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I do not know wether this is a fresh news or not, but i found out yesterday that the idea of developing and producing low cost laptop is, at the moment, increasing its popularity.

The YellowShipRiver Municator it’s another low-cost laptop (about 145$), developed in China and as they state on their website “Our ultimate goal is to let Chinese computer-users use our own-made CPUs in which we don’t have to rely on the imported CPUs. Our productsare made for ourselves butnot for exportation only.”

It is going to run Thinix OS (GNU/Linux distribution, developed in China by the YellowShipRiver Inc.)
With a Godson II 400/800Mhz CPU (made in China)
256Mb Ram, 40Gb hd
4 usb2 ports, VGA-output, tv-output, ps2-input, ddr and Lan/WiFi (all integrated on the motherboard)
Wieght: 400g

Negroponte’s OLPC project actually aims to something different: rather then filling own Country market (i.e. China) it prefers to fill up the gap in those areas where the ‘iTech’ has not evolved as in other areas of the world.

Even if i think these are good directions where to produce and to spread ‘IT‘ (i.e. trying to reach ‘low class’/poor people), i recall to my mind an article (in italian), about this topic, ending with a smart statement  to remind that even if you spread cheap technologies inside poor areas or 3rd world schools you will always have the big gap between people who can go to school and poeple who can not, but just working.