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Libya Purchases 1.2 mil Wind-up Laptops 258

An anonymous reader writes "The government of Libya is reported to have agreed to provide its 1.2m school children with a cheap, durable laptop computer by June 2008. The laptops offer internet access and are powered by a wind-up crank. They cost $100 and manufacturing begins next year, says One Laptop per Child. The non-profit association's chairman, Nicholas Negroponte, said the deal was reached on Tuesday in Libya. Professor Negroponte told the New York Times in an email that the project mirrored Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's political agenda of creating a more open Libya and he also expressed interest in purchasing the computers for poorer African neighbors."
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Libya Purchases 1.2 mil Wind-up Laptops

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  • Re:Terrorists! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:11AM (#16406375)
    God damn that Muammar Gaddafi

    Personally I find it interesting that, in the build up to the current war in Iraq, the US administration tried to make out that Saddam Hussien had proven links to the funding of terrorist activities in the west - which now turns out not to be true - whereas Gaddafi is known to have directly funded and supported international terrorist operations for many years, and yet now he is our best mate. I wonder why that is..?
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:21AM (#16406471)
    So the third world will get their money via paypal and ebay
    I can't decide if you're serious or not, but just in case you are, but the country I live in (Hungary) joined the EU in 2004. Do you know since when can we use Paypal here to receive money? Oh, since Oct 5th, 2006...

    Somehow I highly doubt that those kids in the poor countries could engage in any financial relationship with anyone abroad.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Drall ( 1006725 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:31AM (#16406553)
    Libya life expectancy: 76.69 years
    USA life expectancy: 77.85 years

    Yup, they're just about starving, there. I can see the corpses piling up daily...
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Andrew Kismet ( 955764 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @08:54AM (#16406761)
    The best and worst forms of government are forms of dictatorship, be they by monarch, militia, or single-party constitutions.
    Democracy is the most mediocre system, ruling by the law of averages.
  • Re:Terrorists! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Megane ( 129182 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:02AM (#16406871) Homepage

    "negotiation"? I don't recall us doing much negotiation with them. As far as I can tell, it was 1) we kicked their ass back in the day, 2) put them in esentially a permanent penalty box, and 3) they saw what happened in Iraq and decided they didn't really want to go through that. That's what really changed their mind.

    And it certainly wasn't accomplished though appeasement.

  • It's damn good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jackharrer ( 972403 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:18AM (#16407061)
    Have you thought how good idea it is? They have cash (oil) but it's pointless to just give it to people. But if you give computers to kids in 10 years time you'll have a lot very skilled computer scientists. And for quite cheap wage. Think how many western companies will try to invest in country like that. And it's much closer that India.
    Question is: Are those kids going to learn something or just ignore those computers? Thing is that there're not many things to play with in Libya. Of course if you don't count sand.
    That creates very intresting experiment. You have a lot of kids who have nothing to do except playing with computers. Almost 24/7. And they have friends who do the same... What kind of outcome we can get?

    I personally think that Qudaffi is not stupid. That's a great investment in future. And great chance - where else can you buy valuable education for $100? If I'm right, we will see many other contries to follow the suit.
  • Re:Terrorists! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:25AM (#16407155)
    The important point is that the US didn't kick their ass back in the day. It could be reasonably argued the the US had far more reasons for invading Lybia than it ever had for invading Iraq (forgetting cynical explanations involving oil) but instead they held back. It is precisely this kick their ass and that will sort it out A-Team attitude that has led the US into the mess that is Iraq. I hear that the US is now destined to be there until 2010 at least.
  • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jg ( 16880 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @01:02PM (#16410391) Homepage
    Yes, as best we can. The keyboard is a rubber membrane keyboard (but much nicer than any you may have seen.

    When closed, we intend it to be rained on or survive a dust storm.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill