Eee PC hailed as top computer for developing countries

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Three African Universities have lauded the Asus Eee PC as the best low-power computer option for developing countries. The study, conducted by charity Computer Aid, put three laptops and two ‘thin client’ solutions through their paces. The Eee was ranked top by teams in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

The Eee didn’t rank top in every category – the OLPC XO won out on power consumption but ranked poorly for performance. The Intel Classmate was the opposite – doing well in performance tests but with its battery not holding out for long enough.

The ‘thin client’ solutions – the Inveneo Computing Station and Ncomputing X300 – were criticised as too expensive. The research team at Kenyatta University said:

“Asus had the best solution for an average individual owner and user in rural Africa who needs a low power PC, while Ncomputing proved to be the more viable choice for many learning institutions.”

It’s interesting that Asus’ netbook still wins out in the developing world, especially as the netbook revolution was founded on attempts to make low-cost PCs for developing countries. The results proved just as appealing to western markets.

(via @wildfirepr)

Amazon makes a terabyte of public data available on its servers

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Amazon’s got quite a bit of spare server capacity. In its goal to become the world’s top online retailer, it bought so many servers that it’s now also running a cloud computing business on the side that’s actually rather cheap.

Last night, Amazon announced on its Amazon Web Services blog that it would be making a terabyte of public data available to its cloud computing users, for them to do whatever they like with.

The data includes stats from the US bureau of transportation , an *entire* dump of Wikipedia, the DBPedia knowledgebase (which includes info on 2.6 million people, places, films, albums and companies) and all publicly available DNA sequences, including the entire human genome.

There’s also a bunch of other stuff, and it’s all being made available at lightning-fast speed in machine-readable databases to Amazon’s cloud computing customers. It’ll take a while for the internet to really get to grips with this stuff and use it, but anything that’s about freeing up data and information is wholly supported around here. Three cheers for Amazon.

What would you do with the data? Work out why your trains are always late? Work out how many degrees of link separation a random Wikipedia article has to another? Use the human genome to create a clone army and take over the world? Share your ideas in the comments, and make me your second-in-command as world leader.

Amazon Blog (via ReadWriteWeb)