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104 comments

Oh well (4, Funny)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108076)

I guess it'll be the India's $200 tablet now.

Re:Oh well (2, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111120)

no, the $100 laptop ended up costing $180 but simpletons like to round up to $800. And if you really wanted to use that "logic" then the joke would be, The $35 tablet will end up costing $100.

FYI, the OLPC jokes are sore spots for many because of how Microsoft and Intel came in and destroyed the customer base for the project with false claims of better products which never existed. It took over a year for the great software company called Microsoft to get Windows XP booting on the XO. But that's about all it could do unless the OLPC doubled the RAM and doubled the CPU. You know, like how the original EeePC hardware ended up all jacked up along with the price after Microsoft paid ASUS those nice marketing kick backs to use Windows XP instead of Linux/OSS.

$35 for a tablet is pretty outrageously cheap and very unlikely. Even a $100 tablet sounds too cheap except when you think of how many millions India could build and distribute. Just like how the original OLPC/$100 laptop project was stated as such with minimum order size of a million units and at least a few countries willing to sign up. Isn't the Kindle now priced at $139? It's all about scale but watch out, because when you talk this kind of scale, Microsoft will come in and want to destroy it unless it's using Windows.

Maybe India is just looking for another tens or hundreds of millions from Microsoft to not doing a cheap Linux based device. Isn't this what happened in Thailand a decade or so ago. I remember HP sold out of those cheap laptops and the Thai government stated to sign up Dell to help cover the demand. Then came Microsoft with some kind of deal and the laptops ended up costing more and got Windows instead of Linux. Too bad US school systems to use this tactic since so many are in dire need of cash these days.

LoB

What could OLPC learn? (2, Insightful)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108092)

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction, but will OLPC be able to learn anything form involvement in the ultracheap Indian effort?

Joint ventures FTW!

Re:What could OLPC learn? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108126)

The OLPC principles are flawed.

Before netbooks existed, I always said I'd buy one, or a few, just for a laugh.
Then they come up with DRM to block a hypothetical second hand market, and that give 1 get 1 nonsense.
Personally I think they should stay the hell away from the $35 tablet, least they pollute it with their retarded principles.

And put them on amazon with super saver shipping. I'll buy 10!

Re:What could OLPC learn? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108508)

I think you're missing the point of OLPC - it's not so affluent people can buy lots of cheap computers, it's to offer access to the less privileged in the world. If the way to do that is to provide mechanisms to prevent these being sold off on the second hand market by corrupt governments or individuals, or to protect the western markets of those who have generously contributed/discounted hardware and software to the project then that's a necessary evil that nevertheless allows some good to be done.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (0)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108648)

Yeah, sure. Except when all of those "mechanisms" lead to a stillborn result, guess what? The "less privileged" get fuck-all anyway. Nicely done there, Nicky.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108738)

I think you're missing the point of OLPC - it's not so affluent people can buy lots of cheap computers, it's to offer access to the less privileged in the world.

Right. And the way to do it that stays is to flood all markets with cheap computers, driving prices down, so that the less privileged in the world can afford to buy one. A successful example of that is the adoption rate of cellphones in Africa.

As for the efficiency of all-planned and overprotective approach... how well is OLPC doing today, again?..

Re:What could OLPC learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33112404)

Cellphones are helped in Africa by the fact that they're the only reliable phone you can get. Land lines get stripped for copper as soon as they're laid.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (3, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108908)

Yes, but allowing more affluent people to buy them as toys doesn't stop the poor people getting them, it helps them as they enjoy greater economies of scale, and more units to spread their fixed costs over.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108154)

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (4, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108218)

OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft. OLPC's policy is simply like this: If an organization buys OLPC XO-1 & XO-1.5 machines, they are free to do with them what they want, even install Windows should they choose (unlike the iStuff Apple does not want you tinkering around with and have to be jailbroken in order to do more stuff). You buy it, you own it and are free to install whatever software you want on it (whether open or proprietary), unlike a lot of gadgets today which you only seem to license from their manufacturers due to their DMCA and DRM hooks.

Moreover, some governments requested that their machines run Windows, so how could Negroponte say no to that request from paying customers? (I don't think it ever happened though, haven't seen any XO-1s running WinXP in the wild. The XO-1.5s should be able to run Windows with their higher specs tho).

I asked, AFAIK, NO ONE at OLPC has been working on Windows stuff, it was all up to the MS folks to make Windows run on the OLPC XO machines. The only work done by OLPC folks did to support Windows was to make the BIOS more compatible. One of the engineers at OLPC said that the changes the MS folks wanted to the BIOS would even prevent booting to anything else than Windows, so what the OLPC dude did was actually fix the BIOS so that it *could be* dual booted to both Linux and Windows as opposed to the MS folks' original plans.

There's been a lot of hate thrown towards OLPC ever since the Windows thing, but really, everything they do is open source over there and nothing really came out of that Windows thing except negative public backlash.

Now about selling to small deployments and individuals, IMHO this is something they need to do to make the platform survive. The smallness of the size of the developer crew at OLPC is simply ridiculous. More geeks need to be able to get their hands on these wonderful machines to get a healthy software and application ecosystem going.

