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How Laptops in Education Can Help Dictators, Hurt Learning

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Old 06-05-2008
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How Laptops in Education Can Help Dictators, Hurt Learning
holy_calamity writes "New Scientist reports on worries that the OLPC's BitFrost security protocols could hand a ready-made surveillance system to controlling 3rd world governments. The laptops identify themselves regularly to a server that can disable individual machines reported stolen — a system that hands a government a kill switch for every unit. BitFrost also has the potential to have machines attach a unique ID to every internet transaction, helping out anyone wanting to track net internet use. A freely available paper from a recent USENIX conference spells out the concerns." Relatedly, an anonymous reader points out a story at Slate about a study which examined the impact that free PC's had on poor students in Romania, writing that "giving the kids machines without a corresponding level of parental supervision just resulted in distractions which ultimately damaged academic performance. By contrast, allowing children access to machines in a supervised setting, say an after school program via school labs, might mitigate some of the negative effects."http://slashdot.org/slashdot-it.pl?f.../06/05/1745239
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
http://rss.slashdot.org/~a/Slashdot/slashdot?i=TpAf1j


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