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OpenMoko branches out with new $99 WikiReader device

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With the unfortunate downfall of the company's phone business, OpenMoko is looking for some slightly greener pastures. Its first new device hardly seems to hail from the same high-end Linux places that spawned the FreeRunner, and in fact you could say the $99 WikiReader is the antitheses of a high-end smartphone. It's a single purpose device with a monochrome screen and a simplistic touch interface and on the inside is an 8GB microSD card loaded up with three million of Wikipedia's finest hypertexts. The device can be searched or just browsed through clicking through interlinked articles, and there are even some parental controls to keep the chilluns away from Wikipedia's racier side. OpenMoko will have a subscription model of sorts available where folks can receive a new microSD card in the mail on a regular basis with the recent updates to the Wiki, though "power users" can update their cards themselves. The device is also relatively open to hackability thanks to its well known processor (similar to a Franklin dictionary) and easy access to the memory, but clearly OpenMoko is pointing this at people who don't even own a smartphone, not people who want to hack themselves another one. The device is available as of today.

Gallery: WikiReader hands-on | 9 Photos

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