Hand-Cranked Tablet Computer

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, more than 50 new tablet computers will be introduced, but only one is designed to bring education to the world's poorest countries.

What's the Latest Development?


Only one tablet computer at this year's Consumer Electronics Show is designed to bring literacy to the world's poor, and to cope with electricity shortages, it is powered by a hand crank. The tablet can run a Linux interface or Google's Android and has a solar powered case to charge the battery. "Each hour the case spends in full sun can deposit enough energy for two hours of tablet use into the case's battery." The tablet will not be massed produce; its price will depend on how many orders are received. 

What's the Big Idea?

The tablet was developed by the creators of the One Laptop Per Child initiative which seeks to bring education to the underdeveloped world through inexpensive technology. In 2008, the company launched its XO laptop (pictured), which is also powered by a hand crank, and roughly two million have been shipped. The initiative relies on countries who are active about bringing new education technology to their citizens. The tablet's specifications, length of battery life and screen display, will depend on what individual countries want.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less