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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the never-too-early-for-your-first-tux dept.

Education 91

jrepin writes: Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom. The unfortunate reality is that in an age where computer skills are no longer optional, far too many families don't possess the resources to have a computer at home. Linux Journal recently had the opportunity to talk with Ken Starks about his organization, Reglue (Recycled Electronics and Gnu/Linux Used for Education) and its efforts to bridge this digital divide.

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Oh good, another one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564229)

Oh good another group for computers for children, lets add it to the pile...

Food would be better,
Or more education for their teachers (most of whom choose to be teachers after failing their primary profession),
how about teaching children to read properly (functional literacy is not a good standard)
how about using the money so their parent/s could work less hours and see their children more than just weekends.

Re:Oh good, another one. (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 3 months ago | (#47564417)

you must be either a communist or (even worse) a liberal or possibly Putin's shill insisting on wasting valuable resources that could be more appropriately used for production of 3rd generation helmets for f35. Come to think of it you are probably all three and me too....

Re:Oh good, another one. (0)

pigsycyberbully (3450203) | about 3 months ago | (#47564425)

you must be either a communist or (even worse) a liberal or possibly Putin's shill insisting on wasting valuable resources that could be more appropriately used for production of 3rd generation helmets for f35. Come to think of it you are probably all three and me too....

They do not need computers.. Besides the technology is older than their parents the PC, is as decrepit as the Intel processor. True and false calculations which is no better than Tommy Flowers, first programmable electronic computer from World War II colossus was not decommissioned until 1960. I was assembling PCs when I first left school as my first job. All the children who have achieved have done so without Linux or Microsoft Windows or without Dr DOS PC DOS and MS-DOS BBC BASIC and so on. And the reason all this ancient software come about is because of people who did not have and who created something. It's not more technology they need it's less to allow their minds to create what they need. For anybody who has not been to the U.S. most of them do not know how to change a plug or a lightbulb! They cannot do calculations they don't know how much change they should have when they go shopping.. They have the reading abilities of children and they rely on screen readers.. This is all because they are relying on old technology too soon. In the U.S. they think "Asians" are good at calculations. When the truth of the matter is they are not capable of anything without a PC or a calculator they have become dependent.

Re:Oh good, another one. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564529)

or possibly Putin's shill

Putin's shill. :D It's funny how in Slashdot the most obscure shills are seen everywhere.

Right on. Computers won't help these kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564423)

How is a computer going to change the fact that little Shaneeqwon's mother is a crackwhore who got high while pregnant, and her father is serving 30 in the state pen?

How is a computer going to change the fact that little Marcos' parents are illiterate, unemployable illegal aliens who had him merely as an "anchor baby"?

How is a computer going to change the fact that little Rodney's unemployed mother is on disability because she sniffed too much gasoline and glue while he was in her womb, and his father just up and vanished one day?

Like it or not, a lot of American kids are spawned from people who are total crap, and no amount of education or computers are going to do anything to help these kids. They're lost causes to begin with, in many cases, thanks to their parents' persistent drug and substance abuse during pregnancy.

Even when given computers and education, Shaneeqwon will reject them because they're the "white man's tools of oppression". Marcos can't use them because he can't read, understand or even speak any language except for a small handful of Spanish slang. Rodney's brain was fried before he was even born thanks to his mother's habits, and he's functionally retarded. There's nothing that can be done for them, and the many like them.

Re:Right on. Computers won't help these kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564849)

My my, aren't you just a ray of sunshine this morning. Ohh and I am not to fond of strawmen for breakfast, but thanks anyways!

Re: Right on. Computers won't help these kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572693)

A computer is so much more to a child who is limited to almost nothing. The girl with a crackhead mother can escape from her surroundings and see herself objectively for what is out there and the amount of possibilities. The "anchor child" could get a computer in his foreign language, that teaches english through an interactive game/program. You say they are lost causes. But through the amount of pressures and adversities that those kids have struggled, they still perserver, do you not think, that they would be the better option of educating. They are the out of the box thinkers who have something new to bring to the table.

Re:Oh good, another one. (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#47564545)

Agreed, I've made note of how computers are used in both public and private schools. Academia=10% Fun and bullshit=90%. Putting a computer in an otherwise happy home, already dealing with money problems is more harm than good. Adding malware, computer addiction, inevitable hardware and software problems isn't promoting family values.

I understand that people want to do something for education. There are a load of things that CAN be done, from donating time to stumping to eliminate unions, to purchasing better text books, to spending time at home helping your own kid, and on and on and on.

Re:Oh good, another one. (1)

narcc (412956) | about 3 months ago | (#47566225)

Then don't put it in the home.

Support your local Neighborhood Networks center!

It really does make a difference.

Re:Oh good, another one. (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#47573149)

I think that was my point.

Re:Oh good, another one. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47567867)

"stumping to eliminate unions", I guess you are a brain washed right winger that believes all the lies the Koch brothers force feed you. The unions are not the problem, the parents who don't give a damn about education and place no value on it are the problem.

Re:Oh good, another one. (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#47573173)

Unions and their agendas applied to teachers ARE a large part of the problem. Besides promoting liberal ideas that have killed public education over the years, they help keep bad teachers comfortable in their jobs to continue harm and elevate costs of said bad teaching. I deny right or left leanings and purport to relying on observation and experience, unlike sycophants of either right or left.

Parents are half the problem, Teachers, the other half.

what about the undeserving kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564231)

The undeserving kids deserve preferential treatment. Don't educate the smart kids, they'll only grow up to cause trouble. The stupid knuckle-dragging glue-eating morons should get all the cool stuff, because they'll grow up to be obedient little Amerinazis and vote all our beloved evil tyrants into power.

Re:what about the undeserving kids? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 3 months ago | (#47564805)

Smart kids learn despite their teachers. The underachieving kids are the ones who need direct and instruction.

Re:what about the undeserving kids? (1)

hooiberg (1789158) | about 3 months ago | (#47565643)

The underachieving kids are usually held back by their parents. If their parents can be convinced that it is a good idea that their child is educated, half of the work is done.

What did the poor fucking kids do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564301)

To deserve an inferior OS shoved down their throats by zealots?

Is 'Ken Starks' for real? (1)

lippydude (3635849) | about 3 months ago | (#47564319)

Is 'Ken Starks' for real? For instance, the Austin School board has no knowledge of a Karen or any incident involving a pupil and a Linux CD. See slashdot [slashdot.org] of Dec 2008. See also this blog [psychocats.net] from Dec 2008. And also The Register [theregister.co.uk] of Dec 2008.

Re:Is 'Ken Starks' for real? (2)

AndyCater (726464) | about 3 months ago | (#47566575)

Ken's real - and is working hard in Texas as ever he was. Helios Project - affiliated with SPI - joined with another charity Reglue and they're still attempting to get computers to needy children and adults locally to them.

Local recycling is the best way to go. (4, Interesting)

TerryC101 (2970783) | about 3 months ago | (#47564351)

Before I joined my current company their equipment disposal policy was to have their old equipment picked up as General Purpose electronic scrap. It didn't take long for me to find a local charity that was re-purposing PCs by loading them with Linux Mint and giving them back to people who couldn't afford one in our local community. In the UK we follow the EU law Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] so recycling locally actually kills a few birds at the same time. We follow the law, the charity are happy to confirm that they have receive the equipment for recycling. Which also keeps our accounts people happy as they can track the write offs. Our machines are wiped down as they put a fresh Mint install in place. And we're giving something back into the community. I really don't know why more companies don't put the little bit of extra effort into putting the same kind of relationship in place.

Re:Local recycling is the best way to go. (2, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 months ago | (#47564495)

I can't prove it, (and it is highly inflammatory to say), but I would hazard the following guess as to why:

Corporations have intellectual blinders on. They are far too focused on "Beating the other guys" (financially, economically, technologically, legally, and otherwise) that the very concept of enlightened self interest-- Helping others, to promote a better environment, which they also stand to profit from-- is not given proper attention.

Note, the company you work for only considered this charitable solution after it was discovered to be cheaper and with fewer regulatory hurdles than actual electronic waste disposal. (even though these devices will eventually get there, regardless. nothing lasts forever.) Ultimately, the allure of such initiatives at the corporate level has nothing to do whatsoever with improving the community, and everything to do with foisting a cost center onto somebody else. (Disposal fees for the ewaste now are the concern of the charities that repurpose the waste, and of the people who accept the repurposed waste, when those devices actually do catastrophically fail. Granted, this can be after many years of service-- however, they WILL eventually fail, and they WILL require proper disposal at that time. The people paying for the disposal will be the new owners. Not the company you work for.)

The concept of "enlightened self interest" is far too long term for modern corporate culture to even come close to comprehending-- It uses forces that mature over several decades, often at human-generation timescales. That's where the payoffs on recycling like this REALLY happen-- you increase availability of an essential resource, increasing the possible labor pool in 20 to 30 years, as a consequence of the increased availability of the raw equipment needed to foster competency and skill.

Corporations dont like to think this way. They want to think about how they can cheat the system to increase their profits THIS QUARTER; not how they will get competent workers in 20 years. For the latter, they tend to suckle the teat of modern 'free market capitalism' philosophies, and expect to just magically get what they need, without actually investing in the competencies they are going to need later on.

You see this rapaciously happening in the US-- Our BS with H1B visa abuses, massive over-use of foreign workforce, short-sighted erosion of regulatory laws, and so much more. All have the central theme though: Get the money, get it quick before anyone else can, crowd out everyone else-- the market will always provide, it will be OK.

In a sense, what you have done by revealing this to your employer is highly pathological, when taken in this context-- You have enabled them to circumvent a regulatory compliance directive aimed at ensuring proper disposal of their e-waste, by allowing them to redirect that waste flow into the public commons.

Having been discovered and exploited, I would forecast the following, in this order:

1) This will be suddenly become INSANELY popular. Other companies will follow suit.

2) There will be a glut of viable e-waste in the charity network, far outstripping demand. the real nature of e-waste as refuse will rear its head.

3) This glut of ewaste at the charity level will prompt a less savory secondary market, which appropriates these low cost assets and resells them abroad, or in other municipalities-- for a time.

4) regulators, (sadly, often captured by the companies they are supposed to be regulating) will step in, and impose new regulations prohibiting the disposal of ewaste in this fashion. This is because the e-waste is not being disposed of properly/disposal fees cannot be realistically charged to the new endpoint of the refuse chain. Supply to charities will dry up.

5) Ultimately, after an initial boom, there will be less overall availability of perfectly usable recycled electronics than before.

[obligatory: 6) profit]

There is an alternate pathway, of course, depending on how the regulatory agency(ies) of your country react to the sudden increase in "Domestically sourced E-waste".

4a) Regulators, captured by those they regulate, create regulations that exempt domestic e-waste from the same levels of scrutiny that corporate or business generated e-waste are subject to, to ensure that this loophole remains open at the detriment of the environment, which is against their mandate. (See for instance, how the US's EPA handles domestic ewaste.) To keep this loophole to themselves, new barriers to entry to the "Charity" side get enacted, to restrict the number of recycling charities, which are then controlled via exclusive sourcing/supply contracts. This ensures that "early adopters" continue getting the gravy, while new contenders in the marketplace are left in the cold.

5a) The restriction against spontaneous formation of new charities to service genuine public needs results in a net loss for the society, coupled with the environmental ills of poorly regulated e-waste disposal. (landfills full of refined rare earth elements, toxic byproducts of epoxy decomposition entering ground water, etc.)

