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$7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-USB-per-child-project dept.
dryriver sends this BBC report: "The USB flash drive is one of the most simple, everyday pieces of technology that many people take for granted. Now it's being eyed as a possible solution to bridging the digital divide, by two colourful entrepreneurs behind the start-up Keepod. Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi aim to combat the lack of access to computers by providing what amounts to an operating-system-on-a-stick. In six weeks, their idea managed to raise more than $40,000 (£23,750) on fundraising site Indiegogo, providing the cash to begin a campaign to offer low-cost computing to the two-thirds of the globe's population that currently has little or no access. The test bed for the project is the slums of Nairobi in Kenya. The typical income for the half a million people in the city's Mathare district is about $2 (£1.20) a day. Very few people here use a computer or have access to the net. But Mr Bahar and Mr Imbesi want to change that with their Keepod USB stick. It will allow old, discarded and potentially non-functional PCs to be revived, while allowing each user to have ownership of their own 'personal computer' experience — with their chosen desktop layout, programs and data — at a fraction of the cost of providing a unique laptop, tablet or other machine to each person.'"
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$7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

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  • by Irate Engineer (2814313) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:16PM (#46969619)
    Can someone explain to me what dumping piles and piles of computers into Africa is going to accomplish?

    In Africa I see waves of ethnic turmoil coupled with basic infrastructure problems, all played by the governments to keep a few powerful folks in power.

    Are we trying to turn Africa into our next call center and need to get the kids up to speed with computers? I don't think that is going to happen until something resembling stability (i.e. taking care of food, clothing and shelter for entire years without fear of a machete attack) takes hold.
    • Ssshhhhh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337)

      You're going to ruin the liberal feel good circle jerk. Yeah someones discarded PII-266 box will boot Linux and get Africa online. Now they just have to fix the other issues like drought, drug trade, poaching, blood diamonds, genocide....

      • by bondsbw (888959)

        To be fair, getting them online and sharing knowledge can be a catalyst for those kinds of changes.

        • Indeed. And the difference in quality of life between the average Kenyan and poor westerner is so vast that it's difficult to comprehend. Two dollars a day, AKA 174 Kenyan Shillings, is a salary below the level even magnanimous companies can sell any meaningful life-changing technology.

          Cellphones, and by that I mean budget portable computers, are plausibly more affordably practical and they are a multi-function device that requires less hard-wire infrastructure.

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            When you try to directly compare income, it just makes you sound stupid to anyone with a clue.

            While $2 a day is nye impossible to live on in the US, $2/day in this other regions is far more livable because a loaf of bread doesn't cost $2.

            Can they buy an Galaxy or Nexus phone on $2/day? No, but they don't NEED something shipped half way around the world to eat, thats something reserved for the stupid people in well to do countries who think Organic is the wave of the future

        • Re:Ssshhhhh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ArchieBunker (132337) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @11:00PM (#46970223) Homepage

          Oh yeah that old Linux box really filters water or prints money. How the hell do you even power it when you have no electricity? Whatever you send there will be seized by whoever is running the country this month and sold for profit.

          • by bondsbw (888959)

            I never said that a computer was all they needed. If you thought for a second, instead of building straw men to attack, you might realize that there are multiple concerns that all need to be resolved and that personal computer tech is just part of the solution.

            Why are you attacking someone who is offering part of a larger solution? You do realize that the guy who gets them the tech may not have the expertise to also build up infrastructure? Someone else has to do that part. Besides, in areas that do hav

            • If there was a "hopelessly naïve" mod would it be +1 or -1?

            • by BitZtream (692029)

              Because you aren't offering a larger part of a solution, you know so little about their problems you're just putting for things that will cause more problems. As I said previously, sending anything like this to these countries will simply get it confiscated by warlords, and if you do try to use it/sneak one in for yourself, they'll rape you to death, eat your flesh and use your skin as cloths, and if you're really lucky, they'll do it in that order.

      • by OneAhead (1495535)

        OK, I'll bite: what does "liberal" have to do with this? "This is something I don't like, and liberals are something I don't like, hence this must be something liberal?"

