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/

Help save Aaron’s grandfather’s house!


This is taken verbatim from Boing Boing it was posted by Cory Doctorow, on January 16, 2008 12:27 AM, and I didn’t rewrite it because Cory is a better writer than me…

Aaron sez, “The state of South Carolina has decided to put a freeway through my Grandfather’s 150 year old house (built by HIS Grandfather). The Governor and the people in the planning office say the route my father worked out is fine, but they need ‘public outcry’ to justify moving it so if people 10 miles down the route ask why they moved it for us they can say ‘hey, lots of people got pissed.’ So I set up a petition which in mid-Feb. will send the results to the Governor’s office and I need as many people to sign it as possible. They don’t care WHO you are or WHERE you are, just so long as there is ‘public outcry.'”

The home was built from trees that were cleared from the forests that now are open fields of fertile farmlands. The underpinning of the home was and still is hand-hewn logs held together by 10″ wooden pegs. The original structure consisted of four equally sized rooms and the kitchen was separated from the home in the back to save the home in case of a fire in the kitchen.

In the late 1940’s, the kitchen was joined to the rear of the home and three other rooms were added across the back of the house. The floors of this section were not joined evenly, and there is an approximate ten inch step down from the original section of the home to this rear section. The porch was also extended across the front and down the West side of the house. In 1957, my father, who was actually born in the home in 1916, remodeled the home, leaving the basic four rooms of the home but installing oak hardwood floors. He also left most of the original windows in rooms and by the front door, which were hand-blown glass with “wavy” imperfections and bubbles. The chimney on the East side of the house is also original which, according to family lore, has brick laid with “salt crete”. It was covered with a thin layer of concrete years ago to protect it from weathering. Around 1965, dormers were added to the roof of the house and the attic was opened to house two bedrooms. And the final remodeling occurred around 1985 when the kitchen was remodeled and a carport was attached at the kitchen entrance.

The techy is to this is the fact that a big time blog is being used to keep a local government in check.

link good luck Aaron!!!

***BTW*** Aaron has also put this on digg so we can also help him by digging it up!!!