Yesterday I spent a few hours with Nicholas Negroponte and his team at the MIT Media Lab. I found the Media Lab fascinating as it blends students, professors and industry executives all working in one building. As most people know the most important project going on right now at the Media Lab is the One Laptop Per Child project and I was lucky to be there when the OLPC team chose the designer for the laptop. Here are some pictures I took.
While you cannot see it the famous power generating crank is still there.
My conversations with Nicholas Negroponte and his colleagues at Media Lab centered around two very different topics. One was the work that the foundation I started in Argentina Educ.ar is doing to advise the Argentine government on the possible purchase of a million of these laptops. The other one, totally unrelated is to see if the open source software that this laptops will use to mesh called Roofnet can be made compatible with the open source software we use at Fon. While at MIT I also met with Sanjit Zubin Biswas, a brilliant young hacker and student at MIT and we are going to give him our code and programmer support so we can make Roofnet work with Fon as well. Currently we use versions of Openwrt and DD-WRT At Fon we are very interested not only in our main proposition which is share wifi at home, roam the wifi world for free but also in the fact that neighbors can mesh. This meshing is good cause nowadays Wifi speeds are higher than DSL speeds, because of privacy concerns (traffic does not go through the internet) because of helping ISPs who get less traffic on their network, and lastly because meshing can result in a download and upload accelerator when neighbors pull their connections. All these respecting Fon´s rules of course that to be a fonero you must be a paying customer of an ISP and contribute bandwidth as well as obtaining it.
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