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(The Wire)   In order to expand knowledge of the outside world in North Korea, activists will download Wikipedia onto thumb drives and attach them to helium balloons. Finally, the starving peasants will have access to critical analyses of "Joanie love Chachi"   (thewire.com) divider line 54
    More: Interesting  
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614 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Jul 2014 at 2:23 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-21 12:50:25 PM
One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.
 
2014-07-21 01:02:15 PM
I larfed.
 
2014-07-21 01:03:16 PM
Considering that the penalty for viewing foreign media can be death, this may be a terrible idea.
 
2014-07-21 01:04:32 PM
Wouldn't a cheap e-reader be a better option? something like the peek e-mail device from a couple years ago?
 
2014-07-21 01:09:33 PM
I think they'd rather have a cheeseburger. Let's airdrop Ronald McDonald...
 
2014-07-21 01:19:24 PM
 
2014-07-21 01:22:48 PM

zedster: Wouldn't a cheap e-reader be a better option? something like the peek e-mail device from a couple years ago?


Given the technological level of the typical North Korean, perhaps some kind of advanced, flexible, non-powered technology would be appropriate.  We could the data itself "informing North Korea", or "iNK" for short, and because the delivery system would be designed to fall gently to the ground, like an autumn leaf falling from a tree (the Tree of Knowledge?), we could perhaps call the substrate upon which we impress the iNK upon a "leaflet".

You know, this might just work....
 
2014-07-21 01:28:32 PM

dittybopper: zedster: Wouldn't a cheap e-reader be a better option? something like the peek e-mail device from a couple years ago?

Given the technological level of the typical North Korean, perhaps some kind of advanced, flexible, non-powered technology would be appropriate.  We could the data itself "informing North Korea", or "iNK" for short, and because the delivery system would be designed to fall gently to the ground, like an autumn leaf falling from a tree (the Tree of Knowledge?), we could perhaps call the substrate upon which we impress the iNK upon a "leaflet".

You know, this might just work....


cheap Chinese e-paper readers  with a few gigs of everything from western news to technical manuals on improvised munitions and effective guerilla tactics to porn and solar chargers
 
2014-07-21 01:59:39 PM
There are a few solar-powered e-readers out there...
 
2014-07-21 02:28:32 PM

obenchainr: There are a few solar-powered e-readers out there...


"Few"? We have entire buildings devoted to them. They're called libraries. Though the technology is read-only, non-upgradeable, and not overly weatherproof
 
2014-07-21 02:32:45 PM

Ghost Roach: obenchainr: There are a few solar-powered e-readers out there...

"Few"? We have entire buildings devoted to them. They're called libraries. Though the technology is read-only, non-upgradeable, and not overly weatherproof


Also not balloon-ready.
 
2014-07-21 02:33:42 PM
Mmmmm thumb drive soup!  You can really taste the heavy metals...
 
2014-07-21 02:37:52 PM

zedster: Wouldn't a cheap e-reader be a better option? something like the peek e-mail device from a couple years ago?


Or the WikiReader, launched in 2009 as a spinoff from the Openmoko cellphone project.
 
2014-07-21 02:48:16 PM

dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.


They seem to be lacking in another requirement for computer functionality.

static.guim.co.uk

Electricity.
 
2014-07-21 02:48:37 PM
So how many "Library's of Congress", are in 1 Wikipedia archive anyways? What is the conversion ratio?
 
2014-07-21 02:50:57 PM
I'm only sending copies of Conservapedia. They should know what they're getting in to.
 
2014-07-21 02:56:30 PM

dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.


New initiative : One Laptop Per Best Korean.

/Or maybe we can just make a box they can connect to their TVs
 
2014-07-21 02:57:46 PM

Ivo Shandor: zedster: Wouldn't a cheap e-reader be a better option? something like the peek e-mail device from a couple years ago?

Or the WikiReader, launched in 2009 as a spinoff from the Openmoko cellphone project.


FORTH?! Why the hell would I want THAT?!

