Friday, February 23, 2018

Monthly Archives: February 2015

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The idea of running Android alongside another operating system on the PC is not new. Asus, Lenovo and others have already released a few tablets and all-on-one systems that had the ability to switch back and forth between Android and Windows Environments, but the implementations to date have been somewhat clunky.  The enterprising Team iConsole developers at Mobile Media Ventures Inc., however, have taken things a step further and released a downloadable distribution of Android that can be installed on an x86 system by end-users, and dual-booted with Windows (and presumably, other OSes, eventually). That distro is called Console OS. Console OS has been talked about before, when it first hit Kickstarter, for example, but the OS is not in the wild and ready for public consumption.

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How (and why) should non-profits become more tech-savvy? GoodWeave offers an example of how a robust tech-based system can help an organization operate at scale.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi founded GoodWeave, a non-profit which inspects rug weavers in Afghanistan, India, and Nepal to ensure that factories are not employing child labor.  The organization works with 165 exporters, monitors nearly 3,500 factories and village “loom sheds” which adds up to almost 40,000 workers throughout South Asia.
So, how does a non-profit handle all that data?  The social sector has traditionally been slow adopters of technology; managing a regional supply chain so diverse and massive is a challenge, especially with just pen and paper — the most popular method.
Nina Smith, Executive Director of the US GoodWeave office in Washington, DC, agrees. “We’ve been slow to use technology in the field for a variety of reasons ranging from the fact that we work in places where internet access and technological expertise are lacking — to financial constraints.” just released a study this week that says only 40% of the world is connected to the Internet. The vast majority are still largely offline.  Working in rural areas with such limited access to the Internet means that local staff and workers are also new to the technology.
GoodWeave, adopted Filemaker, a subsidy of Apple, to manage its massive supply chain. When a factory is identified as free of child-labor, each rug is given a unique number– a code that is entered in its database and will help GoodWeave trace the rug back to that production facility.  
The inspections include 65 data points: i.e. who constitutes the workforce at that factory, the exporter’s name running the factory, the working conditions, etc.  All of this data, of course, needs to be kept private.  This year, GoodWeave plans on equipping their field staff with tablets to record this information, a big step up from the paper/pencil model.
The GoodWeave rugs each receive a label with the unique code for the non-profit’s tracking system and for customers to see, ensuring its origins.

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When industry visionary and entrepreneur Rahul Sood parted ways with HP a few years back, post-acquisition of his boutique game PC company VoodooPC, it was clear that HP had assimilated his start-up company enough such that he felt his job was done there as CTO of its gaming PC business unit. Sood moved on to bigger things with Microsoft, eventually starting up an incubator fund group within the company that ultimately became Microsoft Ventures. It’s clear Sood doesn’t stand still for very long, and he has since left Microsoft as well, to start-up yet another gaming (hardware?) company, currently in semi-stealth mode, named Unikrn.

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