January 2010 Geek Events

I can see a trend forming here…

I wanted to write separate entries for these equally worthy events that happened for the past month. But as it is, January was again as busy as ever. I don’t think I have time to periodically update this blog anymore. Nothing new about that piece of news though, as I’ve been really on and off here since the beginning. Anyway, here’s a peek on 4 cool/informative/interesting events I’ve been to for January. What a way to start the year!

Wireless and Rural Connectivity Technologies and Start-ups (January 06)

My first event of the year was about wireless infrastructure! It was held at the UP TechnoHub on January 6.

The first session of the Kape+Teknolohiya series of talks hosted by the Ayala Foundation and UP-ERDT was graced by Prof. Eric Brewer, PhD. He’s a lecturer at UC Berkeley who also founded Inktomi (now part of Yahoo’s search engine) and built USA.gov (under President Clinton).

In the morning, Dr. Brewer discussed about long-range wireless technologies and its implications and benefits for rural development. He discussed about their research WILDNet (Wifi-based Long Distance Networks) as a low-cost solution for developing countries/regions such as the Philippines. I am impressed when he showcased their achievement as having the longest distance with stable wifi link. From the paper Beyond Pilots: Keeping Rural Wireless Networks Alive [link], they “were able to achieve a total of 6 Mbps bidirectional TCP through- put (3 Mbps each way simultaneously) over single-hop 382 km WiLDNet link between Pico Aguila and Platil- lon in Venezuela.” Ain’t that cool?

Anyway, I noticed that the efforts are nothing new in the country. I remember some two years ago that UP EEE had some OVCRD-funded wifi deployment in the Batanes area [read here]. What i didn’t know was that Dr. Ramos (EEE professor) was part of Dr. Brewer’s research project.

If there is more to be gained with this talk, it’s the labor that Dr. Brewer is spending to spread the awareness that such efforts of providing Internet connectivity to rural areas can in fact change lives and improve communities. He has shown examples in India and Ghana on how it was utilized in medicine and the results were spectacular. More so, the talk opened up opportunities for more discussions with CICT on possibly extending the Batanes project to more rural areas around the country.

In the afternoon, Dr. Brewer talked about his startup company – Inktomi – which started as a simple project at Berkeley. Inktomi was a search engine acquired by Yahoo! It was an interesting talk, where Brewer detailed the rise and eventually fall of the company. It was the perfect kind of talk for a venue like the TechnoHub, being the business incubator of the University.

PS: I so wanted to ask him for mentoring at UC Berkeley! 😀

Event Announcements HERE and HERE.

Asiasource Reunion (January 09)

What else can i say. This was pure fun! Alright, not exactly. The week leading to it was a struggle, since we (the AS3 peeps) are the ones organizing it. BUT we were able to pull it off anyway with everyone’s effort.

Asiasource Reunion gathered the alumni from Asiasource 1, 2, and 3 and their friends at the G2VC Innovation Center in Ortigas. It was a night of games, sing-along, photoshoot, speedgeek, and food pinoy-style. It ended up a successful reunion, although we missed some friends. Anyway, part 2 is coming up soon so do watch out for the Magic Sing Rematch.

1st North Luzon FOSS Conference (January 18-19)

I think this deserves a separate entry, one which I can’t simply do at the moment. Suffice it to say that I was super impressed with the organizers. With little preparation time leading to the event, they were able to attract interesting participants, come up with a sufficient line up of talks for the program, and provide free food and freebies. I was here as part of the Philippine Open Source Network (POSNet). Some of us presented talks on FOSS Success Stories and did lectures on some FOSS applications. It was 2 days of fun and learning. North Luzon is FOSSified!

Mozilla PH Community 2010 Kick-off Planning (January 23)

Met with the Mozilla PH Community, lead by Regnard Raquedan, for the planning session at The Old Spaghetti House (TOSH) in Technohub. It was a simple gathering which started with great food. Everyone knows that an event with great food makes for great outcome. And so it did. The group came up with very exciting line-up of activities for the year, some in conjunction with other Open Source events while some are self-hosted. I can’t post the line up here yet, so do watch out at the Mozilla PH Blog. You can also join us up at the mailing list here.


NOTE: Pics to follow. I want this out there in the void/internet asap.