to be supporting PIN’s work! Following series of discussions and checks by the Foundation, we are proud to make this social investment. We are encouraged by the thoughtfulness of PIN’s model and the importance of working with such an under-resourced demographic in Africa,” stated Dave Peery.

Peery Foundation invests in and serves social entrepreneurs and leading organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world, and their mission is to strengthen youth and families to build lives of dignity and self-reliance. The conversation between the foundation and PIN started after a member of staff of the foundation listened to a presentation on PIN’s work with youth in Nigeria by PIN’s Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan, as part of the requirements of his participation in the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program at Santa Clara University in August 2010.

According to Sesan, “the grant will help PIN kick-start series of technology-for-entrepreneurship (‘technopreneurship’) training programs for youth across Nigeria. The training programs will serve as the foundation for PIN’s plan to host an annual conference, from the last quarter of 2012, tagged “Techie. Entrepreneurial. Nigerian. Talented” (T.E.N.T) – where young talents can meet with the industry and investors.” He continued, “we believe that if we don’t discover, train, mentor and support young people with interest in ICT innovation while they’re in their early teens, they can’t become ICT experts and legitimate billionaires in their late twenties.”

PIN, a Lagos-based social enterprise, addresses the gap between Nigeria’s disadvantaged youth and economic opportunities by providing demand-driven Information and Communica¬tion Technologies, entrepreneurship and life skills train¬ing.

PIN’s Ajegunle.org training program connects trainees with internship opportunities which result in full-time employment or provide training towards small businesses that improve their livelihoods – and allows them to serve as role models to other youth. Through its Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria program, in partnership with Microsoft, PIN works to redirect the energy of young Nigerians from cybercrime.

 

08133004000

October 27, 2010

An unusual topic! you can be excused if you say that. Mistake: might also sound permissible but “Alert” will most likely score the highest grade. Put a call through to this number and you will get the usual auto response created by hard ware and signal traffic from mobile equipments when the base stations are either congested or could not communicate. It could have been shorter but survival and innovation in the midst of all odds has always been the mark of successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria, especially if you tilt towards the social side. It could have been any network, choice was based on product availability at time of purchase not necessarily reach, colour or loyalty.

08133004000 is not just a phone number, it is a mouth piece for Nigerian education community,  talking into encompassing sound equipment called www.campusdailyonline.com . To the average internet citizens of the world, it is an eye into the minds of our tertiary institutions and in future they will hope it never stops working. While using it is a simple process, reading it is simpler. The interface slides down continuously, 160 characters of gossip, fresh news rolling in from all the campuses around Nigeria. All the user needs to do is simple “go about their normal businesses” like security agents will always advice, and as soon as you see anything that catches your attention on campus, you feel you want to celebrate or rant to the fullest but you don’t want to form a scene, you can make your rant more efficient by simply converting all your excitement into 160 characters and send to 08133004000. Then turn on your internet on your mobile and read same story immediately. The school logo is automatically linked if the contributors affix the unique school codes to his/her message.

The entries come in and are published raw as they come, but there also exist 24-7 dedicated monitors who will not allow profanity, libel or messages that may disturb public peace to be rolled into the spin. And for your pocket, it remains almost the same because you get charged same rates as usual sms you send to other numbers. This was carefully thought out considering the fact that the student community will not be able to pay the usual revenue driven rates by platforms such as this. User friendliness and ease of access was paramount in the minds of the team at Campus Daily Online while developing this amazing product. We expect a couple of modifications and improvements in future but this will be communicated through direct interactions.

Another interesting feature of Social Gist is that contributors are also prompted by the moderators to start discussions on a particular topic; heating up at the moment is the ongoing industrial actions across institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

NO SIGN UP!!!!!  JUST SEND IT!!!  08133004000

Another first from Campus Daily Online, Nigeria premiere educational news portal

MTN Nigeria Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship 2010

October 11, 2010

The MTN Nigeria Foundation will provide financial support to eligible Science & Technology students in accredited educational public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria which will cover tuition, book allowance and stipend (pocket allowance).
The scholarship award is worth N200, 000.00 (Two hundred thousand Naira only) per student for the duration of an academic year and is paid at the beginning of each academic session.
The scholarship maybe renewable provided recipients maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent (second class upper/upper credit).

ELIGIBILTY
. Candidates must be full time undergraduates in 200 level/2nd year in public universities, colleges of education as well as polytechnics in Nigeria.
. Applicants from universities and colleges of education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score of 3.5 or its equivalent (2:1), while applicants from polytechnics must have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (upper credit) and currently undergoing industrial training at the time of applying.

DISCIPLINES TO BE CONSIDERED
1. Accountancy
2. Agricultural Science
3. Architecture
4. Communication Technology
5. Computer and Electronics
6. Computer and Information Science
7. Computer and Mathematics
8. Computer Engineering
9. Computer Science
10. Electrical Engineering
11. Electronics and Computer Technology
12. Electronics Engineering 13. Engineering Physics
14. Industrial Mathematics
15. Industrial Physics
16. Information Technology
17. Mathematics
18. Mechanical Engineering
19. Physics Electronics
20. Physics Engineering
21. Physics/ Computational Modeling
22. Pure/ Applied Physics
23. Statistics and Computer Science

NOTES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
Please read these notes and instructions carefully before completing this form. Be sure that you read every section and that the information you provide is accurate.
1) Only qualified candidates need apply.
2) Incomplete applications will be disregarded and cancelled.
3) Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, October 13th 2010.
4) Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for a written test.
5) Candidates are advised to visit the website regularly for information.
6) Names of successful candidates will be published in National Dailies and on the website.
7) Scholarship will be allocated on a yet to be announced date to successful candidates.
Successful applicants will be informed of the other terms and conditions of the Scholarship.

To apply for the MTN scholarship visit: http://mtnonline.com/index.php/scholarship

Registration opens for IDLELO 2010

February 27, 2010

May 17-21, 2010 | AITI-KACE | Opp. The Council of State offices, Ridge – Accra, Ghana

IDLELO is one conference for FOSS practitioners, developers and advocates as well as governments to showcase results, share experiences and challenges, review progress on the continent in diverse domains and chart a way forward for an African future grounded in true ownership of technology. IDLELO is therefore a premier international forum for the presentation of research results in Free and Open Source Software(FOSS) in Africa.

From May 17-21, 2010, FOSSFA is holding the Fourth Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons in Accra, Ghana. This event gathers the brightest minds in FOSS, including developers, distribution maintainers, business leaders, end users, system vendors, other community organizations and government official. It is the only conference designed to encourage sharing, collaboration and encourage solutions by bringing together a true cross-section of leaders to meet face-to-face to tackle and solve the most pressing issues facing FOSS on the African Continent today.

Registration:

To register for the IDLELO 4 Conference please complete the Registration Form or “http://idlelo.net/content/idlelo-4-conference-registration-form”. Please note, limited sponsorship exist for early registrants. The basis for awarding these sponsorships is based on first-come-first-server basis. Register early to avoid disappointment!!

2010 HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

December 20, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

$2 MILLION COMPETITION OPENS FOR IDEAS TO TRANSFORM LEARNING

Durham, NC and Irvine, CA – December 16, 2009.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, incollaboration with the University of California, Irvine, Duke University and the virtual network HASTAC, today launched the third annual open-call competition that will provide $2 million in awards to innovators shaping thefield of digital media and learning. President Obama named the Digital Media and Learning Competition as part of his initiative to improve education in math and science in a speech on November 23rd. The competition is supportedthrough a grant to the University of California, Irvine and administered by HASTAC.

The competition seeks designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others to build digital experiences—the learning labs of the 21st century—that help young people interact, share, build, tinker, and explore in new and innovative ways. In a new component for 2010, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and Electronic Arts (EA), in cooperation with Entertainment Software Association and Information Technology Industry Council, will team with the competition to support the development of new science and math-related levels or adventures in popular existing games.

There are two types of awards. Detailed information about these awards can be found online at www.dmlcompetition.net:

• Learning Lab Designer awards, which will range from $30,000-$200,000, are for learning environments and digital media-based experiences that allow young people to grapple with social challenges through activities based on the social nature, contexts, and ideas of science, technology, engineering

• Game Changers awards, which range from $5,000-$50,000, are for creative levels designed with either LittleBigPlanet™ or Spore™ Galactic Adventures that offer young people engaging game play experiences and that incorporate and leverage principles of science, technology, engineering and math for learning.

Each category will include several Best in Class awards selected by expert judges, as well as a People’s Choice Award selected by the general public. The online application system will open on January 7 and will include three rounds of submissions, with public comment at each stage. In February 2010, a special competition will be opened up to youth from ages 12-17.

“Digital media provides an important opportunity to re-imagine learning in the 21st century,” said Connie Yowell, Director of MacArthur’s education grantmaking. “Through the competition, we may find that games such as LittleBigPlanet™ and Spore™, which offer opportunities for collaborative and complex problem solving, can be powerful tools to engage the next generation in science, technology, engineering and math – in and out of the classroom. By working with Sony Computer Entertainment America and Electronic Arts, the Digital Media and Learning Competition will be able to tap into the innovation and scale of private industry to advance teaching and learning.”

Information about applying for the competition can be found online at www.dmlcompetition.net. The website includes details about timeline, application requirements, project descriptions from the first two Digital Media and Learning Competitions, and opportunities for asking questions, following blogs and news feeds, and learning more about the competition.

###

Media contacts:

Mandy Dailey, HASTAC, mandy.dailey@duke.edu, tel. (919) 681-8897.

Jen Humke, MacArthur Foundation, jhumke@macfound.org, tel. (312) 726-8000.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
$2 MILLION COMPETITION OPENS FOR IDEAS TO TRANSFORM LEARNING

Durham, NC and Irvine, CA – December 16, 2009.        The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in
collaboration with the University of California, Irvine, Duke University and the virtual network HASTAC, today
launched the third annual open-call competition that will provide $2 million in awards to innovators shaping the
field of digital media and learning. President Obama named the Digital Media and Learning Competition as part of
his initiative to improve education in math and science in a speech on November 23rd.  The competition is supported
through a grant to the University of California, Irvine and administered by HASTAC.

The competition seeks designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others to build digital experiences—the
learning labs of the 21st century—that help young people interact, share, build, tinker, and explore in new and
innovative ways. In a new component for 2010, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and Electronic Arts
(EA), in cooperation with Entertainment Software Association and Information Technology Industry Council, will
team with the competition to support the development of new science and math-related levels or adventures in
popular existing games.

There are two types of awards. Detailed information about these awards can be found online at
http://www.dmlcompetition.net:

•        Learning Lab Designer awards, which will range from $30,000-$200,000, are for learning
environments and digital media-based experiences that allow young people to grapple with social
challenges through activities based on the social nature, contexts, and ideas of science, technology,
engineering
•        Game Changers awards, which range from $5,000-$50,000, are for creative levels designed with either
LittleBigPlanet™ or Spore™ Galactic Adventures that offer young people engaging game play experiences and that
incorporate and leverage principles of science, technology, engineering and math for learning.

Each category will include several Best in Class awards selected by expert judges, as well as a People’s Choice
Award selected by the general public.  The online application system will open on January 7 and will include three
rounds of submissions, with public comment at each stage.  In February 2010, a special competition will be opened
up to youth from ages 12-17.

“Digital media provides an important opportunity to re-imagine learning in the 21st century,” said
Connie Yowell, Director of MacArthur’s education grantmaking. “Through the competition, we may find that games
such as LittleBigPlanet™ and Spore™, which offer opportunities for collaborative and complex problem solving, can
be powerful tools to engage the next generation in science, technology, engineering and math – in and out of the
classroom.  By working with Sony Computer Entertainment America and Electronic Arts, the Digital Media and
Learning Competition will be able to tap into the innovation and scale of private industry to advance teaching and
learning.”

Information about applying for the competition can be found online at http://www.dmlcompetition.net. The website
includes details about timeline, application requirements, project descriptions from the first two Digital Media and
Learning Competitions, and opportunities for asking questions, following blogs and news feeds, and learning more
about the competition.


RSM Fellowships Program

February 4, 2009
The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program provides support to young researchers working in academic and research institutions from eligible countries preparing a doctoral thesis. Research grants cover residence costs for a 5 to 10 month period in a renowned university or research center. Fellows are expected to advance their research work mainly by using the facilities and resources provided by the host institution and by interacting with peers.

Who Can Apply?

Only lecturers and researchers from eligible countries working on their doctoral thesis can apply for the fellowship. Candidates should be under 45 years, and have completed any course work or exams required for their doctoral program.

What Does the Program Support?

The purpose of the grant is to help fellows advance their doctoral research work through a residency period of five to ten months in a host institution in a country other than their home country or country of residence. During the research period at the host institution, the fellows are expected to have access to essential resources such as reference books and research publications, databases, and software; attend seminars and eventually courses; and to benefit by interacting with peers.

Host Institution

Candidates should be accepted or invited by a host institution which would designate an academic advisor to assist the fellow during his research period. Host institutions should also commit to provide the fellow with basic amenities such as office space and access to a computer, and to facilitate his/her research activities.

Fields of Research

Candidate’s field of research should be related to development at the master’s level, in fields such as economics, health, education, agriculture, environment, natural resource management, or other development‑related subject.

