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Pirates, Web 2.0, and Hundred Dollar Laptop 339

A few quick updates on some recent Slashdot stories in Slashback tonight. We have some additional information on the ever-interesting hundred-dollar laptop, the ongoing flap over the trademarking of 'Web 2.0' for conferences, and the shutdown of the Pirate Bay site. Read on for details.

Update on the One Laptop per Child Project. dominique_cimafranca writes "Ethan Zuckerman gives a report on his visit to the headquarters of the One Laptop per Child project. Some details on practical design considerations such as the hinge, the rabbit ears, and why the hand crank was ultimately left out (apparently, Kofi Annan broke the crank on a prototype). Several pictures, and a look at the motherboard of the OLPC laptop."

TOR Calls Out Torvalds, Stallman on Web 2.0. theodp writes "In an unusual defense of partner CMP's trademarking of Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly points a finger at Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman in his rebuttal posts. TOR also says the blogger who posted the O'Reilly-approved cease-and-desist letter from CMP 'owes us an apology for the way he responded' (he got one)."

Fallout from The Pirate Bay Raid. Tyler Too writes "The Swedish national police website has been taken offline by a denial of service attack which started Thursday night. That's not the only fallout from the raid on The Pirate Bay: there's a demonstration planned in Stockholm on Saturday."

U.S. Government Ordered The Pirate Bay Shutdown? mkro writes "According to the Swedish government sponsored tv channel SVT, U.S. government officials -- after being approached by the MPAA -- requested the Swedish justice department to take down The Pirate Bay. According to the story, the Swedish justice department asked police and prosecution to act, but when they explained the laws are too vague, they turned directly to the state attorney and the chief of the national police force."

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Pirates, Web 2.0, and Hundred Dollar Laptop

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  • THE Police Website. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:48PM (#15459049) Journal
    Seems the DDoS has stopped and it hasn't been slashdotted yet, see while you can! []
  • Way to Un-clarify (Score:5, Informative)

    by NoTheory ( 580275 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:53PM (#15459087)
    TOR Calls Out Torvalds, Stallman on Web 2.0. theodp writes "In an unusual defense of partner CMP's trademarking of Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly points a finger at Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman in his rebuttal posts. TOR also says the blogger who posted the O'Reilly-approved cease-and-desist letter from CMP 'owes us an apology for the way he responded' (he got one)."

    If one reads O'Reilly's post, the entire endeavor undertaken in the post is to explain how USUAL the cease and desist letter that was issued is when defending a trademark. And then he cites Torvolds and other as examples of other people who have trademarks they wish to defend. There's no finger pointing going on, nor is there any oddity in his defense. Which again, is the whole point of O'Reilly's discussion. This entire thing has been blown way out of proportion, and i'm amazed that someone can read O'Reilly's piece and then go ahead and incorrectly convey the content.

    What irony.
  • Fallout (Score:5, Informative)

    by liangzai ( 837960 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:54PM (#15459097) Homepage
    The fallout from the Pirate Bay seizure is that the minister of justice (Thomas Bodstrom) has been accused of ordering the police to take action after pressure from the US government. Bodstrom, who is the initiator of the EU data retention directive, IP spoofing on Swedish main nodes, extended bugging laws etc., and also known as a proponent of a totalitarian big brother society, has been requested for constitutional hearings.

    Pirate Bay will reappear in Ukraine, Russia, The Netherlands and three other countries. People have been very generous with equipment and hosting as soon as they heard it was the Pirate Bay folks asking for assistance.

    The Swedish Police site,, was taken out for a day with a sustained DoS attack. An investigation has been started.

    The public is in favor of the Pirate Bay in numbers like 90-10 or so, and most are extremely critical of the action against the Pirate Bay, especially since the police used 50 police officers to seize two computer nerds and their legal representative. A whole slew of innocent operators were also having their machinery seized, in an unconstitutional manner.

    The action may have a real political effect, come the September elections.
  • More on TPB (Score:5, Informative)

    by makak ( 861541 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:58PM (#15459117)
    The Ombudsman of Justice has decided to launch an investigation to determine if there were any wrongdoings in the raid, including whether the swedish government pressured the police to take action.
  • by HerrEkberg ( 971000 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:18PM (#15459225) Homepage
    It might also be worth to mention that by Swedish law it is highly illegal for a politician in the government to give orders to the police or other institution in specific matters such as this. It is called "ministerstyre" (minister's ruling?), and the law is in place as a means to stop corruption.
  • by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:43PM (#15459373) Homepage Journal had a story this week on the TV news too, where the MPAA is suing a young man in Vancouver for operating isoHunt. I guess they are stepping up the attacks on torrent sites.
  • by NtroP ( 649992 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:58PM (#15459446)
    WTF? The page appears completely blank unless you allow javascript?


  • Misnomer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kortec ( 449574 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:58PM (#15459447) Homepage
    This is getting on my nerves: The RIAA and MPAA are not part the US Government. They hold no particular codified legislative, executive, or judiciary power, nor are they agencies a kin to the 3-letters (FBI, EPA, FDA, FCC, CIA, NSA, and so on).

    The fact is that they are lobbyist groups; simply petitioners to the US Government. Sadly, they are wealthy, numerous, and well connected petitioners, so they get preferential treatment, but neither of them is a government body any more than any group of citizens. They way they "win" their cases is by having enough money and fear tactics at their disposal to dodge court time and exploit holes in the American judiciary.
  • Re:Zero point energy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:01PM (#15459460)
    Ethan Zuckerman's musings on Africa, international development
    and hacking the media.
    June 1, 2006
    It's cute. It's orange. It's got bunny ears. An update on the One Laptop Per Child project
    Filed under: Developing world, ICT4D, Geekery -- Ethan @ 5:52 pm

    Last Friday, I visited with my friends Walter Bender and Jim Gettys at the new headquarters of the One Laptop per Child Project - the past few days have been so busy that I'm just getting the chance to write up notes from our conversation now, almost a week later. I'm writing an article for the IEEE Spectrum on the project and had asked Walter if I could come by and grill him on the technical and conceptual details of the project. But that's really just an excuse - I'm fascinated by the project, and am trying to offer what help I can to Nicholas Negroponte and his team in helping people understand what the project is and isn't, offering my perspective on how the device might best be rolled out, supported and used in developing nations.

    One of the most interesting phenomena surrounding the One Laptop Per Child project has been the amount of attention it's garnered, not just from the development community, but from average users around the world. Interest in the project seems to focus on a basic and very compelling idea: a laptop that costs a hundred dollars or less. After writing a long blogpost on the project and an article at, I now average receive on average 20 emails per week asking to purchase the laptop, or recieve one as a gift. I now have a keyboard macro that gives a stock response: I'm not officially affiliated with the project, the laptop isn't available yet, and when it is, it will be sold in lots of a million or more to governments and school systems.

    Most of the people who write me are interested in owning a laptop they can afford. And that, it turns out, is not the goal of the One Laptop Per Child project. Their goal is to produce a laptop designed for use by children - students in grades K-12. And that requires radically different design decisions that what one would make in simply creating a low-cost laptop.


    Getting across the distinction that this is a children's laptop, not just a cheap laptop, is a surprisingly difficult task. When I last wrote about the laptop on Worldchanging, a number of commenters mentioned that they'd like one of the computers as a backup or travel computer - I suspect they might feel differently after playing with one of the current prototypes. They're really small. This is a good thing - I wouldn't want a kindergarden student carrying around my 12 PowerBook - it's too heavy and too fragile. The current prototype is little, orange, and very, very cute. It has a molded plastic handle and looks remarkably like a Speak and Spell.

    It's got bunny years - antennas for the 802.11s wireless radios, which are designed to self-assemble meshes with other laptops. The ears fold down to cover the USB, power and mic ports, an excellent design for the sorts of dusty environments I can imagine the device used in. The screen in the current prototype is a conventional LCD screen - the screen in the production devices will be roughly the same size, probably slightly larger than the 7.5 screen in the prototype, but will be based around a technique that doesn't require white fluorescent backlight. (Many of the questions I need to answer for the IEEE article concern the screen, as it's one of the most expensive and power-hungry components of the machine.) The keyboard is about 60% of the size of a conventional keyboard and has calculator-style keys.

