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OLPC 2.0 — One Laptop Foundation Reboots

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the mouse-keeps-roaring dept.

Education 187

Greg Huang writes "In early January, the One Laptop Per Child Foundation laid off half its staff and shed work on the Sugar graphical interface. Now, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte and president Chuck Kane for the first time detail the foundation's new plans, describe how the XO laptop will do what netbooks can't do, and share their hope to keep working with Sugar developer Walter Bender, who left OLPC last year."

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Dead horse vapour (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656745)

Stop vaporising this dead horse.

Now based on a discontined CPU, and renamed because they never hit the price target; hijacked by Microsoft's department of evil, I really think they need to give up.

Re:Dead horse vapour (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657087)

They also sabotaged their own efforts by NOT offering these units to the general public. Their limited "Buy One Give One" program was too little, too late.

If they had allowed the sale of the units to the general public, or even domestic markets (which I think they eventually did let one school district in the USA buy them) they would not have had such difficulty securing the minimum orders to secure their price point. They would also have had a revenue stream to sustain themselves and subsidize units for distribution in poorer areas. And they could STILL have remained a non-profit business while doing so.

Instead, Negroponte decided that it wasn't enough to give learning computers to underprivileged children in third-world coutnries - he also had to ensure that anyone who could actually afford them would be denied.

But the window of opportunity is now closed: The Asus Eee PC and similar products are satisfying the market the XO only teased. Sure the XO has a few features that other netbooks don't, but the novelty that could have taken them "over the hump" has worn off and now they're screwed.
=Smidge=

Re:Dead horse vapour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657679)

Couldn't agree with you more.

Excluding anyone from purchasing one of these was just about the stupidest calls ever.

Re:Dead horse vapour (3, Insightful)

colonslash (544210) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658687)

...he also had to ensure that anyone who could actually afford them would be denied.

The conspiracist in me jumps to the conclusion that they were forced into this. Maybe some company they deal with didn't want their profitable markets taken away. It is hard to believe they would be this stupid out of principle.

Re:Dead horse vapour (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658945)

Add in the fact they blew the chance to get the economies of scale on their side, they pissed away any help they were getting from the FLOSS guys by kissing up to MSFT, and putting Windows ANYTHING on a flash, much less WinXP on a machine with a lousy 256MB of RAM(what are you nuts?) means the swapping will kill it deader than Dixie, I could go on but why bother. The OLPC was a great idea that was completely destroyed by the arrogance of one man, and that was Negroponte. He had a good idea and a device that if it were sold to a company that had a brain could still move enough product to get the price down low enough every kid in the first AND third world could get one, but frankly he just pissed it all away.

I just hope when they shut the doors that someone else will come along and buy the designs. Because from what I have seen it is a rugged little laptop that with a good Linux optimized for the specs could still make a great learning tool for the children of ALL nations. Let us just hope they don't let the designs die along with their badly run charity. Although after seeing the arrogance with crap like "give one get one" I wouldn't be surprised if they just let it die.

Re:Dead horse vapour (3, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657895)

wait, don't get up yet. There's one last hope! They can start making them completely out of edible materials so children in 3rd world countries can eat them instead of just learn to write viruses, steal identities, and send e-mail scams. I think we can all agree that that's what they really need.

MOD PARENT UP (0, Flamebait)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657981)

I think you mean it facetiously, but you certainly a valid and apt observation. The last thing we need to be sending to people who are starving to death and getting shot by wandering bands of "people's militias" is a damn computer. And we can't even reasonably distribute food - something that actually matters - so why the heck would we be able do distribute what amounts to a trinket.

      Brett

Re:MOD PARENT UP (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658383)

Sending food is good, but it only addresses the symptoms of poverty and does not provide a solution. Education does.

Provide food and education. Sending only food guarantees they will never be self-sufficient. Education at least gives them a shot at it.

And if you really want to help, send them food, computer and guns.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (5, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658753)

"Developing" != "war torn and starving." There are lots of impoverished areas that have food and clean water, just insufficient education. That's where this laptop was aimed at.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (5, Insightful)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658977)

I The last thing we need to be sending to people who are starving to death and getting shot by wandering bands of "people's militias" is a damn computer.

Your frequently stated argument is bogus.

I have lived as an expatriate in rural Africa for many years, and have personally known both starvers and shootees. They are a tragic but small minority of the people of Africa. One of the biggest problems facing the education system in the country in which I lived (Ghana) is the expense and unavailability of teaching materials. Rare is the classroom where anyone other than the teacher has a textbook, and frequently even the teacher doesn't have one.

The OLPC project directly addresses this issue, making low cost (free) teaching materials available on the desks of the children.

Delivering education to people addresses many of the underlying issues that cause the starving and shooting.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659813)

One of the biggest problems facing the education system in the country in which I lived (Ghana) is the expense and unavailability of teaching materials. Rare is the classroom where anyone other than the teacher has a textbook, and frequently even the teacher doesn't have one.

So, instead of spending the $225 or $250 on one laptop that probably doesn't connect to anything, about about buying 20 or 30 textbooks? Seems more useful.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659645)

Along with the 3 above posts I'd like to say, there's a nice NYTimes article about the OLPC program once, it's about learning, it mentioned how the adults are getting some education too, it ended with an anecdote about a mother who said she's been playing with the chess program on her son's laptop, she doesn't know how to play chess, and the article ends with "I think I am going to learn it."

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659885)

I'd say education is at the root of the other problems of which you speak.

The USA has sent TENS OF BILLIONS of US tax dollars to the Pakistani government, and nearly 100% of it went to their military.

