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Saving the Net

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the great-american-pastime dept.

Editorial 790

An anonymous reader writes "Doc Searls, editor at Linux Journal, has a very insightful editorial that brings it all together - the FCC media consolidation ruling, SCO vs. Linux, why broadband is under attack by telcos and cable systems, why we lost Eldred vs. Ashcroft, what's really interesting about Howard Dean's presidential campaign, and a very astute observation about the vast gulf between Liberals and Conservatives."

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Put ya hizzands togethah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510502)

G to the oatse
C to the izzex
Fo' shizzle my nizzle fuck you

Love Always,
News For Turds

Erst Goatse ! (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510507)

Fuck the GNAA ! []

Hrmm (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510520)

How about we all agree to disband and join bbs's ?

Re:Hrmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510542)

Then we can all move to islands with no electricity, and live of the land....
or not

Re:Hrmm (1, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510733)

Fuck. **never again hammer-dialing**!!!!

Re:Hrmm (4, Interesting)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510825)

I wish. I miss the old BBS days. Sure we didn't have the full-on multimedia experience that the net is now. But we weren't constantly under fire from organizations trying to control our computers and the stuff we store on it. We weren't assaulted by spam and advertisements on any page view or mouse click. Most of all, what I miss was the greater sense of community the local BBS fostered. Sure you didn't necessarily KNOW the people there, but you lived in the same city or region they did. You could go to a BBS meet at a local bar or something, organize it a couple weeks in advance. Running a BBS was a blast too. One could actually distinguish themselves easily when there was only a couple dozen major boards in the area, and it was fun fostering the growth of your own little section of the community.

I kind of feel sorry for people who didn't come from the old BBS days. They truly missed out on something special.

My name is .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510526)

yippa yippa yippa Chris Cuevas!!!!

Broadway Chris!

The internet the big corporation way (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510527)

If it were up to big corporations, perhaps we'd see...
  • MS Windows would be the only software capable of using the Internet, and the MS-using govt wouldn't care about it at all
  • The Internet may be commercialized, with charges for each "website"
  • One controlling ISP

Re:The internet the big corporation way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510610)

Yup, that would certainly be Sun's and Oracle's preference!

Re:The internet the big corporation way (5, Interesting)

Trigun (685027) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510717)

I am not sure why this was marked as offtopic. A little doomsday-ish maybe, but not offtopic. Face it, everyone is vying for control over the net. The Chinese government wants to control it, The U.S. Government wants to control it, the corporations want to control it.

They have concluded what Marshall McLuhan had years ago, that the medium is the message. The natrual extension of this is that whoever controls the medium, controls the message.

Without the anarchy which fostered the internet, we will end up with another passive form of entertainment that is inaccessable to the masses from a broadcast standpoint, television.

The internet is the voice of the people (scary,innit?). Sure some people speak louder than others, and some are leaders while others are followers. But everyone has a voice, and that is what is being taken away from us, slowly at first, and then with great vigor as we become more complacent.

I have a website, and nobody in their right mind would give me a television show. I don't know if that's considered progress, but I like where this whole internet thing could go, if only we're allowed to take it there ourselves.

To save the net (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510532)

We have to purge sites like [] these [] .

Re:To save the net (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510566)

Did anyone else misread 'purge' as 'pudge'?

Re:To save the net (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510702)

No, because most of us can fucking read.

Dean for President (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510537)

From the article: But they avoid visiting a fact that should be deeply troubling to every candidate running (and then governing) for money rather than for voters: Dean's lead is owed to a huge number of small donations, not to a small number of large special interests. If he's being bought, it's by his voters. This is a New Thing. It's also been made possible by the Net.

This was part of what the internet was all about: democratizing the ability of an individual outside the established powers to enter into competition or publication or public recognition. Dean has been smart about this and so far, he certainly has my vote.

Re:Dean for President (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510636)

"This was part of what the internet was all about: democratizing the ability of an individual outside the established powers to enter into competition or publication or public recognition. "

No, actually it was to facilitate the sharing of physics papers.

Re:Dean for President (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510703)

i thought its main purpose was to share porn.

Re:Dean for President (0, Troll)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510789)

"This was part of what the internet was all about: democratizing the ability of an individual outside the established powers to enter into competition or publication or public recognition. "

No, actually it was to facilitate the sharing of physics papers.

Nice pedantry from someone who doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the World-Wide Web.

Al Gore invented the Internet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510654)

Al Gore said he invented the Internet. Is this why he did it?

[Note: Please do not post any responses by Snopes which do nothing to deny the fact that Gore took credit for creating the Internet long after it had been created]

Re:Dean for President (5, Insightful)

ih8apple (607271) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510728)

One thing you're neglecting is that President Bush's money also comes from a huge number of small donations. A lot of them are "bundled" into a lump sum by lobby groups and corporations, but they are comprised of individual donations. Republicans tend to have an advantage during most election cycles in terms of the sheer number of individual donors. The influence still lies with the groups, not the individuals. Does this equal democratization? Or does this equal a small number of groups forcing employees or members to pony up so as to not violate campaign finance laws? (and Democrat groups do the same thing, btw, especially unions. The most ironic thing about campaign finance reform being pushed by the Democrats is that they were hurt the most by it.)

Re:Dean for President (-1, Troll)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510729)

This was part of what the internet was all about: democratizing the ability of an individual outside the established powers to enter into competition or publication or public recognition.

