Kids in Kenya using Google Assistant

The last few days I have been working to design new features for the GDL with children in schools in Kibera (Nairobi), the largest urban slum in Africa. It has been a true privilege!

The most important learning this week is that even a child living in a shed, without water and electricity can be an expert on a smart phone. Praise and Faith (10 years old) in this video showed us how they are using voice control to read books with Google assistant!

Open Source building blocks for OER

I am currently working on a project where we are identifying building blocks that could be used to develop Digital Public Goods.

Digital public goods(DPG) are tools that serve to educate us, help us thrive in our professional lives, enrich our cultural experiences, and ultimately do good for the benefit of humankind. Examples of these goods exist all around us in the areas of information, education, healthcare, finance, and more. Many also serve to further the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

To contain the scope of the first “beta version” of DPG building blocks I have started with building blocks for Open Educational Resources(OER).

Open Source is defined as a corner stone of all DPGs, so I started working on a list of Open Source building blocks for OER.

Open Source for OER

Open source is software where the source code is available for anyone to view, use, change, and then share. Making source code publicly available allows others to build on and learn from it, enabling broad collaboration from people around the world. 

Instead of starting from scratch, projects that are developing Open Educational resources(OER) should look for ways to adapt and enhance existing products, resources and approaches. An essential part of the term open innovation in the context of OER will be a community built on reuse and improvement of the existing source code, content and data.

Reuse means assessing what resources are currently available and using them to meet future goals. Improve means modifying existing tools, products and resources to improve their overall quality, applicability and impact. OERs should start by identifying relevant methods, standards, software platforms and technology tools that have already been tried and tested. 

Examples of Open Source – DPG building blocks

There are hundreds of open source projects covering all aspects of DPG development. The most common building blocks of the internet are all open source, and most of them could be defined as DPG building blocks. 

The two first examples in this category represent a more general group of platforms. The other examples aim to show the whole spectrum of software, design elements and components that could be defined as DPG building blocks and OER. 

Open source development frameworks

Node.js, AngularJS and Bootstrap represent some of the most used open source development platforms and toolkits in the world. These are platforms used by thousands of projects, involving a large existing community of developers. 

Open source content management systems(CMS)

A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is an example of an open source content management system, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web. 

WordPress and other open source content management system could be defined as DPG building blocks. 

Readium

The fundamental goal of the Readium project is to produce a set of robust, performant, spec-compliant reading system toolkits that support digital publishing formats (e.g. EPUB, Web Publications etc.) and can be deployed in browsers or built into native apps on iOS, Android or the desktop. 

https://readium.org/

H5P

H5P is a free and open-source content collaboration framework based on JavaScript. H5P is an abbreviation for HTML5 Package and aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content. Interactive videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, interactive timelines and more.

https://h5p.org/

EPUB and the EPUBCheck

EPUBCheck is a tool to validate the conformance of EPUB publications against the EPUB specifications. EPUBCheck can be run as a standalone command-line tool or used as a Java library. EPUBCheck is open source software, maintained by the DAISY Consortium on behalf of the W3C.

https://github.com/w3c/epubcheck

Google Lighthouse 

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/

Material Design

Material Design is an open source adaptable system of guidelines, components, and tools that support the best practices of user interface design. The Material design framework and community includes principles, examples, icons and open sources implementations like material-ui.com that support reuse and easy adaptation of Material.io.

https://material.io/

Sector specific applications 

In some cases, application features are specific for one sector, like education. Assessing what source code and resources that are currently available amongst sector-specific projects can be useful for a DPG project developing in the same sector. 

Examples OER projects within the educational sector sharing code on GitHub:

Sharing my travel pictures under Creative Commons

I am merely a hobby photographer that every now and then end up being in the right place at the right time, catching a sunset or a great view of an elephant, a mountain or a lake.

Inspired by the new CC search and the magical sharing community at the #ccsummit I am releasing 95 of my travel pictures under CC-BY 4.0.

Cool kid in Nairobi

Over the last few years, I have been travelling in a few countries, and my collection of pictures reflects this. You will find pictures from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Paris, Rome. Most pictures are still from my home country Norway.

All pictures are available on Github and SmugMug.