We now have a better armed, more nuclear capable Pakistan (which probably an item for good debate another time).

Pakistan failed to spend good money on public education, ceding the task to Islamic madrassas. As a result, 'democracy' is near impossible in that country (impossible meaning there's no way the military will turn over the nukes to a civilian government, as the population is becoming more and more radical).

You can't win a war with textbooks, but you can eliminate some or many of the conditions than make opportunists WANT war. An army without public support is reduced to banditry, and covering their face in public.

I think the zune (0, Offtopic)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658501)

I think the zune is a piece of shit, oh wait... this is another microsoft product, right?

I'll take Pandora, thanks. (4, Informative)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656761)

I have preordered the Pandora console [openpandora.org] and I'm happy. It gives me about 10h of running Ubuntu on an ARM cpu in a mere 0.3 kg of weight.

Oh thre's also an unofficial blog [wordpress.com] and a video vault [kultpower.de] . You might like the forums [gp32x.com] too.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (5, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657019)

You've preordered it and you're happy? Did you actually receive one also or are you just happy with the specs?

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657227)

He probably means he preordered it back when it was available to be preordered, and has since received it and is happy with it.

It actually seems like a pretty cool device.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657297)

It's not OUT yet, and is scheduled for sometime this year.
They've had nothing but fuckups and bad luck so far trying to get the damn things into production.

Aptly-named device is aptly-named.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657527)

It's not OUT yet, and is scheduled for sometime this year.
They've had nothing but fuckups and bad luck so far trying to get the damn things into production.

Aptly-named device is aptly-named.

Taken from their front page, it looks like people that preordered it by September 30th might havae one.

"When and where can I buy it?
It is already available to selected developers and preorders on September the 30th for casual users via UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Turkey."

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (4, Informative)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657535)

They will ship somewhere around April or March. That's the whole point of pre-ordering. See the videos, like for example the last one, of a prototype [openpandora.org] (there are other movies as well, with working ubuntu, openoffice, gimp, etc.. - see the links in OP), which is now heading into mass production.

The OpenPandora guys were wise enough to not take any loans from banks, and so they are safe now despite the worldwide financial crisis. Instead they let people to make preorders about three months ago. People who don't trust, were not required to preorder ;) Their servers almost overloaded when preordering started, anyway. They sold about 1000 units in first 10h (or so [gp32x.com] - this post was written 17 hours after preordering started). And the first batch is just 4000 units. If you keep your eye on it, maybe you will be lucky to get one from the second batch, there are lots of people who want it.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658997)

Judging by the foxy geek chick on the front page, I, uh,... wha'..? Move over, Asus Eeegirl, nerds everywhere have a new pinup. Nice move, SeedyMarketingPloyMan!

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657687)

Oh, I just noticed that Pandora is on engadget [engadget.com] now.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658089)

That has to be the fishiest response I can imagine to the question. It's far from an answer and more like an advertisement.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657281)

"2009 will surely be the year of the Pandora."

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

We all know the Pandora's only marketable feature is that you can run emulators on it out of the box. Can't wait for the lawyers to jump on that one (and they will, since that feature is being promoted heavily).

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658327)

Didn't bother the gp32 and gp2x, which preceded it. From the looks of the links this is just the natural succesor.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657349)

Who keeps funding these companies?

It amazes me that someone thinks that would be viable outside the Linux hacker market (which isn't big enough to sustain a product like that).

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

spintriae (958955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657365)

Given that you've been online long enough to have a 6-digit Slashdot account and a brand new, shiny netbook on the way, I'm assuming you're not exactly part of OLPC's target audience of the world's poorest children [laptop.org] . There's no need to refuse something was never really offered to you in the first place.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657437)

Interesting, if they'd brought it out last year I might have bought one to replace my beloved Psion 5mx which finally succumbed to cable failure.

I think it's about the same size, though I don't see it mentioned anywhere (there's a photo with some but it isn't a lot of help).

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657461)

Nah... Netbooks are the future. OLPC machines are underpowered, hard to type on, and have crappy screens.

At that price the Pandora is laughable. Just get a DS and move on. Or if you're really into the open gaming thing you would have gone with a GP2X [wikipedia.org] (or wait for the Wiz [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657733)

Are you an 11 year old living in a third world country. If not, who gives a shit.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658419)

That thing is not cheap at all. And while it's small, it's also quite bulky, due to the thickness of the device.

I can think of better ways of spending EUR 212/$330, if I want an ultraportable.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26659235)

What? The Pandora? It's roughly the size of a DS.

I'm personally waiting for the i.MX515 and the netbooks based on it. Especially if they'll give it 512MB+ of RAM.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

Rewind (138843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658887)

Sounds like don't use it primarily for games, but how are the dpads? They always looked too far inward to be comfortable to me.

Re:I'll take Pandora, thanks. (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659851)

I have preordered the Pandora console and I'm happy.

Great! I'm sure when children in the developing world go to school, their teachers will be happy to know that their computers can emulate every video game console prior to Nintendo 64.

OLPC isn't -- or shouldn't be -- a laptop hardware project. It's about enabling learning; the gadgets involved are at best incidental. This new interview didn't do anything to convince me that Negroponte understands the importance of communicating that fact, or even that he himself recognizes it.

Same name; New Project (5, Insightful)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656803)

This is significantly more than a simple reboot. The goals of 'OLPC' are entirely different than the plans of this new 'OLPC 2.0' as far as I'm concerned and I imagine it is this way for many others as well. We watched and applauded as OLPC began only to watch in dismay and tears as they project allowed itself to be taken over from within.

