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« What does "extremely powerful" mean? | Main | Death from Climate Change »

November 17, 2005


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This is great news, let's hope they can reach their ambitious goal. Even the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer may have started out small.

Janessa Ravenwood

Even better news from Tunis - US smackdown of efforts to wrest away control of the internet. Yay!

Tom Craver

Interesting - some very nice engineering decisions.

More info: http://laptop.media.mit.edu/

I'll project a few "issues":

- Theft and corrupt government mis-distribution to friends and the black market will be a major problem. Maybe half the units will get to kids.
- Of those units that get to kids, a lot will immediately be re-sold (at a deep discount) by the kids or their parents.
- Of those units that stay in kids hands, at least half will be dead or crippled in some fashion within 2 years due to misuse, abuse, overuse, environmental factors, or a design flaw.
- The surviving and useable units available to kids and their families will end up in community centers, because they're too valuable a resource not to share them.
- They'll run into some unanticipated network scaling problem. E.g. maybe their mesh network will slow way down in crowded urban areas as too many try to send data over too many hops in the mesh, or too few have direct internet access.

jim moore

You know what I really like about it?

It is powered by a hand crank.

Lights, radios, cell phones, and now computers all can be powered by a hand crank. You should be able to make hand powered cameras, video players, digital projectors, even some types of scientific and medical equipment. It is just amazing that you can power such sophisticated equipment with a simple hand crank.

Mike Deering

A hundred dollar laptop is a tremendous technical achievement, no doubt. And giving a laptop to a poor child is a worthy cause. But, I am more looking forward to using technology to provide clean drinking water to every child than a laptop, or preventing malaria for every child (go Bill go!), or protecting every child from the effects of war, abuse, and lack of family support. Still, the MIT Laptop for Every Child is very good.

Mike Treder, CRN

If the will is there, we can do all those things. What I like most about the laptop plan is that it could impel profound change. It's like teaching them to fish instead of feeding them fish.

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