Tag Archives: international

Microsoft to offer Windows cheaply to developing nations

Despite Microsoft’s “criticisms”:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/16/gates_hundred_dollar_pc/ of the 100 dollar PC that was being developed for denizens of developing nations, the megacorporation will begin to produce a special version of Windows to be sold for as low as three dollars.

This version, known as the Student Innovation Suite, contains the bare bones features of Windows XP, Microsoft Office, math tools, and other basics. This version will be targeted towards middle and low income families as determined by the World Bank by 2008. Read more about it “here”:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/19/microsoft_windows_xp_starter/.

Ontario bans incandescent bulbs

They won’t be completely eliminated until 2012, but the legislation promises to save Ontarians six million megawatt hours per year, enough power to run 600,000 homes. It looks like the future will be full of CFLs, and no, I don’t mean the “Canadian Football League”:http://www.cfl.ca/.

More about the move (and a good look at the alternatives to incandescent bulbs) at “treehugger”:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/04/ontario_governm.php and a more detailed/boring “piece”:http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2007/18/c6405.html at Canada Newswire.

Home-cooked Indian meals delivered

Kevin Kelly over at the “Street Use blog”:http://www.kk.org/streetuse/ recently posted an “article”:http://www.kk.org/streetuse/archives/2007/04/indian_dabbawallas.php about “Dabbawalas”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabbawala, literally ‘those who transport lunch-boxes’ containing home-cooked meals to the workers in India’s factories and offices.

Upon further looking into it, this is an amazingly intricate operation, consisting of 5,000 delivery boys transporting over 175,000-boxes in the three hour lunch period. “MyDabbaWala.com”:http://www.mydabbawala.com/ has some information on the practice, including the beginnings of using technology to reform the century-old system.

Of course, if you’re a tech industry employee in Silicon Valley with a hankering for some good home-made Indian lunches, look no further than “Annadaata.com”:http://www.annadaata.com/, the American (and far pricier) adaptation of the dabbawala.

The Most Sinful Way to Celebrate a Saint

If you’re interested in the biggest party in Mexico, if not the western hemisphere, go to “Aguascalientes”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes (city, state) for the Fair of San Marcos.

Before you go, be sure to rest up because there’s almost too much to do: bullfighting, cock fighting, casino, concerts, and 10+ two-story warehouse-sized bars packed with beer, booze, and babes. Starting in mid-April and lasting three to four weeks, this party is the largest attraction Latin America. In a hard to believe four day feat, all of the bars, restaurants, and numerous stages are assembled in extravagant temporary structures – complete with marble walls, fountains, elaborate signs, and sculptures. An average night, weekend or otherwise, has more than 35,000 partiers that don’t quit until 5-7 am. For more touristy information on how to get there, where to stay, and what more to expect, visit “here”:http://www.mexperience.com/guide/colonial/aguascalientes.htm.

The picture is from the official site, “feriadesanmarcos.com”:http://www.feriadesanmarcos.com/. Since the webpage contains only pictures with links, even a good “website translator”:http://translate.google.com/translate_t is ineffective.

Zero Tolerance = No Fun

If you’re in the mood to get really angry or even to poke fun at the tough stance schools are taking nowadays, check out these “examples”:http://zerointelligence.net of zero tolerance gone wrong. Check out “this story”:http://zerointelligence.net/archives/000category/world-japan/ where a Japanese student was given a box cutter and a paper so he could write an apology letter in blood for falling asleep class. Don’t worry though, the teacher was only suspended for few days and you can bet that kid never slept in class ever again. Yikes!

Lend Money Online To Third World Entrepreneurs

“Nicholas Kristof”:http://topics.nytimes.com/top/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/nicholasdkristof/index.html, the talented New York Times opinion writer, continues to impress me with his ingenuity, resourcefulness, and compassion. Last week he wrote about “a new way to help combat third world poverty”:http://www.kiva.org/content/about/images/YouTooCanBeaBankertothePoor_NewYorkTimes.pdf: online lending to recipients in third world nations looking to start or grow their businesses.

http://www.kiva.org "Kiva.org":http://www.kiva.org provides pictures and detailed information about the lender and his/her business so that you can ultimately make the decision of who and what you want to support. Truly, this is an amazing and innovative service, and it appears to be actively fostering growth in needy areas.

Open-source Europe

The next time the French parliament opens its doors, they will be serving Linux. According to this “Business Week article”:http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2007/gb20070312_042781.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily , 1,154 computers will be switching to Ubuntu Linux from Windows XP, including all of the MPs staff and personal PCs. France has had a long history of embracing open-source software like Open Office and Firefox, but this will be the first mass switch of operating systems.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1798381/posts article reports the Shadow chancellor George Osbourne's statement that Britain should support more open-source software in order to save the people 600 million pounds/year. That article features some other good examples of governments going open-source.