There are all kinds of points that could be made here, but I'll let the others bring those up. For me the complete 180 they've done has made me write them off completely as a useless relic of what happens when you completely lose sight of your goal to the point you start to believe the ends justify the means. RIP OLPC.

--bornagainpenguin

Re:Same name; New Project (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657313)

Dismay? No.
Tears of laughter? Yes.

Re:Same name; New Project (2, Insightful)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657325)

We watched and applauded as OLPC began only to watch in dismay and tears as they project allowed itself to be taken over from within.

No, some of you watched and applauded. Most of us just stood on the side lines and shook our heads waiting for the train wreak. Most of use knew it was doomed to failure from the start. The basic concept itself was flawed. It the idea of giving free laptops to children in africa and asia before you have the infrastructure to support it? The 100 bucks spent on that laptop for one child could have gone to set up the basic infrastructure to feed a whole village, forever.

Feed the children, teach them basics like read/writing and basic sanitation. Not to shit in their own water supply. Make their bodies healthy then we worry about their mind.

Did you read TFA? (5, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657515)

Silly of me to ask, I know.

They have collocated 1 million machines.

The bloody point of these machines is to require as little infrastructure as possible.

Where they failed is:

- Never trying to harness economies of scale.
- Internal political squabbling (mostly brought by Negroponte and his silly decision to use Windows, thus becoming a collaborator with the expansion of the Windows monopoly).

- The failure to harness the impetus of the FOSS community in order to obviate many of the production costs related to software. The bare minimum to achieve this would be to ensure a free OS is at the core of the project.

Sort out these issues and you will have many takers, even in the poorest countries there are children with access to some infrastructure that would benefit enormously with such a device.

Re:Did you read TFA? (2, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658733)

The problem is this - only your first point of failure is a failure of their own goals. The remaining two are only failures by the lights of a community that projected their politics and biases onto the OLPC project.

Re:Same name; New Project (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657877)

And thats where some of us argue.

I believe that tow things are keeping these countries of people back.
1. Bad government.
2. Us "donating" goods, hereby destroying what commerce they had before said dumping.

Any country run by corrupt and/or bad government is going to stay bad and corrupt until the people rise up and stop it. Before that, you'll have pockets of people who do make a living, albeit barely, until the government demands tax. Then its the beginning all over again.

And about the donation of goods: I saw a few documentaries on local TV and GoogleVids proclaiming that donation is also hurting them severely. When you dump 100 ton of clothes, you ruin any chance of making money in textiles. Same in any other industry, except this monopoly is done in good faith. Honestly, buying African made goods would bring them out of poverty rather fast. But their government wouldnt let them do that.

Re:Same name; New Project (2, Informative)

marnues (906739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658701)

This is not clothing. Clothing is very old technology that is saturated the world over. Yes dumping clothes does destroy any chance of a market economy based on selling clothing. You certainly take it for granted that other perfectly viable and probably better alternative economic models exist. Corrupt governments are only part of the problem. Subsistence living is the real natural enemy of capitalism as no company is able to exist without massive government support. Half of the problem is corrupted officials. The other half is our (as in the Western world) expectations that you can plug-and-play capitalism. Capitalism takes generations to gain a foothold and only where you can change common practices. When and where we drop clothes into Africa, we are not competing with any market economy. We are instead trying to stop them from being subsistent by giving them free time that they would be spending on making their own clothes. Yes this has unintended consequences that makes it a very poor decision to donate mass amounts of clothing to these areas. But you are creating a theoretical economy that does not exist and could not exist in that culture. And then you try to apply it to personal computers? No not even personal computers. Very small form-factor computers. Have you used an XO? No one in any sort of industrial nation should want one. There is no market except the free one. If these people have the ability to purchase even an Asus EEEPC, they will choose that over the XO.

Re:Same name; New Project (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659433)

"It the idea of giving free laptops to children in africa and asia before you have the infrastructure to support it? The 100 bucks spent on that laptop for one child could have gone to set up the basic infrastructure to feed a whole village, forever. "

Unless the people are changed by learning they will perpetuate their defective behavior choices that are the cause of all their problems. I'd rather educate a few than feed them all. Feeding them accomplishes nothing except helping sustain large litters they shouldn't be having in the first place.

Re:Same name; New Project (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659549)

Cute. Now go and reread what I wrote paying attention to the sentence immediately before the one you quoted. Actually, let me help you out...

The goals of 'OLPC' are entirely different than the plans of this new 'OLPC 2.0' as far as I'm concerned AND I IMAGINE IT IS THIS WAY FOR MANY OTHERS AS WELL. We watched and applauded as OLPC began only to watch in dismay and tears as they project allowed itself to be taken over from within.

Some emphasis added...

Following the flow of what I actually wrote should have made it clear the 'we' refered to the 'many' of the previous sentence, and many is not a substitute for 'all'. Nice try at making my words say something that wasn't there though.

As for the thrust of your post... Just reading it makes it clear to me just how far the project has fallen from its one time goals. You speak about feeding the body before educating the mind, you talk about basic ignorance that can only be cured by education and rail on about infrastructure. What you don't seem to understand is in its original incarnation the OLPC was the infrastructure. That was what made it so revolutionary in scope!

This was an attempt to not only teach a man to fish, (to borrow from that old analogy) but also to provide a man with the tools to fish too.

Too bad petty politics and ideology turned it into another excuse to profit off the backs of the poor when if properly executed it could have lead to enrichment all the way around.

--bornagainpenguin

Re:Same name; New Project (5, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657569)

Indeed. This part of TFA interested me the most:

In the 2007 holiday season ... the [G1G1] program took in $37 million. This past season, the foundation partnered with Amazon to sell the laptops and increased its advertising and marketing efforts substantially--to two or three times what they were in 2007, or close to $20 million, virtually all of it pro bono. Yet, sales fell off a cliff, coming in at about $2.5 million. Negroponte attributes "almost all" of the falloff to the poor economy, though others have theorized that the computers themselves had lost their appeal.

The fact that the second G1G1 failed despite significant marketing to the public-at-large, whereas the first G1G1 succeeded using only word-of-mouth and grass-roots marketing is quite telling. I'm sure there are many reasons (including the economy), but I believe the shift in values of the OLPC organization was a significant effect. I was super-keen to participate in the first G1G1 program: both because I felt I was helping an organization aligned with my ideals (free distribution of knowledge; free software, etc.) and because I felt that I was buying-in to a vibrant community (because all kinds of hackers and kids would be programming fun stuff for the platform).

But then I felt let-down by the changes in OLPC. The switch in emphasis (including the shift to Windows) meant that many enthusiasts and volunteers lost interest. And this devalued the whole platform to many people, since it seemed like the community was disappearing (or least fracturing and changing). So I stopped 'spreading the word', advocating for them, and didn't participate in the second G1G1. I'm sure many others felt as I did.

Obviously 1st-world enthusiasts and hackers are not the target audience for the XO. And yet I believe they were quite important in building and supporting the platform ($37 million from the first G1G1 is quite impressive), and that by neglecting that community OLPC has lost some of its most useful supporters. (Then again, I could be totally wrong; wouldn't be the first time someone over-estimated the influence they had on a particular sequence of events.)

Re:Same name; New Project (0, Flamebait)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659057)

The fact that the second G1G1 failed despite significant marketing to the public-at-large, whereas the first G1G1 succeeded using only word-of-mouth and grass-roots marketing is quite telling. I'm sure there are many reasons (including the economy), but I believe the shift in values of the OLPC organization was a significant effect.

I'm sure those things were part of it - but you can't ignore two other significant factors; First, by the time of the second G1G1 there was considerable competition in that market. Second, by the time of the second G1G1 word had spread about how badly they'd bungled the first and their refusal to acknowledge the problems.
 
 

But then I felt let-down by the changes in OLPC. The switch in emphasis (including the shift to Windows) meant that many enthusiasts and volunteers lost interest.

Which is in itself telling - that you placed your religious (OS/software) beliefs over your desire to support the goals of the project. (Which was primarily educational, and only secondarily political.)
 
 

Obviously 1st-world enthusiasts and hackers are not the target audience for the XO. And yet I believe they were quite important in building and supporting the platform ($37 million from the first G1G1 is quite impressive), and that by neglecting that community OLPC has lost some of its most useful supporters.

Which tells me that in the end the 1st world enthusiasts and hackers weren't as liberal as they insist they are, and really aren't any different from Joe Sixpack Biblethumper. So long as they are being catered to, they talk the talk - but when the OLPC refused to adhere to their religious beliefs.... they took a walk.

Re:Same name; New Project (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659013)

what happens when you completely lose sight of your goal to the point you start to believe the ends justify the means.

More like, what happens when you let a Professor from the "Media Lab" (the biggest shower of vacuous tossers ever to discredit the name of MIT) try to run a business, rather than sticking to spewing bullshit in Wired magazine, where he belongs... :)

Post for old school trolls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656809)

Remember...always grease up your Yoda doll before you shove it up your ass and proclaim the superiority of Linux.

Also Jon Katz is now a transsexual crack whore on the streets of Detroit. I'd link a shock site here too, but I'm too lazy. You boys know where to find 'em. Go to it!

Re:Post for old school trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657031)

I was so shocked when I discovered a naked petrified Natalie Portman under my kitchen table, I accidentally dumped an entire bowl of hot grits down my pants, killing my penis bird. The last thing the penis bird said to me was "imagine a beowulf clust..."

Re:Post for old school trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657093)

Where's smargle buttsex when you need him!!!!

Outcome not hard to predict... (4, Funny)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656859)

and share their hope to keep working with Sugar developer Walter Bender, who left OLPC last year

I anticipate Bender will tell them to bite his shiny metal ass.

Re:Outcome not hard to predict... (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659031)

I knew he was a robot!

1\2 laptop per child .. (1)

h.ross.perot (1050420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656861)

I hope they cut the marketing fluff and kept the brains.. (Braaaaainzzzz)

OLPW?? (5, Funny)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656887)

One Layoff Per Worker? Perhaps they should extend the "two for one" and just close the company...

Re:OLPW?? (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656931)

And all those laid off workers need a netbook they can afford...

Re:OLPW?? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657351)

Seems to me laid-off "workers" need a job.

too late (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656903)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy. Those suckers have 9 inch screens, Atom processors, and a gig of RAM. So who needs this OLPC stuff?

Re:too late (4, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657207)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy. Those suckers have 9 inch screens, Atom processors, and a gig of RAM. So who needs this OLPC stuff?

I wonder what effect the OLPC had on the eee PC. If because of the OLPC businesses like Asus start making low cost, and portable, computers then I think OLPC will have done a lot. Now if only Asus would include a similar power supply, pull a cord to generate power.

Falcon

Re:too late (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657233)

I think it had a lot of effect. I think it told Asus where people were looking, and Asus followed the money.

And good on them. Thanks to OLPC and Asus' following them, we now have many companies competing to bring low-priced laptops to the market, instead of hovering comfortably in the $1500 range like before.

Re:too late (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657707)

so called "netbooks" have been available in Japan, Taiwan, and (the wealthier) parts of China for years. ASUS didn't see OLPC and decide to make a small laptop, though it may have convinced them there was a market for it in the US/Europe.

