Syntax vs Algorithm

An algorithm is a finite list of well-defined instructions for accomplishing some task that, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state.

A syntax is how you would write or define this algorithm to be understood by a computer. Visual Basic has a different syntax to C or C++ but the algorithm answer will be the same.

Drawing an analogy from real life, developing algorithm is like make plot, idea, character for the novel….and developing syntax is to start writing the novel after the idea is ready.

Yeah, it was actually as simple as that! See, I am not here to give a lecture about coding or software. I never do. I just want to draw a parallel between the binary world of 0s and 1s and the human world of a head and four limbs.

 

Let us imagine the 5-year-old us when our guardian first taught us how to ride a bicycle. It wasn’t really riding a bicycle that they were teaching us. They were teaching us the art of balancing on wheels. This was our algorithm. With the help of these first rides on the bicycle, we were equipped to ride scooters and bikes when we came of age. The scooter and bikes rides can be seen as syntaxes, utilized and safely ridden on with the help of the knowledge of the algorithm which is balancing. Tomorrow, if a new kind of two wheeler comes in the market, riding it will be a new syntax, but the same algorithm.

 

This generation doesn’t really read a lot of books. My mother, being a school teacher, however, ingrained the love of books in me and I grew up a book worm. I remember reading “The other side of midnight” by Sidney Sheldon. Larry, an ex-World War II pilot and struggling commercial pilot is heard saying that the only reason he has been hired by the richest man on the land to fly his jets is because he doesn’t want a pilot who has experience in flying the newest plane in the hangar. Rather, he wants a pilot who can learn how to fly any plane with little practice. Here, we understand the importance of algorithm.

 

They say if you have learnt Bharatnatyam for a considerable number of years, you can pick up a contemporary routine in a matter of a few days. Here, Bharatnatyam and Contemporary dance styles are syntaxes. The algorithm is the discipline a dancer has in his/her lifestyle, the body balance one learns through years of practice, the sure-footedness of the dancer. These are basic necessities of every dance style and if you have conquered one, you can conquer the others.

 

I can get carried away by examples, sorry. Now, I hope it is clear to all of you what the difference between algorithm and syntax is – in both software and real life! Needless to say, an algorithm is more important syntax and if one wants to really master something in life, one must concentrate on the algorithm. This, however, is exactly what never happens in our society. Does it never eke you to think how generations of parents have been o-k-a-y with the idea of allowing their kids to “vomit” everything out on the answer sheets in their exams? Did one parent ever ask their kid, “Son, you understand the Physics of cricket better than World History? Go for cricket!” Why was vomiting out random dates in pen and paper more important than really being good at something that he kid understands the nuances of?

As a teen, I had mastered the guitar. Not boasting but I was actually pretty good at it! I mastered my basics on a Spanish one and then an electric was just a piece of cake. I understood the guitar and loved it. But only if that were enough! Getting hang of a syntax with the help of IIT graduate professors who would help me crack the JEE was obviously more important! Thus, even though I never understood why –OH and -HO made up different organic molecules, I had mugged enough to not be confused by the MCQ questions during my engineering entrances. But did that help me? Will I ever be able to teach my kids organic chemistry? Maybe not, and hopefully they will get to learn exactly what their heart and mind sang to in unison.

The industrial revolution started the downfall of human reasoning if you ask me! Early man was extremely curious the first time he discovered fire. Lack of knowledge made him pray to it as it were some God, but at least he gave fire a reason. When line production came into the picture in the 19thcentury, a worker in a factory fitting the screws in a bike engine never questioned why the screw went where the screw went. Thus, syntax was more important than an algorithm to earn bread for the family. This worker went back home and thrashed his son who asked where the sun hid at night. “Draw the sun,” he must have said, “you will get grades for drawing it, not writing about its absence!” This was the rise of the world of syntaxes. Algorithm had no place. A few that broke out of the reign of syntaxes got the Nobel prize, the Man Booker Prize, etc. but obviously after being called a freak a few million times!

I cannot change how the society functions. But I can request – the next time you learn something, make sure you can teach someone else the same thing.

Yes, S(He) Can.

In 2012, Sheryl Sandberg was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and I sat back in satisfaction, women had conquered technology. And yet I was wrong. It will take us just as much time to be accepted as astronauts leading space expeditions as it took us to accept the superiority of our bodies.

