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OLPC To Sell 7-Inch XO Tablet In Wal-Mart

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the time-to-consider-a-rename dept.

Android 99

angry tapir writes "One Laptop Per Child is back in the tablet race, announcing a new 7-inch tablet with the Android OS that will be sold commercially and include its learning software. The XO Tablet was announced at the International CES show in Las Vegas. OLPC will license the design to Sakar International, which will sell the tablet in the U.S. through Wal-Mart."

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One antimalarial course per child (2, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | about 2 years ago | (#42527157)

That's what I'd prefer to see for the third world.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (-1, Offtopic)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 2 years ago | (#42527179)

Big news? I don't think so! (1, Offtopic)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about 2 years ago | (#42527553)

This olpc announcement is minor Walmart news for today. The big news is, they'll be selling iPhone 5 for their straight talk wireless, $45 prepaid unlimited. The phone is $650, but they have interest free financing at $25 per month. Petty sweet, no? Starts Friday. That's what I call big news!

Re: Big news? I don't think so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527793)

In other news, people don't downmod obvious advertisements.

Re:Big news? I don't think so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528015)

Of course, this "interest-free financing at $25 per month" ends up turning a $45/month prepaid plan into a $70/month 26-month contract, or roughly what you'd pay for the same phone on Sprint or AT&T. Great deal, that.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (-1, Offtopic)

wooferhound (546132) | about 2 years ago | (#42527203)

That's what I'd prefer to see for the third world.

But would that help the fourth world ?

Malaria and the third world (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527439)

> That's what I'd prefer to see for the third world. As long as they accept a grant from my 'charity', declare their own local generic vaccine illegal, and only buy vaccine from my pharmaceutics company.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (4, Insightful)

Lumpio- (986581) | about 2 years ago | (#42527607)

One antimalarial course per child isn't going to help them get what it takes to stop being third world. That is, information. Teach a man to fish etc

Re:One antimalarial course per child (0)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#42527887)

How do you go to school when you have malaria?

That is, use your brain, think before you speak, etc.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42530543)

I've been to Ethiopia. They go to school with Malaria. Like most diseases we see the horror stories. Most people with the disease are walking around with it and while they may have some debilitating symptoms, they aren't life threatening. It's when the person gets a second illness and becomes weak that Malaria gets deadly. I'm not sure of the total political situation there but I believe they are socialist. Their clinics are all free. The children walk in and they get treated for free. The medicine they use however is not totally effective. We took a girl there and they said that the treatment they had (and I have no idea what it was) kept the disease at bay, but it would eventually come back. According to the dr, so may people have the disease that it did little good to cure someone of it, because they'd just catch it again within a year. So instead, they buy this cheaper medication. The girl was getting adopted by an American family and according to the Dr the family could get a cure when they got back to America which they did.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#42538253)

> We took a girl there and they said that
> the treatment they had (and I have no
> idea what it was) kept the disease at
> bay, but it would eventually come back.

Yeah, Malaria does that. This is why, if you as a first-world expatriate travel to a country with a malaria problem, they tell you to keep taking the quinine pills the whole time you're there, even though they can cause nausea. You don't want to catch malaria, because there's no known permanent cure.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42549501)

They do not prescribe Quinine anymore. Now they prescribe Malarone, which also treats/prevents other diseases without the side effects. I took it the whole time I was there, but I didn't see a single mosquito. Not sure if that was because it was December (yet still 80 degrees) or what.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42530839)

How you know that where and how you can get malaria and how you can avoid it?

Check with the CDC before you travel (2)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#42534055)

and take malaria-prevention meds. You may need to start them a couple of weeks before your trip, depending on which meds they're using these days.

Also, anywhere that has malaria issues usually has other diseases that you'll need to get immunized for, so expect some fun shots.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#42538361)

> How you know that where and how you
> can get malaria and how you can avoid it?

You can look specific places up on the internet, but as a rule malaria is mainly a problem in tropical and sub-tropical areas and is particularly epidemic in the third world. Africa has by far the worst problem, but southern Asia and the tropical parts of Latin America have issues with it as well. If you're planning to travel to any of those places, see a doctor at least a month ahead of time and find out what medications you ought to have. (Besides antimalarials, you'll also want vaccinations for several other tropical diseases.)

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#42528409)

Most of the people in 3rd world countries are being oppressed by their governments. Tyrannical dictators actively preying on their subjects, and the inability to have proper ownership, enforceable contracts, and markets. These people know how to get food and water off their land well enough, if they are allowed to. Helping them out with rampant diseases like malaria is going to do a whole lot more tangible good for them than trying to give them more "information" while their countries are still in shambles from the top.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42533341)

Most of the people in 3rd world countries are being oppressed by their governments

It is a lot harder to oppress people that are educated and informed.

Public health is a big part of the solution. Education is another big part of the solution. We don't have to "choose one". We can do both, and they will reinforce each other: it is easier to teach healthy, nourished children, and educated people will make better decisions about their health.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#42534271)

It is a lot harder to oppress people that are educated and informed.

Not when you control the education and the information.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (3, Funny)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42528857)

Teach a man to fish etc

Start a fire for a man, he'll be warm for the night.
Start a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#42529803)

Teach a man to fish etc

... when YOU own the only lake!

You bastard.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

village fool (2046524) | about 2 years ago | (#42529875)

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you destroy a whole ecosystem.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#42532911)

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you destroy a whole ecosystem.

Dynamite!

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about 2 years ago | (#42530115)

teach a man to fish and he'll just ask you how to do something else

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#42530201)

yeah like how to get beer...

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#42530599)

What do you expect? Those fish aren't going to batter and fry themselves!

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 2 years ago | (#42534269)

Without health you don't have anything, it's the sine qua non of development. You first world people take it for granted because you're not stunted through being diseased as a child.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#42534295)

Teach a man to fish etc

"Teach a man to teach others to fish, and you feed the world." -- Charles W. Evans

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#42538205)

One antimalarial course per child won't even stop them from dying from malaria. It'll delay it for a while, but malaria will still be around when the antimalarials wear off.

Re:One antimalarial course per child (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42530935)

I'd prefer to see wells dug and olive trees planted. It has been known at least since Pliny that olive leaf is a cure for malaria.

Re:One bednet per child (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#42533773)

One malaria course per child would do nothing since they can easily get re-infected.
One bednet per child is a much better alternative.

So does this mean that (2)

Lumpio- (986581) | about 2 years ago | (#42527271)

Walmart is a third-world country now?

Re:So does this mean that (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#42527341)

Walmart is a third-world country now?

Walmart is enormous, its workers are paid poorly, and occasionally there's safety issues with their products.

So yes, Walmart has always been a third-world country.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#42527419)

Wallmart is bigger than (I'm guessing) half the third-world countries.

Re:So does this mean that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527587)

Since when large countries are poor (assuming that's what third-world is referring to, instead of being unaligned in the cold war)? Most poor countries are small, and most rich countries are small as well. 3 of the 10 largest countries are developed, which is well above average, and most of the others are way above the least developed.

Re:So does this mean that (1, Offtopic)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42528309)

Walmart to me is the canary in the coal mine and a perfect example of what I have been arguing for years, which is that without government funded "make work" jobs capitalism would be just as dead as communism or any other ism of the past.

For those that don't know one of the first "training videos" you are shown when hired by Walmart is how to get on government assistance, because you simply can't survive on Walmart wages. Why that is just the evil dirty corp screwing the workers...right? Well it IS true they are screwing the workers but in reality most jobs could be done by machines now so I would argue that the vast majority of the service industry jobs aren't even needed anymore. With RFIDs, robot stockers, and camera systems that can allow a couple of guys to monitor the whole store frankly you wouldn't need more than a dozen people to run a Supercenter because the machines can do it better. same thing goes for all the fast food joints like Mickey D's, you could have an automated assembly line that would never make mistakes and it would be as simple to the end user as "push button to get food".