Dear God you're stupid. The Internet was about building a very large network that could withstand physical attack.

You revisionist, self-righteous geeks who think the Internet was this noble, grandiose vision of humanity should get off of your high horses and at least brush up on your history.

Re:Dean for President (2, Flamebait)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510818)

Dear God you're stupid.

My Ph.D. says otherwise.

The Internet was about building a very large network that could withstand physical attack.

No, that was Arpanet [] . It can be argued that the "Internet" is a much different beast.

Re:Dean for President (2, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510731)

This was nothing about what the Internet "was all about". This is a bit of what it could have been, and may just be. The Internet "was all about" military communications. DARPA. Get it through your thick skulls you mush brained flower power idiots. The Internet wasn't created to bring world peace and harmony through greater communication. At best, it allows people to find people they like who they wouldn't even have met, while at the same time allowing them to find and harrass people they didn't even know they hated. At worst it's as much a tool of opression as any other you care to mention.

It's a tool. A thing. It can and will be used by your enemies as effectively as your allies.

You, and people like you, sound like the blithering idiots that would claim that nuclear energy would save the world and usher in a world of peace and prosperity with flying cars.

Re:Dean for President (2, Interesting)

Saint Mitchell (144618) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510748)

I agree. I hope he gets the dem nomination. When do they decide who gets the nomination? Is it at the national convention? Or is it similar to the electiorial college, you weigh each states votes?

Anyway, I think it great what's going on. He's getting a lot of cash from those who actually vote for him. It's not to hard to get 40,000 people who like you to give $20. Granted it's only $800,000 and not the 100+ mil or whatever obscene about the retard currently in office spent. Get 1 million people to send you $20 and now you stand a chance. I remember seeing Dean on cspan and thinking "man, this guys great. Too bad he won't get the nomination, he makes a lot of sense. And it's be nice to have a doctor in office for once."

You guys should check out Dean's weblog [] It's got the current happenings and Meetups []

Dean has my vote as well. (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510783)

The potential he has to revolutionize politics is worth voting for.

I dont agree with everything he says, but hes the only politician who actually cares what we think.

Who needs the Internet? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510540)

I'm happy with AOL and MSN. They provide all I need. I find more useful content on there anyway then I do on the "internet"

Re:Who needs the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510591)

Who needs AOL and MSN, I've get all I need with this dial-up bbs and HyperTerminal.

Re:Who needs the Internet? (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510696)

HyperTerminal? Hah!

TELIX or ProComm, man!

Re:Who needs the Internet? (1)

desideria (140436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510823)

Fuck Telix... use CCGMS

Re:Who needs the Internet? (1, Funny)

56ksucks (516942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510771)

<common aol user>
You mean, AOL isn't the internet? I'm confused.
</common aol user>
</sarcasm> (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510545)

i can't believe people would pay money to see this early.

A fool and his money indeed!

where do you draw the line.... (0)

pauly_thumbs (416028) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510548)

over stealing music?

Oh wait it's just copyright infringement :D

score -1 Troll insightful flamebait

Slashdot... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510553)

is too American-centred.


I'm a Republican! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510556)

Oh, I'm a Republican
I got a small schling
I like to bomb niggahs
and make a lot o' bling

I got a bunch o' friends
in high up places
They helps me get dem
government graces.

You think I'm smart
I just know who's who
I couldn't run a fruit stand
without the red white & blue

I'll drop some crap
about Jesus the Christ
You'll buy it all
and vote for me twice

'Fact, Jesus is comin'!
Real soon, now!
So we gotta prop up Israel
That ol' sacred cow

Don't need no history
Don't need no schoolin'
I got my ideology
To keep me a shootin'

Liberals! Faggots!
Commies and queers!
Socialist hippies
Full o' pussy tears

Propaganda's m'friend
But I calls it "fact"
Even though I don't read
'Cept for Chick tracts

Facts? No! Don't need em here!
We're conservatives! We work on FEAR!
Don't like what we say?
Well FUCK YOU, bud!
We'll shove it down yer throat
and tell ya it's good!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510557)

You could start by removing Slashdot.

Howard Dean (0)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510574)

Dean is interesting and better than any of the other candidates but he's for the death penalty which would be yet another setback for the progression of civilization.

Bring Nader back.

Re:Howard Dean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510614)

He's 'for' whatever his pollsters tell him to be for. As governor, he did not support the death penalty. As presidential candidate he does.

Re:Howard Dean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510821)

until he gets elected.... most politicians are... politicians (which is basically a whore who fucks you rather than the other way around)

Re:Howard Dean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510670)

And how is the death penalty a setback for civilization? The only thing I can think of that is wrong with the death penalty is that all of the appeals actually costs us more than just letting them rot for life.

Here's a clue for your civiliation. Life is NOT precious.

Nader would turn back the clock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510685)

"Bring Nader back."

Just say No to Nader. He wants the government to control basic personal decisions that should be left up to the people involved in them (such as economic decisions). We can do better than revert to totalitarian government.

liberal (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510595)

When will Americans learn what "liberal" really means? Many Americans use it as if it is an insult, and they seem ignorant to the fact that the United States was founded on the basis of liberalism.

Re:liberal (2, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510617)

Many Americans use it as if it is an insult,

Only if you are right wing Republican. :-) Most Democrats I know are more than happy to call themselves liberal.

