Thursday, December 15, 2011

Give poor children computers and walk away

Interesting opinion piece in New Scientist. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) founder Nicholas Negroponte is interviewed on his new idea ... give kids a tablet computer and leave them to it.
"OLPC, even after giving out nearly 3 million laptops, is still criticised along the following lines: "Negroponte believes that you can give a child a laptop and walk away." Whether I ever believed that or not is now secondary. It became such a refrain that I finally asked myself about a year ago: "What if you could?" [...]"I am really going into this with an open mind. It is an experiment, and one outcome could be "no, they cannot"."

Sounds like a very interesting experiment. Negroponte and the rest of the OLPC team have already proved they could do what the naysayers said they would never achieve. Now they are advancing the experiment further. If they succeed the world will be a very different place in 20 years time.

Apple's Lawsuits Made Galaxy Tab A Household Name

From Tom Holwerda's blog on OS News
This is, of course, a tasty and delightful serving of karma for Apple. The company clearly set out to use software and design patent lawsuits as an anti-competitive club, but instead of reducing competition, they may have actually made the competition stronger. In the end, we can only hope all these anti-competitive offensive software and design patent lawsuits turn out like this. Sure, there's a lot of wasted money here on both sides, but at least the defendant gets rewarded with more sales, and the aggressor punished with lower sales
Full Article:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Killer Snake

Something out of nightmares ... 7 metre long snakes that hunt people :( Ed Jong blogs in discover magazine
"Giant snakes frequently attack people in fantasy and science-fiction stories, but such attacks are not merely the stuff of fiction. Through his extensive work with the Agta, Headland has found that a quarter of all the men have been attacked by pythons. The reticulated python is the world’s longest snake. Females typically weigh 75 kilograms (165 pounds) and grow larger than 7 metres (23 feet). The Agta, by contrast, are a small folk. Adults reach around 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) in height and weigh around 44 kilograms (97 pounds). For a snake that can swallow an entire pig, an Agta would make a mere medium-sized mouthful."
Full text at Discover Magazine: