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2nd Generation "$100 Laptop" Will Be an E-Book Reader

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the xo-is-a-nice-reader-anyhow dept.

Portables 286

waderoush writes "At a conference sponsored by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation this morning, OLPC founder unveiled the design for the foundation's second-generation laptop. It's actually not a laptop at all — it's a dual-screen e-book reader (we've got pictures). Negroponte said the foundation hopes that the cost of the new device, which is scheduled for production by 2010, can be kept to $75, in part by using low-cost displays manufactured for portable DVD players."

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286 comments

Bye bye books (4, Funny)

1155 (538047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478082)

Bye bye books. We'll miss you!

Maybe schools in the states can get these and stop spending my hard earned cash on books. Oh wait, they already paid for them. I used the same book my mom used in high school (her name was on it!).

Re:Bye bye books (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478212)

It's not the school system's fault that your mom got knocked up at 12 years old.

Re:Bye bye books (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478258)

Well, it is if she were a victim of abstinence-only education which, in addition to being boring and therefor not helpful, also fails to teach kids to put on a damned condom, then it would be the school district's fault.

or Bush's... whichever option is worth more karma.

Re:Bye bye books (-1, Troll)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478728)

or Bush's... whichever option is worth more karma.

Nah, man, you want KARMA around here you have to say it was Micro$oft's fault because Bill Gates is in league with the Devil and Bush. Assuming any of them actually exist and this isn't just one big FREAKIN' simulation.

Re:Bye bye books (0, Offtopic)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478994)

Well, my karma is already "excellent" -- so unless there is a "nirvana" option that no one but Taco and Cowboy Neal have gotten to yet, then I don't need to try that hard.

Re:Bye bye books (0, Offtopic)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479014)

You'd get even more karma if you can work in blaming the RIAA/MPAA too.

Re:Bye bye books (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478282)

Even if the schools did spend money on these devices, there would be no content to put on them. The same problem exists for the original OLPC project. Luckily they had Open Source software, and were able to get a working machine with no software cost, but I still don't think there's a lot out there in free textbooks. It's a wonder that the US Government just doesn't hire a few people to write some textbooks that they would use in their schools. For gradeschool and even highschool, the material is simple enough that it wouldn't take that much to get the job done, and then they could have textbooks for the cost of the paper, or if they used ebook readers, then copies would be free. Is there any particular reason textbooks are bought from third parties instead of just written once and used in all the schools?

Re:Bye bye books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478560)

I suspect this has to do with state/local governments wanting to decide what is taught in their educational system. I'm sure someone else can provide the detail.

Re:Bye bye books (4, Insightful)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478804)

Textbooks are clearly a lucrative business, good luck getting enough people to care about the costs to overcome whatever lobby various publishers would put together to keep the status quo.

Re:Bye bye books (2, Interesting)

j-beda (85386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478578)

I have thought the same myself - surely basic texts need not change much from year to year, and big markets like Texas and California have to spend enough on textbooks that the cost of writing them "in-house" would be cheaper than purchasing them.

Re:Bye bye books (1)

ragefan (267937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478892)

I have thought the same myself - surely basic texts need not change much from year to year, and big markets like Texas and California have to spend enough on textbooks that the cost of writing them "in-house" would be cheaper than purchasing them.
I sure the issue is more likely where would Texas and California have over 1 million books printed (not to mention all the other states)? The only places that have the printing/binding ability to handle that kind of load (and able to deliver in a reasonable time) are the same people trying to get them to buy $150+ textbooks every year.

Re:Bye bye books (3, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479296)

Why does it have to be all bound up nicely? In college many of my "books" were professor notes that were essentially photocopies printed out on plain paper with cheap plastic binding - cost maybe $5.
Have students pay for the printing and the taxpayers pay for the content.

Re:Bye bye books (1)

j-beda (85386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479302)

I sure the issue is more likely where would Texas and California have over 1 million books printed (not to mention all the other states)?
I cannot believe that they couldn't find someone to print their order. There are lots of printers out there, and they do not all have to come from the same print shop - spread the printing around the state.

Re:Bye bye books (3, Insightful)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478816)

Hmm. Are you sure you want the government writing the textbooks?

Currently local governments (or at least state governments in some cases) SELECT the textbooks, but there are options. There isn't that much competition, but in this case ANY competition is a good thing. Government written and mandated textbooks sound pretty scary to me...

Re:Bye bye books (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478996)

Hmm. Are you sure you want the government writing the textbooks?
To standardize curriculum? Yes.

Currently local governments (or at least state governments in some cases) SELECT the textbooks, but there are options.
Which is a dreadful disaster in many cases. Just look at Kansas and the creationists polluting local school districts to get their nonsense put into schools.

There isn't that much competition, but in this case ANY competition is a good thing.
Yeah, you either spend $0 on one book or $145 on the other book, if there even is a second book available in the subject, that's basically identical.

Government written and mandated textbooks sound pretty scary to me...
Is it for an actual reason or just the usual nonsense paranoia where we have to hate/fear anything that the government does without any rational reason to do so?

Re:Bye bye books (3, Interesting)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479222)

Government written and mandated textbooks sound pretty scary to me...
Is it for an actual reason or just the usual nonsense paranoia where we have to hate/fear anything that the government does without any rational reason to do so?

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean the government isn't brainwashing you via their "official" textbooks.

Be careful what you ask for.

Re:Bye bye books (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479338)

So it's apparently not for any rational reason and just the usual paranoia. Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Bye bye books (2, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479054)

The form factor is that of a dual-screened eBook, but they have a popup touch-screen keyboard as an application. It's a computer, kinda like a super-sized Nintendo DS. There are pictures of if accepting typed input, of it being held like a book, and of it laying flat like a board game between two kids.

I know the site listed in the summary is almost gone under the load, but there are lots of sites with news and pictures if you Google for "2nd generation OLPC". Two of them (spread the load!) are Laptop Magazine [laptopmag.com] and GotteBeMobile [gottabemobile.com] , both of which are responding well as of right now.

Re:Bye bye books (2, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479122)

Google open textbook [google.com] and you'll find lots of sources and initiatives for free educational texts.

Re:Bye bye books (3, Interesting)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479258)

Check out WikiBooks [wikibooks.org] . They aren't quite there yet, but some of their stuff is quite good - and being a wiki, your inputs are encouraged.

With cheap laptops/ebook readers on the horizon, and projects like WikiBooks / Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org] I am hopeful that we are only a few years from prolific material availability.

Also, slightly off topic - but since you mentioned schools I'd like to refer you to Lockhart's Lament [maa.org] . Do we even really need text books?

Re:Bye bye books (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478336)

I can top that. I had my dads high school desk. He carved the answers to every test he took in that class into the suffice so I never had to study for a test ever! But my friend Laslo memorized every answer ever, that was more helpful.

Re:Bye bye books (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478346)

I wouldn't worry too much. Negroponte has pretty much handed over control of his project to Microsoft now, since he's demonstrated that if they want something he'll do it without worrying.

With Microsoft at the helm we can all rest easy in the knowledge that the OLPC experience will soon become so complicated, restricted and slow that no-one will want to use them anyway.

Re:Bye bye books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478624)

You are kidding yourself if you think that this is going to save schools money. Look at the prices for e-books versus the dead tree versions.

You can bet textbook publishers aren't going to give a big discount.

Niggerponte's e-book reader is no good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478750)

Laptops don't teach how to read.

$100 towards teacher salaries right here in American would go much further than buying into this gammick.

Anyway, is it still $100 or closer to $200? It's becoming confusing all this slow moving story.

Goodbye old scam, hello new scam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478830)

As if there weren't enough proof that OLPC was a lie and a multi-billion dollar scam, now St. Nick is dropping the "Laptop" part of OLPC, and it will now be "One Poorly Designed DVD Player Without The DVD Drive Per Child".

Way to go. It's "all about the kids", so long as the kids are being forced to use Teh Lunix and FOSS.

Re:Bye bye books (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478852)

nope. it will never happen. Professors and their desire to rape the students by publishing slight revisions of their drivel year after year for insane prices are what keeps ebooks from being common.

If I could carry my entire semesters books in one reader I would be in heaven. All college students would love this.

Re:Bye bye books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23479264)

Was the chapter on the civil war titled "Trouble Ahead"?

OS (1, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478084)

Maybe Microsoft can kindly provide the OS for that one too, for a mere 40% of the cost of the device.

Re: OS - Nintendo has this covered (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478792)

The Nintendo (DS) already has an operating system for dual screens. Negroponte will end up putting games on the ebook anyway because thats the only reason kids wanted the original OLPC.

laptop is an e-book reader? (5, Funny)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478094)

I have some beach-front estate to sell. It is not near any beach and it is actually a chair.

Obligatory (2, Interesting)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478108)

But can it run Linux?

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478350)

But can it run Linux?
No, but it's been certified Vista Ready, and they haven't even built one yet.

Re:Obligatory (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478478)

No, but it can display the Linux source code.

Re:Obligatory MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478678)

With the recent Micro$oft involvement in the OLPC project this question suddenly is relevant.

I feel really sorry for all the good folk who helped the now-damned OLPC project in good faith only to see M$ subvert and destroy it by killing* Negroponte.

*seducing to the dark side

Wrong summary and title (2, Informative)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478120)

If you had read the article, the original, version 1 of the OLPC laptop will be $100. This new version has no price set in it's unveiling.

Re:Wrong summary and title (3, Informative)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478288)

"Negroponte says the cost of this 2nd-generation device, which uses dual-touch screens with 16:9 aspect ratios, will be kept to $75."

The plan is $75. That doesn't mean it's any more realistic than the original $100 goal for the XO-1. I'd be surprised if they could get it below $150 at launch. The only way $75 is possible is if companies are donating hardware to it.

Re:Wrong summary and title (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478568)

I think it's possible. You can get a portable DVD player [walmart.com] for $80 retail. This thing has the same screen, probably doesn't have a DVD drive, but has some other internals that a different. Cut out the cost of the DVD licensing fees, and you could easily have an ebook reader using this screen for $75. Granted, I'm not so sure that these screens are the best for reading a lot of text. An eInk display would probably work a lot better. But it's definitely doable at that price.

Unrealistic cost (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478746)

I think it's possible. You can get a portable DVD player for $80 retail. This thing has the same screen,
This thing has two screens, one of which is touch sensitive. What existing low cost consumer product uses touch sensitve screens large enough to work as a keyboard? Plus, I rather doubt that resolution that would be acceptable for a DVD player would be acceptable for a computer (or a book reader), hence using LCDs designed for DVD players may not be viable.

DSOrganize (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478872)

This thing has two screens, one of which is touch sensitive.
So does my $170 Nintendo DS Lite with R4 expansion card.

What existing low cost consumer product uses touch sensitve screens large enough to work as a keyboard?
The on-screen keyboard in DSOrganize 3.1129 seems to work fine.

Soo... (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478126)

OLPC's goals have gone from providing a platform that allows full intellectual expression and room from growth and development, to running XP so maybe kids and type a book report or something, to now merely being a way to passively consume printed media?

And last week I thought that this project couldn't get any farther from good.

Re:Soo... (4, Informative)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478396)

Because it's shaped like a book, it must be a book, right?

This is not a book. It's, I imagine, going to have an x86 cpu and an OS capable of running Activities already written for the XO-1, plus anything else imaginable.

Negroponte's presentation showed two kids playing pong on one laptop and suggested the same could be done with games like chess or checkers, as one example. It is a laptop with two touchscreen displays, which is nothing short of amazing.

Re:Soo... (5, Informative)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478444)

Oh, I see where the confusion was. As usual, the Slashdot headline and summary are at best vague, and more likely completely misleading. There is better information here: http://blog.laptopmag.com/first-look-olpc-xo-generation-20 [laptopmag.com] .

That article also contains the news that Give 1 Get 1 will be restarting in August or September.

Re:Soo... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478716)

Well, I went to the article that was linked from the summary and skimmed over it and looked at the photos. However, "E-Book Reader" is something VERY different from "book-shaped computer," which, if that is in fact what this thing is, might be sorta cool... i guess.

however, under MS's thumb, its still going to be fairly useless.

Re:Soo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23479314)

Considering that they've seriously deviated from the original stated gameplan, it's going to be a harder sell to convince people to BUY one of those things. When it was the idea to provide learning tools instead of el-cheapo armored laptops to kids (which is what the project has apparently become...), buying two and getting one made sense to foster the project's goals. Since they've apparently radically deviated from this goal, I don't have anywhere near as much desire for acquiring one. For the same price, I can get a MUCH more powerful eeePC, and even they're wembling on the whole thing because of pressure from Microsoft on that line.

Re:Soo... (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478798)

Exactly. i played with an XO for the first time about three months ago and as I held it I thought "Why isnt this thing in the form factor of an e-book?" So much real estate is wasted on trying to make it a general purpose computer. Kids, in real life, wont be hacking code 90% of the time, they'll be reading ebooks for their studies. This form factor is a lot smarter for how these students are actually going to use them.

Heck, Im still pissed there's no affordable e-book reader out there. I already have a couple of nice laptops and a nice desktop. I dont need another machine, but I would love a cheap (sub 150 dollar) e-book reader that accepted all sorts of formats and was easy on the eyes. I dont know why sony and amazon think the price point for these things is 300+ dollars. It 99 dollars or less. If the XO people do this it will be pretty revolutionary.

Re:Soo... (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478984)

It is a laptop with two touchscreen displays, which is nothing short of amazing.
O RLY? [newegg.com]



yeah, not exactly the same. but a dual touchscreen device isnt that amazing. What will be amazing is if they can hit even $150 for this thing.

Re:Soo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478446)

I agree. The OLPC is fast losing any semblance of credibility.

Re:Soo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478958)

Yeah, we're wise to their games now. They'll talk about providing cheap learning material for children in poor countries, and about having a cleaned up version of Wikipedia in their own language on it, and then in some years Negroponte will say that it really was about getting a Blu-ray player into as many hands as possible, and they'll have each machine come with a Netflix subscription.

Just Call Nintendo (1)

dreadlord76 (562584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478186)

And ask for a DS Lite with 2 bigger screens.

Re:Just Call Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478494)

Yep, that is actually what this "vision" sounds like -- a Ninetendo DS but with the poor-quality screens found on low-end throw-away DVD players. You seriously do not want to be reading text on those screens.

It is 2008. Why don't they wait for the free market to solve this one now? The general idea is there and if the UN would provide the distribution channel and basic qualifications for a product (minimum specs), then manufacturers would start showing up. Even Microsoft is willing to giveaway XP for free to secure an emerging market where Linux is the obvious champion otherwise.

Oh, and another good idea for next time is to not grant patents to those people hired to make the machines. Letting the people in charge of the program rake in incredible sums as a direct result of design decisions subject to serious conflicts of interest is not a good idea. So goes the general concept of revolving-door government, I would think. Ahem.

Re:Just Call Nintendo (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478594)

Why don't they wait for the free market to solve this one now?
Because this is about education and not raking in profits?

Even Microsoft is willing to giveaway XP for free to secure an emerging market where Linux is the obvious champion otherwise.
Which is an even better reason to keep them out. This isn't about securing them a new revenue stream, but to help educate children.

Summary/beginning of the article doesn't cut it (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478196)

...because it seems it definatelly can be used as laptop, thanks to dual touchscreens. (and calling it E-Book reader...hm, I think we settled what that term means and XO-2 isn't exactly it...)

I wonder what OS will be there...

BTW...another hardware trend started by OLPC? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478304)

...because I definatelly can't see such devices around me...and it would be sort of nice.

Mass Production (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478210)

with the XO-1 mass produced in 2007, and the next generation only 3 years later, in 20010, how do they intend to get the economics of scale to bring down the cost of the XO-1

Re:Mass Production (2, Funny)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478238)

and the next generation only 3 years later, in 20010,
I think 20010 is more than 3 years after 2007.

Re:Mass Production (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478646)

by installing windows on it obviously

Amazon is shaking in its boots (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478234)

First the OLPC redefines the low cost laptop market, now this? The Kindle now seems a bit overpriced at $399.

Re:Amazon is shaking in its boots (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479182)

To be fair, the Kindle is aimed at turning a profit. OLPC is aimed at recouping the costs of manufacture. Kindle is available now. This is planned for two years from now.

Still, I thought Kindle was crap when I first saw it. This does make it look worse, but they're not exactly on an even field.

that's not the only factor (3, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478240)

Negroponte said the foundation hopes that the cost of the new device, which is scheduled for production by 2010, can be kept to $75, in part by using low-cost displays manufactured for portable DVD players...
 
... and in part by waiting until 2010 to make it. In two years you'll be able to buy a used first-gen iPhone, iPod touch, or Kindle for $75. At least he's aware of it: "Negroponte said the foundation plans to bring out the second-generation device by 2010. By that time, he added, the cost of the original XO Laptop will also have been brought below $100."
 
Also, the "low-cost displays manufactured for portable DVD players" bit worries me some, since those displays don't have a particularly high pixel density. Who wants a 7, 8, 9" screen to read from that's only ~720x480? Yeah, it'll work, but it'll be far from ideal.

Re:that's not the only factor (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478914)

Also, the "low-cost displays manufactured for portable DVD players" bit worries me some, since those displays don't have a particularly high pixel density. Who wants a 7, 8, 9" screen to read from that's only ~720x480? Yeah, it'll work, but it'll be far from ideal.

Here's there new slogan: "OLPC: Blinding Children Around The World".

This doesn't sound like a conspiracy with Microsoft, this sounds like a conspiracy with the OPTOMETRISTS UNION!

Power usage? (3, Interesting)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478248)

Doesn't the OLPC use a lower power screen? How does the battery life with these cheaper, power hungry screens? It would kind of defeat the purpose of this if you could only use it for an hour without plugging it in...

Re:Power usage? (4, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478760)

Doesn't the OLPC use a lower power screen? How does the battery life with these cheaper, power hungry screens? It would kind of defeat the purpose of this if you could only use it for an hour without plugging it in...
The system will employ the dual indoor-and-sunlight displays, which was pioneered by former OLPC CTO Mary Lou Jepsen. The design will provide a right and left page in vertical format, a hinged laptop in horizontal format, and a flat, two-screen continuous surface for use in tablet mode. âoeYounger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customized for applications as well as for multiple languages,â the press release reads. The device will also reduce power consumption to 1 watt.

Re:Power usage? (2, Insightful)

Grisha (15132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479088)

Interesting, given that they aren't touch screens... So he makes an analogy to portable DVD player screens, then says they plan on using OLPC displays, and _then_ says they'll be touch screens.

So how can this possibly be had for $20 a screen? that's $20+OLPC Screen Cost + Touch Screen Cost = ???

He has some effed up math.

Not for me. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478252)

Until they come out with an ebook reader that has a full color, 200+dpi (reflective, not emmissive) display that itself is letter-size or larger (or perhaps a tabloid-sized dual screen display that folds in half a little like opening a book), I'm just not interested.

Re:Not for me. (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479230)

Until they come out with an ebook reader that has a full color, 200+dpi (reflective, not emmissive) display that itself is letter-size or larger (or perhaps a tabloid-sized dual screen display that folds in half a little like opening a book), I'm just not interested.

Letter-size or larger, huh? If you're looking for childrens books, I'd suggest staying with the real thing. They often have lots of fun popup thingies you can play with. If more adult fare is what you're after, maybe you want to rethink your requirements. Published books tend to be much smaller than letter-sized paper. And for good reason.

Same thing goes for colour. I'd imagine a colour device would also require more power, which means less reading time, or more batteries to carry around.

Fool me once, shame on you (5, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478318)

Fool me twice, shame on me.

I have nothing but rage and contempt for Negroponte and the OLPC project. I will not support a project that betrays its contributors by abandoning the principles that motivated them.

Windows on the OLPC is an outrage and clear evidence that the OLPC project is no longer about helping children and only about making money and creating a new form "Microsoft Tax" for the poor and developing nations.

Its bullshit. Its like giving money and time to a charity called "one meal per child" and find out it has decided to use your contribution to bring dollar off coupons for McDonalds happy meals.

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (1, Interesting)

Greg_D (138979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478388)

Really? Rage and contempt? Over a value priced computer aimed at educating kids who otherwise would never get to use ANY computer?

You should see a mental health practicioner and get your priorities in order. Your stupidity is clouding your view of reality.

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (5, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478524)

Really? Rage and contempt? Over a value priced computer aimed at educating kids who otherwise would never get to use ANY computer?

Yes, helping Microsoft expand its monopoly is bad for the world. Its bad for the industry. The amount of money and control that Microsoft exercises because of its monopoly has ruined the ISO, destroyed companies, and kept back innovation in the marketplace.

Selling "Windows" when they could give away free software is not a good will gesture.

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23479190)

Go back to your momma's basement you pathetic spoiled rich Yankee mama boy!
Kids in developing nations don't want stupid crap FOSS software that only makes some Finish/Norwegian/Swedish a**hole richer! They want to have any available computer so they can actually learn it. So, why they will need a freak operational system that is only used by spoiled millionaires?
They need to know how to use Windows because that is the system they will find at work, so *nixs of any kind are useless.
And then people still wonder why they bomb, murder or rob Americans when they get overseas... Imperialist pricks!

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479306)

Selling "Windows" when they could give away free software is not a good will gesture.
What do you "mean"? Is there some other "side" of the "story" we are not "aware" of?

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478708)

Ha ha! You're a Microsoft apologist.

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (5, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478786)

Really? Rage and contempt? Over a value priced computer aimed at educating kids who otherwise would never get to use ANY computer?

As has been pointed out repeatedly, "educating kids" is an utter impossibility when OLPC+Windows combination is involved. The term you are looking for is "indoctrination". It is so for many, many reasons mentioned already a million times here, not the least of them the lack of any useful free "educational" software for XP, never you mind the storage for it on the OLPC.

Using "ANY" computer, "education" does not make. If that was the case, a far more cost effective way then the OLPC would be to simply ship used throw-away computers that clog our city dumps here (some of them far more powerful then the OLPC will ever be) to Africa in bulk.

You are confusing granting haphazard access to some fraction of the Western commercial technology, which requires a (very expensive) ecosystem of other commercial technology to be useful and which will never be available at the prices those kids can afford, with "educating" them. This is a purely corporatist view of the world and if it were up to people like you, education in the West would consist of giving kids a brand-name calculator (with no instructions) and calling it a "mathematics and electronics course" and as the parent poster insightfully mentioned, "a cooking course" would consist of a bunch of McDonalds coupons, etc and so on.

And there is of course the wee little bit of the matter of active mis-representations Negroponte has engaged in over the years on behalf of the OLPC project, but I guess that is far too esoteric for you to grasp.

You should see a mental health practicioner and get your priorities in order. Your stupidity is clouding your view of reality.

In the light of the actual facts you should take your own advice on this.

Re:Fool me once, shame on you (1)

brewstate (1018558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478882)

Ok... The M$ thing is irksome but we have already seen that Microsoft will do what it feels is good for its business and giving children XP for peanuts or free is good for MS. Look at how they have decreased licensing in India, then look at the excellent MS centric Programmers that it produces. Truthfully MS could have easily programmed for it and distributed it freely without the OLPC allowing it officially. At least this way the distributed botnets should be interesting to deal with.

I'll change but..... (1)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478320)

I hate reading on a computer monitor. Somewhere it has been researched that reading slows down by 25% when it's read from a monitor. Now, when looking for cites, ("slower reading on computer monitor ") on Google, all I get is garbage. So, take my opinion for what it's worth.

Gimme a book, baby! A printed, dead tree book! And when you geniuses figure out how to make a monitor that reads like a book, then I'll switch - cost is not a factor.

Re:I'll change but..... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478634)

E-Paper has the characteristic you are describing. Currently there are a few technological barriers to overcome with it (such as so-so resolution, mediocre color capability, and slow refresh rates), but because it is a light-reflective technology rather than light-emmisive (that is, the display reflects light back at you, like most surfaces you might look at, rather than through a photon source within the screen itself), it is *FAR* easier on the eyes than a computer monitor. A high enough resolution e-paper display showing a picture of something would appear indistinguishable from either a photo or a painting of that thing. And the refresh rate isn't even a big deal for something like printed matter, where the information isn't changing that often anyways, so it's actually ideal for an ebook. What's really neat about it is that it doesn't actually consume any power to show an image... it only requires power to update the display to something new.

Negroponte announces that it will be $75. (1)

erveek (92896) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478340)

So in the three years it takes to develop, the price will slowly rise to $300. And it will, of course, run Windows Vista.

