[Paleopsych] Red Herring: The hundred-buck PC

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Tue Feb 1 15:54:40 UTC 2005

The hundred-buck PC

[So once everyone has computers--I presume online instruction will be 
nearly free--and everyone has access to education, there will be no more 
need for redistribution to achieve equality of opportunity world-wide 
after one more generation.]

    MIT's Nicholas Negroponte pushes a cheap PC for the rest of the world.
    January 29, 2005

    The founder and chairman of the MIT Media Lab wants to create a $100
    portable computer for the developing world. Nicholas Negroponte,
    author of Being Digital and the Wiesner Professor of Media Technology
    at MIT, says he has obtained promises of support from a number of
    major companies, including [35]Advanced Micro Devices, Google,
    [36]Motorola, Samsung, and News Corp.

    The low-cost computer will have a 14-inch color screen, AMD chips, and
    will run Linux software, Mr. Negroponte said during an interview
    Friday with Red Herring at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
    Switzerland. AMD is separately working on a cheap desktop computer for
    emerging markets. It will be sold to governments for wide

    Mr. Negroponte and his supporters are planning to create a company
    that would manufacture and market the new portable PCs, with MIT as
    one of the stakeholders. It is unclear precisely what role the other
    four companies will play, although Mr. Negroponte hopes News Corp.
    will help with satellite capacity.

    An engineering prototype is nearly ready, with alpha units expected by
    year's end and real production around 18 months from now, he said. The
    portable PCs will be shipped directly to education ministries, with
    China first on the list. Only orders of 1 million or more units will
    be accepted.

    Mr. Negroponte's idea is to develop educational software and have the
    portable personal computer replace textbooks in schools in much the
    same way that France's Minitel videotext terminal, which was developed
    by [37]France Telecom in the 1980s, became a substitute for phone

    Mr. Negroponte has been interested in developing computing in the
    developing world for some time. He and his wife have funded three
    schools in rural Cambodia, helping outfit them with regular laptops
    and broadband connections.

    Major companies from [38]Hewlett-Packard to Microsoft to Dupont,
    facing saturated markets in the richest industrial countries, have
    shown an interest in developing less expensive products to sell in
    low-income countries in south Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


   35. http://studio.financialcontent.com/Engine?Account=redherring&PageName=QUOTE&Ticker=AMD
   36. http://studio.financialcontent.com/Engine?Account=redherring&PageName=QUOTE&Ticker=MOT
   37. http://studio.financialcontent.com/Engine?Account=redherring&PageName=QUOTE&Ticker=FTE
   38. http://studio.financialcontent.com/Engine?Account=redherring&PageName=QUOTE&Ticker=HPQ

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