As for touchscreen, having monkeyed around with an XO-1 machine, I'd say it's a must-have when you twist the screen into tablet configuration. The gamepad buttons on it are simply not enough when you need to use the mouse.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108294)

You're a FUCKING M$ troll, admit it. You want to SUCK Bill Gates' COCK. Admit it. You DREAM about ASS SEX with Steave Balmer, you know it.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108422)

There's been a lot of hate thrown towards OLPC ever since the Windows thing, but really, everything they do is open source over there and nothing really came out of that Windows thing except negative public backlash.

Which is exactly why they should not have bowed to ms demands in the first place. Ms and intel were never serious but tecognised that co-opting is a great way to kill a project like this. Olpc is already sleepwalking to failure, as evidenced by the size of its dev crew and real world deployments. It died because they were too busy grandstanding and announcing vapourware and partnerships to make something cheap, useful and ubiquitous. Android is already further along than olpc will ever be, and partnering with negroponte would be the kiss of death for any Indian project. Why do they need negroponte when great software is available for free and they have a huge supply of programmers?

A touchscreen device for $35 would be great, but it is not close to reality- the Indian government, who have the money and manpower to really make a difference (unlike olpc), should take that lesson to heart and change the world rather than waste time promising the impossible. They can make it cheap and ubiquitous and truly useful (though limited) or expensive and full-featured and end up competing with all the commercial solutions out there and constantly sabotaged and undermined by companies like ms and intel. I know which I would choose.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (0)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108594)

I wish the Indian government would stop grandstanding in general...

Take for example the Nano. Great, its cheap nice concept... So why are they running out of them? I would even like to see the bottom line on that car and I am willing to bet its a money looser.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/07/tata-nano---worlds-cheapest-car----gets-price-hike/1 [usatoday.com]

Here are the classic indicators; waiting list, price hike and very low sales. If the Nano had any profit Tata would be building them like there is no tomorrow. After all why not? So why not? Its a money looser...

Just like this 35 USD touchscreen device will be a money looser!

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (4, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108642)

*ahem* The Nano would be a Tata product, and Tata is a private company. It's like blaming Obama for the iPhone's antenna...

And the point of the $35 device is not making money. It's a given that it'll lose money, since it's subsidized. The idea is to use it for education, and the government is willing to spend on that.

Now, whether it'll actually be useful or not is a different question entirely.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108840)

It's like blaming Obama for the iPhone's antenna...

I'm actually surprised the ignorant Tea Party puppets haven't done that yet. Oh Look! There's Russia, right over there!

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33110502)

I think a better example would be "it's like blaming Obama for the Chevy Volt..." :P

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (4, Informative)

BangaIorean (1848966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108876)

Actually, the TATAs underestimated the demand (don't ask me how and why - I don't know), AND had to move out of their planned manufacturing plant in the East Indian state of West Bengal. They threfore, have just one factory in the North Indian state of Uttaranchal to cater to countrywide demand. However, a new factory in West Indian Gujarat is almost complete, and once Nanos start rolling out of there, the waiting list will disappear :-)

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33110206)

>Which is exactly why they should not have bowed to ms demands in the first place.

Who is "they?" The governments that buy OLPCs make these demands. Tell them "no, you must use linux" is the same as saying "Sorry, no sale." I think you'll find that in life people generally don't have the same OSS zeal people on slashdot do - and its a good thing.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108822)

some governments requested that their machines run Windows, so how could Negroponte say no to that request

Open your lips, touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and exhale. That makes the "nnnn" sound. Then lower your tongue. You get the "ohh" sound. It's one of the easiest words to say.

OLPC is an organisation built on principles, and supported by idealists. When Negroponte chose to betray the ideals that most of his supporters cherished, is it any wonder that the response was them to choose to donate their time elsewhere?

I do agree with you that OLPC must start selling to anyone who wants to buy one, and I mean buy one at $100, not buy one, donate one for $400. Honest to god, it boils my piss to see that OLPC site is still marketing itself as a charity for Poor Little Sambo, with a "ways to give" button. The instant that changes to "ways to get" I'll know that they've made an vital discovery about human nature.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109114)

OLPC did not bow down to Microsoft. They bowed down to the request of governments that demanded that they be able to run whatever they bloody wanted (Windows) on the machines they purchase. Why is that a bad thing?

Isn't this the complete opposite of the evil thing that Apple is doing now with the iPhone and iPad - that you be able to run only software Steve approves of and nothing else?

This negative backlash on OLPC-Windows is twisted way out of proportion.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109542)

OLPC did not bow down to Microsoft. They bowed down to the request of governments that demanded that they be able to run whatever they bloody wanted (Windows) on the machines they purchase. Why is that a bad thing?

Regardless of who the requests came from, trying to modify OLPC to run Windows pushed their devices up in price and put them in direct competition with netbooks, required them to run intel, etc, etc.

This was a very successful attempt by Microsoft to poison the well at OLPC, and Negroponte fell for it. It drives up the price of the hardware (low-end hardware won't run Windows), and drove away the very open-source developers that OLPC depended on, leaving us in the situation we have today, where no-one cares about OLPC, not even the governments he's trying to sell it to, because it's just as expensive as the Windows laptops it was initially trying to obsolete, the only USPs are geeky things like mesh networking, and it holds no appeal for the hackers who are *essential* for this sort of project to get off the ground.

Clearly Negroponte thinks his revolution can be sustained by hype alone. I'd be sad to see the Indian gov. fall for the same sort of charlatan. I'll ignore the gratuitous reference to Apple being evil, as it is irrelevant to OLPC or $35 tablets - those devices aren't even in the same ball-park.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111400)

Dude, the OLPC folks never modified the XO to run windows. All one of their engineers did was modify the BIOS to be a little more friendly for the MS folks, that's it. Windows did not jack up the price of the OLPC XOs, so throw that FUD misconception away.

Also, it was the OLPC machine that created the entire netbook market. When ASUS saw that stripped-down OLPC laptops would be released to the market at such low prices, they leaped in and created the EEEs to take a piece of the apparently profitable pie. IMHO, for many many reasons that a lot of people agree with, OLPC should *ACTUALLY* compete with the netbook market with a retail offering to make the project more viable and succeed.

The OLPC XO-1.5 is an upgraded version of the XO-1 with a faster CPU, more RAM and more storage because as users found out, a 400MHz AMD Geode processor is no longer enough to surf today's AJAX-bloated internet or to watch HD internet videos (hi-res vids on Youtube eat up CPU, everybody else just doesn't realize it anymore because the cheapest PCs/laptops available pre-OLPC were all above 1GHz in speed). Damn you, web developers who abuse shininess and don't know how to optimize!

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33132340)

Why is that a bad thing?

Well, for one thing, it killed the OLPC project by driving away most of the volunteer devs. You can tell that it's dead by the desperate scrabbling for attention, and the risible announcements about churning out $75 iPads (laughable as their "$100" netbook costs $400). It's gone, man. Just let it die with some dignity.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (2, Interesting)

scribblej (195445) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109056)

If "...everything [olpc] do is open source..." then why do we have an article saying Negroponte has offered their knowledge? It's already out there, open, right? RIGHT?

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33109802)

It was a sellout in the sense that the project appeared to leverage open source to gain a favorable agreement with MS, who didn't want to license copies of XP for $3, but submitted to the pressure of doing so when the project began to gather interest from the media and general public. What began as a goal of introducing computer and internet learning to children with no previous exposure, turned into a power grab for Microsoft. Had the Bill Gates Foundation offered unrestricted grants to the project or Microsoft approached them early in development asking how it can help, people may have a different opinion of the subject.

Re:OLPC did not sell out to Microsoft (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#33110468)

so how could Negroponte say no to that request from paying customers?

Microsoft has done very well out of saying no to paying customers, especially when it comes to interoperability.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108288)

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

It seems obvious how this might point the Indian project in the right direction,

What could India possibly learn from the rudderless OLPC project? They've lost their core software team, sold out to Intel then lost their support by foolishly trying to monopolise the low-end, sold out to Microsoft and then have been undermined by the MS drive for Windows netbooks, refused to deal with small deployments, *and* come nowhere close to their target price. About the only thing that has survived that project from inception is the glorious leader Negroponte. His promise today is worthless. The only thing they could learn from Negroponte is what not to do; over-promise and under-deliver, but unfortunately, given their silly promise of a $35 touchscreen tablet which they haven't got the tech for, it seems that boat has already sailed.

What India should be doing with this is creating a smart machine for $35, without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad, but the input method doesn't matter - make it a good ereader and mandate that it is used by all schools looking to buy tech for education.

That would give them the customer base to create a truly mass-market device, and the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm from bright young Indians to make it a success, and allow them to commission software for it that would really make a difference to education in a country which is dependent on it for its future. English is already the primary medium of instruction, and there are huge numbers of existing free texts in English which would make such a device incredibly useful to students everywhere, not just in India. Even just a web browsing device this cheap with a larger screen than a phone would be a breakthrough for many students.

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Re: e-reader (4, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108306)

Oh, BTW, I've been using the OLPC XO-1 I have with me as a PDF reader. A touchscreen would be amazing for scrolling, panning and zooming. The mousepad and gamepad arrow keys are pretty stifling. The touchscreen would be so intuitive for kids, and best of all, will allow them to take notes in traditional fashion and enable them to sketch diagrams for their notes, something a keyboard and trackpad won't allow you to do.

As for OLPC tech, the Pixel Qi screen is a complete game-changer and something everyone else on the market doesn't have yet (can't wait for the Notion Ink Adam android tablet which will have it). It's simply amazing how you can switch between colored backlit LCD to black and white low-power sunlight readable mode which *extends* battery life. Moreover, even the backlit LCD mode is sunlight readable. If you take your device outside or put it under very bright lights, it will show up as black and white and is still readable as opposed to normal backlit LCD screens.

The wireless mesh networking technology used by OLPC is also something I want to see perfected across the computing world. The OLPC XO machines were built so that you can chain a bunch of them across a long distance to share and piggyback an internet connection that's available to only one machine, kinda like smart dust.

Another thing, I haven't tested it, but under ideal conditions (think line-of-sight straight highway with no obstructions), the XO machines are supposed to be able to communicate across 1 kilometer. I'd believe it though as the XO picks up a *LOT* of wifi signals that my phone can't see. Something like 30:10 ratio.

Re: e-reader (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109496)

Oh, BTW, I've been using the OLPC XO-1 I have with me as a PDF reader. A touchscreen would be amazing for scrolling, panning and zooming. The mousepad and gamepad arrow keys are pretty stifling. The touchscreen would be so intuitive for kids, and best of all, will allow them to take notes in traditional fashion and enable them to sketch diagrams for their notes, something a keyboard and trackpad won't allow you to do.