Re:too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657917)

Which Best Buy are you shopping at?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcat17080&type=page&qp=crootcategoryid%23%23-1%23%23-1~~q70726f63657373696e6774696d653a3e313930302d30312d3031~~cabcat0500000%23%230%23%231kr~~cpcmcat163300050051%23%230%23%231~~nf510||41737573&list=y&nrp=15&sc=abComputerSP&sp=%2Bbrand+skuid&usc=abcat0500000

Re:too late (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657301)

I have an OLPC XO-1 and have logged a fairy decent amount of time on eee PCs(contract job, an outfit was looking to make citrix thin clients out of them).

My comparision: eeePC is notably more powerful, no question. It also feels more like a "real" computer, probably because of the hard top, rather than rubber, keyboard(also the color, obviously). The screen, though, is something else entirely. With the backlight off, or in bright sunlight, you get a 1200x900, very sharp, very readable, 200dpi, reflective LCD screen. With backlight on, or in lower light, you get color at somewhat lower, though still adequate, effective resolution. The screen is the big deal. In color mode, it is as good or better than a standard netbook screen. In greyscale, it is by far the best electronic reading device I've ever used(e-ink might be better; I've not seen it). The mesh stuff is cute; but not something I've had a chance to play with much. Sugar is interesting; but other linuxes work as well.

I can certainly see why netbooks would be largely preferable in many situations; but they cannot touch the OLPC screen, for my purposes, nor do they have any of the cute collaborative stuff(whose utility I cannot comment on).

Re:too late (5, Insightful)

sukotto (122876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657697)

It often seems to me that the engineering was the only thing that OLPC got right. Everything else was like a lesson in how NOT to do it.

Re:too late (1)

redxxx (1194349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657961)

With the backlight off, or in bright sunlight, you get a 1200x900, very sharp, very readable, 200dpi, reflective LCD screen.

If I could have purchased one for less than $400, I would have done so mostly for this feature. It seemed very attractive at a price of around $200.

I don't believe there are any commercial products out there with a similar display, which is kinda a shame.

Re:too late (4, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657423)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy. Those suckers have 9 inch screens, Atom processors, and a gig of RAM. So who needs this OLPC stuff?

I think Negroponte said it best:

In the case of netbooks, he says, "You could arguably say we really created the netbook market. But if you look at the netbooks, they really copied the easy part. They didn't copy low power, they didn't copy mesh networks, they didn't copy sunlight-readable displays. All three things are absent from every single netbook."

I've personally used an OLPC before. While I'm not ready to buy one, I'm impressed with just how fine the design and build quality is for its intended purpose.

Seems like Slashdotters get regularly stuck in a mindset of "geez, it wouldn't work for me, therefore it must be crap." There are several billion other people on this planet, a sizeable number of whom might like it just fine.

Re:too late (4, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657879)

You're right to point out that netbook owners can power their own netbook with a crank or whatever the OLPC ended up using, but the interesting part of the quote is "we really created the netbook market." Hilarious how they'll say that now, when they refused to sell the OLPC to anyone that actually wanted one in the US or Europe. Now that they can buy EEE's, there's (basically) no reason for someone in a developed country to even consider the OLPC.

If they had marketed the OLPC to everyone, they not only would have created the netbook market they would have owned it, while subsidizing their efforts in Africa. Instead, Asus jumped in where OLPC wouldn't... and here we are where we're at today. Asus is making a killing while OLPC has essentially folded.

Re:too late (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658669)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy. Those suckers have 9 inch screens, Atom processors, and a gig of RAM. So who needs this OLPC stuff?

I think Negroponte said it best:

In the case of netbooks, he says, "You could arguably say we really created the netbook market. But if you look at the netbooks, they really copied the easy part. They didn't copy low power, they didn't copy mesh networks, they didn't copy sunlight-readable displays. All three things are absent from every single netbook."

Of course he says that as it's the points he has left. My opinion on it:
Low power and unreliable power can be the same, but far from always. 20W is a lightbulb and isn't much power at all IF you got power. The lowest of a residential circuit here in Europe 220V/10A could power 100+ of those netbooks, just to point out what Negroponte considers "high power". For unreliable power you have the battery, so the only places this is important are the ones where you're really permanently out of electricity with not even a modest generator/solar cells/anything. There are places like that, but I've been in some very poor areas that are not among them. And it carries a huge performance penalty which escalates the software requirements to efficiently utilize it, which makes it much harder to deliver an acceptable package.

Mesh networks are nice, but really if you're close enough to mesh there are other ways. These machines would likely be in isolated cliques around the world - it's not like you're going to mesh the nation and for collaboraton there are other ways - if you're talking poorest of the poor they can be bothered to walk the few meters the mesh network would reach and colo working on something. Updates are likely to be a select few internet connection points anyway.

Finally, sunlight-readable displays. I'm sure they're great but roughly everyone from beduins to god knows what have found some way to make shade - people don't do too well without it either. It doesn't have to be anything resembling housing, just something to tune it down to normal daylight strength which you can read on a netbook. Being able to read it anyway is a neat trick, and allows for those really extreme conditions, but doesn't resemble much like a place people live regularly and could adapt in order to use the computer- even the wildest bushmen you can find.

I think they just went overboard on it - even if you have nothing like our schools and our classrooms and our teachers at least imagine you have a bunch of kids gathered around an adult trying to teach them things in a dwelling. If the dwelling got any local power generation at all, the netbooks are on it. I'm not sure how many that covers but a large part of the OLPCs target market and if they don't have anything like a school or no power in the entire dwelling at all then probably that's what we should get them first.

Updates are pushed from the adult who'd have a satellite uplink or somehow otherwise get online on some pro bono time to get updates and such. Cache as much as you can locally by say including a copy of the national wikipedia on the teacher's machine. Have changes diffed, uploaded and submitted for someone centrally to merge (since they're way async) and start building a huge knowledge base in the local language and with local information (or fork wikipedia if there's issues).

To the extent they're able to use it at home or outside the school is nice and ruggedness is definately a big must, but that's in context a *luxury* and not essential. Most people below that point have much more essential problems than an OLPC could solve to begin with. Remember, an OLPC will not give you clean water, food, shelter, medicine, protect you from war and unrest and so on in the here and now. It might someday aka "teach a man to fish", but the OLPC is a long-term solution for kids that already have a tolerable short-term situation.

Re:too late (1)

shess (31691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659723)

In 2007, I got a G1G1 OLPC for my kids, and an Eee 701 (or whatever, original) for me. Honestly, the OLPC has left me feeling let-down. My kids enjoy it, but I don't think they're really learning much of anything, though they do seem to have figured out how to reboot the thing as needed. Whereas the Eee certainly isn't teaching them anything, but it's definitely more useful to me. So they really are different beasts.

I think where OLPC has really let things down is in concentrating so much on the hardware and software, when it's the content that's really important. I don't think they caused the netbook at all, unless you mean that Asus and others got so annoyed with the delays that they decided to do something about it. Rather, I think the netbooks were a right-time, right-place type of thing, which OLPC could have taken advantage of if they weren't already committed to their course.

While something like a LeapPad or Leapster is not a "computer", it's a LOT cheaper. An open-content version of the LeapPad would be very doable, and very directly world-changing, whereas the OLPC seems to be all potential and no delivery.

Re:too late (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657501)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy.

Can you provide a link to that? I can't seem to find it. The cheapest one on BestBuy.com [bestbuy.com] is $329.99.

Re:too late (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657823)

I just saw an acer one for $285 (sku 9163291) on bestbuy.com, so maybe you're looking at their intranet web site ;) I don't know if they've ever hit the $200 price point (maybe as a limited black friday special), but newegg is currently selling the EeePC4G-BK029 for $250 (with free shipping)

Re:too late (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657935)

$199 eee 900A at BBY. [fatwallet.com]

I ended up paying more for the Samsung NC10 (8hr battery, stereo bluetooth), but I'm not a third world kid, so I can afford to be picky.

Re:too late (5, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657971)

So who needs this OLPC stuff?

Off the top of my head:

  • 3rd-world countries who need 10+ hours of battery life.
  • Computer illiterates who can use the icon-based OLPC interface and built-in social networking stuff
  • People who don't have network infrastructure and wnat to use the built-in mesh network instead.
  • People who need to run their laptop off of a bicycle, solar, or Ox.
  • People who use the laptop outside and need something rugged, but can't spend $1000 on a Panasonic Toughbook

The cheap eee PC laptops still don't serve those purposes. They probably never will, since it is a very specialized and likely unprofitable market.

Re:too late (4, Insightful)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658105)

I wonder why anyone mods this as insightful. The OLPC was not designed for people who shop at BestBuy. It was designed for children in the third world who often don't have power and rarely have an internet connection. It was designed to be rugged, easily repairable and to be used for years. Netbooks are just the next version of consumer throwaway junk.

Re:too late (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658857)

I'm sure there are many (most?) who would prefer the performance capabilities of a netbook to the low-power and durability of OLPC.

But you're right, people without access to power or even generators would prefer the OLPC.

Re:too late (0, Troll)

rpgdude (1439591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658991)

You can already buy eee PC 900A laptops for $200 at BestBuy. Those suckers have 9 inch screens, Atom processors, and a gig of RAM. So who needs this OLPC stuff?

Exactly. The Eee PC is the same price and doesn't only come in a childish green color.

From TFA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656913)

The most vivid example of this philosophy, to me, was Negroponteâ(TM)s comparison of the XO and netbooks. XOs cost about $225 apiece. Netbooks, which are produced by companies like Acer and Lenovo, among others, run about $300 to $450 but offer more memory and graphics power and larger screens. So, one could ask, wonâ(TM)t the normal, cost-curve-squashing evolution of computers obviate what OLPC is trying to do, and more efficiently than a non-profit? Negroponte replies that OLPC is not trying to compete with commercial computer makers but instead asking, "What are the things the normal commercial market wonâ(TM)t be pushing?"

What won't the "normal, cost-curve-squashing evolution of computers" include? Well, I don't see a huge rush by Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and others to include cranks, solar panels, and other alternative charging options to their units. I don't think the "normal commercial market" has decided to go that direction yet. Also, I doubt highly that these same companies will ever make their equipment repairable by children [com.com] as this would cut into their profit margins too much if they had to stop making computer equipment with proprietary and hard-to-replace components.

The underlying, subconscious goal (in other words, whether they realize it or not) of the OLPC project is to prove that reliable, hardy products don't have to cost a fortune. It's the mentality of the business world today to produce cheap crap that is then sold at a premium in order to finance yacht parties and private jets for the upper echelon of their employee-base. the OLPC is just one of the few outfits out there trying their best to disprove that particular business model.

OLPC to run under Ninnle Linux! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656919)

The project will succeed this time because Ninnle Labs has donated time and resources to developing a scaled down version of Ninnle Linux that will run on the OLPC system. Simplified, tailored versions of NinWM and Ninnle Office will be a part of the package, NinWM replacing the problematic Sugar. The new solar power panels will ensure that these laptops will be able to run for several years.

