Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I was profiled in the local newspaper as a result of getting involved in ICANN. That's good, casue it raises the pro9file and interet level in ICANN and INternet Governance issues in the CAribbean. I hope that we can do more to get local Caribbean participation in the global governance forums. That's important - to be able to have a say in the decisions being made about the Internet, and how it's going to be run. As the Internet is going to be vital to the economies of small island states, it's VITAL that we participate. To date we haven't done much. Lets hope this is starting to change.
If you're interested in the activity, check out www.icann.org
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
First, the digital natives are really children born after 1990 or thereabouts... that's really young. So this major problem will not show its real face until 2010 or 2020. But then that's quite close really.
But then, will it be too late? Or should we even bother? Maybe in the world we are moving to we won't need long focus to survive, and we are adapting to a fit in a world in which multitasking is the vital skill, and those who can't will lose out.
A growing body of literature argues that, in Steven Jones' words, EVERYTHING
BAD IS GOOD FOR US. Television is good for us: makes us smarter. James Paul
Gee studies WHAT VIDEO GAMES HAVE TO TEACH US ABOUT LEARNING AND LITERACY,
and concludes that they have a lot to teach us.
And yet there is the possibility that the ability of college graduates to
read complex materials is declining sharply. Or so says the recent National
Assessment of Adult Literacy.
If the Assessment's findings hold up, the remaining question is, of course:
Is the ability to read complex texts important in the 21st century? And if
it is, are the digital natives well equipped for survival, much less
leadership, in the 21st century?
One popular and increasingly influential retailer of the thesis that the new
generation of cell phone and iPod and computer communicators is a new breed
of human with facilities adapted to work and citizenship in the 21st century
is Mark Prensky
"Multitasking" means to Prensky the ability to IM with friends while
attending to a college lecture or reading a book. Or getting all that a
television documentary has to offer while attending to the captions
College faculty throughout the US, and perhaps elsewhere where the new media
are ubiquitous, will testify to the difficulty the digital natives have with
the printed word. They resist reading even moderately difficult texts, and
often refuse to buy textbooks, sometimes acknowledging that the words on the
pages make little or no sense to them.
The digital natives may be analog immigrants
If this is so, if there are several grains of truth here, what should our
colleges and universities do about the New Illiteracy?
Two possibilities quickly suggest themselves.
The first: acknowledge that print literacy is dissolving and eroding and
morphing into something else, and convert instruction and instructional
media to that something else.
The second: acknowledge that print literacy is the central literacy needed
by those who function in the 21st century, and turn the attention of our
best minds to the problem of how to save and enhance it.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The WGIG-ians have published a book on IG from our perspective. It's quite good, even the bit I wrote.
Check it out.
Friday, December 16, 2005
of BCT Partners and board member of NTEN, last night was voted the
winner on Donald Trump's APPRENTICE program.
Andy Carvin writes "he's bringing
awareness to the role African American entrepreneurs are playing in
technology activism and the digital divide."
William Lester writes "It was an impressive accomplishment - the competition was strong and the tasks daunting. For those who know Randal personally,the win should be no surprise. Randal's skills and talent are matched by his fairness, warmth, and commitment to helping others."
See more on Randal here:
Being in these networks is interesting - I get to interact with such diverse and interesting people.
My profile on DDN is here - I don't blog there, as it is too time-consuming to blog everywhere, and my personal blog contains EVERYTHING I want to write about... much easier to manage.
*INTERVIEW:From Geek to the WSIS Gender Caucus*
Jac sm Kee grabs a conversation with Jacqueline A. Morris during WSIS
PrepComm3 at Geneva, and finds out about how a girl from Trinidad &
Tobago ends up being a gender & ICT advocate, her insights about the two
priority issues in WSIS Phase II � financing and internet governance �
as well as the efficacy of the WSIS Gender Caucus.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
So I skipped the other farewell events (gift exchange etc) to go to my room and try to stretch out my back. Got up early to make the American Eagle flight. The Admiral's club is fabulous - I was in it in Santo Domingo (free wifi) and in San Juan (where I'm posting this) not free but not expensive either.
So - off to glorious T&T. Can' t wait to get back home and sleep in my own bed.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I just got this link kind of as a joke. But... read carefully - it is quite serious with regard to the development and community action suggestions for the Cedros area.
Nice site as well - only problem - who is responsible for this? No names are on the site. That's bad.
One case where different is no way better.
It's being held at the very cool Hilton Costa Caribe Coral All-Inclusive resort in the Dominincan Republic. It's PINK! Very pink. Nice though, and it's very comfortable to not have to carry cash around.
So - I got here last night, got my room, wandered around a bit, had some of the Mexican night buffet, blew off the show, the disco and the casino and collapsed into my very comfy queen-size bed (the room has 2 of them)
And then after an OK breakfast buffet (high protein, low carbs) I am here in the meeting room.
First off is the reporting (in 3 laaguages) of the workshops held yesterday - but there is at least simultaneous interpretation, so I follow at least the language (I missed the workshops yesterday, being stuck in JFK airport)
So - after this, we break up into working groups to discuss other items - but the problem is that we no longer have interpretation - and I don't speak French, so I miss more than half of the discussion. (I'm in a Francophone-run group).
The meeting is to generate ideas to incorporate cultural diversity in ICT4D projects in the Caribbean sub-region. So they are working on a lot of diverse fronts. There's already been a discussion on the different kinds of creole that exist, and if speakers of different kinds of creole can understand each other.
Hmmm... and I find it difficult to understand even the people in the room.
It's definfitely interesting to note that I do understand a lot of the people in Latin America, but not understanding the ppl right here in the Caribbean. So - have I been looking too far away to the South and not noticing those right here - my close neigbours?
Will think more on that in the next 2 days...
Chairman of ALAC on the difficulty of getting any feedback from the ICANN Board (apparently even notice of receipt is difficult to get)
�I HOPE THAT WE DON�T HAVE TO GO TO THE OMBUDSMAN TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT HOW THE BOARD IS CONSIDERING WHAT WE SAY.�
And this is the response from the ICANN chair -
Vint Cerf gave a very enlightening answer: �...AS I HAVE LISTENED TO MANY OF THE EXCHANGES THIS WEEK, I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT WE SOMETIMES DON�T UNDERSTAND THAT A PARTY WHO HAS SAID SOMETHING IS ALSO LOOKING SPECIFICALLY FOR A REPLY�
THIS IS NOT TO EXCUSE ANYTHING, BUT WHEN WE � IF WHEN YOU ARE COMMUNICATING SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY TO THE BOARD AND AN EXPLICIT RESPONSE IS EXPECTED, PROBABLY IT WOULDN�T HURT TO SAY THAT, JUST TO UNDERSCORE THE POINT.�
So - basically, when you send comments to the Board, make sure that the document ends with:
"looking forward to your prompt response"
Otherwise they won't realise that they need to respond!
What a place!!
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Kieren is very cool - you should all read his stuff in the Guardian, the Register etc.
Head claims ITU will be in charge in five years
By Kieren McCarthy in Tunis
Published Monday 21st November 2005 14:30 GMT
Get breaking Internet news straight to your desktop - click here to find out how
The ITU has refused to accept the internet governance consensus reached after torrid negotiations during its own summit process, further damaging its credibility in eyes of the net community.
Speaking at the closing press conference for the World Summit in Tunis, ITU secretary-general Yoshio Utsumi said that while it would continue to discuss issues in the newly created Internet Governance Forum (IGF), an increased "regionalisation" of the internet would mean the ITU will be called upon to take over in five years' time.
"The internet need not be one Net controlled by one centre," he said. "Regionalisation has already started and I suspect in a few years, the simile of the internet will be a quite different one."
As an example of this "regionalisation", Utsumi, a Japanese national, brought up the controversial topic of China's efforts to create a form of intranet within its country in order to more easily control access to information. "In China, they have already started on a Chinese address not provided by the so-called global ICANN system yet."
Claiming that domestic networks were "more efficient and economical", he then tried to draw a parallel to the existing telephone system, saying: "Telephone networks are made up of regional, domestic networks united together in agreement of the ITU framework. A similar situation may start with the internet." And, in that case, "the role that the ITU plays for the international telephone network will be called upon."
The statement is a depressing pointer to the fact that the four-year debate on net governance, which ended in agreement on Tuesday with only hours to go, may have achieved very little. Utsumi effectively said that the international consensus reached was the wrong one.
It is the second time recently that the outgoing head of ITU has made a major blunder with regard to net governance. At the end of September's PrepCom meeting in Geneva, Utsumi told the assembled world governments that the ITU was ready to take over running of the internet.
It was this bold and unthinking statement that lent much of the power behind the subsequent lobbying for the existing infrastructure to be retained - a view that eventually prevailed. There are very strong historic reasons why people do not wish the ITU to be involved with the internet in anything but an advisory role. If it were up to the ITU, the internet as we know it - a vast, cheap, interconnected network - simply would not exist.
In the early days of the net, the ITU saw the network as an extension of the international telephone network that it oversees. It foresaw - and heavily pushed - the image of a network where governments and telephone companies controlled the means of access, something that would have resulted in enormous connection charges and greatly reduced individual freedom on the Net.
In many ways, the ITU is the antithesis of the culture borne up through the dedicated engineers and academics that created the Net and for that reason the organisation will remain public enemy number one in many people's eyes.
Utsumi's comments will not only uphold that view but strengthen it because they come after an exhaustive discussion process that clearly rejected the notion of ITU control.
It will now be up to the new head of the ITU, to be chosen in just under a year's time, to try to repair bridges if the ITU is to have any credibility within the internet community.
You can listen to Utsumi's exact words here.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Here's the full press release of the new appointments to ICANN, including me!
4 November 2005
After a thorough period of outreach, consultation, recruitment, and evaluation, the Nominating Committee (NomCom) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today its final selection of four 'slates' of Nominees for four of ICANN's leadership bodies: the Board of Directors, the Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the Interim At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). The Nominees will join the already seated members of these bodies on 4 December 2005 at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting of the ICANN in Vancouver, Canada.
ICANN is a not-for--profit organization responsible for coordinating the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses that are used to reach all computers on the Internet. ICANN's mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of these unique identifier systems, which are vital to the Internet's operation. In addition, ICANN coordinates policy development related to these technical functions.
"We are pleased that excellent candidates from all five geographic regions participated in this third NomCom process," said Nominating Committee Chair and spokesperson George Sadowsky. "Such participation reflects the Internet community's considerable reserve of talent, experience, and willingness to undertake these volunteer leadership roles essential to ICANN's evolution and continued technical coordination on behalf of the entire global Internet user community."
Njeri Rionge (Kenya, Africa)
Susan Crawford (USA, North America)
Terms: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2008
Slobodan Markovic (Serbia and Montenegro, Europe)
Term: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2008
Avri Doria (USA, North America)
Sophia Bekele (Ethiopia, Africa)
Term: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2007
Interim At Large Advisory Committee
Jacqueline Morris (Trinidad and Tobago, Latin America/Caribbean Islands)
Alice Wanjira (Kenya, Africa)
Siavash Shahshahani (Iran, Asia/Australia/Pacific)
Terms: Conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2005 until conclusion of ICANN Annual Meeting for 2007
Biographical information on the Nominees will soon be posted on the NomCom web page.
In response to its Formal Call of 22 April 2005, the NomCom received 72 Statements of Interest and selected 8 outstanding individuals for staggered terms in these leadership roles in ICANN. The terms range from twenty-four to thirty-six months in length. Two individuals were selected to serve on the Board of Directors; three individuals were selected to fill seats designated for individuals from the Latin America, Asia Pacific and African regions on the Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (which coordinates participation by individual Internet users in ICANN's activities); one individual was selected for the Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (which administers and coordinates the affairs of the ccNSO and manages the policy development process of the ccNSO); and two individuals were selected for the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (which develops policy concerning domain names in generic top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz).
The NomCom was asked to find high-caliber, experienced, open-minded men and women with integrity, sound judgment, and objectivity. "The committee focused on the careful selection of slates of candidates whose skills and perspectives complemented each other and who fulfilled the ICANN criteria and eligibility requirements for each of the four roles to be filled, keeping all the candidates under consideration until the final slates were chosen," Sadowsky explained.
Through these strategies the NomCom pursued its dual charge: to balance the ICANN leadership selection processes which are based on Supporting Organizations and Constituencies and to help ensure that ICANN can benefit from the leadership of the men and women of the highest integrity and capability who place the interest of the global Internet community ahead of any particular interests. These carefully selected slates will help ICANN ensure functional, cultural, and geographic diversity in its policy development and decision-making as the Internet itself evolves.
