Friday, March 30, 2007

Google Maps Directions - Swim Atlantic Ocean

When You enter into http://maps.google.com

from Berlin, Germany to Boston, USA

your driving directions include a rather long part of the journey ...


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posted by u2r2h at Friday, March 30, 2007 0 comments

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Iranian MP4 players and Hollywood

Iran develops new generation of MP4 players
Thu, 15 Mar 2007 10:35:47 Iran has developed a new generation of handy MP4 devices that can play 190 formats of video and audio files, it was reported on Thursday.

The current players can process a maximum of 13 formats.

The device can also show text files written in Persian and Arabic fonts as well as the files in the Unicode format.

The Iranian version of MP4s weighs 100 grams, has a memory of two gigabytes and can record and play up to 10 hours of video clips.

AA/AVA

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=2687§ionid=3510208


Hollywood wages war against Iranian culture
Wed, 14 Mar 2007 11:41:20 The hit American movie "300", which is an egregious affront to the pride of Iranian nation, has ired the Iranian people all across the globe who believe it insults their ancient culture and provokes animosity against Iran.

It seems the movie is yet another U.S. attempt to tarnish the image of the Iranian culture and civilization. The U.S. animosity against Iran and the Islamic republic is nothing new. The fact is that the U.S. government has launched this mud-slinging game against Iran simply because it has failed in its efforts to haul the Islamic Republic into complete political isolation. Now is the time for a new trick: 300. The U.S. makes every animalistic effort to bring Islamic Republic of Iran to its knees. But the U.S. should know this water is too deep for it to wade in.

The movie, which raked in $70 million in its opening weekend, is based on a comic-book fantasy version of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., in which a force of 300 Spartans held off a massive Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days.

Even some American reviewers noted the political overtones of the West-against-Iran story line-and the way Persians are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the Greeks.

Javad Shamghadri, cultural adviser to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, said the United States tries to "humiliate" Iran in order to reverse historical reality and "compensate for its wrongdoings in order to provoke American soldiers and warmongers" against Iran.

But aside from politics, the film was seen as an attack on Persian history, a source of pride for Iranians across the political spectrum.

The film depicts Iranians as demons, without culture, feeling or humanity, who think of nothing except attacking other nations and killing people.

It is a new effort to slander the Iranian people and civilization before world public opinion at a time of increasing American threats against Iran.

“300” well serves the policy of the U.S. leadership and will prompt a wave of protest in the world. ... Iranians living in the U.S. and Europe will not be indifferent about this obvious insult.

Art becomes decadent when it is placed in service of the powers-that-be. This film is a tragic event in the history of the cinema and anyone who watches it participates in the act of conducing to the decadence of art.

IS/IS

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, March 17, 2007 0 comments

Monday, March 05, 2007

157 miles per gallon -- 1.5 litre/100km

http://www.loremo.com/index_en.php


The new Loremo L22

simple. clever. fun






Data LS GT
Engine 2-cylinder turbodiesel 3-cylinder turbodiesel
Output 15 kW / 20 HP 36 kW / 50 HP
Max. speed 160 km/h 220 km/h
Acceleration 20 sec. (0-100km/h) 9 sec. (0-100km/h)
Transmission 5-gear manual transmission 5-gear manual transmission
Drive midship/rear wheel drive midship/rear wheel drive
Consumption 1,5 l/100 km 2,7 l/100 km
Fuel range 1.300 km (20-l-tank) 800 km (20-l-tank)
Weight 450 kg 470 kg
Drag Cw=0,20; Cw×A=0,22 m² Cw=0,20; Cw×A=0,22 m²
Seats 2+2 2+2
Dimensions 384cm x 136cm x 110cm (l x w x h) 384cm x 136cm x 110cm (l x w x h)
Price <> <>
Standard airbags, particle filter, radio airbags, particle filter, radio
Extras dashboard computer, air condition,
MP3 player, navigation system
dashboard computer, air condition,
MP3 player, navigation system

























Entry
You will get into Loremo by a lateral threshold - unusual, but it's as easy as stepping into a bathtub! Its innovative linear cell structure is the basis for Loremo's safety . Instead of two lateral doors there is one "gate":
A frontal door opens forward before the seats, taking the steering wheel with it. (click the image for enlargement)

In front of the dashboard, in the crumple zone, there is a small trunk. The huge rear-trunk can be used for comfortable seating of two children, once the seats lowered

Cockpit view of the Loremo Loremo with opened front Loremo: Trunk with seats

Interior
Our principle also applies to the ergonomically designed interior: reduction of weight and costs, remembering the essentials. We mostly dispense with extravagant equipment - but not with an appealing design and a harmonic haptic interior. The dashboard is replaced by a simple instrument mushroom-shaped with a display.
The deep bucket seats are designed as simple plastic buckets with upholstery and covers. The deep bucket seats are only adjustable in tilt. Instead of a longitudinal adjustment of the seat, the pedals and the steering wheel are adjusted to the driver. The rear seats are installed against the line of travel, thus providing optimal protection for children

The patented Loremo chassis (patent no. DE 197 46 931 C 1) offers first-class roadability: optimum cornering ability stability, static directional stability and, thus, safe road behaviour.

