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Comment The lone inventor is a myth (Score 5, Insightful) 417

The stepwise refinement, collaboration, and remixing we see today is the way it has always been. Everything you ever learned about "Person X invented thing Y" is wrong. Such statements are made by history books to make a good story, and have no connection to reality. Edison was a smart and hard-working guy, but he didn't invent the light bulb or the phonograph out of thin air, nor did Bell the telephone, or Marconi the radio. They all played a role, but hardly a unique one.

Comment Re:I'm curious... (Score 1) 90

You'd be called an asshole. You'd probably get a lot of threats. The Police might even come question you. But when they discover you're just a harmless jerk, they'd leave, and they'd even go investigate the people who made threats against you to see which of them might actually be dangerous. If you actually provided material aid to them in some way, we might have a different story.

Comment Re:Terrible editing culture (Score 5, Insightful) 248

As one of the first Wikipedia editors, I have to agree. The current state of Wikipedia is unusable. 5 million articles is a pathetically small number: every town, every park, every building, every movie, every TV show, every book, every law, every government official of every country throughout history: all of these should be articles, and would be if it were easier to make them.

--Wikipedia user #43

Comment Headline is completely wrong (Score 5, Informative) 240

As usual with coverage of complex legal decisions, the headlines and soundbites don't resemble the decision at all. The case hasn't even begun; the judge did not "allow" the webcams at all. He's just ruling on a preliminary injunction before the case begins: the plaintiff is asking for the judge to issue an order stopping Aaron's from further use of the cameras while the case is going on. The judge is saying here that the injunction is moot because the plaintiff doesn't have the laptop, and hasn't presented any evidence that anyone else is being recorded. The judge is just saying (1) he can't order Aaron's to stop doing something when there's no evidence that they're actually doing it, and (2) the case is weak because the law under which they are suing may not apply (which is true; the plaintiffs ought to be suing under more general privacy torts). Under no stretch of reality does this mean he's "allowing" the use of the webcams.


Submission + - OLPC a reality in Uruguay

Acer500 writes: "The One Laptop Per Child project became a reality yesterday in Uruguay, as the 160 children of the school number 24 "Italy" in the humble town of Cardal received their XO computers from the hands of president Tabaré Vazquez, as most newspapers in the country headlined yesterday (in Spanish)

El Observador aspx?id=76129.
El Pais

In what has become a matter of national pride in being the first country to realize the project's goal, the target is that by 2009, every school-age child in Uruguay will have one, and an initial 15 million dollars have already been allocated to the project.

From the newspaper articles "The happines of having a PC in their hands, some of them for the first time, had the kids in ecstasy, which didn't wait to turn on their computers, introduce their personal information (required the first time they're turned on), choose the screen colors, and start experimenting with them. What initially made them more enthusiastic was the possibility of taking photographs and filming each others with the included webcams"

According to the unofficial blog of the Uruguayan project, named "proyecto Ceibal", , the infrastructure for wireless is not yet in place but will be provided in the next few days by the national telco ANTEL. No photos of the event have been posted online, but you can see an institutional video on Youtube here

One interesting point is that it has not yet been decided that the XO will be the laptop of choice for the entire project. Two other companies want to be considered: Intel, with their Classmate PC , and israeli-manufactured ITP-C. In a press conference, Intel manager for the southern cone Esteban Galluzzi went as far as to compare the XO to a Pentium II, and stressed that the Classmate is able to run Windows XP.

As advisor and local guru Juan Grompone stated, "who will ultimately benefit from this is education". This will be an interesting test to see if the OLPC project meets its intended goals of "learning learning". Let's hope this project is the means that will foster among some of the children the desire to learn and to tinker; I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the first feedback from this."

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