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/

Creative Commons, some Vids and my project.


After the new year I have a project that is going live. This project is a video for Creative Commons. This video will be made so that children can understand what CC is all about. It is based on a slide show based on this slide show. I will be narrating myself and hope to have it out before the end of January. For those of you that have no idea what CC is just check out the vids below

Okay NOW you have no reason not to not try Linux


Look we have tried to make Linux easy for everyone, non-text installs, Live CD’s and DVD’s, LUG’s, install-fest’s, etc, etc. But now we have done the one think that makes trying Linux as brainless as installing Windows apps.

I bring you Wubi.

Wubi is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. If you heard about Linux and Ubuntu, if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you.

Wubi is Safe

It does not require you to modify the partitions of your PC, or to use a different bootloader.

Wubi is Simple

Just run the installer, no need to burn a CD.

Wubi is Discrete

Wubi keeps most of the files in one folder, and If you do not like, you can simply uninstall it.

Wubi is Free

Wubi (like Ubuntu) is free as in beer and as in freedom. You will get this part later on, the important thing now is that it cost absolutely nothing, it is our gift to you…

screenshots can be found here
a FAQ can be found here

You can get support here

OpenMoko: Linux-based $300 open smartphone


The OpenMoko is a cellphone platform for those who are tired of being pushed around by the big manufactures and the carriers. The Neo 1973 is a $300, Linux-based open smartphone. Unlike the iPhone, it doesn’t come locked to any provider, it doesn’t come with DRM, and it allows you to install any third party app you like, even if Steve Jobs worries that it might spoil your experience. It’s still in “developer preview,” but this will be my next phone.

The Neo 1973 boasts the following hardware specifications

* 2.8″ VGA TFT color display
* Touchscreen, usable with stylus or fingers
* 266MHz Samsung System on a Chip (SOC)
* USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered)
* Integrated AGPS
* 2.5G GSM – quad band, voice, CSD, GPRS
* Bluetooth 2.0
* Micro SD slot
* High Quality audio codec

One great thing about Ubuntu Linux


[disclaimer]I am an Ubuntu fanboy.[/disclaimer] I recently decided to do something I had never done before. I decided to do a dist-upgrade. Now a dist-upgrade is the equivalent to to running Windows XP and Being able to upgrade all of the packages to Vista via the internet and without any kind of disk media. This is usually not recommended (you really do accumulate a lot of crap and should blow your system clean every once in a while) but can be a fun experience. **NOTE** BACK UP BEFORE YOU DO THIS, SOMETIMES UNEXPECTED THINGS HAPPEN AND YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOSE DATA **

I went from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS “Dapper Drake” to Ubuntu Ubuntu 6.10 “Edgy Eft”. This took an entire night over my DSL connection but I was still able to use the computer. It is really cool to have Firefox 1.5 open, close it for a little bit, and open it sometime later to 2.0. This actually surprised me because I was not watching the terminal for the status. after I got all of the available updates for edgy, I went ahead and dist-updated to the newest version of Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn”. Which the the whole next day.

Now I have to be honest I have some packages that won’t update. It’s not really that big of a deal, and I have a problem with Beryl (the 3d compositing window manager) where my window borders disappear. Again not a big deal to me.

If you want to know more about dist-upgrades just leave a comment and I’ll add it to this post