        To clue you in, fixing issues like drought, drug trade, poaching, blood diamonds, genocide in Africa is more often seen on a liberal agenda than the conservative one, and if conservatives want to do something, it is usually something like:
        (1) Some intervention that directly benefits the US (actually, nowadays it's more "benefits the oil or

    • by retroworks (652802) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:31PM (#46969701) Homepage Journal
      That's because of the news cycle, or your news sources. "If it bleeds, it leads". Your emphasis on "machete attacks" shows you should read the Economist instead of whatever you're getting your news from. Here's an article with some simple graphs and pictures about what's going on in Africa internet today. http://o3bnetworks.wordpress.c... [wordpress.com]
      • by pslytely psycho (1699190) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @10:08PM (#46970081) Journal
        "That's because of the news cycle, or your news sources. "If it bleeds, it leads"."

        Such a good point. I admit, this was my view of Africa before I met a couple of real Africans. One from Liberia, another from Somalia.
        They both paint very different pictures of the Dark Continent.

        Fungbey, my friend from Liberia, paints a modern picture, tarnished only by the civil war that ended in (I think) 2003. The country is nearly indistinguishable from any western country, but much poorer. Education is very valued and easy to obtain and for many emigrating to the west they're education is the only thing they bring with them. Yes, they have a lot more problems and poverty than most of the west, but it is nowhere near what you see on the news, which focuses on the problematic interior, where warlords are still the problem .

        Kannah, my friend from Somalia, paints a picture of abject poverty, corruption, and pretty much everything you see bad about Africa.
        You almost never see Fungbeys Africa in the news. Except for the civil war, Liberia is just too normal and boring to be interesting.

        For the worst of Africa, yeah, no electricity, internet, food shortages, etc, the PC is a no starter. But a lot of Africans live in modern Africa. Ignored by the mainstream news until something bad happens.

          And I personally think Africa will become the next China, just as China replaced S. Korea, that replaced Japan and so on for cheap labor.
        I see it as a good thing. This cycle has left all of those countries better off than before.

        But I understand why so many have the same incorrect view of Africa that I did. No one reports on Africa's good points, or Europe's, or America's. All any of us hear are the bad parts of other cultures. You have to search for anything beyond sensationalism.
        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          And I personally think Africa will become the next China, just as China replaced S. Korea, that replaced Japan and so on for cheap labor. I see it as a good thing. This cycle has left all of those countries better off than before.

          There is a major difference between most African countries and most Asian countries, and that is a strong, stable government. This as political stability is a requirement for businesses to thrive. In too many countries, larger companies need their own private army to protect their factories. You don't need that in China, or even Myanmar. Those countries are far more stable than most African countries. (note: in this argument I don't care about WHAT KIND OF government there is, just that it is STABLE).

          Second

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            There is a major difference between most African countries and most Asian countries, and that is a strong, stable government.

            What do you mean? Somalia is a libertarian paradise! In fact much of Africa benefits from minimal government interference and high levels of gun ownership.

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              Oh sure, and those with the high gun ownership rates and absence of government are the best places to do business, of course!

    • The key component is: Education.

      With the Internet, and a proper software suite, you can learn anything known to man.

      The software suite isn't there yet, but that's okay, neither are the computers and connectivity.

      The world is working towards them meeting though.

      Some say it will happen through smart phones over computers though.
      • by Elfich47 (703900)
        Problems: No food, no water, no money, no electricity. Anything not nailed down is stolen, anybody who has a claw hammer steals everything else.
        If you want to help these people, you get them something from the following list:
        More of the straws that filter out the guinea worm. Google the guinea worm yourself, it is a horrid way to die.
        Clean drinking water
        Food
        A permanent shelter to live in
        And if you have any of those three things, expect to have to defend it with tooth and claw because someone with a
        • Oh most definitely, we should all be working as hard as we can at a moral job, living a frugal life, and donating to the poor. World Hunger is a problem that is going away, the more we can donate to nonprofits, the quicker world hunger goes away. Sanitation and farming give long term solutions. Only 33 cents a day saves a life, so anything we can do to help, we should.
        • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

          If you want to help these people, you get them something from the following list:

          Sure, why not?

          Unfortunately, you appear to believe that you can only do one thing at a time? Some reason that you cannot do things concurrently? If so then you can help them live longer and give them your old computer. At the same time. It's amazing!

          Imagine if you will.......

          Some African goes to the internet - say Youtube.p> He or she sees a Youtube video about making clean drinking water

          He or she sees a Youtube video about growing Food with implementable ideas

          He or she sees a Youtube video

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          For a large part of Africans, those problems have been solved long time ago (if they every really existed to begin with). That's the part of Africa this project is useful for - and likely by pushing up the standard of living of those Africans, there'll be a trickle-down effect to other parts of the continent. Overall more and overall better paying jobs means more people can get to work, and those that work get better income, which hopefully is self-reinforcing.

          The best help for those countries is to help th

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Africa is a pretty damn big place, it's a whole continent full of different nations. In this case we're talking about Kenya, the last conflict of note was in 2007-2008 and ended in 800-1500 killed, before that 60 were killed in 2005 and before that there's nothing of note since the 1980s and this is in a country of 44 million people and seem to have a reasonably functioning but rather corrupt democracy. The literacy rate is 85%, they don't seem to be short on food or shelter but they seem to have a way to g

    • by frovingslosh (582462) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @09:23PM (#46969925)
      Don't you understand? They got $40,000 on Indiegogo and all they had to do was give an African village 5 old worthless broken computers and a few flash drives. Clearly this is a life lesson for the starving Africans. If they would just take something that has already been done many times before and claim it was new, and send their old trash to someone else, the chumps on Indiegogo might give them $40,000 too. That's over 54 years worth of African wages. If the Africans are too focused on how to get food, somewhat clean water and staying alive to follow this example, then its not my problem. They should learn from this and, now that they have flash drives and those 5 crappy computers, go on Indiegogo and post some scam of their own.
      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        Bravo. I wish I had mod points. Running an OS off a USB stick is not exactly novel - it's been done for years. I can remember my first experiments with Knoppix and a persistent home directory, maybe 5 or 6 years ago.
        The one thing that's novel is exploting this idea to make money.

    • by m00sh (2538182)

      Can someone explain to me what dumping piles and piles of computers into Africa is going to accomplish? In Africa I see waves of ethnic turmoil coupled with basic infrastructure problems, all played by the governments to keep a few powerful folks in power. Are we trying to turn Africa into our next call center and need to get the kids up to speed with computers? I don't think that is going to happen until something resembling stability (i.e. taking care of food, clothing and shelter for entire years without fear of a machete attack) takes hold.

      What they are hoping to accomplish is that the will all be able to connect to sites like MIT Opencourseware, learn science and engineering and find the cure to cancer and invent technology for cheap limitless renewable energy.

      The result will probably be lot less but how much less is what is up for debate. Since we can't see the future, we don't know.

      So, the point is, somebody is doing something to help. Be constructive and lend help if you can. Snarking isn't helping anyone.

    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Saturday May 10, 2014 @10:04PM (#46970063) Homepage

      Seriously.

      LIVE USB stick.

      What a great new idea!

      Free OS! What a great new idea.

      Promises of being able to use an old PC. What a great new idea!

      Fact is running OS from USB stick is slow as fuck and if you already have a PC why not install it on the HDD in said PC? Now they said personal and fine. Are there a requirement for that? Maybe they could store their files on the USB stick instead? both is ok.

      How do they get actual Internet connection?

      What about electricity?

      If they have limited electricity then something more modern would likely be better.

      Also how do they take care of old electronic goods in Africa? Environmental safe recycling? ..

      • About electricity... Perhaps pads would be a better focus, given all the pads that soon will be outdated in the West and East, because they use much less power than old PC's and probably will be more numerous. A solar panel could charge a pad during the day so it could be useable in the evening, much like rural areas use solar panels to charge evening lights.

        About networking... Perhaps ad-hoc networks could work for the cities...?

        About the other problems... computers help people find information and commun

    • Can someone explain to me what dumping piles and piles of computers into Africa is going to accomplish?

      In Africa I see waves of ethnic turmoil coupled with basic infrastructure problems, all played by the governments to keep a few powerful folks in power.

      Are we trying to turn Africa into our next call center and need to get the kids up to speed with computers? I don't think that is going to happen until something resembling stability (i.e. taking care of food, clothing and shelter for entire years without fear of a machete attack) takes hold.

