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Random Hacks of Kindness

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the changing-the-world-requires-the-source-code dept.

Earth 69

Elizabeth Sabet writes "Google, Microsoft, NASA, The World Bank, and Yahoo! are unlikely partners, but they are bringing together the best and brightest in disaster relief management and the ever-growing hacker community in a progressive initiative called Random Hacks of Kindness. Its mission is to mobilize a world-wide community of technologists to solve real-world problems through technology. RHoK is gearing up for its first world-wide 'hackathon for humanity' on June 4-6, 2010. Following last year's inaugural event in Mountain View, California, which produced software solutions that were used on the ground during the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the partners have decided to take the effort global. RHoK engages volunteer software engineers, independent hackers, and students from around the world in a marathon weekend of hacking events and coding competitions to develop software solutions for problems posed by subject-matter experts. This first global Hackathon will feature sponsored events in Washington, DC, Sydney, Nairobi, Jakarta, and Sao Paulo." Here's where to go for more details or to register for the DC event.

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in other words (3, Insightful)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332058)

They're gonna take the use the event as a front to get ideas...

Re:in other words (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332126)

yes, you know what really helps a lot the developing nations? stop snorting blow, getting fat, spilling oil, exporting your popculture and buying diamonds.

The cancer trying to get ideas on how to treat cancer FTW.

Re:in other words (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332328)

Like what? Hack all the Window's XP boxes attached to an ISP, and install Ubuntu on them instead?

Re:in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332454)

lol ... shud try that ...

Re:in other words (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332824)

How the hell is this modded Flaimbait?! They did it under a non AC name and the poster just after this one said the same thing only posed as a question and was modded +4 Insightful.

Aside from the housekeeping, it's a coder's prerogative to add to their own library.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32335672)

Fuck you. Seriously. I'm not trolling, I'm just disgusted at your cheap cynicism.

Re:Really? (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336840)

k. But that's the way life is, usually.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32345420)

maybe that's the way your world is. in which case I feel a bit sorry for you.

think about the difference between "old & cynical" and "old & wise".
(maybe one was an optimist as a child and the other a pesimist?)

you can protect yourself without automatically assuming everyone is out to screw you over. (ok, we /are/ talking about multinationals here, but none the less they must have at least some good people working for them internally...)

Re:in other words (1)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32339480)

Ideas are cheap, it's execution that matters: http://www.paulgraham.com/ideas.html [paulgraham.com]

I can assure that these organizations are rife with ideas, bringing the ideas "to market" is the problem.

Re:in other words (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32341654)

They're gonna take the use the event as a front to get ideas...

Who fucking cares?

If they're good ideas, and they enable people to act quickly and efficiently in times of crisis, who cares about attribution?

I've spent the last 7 years living and working in what the UN classifies as a Least Developed Country. I've read through the specific challenges being presented to hackers at these events and, truth be told, I'd be hard pressed to come up with a better list.

There are shortcomings, to be sure. One of the biggest is that communications is one of the first things to suffer when (most) disasters strike. Where I live, most of the country only just got mobile service in the last year or two, and the service is flaky, to say the least. Bad weather affects out most of the microwave hops between communities, so right when we need it most (i.e. hurricane season), it's at its least reliable.

I'd love to see more attention paid to groups like Telecom Sans Frontières [tsfi.org] , who arrive on short notice and set up emergency communications. Ironically, I'm not eligible to work for them, as my residence in a developing country makes rapid deployment difficult. It would be nice, though, to see an international volunteer registry that would allow NGOs such as this to react rapidly and efficiently to problems.

The other major liability I see in a project like this is the Hollywood Effect. Everyone wants to be the firefighter saving the baby from the burning building. Not many want to be the volunteer who builds the house in the first place, or the contractor who simply makes sure the house remains up to spec and therefore never burns.

Most development work is tedious, repetitive and endlessly frustrating. It consists largely of continually fighting ignorance, inadequacy and petty corruption in order to take tiny steps in the right direction. All the important changes happen from one generation to the next. So where, I would like to know, are the software and the volunteers for that kind of work?

Re:in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32345446)

...if I had mod points you'd get them...

still take whatever help we can get, and solve whatever problems we can solve.
even if we can't do much about many other problems in the long term, that's no reason to not pick off what low hanging fruit we can reach with our new hi-tech ladders.

also a bit disappointed at the lack of posts for this article vs. the attention other trivial stuff here gets, and that a good half of the comments are from otherwise qualified-to-help cynics seemingly rationalizaing to themselves their lack of action.

And how is it used? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332060)

How is the code used though? Do you still own the code? Is it licensed under the GPL? BSD? Apache? Or is it just given to the companies or placed in the public domain?

Re:And how is it used? (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332234)

Couldn't find any reference to it on their site. I hope they are going to cover that at the actual event.

Re:And how is it used? (1)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32339236)

(I helped plan this event)

The code you write is your own. We encourage people to license their code under an OSI approved license.

Re:And how is it used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32467864)

These issues have been address on the RHoK website: http://www.rhok.org/2010/06/rhok-hacks-open-source-solutions-that-can-save-lives-and-alleviate-suffering/.

"RHoK hacks are owned by their developers but must be made available through an OSI approved open source license, preferably BSD."

Just make sure (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332064)

that none of these people can claim copyright on your work.. or any patents...

Re:Just make sure (2, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332066)

Jeeze! First three comments... effectively saying, "Don't feed the bears"

Re:Just make sure (4, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332122)

Exactly, from the site linked:

At a RHoK Hackathon, benevolently-inclined hackers will listen to a keynote speech presenting the challenges we are facing. Then they’ll churn out some of the most important open source code on the planet

Emphasis mine. I'd love to see someone try to close-source this stuff with the major players. Let's see a four-way fight between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and the US Government. Popcorn anyone.

Re:Just make sure (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332172)

Like RMS said, even if your code is open, they can choose just not to redistribute it and it would end up "closed", especially if they tangle it with NDAs and "national security".

Just about everything dealing with space gets lumped in with "national security" and thus may never be viewable by the public.

Re:Just make sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332262)

and every thing by NASA is public domain, so "national security" + "public domain" = able to be viewed/accessed when hell freezes over or you sell your soul to ???[demon/god of your choosing] (or are a politician that has done all of the above)

Re:Just make sure (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337576)

Not everything the US puts into space is owned by NASA. NASA gets the unclassified science stuff, but pretty much all of the rest will be classified and owned by the military.

In other words, there is nothing in the intersection of the Venn diagram between 'classified space stuff' and 'NASA space stuff'. The X-37 is a good example, since it was NASA until they wanted to put classified equipment on it.

Re:Just make sure (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333094)

Well, it does make some sense. If either Microsoft or Google are trying to be nice, I check what I am being robbed of or forced to now. So it is more of a "Don't trust the bears."

and make PROFITS (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332072)

and make PROFITS off the needy, helpless and disadvantaged...

YES YOU too can be a greedy sick bastard SIGN UP TODAY

Re:and make PROFITS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332180)

hey im in a third world country, I have 10 and homeless if you write that java app you can be sure I'm going to eat tonight and not being molested by catolic priests. Also my dad will be back to life and my sister will grow a leg if you use HTML5 for the interface, I heard html5 do that things for us who have stepped on a claymore mine! YAY!!

So what? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332132)

Who cares if they're using this awesome idea to make money after they help millions of people?

Just because someone is going to make money off of it doesn't mean it's suddenly an evil idea.

Re:So what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332216)

It is if you're a socialist.

Re:So what? (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332236)

It is if you're a socialist.

I think you mean "it is if you're a Bolshevik".

Re:So what? (3, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332296)

Uhm.. it's good versus evil- you're supposed to fight the evil. Why would anyone care about something as mundane as helping millions when you can fight evil?

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332300)

No, the problem is they could conceivably stop you from using it [slashdot.org] ... Making money is not the issue...

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332318)

TFA:

Random Hacks of Kindness

Clueless:

Is it licensed under the GPL? BSD? Apache?

Anonymous:

Who cares...?

A voice of reason, thankfully.

"The very first Crisis Camp bar camp was held in Washington, D.C. in May 2009. During one of the opening sessions of the camp an industry panel spoke, and clearly stated that some issues of global importance take precedence over competitive business concerns."
- RHoK.Org

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332622)

Because it has a nice, fuzzy-sounding name, we shouldn't care who uses the work and in what way?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32365454)

TFA:

Random Hacks of Kindness

Clueless:

Is it licensed under the GPL? BSD? Apache?

Anonymous:

Who cares...?

A voice of reason, thankfully.

"The very first Crisis Camp bar camp was held in Washington, D.C. in May 2009. During one of the opening sessions of the camp an industry panel spoke, and clearly stated that some issues of global importance take precedence over competitive business concerns."
- RHoK.Org

I was at the first one held in Mountain View. According to what they said and what their site says they recommend the BSD license, but all code belongs to those who write it.

I need more information ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332252)

I need to do alot more research on this subject and then i will sign up and submit an article maybe counter claiming some of these remarks.

http://urbannewsninja.blogspot.com

Haiti Earthquake and Ushahidi (5, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332272)

I was centrally involved in the Haiti earthquake relief effort. One interesting open source app we, the State Department, the UN, Red Cross, US Marines, and others used was called Ushahidi, which is a crowd-sourced news & mapping tool. Within hours of the quake the good people at Ushahidi had set up an instance to track reports and direct relief efforts at http://haiti.ushahidi.com./ [haiti.ushahidi.com]

You could watch, real-time, as reports funneled into the map of people texting from inside collapsed buildings requesting evac, and see first-responders picking up on them. Once Digicel, Haiti's cellphone company, started pushing official messages about which shortcode to text help requests to, and also to distribute the locations of medical help, food, water, etc., then it really picked up steam.

It was the first time we had all seen anything like it. The Marines told us they were using it almost like a trouble-ticket system to route their emergency teams because it was the only actionable information they could get.

Africa’s Gift to Sil Valley: How to Track a (4, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332346)

NY Times:

...an important force behind this upheaval is a small Kenyan-born organization called Ushahidi, which has become a hero of the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes and which may have something larger to tell us about the future of humanitarianism, innovation and the nature of what we label as truth.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/weekinreview/14giridharadas.html [nytimes.com]

Re:Haiti Earthquake and Ushahidi (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332440)

How do you get involved with efforts such as disaster relief at that sort of level? Not "centrally involved" such as yourself, as I'm sure that entails working for the State Dept. or a branch of the military (the Marines in this case), but still doing something useful if the skills are there.

Re:Haiti Earthquake and Ushahidi (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333414)

Both Sahana and Ushahidi are Free and Open Source projects, and like any non-profit org are always in desperate need of qualified helpers. Join the mailing lists, introduce yourself & explain what programming or other help you can bring, and I'm sure they'll point you to a list of 1000 waiting tickets in a bug tracker somewhere! It's a lot more productive use of your hobby time organizing resources & solving puzzles for real instead of sinking it into a video game ... !

2010 Summer of Code ideas links given as those are immediate needs the communities have prioritized.

http://www.sahanafoundation.org/ [sahanafoundation.org]
http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/doku.php/foundation:sahana_gsoc10 [sahanafoundation.org]

http://www.ushahidi.com/ [ushahidi.com]
http://www.ushahidi.com/dev_team [ushahidi.com]
http://wiki.ushahididev.com/ [ushahididev.com]
http://swift.ushahidi.com/extend/ideas/ [ushahidi.com]

fix a bug, save someone's life (or maybe 70 or 300.. it scales!) who wouldn't otherwise've made it... no joke. how often do you get that opportunity in your day to day? maybe we can't do f.all about leaking oil wells, but we do have the ability to do something here. which is pretty neat if you think about it.

Re:Haiti Earthquake and Ushahidi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333638)

Re:Haiti Earthquake and Ushahidi (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332698)

I thought it was called Mosaic. //I just watched SE01E21 ... FF, we are going to miss you.

This smells of greenwashing, and carpetbagging, (0, Flamebait)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332374)

The incongrous partners, the 'Noble Cause', and a big money field (new soft') makes me think that this is all about self-promotion, smokescreening and of course, profit. I would bet that on or near those dates, something is happening that those bears all want hidden/downplayed. Equally likely is that this is a branding excercise----> the Western World is freaking out about privacy, loss of data control, climate change. So, what is a positive spin on all of those issues...... Disaster management! Do not fear, Microsoft will share with Google the unique ID code on your WINXP machine, Goog will let MS know what you searched for, just before the tornado-flood-quake-meteor hit. Nasa gets to trial their new robot to dig you out, and Yahoo uses active tracking cookies they sent into your GPS smartphone to Ping your whereabouts to .05 meters. You, your litter of puppies, a kitten are all saved by open-sauce hot firefighters. Epic PR win! See, privacy and data control is unsafe people. Cynical I know, but the 'war' on 'ter-rorism' is so stale these days.....

Re:This smells of greenwashing, and carpetbagging, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332472)

Heavy, Man!

Re:This smells of greenwashing, and carpetbagging, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332498)

The incongrous partners, the 'Noble Cause', and a big money field (new soft') makes me think that this is all about self-promotion, smokescreening and of course, profit. I would bet that on or near those dates, something is happening that those bears all want hidden/downplayed. Equally likely is that this is a branding excercise----> the Western World is freaking out about privacy, loss of data control, climate change. So, what is a positive spin on all of those issues...... Disaster management! Do not fear, Microsoft will share with Google the unique ID code on your WINXP machine, Goog will let MS know what you searched for, just before the tornado-flood-quake-meteor hit. Nasa gets to trial their new robot to dig you out, and Yahoo uses active tracking cookies they sent into your GPS smartphone to Ping your whereabouts to .05 meters. You, your litter of puppies, a kitten are all saved by open-sauce hot firefighters. Epic PR win!

See, privacy and data control is unsafe people.

Cynical I know, but the 'war' on 'ter-rorism' is so stale these days.....

Cool story bro

Re:This smells of greenwashing, and carpetbagging, (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332570)

Just to clarify, I work in a remote Indigenous community in central Australia. I have experienced this stuff repeatedly applying directly to me and this community. Yes, I am ranting apologies...

Thanks. I almost walked away from this. (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334852)

Well said.

I looked at this story and thought, "Ugh. What utter bullshit. But to explain why and do it in a way which was engaging and readable will take more effort than I currently have to spend. My words are still mushy because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet."

I'm not saying that all altruism is false; it's not. And I bet you anything that there are many people involved in this current project who honestly mean well. But the whole thing is so contrived from the top that this effort is impossible to take seriously. MS? NASA? The World Fucking Bank??? Jeezuz. Those companies have long track records of creepy. (Though NASA has infinitely better PR than the others.) But for goodness sake. If I was a promising young hacker involved in that project, I'd be scared to go to sleep at night for fear of what they'd try to do to my head while I wasn't conscious. I wonder how many of those space-camp kids suffer from missing time. . ?

But whatever. That's too far for most people to deal with and you summed up the preliminaries very well, so we'll just leave it at that.

-FL

Licensing aside.... (1)

joeslice (842665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332458)

Regardless of how they'll license the code that comes out, this is the type of thing that is worth applauding. I'm a fan of big business(es) trying to do the right thing and give back to those in need.

Re:Licensing aside.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332522)

I'm a fan of big business(es) trying to do the right thing and give back to those in need.

Yeah well, they could quit polluting their homelands and stuff.. and stop fomenting war with arms merchants... you know.. little things that could cause vast improvements

Re:Licensing aside.... (1)

hughbar (579555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332802)

Yes, exactly, one right thing doesn't compensate for a wrong thing. It's more useful just to stop doing the wrong thing, a nettle that so-called corporate social responsibility hasn't even started to grasp...

As for the event itself, I now call these things generically 'open season' where large organisations and corporations try and suck stuff from the naive in the name of 'good' and 'open source'. It's why there aren't any of we hippies left now, same thing happened...

Hack for Life (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332474)

I most heartily approve.

And I hope there are many interesting results, other than buncha nerdy half-assed bullshit software projects. There are a lot more out there in life in need and want.

Build a better water pump. Build a better wiring harness. Things people in need can use.

And for god's sake, stop wasting your good brains cooking up another social network bullshit. You young people can do way way better than that.

Re:If You Build It (3, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333018)

And I hope there are many interesting results, other than buncha nerdy half-assed bullshit software projects. There are a lot more out there in life in need and want. Build a better water pump. Build a better wiring harness. Things people in need can use.

Like this pump [nytimes.com] ?

Here's an excerpt:

For 15 years, Kevin Costner has been overseeing the construction of oil separation machines to prepare for the possibility of another disaster of the magnitude of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

Disturbed by the effects of the Valdez spill in Alaska, Mr. Costner bought the nascent technology from the government in 1995 and put $24 million of his own money into developing it for the private sector.

Kevin saw the Exxon Valdez spill, and as a fisherman and an environmentalist, it just stuck in his craw, the fact that we didn't have separation technology, said John Houghtaling, Mr. Costner's lawyer and business partner as chief executive with Ocean Therapy Solutions, which developed the technology.

On Wednesday, BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said that the company had approved six of Ocean Therapy's 32 machines for testing. All boast centrifuge processing technology giant vacuum-like machines that suck oil from water, separate the oil, store it in a tanker and send the water, 99.9 percent purified, back into the gulf.

The technology was available for use 10 years ago, Mr. Houghtaling said. "These machines have been very robust, but nobody's been interested in them until now," he added.

He said that the largest four machines have the capability of separating 210,000 gallons of oil from water a day, 200 gallons a minute.

Sounds like the quintessential hacker.

And for god's sake, stop wasting your good brains cooking up another social network bullshit. You young people can do way way better than that.

Kostner's efforts are the product of fifteen years work and $24 spare cash. And on a somewhat related note, the special submarines [independent.co.uk] that James Cameron wants to contribute, those were financed courtesy of the movie studios. The point here is that it's hard to avoid the fact that the alternative (working on some possibly useless social networking thing) looks a lot more attractive. And do-able.

Re:If You Build It - Mod Parent UP (1)

popeyethesailor (325796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333842)

Nice hack. And that's $24 large, as in millions. Heals the world, and somebody makes money out of it - win/win.

Re:Hack for Life (1)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32339644)

other than buncha nerdy half-assed bullshit software projects. There are a lot more out there in life in need and want.

That's the idea. Check out this list of problem definitions: http://www.rhok.org/problem-definitions/full-list/ [rhok.org] - these aren't pie-in-the-sky ideas that we came up with, these are real needs as described by real crisis responders.

i quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332484)

"The software created at the event will continue to be developed at
subsequent RHoK events, and openly shared with the international
community. Our hope is that this software will address some of the
serious challenges facing the disaster response community, and evolve
in response to their needs."

HACK THE PLANET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32332496)

This IS a payphone. ... ... ...

Don't ask.

Re:HACK THE PLANET (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32332772)

You mean CRACK the planet.

Re:HACK THE PLANET (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32344912)

In half? Or do you mean, get it stoned? Explain!

Like RHoS? (2, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333318)

Random Hacks of Sedition. RHoS is so masterful I see they've hacked most printing companies that make labels for consumer electronics!

No Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333376)

Typical.

Gee, Brain, what do you want do this weekend? (0, Offtopic)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334186)

The same thing we do every weekend Pinky - try to take over the world!

.

profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334292)

I know this may be counter to standard ./ thinking, but it is ok with me if someone makes an obscene profit helping people. Much better than making an obscene profit by pure leeching like usury.

Unlikely Partners? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334470)

Google, Microsoft, NASA, The World Bank, and Yahoo! are unlikely partners...

Not at all, especially if you believe in the Illuminati-Bilderberg-FakeMoonLanding-YahooGoogleSoftMonopoly Conspiracy Theory. What's perplexing is why they left out the Rand Corporation, the Mafia and the CIA/NSA/FBI/JPL/DEA/EPA/NRA/FDA (AKA the TLA [wikipedia.org] Group).

Re:Unlikely Partners? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334632)

Ha ha ha!

Yes, corruption doesn't exist, especially if you laugh at it and include genuine bits of silliness nobody really thinks is true in your broad stroke accusations.

Do you feel content once more?

Good for you. The world, however, doesn't share your delusion of fluffy happy safety from people who want make sure you work all of your good hours in some idiotic slave job while you let your mind and spirit atrophy, while of course, preventing you from ever sharing in any of the real power which IS highly coveted in this world and for which people regularly manipulate and kill.

As long as you're laughing to keep yourself feeling safe, you're out of the contest and are in fact part of the prize package.

So do go back to sleep. You are very funny. All is well.

-FL

Re:Unlikely Partners? (1)

phaggood (690955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336428)

Aaah! They might be evil! I should keep doing nothing! Yes, back in my happy place. Now to click on XKCD and feel even more accomplished in my inaction.

Re:Unlikely Partners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336478)

I can't speak for the entire world... Yet, I for one, am able to recognize the existence of real world corruption and abuses of power without necessarily subscribing to paranoid conspiracy theories of a incredibly baroque or byzantine nature.

Re:Unlikely Partners? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32338566)

Yet, I for one, am able to recognize the existence of real world corruption and abuses of power without necessarily subscribing to paranoid conspiracy theories of a incredibly baroque or byzantine nature.

Really? Good for you. I feel similarly, (although I am not nearly so confident as to be able to declare that I always know the nature of what I am looking at, and I hold a dim view of anybody who claims they do).

What annoys me are those who write off any corruption which cuts too close to their comfort zone as "Paranoid Conspiracy Theory" rather than think about it further to find out if there is any validity to a "Wild Claim" being suggested. I can't count the number of times I've heard what I considered to be a "Wildly unlikely claim" only to have incontrovertible evidence put before me. And I'm not talking about big things. I'm talking about general reality in bland day-to-day phenomena, objects and activities. I've learned that I can't trust my initial reactions, that I can't write off any idea simply because it seems wrong until I've investigated the source material.

After a thorough investigation, you see the reality of a situation. Sometimes its another dumb Fake Moon Landing. Sometimes its a crop circle with microwave damage on every second stalk node and genuine unmarked black helicopters buzzing the field. Sometimes wild ideas become perfectly clear realities, and people resisting them seem perfectly ridiculous because they refuse to look at the evidence. That happens far more frequently than you might think.

Even more peculiar (and telling) is when people DO look at the evidence, become alarmed and confused, glaze over, reboot and continue on as though they'd seen nothing at all. I've seen THAT happen more than once, and I'll tell you, nothing makes me feel more like I'm living among pod-people!

-FL

Digital Drug Dealer not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32335052)

The Digital Drug Dealer Microsoft is not needed. All they have done in all their years of existence is slow down the progress of technology. Microsoft's "The first digital hit is free" and their warped view of "eye pee" is a serious detriment to such an effort.

Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336078)

Europe clearly does not deserve to participate...

Random Hack of Kindness? (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337976)

I don't know if this counts as a hacking, but internet kiosks in airports; sometimes I can kill the metering program and leave it open for free use to anyone who passes by w/o having to have it activated by a merchant or inserting cash
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