Deprived US kids offered OLPC laptops

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Deprived US kids offered OLPC laptops

Poor US students are to get their hands on One Laptop Per Child XO laptops after a U-turn by the organisation.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the project will set up an American office to sell laptops to deprived students.

One in five US children lives below the poverty line, according to current census data.

"2008 is a big change for us because up to now we have been more like a terrorist group, threatening to do something and making big claims," Negroponte said on OLPC.TV.

"2008 is when we become not a revolution but a civilisation and we actually roll out laptops within countries."

The US office already has key staff in place and will focus primarily on selling the XO laptops via state governments.

While the announcement will be good news for American students, it is a far cry from the original aims of the OLPC, which saw it as a device solely for the developing world.

But some countries have pulled out of the project altogether and others are choosing commercial platforms instead.

The OLPC project now looks to be trying to clinch enough American orders to ensure that volume production continues.

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