January 26, 2006 7:52 AM PST

U.N. body backs $100 laptop for world's kids

The lime-green machines are cheap, and the cause noble. So why does Intel's Craig Barrett object?

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Skins
I'd give it 3 days before someone starts selling $30 skins for these things.
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
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Pessimistic
The basic idea is great.

The UN getting involved is not great, for several reasons. Biggest being the degree of corruption in the UN, second being that this type of computer would help set the people free from the chains imposed on them by the tyrants running their countries (the same people who decide who represents them in the UN, BTW).

Intel Chairman Craig Barrett is full of beans. Not everyone wants, needs, can only use a computer in competition with the Mardi Gras for bells, whistles, ribbons, and bows.
Posted by Phillep (18 comments )
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Intel's ceo...
...who cares what Craig Barrett (LOSER) of Intel thinks...lets make sure these laptops use AMD chips...I think this is a wonderful program to help under-privileged people around the world learn about computers, better themselves and connect and participate with the rest of us through the internet!!!
Posted by avid reader (8 comments )
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pretty sure there won't be much internet
I am fairly certain these computers won't be using wireless internet much (if at all). It says they have the capability to set up wireless networks with each other, but internet access would require wireless towers or some other infrastructure that probably doesn't exist in these areas.

You won't be talking to them anytime soon :)
Posted by vecctor (5 comments )
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UN Misproirities
Pet projects like the $100 laptop is great for the U.N. and MIT. It garners mass media attention (because it involves kids) and it addresses the over-hyped digital divide.

The reality, however, is far from ideal. 3rd world countries face famine, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and rampant corruption. Will a $100 laptop solve all these issues? Not really - Unless you are the U.N.!

I can see it now - a half-starved child cranking away at the laptop for power so he can surf the web (don't worry, the U.N.'s upcoming net-tax will ensure that these regions get an internet access (which will be censored by their local despot representing them at the Internet's future governing council at the ITU).

I'm also pretty sure that the BRIGHT GREEN laptop will make an excellent shield when a child needs to run away from a war-zone (which was SUPPOSED to be guarded by the U.N. "PeaceKeepers"). Hey, maybe the kid might be able to buy an assault rifle off of e-bay to fight back!

I'm sure that the corrupt governments running these 3rd world countries would certainly welcome it - since they can just take them from these kids and use them to keep track of their illicit activities.

As always, I applaud the United Nations for getting back to the basics. For addressing the root cause of what makes like so difficult for these kids who have to suffer and die in the 3rd world country.

If Craig Barret is called an idiot for understanding this, then I've got that $30 skin cover to go with that laptop!
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
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I agree!
Not only is this a publicity "stunt" so to speak, this does not really solve the problems DIRECTLY at least. The education of the rest of the world they may get from these may however. The only reason there is so much violence in those parts of the wworld is because they don't have the knowledge that they need to realize the way to get their life any better(assuming they'll have access to the internet without filtration).
Overall though, the internet will almost certainly be filtered so I totally agree that this is really just a way to get the media to over-hype it.
Posted by TheTechKid (66 comments )
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A stupid idea on many levels
It's a stupid idea on many levels. A laptop isn't a magic item that magically increases educational levels and leads to prosperity. Children in poor countries need medical care, adequate food, clean drinking water, shelter, and clothing. Their parents need economic freedom, economic opportunity, and the rule of law. A $100 laptop is a useless toy. Maybe the UN should have siphoned a few billion from the Oil-For-Food program and did something useful with it instead of lining their own pockets.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
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A stupid comment on many levels
You know, medical care, adequate food, clean drinking water, shelter and clothing didn't build America either.

Hopes and dreams did.
Posted by cagerattler (72 comments )
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At least somebody is actually doing something..
At least somebody is actually doing something.

What is everyone else here actually doing to help the developing world besides just talking or complaining about it? (myself included)
Posted by cagerattler (72 comments )
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