Friday, November 30, 2007

More on the XO laptop field trial

I really have no words for this. Knowing myself from first hand what is to grow without a key tool, knowing the enormous joy of sheer creativity and horizons open due to computation, I cannot do anything but wonder and cheer for these children and many others who will have their chance to lear, create and express themselves.

Software design is going to be different in ten years, since a lot of minds are going to be on it, more perspectives, more experiences, more diversity. A bigger bazaar, hopefully, one that we need right now. Minds are the most precious resource of the human species, yet they are let to rot and decay by millions.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

XO Laptop: Field test

An analysis from the BBC shows the experience of a Nigerian school who have had the XO laptop since March.

This test shows both the problems and promises of widespread use of computers for education in developing countries.
Yes, the kids get distracted, yes some laptops get "lost", but, in the other hand, some of the kids have learned to fix broken laptops, everybody seems to learn faster and now they feel proud and empowered. Soon they will begin to code and solve some of their problems using computers, probably they will begin to make money of it in a constructive way (unlike Nigerian scammers).

I hope that this test is only a small sample of the things to come. Hopefully the world will change beyond recognition, as our world has already done.

This is certainly exciting and an example of what makes me feel happy these days, despite everything, of what makes me think I am really lucky to be living in this global era.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Indonesia leads the way

Indonesia says that its sharing of the Avian Flu virus samples is conditioned to developing nations being guaranteed access to affordable vaccines.

I think that this is an excellent attitude and a sign of what others should do, stand in front of the developed countries and ask what is fair. It is not being selfish, as its Health Minister asks clearly for vaccines not only for Indonesia but for developing countries. It is time to stop exploitation and and let the developed countries know that the times have changed. This is a delicate matter of global surviving, if there is no way that we can all benefit from it, but only the rich people, Why should we be expected to collaborate for our own doom?

And, by the way, Reuters' choice for the heading really annoys me: "Indonesia says no to bird flu virus sharing". That is simply not true, Indonesia is willing to share if its terms are met. Why don't they say "Developed countries refuse to share vaccines"?

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

After all, Judge Dredd is English

Judge, jury, and executioner, all in one. That was Judge Dredd. Despite living in what is left of America, Dredd was created in England. And it seems that again the life is imiting fiction, with the reaction of the Police to the death of Jean Charles Menezes, a Brazilian immigrant who was mistaken for a terrorist and shot seven times despite the fact he had been followed since he left his flat.

The reaction of the police? Dismiss the issue, he was a cocaine addict and was behaving like a terrorist. Actually, no matter all the mistakes they made, all the ways they screwed it up, police chief, Ian Blair, said

And as if it was not enough, politicians jump to defend him claiming ""Al-Qaeda must be laughing at us while we busy ourselves pillorying the police who keep us safe.", as London's mayor did. No, Ken, Al Qaeda is damn happy that you are turning into paranoid people and destroying a part of what makes worthy living in a secular democracy: Make the government accountable for its acts.

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