This fantasy device sounds great - if you were talking about a $200 tablet, and it was running Android on ARM it would perhaps be possible, if you're talking about a cheap tablet used for education, it's foolhardy to try to stuff it full of the latest tech, try to make it run Windows too (intel only, expensive), and then hope it would somehow hit a price point of $35, or even $100.

Re: e-reader (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33110648)

Since when are touchscreens "the latest tech?" Touchscreens have been around since the 70's. My personal first touchscreen gadget was from the early 90's. Everybody and their kid has had a touchscreen DS for ten years.

Keyboards are well established, but are fidgety to manufacture and have lots of moving pieces. A touchscreen, in theory at least, should be cheaper to make. It makes sense.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108836)

without a touchscreen (impossible to get a good one at that price), possibly with something like a trackpad

What sounds like an interesting solution (in theory) is what was advertised for the upcoming Notion Ink Adam tablet. They've put a trackpad on the back of the unit, so that it rests right against your fingers when you hold it in landscape mode. The inventor claims that it doesn't take long to get used to that unusual location, but the benefits are obvious - it doesn't make the device any bigger, and it can still be held conveniently with two hands.

Given that the tablet is being developed in India, it would make sense for them to at least give it a try.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108962)

Touchscreens aren't expensive. LCDs on theater hand are, and there is no escaping that.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108176)

OLPC won't learn anything from anyone. Do not forget, Negroponte is an incompetent douchebag, and that is why the OLPC project tanked. Negroponte imagined that every technical wheel could be reinvented: applications, hardware, networking, user interface, desktop environment... and then he also imagined that the distribution and manufacturing side could also be reinvented. As the results showed, reinventing even a single one of these things was way beyond Negroponte's competence. All bright ideas and no brains.

The Indians would be well advised to stay the hell away from OLPC and stick with practical stuff that actually works.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108242)

A: How to market something cheap and flimsy to people as a way to stimulate the regional economy... via disposable consumerism.

Re:What could OLPC learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33109872)

What could OLPC learn that we haven't already learned from India's previous announcement that went nowhere?

India's $10 laptop is not a laptop
http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/04/indias-10-laptop-is-not-a-laptop/

Negroponte is upping the ante (5, Insightful)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108104)

India is trolling - it can announce $35 tablets, even $0.00 tablets, but it sure as hell can't make any for that price. The components alone cost more than $35 [fastcompany.com], and that's when China makes them with slaves paid less than India will pay.

Negroponte has been there, knows the truth, and knows that India is just there to swindle international news media to get attention for its own country. He's going to co-opt that attention for his own project. Good on him.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108238)

Nou. You are trolling.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (5, Insightful)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108256)

This actually fantastic. The developer base left at OLPC is shockingly small and if they join forces with the India effort, they can really do a big impact with low-cost, energy efficient computing.

I really hate how the hardware world has gone into faster, faster, more, more when it should be working on cheaper and more energy-efficient. I'd rather that Moore's law went into making chips at current speeds cheaper than constantly expensive chips at faster speeds. Instead, what they do is phase out slow-cpu tech and keep selling power-hungry speed demons

On a related note, having an OLPC XO-1 unit in my hands, having gone through the internet on a Pentium 1 back in the 90s, I really hate the present AJAXification of the entire web - it's no longer possible to fully surf websites on a 400MHz machine like the XO-1 without having to turn off Javascript and Flash.

Javascript programmers are doing the very same thing that gave Flash a bad name years ago: Bloat.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108694)

The problem is the motivation. Until the market pushes for cheaper and more energy-efficient, there isn't much motivation. From what I gather, trying to improve the speed while keeping the price as high as possible is more profitable than just letting the price slide and improving efficiency. Staying afloat financially in the high tech business is pretty hard as it is, so I really don't blame them for not going down on price if they can avoid it.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109390)

The problem is the motivation. Until the market pushes for cheaper and more energy-efficient, there isn't much motivation

The market has pushed for cheaper and more energy-efficient, which is why so many of us now own netbooks. The problem is that there's not so much profit to be made there, so they are telling us we don't want netbooks, and making half-assed netbooks in an attempt to prove to us that netbooks suck. This is very much the same situation that we have with cars in America, but the computer makers are trying to do it to the whole world. Americans declared that they wanted smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, and car companies forced them to keep buying ever-larger and more powerful vehicles. Roughly 50% of car commercials are designed not to sell cars, but to make you feel good about making a shitty purchase.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111286)

Intel's canoe lake [digitalhomethoughts.com] reference netbook looks fantastic.

It's easier to make a given pricepoint faster, than it is to make a given power point cheaper. Once you've sunk the ridiculous fob plant costs, it's probably about the same cost to make 1" of an i7 as it is to make 1" of a 486. Add in all of the non-flexible details of manufacturing (soldering points, shipping, etc), and it makes sense that things get faster but not necessarily cheaper.

The netbook makers are now pushing 10 hours per battery charge, with keyboards that aren't terrible and screens that are basically as big as they can be for a given size. Intel is focusing on low-power portable processors far more than at any point in their history. What features, specifically, are you upset that the netbook makers aren't improving?

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (2, Insightful)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111572)

Price.

The price of netbooks has significantly gone up, with the older, cheaper models being phased out, leaving only the more expensive new units on the shelves. The price of most netbooks now equal those of lower-tier cheaper "real laptops" (ordinary large ones) that have more horsepower.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33109540)

hear hear

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109664)

I agree with you. Well, mostly. I have a hobby of looking up how much juice my electronics take before I buy them. I wanted to be able to play the most recent games at the same time, so it's pretty rough. Graphics cards tend to be real power slurpers these days, I had to look around to find one that wasn't too bad. I found a fairly good rule of thumb is to look at the amount of heatsink the thing needs. Inefficiency = heat, right?

Meanwhile, I was quite excited when I found out the Wii takes 1/10th the power of it's competitors. O_O Further, I read that it can run older games using less electricity than the original system. Ooooooo

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111988)

I really hate how the hardware world has gone into faster, faster, more, more when it should be working on cheaper and more energy-efficient. I'd rather that Moore's law went into making chips at current speeds cheaper than constantly expensive chips at faster speeds. Instead, what they do is phase out slow-cpu tech and keep selling power-hungry speed demons

You haven't heard of the netbook, smart phone, and tablet crazes of late? There are thousands of companies around the world trying gain the upper hand on small, energy-efficient, fast computers and I have to say some of them are doing a bang-up job. The iPod Touch that I carry around in my pocket all day has enough oomph to do about 70% of what my desktop computer used to.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 3 years ago | (#33119858)

See: Intel Atom.  Also all new generations of ARM chips.

You're right about all the js, though.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108264)

Except they're not trying to make an iPad, but something much cheaper, and India pays comparable salaries to China.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

sneakerpimps (1082011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108282)

India is trolling - it can announce $35 tablets, even $0.00 tablets, but it sure as hell can't make any for that price. The components alone cost more than $35, and that's when China makes them with slaves paid less than India will pay.

A lot of cheap Indian made components combined with the cheap and/or free workforce of India -- they can certainly get closer to $35 than almost anyone else.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108456)

the cheap and/or free workforce of India

"Cheap and/or free" to whom?

Well components maybe (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108316)

The components may well cost 35$, but I'm sure they excluded the price of the PCB and the machine time for mounting the components onto the PCB, thats a big chunk of money right there. Then you've got the assembly, logistics and distribution costs so that even with cheap indian labour I'm sure you'ill be much closer to 70$ than 35$.

In sort its easy for the guys in the lab to look at the BOM and say 35$, but the reality is somewhat different.

Re:Well components maybe (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108468)

Then you've got the assembly, logistics and distribution costs so that even with cheap indian labour I'm sure you'ill be much closer to 70$ than 35$.

If we see a $70 pad in the next 5 years, I'll eat my shoe.

Steve Jobs would bomb Bangalore before he'd let that happen.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (2, Informative)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108384)

India is trolling - it can announce $35 tablets, even $0.00 tablets, but it sure as hell can't make any for that price. The components alone cost more than $35, and that's when China makes them with slaves paid less than India will pay.

Wow.. the guy compared prices for the iPad display, which is an expensive IPS panel, and the Kindle display which is an expensive e-ink display. Hardly an enlightening article, more a pratt blowing his own trumpet and being a dick head.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108452)

India is trolling

Can somebody explain why India needs a $35 tablet and the rest of us don't?

India is just there to swindle international news media to get attention for its own country

What does it benefit from this "attention"? Assuming India's press agent is actually the one behind this bogus story, which I doubt, what good does it do India to have this kind of story on obscure tech blogs?

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108558)

If anything it's likely counter-productive. The only people who would be interested in this are geeks, who find it hard to believe this price is possible, and tablet producers, and they won't want to see their margins slashed to nothing trying to compete with a $35 tablet (and even if it never happens it still makes their products sound expensive). I fail to see how anyone benefits from this unless they can make it happen.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (2, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108588)

The components alone cost more than $35. Govs around the world eat cost to provide work, skills, tech, exports and eduction. They hope to get it back in a generation.
Look at India and its pharma - from generics and anti viral drugs to world class developers in a generation.
They are hoping for the same with this device.
It might be expensive but long term, India learns a real OS and builds it own skill base, free of MS 'charity'.
MS and its 'gifts' are just a gateway drug for back end severs and contracts with user base growth from 'free for now'.

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111456)

let's take a quick look at that link:

" A 4-inch screen for the iPhone 3GS costs $16."
that sounds reasonable.

" 8GB of RAM costs around $15."
why on earth would this little device need 8GB of RAM? 512MB at most and 4GB of FLASH would easily work for the storage space.

"Kindle's 6-inch e-ink screen (the Indian tablet looks like a seven-incher to us) costs $60"
why would they want to use the expensive e-Ink screen? At most, they could use the Pixel-Q
screen technology if they want to make it outdoors readable and from what I read, they don't.

"its PCB is $10"
just for the PCB? really

"Throw in another $7.50 for your battery"
sounds reasonable to a Li-On battery

"and you're suddenly looking rather over-budget. Where has the bargain basement price come from?"
obviously they are not thinking straight about what would really be inside a barebones device. Granted, $35 is a lowball price and more likely to be used only as a low bar to shoot for. Reality will probably bring this up to just under $100 but even then, a $80 7" tablet sold in the millions of units would be an attention getter. Enough so that Microsoft will not let it happen. Windows 7 is _the_ tablet OS and Steve Ballmer said they will dump massive amounts of _effort_ into making this happen and that means MS $$$$$$.

India might just be smarter than you think and what they are looking for is lots of MS $$$$$$ to not do this project.

LoB

Re:Negroponte is upping the ante (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114870)

The components alone cost more than $35,

They list a handful of completely unrelated parts, and complain THEY cost more than $35. This thing certainly won't be using an eInk screen, so quoting prices for those is FUD. It probably won't be using a high-capacity LiIon battery either, and a small NiMH battery is only a couple bucks (not $7.50). The $35 price tag for components is a stretch, but it's certainly within the realm of possibilities.

Hell, I could do it if you want a low-end B&W LCD, instead of a backlit color screen. I've wired enough microcontrollers to 7-segment LCDs with $10 of equipment to know it's feasable if your requirements are modest (and reading eBooks certainly doesn't require much). "Personal Organizers" were quite literally FREE for a couple years there in the early 2000s, before PDAs took off. Now they'll run $10 or so, but are only a very small step away from conversion into a full, networkable computer.

Futile (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108148)

OLPC was always just another bloated passive-anger exercise in futility and marketing. Now the OLPC project failed and opened the doors to better and lower cost consumer alternatives they're trying to cop a slice of the the developing nation action to screw another cheap headline and prove their relevance. Whatever made these indentured academic elites think they had any clue about shipping products people could afford and wanted to buy? Now if the Indians can commoditise the market for well designed cheap tablets that might light a fire under Apple's ass and cut their prices so your average overworked and underpaid worker can afford to buy their way out of the Microsoft ghetto. But that would require the arrogant sociopath, Steve Jobs, to swallow some of his own bullshit pie and that ain't gonna happen, right?

just who paid you to type that bullshit ? (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108428)

"I like the proposal [of] giving away the back-up strategy if XP is rejected,"

`We should see how we can "target" the funds for the specific research .. a way to position this around MSFT willing to possiblt give MORE if they research on stuff that is mutually interesting'

`I think we should name our new open source license and romance its creation. "Education Open Source" or something like that'

`Remember that a key part of our strategy is to create a situatuion where even if Nick rejects us for philosophical reasons there is a long and visable history of our attempts to work with them and then we have to ask to get a license for the "open source hardware" and we will make our own offering on the commercial side' Craig Mundie Oct 2005 link [olpcnews.com]

"The OLPC News website in the past months has build up a reputation for sharply criticizing the $100 laptop .. It turns out that one of the site's authors works on an Intel project [siliconvalleysleuth.com] that is competing with the OLPC. Oops"

Why Microsoft Must Control One Laptop Per Child [technocrat.net]

Re:Futile (2, Interesting)

Shane A Leslie (923938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108450)

The XO was never about "shipping products people could afford and wanted to buy". It was about giving children in developing nations an open platform on which to learn computing, and have access to digitized knowledge resources. Not everyone is out to make a profit, some people just want to do good things.

Re:Futile (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108598)

I'm not sure what relevance this has to Apple whatsoever. Apple never suggested they were making a budget tablet nor competing on price (there are already higher specified, lower priced machines out there). The company's model has always been to charge a higher price to reflect the aspirational aspect of their projects. They've been undercut with vastly cheaper and more powerful desktops for years but it hasn't affected their price point in that market, so if you imagine they will drop the price of iOS products to try and compete with a cheap tablet I think you are sorely mistaken.

Re:Futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33110996)

Looking at some of the responses to my criticism of OLPC some of you people are wearing blinkers and have short memories.

Still, it's fucking funny seeing a bunch of tolerance on their own terms jerks get bent out of shape.

Re:Futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33112890)

OLPC was a great idea run aground by greed, stupidity and a little help from Micro$oft. Your average person can't be helped, he's too daft. GNU/Linux can be downloaded for free right now and is way better than anything else out there.

Steve Jobs == Steve Ballmer. Neither of them care the least bit about the well being of anybody else besides themselves.

And yeah, there will never be a well designed $35 tablet.

Encryption (3, Funny)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108370)

Lets just hope this laptop only has support for yesteryear's encryption such as ROT-13 lest the Indian government causes a fuss about not being able to spy on OLPC user's traffic and outlaws its like they did with satellite phones.

Manufacturing? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108440)

Does India have any tech manufacturing base? No troll - sincere question.

I know they've got keen engineering students who want that base to develop so they can work in it, but I can't think of any factories. Everything's in China, isn't it? In which case this is a pipe-dream promotion by the prof. It'll get friendly words from various Goverment officials trying to sound like they want to do things for education and manufacturing, but it won't get funding like the Space program does. (Space programs are relatively easy to fund -- national vanity projects aren't judged by meeting commodity pricing.)

Which leaves the remaining indian tech I can think of, which tend to be licensed military contracts that suffer bad cost-overruns and delays. The Tata's isn't a good example because its only innovation is stripped-out performance and safety requirements. It's a fine and useful thing, but it's not an example of technical industry any more than the Trabant was. You can apply the same principle of Vicious Compromise to digital school tablet, but that won't deliver something cheaper than its Chinese parts.

Re:Manufacturing? (-1, Troll)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108612)

Chinese parts are fine, its the language and OS skills that will grow India long term.
England made sure India could never get too many local hi tech skills during the colonial days, why settle for US digital colonialism?

Re:Manufacturing? (2, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108618)

Does India have any tech manufacturing base? No troll - sincere question.

I know they've got keen engineering students who want that base to develop so they can work in it, but I can't think of any factories.

Yes [indiamart.com], Dell [huliq.com] does smone manufacturing there.

