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Christmas Gift Guide

Kathmandu, Nepal

A new home in Kathmandu

Hello, world

Unaware, self-conscious, or unconcerned?

The shop in Nepal

Accra, Ghana

A classroom in Ghana

The Ghanaian flag on a classroom wall

A moment in a Ghanaian student's day

Wandering attention?

Calcutta, India

A home in India

An empty room

Random framing, beautiful image

Intent on work in Calcutta

MIT researchers tracked cast-off Netbooks to find out what the "afterlives" of our electronic gadgets are like.

They sent refurbished Netbooks to people in developing countries. The researchers set up the computers to record location and take pictures, and send the data home to MIT. The Netbooks carried stickers explaining the project in the local language.

The ghostly images are random windows into the everyday lives of people in Africa, South Asia, and Indonesia. Here, we're traveling to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
One Netbook found a home in a shop in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
Not every shot captured the computer's new owners unawares.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
Was she unaware, self-conscious, or unconcerned?
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
The sign on the wall gives you a good picture of the shop.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
Another Netbook found a second life in a classroom in Accra, Ghana.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
MIT collected the pictures and location data with the new owners' permission.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
A Netbook in Ghana snapped a photo of the Ghanaian flag on a classroom wall.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
A refurbished Netbook's camera captures a moment in a Ghanaian student's day.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
Is this Ghanaian student's attention wandering?
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
A third cast-off Netbook's new life is in a home in Kolkata (Calcutta), India.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
The images provide a glimpse into the lives of computer users in developing countries.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
The Netbooks snapped pictures every 20 minutes, sometimes capturing empty rooms.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
Random framing sometimes results in beautiful images.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
A computer user in Kolkata (Calcutta) seems intent on his work.
Caption by / Photo by MIT Senseable City Lab video; screenshot by Eric Smalley/CNET
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