Friday, December 09, 2005

$100 Laptops

Reuters reported Schoolchildren in Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria will begin receiving the first few million textbook style computers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) media lab run by Nicholas Negroponte from early 2006.... United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has welcomed the development of the small, hand-cranked lime-green devices, which can set up their own wireless networks

The hand crank is interesting for third world areas without electricity in the villages, but how is that crank going to power a wireless internet access? If the village does not have reliable electricity, will it have a broadband internet connection powered by an even bigger crank?
and are intended to bring computer access to areas that lack reliable electricity.
I suspect most third world countries are more concerned with drinkable
water, food to eat, and access to doctors and affordable medicine than laptops and email
Negroponte said at their launch in November the new machines would be sold to governments for schoolchildren at $100 a device but the general public would have to pay around $200
The $100 price is to governments who will buy one for each child. How many governments (1st, 2nd, or 3rd world) will buy a laptop for each child
-- still much cheaper than the machines using Intel's chips. But Barrett said similar schemes in the past elsewhere in the world had failed and users would not be satisfied with the new machine's limited range of programs.

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