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Venezula Producing Its Own Linux PCs 387

christian.einfeldt writes "The Venezuelan Government announced the roll-out of four different models of Linux-powered consumer computers, three desktop models and one notebook. Branded 'Bolivarian Computers,' they will be will be produced by a joint venture of the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce and a Chinese company named Lang Chao. The goal of the project is to jump-start a domestic IT industry and become an IT exporter to the rest of Latin America. At the ceremony introducing the program, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez claimed that the Bolivarian Computers cost 40% less than other commercially available models and come with a 3-year warranty."
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Venezula Producing Its Own Linux PCs

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  • by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:20PM (#19537347) Journal
    Venezuelan here...

    Another "good" thing he is doing. 53 million lightbulbs have been replaced to fluorescent versions. An agreement with Vietnam was reached to start manufacturing the philips lightbulbs here. Vehicles will be able to run on natural gas soon, and the conversion will be free to users. They are testing solar panel use.

    I hate the guy, but i want those programs to succeed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:24PM (#19537371)
    Venezuela is spelled Venezula!
  • by Space Coyote ( 413320 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:29PM (#19537401) Homepage
    Here: Chavez Hatred Explained to Americans [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:30PM (#19537405)
    Cutting down all Brazil's rainforest to plant corn for ethanol is hardly a smart move. All in all, Brazil has shown itself to be a stupid greedy country that is selling out their future for pennies on the dollar. Often times it is wiser to use your replaceable resources to purchase energy vs. sell off what cannot be replaced at any cost.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:50PM (#19537509) Homepage Journal
    The thing about personal freedom is life, liberty and the opportunity to peruse profit. Certainly, for what I have seen, the later is the missing part of the equation in south america, while the other two items are increasingly missing in a large part of north america. The ability to travel freely, to read what one wants to read, to engage in legal acts without being harassed are quickly falling to a populous that is more fearful of microrisk than concerned about macroliberties.

    OTOH, as I have seen time and time again, acess to technology increases ones ability to persue profit, i.e. happiness. The ability to use machines, and thus improve personal productivity, is the greatest asset one can have. The problem is that in many parts of the wold capital to acquire such technolgy is limit. There are no credit cards, or banks loans, or anything. Therefore anything that can be done to reduce the costs of technology to the point that an individual can purchase said technology from existing liquid assets means that the technolgy will not be just a toy for the rich, but a mover for the masses.

    And this is the reform that many in south america are trying to make. Many countries in south america are at the place where the US is moving toward. Money concentrated at the few, gated communities, aggressive police presence, inadequate medical service. It may be that 10% of the people in Venezuela controls 50% of the capital,which and 40% live in poverty. Just like in the US, if you can train a person to catch fish, and not just give him a fish, and also make the fishing pole affordable, then we can begin to help people pull themselves up by their own bootstraps without the dole. If a computer costs $200 instead of $400, then more people can save that over a year.

    Of course, US officials who have been on the dole and the take for their entire lives find this very scary, as the United States interests are going to be threatened by an educated and technical savvy population. Of course, if the US were not so afraid of an educated and technical savvy population, perhaps we would not have the trade deficit from which we currently suffer.

  • Brazil (Score:4, Informative)

    by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @11:00PM (#19537571) Homepage Journal
    I went to a conference last month that I report on here: []. Brazil is also going big into biodiesel using castor seed. The worry about rainforests right now seems to be palm oil while cane will likely expand into existing grazing land (possibly former forest but cut for beef if it is).
    Solar power with no installation cost: -selling-solar.html []
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:52AM (#19538107) Homepage
    You mean like being able to legislate by decree

      * You mean like using a power that every other president in Venezuela has used?
      * You mean where "decree" is in an incredibly limited scope, a fact rarely reported by the media?
      * You mean where any act he legislates, no matter the method, can be rescinded by the popular vote?
      * You mean where normal laws take 10% of the population to rescind, decree laws take only 5%?
      * You mean where the legislature can rescind or modify said decrees -- quite unlike the US "Fast Track" legislation?"\

    Nah, let's demonize Chavez and distort the facts!

    shutting down opposition TV stations

      * You mean TV stations that helped organize a bloody coup against him?
      * You mean TV stations that even most of their backers admit broke the law?

    Nah, let's just demonize Chavez and distort the facts!

    unchecked inflation

      * You mean an inflation rate that was 31.2% in '03, 31.1% in '04, 22.4% in '05, 16% in '06, and 15.8% in '07? []

    It's high, but it's dropping, not rising. Despite the best efforts of the opposition to destroy the economy.

    But nah, let's demonize Chavez!

    or doubling the murder rate?

      * With 11,000 murders in 2003 and a population of 26.2 million, that's 42 per 100,000 [], compared to their US-loving neighbor Colombia's 63-84 per 100k and Washington DC's ~50 per 100k.

    Bad numbers, and certainly worse than it was before. But, sadly, that's Latin America for you.

    They are certainly achievements. But if I were him, I would rather be remembered as a Bush basher than the rest.

    I'll note what you *didn't* mention, like the percentage of those without healthcare, or the illiteracy rate. Or like having to do this stuff with an opposition that wants to wreck the economy and once overthrew him in a coup, and the US who would like to do both of those as well.
  • Re:Volkswagen (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gocho ( 16619 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:57AM (#19538125)
    Another venezuelan here

          For "ending the contract" as the venezuelan government so euphemistically puts it, there had to be a trial for those allegations (supporting the coup, being "in bed with the imperialists!" and other nonsense) and RCTV had to be found guilty. If there was no prosecution, the contract had to be automatically renewed for 20 years. Now, not only such trial never took place but it was based solely on what Chavez accused RCTV of doing during his TV show. On top of that, the Supreme Court (which was increased in number from 12 to 30 members in order to assure Chavez he will always get it his way) ruled that all of RCTV's equipment was to be used by the new, government-based TVES station with no right to compensation.

          Now, if it walks like a duck... you can't call it a cat. This was an illegal closing of a dissenting media outlet AND a nationalization ("stealing", as I'd like to call it) of a company with the highest rating in the country and one of only two with a view different from the regime.

          A while ago, a high-ranking government official declared that the CIA and "the gringos" were spying on venezuelans thru their Directv antennas... that's the level of lunacy and paranoia surrounding the guy....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:14AM (#19539541)

    Central planning failed everywhere? Singapore? Nordic countries?

    Eh? Read up a few things. If you're calling Singapore a planned economy [], that is rather daring, to say the least. And scandinavians would simply shake their heads about such an assertion. Don't mix up high levels of government expenditure as percent of GDP with the absence of market economy (background []).

  • by Simon80 ( 874052 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @11:54AM (#19541351)

    The TV station wasn't closed, it merely lost its license to broadcast over the air. This means that it can now only be viewed using cable.

    You seem confused - "unusual circumstances" doesn't really explain anything, and the constitution wasn't "tampered", Chavez declared a referendum, and 92% of voters wanted a new constitution. Hard to see what's wrong with that.

    After my first comment in this thread, I did some research, and found this [] documentary about the failed Venezuelan coup in 2002. After watching that, I can't really blame Chavez for not renewing the license of a private TV station, they seem to lie through their teeth. Also, Chavez is so tolerant of opposition that after regaining power following the 2002 coup, he didn't go around and exile or imprison everybody involved. Some have most probably been charged for their actions, but some prominent leaders from the coup government are still supposedly part of public life in Venezuela.

  • Venezula? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @05:04PM (#19543925)
    Could you at least correct the name of my country on this post title? it is embarrassing.

I've got a bad feeling about this.