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One man in Boston has a plan that he hopes will bridge the world's gaping digital divide - and quickly. The visionary is Nicholas Negroponte, director of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his idea consists of a new kind of laptop computer that will cost just $100 (£57) to buy.
It will also be a little different in design from the sleek machines some of us in the west have learned to love or covet. It will be foldable in different ways, encased in bump-proof rubber and will include a hand-crank to give it power in those corners of the globe where electricity supply is patchy.
The first prototype of the machine should be ready by November and Mr Negroponte - who was one of the first prophets of the internet before most of us understood the word - hopes to put them into production next year.
In fact, he expects to churn out about 15 million of them within one year, shipping most of them at first to children in Brazil, Egypt, Thailand and South Africa.
I love the idea of the hand crank.
Power anytime, anywhere. I wish more things came with that sort of system. It would be great if you could pull a little crank out of the bottom of your cell phone and crank up a few more minutes of talk time. Or crank up your iPod while waiting for the bus.
I saw a small radio with a crank and I thought it was fantastic. More things need these.
quote: The machine's A-C adapter would double as a carrying strap, and a hand crank would power them when there's no electricity. They'd be foldable into more positions than traditional notebook PCs, and carried like slim lunchboxes.
For outdoor reading, their display would be able to shift from full color to glare-resistant black and white.
And surrounding it all, the laptops would have a rubber casing that closes tightly, because "they have to be absolutely indestructible," said Negroponte.
I would love to have one of these machines.
Just for the fun of trying it out............
Originally posted by anxietydisorder
We seem to be doing this twice
I'm sure one of these will get trashed by a Mod.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Just like everything there is a good and bad side to it, proliferating cheap computer technology world wide will only generate more hackers that otherwise would not have existed.