/jk
//neat toy
 
2014-07-21 03:00:22 PM

MindStalker: So how many "Library's of Congress", are in 1 Wikipedia archive anyways? What is the conversion ratio?


Depends, are you counting revision history, data files, and/or other languages as part of wikipedia?
 
2014-07-21 03:00:42 PM

ZMugg: dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.

They seem to be lacking in another requirement for computer functionality.

[static.guim.co.uk image 460x323]

Electricity.


Well, at least their borders and coastline are well lit.  They show up perfectly.
 
2014-07-21 03:04:05 PM

dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.


That's what I came here to ponder... What is the average NK citizen gonna do with a thumb drive? Use it to shim a crooked table?
 
2014-07-21 03:19:50 PM

dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.


Kinda my first thought. USB drives are all well and good if you have a computer, which would be nice if you have electricity.

thepoliticizer.com
 
2014-07-21 03:22:24 PM
Just what exactly are they plugging the thumb drives into?
 
2014-07-21 03:25:54 PM

ReverendJynxed: Just what exactly are they plugging the thumb drives into?


Gotta eat something.
 
2014-07-21 03:27:26 PM

MindStalker: So how many "Library's of Congress", are in 1 Wikipedia archive anyways? What is the conversion ratio?


Who cares, someone get to work on my hover conversion! 7 months into 2014 and it's looking like I'll be grounded for 2015- unacceptable, the 80s, 90s, and one dude who used to play Ben Sisko promised me flying cars Thorsornit!
 
2014-07-21 03:32:55 PM

dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.


I loved the bit in the Vice episode where they tagged along with Dennis Rodman's group (which was basically just cover to get the Vice team into North Korea), and they went to a computer lab fill with people who were just sitting there staring at an open window, moving their mouse around the screen but otherwise not really doing anything, except for one guy who was pulling up his own research papers. It was just a really sad attempt at a Potemkin computer lab.
 
2014-07-21 03:44:26 PM

HotWingConspiracy: I'm only sending copies of Conservapedia. They should know what they're getting in to.


Out of.  NK is the Koch boys' wet dream of a country's resources and wealth entirely dominated by one family.
 
2014-07-21 03:50:44 PM
I don't think you have to worry about what they would plug USBs in...I doubt most would even understand what a USB is yet understand how to use one.
 
2014-07-21 03:59:07 PM

nekom: Considering that the penalty for viewing foreign media can be death, this may be a terrible idea.


Well if we get enough of their population to view foreign media (like airships blasting Star Wars) we might get them to kill enough of their citizens to cause a rebellion.  Of course NK would declare war on the Sea of Japan again and we wouldn't want that.
 
2014-07-21 04:00:19 PM

ArcadianRefugee: dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.

Kinda my first thought. USB drives are all well and good if you have a computer, which would be nice if you have electricity.

[thepoliticizer.com image 438x390]


I think what you see in that picture is a totally paranoid country that goes into blackout at night in case we decide to pay an unannounced nocturnal visit.
 
2014-07-21 04:01:07 PM

advex101: ArcadianRefugee: dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.

Kinda my first thought. USB drives are all well and good if you have a computer, which would be nice if you have electricity.

[thepoliticizer.com image 438x390]

I think what you see in that picture is a totally paranoid country that goes into blackout at night in case we decide to pay an unannounced nocturnal visit.


Which actually helps us when we come in using night vision.
 
2014-07-21 04:05:59 PM
At least they'll get descriptions and analyses of all Pokemon episodes.
 
2014-07-21 04:14:11 PM

Ghost Roach: obenchainr: There are a few solar-powered e-readers out there...

"Few"? We have entire buildings devoted to them. They're called libraries. Though the technology is read-only, non-upgradeable, and not overly weatherproof


They can be weatherproof, but we generally don't bother.
 
2014-07-21 04:14:52 PM

advex101: I think what you see in that picture is a totally paranoid country that goes into blackout at night in case we decide to pay an unannounced nocturnal visit.


Or, if you believe the Wikipedia thumb drive balloons, North Korea is a net energy exporter. According to the article, North Korea is almost "entirely self-sufficient" in terms of energy--while South Korea must import 86% of its electricity.

