WIRELESS INTERNET DEVICES FOR LAPTOPS. XBI WIRELESS INTERCOM WITH BLUETOOTH
$100 hand-crank laptop for the globe's impoverished children from MIT
November 17, 2005What if Net Neutrality Fails?
Cheap Laptops Are Planned for Kids
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:48 p.m. ET
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- A cheap laptop boasting wireless network access and a hand-crank to provide electricity are expected to start shipping in February or March to help extend technology to school-aged children worldwide.
The machines are to sell for $100, slightly less than its cost. The aim is to have governments or donors buy them and give full ownership to the children.
''These robust, versatile machines will enable children to become more active in their own learning,'' U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters.
Annan and more than 16,000 people from 176 countries were attending the three-day U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, in its second day Thursday.
Although discussions about persisting U.S. control over the Internet's addressing system have consumed much of summit, its original aim was to find ways to extend communications technologies to the world's poorest -- through projects like the $100 laptop.
MIT Media Lab chairman Nicholas Negroponte, who unveiled the textbook-sized laptop on Wednesday, said he expects to sell 1 million of them to Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria.
Negroponte did not say who would build the machine, which will cost $110 to make, but at least five are considering bids to do so. He said a commercial version may be available at a higher price to subsidize machines provided to children.
The laptop will run on an open-source operating system, such as Linux, which is generally cheaper than proprietary systems such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, said Negroponte.
The devices will be lime green in color, with a yellow hand crank, to make them appealing to children and to fend off potential thieves.
Also at the summit, Microsoft unveiled a new network of learning centers in Tunisia to train people to be teachers in technology. Jean-Phillippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, said the company would replicate the centers elsewhere as part of its outreach efforts.
Addressing delegates on Thursday, Pakistani diplomat Masood Khan said increasing access to communications can help improve relations between regions and religions.
''Information is not just an economic tool,'' Kahn told delegates in the main hall. ''We need its infinite power to combat the rising tide of prejudice and hatred.''
Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron made the following statement: “The new rules are riddled with loopholes, evidence that the chairman sought approval from AT&T instead of listening to the millions of Americans who asked for real Net Neutrality. These rules don't do enough to stop the phone and cable companies from dividing the Internet into fast and slow lanes, and they fail to protect wireless users from discrimination. No longer can you get to the same Internet via your mobile device as you can via your laptop. The rules pave the way for AT&T to block your access to third-party applications and to require you to use its own preferred applications."
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