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Submission + - Ask Slashdot - the $20 Computer?

An anonymous reader writes: I've started a second career, teaching English at a High School in a middle class area. While the large majority of students have a computer and internet access at home, about 10-15% do not. I assign papers that must be typed, I have papers turned in online, and I plan to freely refer to texts, videos, and other resources that are available online. This gives an extra disadvantage to students that may be from the poorer end of the strata, and also means extra inefficiency for me, as I have to make allowances for students who don't have a computer available at home.

Right now, I have to tell them to either use school computers during the day, or to pick up a $170 laptop (more than enough — I administer the class using such a laptop). However, I was surprised at the lack of a super-cheap option for students. I'd love to see something for $20 that any student could afford easily, or perhaps I could just gift to a few students. I feel like something in this price range could be sufficiently powerful for basic word processing, youtube videos, and internet searches (internet access is a separate issue). But looking over my options I see:

1) The very cheapest Chromebooks are also in the $170 range.
2) Android Sticks have been around for a while, and do cost in the $20 range, but don't seem to have matured into a generally usable technology. Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be a community effort to easily turn these Android sticks into Ubuntu/Mint sticks.
3) Students can't be assumed to have the technical know-how to fix up a Salvation Army computer (I wouldn't mind helping out a bit, but I don't want to turn into tech support)
4) A Raspberry Pi costs $70 once you include a case/power supply/etc, and students would receive a big bag of parts.
5) Cheap Windows Tablets have glitches, and don't have an HDMI out.
6) There isn't a good solution to using a cell phone as a desktop computer.

Are any of my assumptions wrong? Are there any other options I'm not considering?
United States

Submission + - Moving for a new job: Agreements for Reolocation

An anonymous reader writes: I have been offered a very good position at a software company but that involves moving to the Silicon Valley. The company is paying for moving me and my family and housing for the first 3 months. The amount determined by the company is ~10000 $. But the signing bonus is not enough to cover up all the amounts I will have to pay to break the agreement with my current company. The new company asked me to sign an agreement that indicates that if I leave my job within one year of joining, I would be responsible for repaying the entire relocation amount which I think is fair. To cover for my ~10000 $ loses, I asked the company to sign a reverse agreement stating that if they let go of me within one year, they would have to pay me for the amount I spent during the move that they did not reimburse. The company is refusing to sign that.

Are these kind of agreements and reverse agreements valid? I know the company within its legal rights but is the company reasonable in not signing the reverse agreement? Have any of you managed to successfully get a company to sign a reverse agreement?
The Courts

Submission + - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, GoDaddy subpoenaed

Stony Stevenson writes: Grisoft has filed subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Internet domain registrar GoDaddy. The antivirus company is seeking the identities of search advertisers responsible for fraudulently promoting AVG antivirus products through sponsored text ads. It is also seeking domain registration information associated with these search advertisers in order to identify those behind the sites selling counterfeit AVG software.

Submission + - EPA Stops States from Cutting Auto Emissions ( 1

ahecht writes: In response to the energy bill signed into law by President Bush on Wednesday, the EPA has denied California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and 13 other states from setting their own stricter emissions requirements. While the Bush bill requires auto makers to meet 35mpg by 2020, the new California law would have required 43mpg for cars (and 27mpg for trucks and SUVs) by 2016. California has long been a leader in driving the automobile industry to improve mileage and emissions, and this was the first time they were refused permission to impose their own pollution rules. The decision, according to industry analysts cited in the article, appears to be a reward to the auto industry for dropping opposition to Bush's new energy bill.
United States

Submission + - Lakota Nation withdraws from 150 year old treaties (

An anonymous reader writes: AFP, Fox News and Others have published a story about leaders of the Lakota indian nation withdrawing from US treaties signed over 150 years ago. Interestingly, they're renouncing their US Citizenship (which could be seriously problematic for them later, should their bid fail), and declaring the formation of their own nation. This new Lakota nation would cover parts of 5 states. As justification for their position, they site article 6 of the US Constitution, and US/International Agreements on the rights of indiginous people made during the Vienna Convention in 1980. Among those taking part in this activity is Russell Means, a well known Indian activist and political leader and actor. All of this brings to mind the less famous of the two "Wounded Knee" incidents; the 1973 Wounded Knee Incident.