/"Wikipedia Thumb Drive Balloon" is the name of my next album.
 
2014-07-21 04:21:34 PM
It looks like the prevailing wind direction is from the South to the North.  Man I would be sending helium balloons over constantly with crap.  Photoshopped picture of Kim humping goats, candy, smokes, nude selfies, pretty much anything to make their day better.
 
2014-07-21 04:33:30 PM

MindStalker: So how many "Library's of Congress", are in 1 Wikipedia archive anyways? What is the conversion ratio?


It's 4 Rhode Islands.
 
2014-07-21 04:37:43 PM

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: It looks like the prevailing wind direction is from the South to the North.  Man I would be sending helium balloons over constantly with crap.  Photoshopped picture of Kim humping goats, candy, smokes, nude selfies, pretty much anything to make their day better.


I could imagine that would be a very enjoyable, rewarding hobby.
 
2014-07-21 04:39:53 PM
Just drop encyclopedias, there have to be thousands sitting around gathering dust.
 
2014-07-21 04:41:45 PM

ferretman: Just drop encyclopedias, there have to be thousands sitting around gathering dust.


Carpet-bombing them would violate the armstice.
 
2014-07-21 04:46:26 PM
Secret State of North Korea

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secret-state-of-north-korea/

Bootleg DVDs, computers and everything!
 
2014-07-21 05:15:41 PM
Since they don't have computers wouldn't it be better to print out Wikipedia and then smuggle them over under their sweaters, you know, like shoplifters do
 
2014-07-21 05:24:09 PM

ikanreed: ReverendJynxed: Just what exactly are they plugging the thumb drives into?

Gotta eat something.


And when there was no meat, we ate fowl. And when there was no fowl, we ate crawdad. And when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand. And when there was no sand, we supplemented our silicon allowance by eating flash drives.

videos.videopress.com
 
2014-07-21 05:56:19 PM

ZMugg: dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.

They seem to be lacking in another requirement for computer functionality.

[static.guim.co.uk image 460x323]

Electricity.


Those images have been debunked so many times.  They're just turning out their lights by order of the little guy.  They track the satellites and have a master switch for the power.  Tricksy.

Link
 
2014-07-21 06:01:06 PM
Why would this work?

We have people here who already think that wikipedia is a liberal plot of some sort.  Might as well send them a copies of Conservapedia.

Juchepedia?
 
2014-07-21 06:53:19 PM

advex101: ArcadianRefugee: dittybopper: One problem:  No one in North Korea owns a computer.

/Well, most don't.

Kinda my first thought. USB drives are all well and good if you have a computer, which would be nice if you have electricity.

[thepoliticizer.com image 438x390]

I think what you see in that picture is a totally paranoid country that goes into blackout at night in case we decide to pay an unannounced nocturnal visit.


According to NASA, according to the CIA, North Korea ranks 71st in electricity production, and 73rd in electricity consumption, per 2009 estimates. South Korea, by contrast, ranks 12th in electricity production, and 10th in electricity consumption, per 2011 estimates.
 
2014-07-21 07:20:30 PM
What kind of idiot would plugin an USB drive they found attached to a balloon.
 
2014-07-21 07:28:06 PM

mjjt: Since they don't have computers wouldn't it be better to print out Wikipedia and then smuggle them over under their sweaters, you know, like shoplifters do


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_in_volumes

I believe some Farkers are big enough to get the job done.
 
2014-07-21 07:44:20 PM

Satanic_Hamster: What kind of idiot would plugin an USB drive they found attached to a balloon.


Someone whose OS didn't employ a stupid concept like "Autorun"
 
2014-07-21 09:08:19 PM
Does anyone here know what "99 Doft Red Balloons" would sound like, if it was a K-Pop song?
 
2014-07-21 09:43:06 PM
All you nelly naysayers: "oh the Norkers don't have power/electricity/computers!

These thumb drives run on the new GrassOS distro. Duh.

Now don't you feel stupid.
 
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