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Hacking For Humanity


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#1 Jamal H. Naji

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:39 AM

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Dear all,
Before I start this subject, I would like to say that we at RHOK need all the professionals that can help in this great cause for the humanity, enjoy reading, and may God bless you all.

In 2009 Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and the World Bank Founded the Random Hacks Of Kindness ( RHOK ), a global community of experts and volunteer technologists with innovation focused on developing practical open source solutions for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation challenges.

Since then thousands of volunteers have worked on applications that are already making an impact. I’m OK, an SMS service that lets people inform their families of their status, was used on the ground during the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010. The World Bank is piloting CHASM, software for visualizing landslide risk, in the Caribbean. Other apps have received support and interest from governments, NGOs and international organizations around the world.

The RHOK community grew rapidly in 2010 and 2011, with volunteer-organized events taking place in 26 cities around the globe, over 3000 registrants and resulting in 200 distinct projects worked on, and 29 events so far have been established.

RHOK main-stage events have been attended globally by VIPs in governments, and in the technology and development communities, and RHOK keynote speeches were given by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf.

RHOK has received over 4 million Twitter impressions and has been covered by more than 300 news sources globally, including the NY Times, Forbes, the L.A. Times, Fox, Slashdot.org, and USA Today, including feature articles by NPR and Brazil’s top technology magazine. The Washington D.C. RHOK event in June 2010 was featured on the White House website.

RHOK works by bringing together experts in development and volunteers with a broad set of skills in software development and design. The goal is to produce practical open source solutions to development problems. Events give the community an opportunity to sprint on projects, but the community continues to collaborate around the year.

In the two short years since its inception, RHOK ( Random Hacks of Kindness ) has grown into a diverse global community of experts and volunteer technologists putting their skills to work for the greater good.

An important part of that diversity is the significant number of women programmers who have come out to RHOK events to hack for humanity.
Women have traditionally been underrepresented in the global software development community. And at RHOK, we are aiming to better the statistics.


Problems we are addressing so far:
--------------------------------------------

1-Mapping needs and responses to a crisis:

Current technologies allow damage or incident reports to be mapped, providing a clearer picture of the overall situation.Since crisis response usually involves a multitude of stakeholders, COORDINATION of the response is very important to avoid duplication of efforts and ensuring that (ideally) all needs are met. Current technologies don't seem to go beyond the mapping of reports however. I believe that it would be of great use to the stakeholders involved in the response to be able to also map the NEEDED responses (e.g. in terms of number of items and their specifications required, possibly linked to a group of received reports), as well as the ACTUAL responses (by donors making funds available or local businessmen contributing some of the needed materials or even diaspora clicking on a "donate" button to contribute to the response in their community). This combined information would allow us to clearly show the gaps.A public and open source platform seems the perfect solution for this but to date I have not been able to find a solution that brings these elements together. read more here:

2-Disaster Information Provision for Patients with Chronic Disease:

In order for people with chronic disease to appropriately manage their illness there must be a stable routine. For some people with chronic disease (such as those with diabetes and severe asthma), the interruption to medication supply and health services which a disaster poses may prove life threatening. Solutions are necessary which link those with chronic disease to health information specific to their situation.
read more here:

3-Participatory Flood Monitoring and Alert System in Central America:

Belize
Guatemala
El Salvador
Nicaragua
Costa Rica
Panama
Dominican Republic

Participatory input of information, mainly by sms/web, about flood in urban and rural areas, will build a database that can be asses and consulted by organizations, government and media responsible or participating in Alert and Attention to Disaster system.
read more here:

4-Message Carrier: Messages Without Connectivity:

A disaster occurs, there is no cell phone connectivity or wireless connection as you flee the scene. You'd like to get messages out to people you are close with. The needed solution is a way to transport messages from sender to receiver when no connectivity is available (ie, through the people - like passing paper messages, but smarter and faster). read more here:

5-Bushfire Connect:

As an example, the 2009 Black Saturday bush-fires in Victoria, Australia, burnt the equivalent of 1 million football fields, displaced 7,500 people across 78 townships, resulting in 173 dead and 2000 houses lost.We know when bushfires happen, people want fast access to trustworthy information. Bushfire Connect aggregates information from multiple sources: official and social, about events and incidents such as community meetings, fires, and road closures, in a way that empowers anyone to contribute local knowledge and make informed decisions. Bushfire Connect delivers this information through multiple media such as the web, mobile devices and custom SMS. read more here:

6-Disaster Alerts - Browser & Mobile:

Show emergency alerts (hurricane, tsunami, tornado, warnings, etc) in browsers or as a Mobile Widget/Application. Constrain to IP geolocations in warning area. Start with a desktop plugin, migrate to a native browser feature, meld with CAP standard, deploy as a mobile application. read more here:

7-Bacon - Finding People:

Many victims of catastrophes, die or remain disabled due to the time that one is late in locating them.The challenge is to detect and locate the victims buried by collapsed structures, avalanches, etc., using the mobile phones, creating an application that is auto-activated under certain circumstances or situations, and that uses Wi-fi's signal or Bluetooth for such a effect. read more here

8-Missing Sidewalk Data:

There is not a way for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to provide safe and reliable walking directions. This is true because in the US, sidewalk data is very rare. Especially condition data. read more here :

9-Disaster Panel:

Central to disaster risk reduction is advocating the importance of the issue and the real time impact. The ‘Disaster Panel’ is a simple idea to communicate the current disasters that are occurring throughout the world and how your particular organization is responding (or not responding) to those events. read more here :

- RHOK Upcoming Events: here

- RHOK Guide To Experts: here

- RHOK Registration : here

- RHOK Webpage: here

_ RHOK Blog: here


Best Regards

JAMAL H. Naji

 

 

All My Previous Topics & Tutorials : here


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#2 dindin

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:30 AM

Very interesting.Thank you for the information.

#3 Master of Disaster

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:44 AM

A world class tutorialist and IT editorialist, very pro, impressed by your work and style, thank you for the valuable info. :eek:

#4 Nuno Brito

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:36 PM

Good post.

#5 steve6375

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:31 PM

re. people who have an accident whilst out hiking, etc.

Is there a website that I can log into before I go hiking. I can put in details of my planned journey and what time I expect to be back to somewhere where I have web access. I can then set up an alert.

If I am not back before the expected time, it would first email me to say that I have an alert pending. If I do not respond within say 2 hrs, it will send me an SMS message to my mobile phone to say that I have an alert pending. If I still do not cancel the alert, it will send an email or SMS message to any designated friends after say 8 hours. If I still do not respond, it would keep sending SMS/emails to all my contacts. The message would have details of my mobile phone (IMEI etc) and email addresses and my expected travel itinary. So the authorities could try to track my mobile phone and search for me.

re. loss of mobile phone network during disasters, in the past the ham radio groups have been a big help in passing messages...

#6 MedEvil

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:48 PM

If I am not back before the expected time ... it will send an email or SMS message to any designated friends

Why don't you skip the whole techno stuff, and just tell your friends, where you're going and when you're expected to be back. I'm sure, they can figure out, without a special program or service, when it might be a good idea, to launch an rescue.

Don't put so much faith in technology, people are still way, way better in dealing with unexpected situations.

:D

#7 steve6375

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:52 PM

Well, if I am on a hiking holiday or travelling by car across the Outback or where-ever, won't they get a bit fed up with me contacting them every day to say I got back OK? Or maybe I finally found a use for TwitterPosted Image

#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:57 PM

http://news.cnet.com...-9668775-2.html

:D

It seemingly didn't work out as a success...

:cheers:
Wonko

#9 MedEvil

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:16 PM

Well, if I am on a hiking holiday or travelling by car across the Outback or where-ever, won't they get a bit fed up with me contacting them every day to say I got back OK?

If your friends have a problem, with being your lifeline, you should start looking for new ones. About right now. :cheers:

:D Or use family, they're acustomed to getting annoyed by you. ;)

:ph34r:

#10 steve6375

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:43 PM

http://news.cnet.com...-9668775-2.html

:D

It seemingly didn't work out as a success...

:cheers:
Wonko


Well, the customers had to pay - so no wonder it never took off! What if it was free and the website also carried ads? When you put in your itinerary, the website could suggest places to visit, stay at or eat at, etc. and the advertisers would pay to have their ads on there (or just carry pay-per-click ads - e,g, google ads). That way it may even make a profit! You could also add daily photos so all your friends could track you (if they wanted to) and they would also see the ads too. Anyone fancy setting up a website and taking on FaceBook!

#11 MedEvil

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:12 PM

Completely agree with you, who needs a stiking lifeline, if one has to pay for it. :D

The idea with paying though adds, sound like the old saying: We don't need power plants, we get our power from the wall socket."

Yes, adds can bring the site money, but only if someone pays for the adds.
This someone will only pay for the adds, if he can make more money from it, than he pays for the adds.
He can only make money from the adds, if the users / visitors of said site, buy from him.

From the above, one can conclude, that the users will have to pay more for an add sponsored service, than for a directly payed service.

:cheers:

#12 steve6375

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:33 PM

Yes, adds can bring the site money, but only if someone pays for the adds.
This someone will only pay for the adds, if he can make more money from it, than he pays for the adds.
He can only make money from the adds, if the users / visitors of said site, buy from him.