Yet, we are trying. I see women studying mechanical engineering though the helmets in factories were clearly meant for men and often slide off their heads. I see girls topping Computer Science exams year after year though boys claim to have a patriarchal monopoly on computers. Mother adopted the smartphone with more ease than a father.

The man reached the moon because a woman named Margaret Hamilton sat down and did the coding for the rocket. But men took away the recognition. That’s alright. We’ll get there.

Today, women are contributing at par with men in various communities across the world, towards technological advancement, internet accessibility and free knowledge. We have always been givers – givers of life, givers of delicious food and givers of unconditional love. It was only fair that we didn’t stop ourselves from contributing every bit of our knowledge towards the greater good.

 

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Shot during: #helloweb Curriculum Design Hackathon at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India.

 

Millennials have accepted more than any other generation in history. Millennial women are fighting more for their rights than any other generation in history. So, yes, we’ll get there.

 

Mozilla Festival 2016: Reflections

Mozilla’s annual global festival known as the MozFest is dedicated to building a pathway to the future of the open Web. Once every year, passionate technologists, educators and creators unite to brainstorm innovative solutions for the Web’s most pressing issues. Topics like privacy, ethics, literacy and economy on the Web are discussed, debated over and solutions are created for the same.

MozFest 2016 was a diverse, highly interactive event which, I am sure is safe to say, had more in store than its participants had imagined. The festival kicked off on 28th October 2016, a Friday evening with a science fair, where attendees could stroll around and check out presentations on inspiring ideas and projects, many of which were developed at previous MozFests. The weekend was filled with participant-led sessions that generally ran between one and three hours.

Sessions were organised into spaces — physical and thematic learning hubs based around a broad topic, like science, art, or journalism. Ongoing, interactive experiences were woven between spaces, connecting thematic threads and allowing participants to explore topics in a self-directed way.

Some people chose to enjoy MozFest by completely immersing themselves in a single space, while others liked to roam around the venue. Both options were equally welcome.

The festival wrapped on Sunday evening with a demo party, where we showcased and celebrated what we had built together.

I was invited by Mozilla Foundation to talk in the “Demystify the Web” space. This was my first trip abroad and it gave me a great sense of pride and self-esteem as I was one of the youngest and the only Indian participant at the fest. I would like to share my session here.

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Let’s start with the basics. What are Mozilla Clubs?

Mozilla Clubs are a global network of community members that share Mozilla’s mission to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Mozilla provides free training and resources to help clubs succeed and grow digital literacy in community spaces.

Mozilla Clubs are a unique and personal way to teach the Web in local communities. They are made up of technologists, thinkers and builders working together to keep the Internet alive and accessible, so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the digital world.

As successful and united as the clubs have been in the past operational years, there is always a flip side to the coin and our duty is to reduce the probability of the flip side turning upward. Let us discuss the problems one by one:

  • Feedback: Mozillians are good at hosting Mozilla events and have contributed highly towards their local communities in the past. Pos these events, we have an event report which is submitted by the Club Captains. However, the question remains: do we actually analyse what went wrong or could have been better in the last event and what can be done to kerb these shortcomings in the next one? Firstly, we don’t have parameters for the feedback. Feedback should be much more categorised. If wifi was used, was it good? If a guest had come, did we take his/her feedback? Did the volunteers know what they were doing or as there chaos till the last minute? Approaching the event as a trial-and-error experiment can be a way to improve any and every event. Clubs don’t do this but should definitely keep it in mind.
  • Incentives and recruitment: In Kenya, incentive and recruiting in Mozilla clubs are rampant and encouraged amongst its members. They try to come up with solutions to problems or situations in Kenya with the help of corporates. This was also spoken about in Mozfest 2016. This is a groundbreaking situation where community leaders have joined hands with money building giants to come up with something better for the society. This is unlike several other countries where open source communities and corporated are yet to bury the dagger between them.
  • India has the maximum number of Mozilla contributors in the world. However, most clubs have low growth which means that we stop at a point and do not reach out to the remote areas where the reach of the open web source and localisation is important. For instance, West Bengal doesn’t reach out to Sikkim or the other North Eastern states though Bengal has a thriving Mozilla club! Thus, we have missed out on a great opportunity to collaborate with the culturally rich hilly regions of our country. This is, unfortunately, a global problem and seeks immediate attention.
  • Leadership and mentorship: Mozilla clubs were never meant to be “led” by a particular individual. It is a group effort and everyone in a club can contribute towards and lead various projects according to their interests. It’s not just the club captain who has to lead. Club captains ensure the smooth running of the club. However, only the continuous efforts, enthusiasm and foresightedness of the entire club will lead to its success!

mozfest2

There are 1000 different problems and most of them have the commonest of solutions. One solution that I strongly suggest is the localisation of teaching kits. Every Mozillian should get a chance to introduce new teaching kits. Here’s why. Suppose that student from Kenya and Bangladesh are comfortable being taught the same thing in two different ways owing to their lifestyle, language and culture. Localisation of language is working well at the moment. However, I suggest that the entire teaching kit needs to be localised for max results. Steps on how to prepare a teaching kit must be made available for Mozillians so that each and every member of the world’s largest open source community is equipped to create a teaching kit most suitable for his/her community.

My plan for the following one year until Mozfest 2017 is to look back, introspect and run again. In technical terms, I plan on 6 months of ideation and building of new ideas and prototypes and follow it with 6 months of teaching and activism.

I don’t say it will be easy, I just hope it will be worth it.

Maker Party Chennai 2016

They often say, “Seize the moment”. I disagree. I believe that the moment seizes us. Small insignificant incidents in life change us. Make us who we are. With each passing day, we carry a new stone on our shoulders, we let go of a new helium balloon in the sky. Friends and family who see me today say, “You’ve changed.” I believe that people don’t change. They just become more of who they are destined to become.

When I sat for a MakerParty for the first time in 2014, it was a cool winter night (not that a Chennai person knows what winter feels like!). I was dressed in a navy blue T-shirt – my eyes giving away exactly how lost I was amidst hundreds of other technocrats discussing things that anyone without profound knowledge of the subject would have passed a judgement that we are only a bunch of sociopaths.

Gandhi had once confessed that even after delivering hundreds of speeches, he would still stay awake the night before his next speech, rehearsing, fighting stage fright, rehearsing again. This man with minimal onstage confidence managed to win freedom for a country which today boasts of a 1.28 billion population of free citizens. I am but only trying to motivate the youth.

At 20, I believe I have not achieved enough. And yet, thank God I am only 20! I have enough time left to leave a faint mark on my timeline. No one ever willingly becomes responsible, maybe why the term “rich spoilt brat” was coined. Responsibility is either a) thrown on your shoulders because you were destined for it or b) given to you for lack of a better shoulder. Both happened to me and the rich spoilt brat became a responsible 20 year old.

You will learn as much as a leader as you will as a follower. As you make a leader out of yourself, you learn in the process. I have seen myself grow, I have seen myself get up from the audience seat and take the stage. I have seen myself making a mark in people’s lives. I have seen people laugh at my jokes. I have seen India’s future twinkling in the eyes of an 18 year old. We live for these moments really, these are moments that seize us, don’t you agree?

As I have successfully been able to change my role from a follower to a leader, a student to a businessman, a party animal to a philanthropist, I have seen myself become more of what I am destined to become.

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I have often been asked, “How did you do everything that you did?” I usually do not reply. People do not like to hear the truth. The truth, if you care, is that if you are willing to give up on sleep, leisure and pleasure, if you are ready to keep at a problem for 20 hours straight, if an error free algorithm gives you the high that grass cannot, if you manage to accept 1999 rejections in the hope of the 2000th acceptance, you will get there – today or in twenty years. There are no miracles or child prodigies, no stones or mantras, no karma or dharma.

It’s this simple: Input -> Process -> Output.  

2014 to 2016 was an entire phase of transition and so was my co-workers, some where there some were not, some left while some held me no matter what. I’ve been supported by a bunch of young minds who have the urge to learn and too aspire to give back to the society.

The stupidest man on earth is the one who believes he has learnt enough, achieved enough, seen enough. I believe in superpowers – perseverance is mine. I wanted to host a Maker Party, and I did.

I have been working closely with Julia Vallera from the USA. With the help of her guidance and ideas, I was able to conceptualise, plan and execute Maker Party Chennai 2016.

My focus of this event was to empower the youth of today, the pillars of India tomorrow. I believe that telling youngsters what they should do is not the solution. I believe in letting them get an objective view of a particular situation and allowing them to decide how and what to do with it. This time, we engaged students in copyright issues, hacking business problems and other real time problems and induced an environment where problem solving set the mood of the venue.

From the spectator’s glasses, I could see an India that thinks, and leads.

Jeyanthan,CollabNet who was about to leave for Berlin that night itself, managed to come and deliver a talk on Git Versioning , and indeed I feel thankful for his presence.

Varun Raj, Skcript had been associated with me since the HTML5 Hackathon scheduled on late February 2015 was also there to give  a a talk on Web Apps.

A bunch of activities to solve realtime problems were designed by Mozillians for the entire event that would be quite relevant to the budding Open Source enthusiasts.
Read more : here

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The much awaited evening was concluded by a fantastic drone show  by Strom RC and another feather to my cap. The positive feedback post event from my mentors and colleagues made me realise yet again – it’s these small moments that you live for. That you die for.

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Cheers to the team

Sourath | Ashun | Shreenath | Adwitiya | Rayan | Rohit | Kaushik | Kalyan | Jenny

            Debol | Aditya | Shikhar | Farag | Raj | Venkatgiri | Shubham | Azhar

 

 

Mozilla Hello Web – Inspiring Minds,Enriching Lives.

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Mozilla Hello Web at Girl 2B Foundation,Tollygunge.  |  Picture by Anirban Saha

The Internet – Catalyst to Connectivity. It has made connecting with other humans, places and things faster than man in the physical world could have never dreamt of. And yet it’s here, a creation that man made but man fails to understand, and a world that rests beyond the physical realms and yet affects it with every breadth.

Success has different definitions depending on one’s environment, occupation and even age. While topping in class is success for a 10 year old, buying his dream car is success for the same lad two decades later. However, business bibles around the world arguably agree that success is directly proportional to the amount one is able to give back to society against what society has offered him/her to help them climb the ladder.

Humanity is based on the very foundation of human beings successfully shading off their selfish instincts to do good for others. Humans go through extraordinary measures to provide the underprivileged with the basic amenities of life. And sometimes, an idea changes the world for the better.

This is a small anecdote from my life – a life that I wish to spend in spreading knowledge about what I know best, hoping that maybe tomorrow, one of those souls will be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

Something that I picked up from my father, I have always worked on various anthropological projects involving the upliftment of lives of children. However, it struck me that while Governments around the world were doing their best to enhance the literacy rate, the web was the next thing forward. Web literacy simply means the ability to use the internet to expose oneself to the biggest virtual platform of interaction, education, business and promotion. Only 8% of the Indian population has access to full time internet today. This also means that 92% of the population has negligible or zero access to the Web. I realised that this statistic needed some fixing, and I knew better than to waste another minute.

Digital literacy can be safely designed as the ability to functionally utilise various technological devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. which usually require a certain amount of technical knowledge to be operated. The 21st century witnessed a boom in digital technology to the extent that a typical human cannot go through an entire day without utilising at least one of these devices. Thus, if one lives in this century, whether a toddler or a grandpa – he/she must have the basic knowledge to be able to interact with other human beings or get better job opportunities. Thankfully, the Web is an easy subject to learn and developers have strived hard to make the web as easy to use as possible. Nevertheless, there still remain a section of the society for whom the web is still a luxury – and making it a right is the challenge.

I, along with their fellow Mozillians, sat through hours of brainstorming sessions trying to pin point the exact direction to spearhead their project in. Being born to Bengali parents with Calcuttan origin, I shouted out to fellow Calcuttans in the Mozilla community studying in Chennai. The idea – holding web literacy workshops in various schools and orphanages in West Bengal where, though education has seeped in, exposure to the web world is scanty.

One talk led to another and the idea became a concept. Ms Geeta, Founder, Hope Fondation, Kolkata was contacted for the possibility of a web literacy session with the children that Hope Foundation takes care of. Headquartered in Kolkata, the Hope Foundation is dedicated to promoting the protection of street and slum children in Kolkata and the most underprivileged in India.  HOPE works to effect immediate and lasting change in their lives.

By extending support to children and their communities via 60 on-ground projects, HOPE provides sustainable holistic solutions to protection and development. By providing healthcare, counselling and education, they ensure children in their care enter adulthood equipped with the tools and support they need to live healthy and happy lives. I wanted to extend my help towards digitally educating these slum children of Kolkata. Later, several more organisations were brought under this initiative.

Thus, in the heat of the Chennai sun, the entire plan of the second instalment of Hello Web – Web literacy campaign was chalked out.

The plan: to not just teach, but to enable the children to evolve around the presence of the Web. As part of this project, selected schools and orphanages would be installed with internet connectivity for a period of six months, thus ensuring exposure of children even after the workshops are over.

No one said it was going to be easy. Being the leader of this project didn’t give me the leeway to bunk academics. Juggling academics, parties and this project often left me with sleepy eyes and a happy face!

Once the plan was approved, Anirban Saha, Founder, Kolkata Bloggers, was contacted. He promised full support from the blogger community in the city towards this project. Next, local business giants were contacted to sponsor the project. Ruksana Kapadia, Mio Amore, extended her whole hearted support towards the cause. Sourcekart Founder, Mr Rahul Jhunjhunwala also extends his support as the merchandise partner of the project.

A total of sixteen volunteers, while included Mozillians and non-Mozillians committed to the project from Kolkata.

June 17 2016: Volunteers gathered at the Oxford Book House, Park Street to discuss the proceedings, content and sequence of the events. I personally feel that meetings are important for two important reasons – one, delegation of work must be sorted out before the event turns chaotic, two, people should really feel like a part of a project, even if their contribution is small. I walked the volunteers on how to use simple terms while addressing kids and use a language that the kids are familiar with.

June 18 2016: The first day of the project. Workshops were held in six different places – Ashar Alo Girls’ Home (Kalikapur), Kasba Girls’ Home (Kasba), Girls 2B Foundation (Tollygunge), Ashirvad Boys’ Home (Tollygunge), Punorjibon Reahbilitation Home for Boys (Tollygunge) and Bekind Boys’ Home (Kasba).

Catering partners Mio Amore provided cake slices and other snacks from their wide range of bakery products to the children and volunteers attending the events. Merchandise partners Sourcekart provided the volunteers with T-shirts customised for the event. About 200+ children belonging to the age group of 7-16 years of age attended the event.

The sessions started with the basics of computer – comparing the human brain with the CPU of the computer. It soon progressed to the internet, its reach, the Google search engine. Questions were thrown at the volunteers by the curious tiny minds and the crowd often broke into laughter. This was followed by quiz sessions and goodies were distributed amongst the children. Feedback was taken from the children for the first day to ensure a better second day.

Kolkata Bloggers:
The Mozilla Hello Web initiative seeks to enhance and improve the knowledge of technology-driven commodities, especially the effective usage of the internet to better understand the power of modern tools. […Read More]

June 20 2016: After a preparation break on 19th June, the crew was back on 20th June to hold the second event in the city of joy at Hope Computer Training Centre (Panditiya Place)! I took sessions personally this time. Being the Bong boy who has been struggling with broken Tamil for the last couple of years, I achieved what I thought was impossible – teaching HTML in Hindi! I exposed the kids to the concept of  X-ray goggles by Mozilla, How to design their first Web page, Google drive and how it works. Anirban Saha was present to grace the occasion and even participated in one of the sessions. The project would have been far from success had he not been present for his constant support and motivation.

Reya Ahmed :
“To learn, we have to think beyond. So, what lies beyond the disproportionate spread of education in India? Networks. Going online.”[..Read More]

Chaitali:
“More of such programs should be carried out at platforms like these and help more and more young minds use the internet for making their lives easier, better and get their works done faster.”[…Read More]

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On the 20th and 21st of June, and the Nabadisha Home (Rashbehari Avenue) on the 22nd of June.Sessions were held on the topics like Internet Privacy, How be secure on the Internet and many more. The dream was materializing and every night, I returned home sweaty and teary eyed out of happiness.

Shreyas N. Kutty, the Regional Coordinator for Mozilla Clubs and the lead of Mozilla Learning Network’s (MLN) India Task Force said of the Hello Web campaign, “The idea is to provide a basic understanding of what the web is, how it works, how to stay safe on the web, etc. It is an opportunity to educate people about the importance of Web Literacy in a fun and participatory way. The larger goal is to set up Mozilla Clubs in these setups where learners can come together once in a while and learn about the web.”

Well I can call, The Kolkata chapter was a success. Now, it was time to head towards Siliguri.

The Times of India, “Only when every youngster has access to the web and has the knowledge of its utilities, can we be proud of a truly Digital India, as has been envisioned.[..Read More]”

June 27 2016: A workshop was held at Deshbandhu Hindi High School,Siliguri with students in the age group of 12-16 years. Students were given an overview of the WhatsApp end-to-end encryption concept. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages on any digital platform. It prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service – from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation. The systems are designed to defeat any attempts at surveillance and/or tampering because no third parties can decipher the data being communicated or stored. E2EE is an extremely important system as it protects one’s privacy and avoids cybercrime. Other volunteers spoke about App Permissions & Internet privacy.

On June 28 and June 29 2016, a more specialised workshop was held with students belonging to the age group of 16-18 years who already have access to the Internet from Narayana School,Siliguri. In these sessions, volunteers tried to infuse the importance of open source communities in the minds of the kids, thus popularizing the term in their mind, hoping for the next ground breaking evolution from the next generation.

Upasya:
“In a world where Information multiplies and grows at (almost) the speed of light, it is very important for the Young minds of the nation to be able to hunt out valid as well as appropriate information on the web and put information so found to proper use.

And this, is exactly what we mean when we talk about “Web Literacy”.[…Read More]

Meghna:

“We, rather than using the traditional blackboard method, deployed interactive games and web learning kits to make the process of learning more engaging.” […Read More]

Sohinee:
“In a world teeming with people, a majority of who have adapted themselves so comfortably around the World Wide Web, that imagining a life without it is equivalent to making do without your arm or your leg.”

Pritam:
“Computer & Web Literacy has become an initial ‘base education’, especially in a developing country like India. Technology based vast communication is now at our door. We are just to grab it to continue the potential of our social development. So Mozilla is doing a great job with full energy.”[..Read More]

Rushati:
“Well, Mozilla, through its on-campus network among students in India, is attempting to bring the Web and all its myriad uses to those in India not fortunate or privileged enough to have regular access to their own computers and net connectivity.”[…Read More]

June 30 2016: A workshop was held at Army Public School (Sukna) where faculties and Principals from various schools in Siliguri, including Army Public School (Sukna), Army Public School (Bengdubi), and few more were invited. The main idea behind this workshop was that teachers spent almost eight hours with their students every day and could mould their thought process effectively. Thus, it was extremely important to convince the teachers about the importance of the concept of web literacy. As part of the workshop, teachers were given ideas on how they could use Mozilla Teaching Kits, Google for Education- Classrooms, Youtube for demonstration and smart classes for interactive learning. This day marked the end of the month long project that I and my crew spent sleepless nights on!

Being an part of the Mozilla Community, I have led various campaigns across the country till now. I have been associated with the Mozilla Clubs mentoring the Mozilla Clubs in Kolkata, New Delhi, Valsad and Chennai. Mozilla has exposed me to fellow Mozillians who will forever be my driving force and I will always try to return the favour and love I got from this community.

Thus, one idea managed to change a few hundred mind sets. Who says you are just a drop in the ocean? Strive and you can move the ocean.

This project could not have been successful without the generous contributions made by Ms Ruksana Kapadia and Mr Rahul Jhunjhunwala. We thank them for every bit of their contribution. Mr Anirban Saha has been a constant support and hope to continue our relationship in the future. The project would have been impossible without the hard work of all the volunteers and the participation of the beautiful children who graced the events with their presence.

Here’s to making the world a little more knowledgeable, the ocean – a little saltier. Cheers!

Mozilla Volunteers:-

  1. Shreenath Tewari
  2. Rayan Dutta
  3. Debol Das
  4. Sourath Pal
  5. Tamoghna Maitra
  6. Ayan Pal
  7. Farag Anjum Kureshi
  8. Rohit Guha
  9. Kalyan Maji
  10. Ashun Kothari (Gujarat Region)
  11. Shubham Bhardwaj(Jaipur Region)

Make With Mozilla-Chennai 2016

I’ve done a lot of Mozilla Web Literacy events in my college/local areas and even in many cities holding Web Literacy Campaigns in the past 1.5 years . But then it’s always that I’ve worked with a different crew for different campaigns I’ve conducted. From the land of idli-dosa-sambar to the sweet rasogulla and misti-doi, the crowd loves the Fox.

12th February 2016-Chennai
Arko: “Hey Ashun! Leadership Summits are amazing. Did you just check Shreyas’s latest insta-post?”
Ashun: “Our Super-Mentor’s Time Zone fluctuates a lot.”
Arko: “How about hosting a Mozillians Meet from the various Mozilla Clubs I, mentor for?”
Ashun: “It’s gonna be hectic bro. I guess hardly anyone has done it before.”
Arko: “ Let’s do it.”