Submission + - Australian ISP pulls unmetered a/v downloads ( 1

duncan bayne writes: "Not satisfied with pulling OpenOffice from their unmetered downloads site, Telstra BigPond have also pulled all anti-virus software, fearing competition with their subscription-based security package. To cap it off, one of their representatives denied having done so, only to be busted after a quick check on"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire (

SuperUberGeek writes: "GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire

Of all the biggest blunders you do not want to do, has let their security certificate expire and is now taken offline. As of 4:10 PST, Dec 19, 2007 has ceased to exist. This is a major blooper for a company that prides itself in reselling SSL Certificates, and in providing web based tools to manage your domain names, websites, and auctions for domain names. All three which can expire in the time godaddy is down, presenting a huge problem for anyone who has a domain name expiring tonight, or who needs to manage something for a client using the tools at godaddy."


Submission + - New York judge grabs all Brooklyn RIAA cases

newtley writes: ""I wonder how many of the defendants think the settlements were 'equitable'?" That's Recording Industry vs The People on news that a New York judge has decided only he and another judge should preside over Brooklyn cases. Judge J. Trager, "has denied the motions by the defendants in two Brooklyn cases, Maverick v Chowdhury and Elektra v Torres, for random judicial assignment of RIAA cases," it says. Trager holds, "the cases should all continue to be assigned just to himself and Magistrate Judge Levy". In this decision denying the defendants' motion, "Judge Trager said that (a) many of the defendants have retained the same attorneys, (b) there have been approximately 350 RIAA cases in the Eastern District of New York, and (c) Magistrate Levy has brought about 'equitable settlements'," says RIvTP's Ray Beckerman."

Submission + - Gates foundation deathly side-effects ( 3

HuguesT writes: An long and detailed article from the L.A. Times points out severe, unintended side effects of the health policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. This foundation has given away almost 2 billions US$ to the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria worldwide. Thanks in no small measure to this effort, the death toll from AIDS in most of Africa are finally levelling off. However, the money from the foundation is earmarked to the fight against these three diseases, to the detriment of global health. Sick people can also be hungry and not able to ingest healing drugs. Doctors in these countries prefer to be well paid working against AIDS than poorly working against all the other health problems, which creates a brain drain. Numerous children also suffer from diarrhea or asphyxia due to lack of basic care. The paradox is that countries where the foundation has invested most have seen their mortality rate increase, whereas it has improved in countries where the foundation was least involved.

Submission + - NY Times "Free" trial is a trap (

LiquidCoooled writes: The New York Times have recently begun offering an exact digital replica of the daily newspaper.
However to get a look at this nifty sounding site, you must signup and leave your credit card details.
The only thing which concerns me is the following:

Page Headline: Free: Try The New York Times Electronic Edition For 7 Days

Clause lower down: The first charge will be on the 5th day of your 7-day free trial.

My question then, how do I get a free 7 day trial?

Wireless Networking

Submission + - 'Sidejacking ' On WiFi

ancientribe writes: As if you need another reason not to use WiFi unprotected, here's one: a researcher has released a tool that lets hackers "sidejack" your machine and access your Web accounts. Called Hamster, the tool basically clones the victim's cookies by sniffing their session IDs and controlling their Website accounts. 692&WT.svl=news1_2

Submission + - Do Not Call Registry gets wake-up call ( 2

coondoggie writes: "If you signed up for the federal or your state's Do Not Call Registry a few years ago, you might want to thing about refreshing it. Pennsylvanians this week got a wake up call, so to speak from the state's Attorney General Tom Corbett who kicked off a public awareness campaign designed to remind people what many have forgotten or never knew — that the 2002 law set registrations to expire after five years. That is of course unless you want to start hearing from those telemarketers as you sit down to dinner. Corbett said about 2 million people signed up in the immediate aftermath of the law taking effect and those who do not act by Sept. 15 will have their numbers dropped from the registry on Nov. 1. The Pennsylvania action is a reminder that the National Do Not Call Registry has a five year life span as well. The Federal Trade Commission is set to being a nation campaign in Spring 2008 to remind all US citizens to refresh their federal Do Not Call Registry standing."

Submission + - Adblock plus users "accused" of stealing ( 1

derrida writes: "There is this Firefox Add-on called Adblock plus that promises (and delivers) removal of "all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page". And there is also an ongoing debate whether this is stealing or not. Quoting two different views:
"Do you have a devise that automatically blocks all commercials on television.[?] There's a difference between ignoring commercials and blocking them." and
"My a** it is [stealing]! If your going to argue I'm taking something from you by not waiting for your ads to load, I'm going to argue you are "stealing" bandwidth.".
Going one step further some web developers released scripts that blocks Adblock (watch the oxynoron!).
How is really slashdot going to react if Adblock plus is heavily used by its readers?"

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux