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Intel Unveils PC for Developing Nations 194

Poppler writes "Intel has announced it will produce a PC aimed at developing nations, the 'Community PC.' Instead of giving out minimal PCs to as many individuals as possible, Intel wants to sell these machines to 'kiosk owners' who will rent out use to their village. Price TBA. How does this stack up against the $100 laptop, in terms of helping the developing world?"
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Intel Unveils PC for Developing Nations

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  • Q. What's new here? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:24AM (#15049083) Homepage Journal
    A. Nothing.

    Intel's talking about "Kiosk" PC's - has noone from Intel ever travelled to a developing nation? PC's in Kiosk mode are everywhere allready.

    What intel really need to do, is make a cut-down macbook style notebook and take Steve Jobs [silicon.com] up on his generous offer to help third world children.
    • by digTro ( 940778 )
      From TFA:

      Most consumer PCs are not designed to withstand unusually adverse climate conditions or handle fluctuating power supplies, and that has severely limited their use in parts of some developing countries.

      Intel's Community PC is designed to withstand temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 85 percent relative humidity, and has a removable dust filter. To keep the motherboard cool, the chassis houses an integrated fan.

      Wild power fluctuations (and frequent power outages) are quite commm
    • The $100 laptop does not seem the way to go with third world countries. You still need internet access and support for broken computers & software which will outweigh the cost of the laptop.

      When I visited Thailand, they had cheap internet cafes everywhere with decent desktop computers that were great for e-mail, web use and basic office applications. Visitors like me used them of course, but most often they are used by local people without computers. The price was around $1 an hour which makes it v
  • by fatduck ( 961824 ) *
    These computers will obviously be exploited by terrorist cells. Sure, you say they're not very powerful computers... ..but imagine a Beowulf cluster of 'Community PCs'!
  • by liliafan ( 454080 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:25AM (#15049089) Homepage
    Cool lets get some of these sent to Nigeria so we can get some more 419 scams going on, I really could use a share in $10 million just for helping to move the money. This really works out as a winning situation for everyone, cheap computers for developing nations, Intel makes money, and I get some of the money left by a rich former head of state, hopefully I will get more invitations to be involved.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Firstly how long will a desktop PC and monitor run off of a battery, and how much hand cranking will be required for 10 minutes of use?

    Okay, maybe these PCs will be located where there is a reliable power supply. That's not much use for many of the uses the $100 handheld PC will be used for though - education, textbook provision, assistance (e.g., farming techniques for farmers in the field).

    There's no reason that this cannot co-exist, but it seems that Intel will pay $50m to the countries to get a strangle
    • I dunno... it kinda annoys me the way that these 'developing nation' systems are never available in developed nations. I mean, we have poor people too, you know.

      But, hey. The US doesn't matter. We're just a bunch of imperialist assholes out to make a buck, you know.
      • Our poor people can go to the library to use computers.
        • Ok, now go ahead and tell me how that's better than having a function - if slow - linux laptop for your family.

          Library computers are excludable - only one person can use each at a given time. You end up with tragedy of the commons type situations, with people waiting to use the library computers. You don't have that with the $100 laptop.

          Seriously, these things are about the price of a TI-86, and a lot more useful. They'd be great for american high-school and middle-school students. I don't see why the a
          • You don't have that with the $100 laptop.

            I've yet to see a working model of the $100 laptop. You get to the $100 price point only with massive government subsidies. If at all. Remember the Linux Simputer? Which ended up costing much more and delivering much less than what was promised.

  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:28AM (#15049104) Journal
    It is called "cafe internet" in developing nations (like Mexico) where people can rent a PC for 1 hour for as low as US$2 (I think even $1 in Mexico City...

    • by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:36AM (#15049139)
      There are lots of places where $1 an hour would be a very significant blocking point against general usage. In locations where a "normal" Internet cafe is commonplace (and affordable), I think that both this device and the hand-driven $100 laptop would be little more than an oddity.
      • Yeah, the biggest problem I have with the $100 laptop idea is that unless you give these to -everyone- in that Remote Village (TM), they'll quickly be sold and/or stolen for food, drugs or women. And even -if- they give them to everyone, what use is a wind-up toy laptop when you're barely able to eat?
        • Just because Feed the Children crams you full of images of starving children does not mean that every place over there without power is a desolate hell with no potential for survival. As has been stated many times in previous slashdot stories, the $100 laptop is aimed one level above the people you are talking about. Stable but without power (or questionable power) and without access to computers. They are deprived of opportunity not of food. Furthermore, I personally would love to have a low power wind
    • Only a dollar??? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Aphoric ( 808093 )
      Wait a minute. To us it's only a dollar.
      You can provide food and clothing for a child in a developing nation for a few cents a day, but they have money to pay for internet pr0n? They need to stop spending their money on teh internets and buy some damn food then. I'm glad I didn't sponsor one of those spoiled little kids then if they are just gonna use it to get internet access to send me spam.
    • Mexico a developing nation??? Hope that isn't flamebate... Mexico's nominal GDP [wikipedia.org] is 675 billion or 6494$ per capita. Not exactly America's but not in the same class as developing nations by a long shot (which are less than 1000$ per capita).
      • Well, when I was in primary and secondary school, teachers taught me that there are 1st and 3rd world couuntires and that Mexico (and I am from Mexico, and very proud of it =o) is a 3rd world country.

        Granted, Mexico is not as bad as other countries "overall", if you go to places like Chiapas or Yucatan peninsula (I grew up there in a city called Campeche) you certainly can see all "bells and whistles" of a undeveloped country, like misery and poverty and all that. Btw, just as a interesting information, of
        • Oh, and as a interesting trivia data:
          "como dato final -y nomas para el breviario cultural- la cifra de pobres extremos practicamente coincide con la del numero de habitantes indigenas"

          The quantity of extreme poor people (misserables) is very similar to the one of the indigenous people.

          All this information is from a friend that is making his PhD in sustainable development of the Chiapas zone (Selva Lacandona). Somewhat I know his information is right.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Frankly this seems to be a better idea, and more realistic. I can't honestly see people out in rice patties cranking up their $100 laptop, but I can see a community sharing a fully featured PC to find out medical information and argicultural techniques in the center of town.

    Hopefully either of the projects can become real.
  • by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:29AM (#15049108) Homepage
    Based in Cairo, Egypt here. We have long slagged the USD 100 laptop project, since for that price you can get a more functional second hand pc. What the market here needs is more efficient hardware trickle down mechanics, not new architectures.

    Now, if they're building a kiosk, then the lest they can do is make the machine fnction in multiseat mode. This is possible both using Linux and windows.

    But then again, that would translate to lower Intel sales, so I guess this is just another case of developing markets being receptacles for unworkable ideas developed by some guy in a suit in NY or CA whose idea of field visits involve brave runs down to the mall.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you're in a market with lots of second-hand PCs, and you have easy access to electricity - YOU'RE NOT THE TARGET MARKET FOR THE $100 LAPTOPS. Is that really so hard for people to understand? The hand crank is there for a reason.
      • by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:23AM (#15049380) Homepage
        I'm sorry, I was assuming we were talking socio-economic development, not lets-give-photogenic-villagers-computers-and-pat-o urselves-on-the-back-development.

        Fact: The availability of relatively reliable electricity does not translate to ubiquitous computer literacy. Computers are too expensive.
        Fact: The urban population can contribute to bridging the digital divide just as well as the villager can (arguably better; sorry, it's economics)
        Fact: Speaking more pragmatically now, it's more effective to work on computer literacy in urban areas and in Egypt, the percentage of urban to total is high and is increasing rapidly.
        Fact: People with lower standards of living do not regard a computer as anything vital when compared to water, access to fair markets for produce, etc.

        Now, a hand-cranked machine doesn't target this market as much as the rural areas, true. Which makes it, ultimately...

        An ineffective tool of socio-economic development through technology

        I do this for a living. I know. I've seen too many moronic ICT4D projects to let your comment slide.

        Sorry for being abrasive; it wasn't intentional. There's just too much techno-fancy-pants'ing in ICT4D these days.
        • No, you don't seem to know. First, one don't need to power the laptop with the cranck, he can just plug it to the grid, like any onther eletronic product. If you where whatching it closer, you should know that.

          Second, better information for the rural population of most 3rd world countries is very important. Almost all countries on the world need the agriculture to sustain its economy (even at the 1st world), and improving rural productivity is a known way to boost urban development (just economics).

          Third,

          • Unbiquitous access to information is very powerfull, it can change those societies on a lot of different ways.

            Geeks confuse access with understanding.

            Agricultural extension agents in the US had a century of experience learning how to communicate with farmers who were unlikely to have had more than a grade school education.

            You want to be effective, you need people on the ground.

        • "Now, a hand-cranked machine doesn't target this market as much as the rural areas, true. Which makes it, ultimately [...] An ineffective tool of socio-economic development through technology[.] "

          Full marks for arguing from fact and direct observation. It feels like a blessing to see this. I will take issue with your conclusions, though.

          But first, credit where credit is due. Your arguments about focusing on urban areas is valid and I too have seen good results from starting there. Someone else argued ab

      • Yeah, but what is the market. Internet shopping?
        It cant much use for downloading pron as one you would need a free hand ...

  • AMD's 50x15? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CTho9305 ( 264265 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:30AM (#15049113) Homepage
    How is this better than AMD's 50x15 [amd.com] program and the PIC [amd.com]?
  • by jonv ( 2423 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:31AM (#15049116)
    These cheap PC for developing countries seem to be getting quite popular at the moment. Is this just a case of people in the technology industry trying to do something nice rather than meeting an actual need ?
    I would have thought that other infrastructure is more important to developing nations than having access to a PC.
    • There is a need, it's just that it can be met by other (low-tech) means (read: books) less completely, and less effeciently. PCs should be a huge improvement, but the price-tag is awfully high as well.

      Personally, I'm astonished how horribly expensive each of these projects is turning out. Low-end CPU, RAM/Flash, B&W LCD screen, small battery, motor and crank, etc. I can't imagine why nobody is making (fully capable) ~$30 computers.

      Even in the USA, I can buy a $10 digital camera, with most of the abov
    • Some people do (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tiggles ( 301532 )
      (I live in China, I used to live in a poor province.)

      I have a friend who just finished her bachelors degree in computer science, what's really strange is that she doesn't own a computer -- she never has. I still can't wrap my head about that, I don't understand how you can learn computer science without one to abuse.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:31AM (#15049119)
    I'm a medical student and a technophile. I studied part of my third year clinicals in a third world nation with Doctors without Borders. Quite frankly, people who keep pushing for computers to be put into 3rd world nations don't seem to actually visit the poorest (and hence the most populous parts) of those places. The fact is that even a $100 put towards a computer can be better put towards generic versions of prescription drugs. Clean water, food, medical care and education are more important than any internet connection, laptop, or cellular phone. Unfortunately, Slashdot folks don't get it. A computer is nothing more than a tool that only matters when an educated and healthy population can utilize them.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HomerJ ( 11142 )
      Anonymous Coward:writes:

      I'm a medical student and a technophile. I studied part of my third year clinicals in a third world nation with Doctors without Borders. Quite frankly, people who keep pushing for computers to be put into 3rd world nations don't seem to actually visit the poorest (and hence the most populous parts) of those places. The fact is that even a $100 put towards a computer can be better put towards generic versions of prescription drugs. Clean water, food, medical care and education are

      • These computers aren't meant for people without clean water and no food or shelter. Obviouslly, they have bigger problems. Whey can't people get that there are tens of millions of people in third-world countries who have clean water, food and shelter but are still very poor. It is for them that these computers are meant, not the poorest of the poor. This has been stated so many times around here: the third-world is not one homogeneous pit of disease and starvation. For some third world countries, the lack o
      • Why do americans (you certainly sound american) feel that everybody in africa is dying of hunger and thirst. You do realize that there are people in africa with food, water, clothes, schools, and electricity right? Did you ever think that maybe those people could use a computer?

        Your argument can be restated like this "we should not help any african with anything until all africans have clean water and food and are not starving". That's a noble sounding argument but it's wrong. There are people in the US wh
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jacoplane ( 78110 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:55AM (#15049229) Homepage Journal
      Nicholas Negroponte on why [wikipedia.org] he is developing the $100 laptop: "... if you take any world problem, any issue on the planet -- the big ones, peace, the environment, poverty -- the solution to that problem certainly includes education, could even be just education, and, if you have a solution that doesn't include education it's not a solution at all."

      So on education he would agree with you, however, access to text-books and information is of course the number one requirement for education. Giving people water, food, medical care etc is of course also extremely important. However, I'm reminded of the proverb by Maimonides [wikipedia.org]: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
      • I agree with the sentiment, but what happens when the man dies of hunger while you're teaching him to fish?
        • Yes, moral dilemmas are never easy to decide upon. Do we help people now, but keep them dependent on us? Or do we help them help themselves, which takes more time and is a much more painful process. There is no easy answer.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amightywind ( 691887 )

      The fact is that even a $100 put towards a computer can be better put towards generic versions of prescription drugs. Clean water, food, medical care and education are more important than any internet connection, laptop, or cellular phone. Unfortunately, Slashdot folks don't get it.

      I have been downmodded many times on this forum for saying as much. Nice to hear it from someone with experience.

    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      "Quite frankly, people who keep pushing for computers to be put into 3rd world nations don't seem to actually visit the poorest (and hence the most populous parts) of those places."

      Come on... all they need is a computer and a local Chrisitian church missionary base to teach them they are poor since they don't accept Christ. Right? ... Right?

      Black humor aside, computer *is* education. This is 2006, networking is not just for porn and chatting anymore, Internet is by far the fastest way to educate yourself on
    • Anonymous coward? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by backslashdot ( 95548 )
      A computer is nothing more than a tool that only matters when an educated and healthy population can utilize them.

      Educated how? About what? So your way is that everyone learn to read and write but no computer skills? Nothing beyond basic farming techniues? Tou must think there is no such thing as the EMERGING FUCKING DEVELOPING WORLD? Ever heard of it? Not everyone is starving and dying. This laptop is so that EMERGING DEVELOPING COUNTRIES can gain the skills to enter the economically advance world faster.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      Sending food and medicine doesn't work. Why? Because we are able/want to send much _less_ food/medicine/water then it is needed. Reason: Sending 10% of your money (that would be enough) for food in Africa will not win you any elections anywhere. In case this is true (it is) we should keep with plan B (building education there so that they can feed themselves). If you are growing apples Africa, it is _big_ difference if you can use cell phone and sell your products without going 20 miles away or simply negot
    • You are talking about the poorest among the poorest. You are right about that. But the $100 laptop project is not aimed at the poorest of the poorest. It is aimed at those for whom such a tool would be of great help. Take the cell phone experience in India:

      http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_18/b3627035.ht m [businessweek.com]

      Sure the money spent for building a cell phone infrastructure could go for buying drugs, but when you only give food and medecine, people cannot help themselves to get out of poverty. Give the tools
    • "Quite frankly, people who keep pushing for computers to be put into 3rd world nations don't seem to actually visit the poorest (and hence the most populous parts) of those places."

      Straw argument, nobody's pushing for computers to be placed in the poorest places. If you've ever read the statements of the institutions pushing low-cost computing for developing nations, you'd realize that.
    • Huh. Medical student says money should be spent on medicine. Somehow I'm not surprised.

      Consider this. Medical bills are infinite in scope. Disease is constant, and even in the West where we have truly vast resources to throw at the problem there are still people dying because they cannot afford the drugs to treat their conditions.

      So, I am sceptical of any argument that says "There are still people in the world dying! Let's not do anything else until this is solved". There are many populations in the wor


    • Quite frankly, people who keep pushing for computers to be put into 3rd world nations don't seem to actually visit the poorest (and hence the most populous parts) of those places.