I was counting on the days but then wasn’t much convinced with the event setup. It was my very first event on such a large scale. I struggled with the agenda, the prerequisites we could probably have for the event and many more.

20th February 2016-Bangalore
I was attending Gophercon India-2016 at Taj by Vivanta, Bangalore. The conference was amazing and so was the food. Well, I did grab a lot of goodies from the various outsourcing partners for the event. During tea-break talks people asked me about my Mozillian Story and were very impressed and also encouraged me to contribute more to the community.

Also grabbed in a chance in brainstorming ideas, about the community with my Mentor Shreyas Narayan Kutty at Cafe Coffee Day,Bangalore.

I was heading back to Chennai along with my three Mozilla Club co-workers. I proposed the idea of the event to the three of them. They were up for it at one go.

Debol: “What’s the reason behind conducting this event?”
Arko: “It’s time to change the Way, We #teachtheweb .”
Shreenath: “Make With Mozilla.”

We then discussed on the agenda and the other prerequisites we would require to conduct such an event. My homework was ready for the next one week to Google the entire Mozilla events that had happened, grab ideas/suggestions from various Mozillians.

I was convinced with the agenda and event details in a week time for Make With Mozilla and was in a state to pitch it to anyone.

Finally, pitched the idea to my Mentor, Shreyas Narayan Kutty. He always motivates me for what I’ve done and always gives a catalyst suggestion to create a spark in any whatever initiative I take up. He was also up for this event with a lot of hope.

*fingerscrossed*

I had to make, Make With Mozilla happen. I didn’t at all concentrate on the numbers but as always on the impact.

01st March 2016- Burger King, Pheonix Marketcity, Chennai.
Called for a meetup with few Mozillians suggested by my Mentor Shreyas who would help me to conduct this event. We discussed on the budget for venue, food, goodies, logistics, event setup and more. We split our tasks for the event and called for another meetup the next day.

02nd March 2016- Café Coffee Day,Ramapuram,Chennai.

Around 15 volunteers met together to discuss more on the event. We listed out the various event venue, tried reaching out to them. Few of us were busy scribbling out the budget for the goodies and food. Volunteers for the event were busy working out on the venue setup budget.

04th March 2016- Kovalam Beach,Chennai.

Chennai is famous for beaches. And the theme for the event we wanted to be quite as related to that. We were adamant in holding this event, in a beach resort unlike other events which happen mostly in corporate workspaces or star hotels.

Around 30kms away from Chennai, under scorching 38 degrees I and Azhar (Yes! He is a Mechanical Engineering student but as dedicated to the Mozilla Community than anyone else in my crew), were out in search of the Make With Mozilla Event venue. Listed out a few beach resorts/penthouses. We were not much convinced with the venue. We wanted a proper setup like the way we planned it to be.

05th March 2016-ECR,Chennai.
Add one more Volunteer, Debol Das (A Electronic Engineering Student but has been a part of many Mozilla Web Literacy initiatives already) accompanied us to figure out the venue for the event.

JJ Gardens, Beach Resort, ECR, Chennai – March 26th 2016 was the final mark we updated to our calendar for Make With Mozilla.

For the next 20 days we worked on inviting the Speakers for the event. Discussing the clear goals from the event keeping in mind the Mozilla Learning Network mission in 2016.
Developers and Designers of the MWM Crew were busy working on their domain. We had volunteers for P&R who pitched in the idea for the event in various colleges across Chennai like SRM University, VIT , Satyabhama University, IIIT and more.

March 25th 2016-Chennai
-Event Venue Setup – Checked
-Catering – Checked
-Goodies/giveaways – Checked
-Guest Speakers – Checked
-Logistics – Checked

“Phew! That wasn’t that easy. Sleepless night.”
Returned home at around 02:00AM . We all again had to get back to the venue for the final setup of MWM before sunrise.

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock———05:00AM we all left for the venue.

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March 26th 2016-The MWM Day

Most of us in the crew (myself included) were hosting a Mozilla event of this magnitude for the first time. Food, guest greeting, participant registration, stage setup. . . The list was truly endless and work relentless. But they were moments that every crew member would cherish, here you had a few volunteers putting banners and posters, few penning down the script, few analyzing those last minute alterations, some setting up the stage, while some more taking care of participants and guests.


