two news from france in the last weeks that are worth mentioning:
1. the creation of a new “independent, digital and participative” web media: mediapart.fr, a news website, entirely independent from traditional media and highly open to external participation. access is only available through subscription (9 euro), but after only a few days from the official launch the number of subscribers exceeds 3.000!
2. from a relatively different sector, an interesting report on “governments and dominant positions in IT sector“. actually the conclusion of this report is quite obvious and well known: (a) monopolies are only possible if an explicit – yet possibly hidden – government policy allows them and (b) monopolies are bad both markets and for development.
a few days ago my home town, florence, launched the italian version of the project “one laptop per child”, the well known project developed at mit by n. negroponte since 2005 (at least). the basic idea is to build an oversimplified, but fully equipped laptop for a price of about 100 dollars, so that the laptop could be accessible to potentially every child in the world, especially those from the south of the world and developing countries. since 2005 the project has undergone many evolutions. we are now in the fourht generation of olpc which comes with an attractive design, full communication capabilities (LAN, wi-fi) smart power management (that includes a cranck recharge) and, of course, open source software installed on a linux based operating system. so far, so good. well, almost…