How to Free the High School kids of New South Wales


Author: threethirty Member 0 NumberedHumanIndustries
More info: http://numberedhumanindustries.com/members.html

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY)
More Info: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

G’day kids, I recently found out that no one trusts you, not your teachers, not your principals, not your parents…
but hey I do. Before you start wondering “So who is this bloke?” I’m one of those pain in the butt hippie types your parents don’t want you talking to, and why am I doing this? Because I’m 24 years old, in one year no one should trust me (never trust anyone over the age of 25) so I had better get this in now.

Ok so Lenovo and the Department of Education and Training provided laptop “personal” computers to you guys and your teachers. I put personal in quotes because that’s crap. They are not personal computers they are personnel computers, as in someone else has control over them. They have installed some of the same type of software on there that if it was put there under any other circumstance it would be called “Spyware”. This is not good no matter what they tell
you.

Two examples of the “innovative technologies” introduced by Lenovo with the IdeaPad S10e (which you all received) include “advanced network security and remote manageability tools”. Advanced network security tools prevent users (that’s you kids) from accessing unauthorized internet content and control access to NSW DET networks. This means not only can they keep you off of Myspace and Facebook, but they can watch what sites you are allowed to go to.

Remote manageability tools allow NSW DET to remotely monitor and manage the devices on demand, wherever they are located, maximizing their efficiency and effectiveness. This means that even when you are at home the DET can spy on you, fun huh?

The Lenovo IdeaPad S10e features ground breaking theft protection features such as hardware level reporting, retrieval and remote disabling functions and RFID tagging. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10e presents a zero value theft proposition thereby removing any incentive for them to be stolen and protecting the students and teachers that use them. This is all marketing speak, what it really means is that they can break your new cool laptop and RFID is a tracking system created by the manufacturing industry to track pallets. Guess what kids you are not people, you are property. And these are not features that will keep you safe. Anyone can track you with $100USD (yeah I’m an American) worth the hardware that you can buy online. The only way I know of to kill a RFID is to microwave it… and that’s a bad idea, it will kill the laptop and get you in heaps of trouble. But I do know what you can do. If you are worried about someone tracking you on your way to and from school and stuff like that, wrap the whole laptop in Aluminium Foil it will block all of the signals going in or out.

There is this thing called Linux. It runs on cellphones, servers, computers, all kinds of stuff. It also doesn’t have to be installed on your laptop to be able to use it. You can install it on a USB “thumb” drive, which is pretty cool.

If you go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ it will tell you how to install it on your thumbdrive. Yeah it
looks a little hard but I promise it isn’t, just follow the instructions and it will work. Just make sure you
download the Windows version of unetbootin. In unetbootin there are several different kinds (also known as distributions) of Linux listed. I have had great success with Ubuntu and Fedora, but any of the ones listed should be good also.

What this will do is let you use the computer without letting the DET spy on you, and wont mess up the computer so while you are at school you can do all the stuff they want you too with out getting in trouble. This works because it uses the thumbdrive as a harddrive so the bigger the space on the thumbdrive the more stuff you can install and store on there!

If you want some more tips and ideas on how to be a pain in the butt with technology have a look at Cory Doctorow’s book Little Brother which you can get for free here http://craphound.com/littlebrother/

Thoughts on RMS’ “How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software”


I have just read RMS’ “How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software” http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pirate-party.html and I’m still formulating my opinion on this but in general I am ABSOLUTELY  against the way copyright is done currently.  When Copyright was introduced to America it was a “Creators Monopoly” and only lasted 14 years.  The originators thought that was more than ample time for you to create something,  make back the money that it cost you in creation, and fund you next idea.  I also think that is more than enough time.

No matter what DRM is evil and douchbaggary

More thoughts to come [as soon as I have them :)]

I really want to see @doctorow and @lessig weigh in on this 🙂

DRM and trying to explain it to those who have no clue, part 2: a rope of sand


read the origianal post asking for help

If you are not a viddler user, or don’t want to comment on the video, feel free to leave a text comment those are just as good

DMCA idiocy slideshow: explaining the DMCA to info-civilians


I found this posting by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing, check it out!

Wellington Grey has a great little slideshow about the idiocy of the DMCA’s “anti-circumvention” measures, which prohibit breaking the digital locks off the stuff you own. In it, Grey recounts how offended he was when he bought a TomTom GPS that came with a CD in a sealed envelope, the seal on which read, “By breaking this seal, you agree to our contract,” but the contract itself was on the CD, behind the seal. In other words, the CD said, “By breaking this seal, you agree to a bunch of secret stuff.”

http://www.wellingtongrey.net/miscellanea/archive/2007-12-04–DMCA/2007-12-04-on-the-digital-millenium-copyright-act.html

I just had to defend the CC-BY-SA


I just sent a lengthy email into the Debian bug tracking system. I originally tried to send it directly to the developers through an already “closed” bug (which was returned undeliverable) so I sent it again to submit@bugs.debian.org. I sent it with the proper headings (I hope) so that it would get to the developers. the subject was “VRMS-Why is the Tango Icon theme listed as non-free”, and the project in question is vrms or (Virtual Richard M. Stallman) which is a program that will analyze the set of currently-installed packages on a Debian-based system, and report all of the packages from the non-free tree which are currently installed.

The entire email can be read here

And I have also sent an email to Cory Doctorow and have submitted it for consideration on BoingBoing