      Congratulations on never have been to Africa. I had the same attitude as you until I went myself. Africans, in general, are extremely nice people (granted, I only met a few hundred of the untold multitudes) Far more genial than anyone in the west. Their continent boasts one of the most diverse populations on earth. While they are all "Black" they are subdivided into hundreds of small ethnic groups. Look at an Ethiopian and a South African and it becomes immediately apparent that they are both about as diffe

    • In Africa I see waves of ethnic turmoil coupled with basic infrastructure problems, all played by the governments to keep a few powerful folks in power.

      Yes, it apparently is hard for Americans to understand that Africa is a continent, with many countries (48 of them, actually), and that they're all different.

      This might help a little:
      http://africa.dlora.nl/mapverg... [dlora.nl]

      • with many countries (48 of them, actually)

        (I should add: that's for the mainland, not counting the island nations, and not counting several disputed states.)

    • If you can find someone motivated to use them, anything could happen [wikipedia.org].
  • by Artifex (18308) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:33PM (#46969719) Journal

    We have other OS distributions that that live just fine on SD cards or sticks, already. If you want to bring computing to slums as a useful resource, the big problems are probably really:

    1) actual hardware, shared or not, to run whatever open source OS you pick;
    2) electricity to run the hardware and shelter for the hardware;
    3) people to train those who have never used computers before, may have other literacy issues besides, and quite possibly speak dialects you will have difficulty getting localization for; and
    4) affordable/free network access if these people want to use the internet.

    I'll bet these are not the only issues, but if you don't address these, I suspect your money and time will be mostly wasted.

    • I was thinking the same thing, but you said it better than I could have. (you also said it first)

      Mod this one up.

    • There's different ways of measuring the success or "waste percentage" of a program like this. Just putting two boots on the ground costs more than hundreds of these USB sticks, so, if you can air-drop a thousand of them and only 10 find actual use, you're still doing better, efficiency wise, than hand delivering them and successfully personally training 10 people how to use them.

      If a village has a solar powered "computer center" with a satellite internet link and 3 ten year old PCs that these sticks can w

      • I'd like to know how reasonable that scenario is. This whole thing centers on having Internet access. A sat link in the middle of nowhere is fine, but whose paying for it? I am willing to bet that it will be the connect costs, rather than PC costs that are going to be the limiting factor.

        Unless somebody else is scrounging up old networking gear and helping poor Africans pay for an ISP to link to the backbone, all they can do is play games and type of resumes. In parts of Africa, the cell phone network i

        • Well, this is a way to leverage a satellite link and make it more accessible to a larger number of people, not to mention allowing them to store their personally obtained information and carry it with them, and even access it later when at a location or time when sat link isn't available.

          I don't think this will bring about world peace or end starvation and suffering, but it does strike me as a damn practical thing to try with $40K, something different than another missionary program to go dig a well and han

  • pointless? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bloodhawk (813939) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:42PM (#46969753)
    Perhaps it is just me, but I fail to see any benefit to this whatsoever. seems completely pointless, everything from windows to many distros of linux already can run on a USB stick and a USB stick doesn't solve the problem of internet access, a computer or more importantly the food and water they lack. I guess at least it gives them something to sell at the markets for a couple of bucks to buy something useful.
    • Re:pointless? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nyder (754090) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:54PM (#46969791) Journal

      Perhaps it is just me, but I fail to see any benefit to this whatsoever. seems completely pointless, everything from windows to many distros of linux already can run on a USB stick and a USB stick doesn't solve the problem of internet access, a computer or more importantly the food and water they lack. I guess at least it gives them something to sell at the markets for a couple of bucks to buy something useful.

      This is the modern day Sally Struthers. Instead of parading little starving kids across the TV, we have "tech" solutions to make our selves better for how life is in Africa since we really do NOTHING to help have a better life.

      Because we know having access to computers & internet are going to feed their starving children, just like it feeds ours.

      This is how people think they are helping the poor countries by making shit they really have no use for, but it makes us feel better about them starving. Doesn't fix the starving mind you, but it makes us feel better. Not them, but US.

      • Access to the internet allowed me to file for unemployment benefits while on holidays visiting my family, yes, my employer laid off the entire company essentially the day before Christmas holidays. My grandmother is 96, and I did not feel like cancelling our Christmas visit just because my ex-boss couldn't make payroll nor bring himself to give advance notice of the true nature of the impending problem. In a non-computer-access world, I, sole income for a family of four, would have missed a couple of week

        • by Elfich47 (703900)
          Then get people cell phones with SMS options. They are portable, easily charged and CHEAP.
          • I had world-class telephone access back in 1988 when I was looking for work also... the internet is better.

            • by Elfich47 (703900)
              But in Africa, cell phone towers are popular and the internet is expensive and in limited areas.
        • So, I could see access to networked information in Africa potentially informing the people of where food and work is available more efficiently than the present systems in a similar manner.

          Agreed. Butt that isn't what this show is about. All they're giving people are the terminals.

          • The terminals could be networked, or not, as local infrastructure supports... This isn't a panacea, but $40K is a trivial amount of money to get hung up on how it is spent - if these Indegogo funders want to do this, it's a hell of a lot better than an art project to put pink bands around the islands in Biscayne Bay.

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        It actually reminds me of religious missionaries. Tell a church there are starving people with no food or water, serious medical problems, no technology or internet or religion and all they hear is "what they haven't found god yet, we better fix that so they can die in peace", I.T. people are sadly similar, rather than fix the underlying economic and poverty conditions they see the "no technology or internet" as the key thing that needs addressing.
  • any computer??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:54PM (#46969785)

    Some older systems can't boot usb and other need bios updates to do it.

    also what about drivers for all of there hardware?

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Anything I had for the last 15 years or so has been booting from USB just fine. And anything older than ten years is probably not suitable for this purpose anyway, and there are plenty of younger disused computers out there so you don't need so really old ones.

      Drivers is usually not much of a problem when talking about Linux. It comes with drivers for all common and lots of less common hardware included, and older (even legacy) hardware tends to be supported best - this in contrast indeed to the latest and

      • There's some hardware worth using that can't boot from USB, Pentium 3 with 440BX chipset mainly. I was still using some not long ago. More powerful than a Raspberry Pi, reliable and much less power hungry than a Pentium 4, and run pretty quick on a recent Debian or Ubuntu with LXDE desktop. But they have USB1 unless you add a USB2 card.
        Some Athlon XP systems are a lot faster but they tend to be junked or dead already, heard only those with nforce 2 chipset were still reliable.

        Else maybe the target hardware

  • by Elfich47 (703900) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @08:56PM (#46969801)
    This is a solution in need a problem. Until the people in impoverished countries have some other things first, a USB stick that can reboot dead computers is kind of insulting.

    How about we provide (in this order):
    1. Food, shelter, sleep, and sex.
    2. Security, employment, health, morality.
    3. Friendship and family
    4. Self-Esteem
    5. Self-actualization

    Until all of items in group 1 and most of the items in group 2 are secured, self booting: internet USB sticks is like trying to teach dog to play banjo.
    And this is assuming that the local infrastructure can support USB booted computers for internet access.
    • Ah, but you only need a single banjo playing dog to entertain thousands of people...

    • by tepples (727027)
      Information from the Internet can be used to help obtain "employment, health, morality".
      • by Elfich47 (703900)
        Does it get food and potable water?
        • Yes, Internet access gets information useful for acquiring "food and potable water". It gets how to MacGyver up a water pathogen trap out of cloth [wikipedia.org]. And it gets learning materials for how to grow an effective vegetable garden [wikipedia.org].
          • Access to truth over accepted wisdom, conventional or otherwise, is a life changing event for the open mind.

            There is some elaborate conjecture regarding our intellectual superiority over all the mammals, and this selfsame overcompensation is present regarding the African people in more minds than most folks would be willing to admit.

            How could access to the combined knowledge of the human race not help you?

          • by Elfich47 (703900)
            Some of these areas are so poor that if you show *any* signs of attempting to improve yourself, or get up in the world you will be beaten, or killed for attempting to upset the current powers that be. And since powers that be are the local strongman, warlord or government you keep your head down and avoid drawing the attention of the guys with guns.
            That's an awfully nice garden you have there, mind if I take all the fruit off of it? And sometimes not even that, just having to defend your improvements from
            • by tepples (727027)

              just having to defend your improvements from the locals who want your improvements for yourself.

              "You want your own victory garden? Here, I'll show you how to make one."

              • by Elfich47 (703900)
                I hate to sound dumb but, where you do plan on finding the seed to start these gardens, let alone the water infrastructure?
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Sex is not the problem - the Africa is the fastest growing continent in the world, by far! We really don't have to provide that. On the contrary, that's something you'd want to slow down. Or at least educate the population on - where the Internet has a great role top play again. Oh, and the churches as well. The "no sex before marriage" moral isn't all that bad. Especially if combined with proper sex education and the provision of contraceptives and condoms as "second best" option.

  • Not that I actually think this is a great idea, but if we really want to bring people online, why not aim for a device that can actually get them online rather than a USB stick that requires a complete PC with network connectivity to do so. By contrast, a low-end smart phone can:

    1. Be had for ~$100 USD in quantity 1 ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00CKUBLFQ/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1399770265&sr=8-1&keywords=windows+phone+unlocked&condition=new ). Call it $75 USD in large quant

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @09:15PM (#46969891)

    As a geek I love the idea, but to the dirt poor and especially in the third world $7 could go towards more pressing needs like sanitation, clean water and medicine. There are many problems the poor of the world face. We can fix more than one problem at a time, but lack of Internet access is no where close to the #1 position - unless those kidnapped Nigerian girls can adapt a USB stick into an improvised weapon. Problem when the only tool you know how to use is a hammer every problem looks like a nail, and geeks are geeks.

    PS Saw a funny motivational of this pic lamenting the poor kid was being deprived of the joys of facebook and twitter: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new... [dailymail.co.uk]

  • by caseih (160668) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @10:04PM (#46970069)

    If we in the west really want to help Africa, there are a few things we can do right here that will make a difference. Eliminate agricultural subsidies, stop buying African diamonds, and stop using cheap African-sourced conflict minerals. Right now food prices are so artificially low that African farmers can't afford to grow food for their own countries. It's quite literally cheaper to buy food from abroad than to grow it locally. And the US is happy to give Africa food. In exchange for favors. Food quite literally has become a weapon and it's certainly part of what keeps Africa in a cycle of poverty and abuse. Meanwhile China has been buying up farm land in China to raise food that will be exported from Africa without really benefiting Africans themselves, except for a few that directly benefit.

    Conflict minerals, including diamonds, also concentrate a tremendous amount of African wealth in the hands of just a very few who are quite happy to use this wealth to buy whole governments. Most times they *are* the governments. But hey, as long as we can get cheap goods made in China with cheap African resources, life is good, right?

    But I guess my idea to not buy diamonds and kill the farm bill has about as much merit as handing out usb sticks after all. I doubt western policies that hurt Africa are going to change any time soon. Good luck to these folk. I'm personally quite skeptical.

    • Look, you probably don't realize this but everything you said is horseshit. You just don't know why.

      The countries that have risen from out of the abyss in the last 30 years did it through jobs relating to export (Look at East Asia).

      Exporting things to the rest of the world.

      And let me tell you, food is certainly not what Africa will be exporting --- the rest of the world has heavy machinery that reduces the costs of food, Africa will never be able to compete against heavily capitalized nations in cost of
      • by caseih (160668)

        You're completely misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm not saying Africa is going to be a bread basket exporter of food. I'm simply talking about principles of self-sufficiency. Growing one's own food internally is one thing that can break the poverty cycle (if only the attitude part). Look, many people in Africa are completely dependent on western handouts, which wouldn't be so bad but for the strings attached to the food which western nations do pull on a regular basis. That's what I'm getting at.

        Pe

  • by Hugonz (20064)
    WOW, Did they just invent Puppy Linux? pfffffffffffff
  • Are there viable solutions to simply sending my old computers to Africa?
  • With no way to use it. How many of these 'poor' have a TV and network access ( assuming that these can be used standalone in some way like most every other generic USB android device )?

    Worse yet, how many have anther computer to plug it into as its being pushed in the BBC article? And if they did, why spend 7 dollars more which might be a 1/2 a year wage in the area?

    While a flawed idea, at least things like the OLPC came complete and functional out of the box and wouldn't be a huge disappointment to the chi

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