      I think you're right, but I also don't think this thing is for the poorest 3rd world nations. Like I said in a previous post "the developing nations" is a diverse group, and throwing them all together into one category can be very misleading. It seems to me that this PC is designed for countries like Mexico where they're going to
    • What this concept is trying to do, is to stop poverty at different levels, and in different ways. Can't you really see that. I mean it is certainly important to ensure that people are not starving to death, and have clean water and good shelter. But we are trying to avoid the situation where we are constantly saving people, and trying to encourage these countries to support all of their people. One way to do this is improve the lives for those people who are just under the poverty line, but not quite starvi
  • Intel is pushing WiMax while the $100 is going with a mesh approach. Which will be more successful in those hard to reach places?
  • bill gates (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I can't see these pc's running anything other than windows. Which brings us back to when Bill Gates mocked [slashdot.org] the $100 MIT laptop in favour of powerhungry broadband windows boxes. Nevermind that some of these third-world children don't have electricity, let alone broadband. But damnit, with the combined forces of Intel and Microsoft, i'm sure they'll make it work!
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:37AM (#15049143)
    Lets see, high on a rational priority list would be (just off the top of my head here):

    1) Convince the Muslim clerics in Nigeria that the polio vaccine is not a Western conspiracy to kill off Muslims.
    1a) Fix polio.
    2) Stop the hysteria over genetically modified food, so that people can grow 'golden rice', rice modified to produce beta carotene, so that people who live only on rice, at least get some nutrition from it.
    3) Provide real birth control options for developing nations.
    4) Stop pouring money into China.
    5) Get the French out of the Sudan, so that the UN can actually fix the problems there. ...
    1001) Get them all laptops, so that the power of the Internet can Change Their Lives.

    Seriously folks, stop the laptops-for-everyone circlejerk, and fix the real problems.
    • Thank you. Who is going to spend money on something that they neither want nor need? Not money they can afford either.
    • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:04AM (#15049282) Homepage

      Lets see, high on a rational priority list would be (just off the top of my head here):

      Contrary to popular belief, "the developing world" isn't a single place, but a vastly different collection of places and people at differing levels of development.

      Help is also not a zero sum game. It's not as if Intel not doing this kind of development opens up greater possibilities for priorities 1-5 in your numbering scheme.

      Is this something that can help some people in developing countries? I really don't know. But attacking the idea on the premise that there's other people with other problems is really missunderstanding the entire situation.
    • "Seriously folks, stop the laptops-for-everyone circlejerk, and fix the real problems."

      Do you expect Intel to work on fixing the polio vaccine and "stop the hysteria over genetically mofified foods"?

      The people who work on these issues aren't just an entity called "folks", they are different organisations capable of addressing different issues. MIT and Intel are doing what they are specialised in: provide access to information, processing power.

      Let's not nag them for doing what they can do, instead of what t
    • Please stop trolling.

      On every article on technology development, there is always someone who comes up with similar arguments.

      *sigh*

      Just why? I mean, do you really think that development should happen only if everything else falls into place?

      Hell, the US has its own set of problems - are you going to stop everything and everybody from coming up with and using technology until they are all solved. Development is not a single task, nor is it for a single place.

      Often, development is the coming together of a lot
    • 1) Convince the Muslim clerics in Nigeria that the polio vaccine is not a Western conspiracy to kill off Muslims.
      1a) Fix polio.

      Right On.

      2) Stop the hysteria over genetically modified food, so that people can grow 'golden rice', rice modified to produce beta carotene, so that people who live only on rice, at least get some nutrition from it.

      Except that Monsanto and ADM also modify the grain so that it's sterile, meaning if you want to plant a new crop you cannot use seed from the previous one. You mus

    • I've thought for a long time that what the west could do is actually *supply food* to places where they have famines / poor harvests etc. Ususally these places have something we want / need (or have already taken by force or otherwise). It seems criminally wasteful to pay farmers to "set aside" land, ie. not grow any useful crops on it, just to keep the price artificially high, or to keep faith with an international trade agreement.

      If the land is capable of growing high quality food, then that's what should

    • Seriously folks, stop the laptops-for-everyone circlejerk, and fix the real problems.

      Maybe if the people of Nigeria had access to the Internet, and therefore schools of thought outside of what the clerics tell them, they'd be able to persuade their leadership to allow polio vaccinations to proceed -- or, depose them and replace them with leadership that DOESN'T kook out over public health issues. So there's a solution to #1 and #1a right there.

      Knowledge is similarly helpful in solving all the other problem
  • Issues and Specs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:41AM (#15049158) Homepage

    From the article: Intel's Community PC is designed to withstand temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 85 percent relative humidity, and has a removable dust filter.

    See, this is a concrete example of the intelligent engineering behind this particular PC For The Poor. Negroponte's $100 laptop has a hand crank for powering it, but I do not recall hearing how it handled heat and humidity. (maybe he said somewhere but I don't see it)

    Still, as someone who works for an international nonprofit that works to improve healthcare delivery systems in "Third World" countries... I am afraid that we are putting our attention and investments into some of the lesser problems. Can you e-mail food to a starving person? Can HTTP protect you from malaria? Honestly it's not the end user who needs reliable computing power and Internet access; it's the medical professionals, ministries of health, NGOs, etc., who need up-to-date information and communication capabilities.

    • Another thought: apparently "The Community PC, according to Kwan, will also include a printer port." Will the ink and paper resist heat, humidity and sand, too? A printer requires consumables... more work, more cost, more to break.

    • "See, this is a concrete example of the intelligent engineering behind this particular PC For The Poor."

      With respect, you couldn't be more wrong. If you've spent any time trying to operate electronic equipment in remote, tropical areas, you'll know that moving parts are the problem. Adding more moving parts - in fact, making the health of the system depend on them - is... how shall I say it nicely? Not an entirely appropriate response.

      "Negroponte's $100 laptop has a hand crank for powering it, but I do

  • Whoah. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cephalien ( 529516 ) <benjaminlungerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:42AM (#15049164)
    Really.

    Someone needs to hit these people with 2x4s.

    Let's see now. If I want to help people in the third-world.. hmm. Well, they obviously aren't starving, have -spectactular- medical care, there's no problem with HIV, and we made sure they all have clean water and nice 2-story ranch houses. Crime is at an all-time low and there aren't -any- despots or tyrannical dictators that let American corporations in to use their citizens as dirt-cheap overworked labor for pennies.

    So, lets get them all cheap, ubiquitous computing.

    (You show me a man who can eat a $100 laptop, and I'll show you someone who needs affordable health care)
    • "Let's see now. If I want to help people in the third-world.. hmm. Well, they obviously aren't starving, have -spectactular- medical care, there's no problem with HIV, and we made sure they all have clean water and nice 2-story ranch houses. Crime is at an all-time low and there aren't -any- despots or tyrannical dictators that let American corporations in to use their citizens as dirt-cheap overworked labor for pennies."

      Humm, would you be surprised if I tell you that the answer to most of those question

    • Re:Whoah. (Score:3, Funny)

      by Senzei ( 791599 )
      That's exactly right. See, how things work is that there are three, strictly seperate, formally defined, qualities of life. You have:
      • Third world countries: Where people are dirt poor, bath, cook, and wash their clothes in rivers of pee and chemical waste, eat dirt pies for lunch and crow for dinner, suffer from rampant disease and have doctors who couldn't find their own assholes with two hands, a map, and a guide.
      • Developed nations: Where everyone has more or less every need fulfilled, access to the educ
  • by Kevbo ( 3514 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:43AM (#15049169) Homepage
    It seems to me that a combination of the two approaches might be the best idea. Although the mesh mode is a great idea in concept, it still needs a way to get out to the greater part of the internet. Enter the kiosk: this could stand as a sort of hub or gateway to the internet for the mesh network, allowing the $100 laptops to reach those services. I don't know if that type of cooperation would be possible, but we can hope.

    As regards medical supplies and the like: there is no doubt that this money could be used for other things. I do not venture an opinion as to which is right or better; everyone has their own agenda and beliefs. I suppose the idea behind the computers is education. Many experts think that education is really the only long-term solution to these over-populated countries and that through education we can begin to turn the overwhelming tide. Just throwing money at the problem is not a solution, but that is what is done at first (in the form of drugs and/or laptops) and then the hope is that some sort of training or education will come along with it and remain long after. I wish them all luck
  • by jacoplane ( 78110 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:43AM (#15049171) Homepage Journal
    Intel is of course not happy with the $100 laptop [wikipedia.org] since that runs on the AMD Geode processor. Intel is of course focusing on the "fully featured" "community sharing" idea because they want to stop the idea that having a limited CPU is sufficient for most tasks. I think that is the elephant in the room here: For most common tasks, like web browsing, document editing, and e-mail, a top of the line processor is simply not really required. Ars Technica has said it well [arstechnica.com].
    • Well, even IF Intel creates a cheap PC offer that's competitive with the $100 laptop, Intel *still* won't have a competitive CPU.

