VLC Demonstrates the Awesomeness of the FOSS Movement

VLC plays anything you can throw at it as it’s an amazing piece of software. The application is focussed on doing one thing really well: playing media. It’s so good because of the philosophy behind it, known as Free and open-source software (FOSS). Meaning that anybody anywhere can contribute to the source code and make VLC better, and everybody can download it for free. It’s hippy meets technology – essentially VLC is the most cyberpunk and useful application you can have on your computer.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf is one of the core developers of VLC and in the interview above you can see how and why he supports the FOSS movement through VLC.

OLPC For You and Me

olpcThe One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project aims to bridge the digital divide by providing relatively inexpensive computers to kids in the developing world. The cost of the machine has unfortunately increased from their proposed $100 USD to almost double that, in oprder to ensure that they can still get these laptops out to the kids they are selling them as pairs.

You buy an OLPC laptop for yourself, but in doing so you also buy one to be donated to a child somewhere in the majority world.

The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During this time, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution.

Previously on Things Are Good: Cheap Laptop

New Site Design!

As you have probably noticed, the site looks different. It’s not perfected yet (for example I still need to unify all the blue text to one shade) and I’m sure some bugs are going to pop up as the site as also been upgraded to WordPress 2.1. If you run into a bug, or have anything to say about the redesign (good or bad) please leave a comment.

This redesign of the site is not just aesthetic, so stayed tuned for some really groovy announcements.

The theme that the site is based on right now is the Silver Lexus theme.

Edit: Already found two bugs that I need to fix, let the fun begin!

Cheap Laptop

I have been interested for years with the OLPC $100 laptop. Primarily for the role it will play in reshaping the socio-economics of developing countries, secondly for its technological accomplishments in low power draw. My only remaining question is….why can’t I get one? Well there have been hints that I can buy one for $100 bucks as long as I buy one for someone else in the developing world.
Its not the most powerfull laptop, but the cost and low wattage (4 watts browsing the internet, 1 watt reading a document) make the OLPC a gadget intriging. Especially since you charge it by pulling a string (exersice anyone?).

Psiphon Fights Censorship

Earlier this year we covered that Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto was creating some software called Psiphon that lets people bypass firewalls. Psiphone is designed to let people access sites that are blocked for censorship reasons like in China where there is a lot of online censorship.

“psiphon is a censorship circumvention solution that allows users to access blocked sites in countries where the Internet is censored. psiphon turns a regular home computer into a personal, encrypted server capable of retrieving and displaying web pages anywhere.”

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