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(Dvice)   OLPC leaves laptops with illiterate Ethiopian children, five months later they're hacking the OS   (dvice.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, One Laptop Per Child, state capitols, convenience foods, complete sentence, teaching methods, computer surveillance, Nicholas Negroponte, operating systems  
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6322 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Nov 2012 at 7:02 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-01 03:00:45 PM  
Soon they'll organize themselves into an army and go looking for the girl they consider their leader. The one with the original copy of the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
 
2012-11-01 03:10:32 PM  
L33T HAX0Rz.
 
2012-11-01 03:16:17 PM  
And if kids in this country tried something like that, we'd throw 'em in jail for hacking and ruin their lives forever.
 
2012-11-01 03:16:52 PM  
Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.
 
2012-11-01 03:18:58 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.


It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!
 
2012-11-01 03:20:20 PM  

xenophon10k: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!


And yet kids in this country can't do it.
 
2012-11-01 03:22:30 PM  

Weaver95: xenophon10k: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!

And yet kids in this country can't do it.


Kids here don't *try*.

On a side note, screwing with the kernel doesn't mean they did anything useful or functional. They could have simply turned it all into gibberish. I suppose I should go RTFA
 
2012-11-01 03:24:40 PM  
Well I'll be... they were able to do a handful of useful things. That's a lot more impressive than turning the OS into fubar.
I sure hope they were able to figure out man pages.
 
2012-11-01 03:25:54 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Weaver95: xenophon10k: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!

And yet kids in this country can't do it.

Kids here don't *try*.

On a side note, screwing with the kernel doesn't mean they did anything useful or functional. They could have simply turned it all into gibberish. I suppose I should go RTFA


well...SOME kids here try, but the school admin and a bunch of corporate lawyers like to crush students who do something technologically brilliant and/or unexpected. we don't want smart kids...we want kids who know how to use the equipment as instructed and who follow orders blindly.
 
2012-11-01 03:28:13 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.


They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.
 
2012-11-01 03:28:35 PM  

Weaver95: Uchiha_Cycliste: Weaver95: xenophon10k: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!

And yet kids in this country can't do it.

Kids here don't *try*.

On a side note, screwing with the kernel doesn't mean they did anything useful or functional. They could have simply turned it all into gibberish. I suppose I should go RTFA

well...SOME kids here try, but the school admin and a bunch of corporate lawyers like to crush students who do something technologically brilliant and/or unexpected. we don't want smart kids...we want kids who know how to use the equipment as instructed and who follow orders blindly.


Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.
 
2012-11-01 03:28:36 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Well I'll be... they were able to do a handful of useful things. That's a lot more impressive than turning the OS into fubar.
I sure hope they were able to figure out man pages.


From the original article Link

Elaborating later on Negroponte's hacking comment, Ed McNierney, OLPC's chief technology officer, said that the kids had gotten around OLPC's effort to freeze desktop settings. "The kids had completely customized the desktop-so every kids' tablet looked different. We had installed software to prevent them from doing that," McNierney said. "And the fact they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning."
 
2012-11-01 03:29:57 PM  

Lsherm: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.


Next time I get my hands on an OLPC I'll see what it takes. I'd be much more impressed with something requiring a kernel recompile than a config file somewhere. Hacking does imply they got into the nitty-gritty.

\older brother has one, I play with it every now and again.
 
2012-11-01 03:33:00 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste:

Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.


I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.
 
2012-11-01 03:37:43 PM  

Weaver95: xenophon10k: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

It's so easy, an illiterate child can do it!

And yet kids in this country can't do it.


Most adults can't do it. My father can barely figure out the ON switch.
 
2012-11-01 03:43:25 PM  

Weaver95: I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.


that and we probably have just as many insults for smart people as dumb, nerd, geek, poindexter, egghead, dork, etc...
 
2012-11-01 03:44:57 PM  
I'm struggling to understand how a much of kids who can't read found the computer savvy to get around administrative settings in five months, without help.
 
2012-11-01 03:45:15 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Lsherm: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.

Next time I get my hands on an OLPC I'll see what it takes. I'd be much more impressed with something requiring a kernel recompile than a config file somewhere. Hacking does imply they got into the nitty-gritty.

\older brother has one, I play with it every now and again.


Damn dude, the kids couldn't even read and had never seen a computer before. We all know you are so awesome and scoff at their accomplishment. Why are you so insecure about these kids doing something so great with so litte?
 
2012-11-01 03:51:16 PM  

kingoomieiii: I'm struggling to understand how a much of kids who can't read found the computer savvy to get around administrative settings in five months, without help.


I'd guess trial and error. One of the kids was probably messing around and changed something on accident. And then kept trying to replicate it until they figured out a way to consistently do it.
 