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

Denne uken lanserte Creative Commons et nytt søk som gjør det enda enklere å finne bilder på nett som det faktisk er lov å gjenbruke, uten fare for å motta en faktura i posten fra fotografen. Det nye bildesøket gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder i et og samme søk.

Dette er å regne som et globalt digital fellesgode som fremmer god delingskultur. Samtidig gjør det nye søket det enklere å kreditere opphavspersonen riktig, noe som bidrar til at vi får mindre ulovlig gjenbruk av bilder på nett.

Søket vil i første omgang fokusere på bilder, men på sikt vil det også inkludere lyd og digitale læringsressurser. Målet er å utvikle et felles søk for alle de 1.4 milliarder objektene som idag er tilgjengelig under en fri lisens på internett.

Søket samler bilder fra 19 forskjellige kilder inkludert den norske tjenesten Digitalt Museum.no som tilbyr et åpent søk på 2.3 millioner objekter hvor 126.000 av disse er underlagt en CC lisens. Den største kilden er Flickr som tilbyr 289 millioner bilder i det åpne søket. En spennende ny kilde er thingiverse.com som tilbyr 3D tegninger som er sluppet under en fri lisens.

Tema i denne blogg posten er gjengitt som sak på digi.no.

First 4K video using Pixel XL3

If there’s one area where smartphones have really improved over the last couple of years, it’s photography and video.

Even though 4K video on smartphones is no new thing, I have never tried to make one complete edit with 4K from any smartphone. I got the Pixel 3 XL this winter and for the first time, I decided to try to shoot a ski-trip and edit the whole thing in Premiere Pro without any colour correction, just to see if the quality was “OK” when published on Youtube in 4K.

The goal was not to do a review or anything like that, but my general conclusion is that both the 4K and the stabilization works great. At the end of this short ski-clip, you will see that I am filming while going downhill, and still, it seems steady.

Creative Commons on the GDL explained in 2 minutes

We have been working on a short explainer video describing the important role of Creative Commons on the GDL platform. It has been an interesting experience for me personally, as we have been crafting this short version of a rather complex explanation on how Creative Commons makes free access, sharing and translation of resources possible on the GDL platform.

This has forced us to focus on the core elements of the CC licenses and a simplified message. We will later pick up some of the positive consequences for stakeholders and actors like publishers and commercial companies.

The Global Digital Library

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with the Global Digital Library, an incredibly rewarding project, with the vision that children around the world will have the opportunity to learn to read in their own language. My responsibility as the CTO of the project has been product development, user testing, partner involvement and marketing. 

The GDL collects existing high quality open educational reading resources, and makes them available on the web, mobile and for print. By the end of 2018 the Library will offer resources in at least 25 languages, and by end 2020 at least 100 languages. The platform also facilitates translation and localization of GDL-resources to more than 300 languages.

By the end of 2018 the Library will offer resources in at least 25 languages, and by end 2020 at least 100 languages. The platform also facilitates translation and localization of GDL-resources to more than 300 languages.

After working over the past year with fantastic people at Norad, NDLA, USAID, UNESCO and a large group of other organisation, it is safe to say that this has been a collaborative effort. To be able to launch the GDL platform this week as part of the Global Book Alliance is truly rewarding.

As part of the launch of the platform in Addis Ababa this week,  we created the first introductory video that explains the project in 50 seconds

 

 

 

Ofrer personvern og grunnleggende demokratiske rettigheter i kampen mot terror!

Denne uken leverte Lysne II-utvalget sine anbefaler til regjeringen om å innføre full overvåking av datatrafikken inn og ut av Norge. Dette er et tiltak som representerer et betydelig inngrep i enkeltmenneskers privatliv, samtidig som det vil kunne få store samfunnsmessige konsekvenser. Skulle forslagene i rapporten bli vedtatt, mener jeg vi vil være vitne til at våre digitalt inkompetente politikere ofrer personvern og grunnleggende demokratiske rettigheter i kampen mot terror.

