MobilED update

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MobilED update

Erik Moeller-3
Some of you may remember the project to bring spoken (synthesized
speech) Wikipedia content to mobile phones. Teemu Leinonen of the
University of Art and Design Helsinki, who is leading the project, has
informed me: "We already have the phone system to receive the SMS, to
do the calls back, TTP and system to record callers contributions."
The project now also has a website at:

They want to run a school pilot in South Africa soon. This is a very
important project as it can bring Wikipedia content to nations with
insufficient Internet access but reasonable cell phone coverage, which
includes some developing countries. Given that the system operates by
providing a free callback after you send an SMS requesting an article,
it provides almost completely free access to the content.

As noted above, the project is envisioned to allow people to
contribute in their native language, so at some point we'll have to
talk to Teemu's team about dealing with call-in contributions on the
level of our project communities.

The website has a couple of (slightly campy) demonstration videos.
Browsing around, it seems that they are using Asterisk and a
nifty-looking open source tool called "Dialog Palette" to develop the
telephony server:

The idea is that anyone can set up similar telephony services for any
kind of content, using only open source software.

To keep up to date on the project's progress, you can subscribe to
their RSS feed at:


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Re: MobilED update

Thank you for your email. I am happy to announce that the Special Projects  
committee has taken responsibility for the MobilEd effort and that Jean
Baptiste  Soufron will chair our first subcommittee, which will be handling this. I
thank  everyone who has participated in this so far, and urge them to provide
Soufron  with all the information and support necessary to make this an
outstanding  example of collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and the other  
participants in this exciting project.
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