Monday, November 15, 2010

Microsoft expands low-cost Windows to Mexico

"Microsoft said Tuesday that it is expanding its Windows XP Starter Edition to include Mexico, with plans to eventually offer the low-cost operating system throughout Latin America.
The software maker said that the Spanish-language Windows XP Starter Edition will be made available on new PCs starting immediately in Mexico and Argentina, with a goal of offering the OS throughout Latin America in the coming months. XP Starter Edition is similar to other flavors of Windows XP, but is offered only as part of new low-end PCs in developing countries"

India's renaissance: The $100 computer

MUMBAI, India--One of the critical ingredients for the $100 computer is probably in your garage.
In about three months, a little-known company called Novatium plans to offer a stripped-down home computer for about $70 or $75. That is about half the price of the standard "thin clients" of this kind now sold in India, made possible in part by some novel engineering choices. Adding a monitor doubles the price to $150, but the company will offer used displays to keep the cost down.

Whos afraid of the digital divide?

Is the digital divide, that alleged gaping chasm that separates the ‘technology haves’ from the ‘technology have-nots,’ a figment of the imagination of over-zealous academics and activists, sensationalist journalists and ill-informed policy-makers?

Senegal seeks bridge across digital divide | The Register

African leaders want to help the poorest nations on the continent deal with poverty by persuading wealthier nations to subsidise mobile phones and internet access.

Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal, told reporters at the UN General Assembly that he is launching a global fund to help widen access to technology. He said that there is still a digital divide between poor and rich nations, stating that "there are more telephones in Manhattan than in all Africa", Reuters reports.

Techdirt:Cheap Broadband For Wealthy Golf Communities Healing The Digital Divide?

"Both of the presidential candidates have spent some time talking up the need for universal broadband, even if neither seems to have a real plan to actually do that. However, a current attempt at providing subsidies to better provide broadband access in rural communities (where it appears broadband access has been growing rapidly anyway) is actually providing plenty of cash to a company providing broadband to wealthy planned golf communities in Texas. The official explanation is that the company involved got in line, and no one more deserving was in front of them. As the article suggests, that's no excuse. If the money is earmarked for rural communities that can't afford broadband, and its going to wealthy suburban communities, then something is clearly wrong in how the plan was set up. Either someone isn't doing an effective job in finding the communities that really need it, or those communities don't need the money at all -- in which case it should be allocated to something a little more pressing than people buying million dollar homes on a golf course. "

San Diego's Digital Divide Widens

 "SAN DIEGO -- While Latinos make up 28 percent of San Diego's population, they are the least likely group to have computer access, according to a report issued Thursday.
Latinos make up 40 percent of the 'unwired' population in San Diego, according to 'San Diego's Digital Divide Revisited.' "

San Francisco aims to bridge digital divide

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco plans to rapidly expand the number of venues where residents and tourists can get free wireless Internet access and will soon make free computers available at housing projects and community centers, Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

Earlier this year, the city set up a public WiFi center in Union Square, a prime shopping area. The Civic Center, which is near City Hall, Ferry Plaza, which is a waterfront commuter hub recently refurbished into a gourmet food market, and Portsmouth Square, otherwise known as the entrance to Chinatown, are next.

Libraries & The Digital Divide.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with a number of national civic groups, today released a new report that finds public libraries have helped close the digital divide by providing free, public access to computers and the Internet, particularly for people without access at home or work. Yet despite widespread awareness of and support for library-based public access computing, libraries face significant challenges in sustaining and improving this service.

Poor Swedes to go online for free

Sweden's social services should pay for personal computers and internet subscriptions for those who cannot afford it, according to a proposal.

Access to the internet is as important as housing, is one of the findings of a justice department working group.

The initiative's aim would be to reduce the digital-divide in Sweden by helping immigrants, the poor, women and the elderly enter the online age.

Indian ‘Simputer’ to bridge digital divide

Published Monday 29th March 2004 12:27 GMT
In a nation where only nine in 1,000 people own a computer, a long-awaited device has finally been launched to bring the poor into the information age.

The so-called Simputer, a device which has been discussed and hyped for three years, was finally launched last week in India with a price tag of slightly less than INR10,000 (€187). The Simputer is a bare-bones handheld computer that is designed to allow poorer Indians to access the Web, email and other basic computer functions

Report: Public libraries narrow the digital divide

SEATTLE (AP) - Build libraries and they will come -- and surf.

Public libraries have helped narrow the digital divide by providing free access to computers and the Internet, according to a report released Wednesday at the Public Library Association 10th National Conference, which ends Saturday.

More than 95 percent of the nation's public libraries now offer Internet access to the public, with 14 million people using them regularly to get online, said the report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Families earning less than $15,000 a year are two to three times more likely to rely on libraries than those earning more than $75,000.

``Cuts in library budgets won't turn off the Internet for wealthy or middle-class families,''
William H. Gates Sr., co-chairman of the foundation, said in a news release. ``It will turn off the Internet for people who have nowhere else to turn.''

Company's project helping to bridge the digital divide

By Reginald Fields
Sun Staff
Originally published June 30, 2004
After today's blackboard lesson teaching words that rhyme, the young children at The Door community center in East Baltimore will spend a few moments each playing educational games on computers.

"They do stuff that is fun but they don't realize they are actually learning because they are having so much fun," said Jim Woods, a minister who is chief operating officer of the faith-based program. "It's good for us because we have successfully tied learning to technology."

That's exactly what the folks at Hewlett-Packard Co., the California-based computer maker that provided The Door with 15 computers, want to hear.