A Sanguine Neurastheniac

Entries categorized as ‘Appropriate Tech’

OPW Internship: Organizing My Thoughts

January 11, 2013 · Leave a Comment

As I wrote previously, I started a work-from-home internship with the Open Technology Institute last Wednesday. The project I was placed with has me working on boosting privacy and anonymity in wireless mesh networks. I spent some time orienting myself with the task and organizing my thoughts.

The stated goal of the project is to integrate Tor with Commotion. More specifically:

Tor Integration:

Commotion mesh nodes are capable of being configured to enter directly into the Tor network. We need an intern to configure, package, and document the process of making a tor-entry node. If the intern completes this task within the time frame they will have the opportunity to tackle custom configurations that will allow for Tor exit nodes on the mesh that allow small bandwidth Tor traffic from elsewhere to be run over the network to further obfuscate it.

Great! So….what does that mean? This was a good exercise in self-management and breaking a project apart into achievable bits. I started with some clarifying questions.

  • What is Commotion and what does it do? For whom?
  • What is Tor and what does it do? For whom?
  • What is the advantage of combining them and who would be interested in using such a tool?

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Categories: Appropriate Tech · Geekery
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Site Visit with AIDG in Guatemala

February 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

Para leer esta historia en Español, por favor escribame a steph.alarcon@gmail.com y trataré traducirla!

This past winter, I spent a month in Guatemala studying Spanish, checking out appropriate technology projects, and zipping around the geologically manic country around the Western Highlands. Here’s a reportback from a visit to the offices of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG). I got to check out some prototype wind and solar designs and take a peek at their new kit-built CNC machine and custom circuit board designs.  Later, I got to poke around the office and come along on a site visit to a biodigestor installation they did outside of the city.  It lets the farmers nearby turn animal waste into organic fertilizer and cooking gas while reducing greenhouse emissions.  I got to hear about the combination of technical and user friendliness challenges they encountered and saw how the system is working now that it’s been tweaked a few times.  Pretty cool stuff.

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Categories: Appropriate Tech
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