FUD in the article... (3, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656921)

The XO is more rugged, but its not really lower power than netbooks. Most Netbooks are using things like the Atom, which is very low power and with sub-ms sleep states. The XO's only real power-advantage is the non-backlight mode on the screen.

Does the mesh networking actually work in the XO? And the mesh networking, how useful is it anyway?

And the XO's G1G1 is hardly "poor economy", its that the XO early adopter-types got them the first go-round (and realized how useless they are: the keyboard is abysmal, the trackpad flakey, and teh software an abomination in the sight of God and Man), so there was no one LEFT in the second.

power-advantage (2, Interesting)

quax (19371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657063)

The OLPC screen really rocks. Only device I can comfortably surf on sun bathing on the deck.

Re:power-advantage (2, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657379)

The OLPC screen really rocks. Only device I can comfortably surf on sun bathing on the deck.

I have to admit I have a bit prejudiced view of who the average Slashdotter is and what they likely look like...

And that vision just turns my stomach! ;-)

Re:FUD in the article... (4, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657611)

but its not really lower power than netbooks.

Fully agree on that, the thing last 3 hours on normal use, thats nothing special, far from it. They still haven't even enabled the power saving stuff in the default configuration and the checkbox for that only made it their in the last release and of course it doesn't exactly work great, since the switching between sleep mode and normal one is very noticable. At least normal standby is now working, but even that took a long long while to implement.

Does the mesh networking actually work in the XO? And the mesh networking, how useful is it anyway?

In the type of setting for which the OLPC was designed for (i.e. school with plenty of OLPCs around), very useful I guess. In the western world on the other side: rather useless, since you have a hard time finding anybody with a OLPC to mesh network and instead just connect to the next best WLAN access point.

And the XO's G1G1 is hardly "poor economy", its that the XO early adopter-types got them the first go-round, so there was no one LEFT in the second.

I think the failure was a simple matter of price, you can today buy a better machine for less money. The $400 was never a competitive price to begin with (for refernce: thats the same one as Sonys PS3 has), but in the first round they didn't have competition, in the second they had plenty. By making the offer time limited and the price twice as high as needed they certainly ruined their chances and gave the competition plenty of room to get solid offerings on the ground.

All that said, ruggedness and sunlight readable screen are great and still something that no other laptop has. But slow development on the software side and complete failure to properly sell the thing to consumers just couldn't lead to a happy ending.

Re:FUD in the article... (5, Interesting)

Charbax (678404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659741)

the thing last 3 hours on normal use

That's just not true. In full backlight mode and WiFi you might get 3 hours on the OLPC, but in black and white outdoor sunlight readable mode, in ebook mode without WiFi, you get 12 hours on the OLPC while netbooks get below 2 hours with a similar sized battery.

Fact is OLPC chose a lower capacity battery using a new type of technology which, doesn't pollute, doesn't explode (like netbook batteries potentially do), and most importantly the OLPC battery lifetime is much longer. A normal netbook Lithium-Ion battery lowers it's capacity already afte 500 recharge cycles, after about 1500 charge cycles, a normal netbook lithium-ion battery usually is totally dead. While the OLPC battery keeps its charge capacity for moe than 5000 recharge cycles. Which means the same OLPC can last more than 5 years with the same battery capacity while netbook batteries last only about 1-2 years.

Re:FUD in the article... (4, Informative)

rqzmeeu (1228044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659307)

My -- that is my *daughter's* -- XO is very low power. Whether it's the power savings across the whole chipset, the ability to enter certain sleep states while keeping the display on, no hard drive, whatever: it's got a tiny power supply, charges quickly (bonus: with a wide range of input voltages!), and never gets hot. Seems really freakin' low power to me.

Of course, others have pointed out that it's rugged. (If you haven't handled one, it's easy to fail to appreciate this fully.)

The keyboard is fine. Not great, but fine. And certainly tough. If you're a kid, it's great. No, you're not going to break any world records for typing speeds, but that's not what it's for.

But all this ignores the software. I'm not a fan of Sugar, but I do see just how much it buys you from an educational perspective. If you wanted to get a kid to start learning to program, this computer is *ideal*. The programming activities are just begging for you to tinker, and the fact that it's all Python means that as you learn, you can start modifying the interface.

The basic activities draw in even very young children very quickly. My daughter at 2 liked hitting keys on the keyboard of the mac and the linux Thinkpad. She *loved* playing with the music activities, or even the simple text-to-speech program, on the XO. Sure, you could replicate the functionality on a netbook with linux. Unless you installed Sugar, however, you would have a *lot* of work to do to make it as inviting.

Again, I say this despite the fact that I don't like Sugar. IceWM and no journal trying to index 8 gig flash drives suits me fine. But to get kids seriously involved in computing, the software is as impressively put together as the hardware.

It's easy to say they should have sold them at $250 each. They thought they were going to get millions of orders from developing countries, and they didn't want to get distracted trying to serve the developed world. They didn't realize that Microsoft/Intel would undermine their efforts in the ways that they did. They were idealistic and focused and didn't foresee certain things. I'll cut them some slack, since their focus did result in something so beautifully engineered.

Bummer if they don't ship many millions of XOs, great that they showed what is possible in the neighborhood of $200-$300.

Even with the dropping prices of netbooks, I'd still say that an XO is worth $400. If your child would otherwise get a PS3, no question.

OLPC is 10x to 20x lower power than netbooks (3, Informative)

Charbax (678404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659697)

OLPC runs at below 2W all included, even below 1W in ebook reading mode, Netbooks need at least 20W all included.

