Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VoIP on a bike

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A bicycle-powered, Linux-based VoIP system: not your usual high-tech architecture. But what if you were one of the more than 1 billion people living without electricity? No power, no phone.

The mission of Inveneo, a nonprofit group of inveterate high-tech adventurers, is to bring developing communities that never reached a 20th century level of infrastructure into the 21st century. Its bicycle-powered system brings not just VoIP but also e-mail and Web browsing to remote areas, using a combination of Linux and the Asterisk open source PBX.

Inveneo puts everything together with off-the-shelf hardware that is low-cost, easily replaced, and — it is hoped — easy to troubleshoot and fix. It uses Wi-Fi networking to route traffic to a central hub with existing phone infrastructure, with a range as far as 100 miles.

The bicycle, mostly used as a backup to solar power, gives the rider one hour on the phone for every 15 minutes of work. In a village, a user might trade pedaling time for phone time — or get paid by someone who wants to use the phone but doesn’t want to work so hard.

When, at a meeting with Inveneo, I suggested that instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to hit a comet 83 million miles away, the U.S. government should support efforts such as Inveneo’s here on Earth, developer Michael Meisel took umbrage. He pointed out that if we didn’t pay for high-tech research none of the equipment Inveneo is using would exist.

Instead, according to Inveneo CEO Mark Summer, the goal is to get NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) such as ActionAid interested. Inveneo might have an impact on 10 villages, but ActionAid can fund and deploy communications systems to thousands of villages. In addition, Inveneo is working with Cisco to bring what it calls ICT (infrastructure and communications technology) to a half-million schools in Africa.

By connecting remote areas of the world, Inveneo’s efforts will help to improve the health, education, and business opportunities of millions of people. For companies such as Cisco, that’s a smart investment; because when these 1 billion to 2 billion people become connected, they will in short order become consumers.

It is estimated that in 10 years, the combined populations of what we call developing nations will make up 70 percent of the consumers in the world. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if those consumers were familiar with your products and services.

If you are interested in what Inveneo is doing, I suggest you look around its site. I’m sure it will be worth your while in the not-too-distant future.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • 6 Excellent Console Linux File Managers
    A console application is computer software which can be used with a text-only computer interface, the command line interface, or a text-based interface included within a graphical user interface operating system, such as a terminal emulator (such as GNOME Terminal or the aforementioned Terminator). Whereas a graphical user interface application generally involves using the mouse and keyboard (or touch control), with a console application the primary (and often only) input method is the keyboard. Many console applications are command line tools, but there is a wealth of software that has a text-based user interface making use of ncurses, a library which allow programmers to write text-based user interfaces.
  • PHP Tour 2016 Clermont-Ferrand
  • Enlightenment's EFL Getting New DRM Library
    Chris Michael of Samsung has been working on a new DRM library for the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) with a number of improvements. The initial implementation of this new library, Ecore_Drm2, has been added to EFL Git.
  • Antergos 2016.05.28 Screenshot Tour
  • Gentoo Linux 20160514 Screenshot Tour
  • First coding week with openSUSE, Google Summer of Code
    Embedded below is the blog of Google Summer of Code student Martin Garcia Monterde. Martin detailed his first week coding with openSUSE and the Google Summer of Code.
  • OpenPHT 1.5.2 for Debian/sid
    I have updated the openpht repository with builds of OpenPHT 1.5.2 for Debian/sid for both amd64 and i386 architecture. For those who have forgotten it, OpenPHT is the open source fork of Plex Home Theater that is used on RasPlex, see my last post concerning OpenPHT for details.
  • vcswatch is now looking for tags
    About a week ago, I extended vcswatch to also look at tags in git repositories. Previously, it was solely paying attention to the version number in the top paragraph in debian/changelog, and would alert if that version didn't match the package version in Debian unstable or experimental. The idea is that "UNRELEASED" versions will keep nagging the maintainer (via DDPO) not to forget that some day this package needs an upload. This works for git, svn, bzr, hg, cvs, mtn, and darcs repositories (in decreasing order of actual usage numbers in Debian. I had actually tried to add arch support as well, but that VCS is so weird that it wasn't worth the trouble).

Google and Oracle

Leftovers: OSS

Security Leftovers (Parrot Security OS 3.0 “Lithium”, Regulation)

  • Parrot Security OS 3.0 “Lithium” — Best Kali Linux Alternative Coming With New Features
    The Release Candidate of Parrot Security OS 3.0 ‘Lithium’ is now available for download. The much-anticipated final release will come in six different editions with the addition of Libre, LXDE, and Studio editions. The version 3.0 of this Kali Linux alternative is based on Debian Jessie and powered by custom hardened Linux 4.5 kernel.
  • Regulation can fix security, except you can't regulate security
    Every time I start a discussion about how we can solve some of our security problems it seems like the topics of professional organizations and regulation are where things end up. I think regulations and professional organizations can fix a lot of problems in an industry, I'm not sure they work for security. First let's talk about why regulation usually works, then, why it won't work for security.