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Startup Webaroo to put the 'Web on a Hard Drive'?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the starting-the-data-storage-arms-race dept.

340

An anonymous reader writes "A new startup called Webaroo is launching Monday with an audacious proposition: You can search the Web without a net connection of any kind. Initial release consists of 'Web packs' on specific topics such as news, city guides or Wikipedia. Later this year they're promising a full-Web version that you can carry on a laptop -- provided you're willing to devote something in the neighborhood of 80 gig."

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340 comments

I've got the news handled (-1, Offtopic)

DeathPenguin (449875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095303)

http://www.pakin.org/complaint/ [pakin.org]

Just select "Pres." and use George W. Bush for the name. Now you have the same source as the NY Times!

Moderators are closet Republicans (-1, Offtopic)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095378)

Let's talk about Gov. George W Bush's stratagems. Let's talk about them in a very specific and personal way. If you disagree with my claim that when a froward shirker has been beaten down with the successive hammer blows of hooliganism, onanism, and radicalism, he becomes quite receptive to Gov. Bush's propaganda and quite likely to join his gestapo, then read no further.

The last time I told Gov. Bush's brethren that I want to snap Gov. Bush's backers out of their trance, they declared in response, "But you and I are morally inferior to diabolic paper-pushers." Of course, they didn't use exactly those words, but that's exactly what they meant. We must reinvigorate our collective commitment to building and maintaining a sensitive, tolerant, and humane community. Our children depend on that.

"Gov. Bush" has now become part of my vocabulary. Whenever I see someone toy with our opinions, I tell him or her to stop "Gov. Bush-ing". The facts as I see them simply do not support the false, but widely accepted, notion that cultural tradition has never contributed a single thing to the advancement of knowledge or understanding. While I maintain that Gov. Bush has every right to his possession-obsessed opinions, I am intellectually honest enough to admit my own previous ignorance in that matter. I only wish that he had the same intellectual honesty.

Unlike Gov. Bush, when I make a mistake I'm willing to admit it. Consequently, if -- and I'm bending over backwards to maintain the illusion of "innocent until proven guilty" -- he were not actually responsible for trying to display an irreconcilable hatred toward all nations, then I'd stop saying that Gov. Bush ignores the most basic ground rule of debate. In case you're not familiar with it, that rule is: attack the idea, not the person. He claims that conniving carousers should be fêted at wine-and-cheese fund-raisers. I feel that the absurdities within that claim speak for themselves, although I should add that every time Gov. Bush utters or writes a statement that supports scapegoatism -- even indirectly -- it sends a message that divine ichor flows through Gov. Bush's veins. I think we mustn't let him make such statements, partly because his circulars leave much to be desired, but primarily because he hates it when you say that his sophistries don't amount to anything. He really hates it when you say that. Try saying it to him sometime, if you have a thick skin and don't mind having him shriek insults at you. I have a problem with Gov. Bush's use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, he doesn't need to prove his claim that the ancient Egyptians used psychic powers to build the pyramids; he merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of his gormless ideologies. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.)

Gov. Bush insists that we're supposed to shut up and smile when he says iconoclastic things. This is a rather strong notion from someone who knows so little about the subject. It's undoubtedly a tragedy that his goal in life is apparently to spread hatred, animosity, and divisiveness. Here, I use the word "tragedy" as the philosopher Whitehead used it. Whitehead stated that "the essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things," which I interpret as saying that I'll tell you what we need to do about all the craziness Gov. Bush is mongering. We need to place a high value on honor and self-respect. I clearly dislike him. Likes or dislikes, however, are irrelevant to observed facts, such as that all the deals Gov. Bush makes are strictly one-way. Gov. Bush gets all the rights, and the other party gets all the obligations. He wants to empty garbage pails full of the vilest slanders and defamations on the clean garments of honorable people. Is this so he can poke someone's eyes out, or is it to make a fetish of the virtues of manipulative narcissism? You be the judge. In either case, he can fool some of the people all of the time. He can fool all of the people some of the time. But Gov. Bush can't fool all of the people all of the time.

When it comes to Gov. Bush's machinations, I indisputably assert that we have drifted along for too long in a state of blissful denial and outright complacency. It's time to act against injustice, whether it concerns drunk driving, domestic violence, or even fascism. The sooner we do that, the better, because Gov. Bush's analects are rife with contradictions and difficulties; they're totally disaffected, meet no objective criteria, and are unsuited for a supposedly educated population. And as if that weren't enough, today, we might have let Gov. Bush deny us the opportunity to discuss the relationship between three converging and ever-growing factions -- capricious schizophrenics, unconscionable hypochondriacs, and smarmy sad sacks. Tomorrow, we won't. Instead, we will prescribe a course of action. Now, I'm no fan of Gov. Bush's, but still, "tolerance" means tolerance of all, not only of a select few. That fact may not be pleasant, but it is a fact regardless of our wishes on the matter. If the only way to strike at the heart of Gov. Bush's efforts to tinker about with a lot of halfway prescriptions is for me to adopt a new world-view, then so be it. It would unquestionably be worth it because griping about Gov. Bush will not make him stop trying to force his moral code on the rest of us. But even if it did, he would just find some other way to fuel the censorship-and-intolerance crowd. Here's some news for people who are suprised by sunrise: Inequality does not beget equality. Now that I've stated that, allow me to say that Gov. Bush maintains that either individual worth is defined by race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin or that sin is good for the soul. Gov. Bush denies any other possibility.

It has been said that Gov. Bush has a one-track mind. I believe that to be true. I also believe that if he gets his way, none of us will be able to maximize our individual potential for effectiveness and success in combatting Gov. Bush. Therefore, we must not let him destroy our culture, our institutions, and our way of life. He has found a way to avoid compliance with government regulations, circumvent any further litigation, and develop a Pavlovian reflex in us, to make us afraid to clean up the country and get it back on course again -- all by trumping up a phony emergency. Although Gov. Bush has managed to avoid indictment, or even a consensus that he did anything illegal, he should not undermine the individualistic underpinnings of traditional jurisprudence. Not now, not ever. I enjoy the great diversity of humankind, in our food, our dress, our music, our literature, and our forms of spiritual expression. What I don't enjoy are Gov. Bush's unsavory insinuations which help flighty, flagitious clowns back up their prejudices with "scientific" proof.

Gov. Bush's inveracities leave me with several unanswered questions: Is he hoping that the readers of this letter won't see the weakness of his argument relative to mine? And how long shall there continue inane philosophasters to vend and offensive vagrants to gulp so low a piece of libertinism as his animadversions? These are difficult questions to answer, because his ebullitions are a mere cavil, a mere scarecrow, one of the last shifts of a desperate and dying cause. Gov. Bush's grand plan is to insult the intelligence, interests, and life plans of whole groups of people. I'm sure Mao Tse Tung would approve. In any case, we must view the realms of diabolism and teetotalism not as two opposing poles, but as two continua. If we don't, future generations will not know freedom. Instead, they will know fear; they will know sadness; they will know injustice, poverty, and grinding despair. Most of all, they will realize, albeit far too late, that Gov. Bush sees himself as a postmodern equivalent of Marx's proletariat, revolutionizing the world by wresting it from its oppressors (viz., those who launch an all-out ideological attack against the forces of simplism).

By framing the question in this way, we see that Gov. Bush is the embodiment of everything petty in our lives. Every grievance, every envy, every quasi-mephitic ideology finds expression in George W Bush. It's easy to tell if he's lying. If his lips are moving, he's lying. That reminds me: Gov. Bush's latest manifesto, like all the ones that preceded it, is a consummate anthology of disastrously bad writing teeming with misquotations and inaccuracies, an odyssey of anecdotes that are occasionally entertaining, but certainly not informative.

I wouldn't even mention that Gov. Bush is one of the world's major voices of masochism if it weren't true. If we take his zingers to their logical conclusion, we see that in the immediate years ahead, he will dominate the whole earth and take possession of all its riches. Because "semiprofessionalized" is a word that can be interpreted in many ways, we must make it clear that his reason is not true reason. It does not seek the truth, but only incorrigible answers, cankered resolutions to conflicts. I've known some crumbums who were impressively dishonest. However, Gov. Bush is unprofessional, and that trumps dishonest every time. At first, he just wanted to hammer away at the characters of all those who will not help him perpetuate inaccurate and dangerous beliefs about male-female relationships. Then, he tried to weaken our mental and moral fiber. Who knows what he'll do next? If you need help in answering that question, you may note that I recommend paying close attention to the praxeological method developed by the economist Ludwig von Mises and using it as a technique to remove the misunderstanding that Gov. Bush has created in the minds of myriad people throughout the world. The praxeological method is useful in this context because it employs praxeology, the general science of human action, to explain why Gov. Bush frequently avers his support of democracy and his love of freedom. But one need only look at what Gov. Bush is doing -- as opposed to what he is saying -- to understand his true aims. Now that you've heard what I've had to say, I want you to think about it. And I want you to join me and follow through on the critical work that has already begun.

Re:Moderators are closet Republicans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095439)

To respond to all of Pres. George W Bush's rodomontades would take up too much room and time. I would like to address the most sex-crazed ones, though. Without going into all the gory details, let's just say that malicious goof-offs are born, not made. That dictum is as unimpeachable as the "poeta nascitur, non fit" that it echoes and as irreproachable as the brocard that Pres. Bush is currently limited to shrieking and spitting when he's confronted with inconvenient facts. Before long, however, Pres. Bush is likely to switch to some sort of "do the devil's work" approach to draw our attention away from such facts. Our path is set. By this, I mean that in order to issue a call to conscience and reason, we must tell you a little bit about him and his macabre memoranda. I consider that requirement a small price to pay because Pres. Bush's goal is to conceal information and, occasionally, blatantly lie. How unimaginative is that? How nerdy? How anal-retentive? You may be surprised to learn that I was once like Pres. Bush. I, too, wanted to undermine everyone's capacity to see, or change, the world as a whole. It interfered with my judgment, my reasoning, and my ability to make efforts directed towards broad, long-term social change.

Pres. Bush's perversions are as predictable as sunrise. Whenever I empower the oppressed to control their own lives, his invariant response is to cause an increase in disease, barbarism, crime, and vice. Pres. Bush is an opportunist. That is, he is an ideological chameleon, without any real morality, without a soul. He is locked into his present course of destruction. He does not have the interest or the will to change his fundamentally virulent codices.

Mark my words: that's just one side of the coin. The other side is that if I try really, really hard, I can almost see why Pres. Bush would want to trade fundamental human rights for a cheap "guarantee" of safety and security. To Hell with him! In particular, a well-respected professor at a nearby university, writing with the dispassionate objectivity that is a precondition of all scientific knowledge, has recently concluded that those who think that this is the best of all possible worlds and that Pres. Bush is the best of all possible people should think again. But there's the rub; I can't possibly believe Pres. Bush's claim that he is the way, the truth, and the light. If someone can convince me otherwise, I'll eat my hat. Heck, I'll eat a whole closetful of hats. That's a pretty safe bet because I need your help if I'm ever to refute Pres. Bush's arguments line by line and claim by claim. "But I'm only one person," you might protest. "What difference can I make?" The answer is: a lot more than you think. You see, in a rather infamous speech, Pres. Bush exclaimed that the sky is falling. (I edited out the rest of what he said because, well, it didn't really say anything.) Thus, in summing up, we can establish the following: 1) Many of Pres. George W Bush's crusades have been criticized for being slanted in favor of a particular stance, and 2) Pres. Bush's writings exhibit a disregard, not merely for style, but for the truth.

Re:Moderators are closet Republicans (-1, Offtopic)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095487)

That reminds me: Gov. Bush's latest manifesto, like all the ones that preceded it, is a consummate anthology of disastrously bad writing teeming with misquotations and inaccuracies, an odyssey of anecdotes that are occasionally entertaining, but certainly not informative.

That reminds me: ArsenneLupin's latest manifesto, like all the ones that preceded it, is a consummate anthology of disastrously bad writing teeming with misquotations and inaccuracies, an odyssey of anecdotes that are occasionally entertaining, but certainly not informative.

Democrats hate moderates thats why we Vote GOP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095510)

The Democrat party has left no room for moderates...

My wife was a life long democrat, but turned independent after some anti-christian shenanigans with the State partly locally. She realized those running the party were so arogant that they have no room for her values.

So while am worried, I support the war in Iraq because I think democracy over tyranny is a good thing and I am educated enough to know that more children were dying under Saddam each year (by UN numbers) than all the casualties caused by the war. (UN report showed 5,000 chidlren a month dying because of diverted oil for food funds)

I also support gay civil marriage and a national license being required to carry or buy a gun.

However, when I talk to friends who disagree with my stands who are Republican, they are polite. The Democrats get angry and rude.

The shrill angry left has ruined the Democrat party. The reason Bush is president is because the left refused to look at choices like Lieberman or Gephardt who I would have voted for and gave us loones like Dean and pure politicians like Kerry. Bush may make mistakes and I disagree with him about half the time, but he is consistent and sees some value in America rather than hating it.

When Democrats welcome moderates again, I will consider them again.

sounds great (5, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095310)

I'm sold. Does anyone have the .torrent for it?

Re:sounds great (-1, Redundant)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095413)

"sold" means you're actually willing to pay for it...

Hm.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095423)

Only if one of the webpacks is porn. Or better yet, if several are porn, cross referenced by type and participants.

Though, my vaguely disturbing ramblings do raise an interesting point, maybe - what's their stance on the indecent materials that make up a good deal of teh webernet? When they say the "whole internet," do they MEAN goatse too?

MOD PARENT UP!! (-1, Offtopic)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095483)

This comment seems interesting to me. At least, it does not deserve a 0. I wonder if this startup has addressed the demand for pr0n?

Re:Hm.. (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095512)

I think goatse would be under "hole internet".

Re:sounds great (5, Funny)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095498)

I'm sold. Does anyone have the .torrent for it?
Me too ! Do you think we can subscribe to a service to get updates when the content change ?

Dotcom v3.0 (5, Insightful)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095311)

A new startup called Webaroo is launching Monday with an audacious proposition: You can search the Web without a net connection of any kind.

If anyone doubted the next dotcom boom is upon us, this should put that doubt to rest.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095348)

Bursting of this bubble is expected at 2006/04/10 12.00 GMT

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (5, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095355)

I was JUST thinking that. This seems like the beginning of a whole slew of semi-ridiculous ideas that get funded because their proponents seem 'ahead of their time'. Did someone at a funding company not think of the following two points:

1) the web is growing at a phenomenal rate. in a few years, the only thing that you'll be able to fit on even high-density media is very narrow, specific content. is there really such a huge market for that?

2) wifi is nearly ubiquitous. why pay for a static snapshot of the web that will be obsolete in a few days when you can walk into a starbucks with you laptop and get the fresh stuff almost for free??

I'm sure the guys who want to put the web on a disk have thought these points through, but me...I just really want to sigh. and buy some short-term stocks.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095361)

"in a few years, the only thing that you'll be able to fit on even high-density media is very narrow, specific content."

Welcome to 10 years ago.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

KenDodd (961972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095390)

Fresh stuff in a Starbucks? Are you kidding me? :)

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095397)

content, if not coffee.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095456)

in a few years, the only thing that you'll be able to fit on even high-density media is very narrow, specific content.

The thing is that Wikipedia, with all its imperfections and gaps, is still a surprisingly good start.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

redalien (711170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095437)

Web 2.0 - Feeding the bubble.

Re:Dotcom v3.0 (1)

Milton Waddams (739213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095493)

Wait. There have already been 2 dotcom booms? I know there was one in the mid to late 90s. When was the other one?

Plus, I hope you're right. I'm starting my graduate IT job in July. I'm gonna start earning loads of money! :)

Sounds like a cache to me (5, Informative)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095313)

After reading the article, it sounds like they are just selling their web cache, nice idea but really unless they are selling really cheap I just can't see it picking up, especially considering the difficulties of getting the data to your drive, I mean an 80G download!

Additionally what if I decide to follow site links that leave the cache?

Yeah I can't really see this picking up.

Re:Sounds like a cache to me (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095393)

I might have considered this before I bought my Treo 650 - now that I can get internet access on my laptop pretty much anywhere I get cell reception, however, there isn't much of a point. It's a nice idea, and I imagine it was pretty tricky to implement - but the internet has simply become too ubiquitous for this to be a viable product.

Transoceanic flights? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095492)

now that I can get internet access on my laptop pretty much anywhere I get cell reception, however, there isn't much of a point.

So what should the transatlantic and transpacific frequent fliers use? Wi-Fi and cellphones don't work on an airplane.

What's their useragent? (-1, Troll)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095314)

So that we can program our webservers to feed them appropriate content [tinyurl.com]

ah yes remember the day (5, Funny)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095315)

when someone asked if the internet will fit on a floppy?

Re:ah yes remember the day (3, Funny)

jeroenb (125404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095377)

I remember somewhere halfway through the 90s that a co-worker who did research into search technologies got the "idea" to just crawl the web looking for references to stuff you were interested in. It was pretty obvious, but he wanted to back everything up in case he wanted to recrawl it searching for something else.

One day our internet connection was down and we went up to him asking: "the net connection is down, could we use your internet backup instead?" He was not amused, we were :)

Come to think of it, I'm not sure what he's up to nowadays...

Re:ah yes remember the day (1, Redundant)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095411)

Sadly, I remember the day when it would. Getting too old.

Re:ah yes remember the day (4, Funny)

fracex (591622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095481)

I remember when I was convinced that the entire interent came on one of those AOL floppies.

Mind you I think I was 7 years old at the time.

Re:ah yes remember the day (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095506)

I think the corrent answer is that it does fit, if you leave out all porn and warez.

The real question is, who would be interested in it then?

Copyright infringment. (3, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095318)

How soon till the first lawsuit is filed.

Re:Copyright infringment. (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095485)

How soon till the first lawsuit is filed.

US copyright law, 17 USC 512 [cornell.edu] , excuses operators of automated caches that conform to established cache control protocols (meta elements, /robots.txt, etc.) from copyright infringement liability.

Is this really the right time? (2, Insightful)

php_krisp (858209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095320)

Is this really the right to to try this? when wi-fi connections are popping up all over the place and the internet's bigger than it ever has been before?

Re:Is this really the right time? (2, Funny)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095374)

it would always be the right time, if only for the possibility that the bomb drops and we have to live a mad max style existance scavenging and fighting over laptop batteries and petrol in old stores throughout the land. If that happens, i wanna be able to read uncyclopedia [uncyclopedia.org] at the end of the day.
If it didn't happen i would be like the guy who loses his glasses in that old story and can't read even though he has eternity "but there was time now..." or whatever.

Re:Is this really the right time? (2, Interesting)

IndigoParadox (953607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095441)

I've been thinking of snagging the downloadable Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and using a bot to download some other sites for this very reason!

Not just access (2, Interesting)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095421)

FTFA:
Which isn't to say that ever more ubiquitous 'Net connections won't pose a challenge to the Webaroo business model.

"Long-term their opportunity may have more to do with [search] performance" than the offline capability itself, Enderle says.

Husick tells me that performance benefit was reinforced for the company by a rousing reception their service received from Japanese mobile operators who he says were salivating over Webaroo as a means to siphon search traffic away from their increasingly crowded wireless broadband networks.

Webaroo will also be touting the potential cost savings and convenience of its service.

"Every hotel I go to wants to charge me $10 to $15 a night for Internet. Every airport wants to charge me another $10 to get connected," Husick says. "If I've got five minutes before I have to board my flight, do I want to spend that five minutes connecting or do I want to spend five minutes getting my search answer?"
I still think this is a business scheme destined to fail. It may be a business plan that is designed to survive only long enough to cash out.
 
I've got news for Husick. I'm a lawyer who have sets of Statutes, Court Rules and Local Rules behind his desk. I still look them up online to make sure I have the most recent version. I can't afford not to.
 
Search performance? Rarely, if ever a problem.
 
Siphon traffic away from "increasingly crowded broadband networks?" They make money from that traffic. They can't, if necessary, charge per data download? Tier the service by download bandwidth? Charge more? Build a better network?
 
The first cell phone or wireless device that expects me pre-download some portion of the net, that portion being determined by somebody else, is the first one I can cross off my list.
 
Save $5 or %10 at the airport by not connecting? What if I want to send or receive e-mail? Get the latest news, business or stock information? I'm AT AN AIRPORT, which implies I have some money, and in his context that I'm on business. I'm going to foregoe a net connection for $5 or $10? If my employer is that tight, I'm looking for another job anyway -- one that doesn't use Webaroos' services.

This reminds me of software solutions to cramped hard drive spaces awhile back. On the fly file compression and expansion when data size was outstriping hard drive size for a short period of time. (Remember the file corruption.) Even though there was a market for those products, barely, everyone and his brother knew that market was going to go away Real Soon Now.

ownership (3, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095321)

Wouldn't there be an issue here of selling another person's content? While everyone can view the content at will, copying that information to media and then reselling it, or even distributing it for free, would be an issue.

Re:ownership (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095354)

Well, that gets back to the whole issue of who, exactly, has jurisdiction of what parts of the Internet, and where, and when, and under what circumstances. And of course, where you choose to sell your "product". Definitely a can of worms. I hope they have a good legal department, because I think they're probably going to need it.

Re:ownership (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095440)

How is it any different to my ISP charging me to look at other people's content? The only difference is that one is online, the other is off line. Should that really make a difference, I'm sure the lawyers will argue that it does, but in reality there is little.

Re:ownership (1)

ammoQ (454616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095463)

There is definitely a difference. Technically, they make a copy and the ISP doesn't. You should also consider that owners of websites want to make money with it, by banner advertising etc. Offline, they cannot make money. For that reason, no-one can assume that their approval of that copy since it's obviously against their intentions.

Cache exemption (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095501)

Technically, they make a copy and the ISP doesn't.

Isn't the ephemeral copy in the RAM of a router still a copy? And don't operators of automated caches have a fairly broad exemption under United States copyright law, 17 USC 512(b) [bitlaw.com] ?

why stop there? (1)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095322)

With hard drive sizes so much larger than they used to be, why limit the space to 80GB? I carry around a 250 with my laptop, and if you plan on having so much data, why not make it even larger?

Yeah yeah I did not RTFA, so if this is answered in the article, well...Eh.

Copyright? (1, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095323)

Considering the fact that companies are suing google for putting the first paragraph of their news tidbits on google news, how long will it be before someone sues webaroo for copyright infringement? Whether the claim is valid or reasonable or not is a moot point - someone is gonna see this as infringement and call out their pack of rabid lawyers.