    My favorite feature of the current prototype is the hinge that holds the machine together. Ever since Nicholas outlined the engineering challenges of building a good hinge, I've been fascinated by the different ways people attach screens to laptops. As promised, the laptop can be folded into an ebook, with the screen on top, used as a handheld game player, or have the screen turned around so the machine can be used
  • Re:Misnomer (Score:5, Informative)

    by n8k99 ( 888757 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:26PM (#15459546) Homepage Journal
    If you read this article here, 060602 [] , you will see that the Department of State, which is indeed part of the US Government has been at least accused of participating in this debacle.
  • Re:The pirate bay? (Score:2, Informative)

    by meheler ( 193628 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:49PM (#15459636)
    It was a site that hosted torrent files.

    Some light reading. :) [] [] [] []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:15PM (#15459759)
    There are two demonstrations tomorrow (Swedish content) [] (Saturday, June 3; one in Stockholm at 15:00 and one in Gothenburg at 15:30. The location in Stockholm is Mynttorget, and in Gothenburg they're keeping the demonstration at Gustav Adolfs Torg.
  • Re:Zero point energy (Score:3, Informative)

    by KD7JZ ( 161218 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:22PM (#15459788)
    I don't quite get your point. While it would be better for it to be able to accept -48 (or -50) to +48, it is quite a valid goal to be able to be powered by -24 to +24 (or so). It reduces problems with accidental reverse polarity hookups, as well as being powered by telecom type systems which are typically positive ground.
  • by peope ( 584706 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:22PM (#15459789)
    Ok. Here is a crappy translation of the swedish article to english.

    The US government behind closing of site

    The US government was behind the raid against the filesharing network Pirate Bay yesterday, according to sources to the SVT news program Rapport.

    In april a delegation with members of the justice department and the police met up with american authorities who brought the issue up by request of the MPAA. The interest organisation of Hollywood.

    The justice department then requested the police and prosecutors to act. When they replied that the legal issues where unclear the minister of justice's secretary of state contacted the state prosecutor and the state chief of police who in turn ordered action.

    Minister rule
    The Pirate Bay has openly challenged right-holders within the film and music industry. Nevertheless many in the internet society are surprised of the actions of the swedish authorities.

    This is what happened according to sources. The american interest organisation MPAA contacted the gorvernment in the white house. The american department of foreign affairs then contacted the swedish department of foreign affairs and demanded the issue with Pirate bay be solved.

    According to the source the prosecutor and the police was ordered to act and describes the actions of the secretary of state as minister rule.
  • Re:Zero point energy (Score:3, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @11:28PM (#15460036)
    What's wrong with that? Are you afraid that if the voltage falls too low there won't be enough power to run the laptop? It's convenient that power = voltage*current. So if you lower the voltage you need to supply more current. This gets a little pesky if your voltage hits zero, of course, since you'll then have to have infinite current. I'd recommend avoiding that.

    Now, practically, the statement probably isn't PERFECTLY correct since your power supply circuitry is going to have some minimal resistance which will limit the amount of current that will flow for a given voltage, thereby limiting the (absolute) minimum voltage that will power the laptop. From the other post he really should have said:

    "The current prototype accepts voltage from -23 to +23 V excluding the range (-2.25,2.25). Not sure about those brackets -- I can never remember whether round brackets are inclusive or exclusive, but the difference is infitesimal so it's not too much of a concern in the real world.
  • Pirate bay (Score:2, Informative)

    by petteri_666 ( 745343 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:44AM (#15460749)
    Seems that The Pirate Bay [] is up and running again.
  • by Enselic ( 933809 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @05:22AM (#15460805) Homepage

    According to the Swedish government sponsored tv channel SVT...

    This statement is misleading. SVT is funded by the people, more specifically every household with a TV reciever, which must pay 5 SEK each day (~70 cent) to SVT. There is no money flow from the swedish government to SVT.

  • Re:Zero point energy (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @12:42PM (#15462114)
    While the intent behind your statement rings true, it doesn't change the fact that the spec is WRONG when written "-23 to 23", since as you point out it has a minimum operating voltage of 2.5 volts regardless of current directionality. The the correct range should read like ((-)inf-(-)2.5],[2.5-inf) which correctly provides the information which is lacking in his oversimplified range format, which is to say that the computer will not run at 1.0v for instance although that is implied when stating a range of -23 to 23 as that would seem to include all values within that range....

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger