Wednesday, June 25

Nokia buys Symbian ... and then gives it away!

symbian_226Nokia has just bought out the rest of the Symbian partners, giving it 100% ownership of the Symbian operating system, which it plans to "give away"!

According to the The Register:

Nokia has bought up the bits of Symbian it didn't already own and is chucking the OS into an open-source foundation along with the S60 UI layer, accompanied by Sony Ericsson and DoCoMo, who are throwing in UIQ and MOAP(S) respectively.

The BBC adds

Nokia, which already owns 48% of the UK-based firm, intends to develop its software to compete with Google's planned Android operating system.

...

The Symbian foundation will bring together Nokia, AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone in collaboration on a new, royalty-free open software platform for mobile phones.

Here on MobLearn we have always been Android fans, as much for the open ethos as for the technology itself, and this news certainly adds an exciting new chapter, especially given the Android delays, and the very solid userbase that Symbian already has in the market.

small "ps": although technically "open", access to the Symbian source code is not free. You need to pay $1500 to be in the foundation. But relative to the costs of having your own OS, this must seem minor.

Geoff (with thanks to James for spotting this)

Tuesday, June 17

m-learning in South Africa

Tribal's m-learning team were invited to Cape Town to talk about innovations in learning technologies in the UK. We were part of a delegation sponsored by the DTI / TVET to build bridges between the UK, and South African education businesses

The event: CCC (a collection of FE colleges specialising in vocational training)zozo

Our message: in innovations in learning went down very well - though with some incredulity as the the budgets spent on individual students in the UK. The local minister of  education was in attendance and spent some time discussing how we might be able to help them.

Some of the slides are on our Slideshare

The mood: bizarre! There has been a swathe of investment in South African Education, though it seems to have passed the FE sector by, so they really struggle to attract and maintain talented staff. Because of this, all sorts of seemingly innocent comments by the UK delegation triggered passionate responses - with many lecturers standing up and asking the speakers for jobs!shop window

The backdrop: South Africa is in a very difficult time at the moment, with foreigners and refugees being beaten, and hounded out of all the poorer areas. I was lucky enough to be invited to several refugee centres, and to spend some time with the fascinating, but seriously concerned Zimbabweans, Malawians, Nigerians and Somalis. We wish them all well, and hope the South Africa remembers it is the Rainbow Nation!

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