Nicholas Negroponte came out today and turned us upside down. Instead of follwing the theme, he flipped it and to great effect. He showed us the powernot of humanizing technology but of humanizing humans. Technology is only human if it is useful, if it is relevant. If it stimulates thinking about thinking, thinking about what it means to be human.
Negroponte and the MIT Media Lab have 'changed the game' with laptop.org and the One Laptop per Child movement. The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.