At the end of the day we are playing IQ musical chairs and fewer and fewer will ever get a seat, just look at how many student loan defaults we are having as students go straight from graduation to the unemployment line, you could wipe out half the people on this planet and not only would the quality of life not go down, it would actually go up as the people left would be valued for their labor! We just have to face the fact that like in Star Trek the age of trading labor for capital is coming to a close, the machines don't need living wages, never get sick or tired, don't need health insurance, etc. I predict the next decade will be ugly as the financial bubble finally pops and those at the top violently struggle to hold onto the system that gave the ability to live like Gods but with the difference between the top and the bottom growing by the minute the starving masses will outnumber them by such a huge amount they simply won't be able to win.

As for TFA its probably too little too late but it is nice to see the OLPC project finally growing a brain. I would argue that not only would the netbook still be alive today if they would have done like myself and many suggested and sold it to the first world the economy of scale they would have gotten would have allowed them to put a LOT more XO-1s in the hands of third world kids by dropping cost to manufacture and giving them healthy profits to pay for more units to give away. Maybe it will work, who knows, but considering how simple Android ICS is to use and the fact you can get an Android ICS 7 inch tablet for less than $80 complete with several games? i kinda doubt it.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | about 2 years ago | (#42530369)

...Well it IS true they are screwing the workers but in reality most jobs could be done by machines now so I would argue that the vast majority of the service industry jobs aren't even needed anymore.

I think most senior management could also be done by machines. About the only things that can't be done by machines is the playing of golf (machines won't get membership at the club) and consumption of illicit substances (except as fuel).

Re:So does this mean that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531557)

Not at a pc so I can't go into detail but what you are describing is just the old 18th century "lump of labor" fallacy that had seamstresses smashing sewing machines in order to prevent unemployment. Our desires are infinite but our resources finite there will always be a shortage of labor. The question that needs to be asked is what is impeding these jobs from being created that would employ these people? The answer in the us is government regulation. By the governments own statistics regulations cost businesses 7 to 10 thousand dollars per year per employee. To say it another way, that is 7-10 thousand that could have otherwise been paid to workers or used to hire additional workers but was instead spent shuffling government forms.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42535629)

For those that don't know one of the first "training videos" you are shown when hired by Walmart is how to get on government assistance, because you simply can't survive on Walmart wages. Why that is just the evil dirty corp screwing the workers...right?

Nope, it's the evil dirty corp and their bought and paid for congress screwing the American taxpayer. When an employed person is on food stamps, it's the employer who benefits. We're probably the only country in the world who gives far more welfare payments to the rich (both directly like BP and the "too big to fail" banks and indirectly like WalMart), thanks to laughable (or cryable) minimum wage laws, tax laws, etc.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42541105)

But would you support them raising the minimum wage to a living wage if the corps said we are just gonna replace the workers with machines then so you get a handful making a living wage and tens of thousands out of a job?

The one who compared it to the seamstress smashing the sewing machine is just completely mistaken, after all you couldn't just hand the cloth to the sewing machine and have a finished product come out the other side. For the first time in our entire history you have the ability of a product to go from raw material to finished product with no human hands involved and THAT is why I have been arguing capitalism is dead. After all what IS capitalism? Its the trading of labor for capital...so what happens to the system if labor is worthless?

Even China is seeing this happen because despite how cheaply the workforce is willing to trade their labor for capital the machines will come out ahead in the end. The machine never gets sick, never needs breaks, doesn't eat or go to the bathroom...I bet if you forced all the corps to go to say a $15 an hour payscale that a good 80% of the jobs that are currently low wage would be taken by the machines. As I said you could probably run an entire Walmart supercenter with just a dozen people for the entire store!

So we are just gonna have to accept that capitalism is dead, either the government just cuts all those whose labor isn't needed a check or like Walmart subsidizes "make work" for the masses. If they can get a machine that will run for 5-10 years for the same price as your salary for a single year, why would they hire you?

Re:So does this mean that (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42545253)

But would you support them raising the minimum wage to a living wage if the corps said we are just gonna replace the workers with machines then so you get a handful making a living wage and tens of thousands out of a job?

It doesn't matter, if a company can replace you with a machine, it will. You don't think they hire people out of the goodness of their hearts, do you? They're going to get the job done as cheaply as possible, meaning they're going to pay as little as they can get away with and replace as many people with machines as possible.

And the time isn't far off when there are very few jobs that need to be done by humans. Look at agriculture -- an eighty acre farm used to hire hundreds of workers, now it only takes a few. The tractors drive themselves these days. Total Recall's "Johnnycab" will be here soon, and cab drivers don't earn shit (they're not considered employees so don't earn minimum wage).

raw material to finished product with no human hands involved and THAT is why I have been arguing capitalism is dead.

Kind of like the guy in the cart in the Holy Grail.

After all what IS capitalism? Its the trading of labor for capital

Your definition differs from both Wikipedia's and Webster's. Wikipedia says "Capitalism is an economic system that is based on the private ownership of capital goods, or the means of production, and the creation of goods and services for profit.[1][2] [3] Elements central to Capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, and a price system.[4]" Webster says "an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market." Labor has nothing to do with it.

bet if you forced all the corps to go to say a $15 an hour payscale that a good 80% of the jobs that are currently low wage would be taken by the machines.

If those jobs could be done by machines, they already would be.

Capitalism isn't dead yet, but it will surely die. I have no clue what will take its place.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42554989)

The difference we have here is the price, you seem to think that the corps would pay, I believe that the ONLY reason you have minimum wage jobs at all is because that makes people cheaper than the machine so they hire people. Lets take fast food as an example...what job is there in Mickey D's that couldn't be done BETTER by a fully automated assembly line? After all its less than a dozen ingredients all told being used and probably a good 85% of their sales are the preset combos, so why would they need ANY humans in Mickey D, or Wendy's or any of those pre-fab fast food joints?

The answer is the same answer as to why there are more Chinese working than Americans right now, which is they DON'T need the humans at all they are just cheaper so to maximize profits the smart move is to go with the cheaper resource which is the human. but the only reason those humans are cheaper is because of government subsidy, without that the machine would win. Look at the auto industry, unions got a living wage, the humans got replaced by robots.

Now do I think this is right? No but then again i think the entire system is doomed and all those rich cocksuckers living like Gods now will end up hanging from a tree in a not too distant future. Remember the words of Lenin "A capitalist will sell you the rope you intend to hang him with" and we have seen time and time again that its true, the short term greed will always be more important than their long term survival. The corps will keep rigging the elections, sending jobs overseas, and doing everything they can not to pay even the pittance that they owe, like Google funneling all its money into the Cayman islands, but I take heart in the simple fact that the poor outnumber the rich by a good 50,000 to 1 and growing everyday, so eventually the people WILL rise up, the only question to me is whether it'll be peaceful like the former USSR or like the Arab Springs.

As for what will take its place? Probably a combination of socialism and meritocracy, because that was one thing that Roddenberry got right in that once the tech reaches a certain point money? Really doesn't work. But I think you are wrong that "if the jobs could be done by machines they would be" because the corps know that if they fire 100,000+ people there goes their tax breaks and congress ass kissing, but if the "free labor" given to them by the welfare state ever ends? Just like the auto industry I'm sure you'll see "New" Mickey D's popping up across the street from the old and it'll be built from the ground up to be automated. They'll just have a truck come drop off raw material and pick up the money once a day, they'll even brag about how the food is "free of human hands" so no more food poisoning. Of course only the rich will have any money to buy, but again that would take long term thinking which our rich have proven they just aren't capable of.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42556999)

It would have to either be an incredibly expensive machine to buy, or prone to frequent breakdowns, to be more expensive than minimum wage. Note that the robots in the auto factories are doing the jobs formerly done by well paid humans. Once you buy and program the thing, the only cost is electricity and ocassional maintenance.

