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Comment Re:HAM (Score 1) 840

Well, then conveniently enough, the government doesn't have access to it. Double edge sword and all.

I've heard news/rumors that ham operators actually are getting info around and out of the country;

Comment Re:If you were there... (Score 1) 840

Seriously, which official thought this was a good idea?

Yes, the protesters used the internet to organize, but it isn't as if people don't know there's going to be a protest tomorrow, or today at this point in Egypt. All this does is piss people off even more.

Alternately, it makes a lot of sense if the governments plan is to kill a bunch of people and they don't want the rest of the world to see it.

As for the original question, the current news/rumor is that ham radio operators are sending out reports internationally currently. It might not be the internet, but it's better than nothing.

Comment Re:Don't confuse the issue. (Score 3, Insightful) 901

he United States is not some podunk little nation like Korea, but a continent-spanning nation that takes 3 days to drive across,

Which is exactly why it makes sense to have the government work on a broadband project. A similar thing happened with electricity and phones. It wasn't viable for businesses to install the lines so the government took over and installed them out to the remote countryside.

I hope the power grid gets reworked in all of the stimulus, we need that a lot. But having higher broadband penetration will be a good thing too.

Comment Re:Give one? (Score 1) 168

Darn it, I had this long and awesomely combative response to your response(to my response to your response, etc.) that totally would have garnered some good karma(I totally dropped some awesomely pertinent stats about Nigeria and cell phones as well). But after thinking about it, it was probably not the best response.

Here's the thing, yes we in the US have problems with the textbook publishing industry, and yes there are problems with the implementation of computer networks, but the question is not whether or not the OLPC project can solve the educational problems of the world but whether it can be useful in certain situations. I think the answer is yes. There are areas that need resources devoted to food and to sanitation and to other important thing in that vein, but there are also communities that have a minimal standard of living which could be increased by the introduction of the OLPC. That's my point, not that this is some utopian cure-all, but that it will be useful for some communities and that this is the best way to help those communities.

Are there communities out there that would be helped more by books than these laptops, sure there are. And some of those communities will get these laptops anyway, but shit happens.

Comment Re:Give one? (Score 1) 168

Wow, are you in any way involved with pedagogical theory? Do you actually know anything about how children learn? Are you doing anything other than assuming that elementary school learning in other countries is somehow just a poorly funded version of the U.S.?

Printing a whole ton of elementary school primers in Swahili, or Maya(yes people still speak it), or any other language that has a limited amount of speakers compared to English is a resource consuming endeavor. To be able to simply write it and have it show up on their computers allows them to have much more content available than if they were stuck hauling books into every school.

As for the wireless network, that's been built into the computer as a mesh network, which means that one child, or a teacher, can connect to someone who has the latest version of a textbook, or even a text that was not available to them prior.

And while you may want to pretend that civil war tears through every "third-world nation" on a regular basis, that simply isn't the case; and certainly not on a level that causes massive infrastructure damage.

The problem with University books, and it is a problem, I know, I've been there, I'm bitter about it too, has nothing to do with this project. This is about providing a different sort of education.

Ultimately this has a broader goal as well, providing the tools for people who have as yet not had them to develop a level of computer literacy that will allow them to have a level of knowledge on par, if not better than, the modern information powers. There is no good way to get an education on how to use computers than by using them, especially at a young age. I imagine that is how most people here on slashdot learned to use the things.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison