World’s Richest Man to World’s Poorest Children: “geez, get a decent computer”

Bill Gates pissed me off today. No, not because of the fact that the products his company produces are full of security flaws or that he and his minions lie about that fact or that they’re now selling a service to protect you from their bugs (those piss me off too, but that’s not why I’m blogging today ;)

I’m mad because he’s made one of those “If they have no bread, then let them eat cake” sort of statements about a neat project called One Laptop per Child that wants to provide the poor children of the world with fairly decent laptops considering that they’re only $100 each. As per CNN:

“The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk … and with a tiny little screen,” Gates said at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in suburban Washington. “Hardware is a small part of the cost” of providing computing capabilities, he said, adding that the big costs come from network connectivity, applications and support. Before his critique, Gates showed off a new “ultra-mobile computer” which runs Microsoft Windows on a seven-inch touch screen. Those machines are expected to sell for between $599 and $999, Microsoft said at the product launch last week. “If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type,” Gates said. Gates described the computers as being for shared use, but the project goes under the name “One Laptop per Child.” […] Earlier this year, Google founder Larry Page said his company is backing MIT’s project. He showed a model of the machine that does use a crank as one source of power. “The laptops … will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data,” according to the project’s Web site.

Perhpas its also not surprising that he would mock them; they run Linux, not Windows…


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