Help the poor by helping everyone (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656935)

As long as they don't restrict the product to less developed nations the uptake will happen. It can be argued that OLPC started the netbook category, when ASUS and Intel saw the outpouring of support. If they create a product, allow it to be sold world wide, and the developed nations will create demand and volume for the charity work.

Who invented netbooks? (4, Interesting)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657905)

It can be argued that OLPC started the netbook category, when ASUS and Intel saw the outpouring of support.

This is the only article I could find [cnet.co.uk] cited by Wikipedia supporting the widely-repeated claim that OLPC inspired the "netbook" market, and this is just speculation by one UK blogger. Yet it's cited as a source for a factual statement in Wikipedia article about the XO-1 [wikipedia.org] filled with "citation needed" tags.

I'm not saying it isn't true, but it's kind of a broad and evangelistic claim and requires a little more research.

Thankfully, Gizmodo did an excellent series [gizmodo.com] on the trials and triumphs of OLPC, including the "who invented the netbook" question. There's no clear answer, but it definitely appears that the OLPC woke up computer manufacturers to the fact that there was a large, untapped market out there for cheap "netbooks."

Shut it down (1, Interesting)

imp7 (714746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656981)

Last thing we need to do is inject American culture into third world countries. Once these cultures get a taste of technology, they will start consuming the same way we do, poorly. Also, once this countries start consuming, they will be buying from American companies, which is good for us (mostly the company) but will slow down manufacturing growth in said country. Please don't support OLPC for the greater good of the Earth.

Re:Shut it down (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657283)

Im guessing that your company or work is not part of the "World". I dont know what you do or if you work, my company has buildings in 36 different countries. We support the education of the third world. So America doesnt make the most of what it has and buys then just junks a good piece of equipment. With the new tech and what we have learned they can make better decisions if its open to them.

Website Needs Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657003)

Am I the only one for whom the "Exponential Economy" is a black/blue on dark grey color scheme?

Instead of cooking up something new (1)

McBeer (714119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657495)

They should just set up a program where people can turn in old laptops, stick new batteries in them, and then ship 'em over to those who need them. New netbooks cost more then a used laptop and aren't really faster.

Re:Instead of cooking up something new (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658679)

Have you priced replacement batteries for laptops? And the backlighting is probably ready to go out, if it hasn't already. The costs would likely be more than buying brand new eepc's in bulk.

Re:Instead of cooking up something new (1)

acohen1 (1454445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658879)

The batteries cost way too much (>$100 for Li) and won't get the same lifespan as OLPC or new netbooks.

...Extinguish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657609)

I'm sadly looking at a littered trail of broken trusts and relationships which leads back to the Microsoft 'Embrace' of OLPC

S.O.P. move along citizen, nothing to see here, the naive angel got vampired as usual.

what about the "philosophy" behind OLPC? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657789)

Does Negroponte still believe in Constructionism crap? Or has he finally been hit by the clue train and thrown away Seymour Papert's raving theories, which have never been supported by any kind of scientific proof (and apparently been recently disproved by real science)? In that case, OLPC might finally become useful, offering third world children a tool for, well, learning even at the expense of playing...

Re:what about the "philosophy" behind OLPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658443)

Read http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/nepal/negroponte_curriculum_content.html before modding parent down...

Negroponte should have listened to us (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657807)

In the 2007 holiday season, Negroponte told me, the program took in $37 million. This past season, the foundation partnered with Amazon to sell the laptops and increased its advertising and marketing efforts substantiallyâ"to two or three times what they were in 2007, or close to $20 million, virtually all of it pro bono. Yet, sales fell off a cliff, coming in at about $2.5 million. Negroponte attributes âoealmost allâ of the falloff to the poor economy [...]

Or maybe it was because Nicholas Negroponte sold out to Microsoft and pissed off all the people who were buying from/evangalising the project. I'm amazed to see how much of an effect geeks/nerds can have. Don't think you're powerless fellow nerds, you can make a difference, even if it's from the confines of your mum's basement!

Just look at these threads on their mailing list [laptop.org] from last year, Nicholas is signed-up to it, multiple people are telling him in specific terms why trying to use Windows is a bad idea, and what does he do? Ignore them.

Negroponte is getting what he deserves for ignoring the community and selling-out to Microsoft. What an arsehole.

Re:Negroponte should have listened to us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658281)

tru dat.

- Posting from his expensive job, not his mum's basement.

ps. I never liked Sugar though and it was a hard sell for politicians who knew Windows -- they should have stuck to a conventional desktop.

I didn't G1G1 this year-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657915)

because OLPC has abandoned their commitment to Free software which I considered to be one of the things which made them both unique and uniquely suited to the needs of the developing world.

Now that OLPC is becoming just another non-profit front for US corporations-- another way of delivering that free first hit-- I saw now reason to support it with my money. If Microsoft wants to get India addicted to windows they can do it on their own dime.

I realize that my view is a minority one, but I expect that a considerable number of the possible G1G1 program were thinking similar things.

YUO FAIl IT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658899)

man walking. It's RAM) for about 20 numbeRs continue outreach are

Overbudget? (4, Insightful)

OberonX (115355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659041)

I thought this quote from the article was quite scary:

"The Rwandan leader initially ordered 10,000 XOs, then upped it to 100,000. The program now makes up a large fraction of the countryâ(TM)s education budget, according to Negroponte."

I'm all up for the use of computers in a developed world, including the OLPC initiative but considering most of these countries don't have a basic deployment of schools, teachers, books, etc isn't it unwise to spend a "large fraction" of your budget on OLPCs?

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