Dell aims for Chinese mass market

No. 2 PC maker Dell said it will sell it computers through China's largest chain of electronics stores, Gome. Dell has recently started partnering with large retailers like Wal-Mart, expanding beyond its core direct-sales model. (AP in Beijing-based Lenovo has a commanding 35 percent PC market share in China—the world's second-largest PC market—followed by Hewlett-Packard. Currently, IT products account for only a tenth of total sales in Gome's 700 retail locations. "We think in the next two to three years we will become the primary conduit through which Chinese consumers buy computers," said Gome executive Wang Jinzhoum. (Reuters)

GM and union deal for health dollars

General Motors and the United Auto Workers union are close to wrapping up contract negotiations, with GM set to create a UAW-managed health-care trust fund, according to sources. A one-time $50 billion deposit in the new fund would save GM about $3 billion a year. (MarketWatch). Other issues include GM's proposal to hire new workers at lower wages and the union's demand that GM keep production in the U.S. The UAW said its 73,000 GM factory workers would go on strike today if the talks did not wrap up. "This is not an idle threat," said U.C. Berkeley labor expert Harley Shaiken. "But it is possible that this will be a long night with a handshake at the end of it." (Reuters)

One laptop for charity, one for you

The One Laptop per Child initiative has managed to create a rugged, low-cost laptop for children in poor countries. But governments have been slow to order the $188 XO Laptops, so the project organizers are rolling out a "Give 1 Get 1" campaign that will allow people in the U.S. and Canada to buy two machines for $399—one for a child in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, or Rwanda, and one for themselves. (The New York Times, free registration required) "There's a huge gulf between a head of state shaking your hand and a minister making a bank transfer," says OLPC chairman Nicholas Negroponte. (

Watching the world fall apart

Climate tourism, a new class of eco-tourism, is looking for the end of the world—at least as we know it. As global warming changes the landscape, more and more people are traveling to see the effects in climate-sensitive regions like the arctic and the Maldives islands. But while some environmentalists criticize the trend, pointing out that tourism travel adds to global warming, the tourists keep coming. "I don't think climate change is good for the environment," says Hansruedi Burgener, whose hostel overlooks a collapsing mountain glacier in the Swiss Alps. "But it's made the hostel famous, and that's good for me." (The Wall Street Journal)