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Internet.org's Slave and Helicopter-Powered Internet

timothy posted about a year ago | from the long-memory dept.

The Internet 64

theodp writes "As reported earlier on Slashdot, Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday announced the launch of Internet.org, 'a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people,' including 'those who cannot currently afford it.' So it's especially bizarre that just a few days ago, Internet.org carried a FAQ which joked that slaves were used to create an Internet for the Pharaohs. And until recently, Internet.org's home page sported a photo purporting to show that freighters are used to rush Internet porn to affluent residents of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, and an illustration showing how helicopters deliver Internet data to actor George Clooney's magnificent Lake Como Villa. So keep an eye on how your domain is used, kids, especially if you plan to use it soon to position yourself and your partners as saints who champion the right of the world's poor to Internet access."

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Oh come on... (5, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | about a year ago | (#44644509)

So the domain was owned by someone else, doing different things with it. Sounds like it was funny... or trying to be funny.

Why do I care about this?

Re:Oh come on... (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#44644553)

Yeah, I can't figure out why "Billionaire buys previously used domain" to be breaking news.

Re:Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644613)

But it's the INTERNET, and Facebook. FACEBOOK!

Don't you get it? This is stuff that matters!

Re:Oh come on... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44645079)

I though the Internet was America Online. Let me check the date... Crap it is 2013! Where did the decade and a half go.

Re:Oh come on... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44645451)

You've been watching Internet porn for the last decade and a half. On the upside, your right arm is now allowed to enter the Mr. Universe contest.

Re:Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644795)

It comes from a Victorian need to have all of our domains be pure as freshly falling snow on the special day the registrar blesses our union. Otherwise, nothing would separate us from undignified commoners -- e.g., tumblr users.

Re:Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646877)

Why do I care about this?

Because slashdot is re-branding itself as slashFoxnews, it seems.

Seriously, shame on theodp and shame on timothy for posting this trash.

Re:Oh come on... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44648973)

I wonder if this Slashdot article (or rather summary) was inspired by a comment [slashdot.org] of mine which I made to the first internet.org article a couple of days ago.

Who cares? (4, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#44644525)

Honestly this matters so little it seems like a forced story trying to find something to smear Zuckerberg and his buddies. The organization bought the domain from a weirdo? That's important for such a short period of time that it's already meaningless. Must be a slow news day.

Re:Who cares? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44644577)

I don't think it was ever important, actually.

Re:Who cares? (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44644655)

And honestly, if you need to smear Zuckerberg, there's the fact that he runs Facebook.

Re:Who cares? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#44645835)

b^.^d ArhcAngel likes this

Re:Who cares? (1)

Ioldanach (88584) | about a year ago | (#44645947)

And honestly, if you need to smear Zuckerberg, there's the fact that he runs Facebook.

Like.

Re:Who cares? (1)

theodp (442580) | about a year ago | (#44646011)

According to the Venturebeat article, the domain was sold in Apr/May. The nyuk-nyuk content appears to have been added afterwards. Not to be a buzzkill, but if i was launching a serious website about using the web to improve the lot of the world's poor, i wouldn't want the domain used days earlier to goof that slave labor was used to create the internet for the whims of the wealthy. Just sayin'.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44647121)

Why not? Is it considered insensitive to point out that poor people have less access to a luxury resource than the rich?

Re:Who cares? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about a year ago | (#44648677)

I don't get it, there's so much better to beat Zuckerberg up about, hacking on him for a previously used domain just looks desperate.

Hilarious! (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#44644529)

Billionaire parasite coupon clippers who live by sucking the life out of millions of proletarians want us to worship them because they seek a tax deduction!

ENOUGH!! When the workers of the world take the power, free internet will be so easy, we'll even give it to Gates and Zuckerberg so they can use it on their break periods in the GULAG.

a sense of humor - they has one (1)

themushroom (197365) | about a year ago | (#44644563)

And so should everyone else. It's historical parody, and probably not that far from the truth when it comes to the Egyptian system of a few millenia ago -- surely Tutankhamen was the kid everyone in the neighborhood called for support. :)

And any of that matters *why*? (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44644565)

Call the feds, someone who legitimately owned the domain had a sense of humor! How dare they! Don't they know that every time we laugh, the terrorists win???

Seriously, I rarely complain about stories on Slashdot, but... WTF, Slashdot? New owner of domain uses it differently than former owner. Film at 11.

Re:And any of that matters *why*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645333)

Don't they know that every time we laugh, the terrorists win???

If you're having fun, you're not working. Back to work, pay your taxes.