[6) profit]

What *REALLY* needs to happen, but which TOTALLY WONT HAPPEN, is this:

4b) Regulatory agencies allow for corporations and businesses to make such "Charitable donations", but still require those corporations and businesses to pick up the tab for proper disposal of that waste later on, using a registration authority.

5b) this allows e-waste to still enter the charity network, leaves the charity network unfettered in its service of the public, and actually facilitates the operation of the charities in question-- ensuring the best possible operation of those charities-- but also makes this "disposal method" less desirable, or possibly equally desirable to direct disposal. (the costs of future disposal may be difficult to predict, but the current cost of disposal is well known.) This ensures that a large percentage of the commercial ewaste stream is properly handled and treated, reducing environmental impact, while still allowing this waste to be "recycled."

[6) profit]

The reason this method will NOT be considered:

It forces commercial producers of ewaste to still be legally responsible for that waste's proper disposal later, which places these producers of waste in a compromising situation; unless they can get some other kickback for contributing to the charity, (such as a tax break) that more than makes up for the amortized risks now associated with the action, it makes the donation of ewaste a non-starter. (This is by design, however-- it prevents the massive glut of ewaste into the charity network.)

As a consequence of the above, "Free market" pundits will decry it as being of the devil, and will actively seek the prevention of such a solution; they favor the initially stated flow of outcomes, because it results in the greatest amount of "market activity", and things like the environment are just "externalities."

Corrupt government officials favor the second stated flow of outcomes, because it ensures a profit stream for early adopters, (which they can be, if they invest early, THEN impose the regs. See how US senators and congresscritters make their fortunes.)

This leaves this much more socially responsible 3rd option out in the cold, as usual.

Getting back to why corporations don't initially "SEE" these things-- they are focused on making the most money they can, as quickly as they can, and externalizing as many costs as they can. Fearing the possibility of my 3rd option (and in addition, other factors such as data security and secure disposal requirements that require complete shredding of the waste) , they shy away from donating ewaste. The actual societal benefits of recycled ewaste in the form of increased domestic labor efficiency are too long term-- and the short term exploitative tactics they are beholden to actually makes their widespread use of this option deleterious to the social good. (a little medicine is good, but too much is toxic. Same here.)

Re:Local recycling is the best way to go. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#47564617)

A UK-based school IT guy asks:

Which company?

And do they collect?

Re:Local recycling is the best way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47566555)

In the UK we follow the EU law Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] so recycling locally actually kills a few birds at the same time.

Don't feral cats and windmills kill enough birds already?

Re:Local recycling is the best way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47569785)

Recycling is supposed to SAVE birds... :)

Why not "weapons" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564361)

Why not weapons? Many kids will die in an armed conflict later on. Why not give them an advantage early. Give computers and similar toys to disabled people and future secretaries.

BTW.: is there *really* any advantage in throwing various tech gadgets at children? What makes you believe this? Read this [amazon.com] . This was exactly 30 years ago! Did we learn nothing? Obviously, not.

Opposite land (4, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 3 months ago | (#47564381)

Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom.

On the contrary; a child who has been reading actual books and using their imagination in play - in other words, not vegetating in front of a screen - has a huge advantage.

Re:Opposite land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564447)

Alright, go for it, man: tell us all why the verb "vegetating" only applies to screens and not pages.

I'll attempt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564581)

Alright, go for it, man: tell us all why the verb "vegetating" only applies to screens and not pages.

Let's get TV out of the way - it's passive, dumbed-down, lowest common denominator entertainment.

Video games are nothing but interactive TV programs when you think of it. There isn't any redeeming value to them. And save the hand -eye coordination benefits argument. Nothing beats running around outside and playing.

Internet - surfing crap and at best, small articles that people don't even finish reading the article [slate.com] - yeah, it's not just Slashdotters. I hate researching on the Internet because for one, so much stuff is just copied verbatim. You go through hundreds of sites and read the same shit over and over.

WikiPedia can be good, but sometimes the writing is just dense or doesn't flow well. There is a lot to be said about a skilled writer. Here is an example of a skilled writer making complex material understandable AND enjoyable [amazon.com] . You will not find material like that available on the net; although, you will find the author's individual articles. But those articles will not have the long narrative that the book has and you wouldn't finish his article anyway which leads to ....

Books: long narratives on a single format. Will not get distracted by other shit. How many times has one gone to read on the Internet and get distracted and end up on a time wasting site - like Slashdot? There is NO new and breaking news here.

I find having a dead tree book (can't surf the net or get email notifications or anything like that like I can on electronic things that distract me), I can get engrossed in it and absorb MUCH more than I can reading crap on the net.

And that's my project - use my local library and read books.

So there you go. Sometimes, technology is a bad thing.

Re:I'll attempt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564817)

Let's get TV out of the way - it's passive, dumbed-down, lowest common denominator entertainment.

Medium != message.

There's plenty of good TV out there if one cares to look for it. That 80% of it is crap only means the Pareto Principle is in play and to argue that say 100% of books are worthwhile would be utter nonsense.

Video games are nothing but interactive TV programs when you think of it.

They're really not. They're like video representations of games when you think about it.

Internet - surfing crap and at best, small articles that people don't even finish reading the article

So again your point is what? You're expecting there to be a medium to which the Pareto Principle does not apply?

Books: long narratives on a single format

I find the narrative of the OED hard to follow - perhaps I'm just not getting it?

So there you go. Sometimes, technology is a bad thing.

But mostly it's irrelevant if your complaint is quality or one's inability for self-control. If you find that using books helps in either regard then great but to pretend their inherent qualities is just willfully ignorant.

Re:I'll attempt it. (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 3 months ago | (#47564857)

Let's get TV out of the way - it's passive, dumbed-down, lowest common denominator entertainment.

Twilight, Da Vinci Code, Fifty Shades of Grey...? The medium is NOT the message. Reading is not automatically less trashy than watching TV, or vice versa.

Re:I'll attempt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47569473)

That's funny, the majority of people in the 1800's and early 1900's considered literature worthless entertainment, look it up. You have plenty of tutorial websites on the web including khans academy, mathisfun, ect... Plus, plenty of free ebooks.

Opposite land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564461)

I totally agree and so do many tech people who make sure their kids see more of the world then from a screen of a device.
But if you want to get more computers into kids hands especially in third world Countries. My suggestion would be to take all these trade in laptops and install Linux on them and make use of slightly older technology. Instead of Chromebooks or iPad's which don't have the flexibility of a notebook. Such as a LAN connection, full OS capable of plug and play capabilities and not reliant on a Google,Apple or Microsoft. The bigger problem with much of the World that is poor comes from a lack of education, government's that truly work for the people and no resources to attract investment.

Re:Opposite land (2)

gsslay (807818) | about 3 months ago | (#47564515)

Congratulations, you have just created a false dichotomy.

Having access to a computer does not prevent the reading of "actual" books, and not having access to a computer does not guarantee the reading of "actual" books.

Re:Opposite land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564695)

Congratulations, you have just created a false dichotomy.

Having access to a computer does not prevent the reading of "actual" books, and not having access to a computer does not guarantee the reading of "actual" books.

Like a TV?

You mean a kid will just run to a book before turning on the TV to watch or play a video game?

Re:Opposite land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564823)

Agreed. Just like having access to ice cream doesn't mean the kid won't choose to eat broccoli instead.

Re:Opposite land (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 3 months ago | (#47566059)

My sister used to run out into the garden to pick fresh broccoli to eat when she was a child. As an adult, she has been seen walking down the street munching on a head of raw broccoli.

Re:Opposite land (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 3 months ago | (#47572863)

The problem there is not in the choice, but that of an adult allowing it to be made by a child.

Re:Opposite land (1)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 3 months ago | (#47564517)

I know what you're saying but disagree. The power of the internt is awesome and a child without access and without the means to learn via the internet is at a disadvantage.

Re:Opposite land (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564583)

It appears you do not know any pre-schoolers.

Everybody has a tablet and they watch silly videos on Youtube. If you deprive your children from that, they become outsiders.

School is not only about information, there is interaction with other people, too..

Re:Opposite land (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 3 months ago | (#47571119)

It appears you do not know any pre-schoolers.

Except my four, when they were preschoolers, not very long ago.

Re:Opposite land (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#47564667)

Right. Because kids from a family too poor to afford a single computer will have tons of books to read. Good point.

Re:Opposite land (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 3 months ago | (#47571115)

Right. Because kids from a family too poor to afford a single computer will have tons of books to read. Good point.

Because libraries don't exist?

Re:Opposite land (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564733)

It is doubtful that a child in a disadvantaged home with parents that can't afford a computer reads many books. Book reading tends to be something that is learned by watching and interacting with parents. Although it is a generalization - most parents in this category have not been passing on a love of reading to their kids. What is needed is not "get the kids a computer". What is needed is to teach the parents some skills. Budgeting perhaps (quit wasting money on smoking - a much larger percentage of people in this wage group smoke). Take an interest in your child's education so that they can hopefully be a higher earner than you were. It may be difficult to do this because the industries that folks in the low income brackets work in are not usually interested in having their employees take time off for their kid's school - even when it is written into labor laws in many states that people get time off for working at their kid's schools - people get fired for trying to use what the law supposedly guarantees. It isn't easy for these folks. But sticking an old computer in their house isn't going to do anything to help.

Re:Opposite land (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47565455)

It is doubtful that a child in a disadvantaged home with parents that can't afford a computer reads many books.

But they might.

So many readers here tend to think that these "give a kid a computer" programs are made up by people that think every kid is going to become an Einstein ot the next (fill in the blank genius/innovatorprogrammer)

It's not. But the computer might fall into the hands of someone who does just that.

Most of the kids will do just what most kids in our first world society do. Play games do their facebook or whatever the cool soc site is at the moment.

We have no stranglehold on the "proper use of computers".

It's not like this program will break the bank, and I suspect some of our more racist posters might be afraid that little "Shaneeqwon" might just be a whole hell of a lot smarter than him.

Re:Opposite land (1)

lucat (814182) | about 3 months ago | (#47574005)

Well... yes and no.
Back when i was a kid i used to read a lot. In my life i probably read hundreds of books of any kind, from technical books to narrative to horrors to whatever i could put my hands on so i perfectly understand what you mean.
But it is also true that in today's world (and more so in 20 years or so) the more you know about computers the better your chances will be.

We are going through a turning point in human history. Many of today's jobs will probably be a thing of the past in the next 20-30 years.
Taxi-drivers, truck-drivers, plane pilots but also many other jobs who require low skills and education are going to be replaced by robots and computers and whoever can't adapt will probably be left to die in poverty.

In the future there will probably be an high request of software developers and computer-users... so teaching these skills to your kid _today_ is going to really make a difference in his/her future.

Reading books is very important.. but so are computers, that we like it or not they are going to dominate our future.

But I thought 3D printing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564427)

was the future and game changing technology? I mean besides the fact that we can 3D print computers for these kids.

Aren't kids brought up without a 3D printer going to be the next generation of Luddite?

No, no, it's Internet of Things this week. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564459)

You've got it all wrong. The Internet of Things (IoT for short) is the game changing technology of the week now.

Maybe you just haven't heard about it yet? It is really cutting-edge. Well, basically every device you have in your home becomes a computer that's connected to the Internet. That way your bathroom light fixture can video you while you urinate and defecate, and your fridge can track your eating habits so various advertising companies can show you very targeted ads on your tablet. How cool is that?! That's just the start of the awesome possibilities, though. I can't wait until my neighbor's kids download a script from some Russians that will allow them to remotely control my thermostat without my knowledge, turning on my air conditioner and furnace at the same time, causing a fire in my basement that burns down my house. Man, this technology is so sweet. It is The Future.

It's the internet, not the computer that's needed (3, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 3 months ago | (#47564471)

A household that can't afford $100 for a used PC isn't likely to be one that's paying for an internet connection.

Give them a computer and it's like giving a starving man a tin of beans - but no tin opener.

The computer is only the tool. The resource that stop children being underprivileged (in an extremely narrow, and not very practical sense) is internet access.

DVD-ROM is a start (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47565197)

What did people do with computers before broadband became common? They ran software that came on optical discs. Encarta was a CD; why can't some relevant subset of Wikipedia be a DVD?

Re:DVD-ROM is a start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565413)

Kiwix and Wiki2CD look to have this pretty much covered:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_on_CD/DVD

The USB stick option would likely be better for RPi users (read: kids in developing countries who have no computer equipment available to them at all save for what is sent to them by charities supporting the work of the Raspberry Pi Foundation), on account of the Pi not having a built-in optical drive, but having USB slots (4 in the latest-gen Model B)

Re:DVD-ROM is a start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565841)

Raspberry schmaspberry. It's far more likely that they will be just using normal old desktops or laptops running Windows.

Re:DVD-ROM is a start (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 3 months ago | (#47574861)

You've just managed to make me feel incredibly old. Everybody used optical disks before broadband? How about floppy disks (from 35K floppies to 1.44M stiffies)? Cassette tape? Typing in stuff from a magazine? Been there, done that.

Re:DVD-ROM is a start (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 3 months ago | (#47586507)

http://www.cd3wd.com/mdownloads/index.htm [cd3wd.com]

if it has all the information needed to rebuild civilization and can easily fit on a new $220 laptop which an old virused windows machine isn't going to have the hdd space to store it on except in the microdownloads section i linked to.

and yes wikipidia for school (the name for the hdd distributable edition) is already there now.

It's the internet, not the computer that's needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565497)

In many cases, Reglue pays for connections too...just an FYI.

Re:It's the internet, not the computer that's need (1)

lucat (814182) | about 3 months ago | (#47573921)

I am sorry but i don't agree.
Internet is actually _very_ distracting. I belong to the pre-internet generation. Back when i was 12 the only computers that were around were MSXes, Commodores, Ataris, TRSes, Apples and some very expensive IBM compatibles which were way too expensive for most of us anyways.
While my resources were VERY limited i learned a lot spending hours over hours on my MSX, reading and re-reading the few books i had but most of all "exploring" by trial and error. Internet was unknown to me, and so did BBSes too (the only thing i really miss and i only wish i could have experienced).

For every other kind of information that was not related to computers i could rely on the local public library, on the books at my school, on a couple of encyclopedias that i had access to, on my parents, on my friends (adult and not) and on teachers.

Sometimes i look at the kids i know today... and i see them wasting their time on facebook, youtube, 4chan... and sometimes i wonder... what if i had Internet access back in my youth? I would have probably wasted my time too. Because, lets be honest... Internet is a hell fun. Forums are fun, youtube is fun, the kitties on the internet are cute and kawaii, facebook is... ok... facebook is just scary... so instead than studying, exploring, experimenting i would have probably learned nothing beside how to waste time with perfectly unknown strangers who spend their lives trolling online and today i would probably know 1/4 of what i do and what i need in my job (i am a software developer).

Please note that i am not saying that Internet is bad for children. It isn't. It is actually very useful... what i am saying is that it is extremely distracting and that most activities online are not educative at all and also that there are lots of other resources "out there" (yes, outside of the bedroom) and that kids probably are better off playing, experimenting with their peers, riding their bikes before they become too old to find that fun and the outside world amusing or left alone with an internet-less computer with a couple of good books about programming and maybe a couple of informative DVD-Roms.

So no, i don't agree that "give them a computer and it's like giving a starving man a tin of beans - but no tin opener", it was not true for me back in the 80es/90es, it is not true for a child today. Internet is a nice addition and if not abused it can become a great educative and fun tool... but is not vital for learning.

Also... a computer without internet access is still better than no computer at all.

No so sure about this (4, Insightful)

damienl451 (841528) | about 3 months ago | (#47564533)

Can we please stop with the "children who have no PC will be at a disadvantage in the classroom" charade? Computers are great and useful, but we don't need to pretend that they will magically help children do better in school. If anything, the limited evidence available from larger-scale voucher programs suggests that they may very well reduce test scores. Which is rather intuitive. Sure, you can use your computer to do your homework and prepare your next presentation. But you can also use it to play games or go on Facebook and Buzzfeed instead of doing more productive tasks. If you're a child with low impulse control/intrinsic motivation to study, having a PC only means one more source of distraction.

This kind of program appeals to nerds like us because we remember getting our first PC, learning how to use Linux to set up our first home server, learning how to code, spending a lot of time online acquiring new knowledge, etc. That's literally the first paragraph of the article. But we're not the average person. Most children will not do that: ask non-nerds around you how they felt about the time their parents bought their first computer and you'll get a "meh" because, in the pre-internet era, you could easily see them as glorified typewriters if you weren't a nerd. Nowadays, the average child will start playing Flash games on the web and be content. And gaming is much more fun than doing your homework.

I think it's also good to distinguish between "cannot afford a computer" and "does not think a computer is worth the cost". What I mean is, if instead of providing a computer or a voucher that can only be used to buy a computer, charities gave people $200 (enough to buy a Chromebook or Chromebox that's sufficient for all school-related uses), would they go out and buy a PC? Or is it a paternalistic endeavor that insists that poor households REALLY need a PC because WE couldn't live without one, so they must just not know what's good for them? Of course, if you give away something for free, people will take it. That doesn't mean they value it as much as you think they do. I see that they're trying to identify people who really need it, so kudos to them, but it's difficult and, so far, willingness to pay remains to best way to do that. Provided of course that people have enough money to have real options. This is where I start my rant about how charities are at best a stop-gap solution fraught with problems such as the fact that people always start them because they think they know what poor people REALLY need ("a PC", "no, toys", "no, cans of food", etc.). What about: a decent income so they can make their own choices rather than having to rely on handouts?

At least, when it comes to PCs, money is quickly becoming a non-issue. A Pi with case, keyboard, mouse and Wifi dongle can be purchased for perhaps $60-$70. Spend a little more and you can buy a Banana Pi or another cheap Chinese ARM machine. When you factor in the time it takes to check that donated computers still work well, set up the Linux OS, coordinate donations, etc., I'm sure 'free' PCs end up being more expensive.

Re:No so sure about this (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 months ago | (#47564669)

I think it's also good to distinguish between "cannot afford a computer" and "does not think a computer is worth the cost". What I mean is, if instead of providing a computer or a voucher that can only be used to buy a computer, charities gave people $200 (enough to buy a Chromebook or Chromebox that's sufficient for all school-related uses), would they go out and buy a PC?

An obvious problem with any kind of "voucher" is that the voucher value is likely to become the minimum price for the whatever.
As is a Chromebook/box is rather tied to "the cloud" and having a network connection. Unless you reformat it back into a general purpose PC.

Re:No so sure about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47568277)

There is one setting that needs to be changed in order to enable offline Docs use, everything else is offline-enabled out of the box. Please stop repeating nonsense.

Re:No so sure about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565641)

I agree with everything except the part about Linux. I started computing on a TI99/4a, even did some light assembly programming. Moved onto the Amiga where I was browsing and coding web pages. Then I built my own PC in 1997 and have enjoyed using Windows every since. Just because someone is a nerd does not automatically mean they like Linux. Fuck Linux and the FOSStards that spam/worship it. They are a separate and lower class of people. Don't mix them with us, asshole.

Re:No so sure about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47566599)

Then I built my own PC in 1997 and have not used my brain since.

Gamers only think they know about computers. Windows has a few good points wrt to administration, but you are not getting anything out of your computer that you wouldn't get with any other entertainment system. Linux is extremely useful for certain types of work, where the pattern is: spend a long amount of time thinking about something, type very dense instructions to the computer, hit enter and wait for the result. It further makes it trivial to save those instructions as a program and incorporate that into your existing system. If your post represents a normal level of thought involved in your computer interactions, you clearly don't need anything more than an Xbox for your computing needs -- I was going to say Etch-a-Sketch, but I'm feeling charitable.

Just because someone is a nerd does not mean they know anything about computers. And that's fine, actually. You don't have to care about what scripting language is available to your local shell, or how easy it is to spin up a hundred VM instances. You are clearly past the programming part of your life, and you never really got very far down that road. Cool. You won't be coding Facebook any time soon. Some other kid might. Giving people an OS with a decent shell is the first step to actually knowing something about how computers work. Giving them Windows is at best an opportunity to learn how to remove viruses, and more likely just the cheapest of the gaming platforms.

Re:No so sure about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47566067)

This kind of program appeals to nerds like us because we remember getting our first PC, learning how to use Linux to set up our first home server, learning how to code, spending a lot of time online acquiring new knowledge, etc. That's literally the first paragraph of the article. But we're not the average person.

Ah Ha! So to remedy this we give them computers with a minimal Gentoo install. Then they will be forced to learn before they can play flash games.

Re:No so sure about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47568779)

"This kind of program appeals to nerds like us because we remember getting our first PC"

Are... you young'uns :). Now get off my lawn.

It's better for schools than families (2)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 3 months ago | (#47564579)

Thing is, you can get an ISP to donate an internet connection to a school. If you have poor kids, they probably go to a poor school, so why not just hook up the school with a network of linux machines and let the kids learn there?

Wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564591)

A child without a computer is NOT disadvantaged. A child without food, water, shelter is disadvantaged. Computers are wonderful toys, but finding a way to grow crops, produce food and clean water is far more important.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565553)

OK for you to say, but you likely live in a more privileged society than the children you're referring to.

Look at it from their point of view:

You're living in a village maybe 50 miles from a major city. All there is around you are the hand-worked fields of your parents and the other members of your village's farming community. Your parents have taught you already the basics of crop farming, using traditional hand-made farming implements that have been in use in your community for hundreds (thousands?) of years. Your education (such as it is) consists of maybe a few hours a week at an ill-equipped school - and by ill-equipped, I mean they have some battered old books that have been there since the school was built and have never been replaced. They may even have enough chairs/desks/teachers to provide this cursory level of education to all the children in your village.

Suddenly, a charity from a far-off land sends your school some computer equipment, and maybe some solar panels/a diesel generator and some diesel to power it. Together with the computer equipment is a satellite modem. Some people come in from this charity and train your teacher how to use it.

What happens next? You might find some farming techniques online which help you improve your family's crop yield, and they are able to sell some more of their produce. You might find yourself using the computer to access free books (i.e. the Gutenburg Project), remembering that these books may not be sold in your country, and even if they were, there are no book stores or libraries anywhere near you. Your school may gain access to new online textbooks which will improve the standard of your education. You might find out how to purify water properly to make it safe to drink - you may even find that you didn't know there were such things as germs or bacteria - you might have thought illness was caused by evil spirits (which is still a common belief in parts of Africa).

Just because you see the Internet as a source of games, porn, and social networking, doesn't mean to say everyone would.

Sigh. (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#47564597)

I work in schools.

I work in IT in schools.

I've only ever worked in IT in schools (or colleges, or tuition centres...).

School computers do not make better students. Home computers do not make better students. Personal computers do not make better students.

If anything, the opposite unless they are regulated... by a teacher... in a classroom... and they have the will to learn. Guess which are the magic factors and which aren't?

Sure, there are disadvantaged children that don't have an Internet connection, a PC, time on it, and can't fill in their homework that the school provides on its website. The number of them is VANISHINGLY small. And, usually, because of much bigger problems that have nothing to do with technology - i.e. the kinds of families that you would find had sold the PC the next week for money to buy something else. They are dozens of charities, government schemes and even schools that do this. It's not taken up en-masse unless you are giving SILLY amounts of money to it, and then it's taken up to save them paying a bill that you could have just paid for them twice over.

And then, when I was a kid 15-20 years ago, I didn't have much access to a PC either. I came out near the top of my school. In IT. It wasn't a burden. In fact, my teachers fretted about my wasting so much time on the computers when they did come in.

Let's get this straight - giving an old recycled PC that someone was throwing out to a kid does not give them anything. I can't give this stuff away, when I throw out dozens of desktops a year, for a reason: you can run old stuff on it, if you're careful. So instead of "no PC", they have "slow PC full of junk that either can't run or is ancient". They're better off with no PC. Sticking it onto the Internet is, again, just a recipe for disaster. Now all that rich online content, tied into the school's cloud systems, requiring all kinds of plugins... they still can't view as intended.

Sticking them on Linux isn't going to help either. I speak as someone who HAS deployed Linux machines in schools, is never without a Linux server somewhere, and has Linux at home. And Windows. And (spit) Macs. And I was an early backer of the Raspberry Pi project. All it means is they won't be able to read their homework in a format that the teacher can send or send their homework in a format that the teacher can read. I *know* that you and *I* can do that, but this are disadvantaged kids with no PC skills stuck on an unfamiliar system that few people can help them with.

STOP GIVING THIS CRAP TO CHILDREN in the first world. Nothing is actually *better* - they then might have to come into school and do stuff like learn. And if the kid is that disadvantaged but able to learn, there are libraries, after-school clubs, lunchtime clubs, or they can negotiate after-hours access with their schools direct - which might just help those parents struggling to leave work in order to pick them up...

Sending this stuff to the third world doesn't help either. They have the same problems, and have to deal with too much junk.

On top of all that, unless you're online it's pointless. The Linux educational software is NOT educational software. It's some geek's idea of educational, conforms to no curriculum whatsoever and, if you're lucky, can be crowbarred to fulfill two or three curriculum requirements over the course of a year. And if you have to put these kids online to do what they need, THAT is the cost and the expense and the problem, not what device they happen to access it from (by the time you are then, any kind of thin-client would work, backed by their school).

Really, we need to find other ways to solve this problem, not just throw old computers at kids. It's not even as useful as throwing old library books at kids.

Sigh. (1)

TheKeyboardSlayer (729293) | about 3 months ago | (#47565507)

Just because it doesn't work for you in your situation doesn't mean it doesn't work for Ken where he is. That's an ignorant view of things.

Re:Sigh. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#47565659)

Agreed, in principle, but we're still allowed opinions based on experience.

When I've worked in primary and secondary education, state and private, deprived areas and the exact opposite, it's hard to see where the advantage is at all. The above is not a post from ignorance, it's a post from someone deep inside IT inside education, who has had phone calls in my professional position from parents of deprived children begging for technical support (and they got a lot more than they hoped for, and it didn't cost them a bean).

I'm not claiming to know everything, but what I've seen shows an inherent flaw in the "let's give kids computers" charities - they are starting from entirely the wrong premise - that access to even the cheapest of hardware is why the children are having problems. It's not.

Re:Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565699)

No, you seem to be the ignorant one. Very ignorant. Ken Starks is an ultra militant Linux advocate and zealot. Having a computer helps children at home? Nope. Common sense and scientific research concur, but Ken Starks will tell you otherwise because it's his vehicle to thrust GNU/Shit onto innocent children. By the way, this is the same asshole who claims he was assaulted at a gas station for advocating Linux. You sure know how to pick em'.

Re:Sigh. (1)

CppDeveloper (829095) | about 3 months ago | (#47565789)

That is horrible advice - and it is colored by your own targeted experience.

I have followed Ken Starks effort to provide disadvantaged children with Linux computers for 5-6 years now (maybe longer) and he is doing some amazing things. There are a lot of distros and software out there and Reglue provides an age/environment appropriate distro and software to the children that he helps. At this point there is not enough hardware available to give every disadvantaged child a computer so it is focused on those that will make the most of it. Good students that will and can take advantage of the computers provided. He makes every effort to get them internet access also although it might just be for a few months to get them started - he also routinely tries to get ISP and local businesses to provide connections to the families he helps. Even if all it means is that the student can be at home working on a paper or assignment while having to watch siblings instead of having to choose between going to a library and leaving them alone or not getting the assignment done the program is providing good ROI.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565955)

I'm a (retired) Computer Science teacher...

in high schools...

in several countries...

My first exposure to computers was using a keypunch machine to produce cards for a card reader on a university mainframe in either Fortran or assembly code...

I taught dos, windoze and macs until 1995 when I discovered linux. Having been using it since. Exclusively for about 15 years now. :)

Previous students have thanked me for introducing them to linux. Unfortunately, corrupt, computer illiterate administrators came onboard and shutdown a successful linux lab that had run for years without problems, due to 'service contracts' (guess who? Yes, I'm looking at you, M$ and Apple). So, thanks to computer illiterate administrators, puppets of the computer software corporations, who are giving the orders, we now have a generation of computer illiterates who have been brainwashed to spend their hours in frustrations dealing with installation keys, spending millions on 'service contracts' to deal with junk os problems, playing games, push buttons/icons, etc., etc., etc. Sigh. So, I applaud the projects such as introducing the PI in UK schools, etc. Hopefully, they will only go to the schools with teachers who will have the necessary skills and passion to pass it on to their students.

Re:Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47566927)

>works in academia
>defends the notion that children can only learn from teachers
a computer is a tool. having access to the tool means there is a greater chance of learning to use the tool.

on a more humorous note, i would advocate against linux on a home pc, because it makes system maintenance too easy. the computer will turn into a video game & web browser box. windows will force the child to learn how to fix the computer in order to use it.