Dramatisk skifte

Uavhengig av det endelige utfallet av forslaget fra Lysne-utvalget, har vi de siste årene sett en dramatisk endring i den politiske viljen til å ofre personvernet gjennom overvåkning av mennesker som i utgangspunktet ikke er mistenkt for å ha gjort noe straffbart. Internasjonalt har vi sett mange eksempler på misbruk av etterretningsinformasjon og eksempler på at de som utøver overvåkning på ingen måte overholder de lover og regler som er definert for å begrense skadevirkningene. Vi må også kunne stille spørsmål om de politiske organene som skal ha oppsyn med for eksempel E-tjenesten faktisk har tilstrekkelig kompetanse. Rapporten stadfester at E-tjenesten sitter med ledende eksperter på sikkerhet og overvåking. Jeg tillater meg altså å stille spørsmålet om Stortingets kontrollorganene har den samme kompetansen.

Hvor går grensen?

Det blir helt avgjørende at vi får en åpen debatt om disse spørsmålene, og vi må i langt større grad enn Lysne-utvalget gjør i sin rapport, diskutere de viktige prinsipielle spørsmålene knyttet til den massive overvåkningen som enkelte samfunnsgrupper vil bli utsatt for. Hvor går grensen for hva vi som enkeltmennesker skal kunne akseptere av overvåkning og i hvilke situasjoner er det helt avgjørende at statlige organer ikke skal kunne overvåke det vi gjør. Det er for meg komplett uforståelig hvordan man kan foreslå et så radialt tiltak til regjeringen, uten å samtidig være helt tydelig på hvordan man tenker å sikre at for eksempel journalister og politiske partier ikke blir overvåkning. Vi har allerede eksempler i Norge på at film og fotomateriale fra journalister har blitt beslaglagt, noe jeg mener representerer nok en brutt barriere.

Vernesoner

Den økende graden av sentral digital overvåkning aktualiserer også behovet for «digitale vernesoner» hvor enkeltmennesker kan ferdes fritt. Konsekvensen ved å ikke ta denne diskusjonen er at en relativt liten gruppe mennesker i PST, E-tjenesten og politiet sitter med utrolig mye makt ved at veldig mange mennesker overvåkes.

Jeg er også meget kritisk til hvordan utvalget kan ta så lett på enkelte veldig viktige spørsmål. I rapporten står det for eksempel: «Hendelser har vist at det ikke er mulig å lage noen elektroniske systemer som er fullt ut sikre mot datainnbrudd. Reduksjon av risiko for at uvedkommende får tilgang til data og utstyr må derfor ha høy prioritet.» Med dette stadfester altså utvalget selv et kritisk problem uten at de adresserer mulige konsekvenser annet en overfladisk. Hva er faktisk konsekvensen hvis disse dataene skulle komme på avveie? Skulle man sammenlignet dette med verning av natur, vil det være som å foreslå bygging av et gasskraftverk på toppen av fuglefjellet ved Runde og bare nøye seg med å si at vi må være snill med Lundefuglene som hekker der.

Rapportens mangler

Etter å ha lest rapporten sitter jeg med noen helt grunnleggende spørsmål som jeg mener utvalgets rapport ikke berører i tilstrekkelig grad:

1. Har denne overvåkningen virkelig den ønskede effekten, altså å forhindre terror? Det finnes mange eksempler som viser at for eksempel «al Qaida», en organisasjon det vises til i rapporten, og andre terrororganisasjoner er relativt kompetente med tanke på å unngå å legge etter seg digitale spor. 
Det er også veldig mange eksempler på at etterretningen har fanget opp informasjon men ikke klart å sette inn tiltak i tide.

2. Hvordan sikrer vi at loven ikke utvides uten tilstrekkelig politisk behandling ettersom nye behov oppstår? Rapporten beskriver dette under punktet «formålsutglidning», og erfaringen fra for eksempel Sverige viser at nettopp denne typen utvidelser relativt raskt blir aktuelt. Rapporten konkluderer vagt med at ikke alle endringer er «feil», noe som i seg selv understreker min bekymring.

3. Hvordan sikrer vi at loven som regulerer overvåkningen faktisk følges. Ser vi på saker knyttet til politiets overvåkning av mennesker i straffesaker finner vi mange eksempler på at politiet på ingen måte følger de lovene som er satt i forbindelse med for eksempel sletting av data.

4. Hvordan sikrer vi full åpenhet rundt kontrollmekanismene knyttet til denne overvåkningen og enda viktigere hvordan sikrer vi at de politiske organene som skal kontrollere har tilstrekkelig kompetanse. Her beskriver rapporten en modell som noen ganger krever forhåndsgodkjenning av domstol mens man i andre tilfeller blir kontrollert i etterkant.

Det er mange dilemmaer når man først gir noen «alle fullmakter». Vi kan prøve å se for oss en situasjon hvor Stortinget gjennom sine kontrollorganer planlegger et ettersyn av E-tjenesten etter at de har bygget en stor organisasjon knyttet til denne massive overvåkningen. Hvordan kan da Stortinget være helt sikker på at de selv ikke blir overvåket av den samme institusjonen som de er satt til å kontrollere?

Relevant lenker:

https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/departementene/fd/dokumenter/lysne-ii-utvalgets-rapport-2016.pdf

http://www.digi.no/artikler/utvalg-gar-inn-for-overvaking-av-all-datatrafikk-ut-og-inn-av-norge/351200

 

The true pioneers of the sharing economy

The real sharing economy is not about renting out your apartment on Airbnb or offering your services as a taxi driver on Uber. These are both good services but it would be completely wrong to label them as pioneers of the sharing economy.

The true pioneers would be the technological sharing culture with projects like Linux, Wikipedia, Github and Open Street map. The communities that developed the Internet in the 90s and the important work by the free software movement in the 80s built the foundation for one of the largest paradigme shifts in history. The Creative Commons movement that has grown strong over the last 10 years has also played an important role in creating a strong sharing economy.

If one were to look for companies that can be called pioneers in the sharing economy it would have to be Amazon, Google and Redhat.

People like Richard Stallman, Tim Berners-Lee, Lawrence Lessig and Håkon W. Lie are pioneers of the sharing economy trough significant contributions that deserve to be mentioned.

Creative Commons: Remix from Creative Commons on Vimeo.

The story of Android and how it gave free software the right WAF-factor(Wife Acceptance Factor)

In the «Pre-Android period» gadgets from Apple and computers from Microsoft had what you might call a higher wife acceptance factor, meaning it was more likely to be adapted by non technical users.

When I started out playing with free software more the 15 years ago the terms free software and open sources had a very high geek-factor associated with them . At this time it was hard to imagine any laptop or device running free software taking marked shares from Windows.

For companies developing proprietary software it was also very important to label free software as low quality and unreliable. This has changed dramatically over the last 15 years and Android played an important part in this journey.

Android gave the word disruptive a whole new meaning

The year is 2008. The first GoOpen conference is about to kick off in Oslo.

When the Director of free software at Google, Chris Dibona enters the stage as one of the conference’s keynotes, he talks about how Google has built its business with free software.

He also talks about how they are already well underway to expand Googles business, not only to cover search, ads and video (acquisition of Youtube). At this point it was already known that Google had launchd the first version of a mobile operating system in November 2007  that was based on Linux – the name was Android.

The first phone with Android was released in Norway the next summer and in only 18 months Android dominated the market for smart phones in our country. Sins the launch in 2007 Android have taken over markeds across the world with nearly 1.5 billion users at the end of 2015. This despite the fact that both Apple, Microsoft and the Finnish mobile company we have forgotten the name of,  did every thing possible to dominate the same space during this period.

From the start Google and their partners had a totally different business model, letting different vendors develop new devices based on the same core system. This gave the marked many different devices and the vendors freedom to build on the same software commodities. The key in this approach is an open plattform in an open marked.

The story of Android is important for many reasons, but primarily because it shows that by rethinking a business model completely, it is possible to change a large market in a very short period of time.

An important thing to remember, the mayor topic that concerned most free software activist in 2007-2008 was not Android but the document formats and the battle between OOXML and ODF. During the GoOpen conference in 2008 a friend of mine, Håkon Wium Lie, organized a demonstration that ended up in front of the Norwegian Parliament, with the slogan “OOXML – Go to hell.”

Little did we know that it was not ODF and OpenOffice but Android that would cause a breakthrough for free and open source software and give it all so important Wife Acceptance Factor.