Here's another update on the laptop debate/idea from Ethan Zuckerman, the ICT-blogger-fellow at Harvard. He usefully recounts the point of the new prototypical $100 laptop as being a radical step toward computer-aided learning in developing countries. I appreciate his skepticism about the project, especially his explicit reference to the late, not-so-great simputer idea, which bombed because of economics.
You know, that pesky money thing. Always a problem when dealing with poverty.
here's a bit:
"After peppering Negroponte with two hours of questions, I’m fairly convinced that this laptop won’t suffer the problems the Simputer did - I believe it will get produced and distributed and that the software will enable e-books, web browsing, word processing and programming. As much as I enjoy the geekery of challenging Negroponte and others on the fine points of hardware and software design for the developing world, I’m convinced that some extremely smart people are working very hard on the hardware and software side of things. While I might question some of the decisions made, I don’t know that my second-guessing is helpful at this point.
(Found on:Ethan Zuckerman.)