The event started at 10:30 am and after brief Keynote/introduction to the community by Azhar & Varun Nair, our guest and Mozilla India Taskforce Lead (MLN India Team) Shreyas Narayan Kutty took over. He enlightened the participants about open source communities and Mozilla.


Mr. Varun Raj of GDG, Chennai then talked about the process of pushing code into the cloud.

To grab in the social media about the happening in and around we introduced #hastag contest with experiences the participants had. Ace Hacker offered gifts to the participants with maximum number of social media counts with the prescribed #hastags.

The gathering then departed for lunch. Red Bull geared up the participants by giving away Red Bull cans during the break with small interaction.

After lunch the the real hack began. Participants were assembled into random teams and they worked together to make something that can be used to spread web literacy, to teach the web the way want. It was really encouraging to see a gathering of more 100 students sitting together and brainstorming ideas to create something candid with volunteers and
mentors assisting them in every way possible.


The participants went over to see 3D printers print in three dimensions as Redd Robotics took an interactive session. Prasant Mohan & Chitrarth Manoharan gave an intro to the working and demo on the technology of 3D Printing by 3Ding.


Make With Mozilla officially came to an end with prize distribution by Mr. Shreyas Narayan Kutty and the formal vote of thanks by Arkodyuti Saha(me) at around 03:30 pm.

I would like to thank all our Sponsors/Event partners for all the support they have made to make Make With Mozilla 2016 happen successfully.
Sponsors & Event Partners:
1. Mozilla Clubs
2. IBNC
3. Ace Hacker
4. GDG Chennai
5. 3Ding (Redd Robotics)
6. Scrollback
7. Hey Neighbour
8. Loveink

This event would not have been possible without the individual efforts made by these people. I didn’t dream it alone to make Make With Mozilla happen. They too did. Thank-you everyone for all the support you have made for MWM 2016 to make it happen successfully.

Volunteers:
1. Azhar Shams
2. Ashun Kothari
3. Shreenath Tewary
4. Kalyan Maji
5. Rayan Dutta
6. Varun Nair
7. Debol Das
8. Franklin Francis
9. Rishabh Radhakrishnan
10. Rohit Guha
11. Vandesh Goyal
12.  Ayan Pal
13. Tamoghna Maitra
14. Venkatgiri Ramesh

and that was how we all made Make With Mozilla happen…

Find out the entire picture album on Facebook:
Make With Mozilla-Chennai 2016

MozMarchMeet

The #MozMarchMeet was organized on March 4th ,2016 at KFC,Arcot Road, Chennai. The timings were 4:00 pm to 6:10 pm.

A brief overview of the meetup that was discussed.

1. Passwords:
When creating a password, make sure it is long and strong, with a minimum of eight characters and a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

You should also remember to:

  • Not to share your password with others.
  • Make your password unique to your life and not something that is easily guessed.
  • Have a different password for each online account.
  • Write down your password and store it in a safe place away from your computer.
  • Change your password several times a year.

Other Ways to Secure an Account:
Typing a username and password into a website isn’t the only way to identify yourself on the web services you use.

  • Multi-factor authentication uses more than one form of authentication to verify an identity. Some examples are voice ID, facial recognition, iris recognition and finger scanning.
  • Two-factor authentication uses a username and password and another form of identification, often times a security code.

 

2. An Intro to Batch ProgrammingProgramming

A batch file is a kind of script file in DOS, OS/2 and Windows. It consists of a series of commands to be executed by the command line interpreter, stored in a plain text file. A batch file may contain any command the interpreter accepts interactively and use constructs that enable conditional branching and looping within the batch file, such as “if“, “for“, “goto” and labels. The term “batch” is from batch processing, meaning “non-interactive execution”, though a batch file may not process a batch of multiple data.

The filename extension .bat is used in DOS and Windows. Windows NT and OS/2 also added .cmd. Batch files for other environments may have different extensions, e.g. .btm in 4DOS, 4OS2 and 4NT related shells.

3.Internet of Things

”Everything is connected around us. This revolution has already started and it will be bigger than previous technology revolutions, including the mobile smartphone revolution. Internet of Things, as many call it today, will fundamentally affect all of us.”

Things, in the IoT sense, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters,automobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring or field operation devices that assist firefighters in search and rescue operations.

Session Facilitators:
1. Anushka Khandelwal
2. Arindam Roy
3. Jenny Savani

THE CREW

 

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#teachtheweb #Encryption #BatchP #mozchipset