DTV pioneer champions $100 computing project

Nicholas Negroponte, a digital television pioneer while leading the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has stepped down as chairman to pursue his dream of a $100 computer.

Negroponte will focus on a nonprofit called One Laptop Per Child, a group promoting a $100 wind-up powered laptop designed to enhance the education of children in developing countries. Recently, the United Nations endorsed the project.

Media Lab director Walter Bender is also taking a two-year leave of absence to serve as president for software and content development at One Laptop Per Child.

Under Negroponte’s leadership, the Media Lab became a hotbed of early research into digital television in the 1980s and 90s, leading to the development of such inventions as the DVD and personalized media.

Entrepreneur Frank Moss was been named the lab’s new director, replacing Bender. Moss founded Tivoli Systems and Bowstreet, two software companies that were acquired by IBM.

The leadership changes were effective Feb. 1.

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