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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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  • by Roody Blashes ( 975889 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:41PM (#15459010) Homepage Journal
    If you're going to abbreviate things like that, make sure they don't abbreviate to actual technologies. []

    It only took a second or two for me to figure out you weren't talking about EFF, but it was still annoying.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:54PM (#15459093) Homepage
    I sincerely hope that other governmental bodies of the world come to realize that the political influence of the U.S. is simply poison to them. They threaten every democratic society they influence with their agenda. I am increasingly ashamed, embarassed and angered by the tactics used by our government. While I believe it would be painful or maybe just disruptive, but I think that, for starters, the US should be excommunicated from the U.N. and N.A.T.O. alliances for their behavior. Talk about your "monopoly abuse" cases...

    It's time other nations started to shun the US even more than they already do. Perhaps then some sort of balance could come from this. The next bout of elections will not come soon enough but even then I'm unsure of how much damage will be reversed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:01PM (#15459131)
    And that's how these things should be handled. Tim O'Reilly doesn't deserve an apology. The people with the fulltime lawyers need to learn that they can't send out threats and expect that mistakes are not made public. These actions have a tremendous chilling effect. Therefore any abuse must be brought to light. I can't believe Mr. O'Reilly thinks he deserves confidentiality after his lawyers sent an unjustified letter that could very well kill another man's business.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:02PM (#15459133)
    Days of the US hegemony are numbered. The writing is on the wall. At the moment soverign states pay lip service but when the Euro shift comes and the dollar tanks US arrogance is going to be left screaming at the skies. Don't be ashamed of your govenment, do something about it. The USA was once a bastion of liberty and freethought, it's not too late to save your nations reputation from the ugly minority that weild disproportionate power.
  • Brilliant Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Distinguished Hero ( 618385 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:03PM (#15459135) Homepage
    The Swedish national police website has been taken offline by a denial of service attack which started Thursday night.

    Because nothing increases support for your cause like DoSing a police website...
  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:06PM (#15459153)
    I can't be the only one who first read that as TOR [] Publishing. I almost had a heart attack. I mean, I can deal with boycotting eBay, MPAA, RIAA, for their IP idiocy, but TOR? Do not play so cruelly with my fragile nerdy heart.

    Seriously, I have never heard any one abbreviate Tim O'Reilly TOR.
  • They threaten every democratic society they influence with their agenda.
    Because the concepts of intellectual property and copyright were invented by the US, and the only people who benefit from those concepts are Americans (it's funny that you are actually implying that Americans are the only ones who produce decent intellectual property).

    I think that, for starters, the US should be excommunicated from the U.N. and N.A.T.O. alliances for their behavior.
    The US is supposed to pay 1/4 of the UN's expenses, and they get what in return? I don't think they'd mind all that much. As for NATO, the US provides almost all the logistical support for most NATO missions; it would be quite funny to see NATO try to operate without the US. Considering how and why NATO was formed, it would also be quite humorous to see the US kicked out of that one.
  • Re:My thoughts... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:14PM (#15459205)
    I'm not exactly sure what the pirate bay is but... you won't bother to find out and you won't let it stop you posting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:16PM (#15459214)
    The notion that you would rather kick the US out of the UN first, and not a country like say Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar or China really says something about the level of "insightfulness" on slashdot.

    I realize there's a lot of US haters on this site, but this comment rated "insightful" really sums up the lunacy here.

    Not that the US is perfect, but it is far better anybody here would like to give credit for. It's really sad too that these hateful comments are coming from self-hating Americans.
  • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:20PM (#15459237)
    I cannot get to the blog; it appears to be suffering from its own DOS attack at the moment.

    Thus, I must assume that the blog is a general description of the product specifications, not a detailed, technical presentation. (My apologies if I am wrong.)

    That said, the portion you cited is an acceptable simplification of the actual product specs, when the target audience is non-techincal. It may have been more accurate to say the following:

    "The current prototype accepts input voltages from 2.25 to 23 Volts, including sources with high noise components. It can also correct for inverted supply inputs, allowing it to effectively support -2.25 to -23 Volts."

    However, a non-technical person (perhaps even just a non-electrical engineer) would get little to no additional information from my quote than from his. Why should he write overly-complicated blog posts above the technical comprehension level of his intended audience?

    Again, I cannot verify the blog post's intended audience, as I cannot access it. However, this is not the first time I've seen people on Slashdot react to non-technical writing by technical people, and attack those people for that writing. Instead of doing this, the correct response is to examine both the writer and his intended audience. If people on Slashdot are not the intended audience of the post, then the Slashdot reader should judge the technical level as the intended reader would, not as he or she does.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:28PM (#15459284)

    The US is supposed to pay 1/4 of the UN's expenses, and they get what in return?

    Supposed to, sure. But they don't pay their bills, do they? The USA is currently hundreds of millions of dollars in arrears.

    And for wha it's worth, the point of the United Nations is not to allow countries like the USA to buy influence. It's to prevent war. Of course, it can't do its job very well if one of its most powerful members stops paying their bills, ignores their rulings and invades other countries. But go ahead and blame the UN for failing to stop the USA, since that is what the USA is supposed to be "buying" - prevention of war.

  • Did you intentionally miss the posters point?

    The fact is the US pressured another government to take down a site that was LEGAL in the country it was in.
  • by NoTheory ( 580275 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @08:58PM (#15459445)
    And i quote []:


    MediaLive filed for the trademark on the Web 2.0 Conference back in November 2003, when they first entered into the partnership agreement with O'Reilly on this conference. This was before Web 2.0 became such a popular term -- the filing actually preceded the first conference. However, I wasn't personally aware of this trademark filing till this past February, as a result of discussions with CMP after the MediaLive purchase.