This is all bullshit (0)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478356)

All this noise about cheap laptops. But they're not. Is anyone going to use an Asus eee for a general purpose device? No. It's a glorified web browser, PDA and possibly a big ass phone. In the meantime all the cheap laptops will disappear and become 'portable multimedia centers'

I can still get a low and Thinkpad R61 or Lenovo N200 for $500 and for $200 more than that Asus piece of crap you get an actual laptop. Of course we'll never actually see a $200 laptop. Instead it will be a $200 MP3 player with a keyboard.

Re:This is all bullshit (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478714)

Is anyone going to use an Asus eee for a general purpose device?/I?

I think about this myself, but I'm not sure I agree. While it is not an optimal computing platform, it is a usable one.

When I started in computers, I hard to wirewrap my computer, solder the video connector, and connect it to my TV. I used it. It was usable. The EeePC is far better that my first computer.

Mod Parent Troll (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478858)

While the Asus eeePC is not perfect, it certainly is a general purpose device. I can do almost anything on my $350 eeePC that I can do on my $1800 desktop.

I bought it rather than a full notebook because it weighs two pounds (rather than 6 or 7) and is the size of a small book.

I'm sorry that you didn't like yours, but it isn't meant as a desktop replacement.

Get me one now (1)

Amazing Kevlar (981492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478362)

Forget the kids. I've been waiting for this ever since it first showed up in 'The Mote in God's Eye' by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Where the heck has the industry been on this one? Oh, right. They were in their Podzone.

right, so? (4, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478426)

Negroponte said the foundation hopes that the cost of the new device, which is scheduled for production by 2010, can be kept to $75

Is that 75 Real Dollars, or $75 Negroponte Distortion Field Dollars? And it'd be nice if the press actually took a stab at how realistic those "hopes" are- I mean, I hope that someday I'll shit strawberry-flavored lollipops while driving in my flying car, on autopilot while I bonk my supermodel wife...

Re:right, so? (2, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479374)

Given how far the US dollar has slipped against other currencies $150 laptop would be close to a $100 laptop in 2000. Parts and labor in Asia is becoming more expensive when priced in US dollars.

Makes sense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478448)

Finally. A hybrid e-paper and LCD tech design in the form of a book. I have been thinking about this for a while, and it just makes sense. For internet applications, use the LCD screen, while for extensive reading you would use the e-paper display. The best of both worlds.
I am curious if Mr. Jobs is to plan such a device. Remove the keyboard from the MacBook Air, replace it with an e-paper display and make the LCD multiple touschreen sensitive. Some software on it for functionality like "dragging" the PDF file to the e-paper display, and we're set.

WTF (4, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478490)

I'm just confused by this. My initial gut reaction is that Negroponte wants to completely scrap what came before, and put his own stamp on the project. But that makes no sense, because it was his project, and his stamp was on it already.

They will be able to sell this new device for under $100, this time for sure. Okay, I'll agree that using standard DVD player screens might help. But why two screens then? Isn't the screen the most power-hungry part of the device? The OLPC screen has special power-management features; won't standard screens burn more power? And won't having two screens double the power?

The article spoke of "dual touch screens". At first I thought this meant "multi-touch screens" but now I think it just means both screens will be touch screens. Even so, how do you make a standard DVD player screen into a touch screen?

And once again. Why two screens? Yes, it looks more like a book. Big deal. This dual-screen design has a hinge! It's got to be easier and cheaper to make a slab tablet device, with maybe a hinged cover (note that a cover has no electrical connections and need not break a waterproof seal).

So, no keyboard; just an onscreen virtual keyboard. I'm guessing no onboard camera, since none was mentioned and they are being aggressive about price. Not one word about openness of software stack... Negroponte just doesn't care anymore, I guess.

The OLPC project hasn't just jumped the shark. They went out and found a new shark and they are jumping over it now.

steveha

Re:WTF (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479136)

And once again. Why two screens?

Just guessing, but here's how I'd do it: in "landscape" mode, the bottom touchscreen becomes your keyboard, and you have a laptop. In "portrait" mode, you have dual page view, great for reading reference or technical works - view cross-references on the two screens, or keep a diagram in the left screen while you read the text on the right screen.

And in fact, I just went and looked at TFA, and there is a photo of the thing in "landscape" mode with the bottom screen a keyboard.

So, if they do it right, this isn't dumbing down a laptop into an e-book, it's a laptop whose keyboard can go away to give you a second screen. Nice idea, though I'd have to wonder how much it sucks to type on.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23479150)

They will be able to sell this new device for under $100, this time for sure. Okay, I'll agree that using standard DVD player screens might help. But why two screens then? Isn't the screen the most power-hungry part of the device? The OLPC screen has special power-management features; won't standard screens burn more power? And won't having two screens double the power?


For the OLPC, the backlights for the display is one of the biggest power consumers. Unbacklit, the thing consumes very little power. Done right with modern super-LEDs, it'd still be expensive on power budget but very doable.

I don't find it hard to believe that they might accomplish this- but in the same vein, they promised this same sort of song and dance before, only to have them fall short of the promise; not because it wasn't technically possible, but from politics from what I can gather at this point with Sugar Labs spinning off, them putting XP in the mix to "make governments happy", and so forth.

Re:WTF (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479332)

touch screen part isnt that difficult, it's been done on the eee.

I would think you could put an on screen keyboard or just transcribe handwriting on one screen while using the other as a monitor. actually theres quite a lot of configurations possible a couple of sd card slots and a usb or two and it becomes quite an interesting device,battery life is the killer thou. As a first world product and access to an electricity supply it could be popular.

maybe if one side had solar cells it could be self charging to an extent.

  not quite sure its right for the olpc project thou.

No more speciality displays? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478572)

I thought the current OLPC screens were special high DPI screens which were perfect for reading, as opposed to generic portable DVD screens?

You expect people to read on that? (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478582)

Why after all this time can the current screens on the OLPCs not be made cheaper? In nearly 5 years the best they'll have improved on is lowering the price, and making it look worse and less functional? Surely they are trying to address some unique challenges, but this is horrid.

The worst part however is that these screens simply suck! Think of the children! In 20 years we'll need One-Set-of-Glass-Per-Child (OSoGPC).

suggested read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478732)

read High Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll for a lot of great insight into the books vs computers debate for education

And they though PORN was an issue before... (1)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478818)

Now kids will be able to get Penthouse beamed directly to their mud huts!

OLPC has to change its name (3, Funny)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478820)

OEBPC doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

speculation (0, Offtopic)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478832)

Anyone care to speculate why waderoush would want to crash his own servers?

Until I ad a few more servers to the farm, I wouldn't try direct linking from the front page of /.

Currently I have 3MB fiber, 2 Opteron 2.0GHz with 4GB, both pointing to a 8 core xeon with 6 spindles and 8GB Ram... I was going to ask yall how long you think it could take the load, but there's a lot of difference between posting index.php and spacer.gif... So nevermind.

wait till you are asleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478870)

Is the subliminal message 'MS is good' included?

3rd gen sub-$100 notebook? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478876)

With current market trends, I'm willing to bet it will be a combination palmtop with cheap phone service/data plan attached, and built in software for coupon shopping/bargain hunting with a fliptop compartment on the cover that contains makeup space and a mirror.

I actually mean that semi-seriously

It's NOT an eBook Reader! (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479178)

It's NOT an "eBook Reader", it's a laptop designed like scaled up Nintendo DS, a dual-screen clamshell. Calling it an "eBook Reader" is a travesty.

How about spending some time on the education part (3, Insightful)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479200)

New hardware is nice and all, but it's really of minor importance compared to the elements of the platform that should be there to help kids learn. I think there's a reason that the press never covers how fantastic and ground breaking the educational aspect is. The technology is interesting, but as far as I can tell, the educational aspect is an afterthought.

3rd edition will be a $100 bill (1)

mistermark (646060) | more than 6 years ago | (#23479280)

...and for $200 you can get into the buy-one-give-one program.

Not an eBook Reader at all (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23479310)

Despite all the knee-jerk reactions (including the author of the article) to this being a glorified e-Book... it is NOT. It is clearly much more than that

It is a functional laptop in an eBook-like shell. Just look at the pictures. There is a pic of a kid holding the thing like a laptop with a virtual keyboard on the bottom display, and a game being played on the top display. This indicates that it has much more than eBook capabilities, and likely incorporates multi-touch capability.
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