Re:Sigh. (1)

LessThanObvious (3671949) | about 3 months ago | (#47576201)

The results depend more on the kid than the other circumstances. I gave a desktop and monitor to a friend's son along with some books (Norton's Inside the PC, Python for Kids, Linux, etc..). It dual boots Ubuntu and Centos. If the kid chooses to make something of it he has the tools, with or without the internet. In the developed world almost anyone can go to a library and get internet access. Adults think kids need to know how to "use" computers, but it's the kids that know how computers work and how to piece the logic together that will have a different future.

Re:Sigh. (1)

funky_vibes (664942) | about 2 months ago | (#47661781)

Don't blame others for your incompetence as a teacher, nor your low skill with programming and Linux.

Many kids become programmers at the age of 4 if just given the chance and the right tools.
An old PC with Linux is great for learning, but a brand new Windows PC or an Ipad simply isn't, since they are entertainment devices, period.

Children who grow up without (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564723)

computers are less likely to take IT jobs.

There, I said it.

What about the other kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564753)

What about opening up the world to deserving kids without Linux computers? Are we really going to discriminate against kids based on what O/S they run on their computers?

Deserving (1)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#47564783)

I'm not deserving, I'm undeserving. And I mean to go on being undeserving: I like it.

ob Caddyshack reference (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#47564933)

In the immortal words of Judge Smayles: Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too.

Who does not have a computer in 2014? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564945)

Okay, who is the person without a computer in 2014? Do we have a profile of this person? Look, I've had a lot of perfectly usable computers over the years that were just too old for software development, but still worked great. No one wanted them. No one would take them. All I could do is recycle them. You literally can't give an old computer away, because I've tried. So we need to rethink this idea that there are kids who want old computers running Linux. Who are they, and why can't we match up the glut of surplus machines no one wants with them?

Re:Who does not have a computer in 2014? (2)

neiras (723124) | about 3 months ago | (#47566591)

No one wanted them. No one would take them. All I could do is recycle them. You literally can't give an old computer away, because I've tried. So we need to rethink this idea that there are kids who want old computers running Linux. Who are they, and why can't we match up the glut of surplus machines no one wants with them?

You have no idea how many students and families are thrilled to receive a 3-year-old desktop or laptop. I've seen it. I sometimes refurbish old systems for the local horribly-underfunded school district and they are thrilled to recieve them. They are still using machines I built them 5 years ago (from even older hardware) in places. I know, personal anecdote, but this can't be rare. Need is everywhere.

Also, groups like Free Geek [freegeek.org] exist.

Re:Who does not have a computer in 2014? (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 3 months ago | (#47567371)

Salvation army should take computers in good working order. The problem is that support and education need to go along with hardware. Your box should at least be able to run modern software and come with installation media for the same for someone to be able to support it.

Why not sponsored by Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47564953)

I'm really surprised Microsoft didn't launch this kind of initiative ages ago.
That would have been a genius move - painting themselves as altruists, while teaching kids that Linux is a "welfare OS", for those who can't afford anything better.

Re:Why not sponsored by Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565911)

Microsoft has done a lot of campaigns like this in the past, but for some reason they have been rather quiet on that front for a while. I guess they see that Windows is already ubiquitous enough and they are making excellent profits in the developed countries.

Camara (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47565365)

Where I live, there is an organisation called Camara [camara.org] doing something very similar with a an OS called Edubuntu [edubuntu.org]

Internet doing more harm than good. (1)

hooiberg (1789158) | about 3 months ago | (#47565627)

I do not think the internet is the answer to young children. It is used only to shout "yolo" on network sites, post naked selfies and hashtags and whatsapp messages and [pick your deity] knows what. Is this is an advantage to a child? The amount of information bashing on a child's brain is so massive that it can no longer make the distinction between relevant information and nonsense. Parents of children that do not have a computer and/or internet are usually not capable of teaching their child to make this distinction. You may call me old fashioned, but school going children would have a bigger advantage learning their native language properly. In my country, people write job application letters with dozens of language errors, because they literally do not know any better, because that was all they needed to communicate with others over the internet. Next they are surprised and threaten the potential employer when explained that that is not the way to go. The conventional library is the way to go.

Tablets are cheap (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 3 months ago | (#47565687)

In the USA you can get a low-end tablet for under $60 easy. In many urban areas you can get 768Kbps internet for under $20/month. If your carrier allows previous-generation modems (some don't) you can get a used modem dirt cheap.

If Mom or Dad has a smart phone that acts like a hotspot you don't even need a separate internet - just make sure the kids don't use up all of your gigabytes (most low-end cell data plans in America are metered or they throttle to "2G" speed after a certan amount of usage each month).

Re:Tablets are cheap (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 3 months ago | (#47567297)

Tablets are not the answer for serious learning. Chromebooks may be, with good guidance on finding educational websites.

Violins (1)

motorhead (82353) | about 3 months ago | (#47565755)

By them violins and they can all work for an orchestra.

Re:Violins (1)

ze_jua (910531) | about 3 months ago | (#47567493)

It effectively happened, just search the internet.

Re:Violins (1)

motorhead (82353) | about 3 months ago | (#47568511)

Sometimes I even scare myself.

Would computer itself be a limiting factor today? (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 3 months ago | (#47566025)

Chromebooks are $200 new. Figure in used and people who can not afford one are in more urgent need of assistance in other areas of their lives. Once you have one, there are plenty of online tools for education, even coding.

Internet connections are a biggie. If anyone in the family has a cell plan, tethering would be an option. It would be a huge help if wireless providers donated access, even to a very limited plan with low speed and only selected educational sites.

One of the most environmentally sound projects (1)

funky_vibes (664942) | about 2 months ago | (#47661755)

Computer hardware manufacturing is probably one of the most expensive things, environmentally speaking, in the world.

Reusing a PC, even if it uses 2000% more energy, and requires transportation across the world, is still a net benefit to our globe.

We need more of this, and less new hardware.

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