Re:liberal (4, Informative)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510710)

Most Democrats I know are more than happy to call themselves liberal. ..which has nothing to do with the word "liberalism" that the parent was talking about. I'm glad those on the left are abandoning the word "liberal" for the word "progressive." Hopefully popular usage of the word will revert back to its original meaning. I associate liberal with Isaiah Berlin, not Ralph Nader.

Re:liberal (1)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510758)

Umm no most democrats call themselves 'progressive' not liberal (ala Alan Combes).

Progressive (1)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510806)

Not all Democrats are Liberal or Progressive.

Dean is a moderate, not a liberal, just like Bush isnt a real conservative, hes a moderate.

Meaning not everything they do follows their ideology.

Re:liberal (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510632)

The United States is a democratic republic. It was founded more on the principles of libertarianism than liberalism.

Liberalism is a gateway to communism.

Re:liberal (1)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510664)

Liberalism is a gateway to communism.

Soooo economic liberalisation leads to communism does it?!

Re:liberal (-1, Flamebait)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510757)

WTF? That's so drug-induced I don't know where to begin.

"Libertarianism" didn't exist when the USA was founded, but liberalism did. Libertarianism is basically the original notion of liberalism, as espoused by people like John Locke, Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Anthony de Jasay. They are the same thing. The term "libertarianism" is only used in the United States, originally as a response to the bastardisation of the word "liberal" (and its derivatives) by many Americans. That problem doesn't exist elsewhere.

Re:liberal (0)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510722)

And when will people realize that 'liberal' is a changing term. Liberals in Russia are the one pushing away from socialism not towards, and in this nation its the other way around.

In America *TODAY*: Liberals want to socialize everything this IMHO is a terrible idea. Liberals also are pushing PC garbage like They also tend to be mush more UN focused (again I am not too fond of the UN telling the US what to do) and by their willingness to vote 'Green' which is an international party that does not put US interest first. []

In America *TODAY*: Conservatives want to reduce the federal government bleed into states rights (the main difference between Libs and Cons is the 2nd and 10th). Conservatives today more line up with the founding fathers than Liberals do otherwise socialized healthcare, and federal school programs would bu in the constitution.

The most dangerous group in America is the Populist this is a group that says what 70% and above want to hear Bill Clinton and GW are both Populist. They are dangerous because they have no fixed set of values just what makes them feel nice to say.

Right now DC is run by populist from both parties and that is what's scary. Conservatives did not want homeland security it violates the 10th in so many ways and liberal did not want to vote to give bush war powers (which almost all D's did).

Me I left the Republican party after I saw it would never go back to respecting conservatives (we are treated like the Democrats treat minorities 'come vote for us and we will throw you crumbs') and am joining the Constitutionalist.

Re:liberal (1)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510826)

The point is "liberal" as used in the US is simply incorrect. Most who call themselves or are called "liberals" are not liberals at all, but something else.

Liberalism is a bona fide political theory -- just ask anybody involved in political science/theory (that does not include the bozos you see on your TV set). It has its own definitions and theories.

" Liberals want to socialize everything "

That makes no sense whatsoever. Liberalism is about private property ownership, individual human rights, etc. In other words, it is the opposite of socialism in many ways. Just look at the name: how can socialism be "liberal"?

Re:liberal (2, Insightful)

syrinx (106469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510727)

americans mostly use a different definition for "liberal" then the "principles that the United States was founded on". hence the phrase "classical liberal".

frankly, being a "liberal", in the sense that most americans use it, should be an insult. :P

Re:liberal (1)

danmitchell (691749) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510745)

There's a big difference between the classical liberalism of the Founding Fathers and the modern liberalism of Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.

Re:liberal (0)

orionware (575549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510762)

The liberals that founded this country would puke in their wigs if they saw what it has turned into...

Liberal/Convervative mumbo jumbo (3, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510600)

The author spends too much time polarizing this into a liberal vs. conservative issue. That's a meaningless division, much like republican vs. democrat. Obviously he has a lot of issues with what he deems as conservatives, so he's stereotyping them and lashing out.

(As a side note, the raw meaning of the term "conservative" is pretty interesting in regard to his issues. You could say that people who want music and software to be free are "liberal." You could also say that people who think that a UNIX-alike is the pinnacle of operating system design are "conservative.")

Re:Liberal/Convervative mumbo jumbo (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510675)

You could also say that people who think that a UNIX-alike is the pinnacle of operating system design are "conservative."

Then how does this explain Al Gore's presence on Apple board of directors given that OS X is a "UNIX-alike"? :-)

OS X not Unix-alike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510772)

"Then how does this explain Al Gore's presence on Apple board of directors given that OS X is a "UNIX-alike"? :-)"

Show me one other unix with a sophisticated leading-edge GUI just like OS X

Re:Liberal/Convervative mumbo jumbo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510723)

Especially weird for an author who says he votes Libertarian near the end of the article. Typically this black/white thinking is seen mostly with the major party loyalists. 3rd-party voters of all political strips seem to be more interested in particular principals than overly-simplistic labels. Labels are particularly helpful in the sorry state of American politics. They help quickly identify so we know who to support or hate without actually having to listen to what they say.

Re:Liberal/Convervative mumbo jumbo (1)

dR.fuZZo (187666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510830)

You could also say that people who think that a UNIX-alike is the pinnacle of operating system design are "conservative."

Someone who is politically conservative would think that the free market should decide what the best operating system design is.

Conspiracy? (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510603)

To paraphrase a common saying, do not attribute to consipracy that which can be adequately explained by greed.