From the above, one can conclude, that the users will have to pay more for an add sponsored service, than for a directly payed service.

:D



Wow - I didn't realise that I was paying to access Google web sites that host Google ads or play YouTube videos - that's really evil - and I didn't even notice the money going from my bank account. How do they do it?.Posted Image

#13 MedEvil

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

I said the user s not the user. If you pay nothing, someone else has to pay double.
Adds don't create magicly money.
If the site requires amount X to operate, then the adds, have to generate the amount X or the site has to shut down.
But the companies will only spend money on adds, as long as they bring customers, which generate enough profit that spending money on adds makes sense.
If the adds don't lead to business, the company will not keep spending money on them. Strangely, even companies advertising on the i-net, are in it to make money, not to give away money.
If you know of any company with a differnt business model, let me know, i know somone they can give their money to, without having to use advertising. :D


:cheers:

#14 steve6375

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:38 PM

From the above, one can conclude, that the users will have to pay more for an add sponsored service, than for a directly payed service.


Sorry, I still don't get it. The use of the web site is free to users. It is supported by users and non-users clicking of the ads on the site. Some of them may choose to buy a product or service - but that is their choice. No one is twisting their arm to buy.

Or is your argument that all adverts are ultimately paid for by the people who buy the products eventually. If so then I am afraid that is how commerce works. There are many web sites that operate on an ad-supported and click-through basis...Posted Image

#15 MedEvil

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:32 AM

I guess it's true, what they say: "There are non so blind, as those, who don't want to see." :frusty:
My point is, that not some person(s) on the other site of the world foot the bill, but the people using and visiting "The free site".

Companies keep close tabs on where they put adds and what amount of business it brings. And while this is not so easy with adds in the real world, its very easy on the i-net. Everyone, who browses to their shop comes with the reference address of where he was before.

So if noone clicks on the adds in "The free site" and buys they will know it and stop putting adds on that site.
So far clear?

Now to the second part.
A company will only spend a smaller percentage of its profit on adds.
Let's get wild and say it would invest 50% of the profit, it makes, in adds and that just on "The free site".
"The free site" requires to operate 1$ per month.
Then at least one person, using or visiting the site, has to click on an add and buy something for "cost of item + 2$"
If he were to pay the site directly, he had just to pay 1$ instead of 2$.

But what if he would have bought the item even without the add on that site?
There are all sort of models, finding the right amount of advertising for your business. One thing they all have in common, the more one invests in advertising, the higher the profit they make per item.

Businesses with a more aggressive and expensive marketing compain, will always have higher prices.
If you see an add somewhere, you can safely always assume, that what they sell, can be had cheaper somewhere else.

So no matter, how you turn it, there is no such thing as a free meal.

:whistling:

#16 steve6375

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:45 PM

"The free site" requires to operate 1$ per month.
Then at least one person, using or visiting the site, has to click on an add and buy something for "cost of item + 2{:content:}quot;
If he were to pay the site directly, he had just to pay 1$ instead of 2$.




Yes - true - but that one user who actually bought something (of his own free will) has just paid for all the other users to use the site for free for a whole month.


#17 MedEvil

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:37 PM

Yes - true - but that one user who actually bought something (of his own free will) has just paid for all the other users to use the site for free for a whole month.

Not only that, he has also paid twice the amount, he would have needed to pay, if he givin his money directly to the site.
So it may be a freebe to some of the users, but all users together, pay more for an add sponsored site than for a directly paid site.

Now lets imagine the site has 12 users. in a healthy community the burden is spead evenly. So every user has to buy something once a year to keep the site going. Each pays 2$, so the site gets 1$.
All together pay 24$ to keep a site alive that needs only 12$ per year and why? Because they think an add payed site would come them cheaper.

You though, seem to favour the idea of 11 paying members + a feeloading you.


:whistling:

#18 steve6375

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:00 AM

I favour the idea of a free-to-use site which is sponsored by pay-per-click ads - yes - correct. But I am just strange that way!Posted Image

#19 Jamal H. Naji

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:48 AM

Thank you Nuno Brito, steve6375, MedEvil, Wonko the Sane, Master of Disaster, dindin, for you comments and inputs.

@ Nuno Brito, I wonder if this can go into the weekly newsletter so we make sure all members have an idea about this subject, since we need all the help we can get for the greater good of the humanity, in this essence i would like to thank you all again, and thank all the professionals that will help in advance. Thank you.

jamal
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#20 lawtill

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:49 AM

@ Jamal

Truly impressive post/report..great information..great cause for humanity..your work is extraordinary as usual..thanks
:cheers:
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