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  • gazz 16:46 on Wed 15 Oct, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re currently welcoming new EC members! 

    We’re in the process of re-launching Fossbox’ website and some new services and we’re looking for people who’d like to get involved in steering Fossbox as we branch out into new areas. Many people know us as non-profit open-source advocates but we’ve been doing more and more work around designing appropriate open technologies for communities. So we’re looking for people who’re interested and active in East London communities as well as people who already have an interest in open tech.

    You don’t need to be at all ‘techie’ – just interested in the digital world and averagely computer-literate. Skills such as networking, fundraising, organisational development, marketing etc – and, of course, open tech – are very handy but we love enthusiasm too.

    The EC meets quarterly (sometimes more often if there’s a lot going on) and the EC steers our activities and keep us on-mission. That’s the minimum commitment (and much appreciated) but we also welcome as much hands-on involvement as you want to contribute. If you have ideas about social innovation, gender and tech, and/or live in East London and have ideas about how open technologies could benefit your local community — or just want to join in, have a look at our main website or contact us for more information. We don’t have a complicated recruitment process, just email us with a CV or for more info.

  • gazz 11:05 on Tue 14 Oct, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Screening: The Internet’s own Boy 

    A screening of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwarz followed by an informal discussion hosted by Autonomous Tech Fetish.

    Mashable called the documentary “a powerful homage to Aaron Swartz”. Its debut at Sundance received a standing ovation.  “With the help of experts, The Internet’s Own Boy makes a clear argument: Swartz unjustly became a victim of the rights and freedoms for which he stood.” The Hollywood Reporter described it as a “heartbreaking” story of a “tech wunderkind persecuted by the US government”, and a must-see “for anyone who knows enough to care about the way laws govern information transfer in the digital age”. [Wikipedia]

    Saturday, 8 November at 2pm at The CommonHouse, Unit 5e, Pundersons Gardens, E2 9QG

    Download poster here

  • gazz 13:38 on Sat 12 Jul, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: encryption, ,   

    Keep your phone private! 

    We’re facilitating a workshop to help beginners encrypt their communications on Android phones using simple point-and-click tools. From 2pm, July 13th at the Common House. More details here. Women and LGBTQ especially welcome.

  • gazz 17:49 on Mon 28 Oct, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Do you use assistive tech? Want to try your hand at product design? 

    Do you use assistive technologies? Do you have ideas about their design? Would you like to know more about ‘smart’ assistive environments and have a go at re-imagining assisted living?

    We’re bringing together product design students, architecture students, makers and coders with users of assistive technology to try to come up with some innovative prototypes. You don’t need to know anything about design, tech or coding — just bring your experience and ideas! Designers and technologists need to learn from you and we hope you will also learn more about new technologies coming down the pipeline and their implications.

    flossie logo

  • gazz 16:18 on Fri 25 Oct, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Flossie 2013 – Smart design is better shared! 

    This year’s overriding theme is connectedness — from ubiquitous computing to collaborative networks — the future is going to be communicative and all this communication is going to make our world much smarter. The ‘Internet of Things’ Smart Assistive Technologies strand at Flossie 2013 is exploring ways of involving everyday technology users in designing the ‘smart’ devices we will use in the future without needing the slightest understanding of the code, data, or engineering aspects.

    The FLOSS community used to shake its head and complain that the world just wanted to engage with their personal computers in the same way they would engage with the minimally communicative interface of a pop up toaster. This meant that control over the computers which increasingly shape our lives was effectively taken away.

    The popular simplification of smart device interfaces and social networking tools together with the emergence of SaaS has tended to confirm these gloomy prognostications and provoked much discussion recently in the Linux world. We could not, no matter how we tried, get the general public to look fondly upon acquiring technical skills as a means of controlling the technology shaping our world and, in many ways, who could blame them! It’s a bit of a heavy-duty learning-curve to add to busy everyday lives.

    As the technology gets smarter, the interfaces get simpler, more and more is hidden from the user. Yet the field of open technology and data is getting more diverse and exciting and new possiblities for involving people more widely in technology design are opening out. We want to explore ‘pain free’ ways that end users can engage creatively with smart technology design and, at the same time, give designers, coders and data-wranglers new insights into what’s needed and lots of food for thought!

    Whether this really floats your boat or leaves you adrift, we’ve organised a two-day strand which will take you through the currents in an organised and user-friendly way or more experienced coders and wranglers can dip in and out picking up just the bits which interest you:

    • Talks on smart technologies, how it all works, and the social implications
    • workshops taking you through the basics of wearable technologies, open sensor hardware and ‘big data’ from both skills-based and creative perspectives
    • Co-design workshops where product designers, artists and architects, coders, and end-users will work together to imagine and prototype new possiblities

    To sign up to participate, whether you’re close to clueless, a designer or creative, or an expert coder/wrangler:

  • gazz 13:59 on Mon 9 Sep, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , innovation   

    BGV applications open for 2014 

    I’ve been mentoring on the Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator programme this year and it’s been really exciting! Honestly, my expectations weren’t high initially – I was expecting more tech-city £££ mentality and coalition-type ideas. But I was so wrong – the projects are genuinely socially innovative and their progenitors honestly engaged with the social issues their ideas are addressing. Lily Ash Sakula has also done great work to promote women’s involvement and achieve a 50/50 gender balance this year.

    My particular favourites are the project using sensory computing to make sure firefighters are aware of the ambient temperature (as protective clothing can, ironically, end up masking danger), using mobile applications to help lift depression, an interface to make it easier to use mass education videos, a participatory project involving communities in designing the local built environment and developing a process to foster open access research publishing.

    If you have a great idea for changing the world through technology, get your application for 2014 in now – BGV will invest up to £15k in good ideas as well as nurturing you to develop a sustainable business model. More information and application details here.

  • gazz 11:35 on Tue 13 Aug, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Campus Party discounts for Fossboxers! 

    Fossbox is a Campus Party community partner and so Fossboxers are being offered 20% discount on tickets for the event. Click on the logo here and it’ll take you to the ticketing webpage where you can sign up for a discounted ticket. It’d be lovely to have lots of you there to support our panel on diversity in technology – and you might also like to hear Tim Berners-Lee and a host of other fantastic speakers as well as a roster of practical digital workshops.

  • gazz 11:14 on Tue 13 Aug, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Fossbox space – almost there! 

    Fossbox has now joined 3Space — we’re sorting out temp wifi access so we will be able to run workshops again. As soon as someone has a spare minute, we’ll set up a Meetup group to start up FOSS Fridays again. There’ll probably be a bit of a change of format and we’ll probably move from the Friday slot to mid-week. Watch this space . . .

    • Liz Pillar 07:38 on Tue 10 Sep, 2013 Permalink

      Great to hear this – I’m getting to grips with the command line but still need a bit of guidance! Please keep me informed of developments.



    • gazz 13:12 on Tue 10 Sep, 2013 Permalink

      Ooooh fantastic, so happy when women are willing to grapple the commandline :)

  • gazz 10:46 on Tue 13 Aug, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    FLOSS Glossary now available 

    The Free, Libre and Open Glossary  has just arrived in the Living Libre collection available for free download. It explains all the tricky concepts in a sensible and clear way. Many thanks!

  • gazz 20:41 on Mon 12 Aug, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Flossie 2013 tix available now 

    You can get tickets for Flossie 2013 here — follow @flossienet or #flossie2013 for updates.

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