What's sadder than people in <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Burundi&ll=-3.373056,29.918886&spn=11.190832,27.663574&t=h">Burundi</a> earning an average of <a href="http://www.finfacts.com/biz10/globalworldincomepercapita.htm">only $90 a year</a>? It might be <a href="http://maisonbisson.com/blog/post/10432/" title="Bill G Just Wants To Be Cool">Bill Gates</a>' criticism of MIT's efforts to bring affordable, networked computers to the poorest countries of the world in hopes of improving education (and communication and healthcare and more).
The challenge is enormous: the technology needs to be durable, require low-power (and be easily rechargeable), as easy to use as an egg timer, have networking in a land without infrastructure, and be cheap, cheap, cheap. Yet somehow, the MIT folks have <a href="http://maisonbisson.com/blog/post/10996/" title="$100 Laptop Details « MaisonBisson.com">figured it out</a>, and the project -- known to most of us as the <a href="http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050929-5362.html">$100 laptop project</a> -- seems to be on its way to success.
It's the sort of thing that you'd figure <a href="http://www.fdncenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=115100029">a philanthropic guy</a> like Bill Gates would be on top of. But alas, he seems not to understand. <a href="http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/gates-has-harsh-words-for-100-computer-project-161011.php" title="Gates Has Harsh Words for $100 Computer Project - Gizmodo">Gizmodo</a>, <a href="http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060316-6394.html" title="Gates loves the poor (but Windows more?)">ArsTechnica</a>, <a href="http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=4486" title="TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home » Open your wallet, Bill, and atone for those clueless remarks against the $100 MIT laptop project">TeleRead</a>, and others are all reporting the world's richest man went critical over the MIT project.
» about 500 words