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FCC Seeks Tech Donations for Katrina Aid

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the without-a-paddle dept.

Communications 255

An anonymous reader writes "BoingBoing is reporting on the FCC accepting donations of tech services and equipment: 'Lack of communications systems has been identified as a critical issue holding back aid, missing persons, law enforcement, etc. in crisis areas. FCC personnel are working throughout the weekend to coordinate these efforts with private industry, with wireless technology groups, FEMA, and state governments in Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.' Efforts are being organized through PART-15.ORG."

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255 comments

CB Radio (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470017)


would be a good start, no licenses required to operate, just plug in and go and they are cheap and have good range, its the citizens band after all

Re:CB Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470119)

I donate the following letters: LOLROTFLZONKSUXWTF

Does anyone else? (4, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470020)

Find it disgusting that emergency aid workers have to beg for money to provide vital equipment to people who are dying?

This in a country that has spent nearly 200 Billion [costofwar.com] on an unnecessary war in a far off land.

paging Dick Cheney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470038)


where the fuck is Dick Cheney ?
oh yeah probably counting his loot [yahoo.com]

Re:paging Dick Cheney (1)

evol262 (721773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470066)

Cheney no longer has stock in Halliburton. Seriously, though, I haven't seen Cheney since the campaign.

Re:paging Dick Cheney (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470085)

Cheney no longer has stock in Halliburton. Seriously, though, I haven't seen Cheney since the campaign.

He is too busy looting Iraq.

Re:paging Dick Cheney (1)

evol262 (721773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470101)

I dislike the administration as much as the next guy, but Cheney has nothing invested in the way, financially. Halliburton is getting an assload of money without having to bid for contracts like everybody else, but Cheney hasn't gotten the kickbacks (yet). It's very possible that he'll just go back to Halliburton when he gets out of the government and get a giant bonus, but it's not happening now.

Re:paging Dick Cheney (2, Informative)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470091)

Cheney no longer has stock in Halliburton

Not true. Cheney [slashdot.org] has stock options, but thier unexercied. Likewise, he has defered compensation which he likely will reap upon completion of the second term.

Re:paging Dick Cheney (2, Informative)

evol262 (721773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470121)

The deferred compensation is his salary. They spread it out over a few years to avoid taxes. I should have said, Cheney is not making any money off of his stock options. It's true that he still has stock that expires in 2007, but all after-tax proceeds are forfeit while he's in office.

Re:paging Dick Cheney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470183)

So what? If the guy can make a few dollars, let him do so.

Halliburton is important to the growth and stability of our military and country. That's why Cheney deserves the VP job, and why you don't.

Re:Does anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470044)

Hey, don't forget that $231 million bridge that doesn't go anywhere [selltheranch.com] that the Republican congress approved to be built in Alaska!

...and the "conservatives" whine that the democrats waste money. seriously, wtf?

/votes Libertarian

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470054)

Anyone trying to compare an overseas war that will prevent attacks on the US in the future to a natural disaster on the scale of new orleans (big as it might look it's small potatoes compared to 9/11) is just a retard looking to score political points.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (4, Informative)

evol262 (721773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470087)

Why is it small potatoes exactly? The cost in human lives and property damage is far higher, and the situation is worse in every measurable way. The war didn't prevent any attacks on the US. I'm sure Saddamn would have loved to take a crack at us, if he could, but he was an extremely secular leader (not associated with the religious nutjobs in Al-Qaeda) who would not have jeopardized his situation through a terrorist attack on the US. SCUDs didn't have nearly the range to hit the US. They could barely hit Israel. Afghanistan is a warzone with no infrastructure (we destroyed it all) largely controlled by regional warlords. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq had the navy or airpower to attack the US. Period. All we're doing is giving foreign nationals (most of the terrorists in either country are from Saudi, Pakistan, and other countries) experience fighting that they would have gotten in Chechnya before so they can hit us harder next time once they know our tactics. Stop posting bullshit.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470341)

Jesus you're retarded


The war didn't prevent any attacks on the US.


And you know that how?


I'm sure Saddamn would have loved to take a crack at us, if he could, but he was an extremely secular leader (not associated with the religious nutjobs in Al-Qaeda) who would not have jeopardized his situation through a terrorist attack on the US. SCUDs didn't have nearly the range to hit the US. They could barely hit Israel.


And he funded suicided bombers in Israel.


Afghanistan is a warzone with no infrastructure (we destroyed it all) largely controlled by regional warlords.


Are you retarded or what? There is *MORE* infrastructure in Afghanistan than there were before the recent war. Afghanistan has been fucked by decades of war and now they are finally on the path to prospoerity. Stop reading the NY times.


Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq had the navy or airpower to attack the US.


Yeah, like that's how they would choose to attack the US. Has nothing to do with them funding and homing the terrorists.


Period. All we're doing is giving foreign nationals (most of the terrorists in either country are from Saudi, Pakistan, and other countries) experience fighting that they would have gotten in Chechnya before so they can hit us harder next time once they know our tactics.


Or maybe the YOU are learning their tactics? I mean, if they attack the US they aren't going to be attacking in a conventional way and therefore aren't going to be confronted by an ARMY force are they?

On the other hand, the military are understanding how the extremists work and at the same time are seeding liberty in countries which could certainly benefit from it. Look at Afghanistan for an example. They've made amazing progress in such a short amount of time and many countries (and the UN) are ensuring success. Admittedly Iraq is not as successful (yet).


Stop posting bullshit.


After you.

make a difference and stop bullshitting [spiritofamerica.net]

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470232)

> big as it might look it's small potatoes compared to 9/11

Care to explain why this is "small potatoes" ?

9/11 was two towers getting down in flames. Not much could have been done before. Not much to do after that.

Katrina was a disaster that everybody knew would happend some day. It took days to occur. After that you have 200K people to move out of a city.

The city is roughly destroyed. It is not two towers down, it is a WHOLE city. It is not some office space that will be missing, it is more than 1 million people homeless.

The truth is, in term of tragedy, katrina is much bigger potatoes than the over-hyped 911. It should that US of A is in bad hands. It should that we are not better than a third world coutry. When seeing how politician can mishandle that so much, one can only fear how badly mishandled iraq is.

Re:Does anyone else? (1)

b3x (586838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470140)

What is more disgusting is the obvious inability for the local and state governments to cope with the disaster.

There are few cities on the planet that are more vulnerable to a relatively frequent (given the geography) natural disaster. A seaside city, below sea level, in a region that is affected by hurricanes almost yearly. Everyone knows this disaster was going to happen, it is impossible to avoid. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a government on this planet that can protect its citizens from nature.

What a government can do is react as quickly as possible to the disaster, and alleviate suffering. However, initial help MUST come from local and state governments. Federal help comes at the request of local governments.

Also, the Democratic Mayor, and Democratic Governor, complaining about the lack of help from the Republican president just reeks. The democrats wonder why they keep losing elections, and it comes down to this: when faced with adversity they complain about the Republicans. People recognize this as inherently weak leadership.

Think about Rudy Giuliani in the days following 9-11, then compare that with Ray Nagin's actions. Consider that New Orleans has prepared for hurricane disasters, and that New Orleans had nearly a week to prepare for the disaster.

Re:Does anyone else? (2, Interesting)

evol262 (721773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470298)

Rather than making ad-hominem attacks about Democrats, consider the facts.

New Orleans was not below sea level when they built it. The floodplain kept it above until fairly recently, and all the canals they dug to allow oil traffic allowed much more of it to silt out, bringing it down even further.

Initial help DID come from state and local governments. The local government was essentially obliterated by the scope of the damage, but the police force has done what they can. Martial law was requested long before help arrived. Communications infrastructure is completely gone and it's virtually impossible to coordinate.

I'm glad Ray Nagin is blasting the federal government. At least he's telling it like it is on the ground, which is a perspective you can't get from a flyby in Air Force One. I work for a company that provides real-time weather data. We KNEW there were 210 mph gusts before it hit. It's the worst hurricane of the century, and we were aware of it. Why was federal aid not waiting? FEMA classified a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as the 3rd worst possible disaster. The Pentagon was putting paperwork through days before the hurricane hit. Why was FEMA not more prepared?

Think about New York in the days following 9/11. It was a tragedy, sure, but it was localized to about one city block. If they had leveled an area the size of New Orleans, and made it virtually unhabitable (through flooding/fires/collapse of the subway system/whatever), the reaction there would have been about the same. The fact that somebody has an [R] by their name on TV does not make them infallible, and any politician in New Orleans, regardless of credo, would have been in the same situation as we have right now. They knew approximately 24 hours in advance that a class 4/5 hurricane was going to hit New Orleans. A week is bullshit. Do you think they should evactuate as soon as a tropical depression forms in the Gulf because it -might- hit New Orleans?

Your rhetoric does not a coherent argument make. Not every conservative is stupid, but most stupid people are conservative. -John Stuart Mill. I think you fit the bill. If you don't agree, think before you post next time.

Re:Does anyone else? (1)

b3x (586838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470384)

i was not attacking the democrats as much as reacting to what i have seen as the left coming out of the woodwork to use this disaster to make a political point. how about the democratic leadership take action instead of conducting interview after interview complaing about the republican federal government.

btw, scolding me for what you thought was an ad-hominen attack, and then ending your speach with just such an attack, was brilliant.

Re:disgusting (3, Funny)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470242)

1) Nationalize State militias.

2) Make entire country dependent on just-in-time everything.

3) Send military (and militias) to fight a needless war.

4) Add layers of bureaucracy to emergency response.

5) Stop spending money on infrastructure.

6) Hurricane

7) ???

8) profit!!!

That's what you get for centralization. (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470300)

Right now the Federal government takes twice as much in taxes and state and local combined [taxfoundation.org] .

The result?

Idiocy such as you just described.

Reverse that and you have a much more robust laboratory of the states and even laboratory of the counties localities with far more sovereignty, responsibility and capability of responding to their own problems.

Not disgusting, it's a disaster area! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470374)

It's not disgusting that they have to ask for donations...it's a friggin' disaster area down here! Aid agencies and emergency workers ask for money all year round, disaster or not. Is that begging? Some people in this country living under a rock have just realized how bad it is down here within the last day or two. A desparate plea for help is often times heard louder than a mild mannered dude coming on and asking to open up your purse strings.

Besides, this isn't an online game, equipment and supplies don't just appear because you have the money. You can't dupe plat. You can't copy ones and zeros and come up with a new uber weapon of doom. This is real life and people have really died!