2012-11-01 03:51:49 PM  

Weaver95: Uchiha_Cycliste:

Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.

I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.


It's a problem I hope to see fixed once the GOP is dissolved by all the blue-hairs dying. The next few decades are going to be right interesting.
 
2012-11-01 03:53:08 PM  

Brontes: Uchiha_Cycliste: Lsherm: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.

Next time I get my hands on an OLPC I'll see what it takes. I'd be much more impressed with something requiring a kernel recompile than a config file somewhere. Hacking does imply they got into the nitty-gritty.

\older brother has one, I play with it every now and again.

Damn dude, the kids couldn't even read and had never seen a computer before. We all know you are so awesome and scoff at their accomplishment. Why are you so insecure about these kids doing something so great with so litte?


I'm not denegrating the kids at all, if anything I'm scoffing at the authors use of hacking. It has a specific meaning in the common lexicon and I think its use here was inappropriate. the kids are awesome, the author was sensationalistic.
 
2012-11-01 03:58:23 PM  

Vodka Zombie: L33T HAX0Rz.


|=7f='/:1337 |-|4X0|2Z
 
2012-11-01 04:00:22 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Brontes: Uchiha_Cycliste: Lsherm: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.

Next time I get my hands on an OLPC I'll see what it takes. I'd be much more impressed with something requiring a kernel recompile than a config file somewhere. Hacking does imply they got into the nitty-gritty.

\older brother has one, I play with it every now and again.

Damn dude, the kids couldn't even read and had never seen a computer before. We all know you are so awesome and scoff at their accomplishment. Why are you so insecure about these kids doing something so great with so litte?

I'm not denegrating the kids at all, if anything I'm scoffing at the authors use of hacking. It has a specific meaning in the common lexicon and I think its use here was inappropriate. the kids are awesome, the author was sensationalistic.


I really dont think you are improving your argument here.
 
2012-11-01 04:05:43 PM  

DrySocket: Uchiha_Cycliste: Brontes: Uchiha_Cycliste: Lsherm: Uchiha_Cycliste: Yeah... an open kernel BSD is soooo hard to get into.

They said the "hack" was turning on a camera that had been disabled. I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that. They probably just found the control panel for it.

Next time I get my hands on an OLPC I'll see what it takes. I'd be much more impressed with something requiring a kernel recompile than a config file somewhere. Hacking does imply they got into the nitty-gritty.

\older brother has one, I play with it every now and again.

Damn dude, the kids couldn't even read and had never seen a computer before. We all know you are so awesome and scoff at their accomplishment. Why are you so insecure about these kids doing something so great with so litte?

I'm not denegrating the kids at all, if anything I'm scoffing at the authors use of hacking. It has a specific meaning in the common lexicon and I think its use here was inappropriate. the kids are awesome, the author was sensationalistic.

I really dont think you are improving your argument here.


so be it.  It wasn't my argument to start with anyway.
 
2012-11-01 04:26:41 PM  

Weaver95: Uchiha_Cycliste:

Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.

I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.


If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.
 
2012-11-01 04:27:37 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: Weaver95: Uchiha_Cycliste:

Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.

I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.

If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.


Bah *Just let me have some missiles*

/Preview and grammar check is for the weak and/or those not eating lunch at their desk
 
2012-11-01 04:27:39 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.


You accidentally rm -rf a word
 
2012-11-01 04:41:24 PM  

zedster: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.

You accidentally rm -rf a word


why on earth was the -rf necessary? =P
 
2012-11-01 04:49:32 PM  
Checkmate, racists.
 
2012-11-01 04:50:00 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: zedster: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.

You accidentally rm -rf a word

why on earth was the -rf necessary? =P


touche, been awhile since I played in Linux, waiting for my damn RPi to show up
 
2012-11-01 05:10:40 PM  

zedster: Uchiha_Cycliste: zedster: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: If NORAD would just me HAVE some missiles, I wouldn't need to play with Arduino boards.

You accidentally rm -rf a word

why on earth was the -rf necessary? =P

touche, been awhile since I played in Linux, waiting for my damn RPi to show up


in fairness, that command should work on every OS but windows.
 
2012-11-01 06:14:56 PM  

Weaver95: well...SOME kids here try, but the school admin and a bunch of corporate lawyers like to crush students who do something technologically brilliant and/or unexpected. we don't want smart kids...we want kids who know how to use the equipment as instructed and who follow orders blindly.


Ask most parents, most teachers, most admins; school is place to baby sit your kids while you are at work. When you describe that 90% of what's done at school, could be done online, the complaint is that the parents are not at home. LOL

(yes, arts and gym, sports and science labs ... but WHY are kids sitting in rows taking tests?? LOL)
 
2012-11-01 06:52:03 PM  
This was a good find, subby. I also LOL'd a bit.

Never discount the human will to do what it sets it's mind to.
 
2012-11-01 06:52:54 PM  
"its." Damn son, get your ass in gear.
 
2012-11-01 07:06:12 PM  

xenophon10k: Soon they'll organize themselves into an army and go looking for the girl they consider their leader. The one with the original copy of the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer


done in one
 
2012-11-01 07:08:21 PM  

Freudian_slipknot: Checkmate, racists.


I don't know why people think those of other races or what have you are any less capable or intelligent. Is it really as simple as 'i need to feel superior to others to help me feel better about my weaknesses'?
 
2012-11-01 07:09:53 PM  

xenophon10k: Soon they'll organize themselves into an army and go looking for the girl they consider their leader. The one with the original copy of the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer


My favorite book of all time.
 
2012-11-01 07:12:37 PM  
This sounds familiar.
Yeah, they did it in Superman III.
 
2012-11-01 07:12:57 PM  
Glad to see this article finally went green.

/my headline wasn't any better
 
2012-11-01 07:15:04 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: I'm not denegrating the kids at all, if anything I'm scoffing at the authors use of hacking. It has a specific meaning in the common lexicon and I think its use here was inappropriate. the kids are awesome, the author was sensationalistic.


The term "hacking" is entirely appropriate here. They bypassed controls and made the device do something it was not intended to do. Perhaps you are applying a bit too much sensationalism to the word itself.
 
2012-11-01 07:16:30 PM  
Don't want to be a buzzkill, but maybe they went to a guy in a neighboring village and said "hey, if you show us how to use these things, we'll give you one"?
 
2012-11-01 07:22:24 PM  

Weaver95: And if kids in this country tried something like that, we'd throw 'em in jail for hacking and ruin their lives forever.


Could be wrong, but I don't think anyone in the US has gotten into trouble for hacking FOSS software running on their own computers. At least, not yet.
 
2012-11-01 07:30:05 PM  

Weaver95: Uchiha_Cycliste:

Bullshiat, we NEED smart kids, just not too many. That's why AP CS holds 30 kids per 4k in a HS and isn't required for all kids. those 30 go onto to EE and CS at college and feed into corporate NCG programs. the fresh blood is important, just not too much.

I agree - we do need smart kids...but our society doesn't like smart people. look at our culture - 'smart' people are almost always portrayed as sneaky or evil. computer nerds are weak, sniveling cowards with a variety of mental and/or eating disorders. unless they use an apple PC, then they're slick and cool and corporately accountable...plus they eat vegan.

but someone who likes to rip apart computers and build something weird with an ardino board and some skyrim sound files? nope - weirdo freak who's gonna end up hacking NORAD and launching nuclear missiles at someone.


Shhhhh! They'll hear!
 
2012-11-01 07:33:02 PM  
Next thing you know, they'll want a piece or our action! 

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-01 07:35:21 PM  
Give a 60 year old a computer... they use it to play solitaire.

Give an impoverish Ethiopian kids a bunch of computers, they learn English... coding languages... and alter the OS to turn the camera on.

Kids are awesome.
 
2012-11-01 07:39:04 PM  

Lsherm: I'm not sure you need to crack the kernel to do that.


You have to crack the kernel if you want to eat what's inside...
 
2012-11-01 07:52:07 PM  
The linked to article was written by a dimwit that made is seem like the kids had super learning powers, and if given the chance, could become geniuses that would quickly rule the world. The original article was more accurate, and the results more mundane, and realistic.

Link

The kids were reciting songs the laptop played, and one managed to write "lion" from learning from the teaching programs. There was no telling from the article if he even knew what he was doing, though. I assume not, since I think they would have mentioned that he did. They didn't learn English and advanced computer programming in 4 months or anything absurd like that. Not that I'm saying the kids did badly or anything, but they didn't do anything borderline supernatural.
 
2012-11-01 07:56:26 PM  

MrEricSir: Weaver95: And if kids in this country tried something like that, we'd throw 'em in jail for hacking and ruin their lives forever.

Could be wrong, but I don't think anyone in the US has gotten into trouble for hacking FOSS software running on their own computers. At least, not yet.


You have to be careful when using FOSS software. You never want to enter your PIN number in FOSS software, since because it's FOSS software, anybody can steal your PIN number and use it on the ATM machine.

/sorry, couldn't resist
 
2012-11-01 07:59:07 PM  
Within 6 months, they're sending out 419 scam emails.

As heart warming as this story is, you're not going to solve people's problems by throwing a bit of cheap technology at them.
 
2012-11-01 08:05:34 PM  
The gods must be crazy.
 
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