This appears to be no joke. There is a thing called WikiReader, that is, a standalone Wikipedia browser with a touch screen and the complete text of Wikipedia on a memory card. It only displays text, no images or files. It can't access the Internet either.
Apparently it costs $99.00. A one-year "subscription" for newer versions of Wikipedia costs another $29.00.
A Netbook would not be that much more expensive in the long run. What kind of useless device will they think of next?