      Wake me up when there's not just a crippled-down PC that only sells in developing countries, but an actual processor that I can put into my own PC, that runs coolly (on 6-10W like the AMD Geode), and that runs as fast as a normal 1GHz or more Centrino machine.

      This is only an Intel marketing gag that they can also create a not too powerful PC at a low price. Maybe it'll make peopl
    • I'd just let AMD be part of the venture and laugh. It's a double whammy: use fab capacity to ship near-zero profit SKUs of its latest-and-greatest embedded processor instead of CPUs it can earn a profit from. I can't believe AMD went along with it to begin with. At least Intel is demonstrating business acumen by trying to earn a profit.

      These ARE companies after all folks, not martyrs.

  • by VorpalRodent ( 964940 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:49AM (#15049196)
    Based on what we've learned from previous articles, we have to assume that this computer will be powered by manure.

    Apparently everyone wants a slice of the "manure powered apparatus" pie. I've got to go find out what I can put into a developing nation and get powered by manure (thus providing more jobs for their fragile manure based economy).

  • Giving the capitalists something else to rent out to the oppressed masses. Just what the third world needs. Great thinking guys. This model already works out so well for everyone with sharecropping and worker dormatories. The "community" pc indeed. this paragraph sounds particularly humanitarian: "The Jaagruti kiosk Community PC platform will have certificate-based access that will allow lending banks remote-access control over payment plan participants."
  • ... and not the words of some hypocrites. It is very spectacular to build nice projects, run big ad campaigns. But when will they start to give something? I guess the answer is never. These guys give 5$ to the red cross, and that is their yearly offer for the poor. And I agree: we should first help them with food, medication and education. If this [wikimedia.org] [wikipedia.org] is not a good reason for sticking to this order, then what? To say the least: I can't code when I'm starving or when I'm ill.
  • Big brand bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by z4pp4 ( 923705 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:03AM (#15049271)
    Wanna provide developing nations a PC for under $100?
    DONATE your old PC. [computeraid.org]
    Stop being a let's catch the headlines bullshitter and adress the PROBLEM instead of YOUR CORPORATE EGO.
    • why aren't old computers being donated to developing countries instead?

      if DOS/win 3.11/95/linux/Mac os pre-X were good enough for 20 years why the hell aren't they good enough for people who don't know the difference?

  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:08AM (#15049311)
    'Developing Nations' have been developing for decades, yet they are still in poverty.

    Now why is that? Shouldn't they be developed enough to create wealth and an educated populus? It seems to me that they are kept in poverty to suit the needs of other countries that exploit them. I hope a PC will help them, but I doubt it. Things need to change on a global economic scale first, then these nations might have a chance at creating a 'first world' society.
  • It would be nice to see a mil-spec PC that didn't cost an obscene amount of money. The common PC is fragile, flimsy, and quite picky about power sources and environmental conditions. I have some mil-spec (Mil Spec 810 C/D/E) two-way radio equipment that is nearly indestructible and wasn't that expensive.
  • Smoke and Mirrors (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by jamesl ( 106902 )
    The much ballyhooed $100 laptop (handcrank, mesh network and all) ain't gonna happen. Nine months from volume production and no working model. Pretty plastic cases but no input, no output and no computing between.

    Intel, on the other hand, knows a few things about actually shipping product.
  • Look at what Bill Gates has decided to do with his money. Love him or hate him, consider this:

    He has a pile of money to through around. He's throwing it at two things: the smaller portion at improving educational resources in the US, and the larger portion of it to help provide immunizations in the third world.

    He made choices - first world | second world | third world. High tech | MS shilling | honest good.

    You could be cynical and think he's doing it to aggrandize himself - but he's up there with Elvis,
  • by vhogemann ( 797994 ) <victor@nospam.hogemann.com> on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:29AM (#15049413) Homepage
    Does the developing nations need computers? Maybe...
    Does the children at these nations need computers? Pehaps...
    Does they need better EDUCATIONAL and WEALTH DIVISION policies? You can bet it!

