The Fox Den inside the Mozilla both at Mobile World Congress 2014 was a popular spot for developers, media and industry players where they had the opportunity to learn more about the future direction of Firefox OS through a number of closed sessions.
APC Paper and Rock were featured in their "Firefox OS Beyond the Smartphone" session where Mozilla highlighted their future plans for the OS. Mozilla expressed their excitement at the progress which is being made with Firefox OS on APC and the contribution it will play for future developments. The example of how APC and the Mozilla community have worked together to add in features for a desktop environment provides a great example of how innovation can occur in the open source world and deliver benefits for others.
Also during the session Mozilla introduced their Firefox OS tablet contribution program which VIA has partnered in offering 7" VIA Vixen tablets to those who wish to help work on defining the Firefox OS experience on a tablet. More information can be found in the Mozilla Hacks blog.
At the upcoming Mobile World Congress which will take place in Barcelona, Spain from Feb. 24-27, APC Paper and APC Rock will be shown off for closed presentation sessions inside the Fox Den at the Mozilla booth for select press, industry players, bloggers and developers where they will get an up close look at the progress which has been made with Firefox OS and APC.
In other news from MWC 2014, as part of the Firefox OS tablet contribution program, VIA will soon be offering a 7” Vixen reference tablet for developers around the world to help complete the build of Firefox OS for tablets. Developers can now apply to be a part of this program from this Mozilla Hacks blog post.Developer Reference Tablet Specifications: VIA Vixen: • 7’’ 1024x600 HD LCD screen • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 processor • ARM Mali-400 Dual-Processor GPU • 8GB storage • 1GB RAM • Cameras: Front 0.3 MP, Back 2.0 MP • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
If you are attending MWC this year, there will be presentations showcasing Firefox OS technologies in the Mozilla booth inside the "Fox Den", an interactive area with presentations every day. There, VIA will be carrying out a joint presentation with Mozilla at 4pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which you can register for at: www.mozilla.org/mwc
Firefox OS running on APC Paper and Rock has been released with complete, buildable source codes available to developers on GitHub. In order to continue to encourage community support, free APCs will be rewarded to developers that fix a known issue. A full list of issues is available here.
“Firefox OS puts the power of the Web to the people. This partnership with APC presents an exciting opportunity to help redefine user experiences on desktops around the world,” said Dr. Li Gong, Senior Vice President of mobile devices and, President of Asia Operations. “Mozilla will keep working on new features and enhancements of Firefox OS, and also provide knowledge sharing and technical support for Firefox OS and Marketplace.”
“We are excited to announce this partnership with Mozilla and their enthusiastic support to speed development of Firefox OS on APC,” said Richard Brown, VP of International Marketing, VIA Technologies Inc. “Mozilla's mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web, aligns with our vision for APC, creating the perfect combination to deliver the best of the web to desktops everywhere. We couldn’t be more excited about the future.”The first update based on the development efforts from APC and the community of Firefox OS contributors, was recently published with the following fixes: Release v1.02.01
Last weekend on November 2, Web Teach held a demo day in the South of Taiwan at Shian-Kung Elementary school in Tainan. The afternoon program gave 5th and 6th graders an opportunity to experience how the program works by playing some educational games based on the core subjects of Math, Science and Chinese which are offered through their online tutoring program. APC was used to allow the students to interact via Skype with instructors in Taipei.
Web Teach which is focused on creating equality in the education offered across all schools in Taiwan, specifically tackling a fundamental problem in reaching students in remotes areas, began their first online tutoring program in October and have two versions available. An "At School" program which provides after school tutoring to students in their school as well as an "At Home" program for students to be taught while at home.
"For our weekend event we combined the materials of what the teachers teach in the “At Home” course into a game. The teacher (game leader) was located at the National Central University in Taoyuan and connected online with Shian-Kung Elementary school, which used an APC Rock to communicate. We wanted to let parents, teachers and schools learn more about how our program works by playing without any distance limitations," said Alan Haung, co-founder of Web Teach.
The event provided a lot of fun for the students as well as spreading awareness about the program.
Here are some images from the event.
On the weekend of October 4-7, the Mozilla Summit 2013 was held in three locations including Santa Clara, California, Brussels, Germany and Toronto, Canada. The summit was held to bring developers from around the world together to connect with each other, align around the Mozilla mission, and create a shared vision of the future.
On location in Toronto was student and Mozilla User Advocacy volunteer, Joshua Smith. Joshua was one of the first Mozilla community members to begin working on Boot 2 Gecko for APC and had a running demo on APC Paper in his booth. For almost everyone in attendance, this was their first chance to see APC running the preview release of Boot 2 Gecko.
Joshua was kind enough to share his experience at the Summit, and the reaction from other community members who stopped by his booth. Read on to hear all about it:
The sound of clapping greeted my ears. I scrambled to tape up the last poster. Soon, the doors opened, and a crowd of around six-hundred Mozillians rushed into the show hall. My booth was soon being mobbed with computer gurus.
The APC booth at the Mozilla Innovation Fair was a huge success. There were many ideas that surfaced including using APCs to power kitchens, bikes, and smart TVs. There was also a general feeling of surprise at the speed of Firefox OS on a device with only 512 MB of memory. Interested geniuses benchmarked the performance with sites such as Netflix, Youtube, and Mozilla Voices. Each time, they were stunned.
I gave away five APCs at the end of the fair, and it was hard to see the disappointment of those who didn't win. B2G + APC had stolen their hearts, and they won't rest until they obtain one.
There is still much to be done, but B2G + APC has the potential to take us “where no one has ever gone before!"
Sounds like it was a great event, and we look forward to hearing more feedback from the community going forward. To check out the current status of bugs and fixes for Boot 2 Gecko for APC, please visit GitHub.
A group of young social entrepreneurs in Taiwan have come up with a great use for APC Rock. The three co-founders Alan Haung, Andrew Lin and Fred Chen have created a program called Web Teach, which is focused on creating equality in the education offered across all schools in Taiwan, specifically tackling a fundamental problem in reaching students in remotes areas. Their solution is to use the Internet to provide online teaching of supplemental courses and material to the students located in areas who do not have the same advantages as students in the major cities.
"As employers are increasingly looking for college graduates with real-world work experience we aim to use college students for our online tutors. This will provide the tutors with valuable work experience as well as provide motivated instructors for the children in the program," said Alan Haung, co-founder of Web Teach.
In order to make this happen, they have created low cost systems around APC Rock to stream the content in the classrooms and added webcams and micrphones to allow interaction between students and teachers. They have already successfully tested the model and are ready to begin implementing it across Taiwan.
"In Taiwan, education is still unfair for many students and we hope we can change it. This is our dream, our mission, our goal," said Fred Chen, co-founder of Web Teach.Check our some more images from their program here or visit them on Facebook.
Many professionals in the tech industry got their start at an early age, developing a passion for tech playing around with computers at home. The White Plains Library in New York State, who are currently using an APC 8750 to power one of their OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) terminals, have been running the summer program "Hacker Academy: How to Create and Program Your Own Computer" in an attempt to introduce teens to some of the basics in hacking and inspire a new generation of programming enthusiasts.
The program, which is the first in what is expected to be a series of exciting technology programs geared for teens, has been running throughout the month of July and wraps up today. Participants in the first Hacker Academy have been using APC 8750s as an introduction to the world of small board computers and during the 4 sessions have been learning how to hack them to boot and use Linux (Apricot).
"What is truly unique to this course is that each attendee, upon completion of the course, will get to keep the computer. Costing only $49 and being able to be displayed on a television, such affordable computers can open up the world of computing to households that would not otherwise be able to afford a conventional home computer," said Austin Olney, lead instructor of the Hacker Academy and member of the White Plains Public Library tech team which also includes John Lolis and Ryan Jackson.Sounds like a fun way to spend the summer vacation to us!