Skylark RSS feeds?

Hi the usecase is something like;

Solar PAYG USB charging station in Africa with a Dreamcatcher/ lantern bolted on.

Users come to site to charge up their powerpacks, or exchange them for charged ones, they connect to Wifi for a few minutes and go home.

A RSS reader on the phone grabs the latest news and makes them available for offline reading later at home.

Is it much work to add RSS? @syed @Abhishek It would be better from a UX point of view if they didn’t require login.

RSS feeds are possible, but that’s not the real question. How do we get the receiver into the remote area and have it actually be used?

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Sam, I’ve just looked at the apk and it works well on my Android Phone. The key is to find the correct URLs for the RSS feeds. I’m trying all the RSS feeds that Othernet is currently broadcasting. The neat thing is I can download others that Othernet would have to subscribe to.

In Alaska, I was able to set my Dreamcatcher Portable Terminal on the outside deck of the ship when it was on a straight passage to suck down all the RSS feeds. The key of course was to do this when they came around on the carousel. Then, I could bring the terminal inside (not looking at the satellite) but running its Hotspot for other passengers to use to read them from their phones. Ken

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That is a bigger question! My answer would be ‘not alone’

Whilst I think Othernet is an amazing project it’s only part of the puzzle in development or educational context. You need some strategic partners.

I’d use Linkedin aggressively, but strategically send messages to senior execs of the red cross, Decc, UNHCR etc. What does Bill Gates think of Othernet? Have you asked? Hone the pitch. Keep networking.

Offer to send them a device to evaluate. Get people excited about adding on an Othernet reciever to their existing work.

I think a strategic partnership with World possible would be a great start, Othernet adds that dynamic content to Rachel for not much cost. They already have a load of schools,

I was thinking that Skylark/ Dreamcatcher would provide it’s own RSS, so locally you’d set the reader to

Then if you are only connecting to the device for a couple of minutes a day (because someone else owns it) maybe you drop your kids off at school, or there’s one in the local shop etc you can grab a load of content to read at your leisure.

But the problem here is we are developing a feature in a vacuum without actual feedback from a user in a remote environment. We’ve done a lot of speculative product and feature development over the years, without much success.

I went down the strategic partnership path for years. It almost bankrupted the company. Strategic partnerships don’t pay the bills. They mostly consume resources and spin wheels.

These types of organizations (and I’ve been in touch with many) love to do pilots, with no real interest in scaling. I’ve pitched various ministers of education, who perfectly understood the problem and solution. Unfortunately greasing-of-wheels was required to receive any sort of contract.

I’m happy to work with anyone, but years of lumps on the head means that the only productive relationship is customer-vendor.

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Agreed. To get that feedback you need to either get on a plane, or more sensibly post some devices to people already doing this work.

If it was easy everyone would be doing it…

I don’t know that you could accuse the Gates Foundation of a lack of ambition. To be blunt a couple of positive pilots would be a real step up from where you are now.

I spent years running around the money doing demos and setting up pilots in various places. The feedback we received was that the devices were useful and used. But we could not find anyone to pay for scale.

Installing receivers in a few dozen schools doesn’t make the numbers work.

The Gates Foundation shut down their information access program three years ago.