The differential link axle connects the advantages of a semi-trailing link and a longitudinal link and this way allows excellent road performance also under different load conditions.

Also the distribution of weight (50:50), the low centre of gravity as well as its stiff structure contribute to optimum road behaviour.

The rolling friction minimized low profile tires of the LS (105/70 - R14) offer the same road adherence as the wide base tyres of heavy passenger cars.

Animation of chassis


Its great crumple zone and its stiff passenger cell make Loremo more than safe.

Loremo's linear cell structure meets all static requirements to crash safety and driving dynamics. This structure weighs only 95 kg and consists of only few sheets metal parts and can thus be produced at very low cost. The structure has been patented in many countries (patent no. PCT/EP98/01114).
Linear cell structur of the LS
Three solid longitudinal support bars have a low weight and a higher stiffness than would be the case if there were side doors in the middle. Even in the case of a side impact, they will provide excellent protection. The pyramidal transverse support bar does not only effectively increase the protection against side impact but also makes the structure torsionally stiff to a high extent. Loremo's innovative structure allows for a great crumple zone of 600 mm which extremely reduces passenger load.

The crash-simulation shows a 50 km/h collision with a static barrier having a 40 % overlap. The dashboard is deformed by approximately 150 mm only.
Thus, it is highly probable that it will also withstand the 65 km/h offset crash with a soft barrier without major deformations of the dashboard.

Unfortunately, mass-production of the Loremo will not start until 2009. We would be happy to keep you informed on important milestones, so that you will be among the first to be pleased with your own Loremo.

Last Name

First Name

Street

Postal code / City or town (Country)

Company

Telephone

Email

Current car model

L22 (farbe orange)

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, March 05, 2007 0 comments

Talking Spy cameras all over England

Country-wide speaking monitoring cameras

Florian Rötzer 05.03.2007

The British government plans according to a test attempt obviously succeeded to install in many cities cameras with loudspeakers for verbal disciplining from Missetätern to

Great Britain is outrider in many ranges of the monitoring. Which concerns the cover with monitoring cameras, the country might be probably world-wide because of the point. At creative ideas for the alleged production of security it does not seem to be missing. In London “Fight Crime form is offered to the inhabitants in a quarter with the program your sofa[externally] , over its digital television the monitoring cameras (Webcams), installed in the district, to control to be able ([local] this evening on the television: Everything).

down load

In Nottingham an attempt started [externally] , with which the business people in a quarter receive the possibility of sharing the monitoring cameras of the police over Internet, is to be able to fight in order “anti-social behavior and Vandalismus” better. Those there active [externally] Neighbourhood Watch furnished also a program, with which neighbouring businessmen can help themselves mutually, by attaching mutually cameras or buying a camera together.

Already since last year a test attempt runs in the center from Middlesbrough, with which for nearly 60,000 euro eight video cameras were equipped additionally with loudspeakers. If someone behaves improperly or only if something throws away, humans must count now on it, not n ur observed, but in public - allegedly politely - to be addressed ([local] supervising and instructing). The loudspeakers have a range up to 45 meters. Who does not obey the first request, with a more strictly expressed instruction it is threatened to that that he is to waive for instance the paper or otherwise can be punished. So for example a picture in that, taken up with the camera, can be published local newspaper, in order to occupy the Missetäter then, if it were identified, with a punishment.

The British ministry of the Interior plans now, like the British of Time [externally] reports the introduction of such “speaking monitoring cameras” generally speaking country, for example in Glasgow, Gloucester or Plymouth. Monitoring and reprimand from the distance obviously work, if the Missetäter for all locally present ones are addressed recognizable directly. After Time since summer 2006 the loudspeakers 156 times were used.


Is cared for the program in the ministry of the Interior of [externally] Louise Casey, which holds officially the place [externally] of the Koordinatorin for respect and a department for the fight [externally] of the anti-social behavior leads, which became a major task relating to domestic affairs of the Blair government. Middlesbrough from it to one of 40 “area” explain, because one itself there commit, special attention on the fight the social behavior arrange or disturb neighbour to peace bring ([externally] Neighbours From bright). But the municipalities more moneys receive. From Caseys authority receives now 30,000 euro to Middlesbrough, in order to rig further 10 cameras with loudspeakers.

With more intelligent monitoring cameras for example in the Netherlands one experiments. The system for the discovery of [externally] aggression over an automatic analysis of voices, developed by the company, is already tested in some cities. Microphones are attached at the monitoring cameras. At the University OF East Anglia [externally] one researches at a technology, with video cameras the saying of the lips reads and in text to convert to be able, in order to be able to listen also in loud environments as in taverns or on roads.