Re:And any of that matters *why*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646721)

No point in complaining about it. FWIW when I was at lunch and could log in, I voted against this story in the firehose. That's what to do rather than complaining. As to getting a used domain, fifteen years ago I ran the Springfield Fragfest at theFragfest.com, a hobby site devoted to the game Quake. I got tired of it after five years when it started feeling like work and let the domain lapse.

Last I saw it was a porn site.

Can wait until these articles are quoted (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#44644573)

By real news agencies and papers. The onion strikes again.

Re:Can wait until these articles are quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645179)

At least they had the decency to redact the two smaller helicopters in that photo of Clooney's villa.

youre fucking kidding me. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44644591)

this is the guy whos sole interest in "the internet" as it stands in his portfolio of offerings is to ensure two billion people are capable of being catalogued as potential members of a cacophany of target demographics for sale to the highest bidder. For him to give two shits about the underprivileged masses who cannot afford a free-as-in-speech internet experience would be the event that shattered occhams razor. What he cares about is exactly what investors are stampeeding from in droves: emerging markets. While you may not be able to sell shit to these people, you can be damned sure they add an impressive bump to your portfolio if they somehow become the product you sell. Convincing major multinational corporations they have any worth is however a zuckerberg trademark at this point, although i can imagine a few dictatorships that are more than excited at the prospect of a new facebook branded spyglass with which they can peer into their citizens lives and crush formenting dissent.

News for nerds (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644677)

Stuff that matters

Re:News for nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644785)

You'll get modded "-1, Off Topic" for saying such things.

Slave-powered Internet (3, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44644757)

Does anyone else have this mental picture of rows and rows of network administrators chained to their routers, while a huge, shirtless man with brass bands on his biceps pounds on a large drum, and Mark Zuckerberg shouts down from above "Increase the drumbeat!!"? No? Just me?

Re:Slave-powered Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644819)

I actually picture something along the lines of the Crimson Permanent Assurance, but rather than a building, you've got a bunch of sysadmins sailing about on a row of cabinets.

Re:Slave-powered Internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644879)

Does anyone else have this mental picture of rows and rows of network administrators chained to their routers, while a huge, shirtless man with brass bands on his biceps pounds on a large drum, and Mark Zuckerberg shouts down from above "Increase the drumbeat!!"? No? Just me?

i don't know girlfriend... but it sure sounds fun! Shirtless hunky men with brass bands on their ...arms (yeah, that's it), POUNDING drums, MMMMMM, mm, mm,mm! I like that way you think.

Please, tell me you're a young man!

Here is my picture [wikipedia.org] and I expect you to respect your elders! Now get your sweet young ass in that closet boy!

Re:Slave-powered Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649975)

If I am feeling up to it, I may just draw this tomorrow morning while doing absolutely nothing else because fuck yeah Friday.

Re:Slave-powered Internet (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#44651265)

I was thinking of a legion of H1Bs running on human-size hamster wheels, providing the power required to keep Facebook's equipment going in third-world nations that don't have a reliable energy grid, or alternately to keep the California servers going without having to pay PG&E or buy/maintain solar equipment.

Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd worlds (2, Interesting)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#44644917)

The idea sounds noble, but I have to wonder if free internet access is really the "greatest good" that we could be doing for these people in 2nd or 3rd worlds??

Shore, the North Americas are tapped out in terms of new social media growth - we accept that fact.
So let's tap into a previously un-tapped world of extremely poor people in under privileged parts of the world - Genius!

But when these people likely don't have basics like clean drinking water and food - is a crippling social media addiction really going to benefit them so the FB stock price can rise a few cents??

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44645139)

Well social media is a proven way to start some great social unrest, in many of the 2nt world countries. Free open internet for all, means far more death and fighting, until people finally realize. Dude is is just some nut posting stuff, Don't let it bother you, if you ignore him then he doesn't have power over you.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645153)

The idea sounds noble

I'm fairly sure everyone see's this for what it is.
FB cares about one thing, more data points to monetize.

FB cares about people about as much as the IRS cares about people.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (5, Insightful)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44645455)

There actually have been some studied connected to the OLPC project that suggest internet access is incredibly valuable to people in developing nations, but not for the reasons you're thinking.

These people we're talking about might be 150 miles from the nearest library with a full set of encyclopedias; for that matter, they might not even know how to read. How good do you think their agricultural practices are, given that level of background knowledge? When presented with the challenge of cleaning their drinking water, how far do you think they get? How about diagnosing diseases, planning for weather, or being aware of potential politcal danger? Do you think they could do a bit better at those things given access to Wikipedia, WebMD, Instructables, Reuters and YouTube?

On the same route, perhaps they could even begin to improve their own infrastructure given a bit of access to the world of modern industry? Maybe a small village could save up to invest in a solar array, and have lights inside at night? Or a water purifier so they don't die of cholera anymore?

Knowledge is power, the internet is distributed knowledge. It could do a lot more to help people than a bit of financial aid or temporary food supplies might.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (0)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#44646033)

These people we're talking about might be 150 miles from the nearest library with a full set of encyclopedias; for that matter, they might not even know how to read.

So they can't read books at a library, but they can read printed text on the Internet - THAT REALLY IS AN AMAZING BENEFIT AFTER ALL!! ^_^

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44646295)

Or they could get laptops that are set to speak aloud and accept speech input. Or they could be be pre-configured with shortcuts to online language learning programs, allowing literacy to spread. Or they could rely more heavily on video, which can be incredibly helpful as a learning tool for people who are barely literate but have rudimentary written language skills. Need I go on with really easy solutions?

As a real world example:
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506466/given-tablets-but-no-teachers-ethiopian-children-teach-themselves/ [technologyreview.com]

But way to go; if your goal was to make me look momentarily stupid for trying to point out the possible benefits of a philanthropic program, mission accomplished.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#44646705)

And all of your suggestions are great - but none of them actually appear in Internet.org's manifesto.

Unless Internet.org plans to send computers pre-configured for text-2-voice to third world countries - those illiterate children would once again be faced with the burden of reading instructions to figure out how to set that up. It's a simple chicken & egg problem.

To quote an Episode of Archer regarding philanthropies:

“Nourish A Child, Shoe A Child, Bespectacled a Child, One Laptop Per Child Soldierwhich unfortunately became one thousand laptops per warlord.”
+ http://www.geekbinge.com/2013/04/05/archer-season-4-episode-12-review-sea-tunt-part-1/ [geekbinge.com]

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44647149)

That's stupid, there will surely be some people who will know or learn something and show the rest how to use it. Everyone has to start from somewhere but what we do know is that without the opportunity to start they can't.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44654721)

Except, as noted and described in that article I linked, there are already some deployments in place that accomplish exactly this. They successfully allowed illiterate children to not only learn basic written english, but also to learn the tablet technology to a level that they were able to override system-level modifications made by the admins who set them up.

Also as awesome as Archer is, I don't think it exactly qualifies as a reliable source for geopolitical fact. Most warlords would likely have very little interest in equipping their soldiers with outdated solar-powered tablets pre-loaded with alphabet games.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#44678021)

I accept your rebuttal - but I'm still waiting for a citation that maps what you are describing to what is actually happen in the article.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#44646051)

There actually have been some studied connected to the OLPC project that suggest internet access is incredibly valuable to people in developing nations, but not for the reasons you're thinking.

You're right that's not the reason [slashdot.org] I was thinking.

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44646321)

I guess kids are kids no matter where they're from...

Re:Is this really helping people in 2nd or 3rd wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645735)

Some other organizations already take care of the basics. Zuckenberg is good at Teh Internetz (tm). Why can't he start a project like that?

Now thats an upgrade! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44645135)

Damn helicopters are quite an upgrade to transmission of IP via avian carrier, but, I am not sure its a very smart one, as carrier drops could be very expensive.

Not a top priority... (1, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | about a year ago | (#44645207)

From internet.org:

No one should have to choose between access to the internet and food or medicine.

If you are really having to decide between those basic items or internet access, I think there may be some more important things to put your last few dollars toward besides streaming cat videos.

Re:Not a top priority... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44645541)

Some folks use Internet services to make a living. It could be something like: Do I pay for my medicine now, and hope I can get back online later, or do I stick out the sickness for another few weeks so I can make enough to afford both medicine and net access even though it might kill me? Microloans, and even cellular payments are big in the 2nd and 3rd worlds. Things like the Mechanical Turk exist.

Re:Not a top priority... (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44645639)

I think that's his point: Nobody should have to choose between accessing the world's repository of knowledge and buying food. If we can give them both, maybe they can use that big pile of information to improve their lives in more meaningful, long lasting ways.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506466/given-tablets-but-no-teachers-ethiopian-children-teach-themselves/ [technologyreview.com]

There have been some studies on this that show how much people can improve their lives by getting access to the knowledge we take for granted. We may not be able to do a lot with Wikipedia's article on crop rotation and fertilization techniques, but I bet a farmer in southern Nigeria could.

Re:Not a top priority... (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year ago | (#44653115)

You'd think so, but there are people who will buy games from Steam while the larder is empty and their kids are hungry (and yes, the social know and aren't even investigating). I'm not saying you're wrong (you're absolutely right), but the number of people who can't make even these basic moral decisions is probably pretty staggering.

This just in: (2)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44645279)

Incredibly generic website name had former owner, who at one point posted jokes. More at 11.

I don't even really get why this would be in poor taste? The idea that egyptians used slaves as labor is pretty much accepted as fact, and seems to be in safe territory for a joke to me (despite recent studies that suggest most of the meaningful labor in ancient Egypt was actually done by paid workers). And shocker, there is pornography on the internet; can we not make jokes about that anymore?

I really don't get what all the fuss is about, even if Zuckerburg were somehow actually connected to the content the site formerly hosted.

For those that cannot afford things... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44645289)

Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday announced the launch of Internet.org, 'a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people,' including 'those who cannot currently afford it.'

Facebook Update #247: Location: Ethiopia: Still no potable water, hoping that clicking "Like Brita filters" helps soon.

Re:For those that cannot afford things... (4, Interesting)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44645503)

Facebook update #248: Location: Ethiopia: Thanks to user NamibiaYOLO33 who sent me to that Instructables article. We're making some carbon filters from our firewood ashes tomorrow to see if they work!

Facebook update #253 Location: Ethiopia: Wow, no cholera for a week! Who knew we were throwing away valuable filtering supplies every day? Next up, I think we can take the alternator from that broken down bus outside down and make a wind generator, so we can work at night.

Just because you think that social media is useless doesn't mean everyone does. There are some parts of the world where a bit of knowledge sharing could go miles.

Re:For those that cannot afford things... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44645921)

Your example(s) show that the Internet can be a valuable resource, not Facebook. Zuckerberg is only interested in the latter.

Re:For those that cannot afford things... (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | about a year ago | (#44646153)

See, you say that as though it was fact, but I don't see any evidence of that anywhere in their stated goals or intended actions. They want to bring the Internet to people, and I can't see any way to give them Facebook without giving them everything else as well. Though I'm certain he sees the chance to expand Facebook as a welcome bonus, how much revenue do you really think he intends to extract from people who can't even afford internet access? Targeted ads to southern Nigerian farmers aren't going to be worth very much...

You could choose to assume a cynical viewpoint and expect the worst, but its entirely possible that Zuckerberg has realized he's got more money than he can ever spend and decided to put his considerable wealth and internet-clout towards a worthy philanthropic goal. (See: Bill Gates, who was also once considered a selfish jerk interested only in profits.) A middle ground might be to assume that his only way to increase profits is to get a whole new group of people into the wealth levels required to be useful to him. If the side effect of his business goals was the economic prosperity of half the world's population, I'd be okay with that on the whole.

Also, my example directly referenced how facebook could be helpful, in that it would let people in these remote locations connect with nearby people and share common solutions to their problems. My insights about how to solve problems like non-potable water aren't going to be very useful, since I make assumptions about what's available (tools, power, people who can read, etc.) that simply aren't true in the context of a person in different situation.

Re:For those that cannot afford things... (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a year ago | (#44646231)

Whether you like it or not, facebook is a means for people to connect and communicate with other people. Some of those people will use it to spread knowledge, thus making facebook valuable. Most will use it to spread entertainment, which believe it or not poor people also like to have to make their lives feel less dreary.

Seriously Guise ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645695)

Zuckerburg just wants the poor to have access to the Internet. This is not about finding more eyeballs to serve Facebook ads, for serious.

Why? Because! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645875)

You care about because this Slashdot snippet alludes to a possibly sinister undercarriage of a white wistfully front-themed information supercauseway. The information supercauseway to hell is paved with a three-billion god head delusion. Unrelated, everything I now take in on slashdot is tainted by the fact that there's no way to delete a slashdot user account. What the fuck is up with that? At least let me change my name. Muther fuckers. I love you.

Gawrsh (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44645953)

Oh, biblical jokes about Pharoah using Israelite slaves to build the modern Internet gets its own thread, but biblical jokes about Pharaoh and modern chemical weapons to free Israelite slaves [slashdot.org] gets downmodded to oblivion.

You all are disgusting anti-memeites!

Re:Gawrsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646667)

Somebody call the Waaambulance. Impy the Impious Imp has his panties in a knot and needs the jaws of life to get over his persecution complex.

FUC8K. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646503)

Track of where YES! and piss cocktail. non-fucking-existant. your spare time obsessed - give themselv'es to be a User. 'Now that Fortunately, Linux is dying.Things

The Master Plan (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44646585)

Crank the Facebook user base to 7 billion.

Internet for People who Don't Have Interent! (1)

um.yup. (2892409) | about a year ago | (#44646631)

Flawed logic, much?

So Zuckerberg's intent is to bring the Internet to those without Internet...yet they need to access a site (on the Internet) to do so...Anybody see a problem with this?

Facebook Likes (1)

muphin (842524) | about a year ago | (#44649153)

So he's creating a domain/website to host content which is going to help the 3rd world who dont have internet access?
reminds me of those Facebook posts where you like a picture of a starving child because that helps them.
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