Re:Manufacturing? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33112694)

I'm no India expert, but their economy had been geared towards self-sufficiency, and not so export-driven like China. They do have their share of manufacturing but they target domestic market, and as such, not of comparably high quality and sophistication as those of the Chinese who target the Western/rich and global market.

In the recent years, though, good bit of FDI from Japanese and Korean multinationals had set up more modern and competitive manufacturing setup both for domestic market as well as for export to the regional developing markets.

That said, I agree with the main gist of your point - the gap between India and China on electronics manufacturing, both in terms of efficiency/know-how and sophistication, is huge.

I wonder (1)

MotiB (1861796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108608)

I wonder - will it run Flash?

Re:I wonder (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33109036)

According to this article [softpedia.com], it will run Adobe Flash:

At the heart of the 10.5-inch tablet lies an ARM chip. The exact chip set to be used has not been disclosed, but it is known that 2GB of memory will be present to back it up. The display is a color touchscrenn with multi-touch support. Furthermore, the configuration includes cloud storage, 10/100 Ethernet, WiFi b/g , a so-called highly-customized operating system and even support for Adobe Flash. Thus, there will be no issues regarding online videos and interactive educational content. Finally, the device comes with a digital camera and compatibility with OpenOffice.org documents, Adobe PDF and various multimedia formats.

Knickerless Negroponce (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33108656)

This is just what India needs -- and who better than this joker to show them how capitalism crushes idealism?

Negroponte needs India more than India needs OLPC (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108716)

This statement from him is just a last ditch effort to recapture the media's attention after India's announcement challenged his position in two ways:

  1. It shows that a very large and very important developing nation does not believe that the OLPC project can provide the cheap access to computers that they promised.
  2. By having a price-tag which is 20% of that of the OLPC it shows just how exceptionaly expensive and overengineered the XO-1 is for it's stated purpose.

By "offering the OLPCs technology to India", Negroponte is trying to both create the impression that India did not went out on their own because the OLPC's technology was not adequate for it's stated aims and to set up the groundwork to later claim some of the success from India's project by stating that it succeeded thanks to the help from the OLPC project.

The OLPC is pretty much dead and has been dead ever since they sold out to Intel. What was initially supposed to be a rugged notebook for developing countries ended up mostly being sold to mid-level countries such as Uruguay and Peru (source [wikipedia.org]).

Somewhere during his quest for visibility - which was meant to give the OLPC project the needed funds and customers - Negroponte got addicted to the spotlights and lost focus on what the OLPC was meant to achieve: the OLPC project became the means by which Negroponte got his moments in the spotlight, not the other way around.

Negroponte essentially sold the project out to the large corporate interests whom the XO-1 threathened as a disruptive technology. While the true soul of what the OLPC project was meant to do slumbered on for a bit in the form of netbooks and it will take something like India's project to bring it back to life.

Re:Negroponte needs India more than India needs OL (1)

takowl (905807) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111148)

What was initially supposed to be a rugged notebook for developing countries ended up mostly being sold to mid-level countries such as Uruguay and Peru

So you mean that they should have pushed it into places which couldn't afford it, nor the infrastructure to support it, and refused it to the places that wanted it? Sending laptops to a tiny village in Somalia with no internet connection would be a waste of time. Selling cheap computers to what you call "mid-level" countries like those in South America could do some good.

Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, he's not offering them his help because he wants the attention, he's offering them help because he actually wants them to succeed? As the head of a non-profit organisation with a mission to promote cheap computers for education, is that so implausible? And despite the various issues OLPC has run into, it's probably got more experience than anyone else for this kind of project (Intel's classmate is technologically similar, but I think OLPC is much more interested in how they are used and supported).

For my final point, I'd like to borrow from family guy: "Oh yeah, I bet you've got a much better --low cost educational laptop--. Stupid dog."

Re:Negroponte needs India more than India needs OL (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113166)

Somewhere during his quest for visibility - which was meant to give the OLPC project the needed funds and customers - Negroponte got addicted to the spotlight...

No, he was like that in his Media Lab days, before OLPC.

That's the big problem with OLPC - it's more about Negroponte schmoozing with heads of state, and less about shipping product.

Another CEO with the same ego problem is Shai Agassi, of Better Place, the people with the electric car battery changing system. He's full of grand schemes, but what he actually has delivered, after raising substantial capital, is one charging station in Tokyo for a fleet of taxis.

We are missing something here. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113720)

The OLPC is pretty much dead and has been dead ever since they sold out to Intel. What was initially supposed to be a rugged notebook for developing countries ended up mostly being sold to mid-level countries such as Uruguay and Peru.

There has to more to it than that.

The kid with an XO laptop is almost certain to be Hispanic-American and Roman Catholic.

60,000 to Brazil. But over 500,000 to Peru. 100,00 units - of 1.5 million - went to Rwanda. But Rwanda is the only significant - confirmed - deployment of the XO outside the Western Hemisphere. OLPC: Deployment of XO laptops [wikipedia.org]

The OLPC was originally presented to the Education Minister as a one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave-it, bundle of hardware, open source software and a Constructivist philosophy of education straight out of the Western media lab.

When your product doesn't sell worth shit outside of Latin America, than any claims of universality are officially bogus. Until proven otherwise.

 

Yes, but can it run Windows? (1)

trashbird1240 (1149197) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108896)

I mean really, sure the kids will learn about all this fancy electrical engineering and maybe one day they will figure out how to provide clean drinking water, build good hospitals and all that, but what's really important is shoving these kids into cubicals in Mumbai so they can code spambots. When are people going to learn that idealism is great but what really matters is greed and making money NOW. Not to mention, what kids really want is games: can you play Grand Theft Auto on one of these cheap laptops? That's what the kids want.

Too little too late.... (0, Troll)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33108918)

Sure, of course, now that india has proved who ever is in charge of the OLPC project was in it just to make a buck himself, and that now they proved him wrong with his designs, he hopes to at least get them to look over some of the materials they still might need and make money by them using his stuff....right, of course, he is thinking of the endless millions of kids needing one of these over there, and is just a too excited for his own good....I think this is just your perfect example how the big wheel keeps turning to help the richer get richer and the poor get poorer (if that is even a word...)...

If students from india could figure out how to make a 35$ tablet , you know these guys could too, quite easily, they had the contacts right off the bat to save money where as these students do not even have contacts, they are just using ingenuity, so they come up with it and show the world that this is possible and that these companies are still just as greedy as they have ever been, I think india's government should just can OLPC and just straight off the shelf make the tablets available to all stores over there with a price cap or sell it themselves online...

India does not need OLPC or $35 tablet (1)

SriniPune (1865320) | more than 3 years ago | (#33111364)

What India needs is one laptop and a projector per teacher/class and decent content developed centrally and a decent broadband infrastructure India has developed very good content for higher engineering education check http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/ [iitm.ac.in] or http://www.youtube.com/iit [youtube.com] and is planning a three tier structure to distribute the same to all engineering colleges. The $35 is the last link in this distribution chain for this content Unfortunately similar content is not developed for primary education(still 40% of Indian population is illiterate) and the primary education delivery is very poor in spite of governament pouring lots(relatively) of money in to it. The whole education field is tightly controlled by government. The relatively rich (top 5% of people mostly in cities) manage to get some reasonable education for their children by sending their children to private "english medium" schools and to tuition and coaching classes for upto precollege(first 12 years of education) and by paying donation and very high fees for admission in "private"engineering colleges. Even in these the quality of teaching and infrastructure is poor compared to abysmal standard in government run primary schools(not english medium) Good and cost effective ICT can change the scene very fast some other points why the $35 access device may not be important are - 3G is being rolled out in India by this year end - this gives broadband access on mobile - most engineering students can afford a $100(approx Rs 5000) mobile phone with 3G capabality and the excellent content is already there for downloading

OLPC - ORPI - TDPDS (1)

crackerpipe (1770368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113174)

Excellent. His brother, John Negroponte, implemented a similar exchange via Honduras (into Nicaragua) in the early 1980's: ORPI (One Rifle Per Iranian) for TDPDS (Ten Dollars Per Dead Sandinista).

More of a software problem (1)

8086 (705094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114138)

What the Indian government needs to do is come up with a linux distro that will run on old discarded hardware and contain educational applications. A lot of the costs involved in building a new computer platform are redundant when there are already a bajillion old discarded PCs that one can buy for around $35. One thing Indians and most developing nations are good at is fixing up junk and making it useful. A government supplied distro that comes with educational videos, sounds and images, a local copy of wikipedia, and a simple platform that the masses can use for writing applications such as a grain price monitor, and a usable UI written in hindi (and later on in regional languages) can go a long way in achieving their aims.
The government already owns BSNL which has a huge cellphone network throughout the country, and they can start a low-speed internet plan (available only to those with a ration card [wikipedia.org]). They can collaborate with someone in China (say huawei) to manufacture PCI cards and USB dongles that can use the GSM network for data.

The problem is not hardware as much as it is software and content. If you were to subsidize and hand a netbook to every child and poor person in the world today, you couldn't expect them to use it for educational or professional benefits. They'll just log on to facebook and watch Justin Bieber videos. Just recently we heard a story about how computer use does not correlate with higher grades in developed nations. What makes people think it would be any different for a developing country?

As a middle class schoolkid in India, I would've been delighted if there was something else apart from just black and white books that I could learn from. Instead of just reading about concepts, it would've been cool if I had access to simple videos of what an atom probably looks like and speeches delivered by mahatma gandhi. Or a simple geometry application in which you can draw circles and triangles to learn about them without wasting paper.
What India can do is get together a big enough team of developers, schoolteachers and social workers to write applications and compile content for this $35 computer, integrate it into an OS distribution that will run on any x86 processor above the 486 and is portable to other platforms, and then get NGOs to install this on old machines and deliver them to the poor. When they run out of old machines to use, then, maybe they can come up with a cheap x86 or ARM based laptop that has a cheap screen, a keyboard and a pointing device and can run this OS.
My point is that there are greater educational returns for the government of India in spending money in compiling a good software distribution and getting the masses involved early instead of starting another Simputer project that leads to nothing.
To those who do not believe a computer can be made for $35, I'd point to the cheap-ass Nokia 1000 series phones that are the mainstay of the cellphone revolution. These devices can still run simple applications such as games and e-wallets, etc., play MP3s, and some can even read flash memory cards. If one could just write some applications for them and increase the screen size, bingo.

nice try (1)

fly1ngtux (1504905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33124778)

Looks like our friend wants to de-rail the $35 computing device effort by luring them using his 'cheap' platform ;). All these 'cheap' computer makers like Negroponte will be the biggest losers if someone really makes a $35 computer. Stay away from Negroponte.
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