And even to the adherence to the prohibition of smoking in all closed public areas, which steps starting from 1 July into force, the British government let itself a creative solution be broken in. As BBC [externally] reports, the municipalities received 45 million euro from the government, in order to adjust personnel for control. The member the police can with smoker immediately a fine of over 70 euro raise and against the operator of restaurant, bar, office, business or enterprise a announcement refund. In order to get the Rauchsünder better, they may besides “more undercover” for area entered and there photos or films than vouchers make.




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posted by u2r2h at Monday, March 05, 2007 1 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007

New Orleans - City OWNED wireless

Wireless, powerless

Craig Morris 07.12.2005

A city-owned WiFi is to get the economy of post-K New Orleans moving

A good three months after being flooded, New Orleans may be dry, but around half of it is a wasteland. If a second hurricane had hit the town in 2005, New Orleans might have been lost for good. It was a close call: in December, a few days after the end of the official hurricane season, [extern] hurricane Epsilon spun a path out into the Atlantic - the 14th hurricane in a record year, and the first hurricane in December from the Caribbean since 1954. Now, the city has to rebuild quickly in preparation for next year's hurricane season.

download German Version

Before becoming mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin was general manager at the New Orleans branch of Cox Communications, a provider of cable TV and Internet access. No wonder Nagin was already talking about setting up a WiFi for New Orleans as an "option" during the election campaign of 2002. In pre-K New Orleans, public officials were already using Voice over IP, and the police department had begun using the WiFi to keep an eye on certain parts of town with high crime rates via Web cams.

When Katrina struck, the WiFi was the communication platform that survived the best. Only a few transmitters - devices the size of a shoe box installed on street lamps - were damaged, usually when the pole fell down. In contrast, ripped telephone lines lay on the streets and sidewalks even when the poles were still standing. Wireless is not only more mobile than landline, but also harder to take out of operation.

A picture of a bedroom in a house just a few blocks from where the 17th St. levee broke. As you can see from the watermarks, the water was 5 ft. high inside. The owners of this house will tear it down and move away from New Orleans. Photo: a friend of the author's

"Taxpayer-funded competition"

Nagin sees this WiFi as an opportunity to put New Orleans back into the national spotlight as the first city in the US to provide its citizens with free Internet access at speeds up to 512 kbps. He can only do so because a state of emergency has been declared in the Crescent City.

Commercial Internet providers are not exactly thrilled by the prospect of having to compete with competition from the public sector. In many states, the law even prohibits the public sector from offering wireless access to everyone for free upwards of a specific speed. Companies argue that they would otherwise basically be having to compete with offers subsidized by a tax dollars. In Louisiana, the limit for free wireless Internet access and therefore been set at 144 kbps.

But in these desperate times, Nagin does not care. New Orleans desperately needs something to get the economy going again. His proposal to turn the Big Easy into a second Las Vegas, with casinos as far as the eye can see, did not exactly meet with the approval of New Orleanians. New Orleans has a strong identity, and it has little to do with gambling - at least, that's the way a lot of locals see it. Many New Orleanians do not see why the city should be built up at all if it's going to lose what sets it off from the rest of Americana.

So for the time being, Nagin can do what he wants with his WiFi. His office also announced that it would be very willing to uphold the law and limit access for private users to 144 or even 128 kbps (which would still be at least twice as fast as dial-in connections) as soon as things have returned to normal Will the law still be the same in Louisiana by that time?

The concern that Internet providers have is easy to understand as long as we forget how often tax dollars finance the development of new technologies, which are later turned over to private companies so they can make profits. The Internet is one of the best examples: it was first developed by the US military for communication during a nuclear war and later became popular as the World Wide Web among businesspeople and citizens.

The term [extern] digital divide has been coined to describe the lack of access that the poor have to the Internet, which largely remains the playground of wealthy Americans, especially when it comes to fast Internet connections. On the other hand, restricting free wireless connections to 128 kbps seems to be a fair compromise. After all, as is well known, the killer applications for fast Internet are pornographic videos and peer-to-peer networks. 128 kbps more than suffices for other applications, such as e-mail and "normal surfing." So the cheapest solution for all citizens would be a wireless city network with speeds twice as fast as dial-in connections.

How slow can you go?

Nonetheless, at least one employee of BellSouth was upset when he heard about the city's plan to set up free wireless access for everyone at the end of November. BellSouth had previously announced that it would be donating one of its buildings damaged by Katrina to the city, but the BellSouth official stated that it was retracting this offer to protest the citywide WiFi.

Chris Drake, the city's WiFi project manager, told the author in a telephone interview that the mayor's office was sticking to its plan to set up a citywide WiFi. Drake also claimed that BellSouth had, in the meantime, indicated that it still wanted to get rid of the building. He is speculating that it makes more financial sense for the provider to donate the building to the public sector and write it off than to renovate it. After all, BellSouth does not want to move back into it.

So while the city believes it can't lose, BellSouth's reasoning speaks volumes: Will it be reducing its staff in New Orleans for good?

In September, the city posted basically no tax revenue at all. The figures for October will probably not have been much better, which is why the city began firing all of its staff that was not mission-critical. In November, the city slowly began to come back to life; in the meantime, you can hear live music just about every night, though the selection of acts is not yet what it used to be. And many businesses have either not yet reopened, such as the giant [extern] Whole Foods market, or have closed for good. Even major corporations like Shell, which gave its name to the city's [extern] largest skyscraper, have announced that they will only be returning all of their staff when the city is working properly again. For example, almost all of the schools in the city are still closed. A Catch-22: New Orleans has to rebuild to get businesses to come back, but it needs the businesses first in order to rebuild.

One of the first concerts after Katrina took place on September 30: [extern] Walter Wolfman Washington played at the Maple Leaf, but the bar still had to get its power from a diesel generator because the grid was still not working. At the end of November, around 40% of New Orleans still did not have power, and a lot of houses still did not have power even in the parts of town where the grid was working. The problem is that the local power company, Entergy, insisted that an electrician check the power lines and fuse boxes in houses that were submerged before power is restored. But because Entergy filed for bankruptcy shortly after Katrina, it no longer had the staff to perform all of these tasks quickly. Only in the past few weeks has the number of electricians been increased thanks to a loan from the parent company.

The WiFi will certainly help get the economy going again, but the most serious questions have not even been asked yet: What are we going to do with the 40% of the town that is not even livable yet? What parts of town will be abandoned forever, and when? And who is going to make these decisions? It certainly will not be a mayor who wants to be reelected.

From the wealthy neighborhood at the Lakefront to be poorer districts in the 9th Ward: everyone took a big hit. The city of New Orleans originally planned to use BellSouth's building for its police officers, most of whom are still living on a ship on the Mississippi because they lost their house. But the ship has no space for their family members, some of whom have been evacuated to the far reaches of the country. Now, the Christmas season has started, and the people who worked around the clock for weeks to save the city are still living like sailors on the high seas three months after Katrina.

Even those who are keeping close track of events in New Orleans are apparently shocked when they visit town for the first time. The National Resources Defense Council is even warning people not to visit New Orleans yet because the city is contaminated. I will be going back soon for a few weeks to report directly from New Orleans.

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, March 03, 2007 0 comments

on ehunderd dollar laptop

The With professor and the digital ditch

Lorenz Matzat 01.03.2007

The 100-Dollar-Laptop project stands in the criticism

A favorable laptop manufactured in million-number of items is to provide entrance to the education after the will of an initiative from the USA in developing countries children. Since 2005 the One laptop works by Child project (OLPC) around the founder of the WITH MediaLab, Nicholas Negroponte, on a machine, which is cut to child hands and raue environments. These days start in the pilot countries tests with 3000 devices. But many questions are open, which concern the financing, implementation as well as the social and ecological effects of the giant project.

Photo: OLPC

So far the bang-green crate was well-known as 100-Dollar-Laptop. But since short time it is called XO - Children Machine now official. When Mastermind for entire project applies Nicholas Negroponte, which created in the middle of the 80's the Media lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (WITH). 2005 it gave its leading place up with the MediaLab, in order to dedicate itself to OLPC completely. In November 2005 Negroponte as well as the UN president at that time Kofi Annan presented a prototype of the computer on the world information summit in Tunis ([local] digital Gewimmel in the Cybersouks).

Like no different one it succeeded to Negroponte thus in the public, at the “digital gap” between the industrialized countries of the north and the “3.Welt” - to make attentive countries - at the same time offered it a possible strategy, in order to close it: Basic school children in developing countries so mentioned receive over their governments, that must at least one million laptop orders, a XO. By means of a slack network the computers can access a school server, that the entrance to teaching materials ensured and, where available, by cables or satellite binding to the Internet.

Education by technology

Only by education to poverty and conflicts, thinks Negroponte and its team is to be gotten. Knowledge one would not only taught get, but attains one also by exchange and interaction, for which interlaced computers were extremely suitable tools, so the studied architect. Children are to learn to learn. The With professor stresses again and again: It is not a laptop project, but an education project.

That is correct not completely, because much technical development flowed into the equipment also under 1,5 Kilos weight. As masterpiece the currentsaving TFT monitor can be considered to this work: It combines a color display (dissolution of 1024 x of 768 pixels) with a background-lit, konstraststarken black-and-white display with 1200 x 900 pixels, which offers so also during direct sun exposure a very sharp dissolution of 200dpi for the E-Book-mode. The 7,5-Zoll display can be directly turned a Tablet PC and be outward folded up with the front. A broad Touchpad serves also the writing input and for drawing. With its carrying handle, the multicolored housing and one for small fingers is the computer to recognize (mass 193mm x 229mm x 64mm) conceived keyboard clearly as equipment for children.

Child-friendly user surface Sugar. Picture: OLPC

Thick plastics, dust and splash-proof keyboard and few mobile parts - in such a way there are 512 MT a Flashspeicher in place of a non removable disk - are to give a long life to it also in rauen environments. By USB further devices can be attached, be likewise contained a sound map, an inserted microphone and a VGA camera are. The blocked AMD processor with 366 MHz and 128 MT RAM uses little river - 1 Watt - and does not have not to be cooled. Even under maximum load the laptop is to run six hours. By means of pulling the cord of a “YoYo” - adapter, can be loaded the Akku (in addition, other devices) by hand or foot again.

The swinging out “ears” represent a further important Clou - Wifi antennas, it make possible to develop approximately around a Wlan server a Mesh net. Also in the switched off condition the XO-computers pass received signals of the servers or other laptops on by radio over hundreds meters to the next receiver. Additional still “100-Dollar-Server” and favorable external drive assemblies are in work ( presentation of OLPC engineer Mark of J. Foster with pictures and diagrams).

The laptop is to hold out a life cycle of five years. When operating system and so that foundation for the sense and purpose of the equipment, serves the order for education, a modified Redhat Linux, which is translated like also teaching materials into the respective land and regional languages. Its user surface “Sugar” be based purely on symbols and should be so child fair. Applications firmieren under “activities” and it substantial on  Kollaboration are set. Of course also computer games on the devices run: The first 875 beta XO were hardly in the hands of developers, brought this Doom and super Mario to running.

Which the technical side concerns offers OLPC with  a Wiki and  a Blog much transparency. The technical solutions are also unanimously praised, but the entire beginning of the giant project is extremely disputed. Critics speak of a typical US-American approach: A strongly hierarchical beginning - top down -, which wants to force a development step with a far-laminar substantial yield of technology.

Indeed that contradicts the usually negative experiences, which were made in passed the decades with solcherlei projects. So today co-operation with the population on grass root level is an elementary component of the work of development organizations and NGOs. As at present the newest indispensable method, at least in German development co-operation, the DO-NO-Harm-beginning is required: Before a project is started, one tries its possible effects on the social, cultural, ecological in planning, to play economical and political levels to the end of the project area.

“We need classrooms and teachers and no extravaganten devices”

OLPC refers to past projects of Negroponte. Already 1982 it therefore in Senegal with Apple ii-computers of school children in Dakar supplied. And together with its son it installed 2002 in the kambodschanischen village Reaksmey a satellite Internet connection and handed to the school over approximately 50 commercial laptops, which are used probably industriously for English learning. A präsentable evaluation of the project does not seem to exist however. No miracle, if one talk-has Negropontes speech on that Summit in the past summer listened: “The World Bank asks us: “Made studies for it?” Now, we do not have. But we do not have time for pilot studies. These days are past. That is Slam dunk, as long as we make it, makes, makes. “

Nicholas Negroponte does not hear criticism so gladly. Picture: OLPC

The With professor is quite sensitive, if its project is criticized. When it was addressed in   an interview in the autumn 2006 on criticism at OLPC, it said: “I do not answer to such criticism. If one criticizes this project, then is this like that, as if the church or the red cross was criticized.” But recently Negroponte could not pinch itself then nevertheless an answer. The Norwegian NGO FAIR, which works in the sector IT for development (ICT4D),  criticized that for the poorest developing countries the costs of the OLPC were much too high. A school with 1000 pupils with XO laptop to equip, would cost approximately 200,000 dollar. The NGO guesses OLCP as the first step to equip schools with computer laboratories in order to gain experiences. One takes for it 40 recycelte computers the costs approx. to 1,500 dollar would amount to. Negroponte dismissed the criticism in  a E-Mail as unfounded and demanded an apology. OLPC rejects computer laboratories as too exclusive, it is like tennis places. Generally the Macher of the laptop project argues with the fact that children continuously and therefore also its own computer would learn bräuchten - like also many children in the industrial nations privately would have a computer for the order.

The question of cost is and remains the crack point as 100-Dollar-Laptops admits of become project. The computers are not to arrive at the free market, but it is of a donation model the speech, with which private people for 300 dollar can purchase equipment. The unit price of the XO actually still is with scarcely 150 US Dollar. Only in the coming years - to 2010 it could be already 150 million laptop, hopes OLPC - the construction units could become cheaper and fall so the price under 100 dollar due to the mass production. However this year are still 10 million computer to be produced.

Apart from the pure material and manufacturing costs however further sums for the training of teachers and technicians as well as maintenance are to be taken into consideration. The agreement with Libya, which wants 1.2 million devices to buy, counts on approximately 250 million dollar at expenditures - 208 dollar per laptop. Nigeria, which likewise belongs to the pilot countries of OLCP, counts 45 million children and young people at the age of 6-18 years. If the government of the country wanted alone the four million pupil of the first class with XO-machines equips, it would have approximately 1.7 billion dollar to spend - scarcely 15 per cent of the entire national budget. In view of such costs a clear came along no from India, a country over two hundred million schoolable children. “We need classrooms and teachers and no extravaganten devices”, were called it on the part of the Indian education Ministry.

The costs cannot only form a Stolperstein for the ambitionierte laptop project

But the enormous sums, which are in the play, do not only encounter doubts. How does one protect the devices against theft? Become in countries, in which IT-devices are goods in short supply, not fast does a black market develop? Which consequences does corruption in the government authorities, which administer the distribution of the computers, have? Some fear that youth course the interlaced laptops could use, in order to coordinate themselves and commit criminal actions. Beside these more near to far from lying questions there is in the long run however the social effects, which such has a giant project. Accepted, the respective teachers are ready to acquire themselves new lehr and Lernmethoden. And the XO-computers, as from OLPC expects succeed in, kindling an education explosion with the children in the participating countries. Which consequences would a rapid education rise of a recent generation have, while the older ones of majority have only rudimentary education?

When rather surely it can only apply that the network ability of the computers will be used not only by the respective child, but also by its family and neighbour. The Internet kiosks in of India rural areas show, as alone by only one Internet entrance in a village farmer approximately in the situation are market prices to be queried and overreaching by dealers be gone around in such a way. Or it from the distance advice and assistance with technical and cultivation-relevant questions to get itself could.

With the critical questions to the laptop project associate the aspects of resources consumption and the effect of the electrical scrap iron which can be expected, which the production of further zig millions computers would bring beside that to anyway annually 100 million commercially manufactured laptop with itself. And it appears completely paradoxical that OLPCs wants to achieve its low cost goal as selbstlos human celebrated project by the disputed conditions of work in China. The laptops are manufactured by the taiwanesische company Quanta, who assembles approximately 30 per cent of all Notebooks world-wide in its  factories - under it also devices of Apple, Dell, Acer and HP. The XO-machines are to be manufactured in a new factory by Quanta in the Chinese Chianzhou close Shanghai, because the labour costs are lower there,  report an industry service. According to  statements of independent trade unions in Hong Kong, the conditions of work are bad in the High Tech factories of China, the payment are because of the lower legal limit. Due to their skill usually young women in the technique industry were employed, who would be health worn often after only few years. The study appeared recently certifies  social effects of production of Notebooks of the Öko institute from Freiburg that Quanta adheres to the legal defaults. But a permanent excess of the work time does not close by overtime out up to 60 weekly hours of work is usual.

On many Websites, mailing lists and forums the project is discussed by OLPC. As founded collection of sceptical voices English-language  olpcnews.com was established. Here write people, which are active even in the range IT and development. One accused to them by  a XO-fan by Intel to be paid. The processor manufacturer is to be spoken actually not well on the project, which is supported by the competitor AMD. Intel has one for countries of the south conceived computers in the program, the 400-Dollar-Computer “Classmate”. But XO and Classmate are not alone -  a list of the World Bank enumerates 30 of such projects.

In an enormous force act OLPC rammed an extremely ambitioniertes project from the soil within short time. Whether the mass production of the laptops however really begins in the summer, must show up. So far it is unclear whether at all one of the pilot countries already really released or transferred means for the project. , Selected themselves OLPC maintain bad tongue with so an untested giant project in the countries of the north to never come through and also therefore the developing countries as a target group.

Article URL: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/24/24723/1.html

The With professor and the digital ditch

Lorenz Matzat 01.03.2007

The 100-Dollar-Laptop project stands in the criticism

A favorable laptop manufactured in million-number of items is to provide entrance to the education after the will of an initiative from the USA in developing countries children. Since 2005 the One laptop works by Child project (OLPC) around the founder of the WITH MediaLab, Nicholas Negroponte, on a machine, which is cut to child hands and raue environments. These days start in the pilot countries tests with 3000 devices. But many questions are open, which concern the financing, implementation as well as the social and ecological effects of the giant project.

Photo: OLPC

So far the bang-green crate was well-known as 100-Dollar-Laptop. But since short time it is called XO - Children Machine now official. When Mastermind for entire project applies Nicholas Negroponte, which created in the middle of the 80's the Media lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (WITH). 2005 it gave its leading place up with the MediaLab, in order to dedicate itself to OLPC completely. In November 2005 Negroponte as well as the UN president at that time Kofi Annan presented a prototype of the computer on the world information summit in Tunis ([local] digital Gewimmel in the Cybersouks).

Like no different one it succeeded to Negroponte thus in the public, at the “digital gap” between the industrialized countries of the north and the “3.Welt” - to make attentive countries - at the same time offered it a possible strategy, in order to close it: Basic school children in developing countries so mentioned receive over their governments, that must at least one million laptop orders, a XO. By means of a slack network the computers can access a school server, that the entrance to teaching materials ensured and, where available, by cables or satellite binding to the Internet.

Education by technology

Only by education to poverty and conflicts, thinks Negroponte and its team is to be gotten. Knowledge one would not only taught get, but attains one also by exchange and interaction, for which interlaced computers were extremely suitable tools, so the studied architect. Children are to learn to learn. The With professor stresses again and again: It is not a laptop project, but an education project.

That is correct not completely, because much technical development flowed into the equipment also under 1,5 Kilos weight. As masterpiece the currentsaving TFT monitor can be considered to this work: It combines a color display (dissolution of 1024 x of 768 pixels) with a background-lit, konstraststarken black-and-white display with 1200 x 900 pixels, which offers so also during direct sun exposure a very sharp dissolution of 200dpi for the E-Book-mode. The 7,5-Zoll display can be directly turned a Tablet PC and be outward folded up with the front. A broad Touchpad serves also the writing input and for drawing. With its carrying handle, the multicolored housing and one for small fingers is the computer to recognize (mass 193mm x 229mm x 64mm) conceived keyboard clearly as equipment for children.

Child-friendly user surface Sugar. Picture: OLPC

Thick plastics, dust and splash-proof keyboard and few mobile parts - in such a way there are 512 MT a Flashspeicher in place of a non removable disk - are to give a long life to it also in rauen environments. By USB further devices can be attached, be likewise contained a sound map, an inserted microphone and a VGA camera are. The blocked AMD processor with 366 MHz and 128 MT RAM uses little river - 1 Watt - and does not have not to be cooled. Even under maximum load the laptop is to run six hours. By means of pulling the cord of a “YoYo” - adapter, can be loaded the Akku (in addition, other devices) by hand or foot again.

The swinging out “ears” represent a further important Clou - Wifi antennas, it make possible to develop approximately around a Wlan server a Mesh net. Also in the switched off condition the XO-computers pass received signals of the servers or other laptops on by radio over hundreds meters to the next receiver. Additional still “100-Dollar-Server” and favorable external drive assemblies are in work ( presentation of OLPC engineer Mark of J. Foster with pictures and diagrams).

The laptop is to hold out a life cycle of five years. When operating system and so that foundation for the sense and purpose of the equipment, serves the order for education, a modified Redhat Linux, which is translated like also teaching materials into the respective land and regional languages. Its user surface “Sugar” be based purely on symbols and should be so child fair. Applications firmieren under “activities” and it substantial on  Kollaboration are set. Of course also computer games on the devices run: The first 875 beta XO were hardly in the hands of developers, brought this Doom and super Mario to running.

Which the technical side concerns offers OLPC with  a Wiki and  a Blog much transparency. The technical solutions are also unanimously praised, but the entire beginning of the giant project is extremely disputed. Critics speak of a typical US-American approach: A strongly hierarchical beginning - top down -, which wants to force a development step with a far-laminar substantial yield of technology.

Indeed that contradicts the usually negative experiences, which were made in passed the decades with solcherlei projects. So today co-operation with the population on grass root level is an elementary component of the work of development organizations and NGOs. As at present the newest indispensable method, at least in German development co-operation, the DO-NO-Harm-beginning is required: Before a project is started, one tries its possible effects on the social, cultural, ecological in planning, to play economical and political levels to the end of the project area.

“We need classrooms and teachers and no extravaganten devices”

OLPC refers to past projects of Negroponte. Already 1982 it therefore in Senegal with Apple ii-computers of school children in Dakar supplied. And together with its son it installed 2002 in the kambodschanischen village Reaksmey a satellite Internet connection and handed to the school over approximately 50 commercial laptops, which are used probably industriously for English learning. A präsentable evaluation of the project does not seem to exist however. No miracle, if one talk-has Negropontes speech on that Summit in the past summer listened: “The World Bank asks us: “Made studies for it?” Now, we do not have. But we do not have time for pilot studies. These days are past. That is Slam dunk, as long as we make it, makes, makes. “

Nicholas Negroponte does not hear criticism so gladly. Picture: OLPC

The With professor is quite sensitive, if its project is criticized. When it was addressed in   an interview in the autumn 2006 on criticism at OLPC, it said: “I do not answer to such criticism. If one criticizes this project, then is this like that, as if the church or the red cross was criticized.” But recently Negroponte could not pinch itself then nevertheless an answer. The Norwegian NGO FAIR, which works in the sector IT for development (ICT4D),  criticized that for the poorest developing countries the costs of the OLPC were much too high. A school with 1000 pupils with XO laptop to equip, would cost approximately 200,000 dollar. The NGO guesses OLCP as the first step to equip schools with computer laboratories in order to gain experiences. One takes for it 40 recycelte computers the costs approx. to 1,500 dollar would amount to. Negroponte dismissed the criticism in  a E-Mail as unfounded and demanded an apology. OLPC rejects computer laboratories as too exclusive, it is like tennis places. Generally the Macher of the laptop project argues with the fact that children continuously and therefore also its own computer would learn bräuchten - like also many children in the industrial nations privately would have a computer for the order.

The question of cost is and remains the crack point as 100-Dollar-Laptops admits of become project. The computers are not to arrive at the free market, but it is of a donation model the speech, with which private people for 300 dollar can purchase equipment. The unit price of the XO actually still is with scarcely 150 US Dollar. Only in the coming years - to 2010 it could be already 150 million laptop, hopes OLPC - the construction units could become cheaper and fall so the price under 100 dollar due to the mass production. However this year are still 10 million computer to be produced.

Apart from the pure material and manufacturing costs however further sums for the training of teachers and technicians as well as maintenance are to be taken into consideration. The agreement with Libya, which wants 1.2 million devices to buy, counts on approximately 250 million dollar at expenditures - 208 dollar per laptop. Nigeria, which likewise belongs to the pilot countries of OLCP, counts 45 million children and young people at the age of 6-18 years. If the government of the country wanted alone the four million pupil of the first class with XO-machines equips, it would have approximately 1.7 billion dollar to spend - scarcely 15 per cent of the entire national budget. In view of such costs a clear came along no from India, a country over two hundred million schoolable children. “We need classrooms and teachers and no extravaganten devices”, were called it on the part of the Indian education Ministry.

The costs cannot only form a Stolperstein for the ambitionierte laptop project

But the enormous sums, which are in the play, do not only encounter doubts. How does one protect the devices against theft? Become in countries, in which IT-devices are goods in short supply, not fast does a black market develop? Which consequences does corruption in the government authorities, which administer the distribution of the computers, have? Some fear that youth course the interlaced laptops could use, in order to coordinate themselves and commit criminal actions. Beside these more near to far from lying questions there is in the long run however the social effects, which such has a giant project. Accepted, the respective teachers are ready to acquire themselves new lehr and Lernmethoden. And the XO-computers, as from OLPC expects succeed in, kindling an education explosion with the children in the participating countries. Which consequences would a rapid education rise of a recent generation have, while the older ones of majority have only rudimentary education?

When rather surely it can only apply that the network ability of the computers will be used not only by the respective child, but also by its family and neighbour. The Internet kiosks in of India rural areas show, as alone by only one Internet entrance in a village farmer approximately in the situation are market prices to be queried and overreaching by dealers be gone around in such a way. Or it from the distance advice and assistance with technical and cultivation-relevant questions to get itself could.

With the critical questions to the laptop project associate the aspects of resources consumption and the effect of the electrical scrap iron which can be expected, which the production of further zig millions computers would bring beside that to anyway annually 100 million commercially manufactured laptop with itself. And it appears completely paradoxical that OLPCs wants to achieve its low cost goal as selbstlos human celebrated project by the disputed conditions of work in China. The laptops are manufactured by the taiwanesische company Quanta, who assembles approximately 30 per cent of all Notebooks world-wide in its  factories - under it also devices of Apple, Dell, Acer and HP. The XO-machines are to be manufactured in a new factory by Quanta in the Chinese Chianzhou close Shanghai, because the labour costs are lower there,  report an industry service. According to  statements of independent trade unions in Hong Kong, the conditions of work are bad in the High Tech factories of China, the payment are because of the lower legal limit. Due to their skill usually young women in the technique industry were employed, who would be health worn often after only few years. The study appeared recently certifies  social effects of production of Notebooks of the Öko institute from Freiburg that Quanta adheres to the legal defaults. But a permanent excess of the work time does not close by overtime out up to 60 weekly hours of work is usual.

On many Websites, mailing lists and forums the project is discussed by OLPC. As founded collection of sceptical voices English-language  olpcnews.com was established. Here write people, which are active even in the range IT and development. One accused to them by  a XO-fan by Intel to be paid. The processor manufacturer is to be spoken actually not well on the project, which is supported by the competitor AMD. Intel has one for countries of the south conceived computers in the program, the 400-Dollar-Computer “Classmate”. But XO and Classmate are not alone -  a list of the World Bank enumerates 30 of such projects.

In an enormous force act OLPC rammed an extremely ambitioniertes project from the soil within short time. Whether the mass production of the laptops however really begins in the summer, must show up. So far it is unclear whether at all one of the pilot countries already really released or transferred means for the project. , Selected themselves OLPC maintain bad tongue with so an untested giant project in the countries of the north to never come through and also therefore the developing countries as a target group.

Article URL: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/24/24723/1.html

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posted by u2r2h at Saturday, March 03, 2007 0 comments