Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For Araz.

July the 24th 2006 at about 1:30am, my friend Araz, a 17-year old girl, was with some friends at a dance club in Yerevan.

On their way home, they had to stop off at a friend's home to pick up some of their belongings. They were in a taxi, which they got out of on Baghramyan Street, and when Araz and her sister were crossing the street, Araz was hit by a reckless driver.

This was a split-second after she let go of her sister's hand.

They tried calling an ambulance, but there was no phone connection. They tried stopping passing cars, but nobody stopped. Her brother carried Araz and ran to a car that drove them to the hospital, but it was too late. Araz wasn't breathing anymore.

A 3-month long trial was held to punish the driver, and in the end the man received 2 years of probation, not allowed to leave the country and drive for 2 years. Not even 6 months after the incident, the man's sentence was annulled since it was his first such crime.

Araz was just about to turn 18, and had just graduated from high school, and looking forward to university.There is NOTHING being done in Armenia to prevent dangerous driving.

The majority of police seem to care less about preventing such accidents. Anyone who has been to Armenia knows how bad the situation is.

Please sign petition titled Araz Petition hosted with free Petition hosting site.

Friday, December 01, 2006

When computer industry executives heard about a plan to build a $100 laptop for the developing world’s children, they generally ridiculed the idea. How could you build such a computer, they asked, when screens alone cost about $100?
...Ms. Jepsen, a former Intel chip designer, found a way to modify conventional laptop displays, cutting the screen’s manufacturing cost to $40 while reducing its power consumption by more than 80 percent. As a bonus, the display is clearly visible in sunlight

That advance and others have allowed the nonprofit project, One Laptop Per Child, to win over many skeptics over the last two and a half years. Five countries — Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria and Thailand — have made tentative commitments to put the computers into the hands of millions of students, with production in Taiwan expected to begin by mid-2007."

...One factor setting the project apart from earlier efforts to create inexpensive computers for education is the inclusion of a wireless network capability in each machine.
The project leaders say they will employ a variety of methods for connecting to the Internet, depending on local conditions. In some countries, like Libya, satellite downlinks will be used. In others, like Nigeria, the existing cellular data network will provide connections, and in some places specially designed long-range
Wi-Fi antennas will extend the wireless Internet to rural areas.

...When students take their computers home after school, each machine will stay connected wirelessly to its neighbors in a self-assembling “mesh” at ranges up to a third of a mile. In the process each computer can potentially become an Internet repeater, allowing the Internet to flow out into communities that have not previously had access to it.

...“I think it’s wonderful that the machines can be put in the hands of children and parents, and it will have an impact on their lives if they have access to electricity,” Larry Cuban, a Stanford University education professor, said in an interview. “However, if part of their rationale is that it will revolutionize education in various countries, I don’t think it will happen, and they are na├»ve and innocent about the reality of formal schooling.”