Re:Copyright? (1)

KenDodd (961972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095373)

As soon as Webaroo possess a sufficiently strong scent to said pack of rabid lawyers? Startups are largely skin and bones, slender pickings :)

Re:Copyright? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095375)

Well, since this is a start up they're not going to have very deep pockets, so unless someone is truly disturbed about copyright infringement I doubt you'll see too much legal action right away. No money in it. And I would expect that if anyone did complain Webaroo would immediately remove the offending content from future versions: they'd be fools to do otherwise. However, if (by some amazing happenstance) this becomes popular and profitable, expect multiple packs of hungry, rabid lawyers to move in for the kill. Isn't it amazing how the patent and copyright systems work to advance the useful arts and sciences nowadays?

I won't be doing that one... (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095327)

look at news without a net connection? Either this is going to be just the same as viewing pages offline after you've been on them (perhaps an automated web crawler which grabs pages whilst you have some up time) or you will be viewing very old news... It seems to be the former though, in which case your not really doing it "without a connection"... so why bother? this seems like a waste of space and time (an bandwidth), just look at what you want to when your plugged in rather than constantly getting information you may never need

Re:I won't be doing that one... (2, Funny)

Jetekus (909605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095495)

I've heard that a technology for seeing news offline already exists. It's very cheap, disposable (so don't worry if you leave it on the train) and can even keep you dry for a short period of time if it starts to rain. What's more - it's made from trees! How clever is that!!!

Airport Example (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095329)

The Airport example highlights the major weakness of this software: whait if I want to send and recieve real-time messages and news in that 5 minutes before a flight?

Has it's uses, though.

Re:Airport Example (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095418)

That's not a weakness, it's a characteristic inherent to the fundamental idea. To call it a "major weakness" is akin to scoffing at skateboards for their lack of a motor, or disparaging wallpaper for its poor performance as a security system.

In the world of citi wide wifi & (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095331)

wireless broadband access.. why would I want to download the web on my harddrive, when I will have (if not already) access to it from virtually anywhere ?

I see potential educational uses, but not wide spread adoption.

April Fools!! (1)

tfriedlich (610874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095333)

Is it just me, or does seem like a left-over post from last saturday?

Re:April Fools!! (1)

Keweenaw (897069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095399)

My thoughts exactally. I think someone was a little behind in reading their press releases. The site is still not up for the product. The only information from their front page is:
Webaroo is a stealth-mode technology startup. We bring a breakthrough capability to your mobile world. The company is backed by world-class venture firms and investors. The company's offices are located in Seattle, WA, Santa Clara, CA, Mumbai, India and New Delhi, India.
At least they could have had the release of their product on-time for April Fools. Maybe they're suffering the same delays as MS with Vista. lol

Old news in Sweden! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095334)

Bah, this is old news. We swedes have been buying "Internet on a cd-rom" from http://home.swipnet.se/snezzer/pi/ [swipnet.se] for a long time. You can even buy it on VHS for 489:- or DVD with surround sound!

Weaboo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095337)

Did somebody say "Weaboo?" Because I... oh, webaroo. Damn, nevermind.

What about important updates? (5, Funny)

KenDodd (961972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095341)

For example, where do we get the porn diffs?

Downloading Wikipedia Is Nothing New (2, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095346)

Been around since the early 90's. Back then it was called "fan fiction."

Sweet!!!11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095349)

80 gigabytes of Natalie Portman pictures - sweeet!! Where do I sign up..

How are they going to handle dynamic things.. (3, Insightful)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095351)

e.g. searching? Having Wikipedia on your hdd is all well and good, but if you can't easily search it, what's the point?

Re:How are they going to handle dynamic things.. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095391)

So you're saying it's harder to seach content stored on your computer than if it's stored all over the Internet?

Besides, great thing about Wikipedia is you don't need to search it. You just look up the topic you want, and there's your information, already organized. (And yeah, I know books have been doing just that since the invention of the printing press. But I could never afford a copy of Britannica, could you?)

Re:How are they going to handle dynamic things.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095500)

Wikipedia is not a collection of html pages, it's a database with a web interface.
Grandparent poster posits that without the database software running on your laptop, Wikipedia won't work. At all.

WAMP (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095514)

Grandparent poster posits that without the database software running on your laptop, Wikipedia won't work.

How hard is it to set up a local WAMP (Windows-hosted Apache, MySQL, and PHP) server in a slick installer?

Screw the web searching business (2, Funny)

mtrisk (770081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095358)

They should be selling their compression technology!

Search results?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095360)

FTFA:

Webaroo will also be touting the potential cost savings...

"Every hotel I go to wants to charge me $10 to $15 a night for Internet. Every airport wants to charge me another $10 to get connected," Husick says. "If I've got five minutes before I have to board my flight, do I want to spend that five minutes connecting or do I want to spend five minutes getting my search answer?"

I would be more interested in checking email(s) than assimilate search results.

Re:Search results?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095448)

You might be interested in Google's new "your mail" beta then. Coming soon to a store near you...

AaAAAAaaHH!!!eleventy1 Big brother attacks! (1, Insightful)

redheaded_stepchild (629363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095371)

This is the single dumbest thing I've seen on Slashdot recently. As someone has already posted, why carry the internet as hard copy when wifi is becoming ubiquitous? In any case, is it just my tin-foil-hat nature that sees this as a great way of hiding/censoring parts of the internet? I mean, if this were to actually take off we'd be trusting a single source of info, with little or no culpability to the public. Granted if this became popular we'd see other sources come in, but....oh to hell with it.
 
I'm not going to waste any more time on this. It's just an exercise in paranoia. Nothing to see here, move along.

Already got it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095379)

I'm posting this message from my Webaroo offline internet connection.

80 gig web? (2, Insightful)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095380)

That would cover about 0.0000000001% of the web, give or take a few dozen orders of magitude.

Re:80 gig web? (1)

AndreiK (908718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095406)

So that would be between 10^-34 and 10^14 percent?

Re:80 gig web? (1)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095461)

Actually between 10^-10 and zero percent. Probably much closer to zero. But nobody really knows just how big the WWW is, or even how fast it's growing. Even the mighty Google doesn't index more than a small percentage.

Re:80 gig web? (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095454)

No images and compression on the text would probably change that quite a bit.

Re:80 gig web? (4, Insightful)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095474)

No images and compression on the text would probably change that quite a bit.

Not enough so's you'd notice. What's the difference between one thimbleful of ocean and 100 thimblefuls of ocean? Besides trying to solve the wrong problem to begin with?

Re:80 gig web? (1)

TTK Ciar (698795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095518)

It's more like 0.15%, if they use the same compression and content selection criteria as the Internet Archive. If they eschewed with all non-html content (graphics files, pdf's, etc) that would go up quite a bit. If they used better compression (the Archive uses gzip) it would go up some more.

An average crawl of the public web, minus files which are "too large" (not sure what the threshold is for that), makes about 55TB of gzipped archive. 80GB / 55000GB = 0.0014545, or about 0.15%.

-- TTK

about 8 days late on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095382)

I doubt the implementation will work properly without CPIP.

It means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095384)

that you will be able to download it from itself once you have it installed on your HD?

Sounds exactly like freenet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095386)

Slashdot pack (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095396)

At least if you have it on your harddrive you don't have to redownload it to get your dupes!

this is nothing new (2, Funny)

santaliqueur (893476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095404)

it's just the president nixon stereotype version of the normal web.

i'm going to surf the webarooooo

Not quite useful enough (1)

bender647 (705126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095408)

When I can get to a PC, I can usually get to the net. Do they offer hardcopies instead?

Re:Not quite useful enough (0, Offtopic)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095467)

Bender647 produced from a sack strapped onto his back a large book. "The book of teh intarweb", it read in gold lettering on its black leather binding. "Now, my children," intoned the wise old man, stroking his long grey beard, "I shall read you the story of when I got fsir7 ps0t."

Altogether now: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095412)

Massive copyright infringement.
 
They'll crash and burn.

All of the Web on a laptop? (5, Informative)

omeg (907329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095414)

"The Internet Archive Wayback Machine contains approximately 1 petabyte of data and is currently growing at a rate of 20 terabytes per month. This eclipses the amount of text contained in the world's largest libraries, including the Library of Congress. If you tried to place the entire contents of the archive onto floppy disks (we don't recommend this!) and laid them end to end, it would stretch from New York, past Los Angeles, and halfway to Hawaii."

Internet Archive Frequently Asked Questions [archive.org]

Re:All of the Web on a laptop? (1)

Shinaku (757671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095505)

and, of course, one of the floppies will corrupt leaving you with the rest being useless.

Google Local (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095416)

How big is Google's index of the Web, complete with URLs of results? I could search that, only a day out of date, without a Net connection, if it fit on a HD. Maybe using Usenet to distribute it...

hmm... (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095422)

yeah... I don't know, usually when i'm travelling and i'm trying to get online i'm trying to connect to my VPN, or check my email...etc..not trying to look up what the capital of Georga is?.. plus how many people have a spare 80GB's on their laptop?????? (NOT ME)

plus i don't know where they are staying but the hotels we use have free HS Internet in the rooms?

Surfing is only part of the web... (0, Redundant)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095424)

FTFA: There's a fine line between crazy and audacious -- we'll know soon enough which side Webaroo falls on.

I can already tell you which side of the line it falls on. In addition to 80g being a thimbleful of ocean, websurfing is not my main use of the internet. How, for instance, are they going to support reading blogs, or even /.? My main use of the internet is to send and receive mail. Followed by participating in several blogs and fora (like /.). My home page is Google/ig, set up to monitor several RSS feeds, email, and news. This idea is so bad it isn't even wrong. It's pathetic.

Re:Surfing is only part of the web... (2, Insightful)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095460)

So your personal computing habits are the yardstick by which all IT products are to be measured?

When your argument is based exclusively on your opinions and personal experience, global absolutes like "this idea is bad" come off as arrogance. Phrases like "this is useless to me" are more accurate.

Pr0n? (4, Funny)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095432)

Would the downloadable content include porn?

Er, I'm asking this in order to, er, protect my girlfriend's sensibilities. Can't have her unwittingly downloading such naughty stuff you know. =)

what about copyright issues (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095435)

I see issues of copyright coming up. Just linking to sites these days can get people into trouble, what will be the repercussions of essentially taking all this data and stuffing it on someones hard drive.

Early copy already leaked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095442)

Download [w3schools.com] .

On a more serious note, in a few years, won't there be wireless internet in the vast majority of places that you would be doing work? Why not work on getting internet everywhere, rather than a dumbed-down crippled version that uses up a big chunk of hard drive space? It seems like the opposite direction of where things are going. With the number of emerging internet based services that used to be only on the desktop (ie. office applications, image management, etc.) it seems like everything is moving to be -online-, not the other way around.

Oh my! (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095443)

Oh my! The endless copyright battles that will ensue!

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Damn! Honey, (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095445)

I missed that eBay auction deadline again! I'd better start using FedEx for the new versions.

obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095453)

Well I, for one, welcome our new "wget" overlords.

Inspiration (1)

billysk8r (827793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095458)

Webaroo's creator commented that his inspiration to create the service came from beholding the immense power of SQL on Rails [sqlonrails.org]

Oh my good god (plus bonus Dr Who joke)... (2, Funny)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095466)

From the website "Webaroo is a stealth-mode technology startup" which obviously means something very clever ... personally I use WinHTTrack on a small number of sites, now if someone offered pre-downloaded WinHTTrack sites ...maybe to order ...
Anyway, more importantly - Dr Who is due back on UK TV soon I think (slightly disappointing end to last series - shame to to see Chris E leave) so here's a joke that Webaroo might like to to 'cache' ... "What do Daleks have for a snack? ...
Dalek bread..." geddit? (thanks to a kids radio show for that one).

Re:Oh my good god (plus bonus Dr Who joke)... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095504)

It probably means that the VCs should not be concerned about the lack of a marketing budget -- they are doing "stelath marketing" by not telling anyone, and look, now they got on slashdot. It must be working. And the VC money is going directly to hacking together a cool new technology. They must have either exceptionally stupid or astoundingly clever funding sources.

Wow! I'd be MORE impressed if they.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095470)

could give me Duke Nukem Forever or the next Amiga OS release.

It'll never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15095476)

80 gigs is not nearly enough space for all the porn. Which is what most people search for anyway. 'Web on a hard drive' indeed!

Can't wait... (1)

coastin (780654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095484)

for the leather bound book inscribed by cyber-monks, with hand illustrated, gold leafed side-bars.

html has never cared where data comes from (2, Informative)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095499)

This actually isn't by any means a new idea.

If you've ever written or read html, you know that html doesn't care if links start file:// or if they start html://. HTML has always been quite neutral on whether it was linking to a local file system or getting something over the internet. Of course, most people don't use html extensively for local content. So in theory, this isn't a new idea at all.

In practice, I don't see a lot of points for it. I can imagine that some people might want a map of a new city, with clickable pictures and informations about various services there. Most features of a city map are going to stay the same for at least six months, so this is the type of thing that could be done staticly. But even with this, internet access is so widespread, that it seems like a solution for a minor problem. Also, if you want a handy city guide, it would make more sense to me to write it from scratch rather than use a cludge of cached web pages.

There's nothing new here (1)

hotspotbloc (767418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095503)

It's an offline, indexed database; interesting but hardly newsworthy. So unless they've broken the Shannon limit there's nothing more here than IPO fodder.

Slashdot hell (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15095507)

Imagine a version of Slashdot that you can refresh all day long, but no new articles appear.
You can post comments, but they never show up.

This service is a potential disaster that can drive millions of geeks on the edge of desperation or worse.
Think of the geeks, people...
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