Oh...and the money spent in the war is another issue. Let's wait until the people are being taken care of properly before we mix these two together. I'm on your side when it's time to talk about this. But in the meantime, donate money, time, and equipment, and STFU!

Obscure and secret taxes (0, Offtopic)

ErikPeterson (912282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470021)

Why dont they just use one of the MANY assinine fees or taxes they have hidden into there many odd taxes and fee schedules and give that to the victems....

If you care about the victims, help them. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470132)

Basically its coming down to a decision of the people. This is a moral issue moreso than a financial issue.

So lets discuss the morality of the situation. We should also discuss the financial impact. This situation has the potential to not only crash our economy but put us into a depression.

Re:If you care about the victims, help them. (2, Insightful)

ErikPeterson (912282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470208)

I'm all for private donations.. and will make some when I get some free funds on my credit cards.. But I'd much prefer to see larger orginizations, read gas companies, step in. Their preemtive price gouging becuase demand will go up because of this should be making them enough money to help out the victims.

Re:If you care about the victims, help them. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470301)

I was not talking about just donations. Let private corporations handle the situation. Lets give these people jobs, not just food and water. Lets get some of them into college through sponsorships and scholarships to anyone who was a victim of this disaster. That is how you help.

Where's the HAM operators? (1, Interesting)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470022)

I thought the HAM operators would come in handy during times like these. Where they be?

Re:Where's the HAM operators? (4, Informative)

gila_monster (544999) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470034)

They are setting up shop in Missippi, the Florida panhandle, and other surrounding areas. Unfortunately, there are still issues and logistics problems involved in getting operators to NOLA itself. The area needs to be secured first. One ham I know was specifically told not to enter the area with his truck carrying 200 gallons of fuel -- the fear was that he would be waylaid as he drove through the city.

gm

Re:Where's the HAM operators? (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470092)

The public, corporations, and FCC have been hanging out like vultures after ham radio operators for some time. Greedy for a tiny slice of spectrum. Yum.

Re:Where's the HAM operators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470222)

If you want to know how the ham radio ops are helping in this disaster, check out http://www.arrl.org/ [arrl.org] . US hams are very well organized to help with communications during these event, and we are helping out with this one as well!

David on4bds

Re:Where's the HAM operators? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470308)

Where are we? You can find us at any of these frequencies (below). By the way, where are *you*?

I have to go now. I just received another block of 100 names and addresses to notify next of kin, and will pay my long-distance charges to call them to let them know their aunt / uncle / parents / kids / brother is alive and well.

I'll take care of that - you rest.

AMATEUR HIGH-FREQUENCY GULF COAST HURRICANE NETS

03845.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSB Mississippi Section Traffic
03873.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03873.0 LSB Louisiana ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Texas ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency
03910.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03910.0 LSB Louisiana Traffic
03923.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03925.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03925.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
03935.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03935.0 LSB Louisiana ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Mississippi ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
03940.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency
03950.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
03955.0 LSB South Texas Emergency
03965.0 LSB Alabama Emergency (altn)
03967.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSB Texas RACES
03993.5 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
03995.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx

07225.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
07235.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
07240.0 LSB American Red Cross US Gulf Coast Disaster
07240.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07243.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
07245.0 LSB Southern Louisiana
07248.0 LSB Texas RACES
07250.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07260.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
07265.0 LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (altn)
07273.0 LSB Texas ARES (altn)
07280.0 LSB NTS Region 5
07280.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
07283.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing only)
07285.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Louisiana ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency
07285.0 LSB Texas ARES Emergency (day)
07290.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07290.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07290.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
07290.0 LSB Louisiana ARES (health & welfare) (day)
07290.0 LSB Texas ARES (health & welfare)
07290.0 LSB Mississippi ARES (health & welfare)

14265.0 USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (health & welfare) 14300.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic
14300.0 USB Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USB International Assistance & Traffic
14313.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic (altn)
14313.0 USB Maritime Mobile Service (altn)
14316.0 USB Health & Welfare
14320.0 USB Health & Welfare
14325.0 USB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center)
14340.0 USB Louisiana (1900)

Please (0, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470023)

waterproof linux distos only.

Where does the money go? (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470027)

Can we depend on the federal government? Should we donate or just let the private sector handle it?

Re:Where does the money go? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470046)

Lets the private sector help people? What sort of drugs are you taking exactly.

What of the public sector can't handle it? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470148)

Can anyone really say the government is doing a good job in how its handling this situation?

Would you prefer these victims stay in the dome forever?

Re:What of the public sector can't handle it? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470223)

Would you prefer the private sector was in charge and just wrote New Orleans off as loss and not bother allocating funds to resolve the situation. These things are called disasters for a reason. they can always be handled better.

Who is in charge? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470315)

The private sector IS in charge. I mean really if you donate to the redcross, what exactly can they do? Can they provide jobs? can they provide education?

People need the ability to work their way out of this. It's going to take a lot of hard work, not just donations to the redcross. So who is going to do the work? The private sector does the work.

Re:Where does the money go? (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470053)

Can we depend on the federal government?

No. Next Question?

Most of the agencies assisting these past five days have been the private organizations - churches, relief organizations, etc. Many organizations (such as Feed the Hungry) forewent administrative fees as well and are directing 100% of all donations directly to the effort. Any government can only throw money and manpower at a situation like this - it's the private organizations that get down and help on a personal level.