I've often wondered why Fast Food isn't cooked by machine, although it's easy to see why there are cashiers -- because that's what people expect and they'd probably switch fast food restaraunts if their favorite one ceased to have humans taking their orders and money. An awful lot of food is already prepared and cooked by machine -- TV dinners, twinkies, cupcakes, hot pockets, almost everything you get out of a vending machine and microwave and plenty at the grocery store.

Look at the auto industry, unions got a living wage, the humans got replaced by robots.

They would have been replaced by robots even if they were minimum wage. Robots do it cheaper, faster, and better than humans.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42568503)

Ahhh I see the flaw in your logic, you are only looking at the cost of the machine itself, I too used to think that way before I started going to legislature hearings and the like and found out there is a "hidden benefit" that you don't see, and that's all the tax breaks and kickbacks given to the corps by the politicians who in turn get to brag they "brought jobs to our (insert district, city, state, etc)" which tilts the balance ATM in favor of the human.

Watch this video [youtube.com] and be sure to take a good look at the graphs starting around the 3 minute mark. you see all those kickbacks and tax breaks? Those are all gonna come to a screeching halt when that bubble pops, which will make 1929 look like a "flash crash" by comparison. When they can no longer get "free money" thanks to the government subsidizing the wokers along with giving them all kinds of tax breaks and other graft suddenly those machines? REALLY not that expensive. Again we already have one example in history, the autoworkers. they unionized and demanded living wages and what do you know? the robots sudden;y look a WHOLE lot better even at a million a pop, why? Because you look at the wages and benefits and the life of the machine and the machine will come out cheaper, just simple math.

Ever since the microchip boom more and more jobs could quite frankly be easily switched for robots, they aren't because the cost of the bot plus the loss of the kickbacks and tax breaks math wise make the bot more expensive, when the corps have to pay a living wage and lose the graft? The math for hiring the human just won't work anymore.

As I said we simply have to face the fact that capitalism, like every other ism before it, is doomed, another 20 years, maybe less, and you'll have Honda bots that will be able to do anything a basic human laborer can do and will cost $25k a pop, why would they hire you then? As I said a lot of the jobs the poor work now are mainly "make work" thanks to government hand outs, how long can those last? Not long, I figure within our lifetime we will get to see capitalism fall, just as we watched communism die before our eyes, its simply progress and cannot be stopped.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about 2 years ago | (#42560561)

The difference we have here is the price, you seem to think that the corps would pay,

By the end of the 19th century US corporations were paying the highest wages in the world, yet American made goods were the cheapest in the world, even when you factored in the cost of shipping them overseas.

I believe that the ONLY reason you have minimum wage jobs at all is because that makes people cheaper than the machine so they hire people.

The reason you have minimum wage jobs is because the people in question have a marginal productivity that is only worth $8 an hour.

Lets take fast food as an example...what job is there in Mickey D's that couldn't be done BETTER by a fully automated assembly line? After all its less than a dozen ingredients all told being used and probably a good 85% of their sales are the preset combos, so why would they need ANY humans in Mickey D, or Wendy's or any of those pre-fab fast food joints?

It can't be, at least with current or near future tech, which is why it isn't. Those automated food assembly lines you see on Discovery Channel? Those are high speed/high volume machines and they take a gargantuan amount of space and require an army of skilled technicians to maintain. You're not going to fit something like that into a McDonalds. You're the one claiming it's possible, you should at least be able to come up with some sort of proof of concept.

In the western part of North Dakota where the oil boom has been happening for years, you have people working at McDonalds earning $20 an hour, yet there is no sign of even attempting to increase automation. Why do they make $20 in the western part of ND and $9 in the eastern part? Because the demand for unskilled labor in that area outstrips the supply. in the eastern part, there is a lower demand for unskilled labor and a greater supply.

The reason you even HAVE a minimum wage law in the first place is to keep Blacks and Hispanics "in their place" on the cotton and cabbage farms and not competing with skilled white workers, as skilled and unskilled workers can be substituted for one another in many areas of the economy by various means. It's one of the last Jim Crow laws that are still on the books in the US, along with the Wagner Act.

The answer is the same answer as to why there are more Chinese working than Americans right now, which is they DON'T need the humans at all they are just cheaper so to maximize profits the smart move is to go with the cheaper resource which is the human. but the only reason those humans are cheaper is because of government subsidy, without that the machine would win.

No, the only reason their workers are cheaper than our workers is because of the over-regulation of the US combined with the fiat money system we have today (and the Chinese pegging their currency to the devaluing US dollar, stealing the purchasing power of their citizens and giving it to Americans.) Again, Henry Ford paid the highest wages and yet produced the cheapest cars.

The machines would also not win, a robot with the dexterity of a 5 year old is an immensely expensive thing and a robot with the reasoning skill of a 5 year old has yet to be built.

Look at the auto industry, unions got a living wage, the humans got replaced by robots.

No they didn't. They got replaced with cheaper and more versatile non-union workers elsewhere. What Auto makers wanted even more than cheaper workers was a more flexible workforce. The Union work rules make it very difficult to have a cross-trained and flexible workforce that can respond to changing market conditions.

As for the robots, the ones you so frequently see on TV are the ones spot welding the chassis together. They are not used because machines are inherently cheaper than humans. Have you ever seen a spot welder appropriate for welding a car frame? Have you ever used one? Do you know why they don't have humans doing those welds? Because the spot welder weighs over 200 pounds. The reason they use robots for that is because humans CAN'T do the job. You DO see them involved in a large portion of the rest of the work. Why humans are so much better than robots is because humans can think and robots are never going to be able to think like humans because there is strong evidence that intelligence is non-algorithmic and therefore can't be simulated by a computer.

End of my lunch break, not sure if I'll get around to responding to the rest or not.

Re:So does this mean that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532663)

Its workers are paid poorly? They're paid according to the value of their labor in whatever economic market the walmart happens to reside. Walmart employees in Santa Barbara make 4x as much as they do where I'm from (we ranked 19th lowest median income last census, 7th highest welfare last census). Walmart where I'm at can't afford to pay people more than minimum wage, and it shouldn't have to since everyone else is making minimum wage, and the cost of living is priced accordingly such that we all achieve a rather comfortable standard of living. Look, just because one can't buy a mustang without expensive financing (most mustangs sold per capita annually in this area) doesn't mean Walmart employees are paid poorly. It's relative. Get off your high horse and get real dude. There are way more labor trades in the u.s. where income deserves to be higher, than lining canned good items at Walmart.

Re:So does this mean that (2, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#42527505)

Walmart has many stores in China, and Walmart is going to set up shop in India very soon.

Last time I check, both China and India are regarded as "3rd world".

BTW, that "Sakar International" doesn't sound legit. Even their site is really lousily built.

Re:So does this mean that (4, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | about 2 years ago | (#42528139)

The First, Second, Third World metaphor goes back to the Cold War. As it was originally applied, The US and Western Europe were First world, and the major Communist countries Second. Third world was originally for low powered nations, but ones the west and the reds were going to struggle over, not ones aready strongly in one camp or the other.
Here's a link - it's just a wiki so I urge people to check the primary sources, but I'm old enough to remember how the term shifted meaning pretty much as described. I heard it in military briefings often enough the wiki discription of the shift accords with my own impressions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World [wikipedia.org]

China may have been regarded for a time as 3rd world as the shift took place, but as it stands, it doesn't fit the modern spin, as it's too economically pwerful, and it didn't fit when the term started either, as it was originally one of the twin hubs of the Second world when the terms were coined.

