User:Mchua/Braindumps/Story Jam New York

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The short:

OLPC and UNICEF are running a hackathon next month - last weekend in March, 28-30. (at the UNICEF office in Manhattan). The focus is on storytelling (open-content-licensed, of course) and open-source/open-hardware tools that facilitate youth communiation.

Some of these tools under development involve hardware, so we'd love to have a hardware track at the hackathon - if you folks might be interested in running it. All the folks working on pulling the hackathon together are software folks, with the exception of myself (I'm an electrical engineer) and I'm trying to pull the whole darn event together and don't have the bandwidth to run a separate EE track.

As an example, there's a radio-on-a-thumbstick project - flash thumbdrive with a Linux LiveCD and a radio antennae on it, so you plug it into a (cheap) laptop and reboot, it automatically starts up radio station software where you can download podcasts/music/other-audio-streams from the internet and transmit it through your antennae (hooked to external power, I'm assuming) and voila - instant local radio station - spouting global news - in the middle of a small developing town. So that's one.

Other possible projects - there are some peripherals (USB, largely) being developed so that disabled kids can more easily use the mouse/keyboard, or make their own input peripherals (challenge: put together an AVR-based kit, for under $15, that a teenager in Nairobi could self-teach herself with to make a joystick for her brother who was born with no arms so he can blog - also need a way for the brother to blog) - there's a cell-phone-to-wiki interface (hard to describe) that could use testing/hacking... the XOs have mesh networking and there are plenty of hacking/communications potentials there... science-lab-in-a-box with simple sensors that kids could use to record experimental data about the weather, etc. in their location but also a place for them to come together and share this information (it's a story jam focused on youth communication, right? the object is to make it easy to share the data that's collected) - plenty more ideas out there we can discuss if any of you are interested.

We're also looking for people to help with coordinating filming/editing/showing, but figured the electronics would be more up NYCresistor's alley. ;)

I live and work in Manhattan, and can come out and talk with folks in Brooklyn (or wherever) if you're interested. Since we're talking a month away here, things on this have to move pretty fast - really getting things in motion within the next week or so. Could be great kickoff/first-exposure for NYCresistor to a lot of do-good groups, companies, hackers, people in the area... we expect a fair amount of press.

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