Fellowships Award

Eligible candidates are evaluated by external reviewers based on three criteria: academic performance, teaching and research experience, and relevance of the proposed research program. The top candidates are submitted to the Selection Committee, which includes World Bank senior experts and Donors representatives, for final selection. In addition to the merit criteria, the Selection Committee takes into account other factors such as availability of budget, geographical diversity and gender balance.

Grants

Candidates are requested to submit a budget for their fellowship covering the costs related to their research program: travel; insurance and living expenses; fees for courses and participation to seminars; and a books and software allowance. The grant amount to be awarded to each fellow will be decided by the Selection Committee. The maximum amount of the grant is US$ 25,000.

Fellow’s Commitment

Fellows are required to issue two reports, a mid-term report during the fellowship period and a final report containing the results of the research. The results of the McNamara fellows research work may be considered for publication by the World Bank. Fellows are expected to return to their home countries and resume their academic or research position upon completion of the fellowship. They are also expected to mention the McNamara fellowship award in any publication related to their doctoral research work, including their thesis, and to provide the Program with a copy of their thesis upon graduation.

Geo Challenge Grants

November 12, 2008

Google.org recently announced a new challenge that will help organizations improve their visibility and planning through mapping processes. According to the challenge website…

At Google.org, we believe maps are a powerful tool for non-profits of all kinds to communicate issues, understand needs, and create more effective implementation plans. Many of you have come to us with compelling ways that maps can help you and your organization increase impact, and we want to help you make your mapping ideas a reality. We’re offering a pilot program of Geo Challenge Grants to organizations working in areas related to our core initiatives.

Through this program, we’ll be offering grants valued between US$5,000 and US$100,000, either directly from Google.org, or through grant recommendations from the Google.org Fund of Tides Foundation. These grants will be issued through an open application process – legally qualified, public charitable organizations with a compelling idea about how maps can help them work more effectively are eligible. Smaller mapping applications requiring only static data might receive US$5,000 in funding, while development of tools that enable many organizations to create maps might receive US$100,000. We’re partnering with Google Earth Outreach on this program to help evaluate proposals from a technical standpoint and to help us ensure the grants are successful.

Please see challenge details at http://www.google.org/geochallenge.html

NYSC Infotech Corps Zonal Workshops kicks Off With Agege Zone

July 2, 2008

The National Youth Service Corps Infotech Community Development Group’s Zonal ICT awareness workshops commenced amidst the industrial action by teachers in secondary and elementary schools in Nigeria. It was a well planned and timed series of workshops through selected under served communities in Lagos considering the four major Zones of the NYSC in Lagos (Somolu, Epe, Agege and Ikeja). Agege was our first port of call and we have planned to hold similar workshops in Ajeromi Ifelodun and Mushin in bi-weekly order. I would like to specially express my gratitude to the NYSC State Coordinator Mr. Anthony C. Ani, for approving these workshops and the NYSC Agege Zonal Inspector – Mrs. N. Ufochukwu for accepting to host us.

Infotech Corps Community Development group started in 2001after a group of young Nigerians passionate about the use of ICTs, while serving their mandatory one year national service decided to equip other young people who otherwise may not have the opportunity to encounter the incredible world of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Since inception, Infotech Corps whose main focus is creating Information and Communications Technology (ICT) awareness among under served communities with a special focus on secondary schools in Lagos State, have carried out various ICT awareness programs in form of trainings and seminars and recently research. As part of our efforts to expand our schools training project – which is ongoing in Eight (8)schools with Infotech clubs created in Four (4) of the schools, have planned a series of workshops around Lagos State The workshops will bring over one hundred (100) secondary school students and their ICT teachers from over ten (10) schools in each of these zones. Participants will be brought up to date with happenings in the ICT world as well as gain expert advice on choosing a career in ICT.

The event at Agege was a successful one in terms of content, implementation, and feedback from the participants. In spite of the strike embarked upon my school teachers, the workshop was graced by secondary school students accompanied by their teachers as well as the NYSC officials in Agege Zone led by the Zonal Inspector – Mrs. N. Ufochukwu.  Mr Afe – the Infotech Corps supervisor, gave a welcome remark to kick start the day, while the Infotech PRO (Obinna Ajuruchi) presented a short profile of Infotech Corps. During the career talk session, Ugochukwu Nwosu – President NYSC Infotech Corps made a presentation on the road map to a career in IT. A highlight of which was a speed geek interactive session between the Infotech Corps members and the secondary school students. This was really an eye opener as we get to know what these young ones really think about Computers and IT in general as well as what they feel they should do towards a rewarding career.

We will implement the other two locations alongside the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) – http://www.nig.org.ng and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) – http://www.pin.org.ng