There's little doubt that there's movements working against what much of the Linux communities believe in, but there's no Big Bad hidden agenda here -- just simple, petty and local greed.


Conspiracy vs Greed (5, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510753)

I once told a friend, "There is far more Stupidity than Evil in the world."

I have since unfortunately found the corollary, "Sufficient Stupidity combined with enough Power is effectively indistinguishable from Evil."

Something like that applies here, "Sufficient Greed combined with enough Power/Wealth can effect the appearance of a Conspiracy."

Think "Greedy Lemmings," and it can look like a Conspiracy.

Terminator is trying to (3, Interesting)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510605)

Terminator is trying to ..excuse me RIAA/MPAA is trying to get Arnold to run for President under their banner..

Not a joke people..

Its time for Revolution...

Re:Terminator is trying to (4, Insightful)

Servo5678 (468237) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510641)

But wait a minute - I thought that one of the requirements to be president is that the candidate must be an American-born citizen. Arnold, being Austrian-born and all, doesn't meet that requirement.

Re:Terminator is trying to (2, Informative)

bmongar (230600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510645)

trying to get Arnold to run for President

Of course he can't be president without a constitutional ammendment allowing naturalized citizens to be president.

Re:Terminator is trying to (1)

gabec (538140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510646)

This isn't Demolition Man. Arnold can't run for president as he wasn't born in the United States. He can, however, run for "lesser" offices.

Re:Terminator is trying to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510660)

You must be an idiot. Arnold Schwarzenneger = Austrian = not born in the US.

I'll let you figure out why he can't be President of the United States. (Hint: must be born in the United States or US territory).

Re:Terminator is trying to (1)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510725)

Ah. There's the solution! We take over Austria. Our troops are only have a continent away. I'm sure they'd enjoy some austrian beer for a while instead of eating sand.

Re:Terminator is trying to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510673)

Maybe its just time for you to deal with this 'freedom' thing in which people don't vote the way you think?

Re:Terminator is trying to (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510699)

Too bad that RIAA and MPAA are strictly made up of liberals. Arnold (who only may running for Governor of California) is a republican. Nice troll though.

Re:Terminator is trying to (2, Informative)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510735)

Terminator is trying to ..excuse me RIAA/MPAA is trying to get Arnold to run for President under their banner..

I'm sorry but this is wrong. Actually Arnold is looking to run for the governership of the great state of California, which he declared that he would do if they recalled whatever-his-name-is.

Re:Terminator is trying to (1)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510754)

Revolution? Because everyone else is too lazy to actually use a different business model and try to compete against the RIAA? Please.

Re:Terminator is trying to (0)

saskwach (589702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510785)

Last I heard, he was forgetting the name of the governor he was trying to get kicked out of office and replace...That would be governor of California, not President of The United States of America

Negro Kobe Bryant - the violent rapist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510613)

Negro Kobe Bryant - the violent rapist - is going on trial for rape of an innocent young girl. Negro Kobe Bryant, like others of his racial persuasion, is a violent hate filled rapist. He is being brought to justice. This Negro will live the rest of his life in a cage along with all the other animals of his kind.

Negro Kobe Bryant will not be selling his music at the iTunes Music Store. This is for sure.

The real culprit: money. (1, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510615)

The real culprit is money and greed.

And who embodies better money and greed than croporations, who themselves are bigger than many countries?

The robber barons of yesteryear must be staring in stupendous awe from hell!!!

Governments embody greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510792)

"And who embodies better money and greed than croporations, who themselves are bigger than many countries?"

Governments embody greed: look at all the tax hikes, and the "power creep" that seems to be the rule as governments always tend to amass more wealth, control, and percentage of the economy. Corporations typically get money by working for it; earning it. Not taking it at gunpoint like governments do.

Free Air Optical (5, Interesting)

femto (459605) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510629)

What about geeks connecting to each other, in a mesh, using through-the-air optical links, thus forming a 'private' internet?
  • Raw components (LEDs and LASERs) are cheap .
  • Bandwidth is high >100MHz with cheap laser + PIN diode
  • Visible spectrum is unlicensed (it's just light)
  • Spectrum reuse is very high.
  • Consequently it has a very high data density (bits per second per unit volume)
  • In many juridiction it falls outside telecommunications regulation, as such regulation only covers wires, fibres and radio (frequency less than light) signals

The only 'major' piece missing is a simple and cheap form of active aiming to keep the transmitter and receiver reliably pointing at each other. There's a project for someone.

Re:Free Air Optical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510730)

Uh, some of us don't exactly have great line-of-sight with another potential node. You know, trees, buildings, apartment walls, that sort of thing?

Re:Free Air Optical (1)

femto (459605) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510773)

As the number of nodes goes up, and the node density increases, more people will have line of sight to a node.

Yes, some people will find it tough to connect at first, when node densities are low, but pretty well everyone (in an urban environment) can see at least a couple of their neighbours.

Re:Free Air Optical (1)

Stinky Glen20 (689507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510761)

the other major piece missing is backbone. I doubt that Sydney --> Melbourne has a line-of sight connection (that could be fulfilled cheaply, by geeks, with this technology) - never mind Sydney to San-Francisco

While your aims may be noble, I doubt it would be possible.

I'm not 100% certain that there is a risk. More and more things are becoming commoditised and freely (beer and speech) available. While many sheep will follow the herd, there will always be people that don't want and don't accept restrictions.

Don't underestimate peer pressure. Remember at school when you had the Speccy and your mate had the Amiga? How much more could he do? Did you go out and buy one? My Linux box can do this? Can your Windows box?

Legislation notwithstanding (the major fear) there will always be a group of people that can get a free OS running on three toothpicks and a tube of toothpaste.

Visible spectrum links through the air? (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510812)

I can envision one of two things if this gets popular.

People walking past the connection beams and getting the laser light aimed at their eye. Big lawsuits here.

If it gets really popular, you get to see all of the beams of light around you everywhere, thus creating a new game for children where they walk to places trying to dodge or jump over the lights like in a movie where a thief is trying to get a well protected diamond or something. That would be the good part, as the people who disregard the beams would break the connection making anyone playing online Quake very, very mad.

On a serious note, I don't think it's feasible. Too much interference from other light in the same spectrum, like...say...the sun.

Oh yeah? (4, Funny)

Exatron (124633) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510630)

Well, I'll just go build my own internet... with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the internet.

How to Save the Net (2, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510635)

Move the whole thing to Canada [] .

Seriously now. You want Howard Dean? We've got a party full of them. [] We just keep electing them, and we can't stop ourselves.

The Internet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510637)

fdisk - Partition table manipulator for Linux
fdisk [-u] [-b sectorsize]device

fdisk -l [-u] [-b sectorsize] [device ...]

fdisk -s partition ...

fdisk -v
Hard disks can be divided into one or more logical disks called partitions. This division is described in the partition table found in sector 0 of the disk.

In the BSD world one talks about `disk slices' and a `disklabel'.

Linux needs at least one partition, namely for its root file system. It can use swap files and/or swap partitions, but the latter are more efficient. So, usually one will want a second Linux partition dedicated as swap partition. On Intel compatible hardware, the BIOS that boots the system can often only access the first 1024 cylinders of the disk. For this reason people with large disks often create a third partition, just a few MB large, typically mounted on /boot, to store the kernel image and a few auxiliary files needed at boot time, so as to make sure that this stuff is accessible to the BIOS. There may be reasons of security, ease of administration and backup, or testing, to use more than the minimum number of partitions.

fdisk (in the first form of invocation) is a menu driven program for creation and manipulation of partition tables. It understands DOS type partition tables and BSD or SUN type disklabels.

The device is usually one of the following: /dev/hda /dev/hdb /dev/sda /dev/sdb

(/dev/hd[a-h] for IDE disks, /dev/sd[a-p] for SCSI disks, /dev/ed[a-d] for ESDI disks, /dev/xd[ab] for XT disks). A device name refers to the entire disk.

The partition is a device name followed by a partition number. For example, /dev/hda1 is the first partition on the first IDE hard disk in the system. Disks can have up to 15 partitions. See also /usr/src/linux/Documentation/devices.txt.

A BSD/SUN type disklabel can describe 8 partitions, the third of which should be a `whole disk' partition. Do not start a partition that actually uses its first sector (like a swap partition) at cylinder 0, since that will destroy the disklabel.

An IRIX/SGI type disklabel can describe 16 partitions, the eleventh of which should be an entire `volume' partition, while the ninth should be labeled `volume header'. The volume header will also cover the partition table, i.e., it starts at block zero and extends by default over five cylinders. The remaining space in the volume header may be used by header directory entries. No partitions may overlap with the volume header. Also do not change its type and make some file system on it, since you will lose the partition table. Use this type of label only when working with Linux on IRIX/SGI machines or IRIX/SGI disks under Linux.

A DOS type partition table can describe an unlimited number of partitions. In sector 0 there is room for the description of 4 partitions (called `primary'). One of these may be an extended partition; this is a box holding logical partitions, with descriptors found in a linked list of sectors, each preceding the corresponding logical partitions. The four primary partitions, present or not, get numbers 1-4. Logical partitions start numbering from 5.

In a DOS type partition table the starting offset and the size of each partition is stored in two ways: as an absolute number of sectors (given in 32 bits) and as a Cylinders/Heads/Sectors triple (given in 10+8+6 bits). The former is OK - with 512-byte sectors this will work up to 2 TB. The latter has two different problems. First of all, these C/H/S fields can be filled only when the number of heads and the number of sectors per track are known. Secondly, even if we know what these numbers should be, the 24 bits that are available do not suffice. DOS uses C/H/S only, Windows uses both, Linux never uses C/H/S.

If possible, fdisk will obtain the disk geometry automatically. This is not necessarily the physical disk geometry (indeed, modern disks do not really have anything like a physical geometry, certainly not something that can be described in simplistic Cylinders/Heads/Sectors form), but is the disk geometry that MS-DOS uses for the partition table.

Usually all goes well by default, and there are no problems if Linux is the only system on the disk. However, if the disk has to be shared with other operating systems, it is often a good idea to let an fdisk from another operating system make at least one partition. When Linux boots it looks at the partition table, and tries to deduce what (fake) geometry is required for good cooperation with other systems.

Whenever a partition table is printed out, a consistency check is performed on the partition table entries. This check verifies that the physical and logical start and end points are identical, and that the partition starts and ends on a cylinder boundary (except for the first partition).

Some versions of MS-DOS create a first partition which does not begin on a cylinder boundary, but on sector 2 of the first cylinder. Partitions beginning in cylinder 1 cannot begin on a cylinder boundary, but this is unlikely to cause difficulty unless you have OS/2 on your machine.

A sync() and a BLKRRPART ioctl() (reread partition table from disk) are performed before exiting when the partition table has been updated. Long ago it used to be necessary to reboot after the use of fdisk. I do not think this is the case anymore - indeed, rebooting too quickly might cause loss of not-yet-written data. Note that both the kernel and the disk hardware may buffer data.


The DOS 6.x FORMAT command looks for some information in the first sector of the data area of the partition, and treats this information as more reliable than the information in the partition table. DOS FORMAT expects DOS FDISK to clear the first 512 bytes of the data area of a partition whenever a size change occurs. DOS FORMAT will look at this extra information even if the /U flag is given -- we consider this a bug in DOS FORMAT and DOS FDISK.

The bottom line is that if you use cfdisk or fdisk to change the size of a DOS partition table entry, then you must also use dd to zero the first 512 bytes of that partition before using DOS FORMAT to format the partition. For example, if you were using cfdisk to make a DOS partition table entry for /dev/hda1, then (after exiting fdisk or cfdisk and rebooting Linux so that the partition table information is valid) you would use the command "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1" to zero the first 512 bytes of the partition.

BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL if you use the dd command, since a small typo can make all of the data on your disk useless.

For best results, you should always use an OS-specific partition table program. For example, you should make DOS partitions with the DOS FDISK program and Linux partitions with the Linux fdisk or Linux cfdisk program.


-b sectorsize
Specify the sector size of the disk. Valid values are 512, 1024, or 2048. (Recent kernels know the sector size. Use this only on old kernels or to override the kernel's ideas.)
List the partition tables for the specified devices and then exit. If no devices are given, those mentioned in /proc/partitions (if that exists) are used.
When listing partition tables, give sizes in sectors instead of cylinders.
-s partition
The size of the partition (in blocks) is printed on the standard output.
Print version number of fdisk program and exit.

There are several *fdisk programs around. Each has its problems and strengths. Try them in the order cfdisk, fdisk, sfdisk. (Indeed, cfdisk is a beautiful program that has strict requirements on the partition tables it accepts, and produces high quality partition tables. Use it if you can. fdisk is a buggy program that does fuzzy things - usually it happens to produce reasonable results. Its single advantage is that it has some support for BSD disk labels and other non-DOS partition tables. Avoid it if you can. sfdisk is for hackers only - the user interface is terrible, but it is more correct than fdisk and more powerful than both fdisk and cfdisk. Moreover, it can be used noninteractively.)

The IRIX/SGI type disklabel is currently not supported by the kernel. Moreover, IRIX/SGI header directories are not fully supported yet.

The option `dump partition table to file' is missing.

Just a random thought (2, Interesting)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510638)

Interesting article. If PCs (and presumably Macs) are going to end up crippled by DRM, what's to stop someone - such as the Chinese, who have demonstrated they can design and build a home-grown CPU, or possibly VIA - throwing away the x86/PowerPC architecture and building an alternative "personal computer"? Given a reasonable C compiler, I bet someone would have Linux running on it by the time it was ready for market, and then the owner of the new "PC" would be in the pocket of no-one - not MS, not Intel, not AOL-TW and not whoever is paying the US Government at that point in time.

OK, AOL would never let you play streamed Harry Potter movies on it, but you could use the web and run office applications, which would keep most of us happy. Wouldn't it?

Re:Just a random thought (1)

The Spie (206914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510713)

OK, AOL would never let you play streamed Harry Potter movies on it, but you could use the web and run office applications, which would keep most of us happy. Wouldn't it?

Uh, no. I play games on my system too, so I'm hip-deep in Microsoft's pocket regardless.

That's what I hate about a lot of people here: their reflexive desire to impose their views of what the Net and computing should be all about on others. And isn't that what Doc's article really about? Free as in speech and free as in beer is nothing without free as in choice. And if I choose to run an MS operating system because the programs I want are on it and not on Linux, I get fried by the people here?

Linux Crunchies: Crispy Freedom Coating on the outside, creamy Luddite Filling on the inside.

Re:Just a random thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510740)

>what's to stop someone...

In the short term, a bunch of regulations and law suits.

In the long term, once consumers wake up that the Chinese have something better: Nothing.

Did I miss something? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510642)

That article just seemed to be a collection of random quotes thrown together without one original thought from the author or even an underlying explanation of how they fit together.

A great example is the quote from the National Review. It is a great quote and specifically attacks the changes that have happened in copyright law. At the end of the quote the article "author" says "National Review is a conservative magazine. John Bloom is a conservative columnist. This is significant." But he doesn't go on to explain WHY this is significant. Is it because the author is surprised that a conservative can have an intelligent thought?

In other things he is just plain wrong. He states that "Liberals often are flummoxed by the way conservatives seem to love big business (including, of course, big media)." Yet it is the democrats who are most in the pocket of big business. Here is a clue - Hollywood is 99.9% liberals. The other 0.1% is Drew Carey. Senator Hollings is a Democrat. DMCA was signed by a Democrat into law. Mary Bono may be a Republican but only in name.

If you think that the internet is failing than this article is a great sign it isn't. The fact that any unintelligent schlub could post an article like this and receive praise for it proves it.

