Languages in Cyberspace

Languages in Cyberspace:
Today various forces threaten linguistic diversity, particularly on the Internet. UNESCO seeks to promote wider and more equitable access to information networks by supporting the creation of linguistically and culturally diverse content in cyberspace and offering possibilities for the preservation of endangered languages.
Read more about UNESCO’s language s in cyberspace efforts.
Check out the workshop on recent experience measuring language in cyberspace.

Our Cultural Commonwealth: The final report of the American Council of Learned Societies Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities & Social Sciences

The ACLS is pleased to announce that “Our Cultural Commonwealth: The final report of the American Council of Learned Societies Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities & Social Sciences” was released December 13, 2006.

In 2004, ACLS appointed the Commission and charged it to recommend how the humanities and social sciences could develop online research environments that would empower scholars and students. The Commission, chaired by John Unsworth, Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has worked over two years to present a guide to achieving that goal.

A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported the work of the Commission and the publication of the report.

Additional print and digital copies of Our Cultural Commonwealth may be obtained at no charge at

Largest archive of free culture to be built in the Netherlands

Largest archive of free culture to be built in the Netherlands:
From the Netherlands, the “Images for the Future” project is building a large-scale conservation and digitization project to make available 285,000 hours of film, television, and radio recordings, as well as more than 2.9 million photos from the Netherlands’ film and television archives. A basic collection drawn from the archive will be made available on the Internet either under CC licenses, or in some cases, in the public domain. The Government of the Netherlands, a long time supporter of the local Dutch CC project, will invest a total of 173 million Euros over a seven-year period. Their aim is to spur innovative applications with new media, while providing valuable services to the public.

this will be great… free content is the backbone of innovation and production.

IST Results – Do ICTs improve our lives?

IST Results – Do ICTs improve our lives?:
The project’s final report reveals that many of the assumptions about ICTs and their advantages or disadvantages are not entirely accurate.
We assume, for example, that computer skills improve our chances to find a new job, with an estimate of 60 percent of existing jobs and 90 percent of new ones requiring ICT skills, according to the SOCQUIT report. Based on these figures, PC skills should have a determining effect on people’s ability to find employment.
On the contrary, “Our study showed that it is the social contact with other people that influences if people find a job or not, rather than the level of their ICT skills,” explains Heres. Equally, ICT benefits for elderly people are not reflected in the job market. “We did not find convincing evidence that the employment issue can be solved with ICT. However we did find examples that because of ICT, the elderly leave their jobs,” he says. These people are not motivated to change, as there are younger people with better skills, according to Heres.


they showed, once again, that social contact is very important.

Net Neutrality Song

Net Neutrality Song:
A new, downloadable song by Kay Hanley, Jill Sobule, and Michelle Lewis in favor of net neutrality. Nice, but the chorus sounds too much like it’s going to be “Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.”

And coming on the heels of this gloomy analysis of the congressional vote — heck, they even got Alcee Hastings to vote against it! — it does put one in mind of Tom Lehrer’s Folk Song Army (“they may have won all battles, but we had all the good songs”).
in favor of net neutrality


i think it does sound a bit like mr. tamboruine man… but it is at least it is an interesting take on a musical protest against the powers-that -be changing the rules about the internet.

Beyond the blog for development

Nancy White – It is KEWL and KINKY: Collaboration Software – Full Circle Online Interaction Blog:
a new software release from the African Virtual Open Initiative and Resources project (AVOIR), “a sophisticated group-based collaboration system, supporting an unlimited number of groups… where you have complete control over what functionality is installed, as well as what functionality is available on a per group basis.


in general, i think we need more projects like this. it has groups, it is bloggy and wiki…. it is open, free, and multilingual….

UNESCO’s Basic Texts on the Information Society

UNESCO’s Basic Texts on the Information Society:

Article 1 of UNESCO’s Constitution states that it will “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”. Among UNESCO’s fundamental activities, then, is the drafting of charters, declarations and recommendations intended to present the essence of its proposals for action in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO staff have attempted through this publication to select a number of quotations from the Organization’s many official texts, originating from all its program sectors, which contribute to defining what the information society ought to be, without reducing the debate to purely technical issues. It was prepared for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). UNESCO, 2003. (PDF, 116 pages.)


some interesting key unesco texts.

Study of Free/Open Source and Proprietary Software in an African
Context: Implementation and Policy-making to Optimise Community Access
to ICT
The Software
Comparison research project provides
the needed background information and advice to
people who want to make
sound software choices for public computer labs in Africa.
final report represents the first comprehensive analysis of software
in the African public-access context. The study looked at 121 computer
labs in Namibia, South Africa and Uganda, examining the range of
factors that affect software choices; the realities of the current
situation in Africa; and the long-term implications of software choices
for Africa. This
research was led by and supported by Collaborating Partners
SchoolNet Africa, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
and the Open Society Institute (OSI). In addition, a number of
field-study partners provided access to computer labs for the study. A
Advisory Group, comprised of experts in the field from both sides of
the debate, was actively involved in the study on a regular
basis: reviewing project documents (methodology, report drafts etc.),
providing feedback and additional resources.


interesting study