Re:Where does the money go? (1)

strcmp (908668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470080)

Well, Bush has already admitted that the government response was too slow [ndtv.com] , so you can take that for what it's worth.

Disgusted (1)

manuelpl (689817) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470036)

While I'm for helping the fellow person. I am disgusted with how much money in taxes we pay , in how are country is suppose to be so great, and over here we have the strongest goverment in the world asking for donations , f 'n handouts. This is event has made me very shameful of our Goverment leaders.

RIAA donations... anyone ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470057)

It seems that there is a quite a bit of donations coming from various corporations, but I haven't noticed any http://www.riaa.com/ [riaa.com] RIAA contributions. I think that they could spare few bucks from the "frivulous suit campaign".

This is an adbication of responsibility (2, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470062)

The problem is much bigger than volunteers can handle. This is not a tribal crisis it is a Federal emergency. Mobilization requires money and I don't see the money. The Feds certainly have exercised the privilege of collecting enough money supposedly for the responsibility to use it to solve domestic problems such as this.

The solution is simple:

Volunteerism should be directed toward getting various vendors of telecom equipment to agree on a set of rules that they consider fair for awarding a bounty for telecommunications area coverage and then sign a petition to the FCC or preferably FEMA which would administer the FCC's role, presenting the rules.

For example, let's say there's a tent city with estimated population 10,000. There is an estimated need for 1% peak load or 100 virtual circuits each capable of carrying a SIP call. FEMA pays $1000/day for each circuit. Right-of-ways are rented from FEMA with the highest bidder gaining control of the right-of-way for some minimum lease period, say a week. In the case of 802.11* this would mean spectrum allocation would operate as "land rent" system.

How fast would those 100 SIP circuits go up?

Re:This is an adbication of responsibility (1)

tuggy (694581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470090)

From the article:
Lack of communications systems has been identified as a critical issue holding back aid, missing persons, law enforcement, etc. in crisis areas.

From your post:
Volunteerism should be directed toward getting various vendors of telecom equipment to agree on a set of rules(...)

You see, when you have a critical issue such as this, which is holding back aid in crisis areas you can not just wait for agreements and meetings between vendors/corporations or whatever... it just takes them too much time to move their asses and get some work done.

Re:This is an adbication of responsibility (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470131)

when you have a critical issue such as this, which is holding back aid in crisis areas you can not just wait for agreements and meetings between vendors/corporations or whatever

If the guys whose job it is to rake in huge amounts of money deploying telecom equipment can't mobilize themselves to grab that money then I seriously doubt any amount of volunteers can. The agreements aren't complicated and any time urgency can be overcome with enough profit motive.

Like it or not, this whole transition from tribalism to nationalism to globalism has heightened the role of money and if money can't solve the problem then it can't be solved short of abandonment of the direction things have been going and that is much bigger and longer term than any emergency such as this.

Re:This is an adbication of responsibility (1)

tuggy (694581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470186)

If the guys whose job it is to rake in huge amounts of money deploying telecom equipment can't mobilize themselves to grab that money then I seriously doubt any amount of volunteers can.

That is why they are not asking for money, but asking for material and human resources.
Don't underestimate, specially in a big place like the US, if people really want to help they can do it faster than these big corporations.

Who said anything about "big corporations"? (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470262)

Huge amounts of money can be made by small agile companies as well as big companies if the prize award system is set up property.

The reason something like this might not work is because big government and big corporate cultures are now so buddy-buddy that the very idea of a fair competition where little guys could just get bounty for solving the problem first is anathema.

You don't get around that by hoping that the big government guys can collect a bunch of volunteers and equipment and coordinate the allocation of those resources. What you end up with is some bureaucrats who can just sit on their butts being important in an emergency.

THAT is a PROVEN path to failure.

Citywide Wi-Fi (3, Interesting)

blastard (816262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470064)

Now would be a fantastic opportunity to install a citywide Wi-Fi network. If the ILEC was ever going to do it and get good press for it, now is the time. Could Intel use another test bed for Wi-Max?

Reality Check (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470213)

Now would be a fantastic opportunity to install a citywide Wi-Fi network

People have no clothing, food, or water. They certainly don't have laptops with Wifi cards. Most of the people who were left behind could never afford a computer or even internet service. Many of them probably never owned a cell phone, either.

A cell network restricted to rescue/aid staff (nobody else has a good enough reason to be crowding a precious communications resource) and a couple of banks of free payphones for people to call loved ones to let them know they're alive- would do just fine.

You don't get it (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470406)

While the victims don't, you seem to think that volunteers won't let victims use their laptop to contact their families? We need communications.

If Google = Evil (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470083)

If Google = Evil: This would actually be a great time for them to 'make their move' - they've got large quantities of unused cable, and if you follow all the rumors can create their 2nd internet while having an audience that is both captive and grateful. Imagine - Google begins with coming in as the savior for the hurricane and ends up ruling the world... (And the next thing is that Zonk is going to post this to the front page.)

Re:If Google = Evil (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470147)

Correction :
And the next thing is that Zonk is going to post this to the front page OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

Why not let evolution take its course? (-1, Troll)

glrotate (300695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470102)

If you're not smart enough to leave when a hurricane is coming, should we really be spend billions of dollars to keep you alive?

Not everyone can leave (2, Informative)

Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470115)

There are plenty of people who wanted to leave but they simply didn't have the resources to do so.

Remember, much of the population in New Orleans is poor to very poor. Most of these people have no cars of their own to use.

Re:Not everyone can leave (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470286)

...wanted to leave but they simply didn't have the resources to do so.

For billions of people the world over who are poorer than the poorest in New Orleans, the minimum resources required for transportation is FEET. I think 90% of the stranded people have the requisite resources to leave. What they appear to lack is horse sense (the common sense given to a horse) or the humility to realize the world does NOT OWE THEM A DAMN THING.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470125)

What I am curious about is what percentage of the people left behind in New Orleans had the means to evacuate the city but chose not to for some stupid reason. 50%? 75%? Regardless of the answer the government has a responsibility to help those that are left.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (2, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470158)

I think that most of those left in New Orleans were too poor to have a car or be able to afford to leave. There were some clueless tourists also.

It's criminal negligence that our government took 5 days to get food and water (and law and order) to these people.

After all of the money that has gone to "Homeland Security", you'd think the government wouldn't have to ask for donations for a predicted disaster.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

blastard (816262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470201)

You have a valid point. Many said they did not want to leave. Case in point. "The musician's agent Al Embry had earlier said that nobody had seen Domino since he told people he was planning to 'ride out' the storm at his low-lying home. " From the bbcnews article... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4206622.s tm [bbc.co.uk] Clearly Fats Domino had the means to get out of New Orleans, just not the common sense. It might prove interesting to play back interviews with New Orleans residents who were interviewed before the storm and why they said they weren't leaving.

Stupid reasons? (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470245)

What I am curious about is what percentage of the people left behind in New Orleans had the means to evacuate the city but chose not to for some stupid reason.
Some smart people do stupid things too: smoke, drive too fast, vote G.W. Bush, ...
To evacuate you must belive some other people that says you than you must leave your home, your friends and your work because maybe there is a catrastophic disaster. People is smart enought to not believe every body all the time.

People haven't evolutionated to cope with such catrastophic disasters. Education it's the way humans can avoid the lack of information. That's why we have such a big brains, to put information into.
So it's a problem of education, not a problem of inteligence. Better education allow better judgement. No education at all allow intelligent people do stupid things.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470159)

The reason some people weren't smart enough to leave was that they couldn't leave. They had no car, and the city of New Orleans decided to stick them all in a giant soup bowl.

What's ironic about this post... my confirm word is "survived". LOL

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470174)

It seems less a problem of intelligence, but more one of money. Without a car and no place to go, its difficult to leave the city.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470252)

They had quite a few days notice, they could have simply walked away.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470271)

To where?

How many miles do you think people can walk on foot? They would have been just as bad off and not far enough away when the storm hit.

This is especially not an option to the elderly or the disabled.

Evolution it's at work (2, Interesting)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470192)

Why not let evolution take its course?
There are a lot of people around the world helping (money, support, oil, etc.) the victims of Katrina. So the genes for altruism are assuring it's own survival.
Evolution is about the survival of the finest, not the luckiest (at long run).

Re:Evolution it's at work (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470403)

Evolution is about the survival of the finest, not the luckiest

A Freudian slip, in an argument over evolution. It doesn't get any better...

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

strcmp (908668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470197)

You're assuming, of course, that intelligence is hereditary.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470365)

You're assuming, of course, that intelligence is hereditary.

Given:

1) Evolution is correct, and

2) Humans evolved intelligence,

That would have to be true.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470268)

If you're not smart enough to leave when a hurricane is coming, should we really be spend billions of dollars to keep you alive?

Guess what? Lots of city folks don't have or need cars until there is a total meltdown. I don't own a car.

And that doesn't include there were many thousand "essential employees" that had to stay behind, like security guards, emergency services, city engineers, hospital staff, nursing home staff, and so forth.

And of course, most of the "billions" is for the refugees that evacuated before the storm hit and have since lost everything.

Finally, all of these people who are in trouble have paid friggin' taxes for years, and I'm sure thousands of them have family members in Iraq. I think these people paid their dues.

So, in conclusion, you're the stupid fuck, and I doubt you're too young to have ever experienced a hurricane.

Re:Why not let evolution take its course? (1)

yelvington (8169) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470347)

From http://www.bartleby.com/59/3/letthemeatca.html [bartleby.com] :
Let them eat cake

A saying that shows insensitivity to or incomprehension of the realities of life for the unfortunate. Rousseau, in his Confessions, tells of a great princess who, on being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, "Let them eat cake." This statement is often, and incorrectly, attributed to Marie Antoinette.
In contemporary terms, it might be expressed as "why didn't they load up their SUV's and drive to Baton Rouge like the smart white people did?"

Electricity (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470107)

What is the news about power over there? I think lack of power would be a major problem for the 'techy' rescue/aid operations?

Re:Electricity (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470257)

That would be why the message from FCC Chief of Staff includes this:

5) can you bring generators? if so what size? capacity? power levels?

Kind of makes you wish . . . (-1, Flamebait)

Idou (572394) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470134)

We had had a bit more foresight when we were setting our priorities [costofwar.com] .

SomethingAwful (2, Interesting)

Mendy (468439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470165)

http://www.somethingawful.com/ [somethingawful.com]

SA was apparently hosted there so has gone down ("either underwater or strapped to the roof of a stolen vehicle that is also underwater.").

They've got a page up at the moment with their feelings about the whole business which is worth a read (scroll down a bit till you get to "Bless This Mess")

Why, America? (3, Interesting)

LkDotCom (912073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470170)

People killed, property destroyed, mass reverted at "Lord of the Flyes" level. And people talking about WiMax and Ham radio.

We, spoiled people of the Old Continent (maybe too old) are much more concerned about the human regression of the citizens of New Orleans that with tech. Did you have a look at Phuket Tsunami?
MUCH MORE TRAGIC outcome, much more dead people and yet a cooperative environment, without people harassing others or pillaging the neighbourhood and without problems with the volunteers.

There must be something really scaring below the thin surface of the common US citizen (or maybe under every "first world" one), something deeply wrong with a lot of people, whose first instinct is to go arming themselves as it was not a catastrophe, but some kind of Apocalypse B Movie.

I've worked with refugees and indeed lend a helping hand in Pukhet zones, but have never ONCE seen the global and total madness generated by Katrina.

ANd I am more than a little scared, you know?

-
Grammar Zealotes, please spare a non-english writer

Re:Why, America? (2, Insightful)

lmsig (110148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470255)

There are a small minority of people who take advantage of every situation. The people of New Orleans are overwhelmingly kind, generous people (just go visit sometime when it is all back, you'll have the time of your life and see some real hospitality). Unfortunatly the media likes to sensationalize everything. A few bad apples are the problem.

To be honest.. all of the people using this opportunity to take political pot-shots, attacks on the US, etc are doing something very similar to those looters and criminals taking advantage of the situation in New Orleans. Using a tragedy to push your own polital agenda or beliefs is disrespectful. Spend your energy on something positive instead.

Re:Why, America? (1)

LkDotCom (912073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470288)

And, normally, this is the answer to any kind of critic to US.
I'm not asying Americans are hordes of savages. I'm talking about all "first world" people. You can check.
But it's true that violence episodes are far too widespread to be just "a little and isolated case". Not being able to guarantee safety to volunteers in a thousands square miles area is a little more tthan just "A few bad apples are the problem".

Please do not assume every one is lobing stones in US direction at every corner: I'm simply concerned about he "what if happens here? Will be more like Phuket or New Orleans?".

Re:Why, America? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470294)

I don't know which is worse, that the current denizens of NOLA feel the need to act like animals or that most people think sending in commandos and wi-fi will help them.

There is a ridiculous disconnect here in the US. And it's not between Democrats and Republicans, between black and white, or between labor and management. It's between those with wi-fi and those without homes.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470317)

Hard to admit, but probably true... :(

Re:Why, America? (3, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470336)

People killed, property destroyed, mass reverted at "Lord of the Flyes" level. And people talking about WiMax and Ham radio.

Jesus, here's this bullshit again. MY GOD MAN, PEOPLE ARE DROWNING AND HERE YOU ARE POSTING ON INTERNET MESSAGE BOARD! GOOD GOD MAN, GET SOME PERSPECTIVE!

Here's the thing, though I realize this message will be missed by all of the pseudo morally righteous as they continue their campaign to post "Good god, won't anyone think of the..." messages to every message board: We, as a generalization of the Slashdot community, are in the technology arena.

We do not produce food, filter water, or build dikes. We do technology. You get that? Does every "Why won't someone thing of the..." moron understand this very simple point? This is our domain. Maybe it isn't the most important necessity of life, but it's what we know (and other people are taking care of the other areas, and there is NOTHING WE CAN DO to help get food or water there quicker, or to restore law and order).

As such, in the grand composite intermix that is modern society, the people who do technology ponder how they can leverage their knowledge and skills to get society up and running. Because, as I'm sure you're aware, the goal isn't just to setup a third-world state in New Orleans, but to get society running again there so people can live and work and play, and not just sit on their stacks of water and food because that's all that LkDotCom thought mattered.

Call it a voluntary tax (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470171)

Perhaps the FCC should use some of the money they've collected in indecency fines to help fund relief efforts in New Orleans.

Or what says the MPAA, RIAA, or telecoms. Millions have undoubtedly poured into the vaults of lobyists and influential members of the organization. Let they help pay. After all, I'm sure that much of the repairs will go to the telecom infrastruture, adding up to nothing more than welfare for SBC, Comcast, Verizon or whatever Bell controls communications in that are. We will repair thier networks, and then still get stiffed with the same fees w/o open access for competitors.

Walking on sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470175)

That 80's Katrina and the Waves song gets a whole new meaning doesn't it :( Pity the people stuck there; the ones least able to afford this happening to them. Help if you can.

Forget about LINUX for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470176)

Please do not install Ubuntu/Fedora on every laptop/desktop you got hand on. Fix it and let it be as it was.

why not just tax the wealth of the rich people? (-1, Flamebait)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470190)

about 5% of Americans own 50% of American wealth. If elite politicians had been taxing those plutocrats properly, and using that money for infrastructure, this would have never happened.

Oh, and BTW, in my opinion, Bush, his cabinet, all the GOP congresspeople and most of the Democratic congresspeople are responsible for the deaths in New Orleans because they failed to tax the rich and use that money to protect New Orleans. That was murder.

Therefore, I hereby petition the US Justice Dept to indict all of above aforesaid parties for those New Orleans murders, and try them on capital murder charges in a court of law, in accordance with custom and due process, and should aforesaid parties be found guilty by a jury of their peers, or by a judge, duly appointed, I hereby petition the Justice Dept that they be given all death penalty sentences.

Re:why not just tax the wealth of the rich people? (1)

b3x (586838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470320)

If elite politicians had been taxing those plutocrats properly, and using that money for infrastructure, this would have never happened.

you could make an argument that the disaster may have been averted, or the effects lessened, but to say it would never have happened is an exageration. an exageration created to exploit the pain and suffering of people to advance your political agenda. pathetic.

Re:why not just tax the wealth of the rich people? (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470328)

A tax on the floating, off-shore casinos would some way towards helping out You know, the barges that pushed ashore by the high winds.

DONATE NOW (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470219)

American Red Cross

Provides a full spectrum of services to disaster victims, including shelter, medical care, food, clean water and assisting with cleanup efforts.

http://www.redcross.org/ [redcross.org]

https://www2.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp [redcross.org]

Salvation Army:

Providing hot meals to displaced disaster victims and emergency personnel working to aid those devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/USNSAHome.htm [salvationarmyusa.org]

https://secure5.salvationarmy.org/donations.nsf/do nate?openform&projectid=USN-hurricane05 [salvationarmy.org]

United Way

Identifying serious needs of devastated communities and helping not only with front-line disaster relief but with long-term recovery.

http://national.unitedway.org/ [unitedway.org]

https://volunteer.united-e-way.org/hurricane-katri na/donate/ [united-e-way.org]

America's Second Harvest

Transports food to victims and secures additional warehouse space to assist member food banks in resuming and maintaining operations.

http://www.secondharvest.org/default.asp [secondharvest.org]

https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Simple/Donor.asp?i event=67898 [kintera.org]

Feed the Children

Mobilizing and distributing supplies in hurricane devastated areas.

http://www.feedthechildren.org/site/PageServer?pag ename=usw_hurricane_katrina [feedthechildren.org]

https://secure2.convio.net/ftc/site/Donation?ACTIO N=SHOW_DONATION_OPTIONS&CAMPAIGN_ID=2661 [convio.net]

Habitat for Humanity

Helping disaster victims rebuild piece by piece and house by house.

http://www.habitat.org/ [habitat.org]

https://www.habitat.org/donation/generaldonation/d efault.aspx?media=habitat&lander=MP&sourcecode=10w 39&tg=katrina&keyword=homepage_08302005 [habitat.org]

Why not use the existing emergency supplies? (1, Informative)

nuggz (69912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470236)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/03/katrina.unus edgear/index.html [cnn.com]

Forget coordinating donations.
Take the available equipment you ALREADY have, and use it.

As for immediate help, deploy the appropriate military units from the US and accept assistance from allied nations (ie Canada).

Out of Iraq? (0, Flamebait)

headqtrs (467875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470244)

Why don't you guys move stuff from Iraq to New Orleans? Everybody will be happy: Iraqis AND the people hit by Kratina!

This is the perfect opportunity for /.ers (4, Insightful)

zippity8 (446412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470261)

Here you go! /. collectively has resources, experience, and sufficient assets to band together and work on a finding a solution to a real problem, rather than debating about what Ballmer is saying about Google.

International Help (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470297)

I readed on a spanish news web [20minutos.es] (English Google Translation [google.com] ) that Bush is rejecting international help. That's correct?
Because from Europe we can (and want) to help USA as USA has helped us and other countries in the past. But George W. Bush isn't very popular in the old Europe, and his word aren't helping.
Because tech is important, but airplanes, police , firemen... are more important.

Re:International Help (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470409)

I readed on a spanish news web (English Google Translation) that Bush is rejecting international help. That's correct?

Patently incorrect. [bloomberg.com]

Subhuman Negro Beasts Terrorize White Refugees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470306)

(from news.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] )

Valenti and her husband, two of very few white people in the almost exclusively black refugee camp, said she and other whites were threatened with murder on Thursday.

"They hated us. Four young black men told us the buses were going to come last night and pick up the elderly so they were going to kill us," she said, sobbing. "They were plotting to murder us and then they sent the buses away because we would all be killed if the buses came -- that's what the people in charge told us this morning."

Other survivors recounted horrific cases of sexual assault and murder.

Sitting with her daughter and other relatives, Trolkyn Joseph, 37, said men had wandered the cavernous convention center in recent nights raping and murdering children.

She said she found a dead 14-year old girl at 5 a.m. on Friday morning, four hours after the young girl went missing from her parents inside the convention center.

"She was raped for four hours until she was dead," Joseph said through tears. "Another child, a seven-year old boy was found raped and murdered in the kitchen freezer last night."

PEOPLE NEED FOOD, WATER, AND MEDICINE NOT INTERNET (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470314)

We can assist in reestablishing internal communications and provide connectivity to all disaster relief efforts by installing point to point, point to multipoint links, IP Web cams to assist the police and fire departments who can not be everywhere in such a large area,

Webcams? What? There's a 24 hour curfew. They're evacuating everyone. National Guard should be patrolling with orders to detain anyone and get them to evacuation centers, and if they get shot at- give a warning, and then shoot to kill and move on. Policing New Orleans is probably simpler than it ever was- and it will only get easier as they finish the evacuation.

