Thursday, June 22, 2006

I highly recommend as a good source of alternative views on Canadian politics and culture. Founded by the dynamic activist Judy Rebick, it also features a great books section, edited by the inimitable Matt Adams.
While you're there you might check out the podcast "Occasionally Disturbs Others" hosted by Matt and Chris Kavanaugh.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One Laptop per Child project continued

Praise and criticism for the One laptop per Child project have been loudly proclaimed in equal doses. Is this appropriate technology or a simplistic transfer of Western hi-tech? Is it merely a Trojan Horse designed to sweep poor children into the maws of Western consumerism? Or, regardless of its developers’ motives, does the little device really have clear benefits as an educational tool? One key decision in the design is to use non-commercial software, ie. not Microsoft Windows. Bill Gates, true to form has openly attacked the project.
The prime ingredient for success and value for children might well turn on the influence the participating countries can exert on design and implementation. We’re bound to hear much more in the coming months.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

One laptop at a time

A prominent group of U.S. computer developers claims it can close the ‘digital gap’ between the children of rich and poor countries. The way to do it, declares the project director for One Laptop per Child, is with a small but powerful $130. machine designed for school children in the Majority World.

The device, due out in 2007, will allow users, even without electricity, to communicate with their schoolmates and anyone else around the world via wireless internet. The plan, with support from Kofi Annan, is to get various countries to purchase in bulk, followed by free distribution to children. So far, Brazil, Egypt, India, and several others have expressed interest.

"Howl" is 50

Greg Palast reminds us:

Saturday June 3, 2006
Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Allen Ginsberg's
poem "Howl."
You know:
"I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness."