After his work in recent years designing the Jawbone Bluetooth Headset and the OLPC’s XO “$100 laptop,” celebrity designer Yves Béhar has branched out. First, there was the Form 2 sex toy and now he’s created a profoundly expensive mobile phone for Copenhagen-based Æsir, a new mobile tech company founded by Thomas Møller Jensen, Mathias Rajani, and Jens-Martin Skibsted. One assumes that the lessons Béhar learned from the Form 2’s good vibrations have been applied to this device’s silent mode as well. The +yvesbéhar phone is €7,250.00 in stainless steel or €42,000.00 in gold, seen here. From an interview with Béhar on the Æsir site:
With the Æsir phone, I wanted to show an alternative to the sea of smartphones and their deluge of features. In an age when the industry seems to think that phones aren’t for speaking anymore, I wanted to focus on the idea of voice, clarity and simplicity.
The central tenet behind the +YvesBéhar is to literally craft the visual details, craft the functional tactility, and craft the user interface. This level of resolution for every touch point was achieved using a European-centric approach to manufacturing, assembly and design, partnering with the best makers in Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. The +YvesBéhar champions the idea of craftsmanship in an age that’s obsessed with more and making last year’s products obsolete. Instead we propose better and long-lasting as our starting criteria.
XS4ALL, a fantastic, hacker-friendly ISP in the Netherlands, has thrown open all its modem lines for free use by people in Libya when and if their network access gets blocked by the government. DPCosta sez, “It’s expensive (international call), but can be very handy in an emergency. The number is +31205350535 and the username/password are xs4all.”
XS4all biedt Libiërs internet/XS4ALL provides Internet Libyans (Thanks, DPCosta, via Submitterator)
Ian’s, a pizzeria near the Wisconsin state capitol that is sympathetic to the demonstrators, has been facilitating the process of supporters around the world who want to send pizza to the protest. They’ve fielded an order from Egypt — now that’s solidarity.
The blackboard behind the counter lists the “countries donating” as “Korea, Finland, New Zealand, Egypt, Denmark, Australia, US, Canada, Germany, China, England, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy” and has the abbreviations for all 50 states listed below, with donating states circled.
From Cairo to Madison, some pizza (Thanks, Nextnik, via Submitterator!)
(Image: Untitled | Flickr – Photo Sharing!, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wrestlingentropy’s photostream)
Here’s a good Boston Globe report on the first decade of Portugal’s bold experiment with drug decriminalization and increased treatment. Ten years ago, Portugal — whose drug problem had been spiraling out of control — decided to treat drug addiction as a public health matter, not as a criminal matter. They decriminalized possession of drugs, and increased treatment available to addicts, and experienced an immediate, dramatic and sustained drop in negative effects from drug use — though the use of some drugs went up.
In this sense, one drug policy expert noted, the Portuguese experiment has become a sort of Rorschach test — in the dark blobs on the page, people can see whatever they want to see. But Tom McLellan, the former deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama, said he’s happy for the conversation. While not in favor of decriminalization, McLellan believes that the American debate over drug reform has become too polarized, with one side calling for incarceration and the other for legalization. “And I just don’t buy it,” McLellan said. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle, he believes, and perhaps that’s where we can learn something from Portugal, a country that at least tried something new.
“I like that approach to drug policy,” McLellan said. “Policy is really a product. And like a product, policy can be made better with experimentation and honest evaluation, rather than stupid polemic polarization of ideology.”
Drug experiment (via Kottke)
Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands report that the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) software used in pro-Wikileaks Anonymous attacks discloses the identity of the user.
If hacktivists use this tool directly from their own machines, instead of via anonymization networks such as Tor, the Internet address of the attacker is included in every Internet message being transmitted. In the tools no sophisticated techniques are used, such as IP-spoofing, in which the source address of others is used, or reflected attacks, in which attacks go via third party systems. The current attack technique can therefore be compared to overwhelming someone with letters, but putting your address at the back of the envelop. In addition, hacktivists may not be aware that international data retention laws require that commercial Internet providers store data regarding Internet usage for at least 6 months. This means that hacktivists can still be traced easily after the attacks are over.
Here’s a PDF with details on the report. Attacks by “Anonymous” WikiLeaks proponents not anonymous utwente.nl (via Slashdot)