Tuesday, October 18, 2005

$100.- laptop for the third world

Nicholas Negroponte, a MIT professor's plan to offer $100, hand-crank laptop computers to children in developing countries has drawn interest from several foreign leaders as well as Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who plans to distribute them to schoolchildren. Negroponte, co-founder and chairman of the Media Lab, has been working on the laptop idea since 1999 and plans to have a working prototype ready in November. He demonstrated a model last week at the Technology Review Magazine Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT.

In January, Negroponte and his Media Lab colleagues Joe Jacobson and Seymour Papert announced the foundation of One Laptop Per Child, a nonprofit dedicated to designing and distributing the computers. According to the project's web site, leaders in Thailand, Brazil and Egypt have already expressed interest in the computers, which can be powered by electrical outlets or by hand crank.

I am convinced that all starving children in Sudan and other third world countries will bless Negroponte and MIT for their beautifull $100.- laptop. Perhaps one of the aid workers will be able to hand crank the internet device for them so they can watch how our obese children skip school to hang out in the mall..