Archive/Current Events/2015-12-17

Sugar Digest

1. Google Code-in begins 7 December. We have more than 20 mentors from the community and about 250 tasks defined across 5 categories: documentation, quality assurance, outreach, user interface, and coding. This year we have a balance between Python and JavaScript tasks. We'll be adding new tasks over the course of the next 7 weeks, so please let me know if you have Sugary things that need doing. Please do help spread the word to talented 13-17 yr olds.


2. We have seven candidates for the seven open Sugar Labs oversight board seats. I am not sure how the election committee plans to proceed -- stay tuned.

In the Community

3. Josh Burker continues to do great Turtle Blocks projects in his workshops and with his 3D printer.

4. A few weeks ago I was asked by Luis Galindo to make suggestions for the COP21 workshop in Paris. In his email, he included some wishes from students in Japan and Canada: "I need a way to produce no single waste in a class room!" and "I need a way to use human energy to power the entire physical classroom. For example, a stationary bicycle that powers a light bulb. Where each desk in the classroom allows kids to move while they work, and create enough energy to power the lights, charge their laptops (assuming they have some), or more."

My initial response was to suggest that he get his hands on a couple of OLPC XO 4s and some solar panels; he would be very close to achieving the stated goals of both students. How did we manage to get so much right in the design of the XO and Sugar: repairable (by the kids themselves), designed for a long lifetime of operation; maximizing materials that can be recycled; no toxic materials in the device (the very first laptop that could claim to be entirely lead-free, since it was the very first laptop to use a LED backlight); they form their own local network to make a collaboration and communication space and again, no need for external infrastructure or power (or exposing children to potential privacy violations). And Sugar is full of tools for doing Science. (One feature still unique in the marketplace is the ability to use the microphone port as a sensor port.

Maybe the students can do what so few ministers of education was able to do and re-imagine the classroom using a device we designed and build 10 years ago (time flies)?

As a challenge, I suggested that we need a way to measure energy consumption, waste, communication, or collaboration in the classroom as a baseline for determining the impact of the classroom of the future? Given the Paris climate summit, maybe it is time for the world to finally pick up on some of the OLPC/Sugar contributions.

Alas, the workshop was cancelled due to the November 13 attacks.

5. As I mentioned in my [[User:Walter#Sugar_Stable.2FSugar_Future|position statement], I am in the process of launching a new college for industrial design. I am instilling Free/Libre Software as a core principle of the college and I hope to be able to make Sugar be at the core of the educational technology section of the school. More on that effort soon.

Tech Talk

6. James Cameron recently announced the release of OLPC OS 13.2.6 for XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75, and XO-4 (Sugar 0.107 on Fedora 18, with a few activities upgraded). See the Release Notes for details.

Sugar Labs

7. Please visit our planet.