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Saturday, January 13, 2007

the $100 laptop

That's right. Thanks to the MIT Media Lab's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, a New York-based not-for-profit, children in the most remote corners of the world may soon be able to cross the digital divide.

OLPC's prototype computer, dubbed the XO, was on display at the Las Vegas Computer Electronics Show this past week. Currently being built for about $150, the software is entirely open source, allowing programmers from around the world to contribute their expertise to the development process. According to OLPC's website, the XO is meant to be "a flexible, ultra low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development—immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning."

The XO will not be available commercially any time in the future--the machines will probably be purchased by governments or donated by charities or aid organizations. Rumor has it, however, that OLPC may consider selling the XOs in rich countries as a 2-for-1 deal; that is, you pay for two computers, receive one of them and the other goes to charity.

The XO has the potential to revolutionize education and communication in the developing world. Plus, it looks cooler than my old PowerBook.

More info: olcpcnews.com, olpc.com
Pics: laptop.org

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