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Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction


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#16 Teebor

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 13:33

1: I think there's a highly liberal use of the word "hacking here"
2: They where tracking what kids where doing on these tablets... seems fishy and somewhat illegal, especially without consent. and if the consent was in english on first startup. I think it's rather invalid.
3: if they where tracking them there must have been some sort of internet on them, heck they're pretty useless without internet. so how do they know they didn't get any help ?

There's a lot missing from this story and a lot that seems fishy.


I took the bit about the SD card with tracking software to mean that the software stored information on the SD card about what they had been doing. Then all they needed to do was retrieve the SD card to work out what they had been up to

If they had figured out how to turn on the camera I would have though the kids had been smart enough to "Hack" the tablet and discover this data too

Personally I think we should build a call center in these villages, give the kids a PC and a phone each and let them do tech support. Think of the cost savings :D


#17 Original Poster

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 13:41

I am also calling BS ...anyone else wondering about charging them ??? or the fact of apps? use of apps ? teaching english I can believe but in 5 days enough to navigate the whole thing and start using it effciently? F off ... no way .... there is something not right

#18 Lord Method Man

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 13:43

I am also calling BS ...anyone else wondering about charging them ???


They are solar powered.

#19 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 13:52

They are solar powered.

People are failing at reading today it seams.

#20 carmatic

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 14:00

they said that the activity on the tablets was tracked? if the OS they used has licensing which allows it, they should just release these logs to show just what happened ... the article itself reads like a marketing pitch

#21 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 14:34

I am also calling BS ...anyone else wondering about charging them ??? or the fact of apps? use of apps ? teaching english I can believe but in 5 days enough to navigate the whole thing and start using it effciently? F off ... no way .... there is something not right


yeah if we can teach and understand english and lean to hack in 5 days then why do we even have schools?... just put all kids through a 5 day rush program :laugh:

#22 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 14:40

yeah if we can teach and understand english and lean to hack in 5 days then why do we even have schools?... just put all kids through a 5 day rush program :laugh:

Did you even read the article or just making something up? Where did it say they learned English and to hack in 5 days.

#23 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 14:46

ok I wrote days instead of months, it was a single MISTAKE when writing, everything else stands as that's exactly what the article says.. I wrote that and had this quote in my head "Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day" and for some reason I wrote days instead of what the headline claims "months"

#24 vetneufuse

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 14:52

they said that the activity on the tablets was tracked? if the OS they used has licensing which allows it, they should just release these logs to show just what happened ... the article itself reads like a marketing pitch


it is a marketing pitch to get more funds for the OLPC program... and why are they on motorola xooms (not Zooms, never heard of Zoom)? I thought OLPC was the cheap mesh network systems that cost almost nothing to produce, why are they getting much more expensive systems all the sudden?

#25 Simon-

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 15:07

It's Xoom not Zoom

2: They where tracking what kids where doing on these tablets... seems fishy and somewhat illegal, especially without consent. and if the consent was in english on first startup. I think it's rather invalid.

It's Ethiopia dude, nobody is going to care about that out there.

#26 Detection

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 15:13

Someone gave them Google :p

#27 +Xinok

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 17:11

Here's the video for the speech, starts exactly at 1 hour (1:00:00), 15 minutes long:
http://www.livestrea...40-55caeea5d5b5

Something many people fail to understand, children have an exceptional capability for learning that teens and adults don't have. I've known a few infants to start taking at 12-14 months. For those who are too lazy to watch, the tablet had dozens of movies that were subtitled in english. They had educational materials and even programming languages on it.

As for "hacking", they just probably found a way to circumvent the disabled camera. I used to do the same on the computers at school - Just start clicking everything to see what works and what doesn't, find a way to gain access. Windows Explorer disabled? Firefox installed? Type "file:///c:/" into the address bar.

#28 Growled

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 00:57

That is incredible but I'm not surprised. Kids are great at technology.

#29 Shiranui

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:12

There is nothing surprising or fishy about this story at all.
Must be something wrong with your English comprehension skills.