G1G1 aims to bring computing to children in the developing world

September 25, 2007

Cambridge, MA (AHN) – Children from developing nations will be the prime beneficiaries of the Give One, Get One scheme launched by the One Laptop per Child group. Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said his group is talking with five nations to distribute 15 million pilot sets to children. Under the plan, a U.S. resident purchases two laptops for $399, he gets to keep one and a child in a third world country will receive the other laptop.

Negroponte, who first broached the G1G1 idea at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at the start of the year, expressed gratitude at a presentation held in MIT’s Emerging Technologies Conference that his proposal was well received.

“The idea is simple. It’s an education project, not a laptop project. If we can make education better – particularly primary and secondary schools – it will be a better world,’ CNN quoted Negroponte.

The laptop’s price tag increased to $188 from its original price of $176, but the long-term aim is to reduce further it to $100. The XO laptop, which will have a waterproof case, can be powered by the sun, a foot pump or operated by a pull string. This feature fits with the lack of electric power in remote areas in third world nations where the laptops are targeted to be delivered. But it can also operate by plugging it in a conventional electrical outlet or by using batteries.

Negroponte said Google, Advanced Micro Devices, News Corp., Red Hat and Bright Star are working with MIT to develop 5 to 15 million test units. CNN, in its 2005 report, said Negroponte’s group was talking with Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa. BBC, however, said the first countries to receive the laptops will be Cambodia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Haiti.

Walter Bender, One Laptop per Child’s head of software development, said the first 25,000 people who placed an order for the XO laptop are expected to receive their units before the year ends, the BBC said.

Hitachi Struggles In Plasma Market

September 17, 2007

By David Richards | Monday | 17/09/2007

As Philips pulls out of plasma, Hitachi -which two years ago aquired the patents for plasma TV from Fujitsu -has announced it is struggling to survive in the plasma TV market.

The world’s fourth largest maker of plasma displays behind Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Pioneer has widened its half-year loss forecast, citing costs to stop production at a plasma television panel factory.Hitachi expects a $365 million net loss for the six months ending Sept. 30, from its earlier projection of $260 million. The problem for the company according to analysts is that they are not selling enough plasma units with enough margin in them  to justify re-investment into new plasma manufacturing capabilities.

The Tokyo-based company said it will take a $156 million hit for the production halt. Hitachi has said it will stop production next month at its plasma factory, based in Miyazaki prefecture in southern Kyushu island, because it is old. The facility started operations in March 2001.

The company, Japan’s largest electronics group, is currently making plasma panels at a new plant located in Miyazaki, which started operations in October last year. It also manufactures panels for Fujitsu plasma TVs.