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Govt studying independent US$100 laptop project
[March 10, 2006]

Govt studying independent US$100 laptop project

( Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Brazil's government is studying whether to develop its own low-cost laptop project which would be more feasible than the project promoted by IT guru Nicholas Negroponte, news service Agncia Estado quoted the science and technology ministry's IT policy minister Augusto Gadelha as saying.

Although Brazil was one of the front-runners in showing interest in Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, "the original project is not feasible," Gadelha said.

Gadelha's comments come shortly after Negroponte urged the Brazilian government to demonstrate commitment to his US$100 laptop project by signing a non-revocable letter of credit in the coming weeks. The letter would guarantee Brazil one seventh of one million notebooks to be distributed to seven countries worldwide in 2007.

Negroponte spoke during the Telexpo telecoms conference in So Paulo on March 8.
On the same day Czar Alvarez, special assistant to Brazil's President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, reaffirmed the country's commitment to acquire one million laptops as part of the OLPC project.

Taiwanese computer manufacturer Quanta Computer has reportedly been chosen to produce the PCs.

As for the Brazilian government's potential rival project, "the idea is to produce computers to help students," Gadelha said.

Furthermore, "Brazil's industry sector is competitive enough to produce them and our local research centers could find adequate solutions," Gadelha said, adding that the technology used by the OLPC project is nothing revolutionary.

The minister said that the government is speaking to technical experts to define how such a project could be developed.

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