    I live at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And I can tell you that most of the children here already has acces to computers. But they don't use them to study, they prefer to user them to play Counter-Strike.

    Distribute free computers among the poor populations, and dump them at public schools has NO USE when the average teacher is underpaid... When there arent enought schools... When there is no social programs to make sure the children stay at school... When lots of children go to the local drug dealers to make money, because their mother are unenployed... When these children has a drunken dad, or no dad at all!

    Don't get me wrong. I think that it would be fantastic if every children here at Rio de Janeiro, or at Brazil, has access to a computer. But the problem is, nobody is thinking what these children will do with these computers! How they fit within the current brazilian school model?

    Computers are not the priority right now. And I gues this is the same situation on every other developing nation. Lets get the basic stuff first, like EDUCATION, and JOBS, and HOUSING... Then the governaments can start giving away free computers to garantee some more votes on the next election.

    Just my $0.02
    • A bit off topic, but here goes:

      Lets get the basic stuff first, like EDUCATION, and JOBS, and HOUSING

      I think EDUCATION and HOUSING are part of JOBS. If the average person has money from a good job, the education and housing thing works itself out. When people are poor, well then of course they don't have access to many of the things they need.

      If I was benevolent dictator of the world, I would ignore all the rest and focus my attention on creating good jobs.
    • Does they need better EDUCATIONAL and WEALTH DIVISION policies? You can bet it!

      With all due respect, they need better EDUCATIONAL and WEALTH CREATION policies, and equal opportunity to participate in the wealth creation process. C'mon world, it's about time we left the welfare state and its class warfare bs behind us. That meme has run its course and shown that all it can achieve is making everyone equally poor, except the few corrupt politicians who control the wealth and production of a country.
  • What's the point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 )
    Each and every country was "third world" status at some point in time. There's a reason the "developed" world became "developed" and it all starts with the rule of law, security, stability, a free market economy and, in most cases, democracy. If you really want to help you should be less focused on cheap laptops and more focused on what I've just listed. It reminds me of the old adage: "Catch a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime". If we can encourage the rule
  • 100.00 laptop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by panxerox ( 575545 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:11AM (#15049696)
    1 person using a 100.00 laptop for 10 hours a day or 10 people using a 1000.00 laptop for an hour a day each. While only an hour that person could probably get more done than with the 1000.00 kiosk machine and more people could gain access too it.
  • I think the kiosk idea is a good way to start introducing computers to a society where they are an oddity.

    It seems from many of the responses that this is already the way computers and the internet are accessible in many developing countries.

    I think the kiosk idea is good because it provides a centralized location for maintenance and support of the devices. The target audience won't be able to maintain their systems initially.

    Steve
  • This goes out to all of the naysayers who've posted about how there are much more important things to do for the third world than get them computers.

    You're right.

    Pharmaceutical companies should be doing ever more to handle the issue of medication in the third world.
    Educational organizations should be doing ever more to teach in the developing world.
    Food producers should be doing ever more to deliver much needed food to the developing world, and agricultural engineers should be doing ever more to enhance the
  • Kirk: "I found this ancient artifact in the Federation Museum of Vaporware. What do you think it is?"

    Spock: "It appears to be a prototype for something known as a 'Community PC'. If memory serves, it was part of an ill-fated attempt by manufacturers and content providers to support higher prices and perpetuate certain legacy technologies."

    Kirk: "Why didn't they just put some Linux PCs into a library and let it go at that?"

    Spock: "Ultimately, the library was deemed superior to the Community PC. Logic woul
  • ...corporate America exploiting them with our lovely subscription model (read, recurrent revenue) way of life.

    I have another term for them. Leeches.
  • You can use it to develop nations? Holy shit, I want one. ... ...oh.

    Adjective, not present partisciple. Gotcha.

    -- n
  • How does this stack up against the $100 laptop, in terms of helping the developing world?"

    Rather than presenting them as alternatives or competitors, I'd suggest viewing them as "better together than alone".

    The major purpose of the $100 laptop is as an educational tool for people without access to libraries or other information sources. Without a disk, it's mainly a network terminal. To function as one requires network connectivity, which is rare in most of the developed countries, and nearly nonexistent

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