The Nominating Committee:
An independent Nominating Committee is a key element of the ICANN structure. It is composed of a diverse set of individuals chosen by the groups and entities that make up ICANN. The NomCom is charged to act in the interests of the global Internet community rather than in accord with specific interests. On a long term basis, the committee is presently responsible for selecting 8 of 15 Board Directors, 5 of 15 Interim ALAC Members, 3 of 18 ccNSO Council Members and 3 of 15 GNSO Council Members. In the current process, 8 of these positions needed to be filled.
For more information about the Nominating Committee, its members, the formal call for statements of interest and its procedures, please visit its web page at http://www.icann.org/committees/nom-comm/. Further questions or requests for information can be sent via e-mail to nomcom-coordinator@xxxxxxxxxx
NomCom Selection Statistics:
Total Number of Candidates: 72
Geographic Distribution of Candidates Geographic Distribution of Selected Nominees
Africa 16% 37.5%
Asia/Australia/Pacific 21% 12.5%
Europe 23% 12.5%
Latin America/Caribbean Islands 6% 12.5%
North America 35% 25%
Total: 100% 100%
Citizenship of Candidates:
35 Countries: Argentina, Australia, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Peoples Republic of China, Portugal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, USA.
Citizenship of Selected Nominees:
Gender Distribution of Candidates Gender Distribution of Selected Nominees
Male 84% 25%
Female 16% 75%
Total number of recommendations: 16
Total number of persons recommended: 15
Total number of persons recommended who became candidates: 11
Percentage of candidates coming from recommendations: 15%
This is interesting as the Caribbean is starting to move forward in the digital world following WSIS. Why is the US looking to stop it? They've already killed most of the agriculture. Should we only rely on Tourism? I think not. Let Antigua move ahead and more power to them. I hope though that they will ensure that the benefits are put back into the country to increase the wealth - education, public works,etc.
Dec 2, 05: ST JOHNS, Antigua: Antigua will continue developing its Internet gambling industry despite pressure from the United States to prohibit the practice, the finance minister said Wednesday.
Finance Minister Errol Cort said at least 10 new online gambling companies will open on the Caribbean island next year, joining 14 others that already have been granted operating licenses.
Cort said the new companies will generate some 500 new jobs and more than US$2 million (euro1.7 million) in gambling licenses fees.
The United States contends that Internet gambling should be prohibited because it violates some U.S. state laws. Antigua says the U.S. position is contrary to global trade rules.
Antigua's has taken the dispute to the World Trade Organization, which has yet to rule on the matter.
Addressing Parliament during his annual budget presentation, Cort said the government will tightly regulate Internet gambling to meet "the most stringent international ... practices."
No US federal law prohibits gambling, which is regulated by state law. In many states, gambling is banned or permitted with restrictions.
In 1996, when US lawmakers first sought to control Internet gambling, 30 Web sites received bets totaling US$30 million (euro25 million).
The Internet gambling market is expected to grow to US$18.4 billion (euro15.6 billion).
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Seeing ICANN from the inside is very different. It is such a complex structure - it will take me ages to figure it out - how all the different consituencies and councils interact and who's responsible for what and reports to whom and represents whom.
Politics are present again. Is there any place where politics aren't involved?
The hot button issues now are:
The ICANN/Verisign Agreement - ICANN has been defending itself in lawsuits from Verisign for a while now. This has been distracting ICANN from getting on with business, so that the Board pursued a settlement in order to get these lawsuits off their backs. BUT - there are a lot of problems apparently with the agreement as it exists. I will go more into that in another post, but in the meantime, see the proposed agreement and post comments on the ICANN website.
ICANN Structure - ICANN after the WSIS process needs to undergo some more reform. How do we manage to get a true multistakeholder process going in ICANN? So far it's a private company with a Board of Directors - should Government representatives (especially) and Civil Society representatives be allowed voting positions on the Board?
ALAC Structure - there has been a lot of discussion on the At Large Structure - right now, it's organised as: organisations join as At Large Strutures, then they form Regional At Large Organistions, which send representatives to the At Large Advisory Council, which then has a liaison with the Board. This seems too removed for some ALAC members. BUT I think that we need to adopt the idea of "don't wash dirty linen in public!" If we continue to badtalk our own organisation to other groups, we weaken our position. This is BAD.
That's what I've got to so far.