Consumer by Force (4, Insightful)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510656)

Arguments supported by Hollywood promoting copyright as "property" has a more grevious undertone, in my opinion. It seeks to divide everyone into two categories: The content creators and the content consumers. To many people inside the corporate media sphere see themselves as the only suppliers of creative ingenuity, innovation, and art. It appears that for the sake of protecting their egomania and "intellectual property" anyone who owns a computer is going to be forced to have it turned into nothing more than a fancy TV.

The word consumer, as a whole, is also a source of aggravation. It implies a notion of being fed, of being given content that you don't necessarily desire. And this is precisely what this notion of "distributors of intellectual property" is demanding of you. Sit down in front of your computer/TV, pay an exorbitant fee, and watch the same old boring content and advertisement barrage over and over again. The great thing about the current computer is its ability to allow for the construction of content, not its ability to supply it. This is further amplified by the Internet, and the accompanying ease of distribution and immense audience. For instance, a musician could record a song onto his computer and sell it via the Internet, or a graphic artist could market his art. In the future, perhaps even an independent film company could market it's wares online. A future dictated by DRM and "property" restrictions allows only a few select companies to digitally "watermark" their media in a manner which the now-crippled computer can read. Does anyone honestly believe that these same companies that desire such immense control will relinquish it in the future to independents desiring to sell to the same market?

Suddenly a person is no longer an individual, but a forced consumer of multiple mega-corporations. The prospect is as disturbing as it is possible. The myth of "intellectual property" is curbing and inhibiting the free expression of ideas and content, precisely what copyright law was intended to promote.


Save the internet? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6510657)

Quick! Call Al Gore!

Funny thing about SCO (-1, Offtopic)

eddy (18759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510663)

As always there's humor in all things SCO. This is from an eweek article [] on the German injunction against SCO:

SCO's legal counsel also felt that the temporary retraining order had been sought "too quickly, so we believe it may be a bit of a publicity stunt"

Pot, meet...? He also went on to say this about lifting the order:

"We expect to be able to have a hearing within the next two weeks on this, where we will be able to present affidavit and testimony to support those issues subject to the temporary restraining order."

That was the 30:th of May, almost two months ago. How is lifting that order going for you Ryan? Let's see [] :

Der deutsche Web-Server der SCO Group GmbH ist derzeit nicht erreichbar.


(not really gloating, would really want to know if anything's happening on that front)

What it boils down to is... (2, Interesting)

BFKrew (650321) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510681)

... money. Plain and simple.

When a lot of big companies start seeing a potential to see their profits tumble they will react agressively to protect their interests. Is it any wonder that the media companies are worried that millions of people around the world are sharing millions of music tracks and films? Are the software companies worried about people downloading software? The answer is yes.

Do such companies want to control the internet? Undoutedly. Can you imagine the potential for a company like Disney to broadcast to every household on the planet with an internet enabled tv? Wow... you are talking serious money there, but people can already do it - for free at the moment.

I think a lot of these people identify the internet as this 'Holy Grail' to make billions, if only they had the final, killer ingredient. Whilst this potential exists, where there's money there's immense power and this power will try to bend, distort and manouever the internet as best it can towards its vested interests.

Interview with Howard Dean (5, Interesting)

ornil (33732) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510714)

Howard Dean seems to be a very unusual candidate with regard to the use of technology and the tech crowd in general. How about we try to get an interview with him? We can ask him about DMCA, Patriot act and stuff like that. Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who actually heard of Slashdot?:)
He appeared on Lessig's blog which has (I would guess) a lot fewer readers than Slashdot, so it seems likely he would agree, if we approached it right. Does anyone know his campaign people, so we can find out?

Fantastic Idea. (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510811)

I second that e-motion. Bad pun, sorry.

Being bought (3, Interesting)

cryonic*angel (691695) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510741)

This is a frequent criticism of Modern Democracy. For the moment we'll hold aside the fact that Ancient Democracy was available only to property-holding males (something the republicans I'm sure would love to bring back). Ancient Democracy was not about getting paid, in salary or in kind; in was civic duty.

Modern Democracy, at least as practiced in the USA, is all about money. And as has been said about corruption, "...follow the money." Why don't american politicians finally prove that they're not the lords of a corrupt system, but the leaders of a just system and ban soft money.

These are the people to watch (5, Insightful)

Featureless (599963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510742)

Very smart.

The author does an excellent job of synthesizing a number of disparate, troubling issues going on in our society at the moment into a very coherent whole.

If you can understand that democracies are only as good as their voters' information systems, or that markets are only as healthy as the exchange of goods, services, and ideas in them is free, then you should be able to appreciate where the author is going.

The reason esoteric issues like telecom and media regulation, and intellectual "property" law end up commanding such a large amount of attention in the community is because both of these, people are realizing, are not just important, but absolutely essential, to maintaining those very important American principles.

A cheap, ubiquitous communications medium. The free flow of information which respects, but it is not outrageously hobbled by, the rights of authors... It's only our economy, and our democracy, at stake.

I think we need a galvanizing issue. I suggest Saving the Net. To do that, we need to treat the Net as two things:

1. a public domain, and therefore
2. a natural habitat for markets

In other words, we need to see the Net as a marketplace that has done enormous good, is under extreme threat and needs to be saved.

Repost (0)

saskwach (589702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510755)

Already [] read about how It's The End Of The Internet As We Know It.

Well ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510759)

... if someone gets to rant to slashdot on the frontpage, than I shall counter with a comment rant!

First off this the vast gulf between Liberals and Conservatives, I don't exactly know what to say to this except no shit that's like saying there's a huge contrast between black and white, seems to me that possibly stating the obvious is a little too much this early in the wonderful work day.

Second off, why is everyone making SCO the talk of the town? It's the right of every american to be able to sue another american, but that doesn't mean their right. How many civil suits are just tossed out every year? I mean lets face it folks, if the hens in the hen house are going to spread the rumors at least focus on the fact that everyone except SCO has stated they don't haev a leg to stand on. Quit bringing them up all the damned time, it's really insanely getting old and quite frankly it's time to call a spade a spade. SCO/Caldera/Whatever was a viable company back in the day with DR DOS, Caldera OpenLinux, and other software packages. They led the way in easy linux installers and netware networking code, and they really did bring the idea of a nice easy system to reality. But like everything else this was copied and innovation stopped, henceforth Caldera stopped being a real player in the market. There was a little wind in their sail when they went after the LSB, but alas hard to push for LSB when you're suing the L.

So it's a ploy for them to pretend like their still a player in the game when they haven't been on the playing roster for nearly 3 years and a few exhibition games don't count. They're like the Harlom Globtrotters of the Linux World, except they really suck at what they do, so I guess they're not like the Harlem Globtrotters of the Linux World.

Lastly I know everyone seems all "scared" of media companies getting to big, but entertainment is quite possibly the most cut-throat industry in all the world. There are so many avenues for entertainment and leisure that these companies will stop at nothing to try and score the almigty buck. And will they ever stop, nope. Ask yourself, do you own a TV, does it watch commercial/cable television. Do you remember the last mt. dew commercial you saw? Then really stop bitching because you're part of your own self-identified problem. Don't bite the hand that feeds ya, whether you acknowledge it or not. I like commercial television, and I like television. I don't mind getting independent news from the web and independent publications (right and left wing newsletters are great reading).

Enlighten yourself and be an example to others. Don't just bitch about everything all the time. Anyone can whine, it takes someone actually doing something to make a difference.

Step-wise instructions : Saving the Net (0)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510786)

1. Open document editor - okay Word.
2. Type in some text
3. Click File--Save
4. Enter filename: Net
5. Done... the Net is saved!


In defense of "conservatives"... (5, Insightful)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510791)

...while I'm more or less a liberal (in the old-style Jeffersonian or European sense) and nearly always vote for Democrats, this particular comment struck me as unfair to conservatives and their ilk:

The other [factor] is the high regard political conservatives hold for successful enterprises. Combine the two, and you get conservatives eagerly rewarding companies whose primary achievements consist of successful long-term adaptation to highly regulated environments. That's what's happened with broadcasting and telecom.

Lest we forget, it is actually the Democratic Party that is more in the pocket of Hollywood and the media companies, while the Republican Party tends to favor "big business" in general. Both parties have their share of guilt in all this mess. The DMCA was passed with bipartisan (i.e. substantial Democratic) support and was signed into law by a Democrat (Clinton). Trial and IP lawyers also tend to support the Democrats (cf. John Edwards). (Over-)deregulation of the media and telecoms industries took place largely during the Clinton Administration (though it started in the first Bush Administration).

I seriously doubt that Howard Dean is any angel on this, either. He's just as much a politician as any other. His rhetoric about being from the "Democractic wing of the Democratic Party" is a little ironic, given that he's against gun control, is hardly a pacifist (he supported Gulf War I and interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo), etc. etc. etc. I don't see him as being a liberal at all (neither in the modern "leftist" sense nor in the older Jeffersonian sense), but an opportunist like any other.

FWIW given my own political positions I'll probably be voting for "anything but Dubya", but I dislike the idolizing that Dean has been benefitting from of late. And I also dislike disingenuous attacks on one party or the other...



Proprietary Linux? (3, Insightful)

thoolihan (611712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510813)

From the article: And I'm hearing from people who insist that Linux is not exactly ownerless, either. "Linux is a registered Trademark of Linus Torvalds" appears on 268,000 Web documents, Google tells me. In at least one sense, these folks say, Linus owns Linux. That means it is, in a limited sense, proprietary.

This should really be corrected. The trademark is simply on the name. You can't go write your own software and call it Linux. But the software and code is as far from proprietary as you can get. If Linus started wrecking Linux with patches, you could take the code, rename it, and have your own kernel. This guy should RTFL (license) before he writes an article.


Nobody cares (3, Informative)

raw-sewage (679226) | more than 11 years ago | (#6510822)

The article quotes John Bloom as saying the following. The big media companies, holding the copyrights of dead authors, have said, in effect, that Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton were wrong and that we should go back to the aristocratic system of hereditary ownership, granting copyrights in perpetuity.

As another poster pointed out, it's plain and simple greed. The big media companies want perpetual copyright so they can continue to milk those works as long as possible. Copyright to a media company is the same as a manufacturing company's raw materials or even inventory. Manufacturing organizations are taxed on their inventory; if the big media companies want to own all that copyright, they should be taxed on it.

The real issue here is that the overwhelming majority of people at large are not aware of these issues. Anyone attempting to educate the masses on such things are immediately shut out as hippie radicals. The only people really working at these issues are the ones who stand to make a profit on them (i.e. the big media companies). Those same people working relentlessly for profit via copyright are the ones who are so quick to equate Linux, open source, anything public domain, etc to communism.

The cruel irony here is that the very people who label public domain as communism are the same people who are robbing our freedoms.

Sigh. Linux and the Internet were great while they lasted.

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