Alan’s post a few below about the shenanigans on ILx just go to show that use of computers can wind you up. Now in a clever reversal of this trend for the purposes of a PBS piece, the UN have unveiled a computer you can wind up back. Here Nicky Negroponte and Kofi Annan are seen marveling at the bright green machines with gigantic cranks straight out of Mouse Trap. The story itself is very interesting, and whilst the machines may well be massively underpowered (physically and in processing capacities) they still are a massive step in a computer literate world. Wind-up power would have really helped the cast of Lost after all.

Scroll down the article and there are nice things about open source software and so on being mentioned. And indeed the suggestion of cheapness and ubiquity being the key to making them theft-proof has been demonstrated out in the hooky mobile phone market. But could any developing nation really commit to buying every child one of these machines? And content control follows, there are also worrying ideas about disabling machines which do not connect to the official network: this looks like spyware to me. But what worries me the most is that the machines don’t really work: as it is clear that the one in front of Kofi Annan has just got a picture of happy, smiley African kids (you know the one) stuck where its screen should be.