This week in world tech

IT has changed the world, but for those gathered for the 2006 World Congress on Information Technology, there are some places where IT has yet to make an impact.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read
The rise of IT has undoubtedly changed the world, but for speakers and panelists gathered for the 2006 World Congress on Information Technology, there are still plenty of places where IT has yet to make an impact.

The WCIT gathers every two years to debate what it considers to be the most pressing technology issues affecting the entire globe. This year, it and the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) chose access to technology, IT in heath care, and privacy and security as the hot-button issues.

Unlike those at many sessions at the United Nations, most panelists seemed very much in agreement on the issues discussed. Private industry and governments have to work together, because no group can solve these problems on its own, they said. Global standards need to be implemented, so programs and policies that work can be implemented in different regions.

Intel unveiled its notebook for schools in developing countries, with CEO Paul Otellini calling on governments to spread technology's reach around the world. Otellini demonstrated an Intel-developed teaching application on the Eduwise notebook. The company hopes to launch the laptop and offer it for less than $400 by the first quarter of next year.

The CEO reiterated Intel's commitment to developing products that will help close the technology gap between rich nations and poor ones, one day after it announced plans to invest $1 billion in education and training as part of its World Ahead program. In addition, Intel has developed an application that enables teachers to monitor how and when students are using the Internet in a networked classroom.

Intel will also spend more than $1 billion during the next five years to help bring computers, training and Internet connectivity to emerging nations. Called the World Ahead program, the effort essentially expands on other programs Intel has conducted to bring computing to countries like India and China, particularly to people who live in small cities and villages. Though India has become a software powerhouse, it's estimated that a year ago, the country had only 14 PCs for every 1,000 people.