MIT developing $100 laptops for children

In a rural Cambodian village where the homes lack electricity, the nighttime darkness is pierced by the glow from laptops that children bring from school.

The students were equipped with notebook computers by a foundation run by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte and his wife Elaine. "When the kids bring them home and open them up, it's the brightest light source in the home," said Negroponte. "Parents love it."

Negroponte and some MIT colleagues are hard at work on a project they hope will brighten the lives and prospects of hundreds of millions of developing world kids. It's a grand idea and a daunting challenge: to create rugged, Internet- and multimedia-capable laptop computers at a cost of $100 apiece.The laptops would be mass-produced in orders of no smaller than 1 million units and bought by governments, which would distribute them.

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