Thursday, February 15, 2007

Coming soon: the $100 (or so) laptop

So the poor kids' gadget to bridge the digital divide will be available in developing countries this month! Newsweek has a cool interview with Negroponte about it recently, calling it "the people's laptop". OK, so the price is still $150 - but the MIT guru said he'll work it down to $100.

But what's maybe cooler is the (less than) "$100 Un-PC" produced by Chennai-based company Novatium. It looks a lot more familiar to the people - just like a PC, but stripped down to the very basic parts (it only uses cell-phone processors).

The main difference between the two products is the drive behind them: Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child machine "is dependent on the kindness of wealthy partners." Whereas Novatium's Nova NetPC was about making profit, and "making the computer affordable was only part of the equation."

This reminds me of the clash of ideas between William Easterly in "The White Man's Burden" and Jeffrey Sach's "The End of Poverty".

Who will prevail?

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  1. Easterly. Wanna bet -- for a cup of coffee? :-). Puspa, are you in?

  2. Right on. I'll be the house/bandar :)
    Who has their money on Sachs?

  3. Rizal : why would u want to bet with me if we are on the same side?
    Muli, Sach's fans are probably not reading this blog ;-)

  4. sachs, he has access to money.

  5. ...btw, i think sachs is right, easterly is wrong, that natural science can help solving poverty problems

  6. Sachs is overoptimistic, Easterly too realistic. Perhaps, it's the 'sensible centre' that will prevail. Is there anyone whose 'everything' is between Sachs and Easterly?