Laptops for Lybians

57B1Ded4Fcde4185A8879B7946C9Eaf3After the green book, Qadhafi launches the green laptop:

With the project scheduled to be completed by June 2008, Libya could become the first nation in which all school-age children are connected to the internet through educational computers, Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop per Child project, told the The New York Times on Wednesday.

The $250 million deal, reached on Tuesday, would provide the nation with 1.2 million computers, a server in each school, a team of technical advisers, satellite internet service and other infrastructure.

The One Laptop per Child project, which has the support of the United Nations Development Programme, aims to provide laptops to school-aged children worldwide for about $100 each. It has reached tentative purchase agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria and Thailand.
I like anything with cranks. I wish my Powerbook had a crank for those long flights. But, while this idea sounds just fine, perhaps Muammar Qadhafi will then, I don't know, allow freedom of speech in his country so that people can use those laptops to start blogs? Just a thought.

(I have been thinking of starting a sub-blog to follow Middle East related technology and science news. Especially focused on technology that's especially helpful in this region, for whatever reason. Is anyone interested? And yes, I'm a geek.)
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.