    Next, is the issue of proportional response. O'Reilly as an INSTUTION apologized for the gaff that resulted in sending this man a C&D. The shit storm that resulted from his blog, and then the rest of the half-cocked idiots such as parent post was not warranted, accurately sourced, or anything more than mis-reported hearsay. Please, for the love of mike, READ before posting. The apology issued to O'Reilly was justified.

    Finally, if you'd read the other comments before posting, no finger pointing has taken place. O'Reilly CITES Torvolds and others as examples of trademark holders who also want to protect their trademarks. Again, if parent post had RTFA (s)he'd know that. But parent post clearly did not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:29PM (#15459558)

    Please do not lump everyone with the idiot gasbags that currently run it.

    Who are the idiot gasbags running it for? The USA is still pretending to be a democratic republic, isn't it? Then the idiot gasbags are running it on your behalf, with your authority, assuming you are a USA citizen with the power to vote.

    Only lump the idiot gasbags with the idiot lemmings who still support them.

    Paid taxes lately? Then you are directly paying for crap like this, and, therefore, one of the idiot lemmings that supports them.

  • Re:tpb (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Claudius II ( 973798 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:38PM (#15459596)
    Hm, but look at the monthly graph. End of week 18 is down on the same level as week 22. Maybe this "fall" has nothing to do with The Pirate Bay at all. Perhaps this is just a natural variation.
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:54PM (#15459663) Homepage
    Maybe you should spend more than $300 on your next computer, you don't seem to be able to type straight.

    If you were to follow the project (or just think about it for a few minutes) then you would realize the point of this thing. There is no Windows requirement. It doesn't have tons of moving parts (like a hard drive) or generate tons of heat (which requires a fan to cool) or have a 1 1/2 hour battery life. It is designed to be RUGGED, last a LONG TIME, and be VERY energy efficient.

    A $300 laptop you buy at Best Buy won't fit those criteria. It will break down easy. It will suck energy. You won't be able to run it by powering it with a foot pedal, it will need too much energy. It won't run well in sub-Saharan Africa due to the heat and the dust and sand and whatever. It doesn't weight just a little bit, it weighs 6-8 pounds. It doesn't have a easy cary handle.

    Yep, that $300 laptop you talk about would easily work.

  • by Simon Simian ( 694897 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:13PM (#15459751)
    For simplicity's sake (!) we'll ignore US laws which bias our elections to favor only Republicans and Democrats. I concur; I find that democracy has a tendency to represent the majority. We'll also ignore that under the US Constitution the antiquated and undemocratic Electoral College selects the president and not the American people. Yes! Our votes should be counted by a single central authority. An organisation incapable of error. And, of course, we'll ignore that Corporate America funds our elections and politicians so effectively that corporations sometimes -- literally -- write laws that they then have their politicians enact. I'm beginning to think the people have lost their faith in politicians.
  • by asadsalm ( 647013 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:18AM (#15460466)
    Usually, newspapers and letters to the editors go on here saying that "...we dont blame the American people, we blame the American government...". Considering that the American government is a democratic one (so much so that it thinks it right to "impose" its democratic vision to other countries) it is correct to blame the people as they are the ones who elected the governemnt. And those who didnt vote are to blame as well, because the government represents them and its their responsibility to elect the right one. Otherwise, they are responsible for the elected governments actions and should share the blame.
  • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:09AM (#15460695)
    The fact is the US pressured another government to take down a site that was LEGAL in the country it was in.

    The travesty of this situation is not what the US did, but what Swedenish politicians did (if early reports are to be believed). Many nations bitch to the US all the time about hosting web sites that are illegal and the US merrily ignores them. The US in turn gives China crap about the websites that they take down and China merrily ignores the US. Governments leaning on other governments to enforce their values is pretty normal. Hell, I expect my government to try and nudge other governments to hold similar values through diplomatic means.

    The real crime here is if the Swedish authorities bent to US pressure; or more specifically, if Swedish politicians bent to US pressure and in turn pressured Swedish law enforcement agencies to take an illegal action.. The crime is not the US trying to get the Swedish authorities to take action. The crime is that the Swedish authorities responded illegally to pressure from another nation.

    I am not saying I am a fan of US copyright law. US copyright law in fact sucks mightily. That said, I am far more worried that another nation's politicians would cave into US pressure and order their police to enforce a law that doesn't exist and Sweden.
  • by Ilex ( 261136 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @06:38AM (#15460914)
    You seriously think the USA has no allies in the EU?

    They don't have that many friends either! Apart from the UK and even thats restricted to Mr Blair. The population / Media here in the UK are very critical of Tony Blair and Gerorgy Bush's close "Relationship". Often it's the butt of jokes.
    America would find it very hard to embargo (blockade) Sweden because it's illegal to prevent free trade between EU member nations. Sweden will just import goods via another EU country. America would have to cut trade with the whole of the EU. I don't see that winning many friends.

    Nonsense. He was no longer invading other countries and his military capability was utterly decimated.

      Yes and now Iraq is in turmoil to the point of near civil war. Al-Qaeda now has a new base of operation (Saddam as brutal as he was, was no friend of Osama). The Muslim world is enraged at the West making the world a far more dangerous place and the US has left itself impotent in the face of Iran's Weapons program.

    Either you are totally ignorant; or you are one of those Americans with a persecution complex; or you are trolling.

    Either you are ignorant of world affairs. A Republican with a Nationalist complex or I've just fed a troll. Either way your statements are so far from reality they can't even see it.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.