Portugal’s government on Sept. 23 began rolling out 500,000 ultra-cheap laptops for school children in a program that could be extended to Venezuela, Reuters reports. The computers, called "Magellan" after the 16th-century Portuguese explorer, will use Intel processors and will be offered to schools at a subsidized price of 50 euros. The Portuguese government hopes the devices will boost the computer literacy of school children aged 6 to 11, it said in a statement. "The government’s educational technology plan aims to make Portugal one of the top five most technologically advanced countries in Europe," it said. Prime Minister Jose Socrates and members of his cabinet handed out the first 5,000 computers at schools across the country on Sept. 23. While the computer will be assembled in Portugal by a company called JP Sa Couto, it is based on Intel’s Classmate PC, a cheap computer that has been adopted in various formats in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has visited Portugal several times in the past year and is due in Lisbon later this week, has said the Magellan also could be used in Venezuelan schools…

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