Once order is established, take all that money for wireless access points, webcams...take all those consultants etc...and hand them wader boots. Have them cart water, food, and medicine to people. Go door to door searching for survivors. Go to the relief centers to help there. Because THAT is what we need. A simple radio network will suffice for short term communications (National Guard and HAM operators can probably help there more than anyone else) and should be easy given the lack of interference. Cell service would be a luxury, and suggesting ANYONE needs 802.11b is absolutely stupid. This is a bunch of vendors saying "hey, we'll help, but only if you let us use our most expensive, fancy, unnecessary equipment". You don't deploy a VoIP network, when the cost of one VoIP router will buy you a dozen hand-held radios. You don't give one person a nice big steak with roasted potatoes when you can give 1000 people rice.

PEOPLE NEED FOOD, WATER, AND MEDICINE. THEY NEED TO BE EVACUATED STILL. THEY DO NOT NEED LAPTOPS WITH INTERNET ACCESS. THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS MOVING THAT FOOD, WATER, AND MEDICINE- NOT SETTING UP #$@!ING WEBCAMS. The Mayor of New Orleans has been pretty clear about what he needs. Food, water, medicine, and busses to get people out so they stop rioting and looting. I believe the quote was "the president was talking about getting some school bus drivers down here. Thats' a joke. Get every greyhound bus in the country down here."

Re:PEOPLE NEED FOOD, WATER, AND MEDICINE NOT INTER (1)

MBHkewl (807459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470379)

Open your eyes!
Using wireless communications will enhance aiding those in need.

If someone was found stuck under a house, they could communicate with aid centers to send help.

Don't shout out and bash your keyboard mindlessly man.

Re:PEOPLE NEED FOOD, WATER, AND MEDICINE NOT INTER (2, Informative)

uncadonna (85026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470381)

Families have been split up. People need to find each other.

Groups of people are stuck on roofs and under underpasses. The buses and helicopters need to know where to go.

Information needs to be collected and disseminated from a lot of places.

That's where the tech comes in. These are not trivial needs now.

They should have been set up in advance, but like a lot of other things that should have been set up in advance, apparently they weren't.

Why don't they use my mandatory donation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470321)

You know, the 30-40% that these rat bastards take off the top of my wages - what is it, the skim, the take, or just plain old TAXES?

Not to sound like an asshole, but I don't get shit for my taxes, no healthcare, no housing, no subsidization on college, nothing.

Better yet, why don't these pricks in government stop shoveling money at Kellog Brown and Root?

More importantly, why don't they HIRE me for my services? I've been in and out of work since March of 2001 - the only way for a tragedy to turn into an economic good is if money is spent.

Don't be a stupid communist - don't volunteer. Offer your services AT A PREMIUM. You make money, you spend money, you reinvigorate a troubled economy.

When you work for free you are stealing your own job.

News Aggregators... (1)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470361)

I find it bothersome that a news aggregator like Slashdot would post an article linking to another news aggregator's website, especially considering that BoingBoing displays not-safe-for-work advertising (suicide girls). Thank goodness I checked SlashDot before going to work today! Or should I be glad that I checked BoingBoing before work?

Editors: Please have a little more consideration of SlashDot readers than this.

::Colz Grigor

Geeks unite! (2, Interesting)

goon america (536413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13470380)

Watching this disaster unfold, I'm struck by the generosity of individual people who want to help and the complete ineptitude of the agencies that are supposed to be managing this crisis. I feel sort of frustrated because I would like to help but I live very far away and basically the only thing I can do is give to the Red Cross and just watch it all on TV.

We should all work together and develop open source collaboration software for disaster relief efforts.

Capabilties:
* Supercharged task list. I need supply $X at location $Y using vehicle $Z. People should be able to do the reverse, say I have supply $X at location $B but need vehicle $C. Must be able to work with very large numbers of people using it.
* Reporting connected to mapping. People should report on the ground what conditions are and report what is needed where
* VOIP phone bank. People around the world can volunteer as telephone operators for a central hotline. Obviously it's going to be harder to get web access in some situations so these people can take phone reports help them use the site through that, or just help them with whatever else they need
* Interlingual support. Language barriers are often a problem in disasters, especially those with international teams working together. This needs to be coordinated.
* Lost and found. People can post stats and descriptions and photos into a database that can be searched easily. People should also be able to do the reverse and register "I'm OK".
* Publicity effort: if this thing works then we need to publicize it so that people know to use it
* Scalability: this needs to scale to meet high variable demand. People should be able to donate servers and bandwidth. Should be load-tested to meet what seems like unrealistic loads.

I'm really struck by the way that individuals out there are helping one another. I saw one guy saying he was in Nevada, but he was willing to drive to Houston to come pick up someone who needed a place to stay... If we could come up with an application that helps individual people out there help with each other, we could have our own relief movement without needing the government. The big problem with the government agencies seems to be that they can't co-ordinate with one another (even though that was supposed to be the whole point of the Department of Homeland Security). There's really no limit to the people out there who would help if they only knew how, if there was a centralized "task list" maybe we could get the right help where it was needed faster.

Let's do it.

Katrina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13470399)

So... remembering 9/11, have songs by Katrina and the Waves been banned from the airwaves yet?
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