Re:So does this mean that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533875)

More than 100 million people live in caves, the gdp/capita is like #100 in the world. It's a 3rd world nation.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#42538653)

> China may have been regarded for a time as 3rd world

If it's possible for a country to be both second world *and* third world, that's what China was, in the mid twentieth century.

> it doesn't fit the modern spin, as it's too economically powerful

China is in the process of transforming itself economically into a bastion of capitalist success. They're doing it much more gradually than e.g. South Korea did, but they ARE doing it.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42528879)

Both India and China are considered developing countries, and members of the BRIC nations (the "I" and the "C", respectively). This means that they are rapidly growing and developing, and are pretty much expected to be joining us "first worlders" in the next decade or two, in both economy and standard of living.

Re:So does this mean that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528897)

On the EnGadget "hands on" for the device it says "Vivitar" on the back, which seems to be one of their brands, from http://www.vivitar.com/p/corporate [vivitar.com]

So I guess Sakar is the parent company, but they probably don't usually use it to brand things.

Re:So does this mean that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42529397)

Doesn't matter anyways, OLPC never gained any real traction and now with the ubiquity of cheap, sub-$100 Android tablets in the market, this thing is going to die a swift death.

OLPC was a nice idea at one point, but they really should have commercialized it sooner to help subsidize the costs of the units they were shipping to impoverished areas. You've failed, Nicholas Negroponte. Give it up already.

Wonder what it's cost will be. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42527279)

I'm guessing about $200.

Only at Walmart? (3, Informative)

CrkHead (27176) | about 2 years ago | (#42527295)

I'd look forward to buying one sold anywhere else.

Re:Only at Walmart? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527375)

I'd look forward to buying one sold anywhere else.

Agreed. It strikes me as more than a bit ironic that OLPC would even consider doing this. After some thought however, Wal-Mart is on it's way to turning the USA into 3rd world economy and given the direction that education in the USA is going as well (or at least the IQ of the average Wal-Mart shopper), I suppose this might actually be appropriate...

Re:Only at Walmart? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527499)

Admit it, you shop at Walmart just like the rest of us.
You just like to act superior to normal people.

Re:Only at Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527797)

Meh. I can count on two fingers the number of times I've been in a Walmart. Once after my grandmother died in the middle-of-nowhere town in Illinois that my dad grew up in. Once when my father-in-law gave my kids Walmart gift cards for Christmas – the only things we could find that we actually wanted were DVDs. And once at an Asda in England. Shopping in the Asda was actually pleasant – it was much cleaner than the other two Walmarts I've been in and the employees seemed better dressed, healthier, and cheerier than the employees I recall seeing at the Walmarts here. I guess the unions in England probably have negotiated living wages for their employees or the laws require them to pay decent wages or something.

And yeah, I like to act superior to "normal people" too; because maybe I feel like I am superior in many ways to the average Walmart shopper.

Re:Only at Walmart? (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 2 years ago | (#42528081)

there are uk legal minimum wages
Here are the current UK minimum wage rates:

Aged 21 or over: £6.19 per hour
Aged 18-20: £4.98 per hour
Aged 16-17: £3.68 per hour
Apprentices under 19 or aged 19 or over in their first year: £2.65 per hour


source- http://www.money.co.uk/article/1009434-what-is-the-national-minimum-wage.htm#ixzz2HRr80DZG [money.co.uk]
still kinda shitty to ne honest but better than some places that have no minimum wage.
apparently it is to rise 1.8% this year in line with inflation.

Re:Only at Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42529183)

Just like the AC above (#42527797) I really do not shop there. I will admit to having done so on a (very) few occasions (somewhere well within the single digits) only when I haven't had any choice.

The small town I grew up in has been devastated by Wal-Mart. Downtown, while not exactly thriving, at least had a local retail business in every storefront. Since Wal-Mart moved in (mid/late 1980s), the storefronts that aren't vacant have been rented by city/county services, most of which are employment or welfare oriented. Former business owners are now stock clerks for Wal-Mart. People in that town are still thrilled that they have a Wal-Mart. I'm still thrilled I no longer live there.

Whether or not I may feel 'superior' (your word, not mine) for not shopping there is beside the point, the fact is Wal-Mart destroys communities and funnels wealth out.

Re:Only at Walmart? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527777)

...After some thought however, Wal-Mart is on it's way to turning the USA into 3rd world economy...

News flash: It isn't Wal-Mart that is gutting your country. It is the embodiment of the will of the people that has set the course for decline in America. That is to say, it is what the people want and what they voted for.

Re:Only at Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42529095)

Not really. What the people want is a healthy economy and good paying jobs, and that's what the politicians promised. So what was voted for by the people is actually far different than what has been delivered, such as the weakening of labor laws and corporate welfare that allows places like Wal-Mart to destroy the USA, etc. Unless you count voting with the wallet, in which case Wal-Mart shoppers are voting for continued decline.

Either way, Wal-Mart actually is no less responsible for gutting the USA.

Re:Only at Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528049)

Oh shut up bitch.

Re:Only at Walmart? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42530969)

At least you can put your hands on it. I ordered an OLPC from the buy-1-get-1 program back c. '06 and never got delivery and they stopped responding to my e-mails about it. At least WalMart has competent logistics - if they offer a direct-ship option on this one, don't take it.

This should be interesting... (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#42527355)

Well... First please understand this is not a "flame" ...

But if this tablet's UI is as non-intuitive and non-useful and the original OLPC, I sure hope it's open enough to load something else on.

The best thing about the OLPC that I bought is the Wi-Fi range. But that's it, otherwise useless even to my children.

Re:This should be interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527623)

... I sure hope it's open enough to load something else on.

Fedora, I think it was Fedora 11, was available for the first OLPC.

IIRC, Fedora 18 ARM will run on the current gen OLPC. (I'm not sure about the older ones.)

Re:This should be interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528387)

As you can see from the EnGadget review, the UI is nothing like Sugar.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/hands-on-with-the-xo-tablet/ [engadget.com]

It's Android, with a custom skin designed to be child-friendly (and parent-friendly too, from the looks of things - you can escape it back to plain old Android). It also comes with a curated set of 100 child-friendly apps, and 100 ebooks for children.

While the tablet specs themselves aren't stunning, they're not bad either: 1024x600, 8G SD, dual-core 1.6GHz ARM, 1G RAM, HDMI out, microSD, f/b cameras at 1.3/3.0 mpixels. And the content seems like it could well be worth it for some busy parents who don't want to spend a whole lot of time trolling through the Play Store trying to decide whether that app is safe for Junior.

If it hits the market anywhere under $200 it seems fairly worthwhile to me. I'd buy one for my kids, I think.

Re:This should be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533655)

I would rather buy a $200 ChromeBook for my kids and be done with it ... O wait I did.

Re:This should be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528481)

Wow I had the entirely opposite experience. The only thing revolutionary was the OS. The Wifi was pretty horrible on my device.

Re:This should be interesting... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42530251)

Its android, probably the same UI as my LG phone.

Wouldn't it be OTPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527361)

So let me get this straight, we've got free phones, OLPCs...because children are so darn inquisitive and can't stand to use imagination when being...well children? Now they want OTPC...when are people going to learn that marking to these kids just makes them less likely to be creative and become more of a robot than anything. So a child can paint pictures using their fingers and then delete what they don't want...voila...a work of art. How about I don't know...actually using paint. When I was a kid I was using power tools and actually building things and using my imagination to create my own stories. I fear that kids today are being given devices that "do" the work for them and can "forgive" mistakes with a single keystroke. People buy these devices for their kids to keep them busy and out of their hair, or because little Johnny down the street has one and they can all get together and have a tablet party where everyone goes to a different room and Skype with each other while making funny faces. OMGWHTWCT? (Oh my god, what has the world come to? - for my brethren not hip to the kids' lingo)

That's just so wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527373)

OLPC is also involved in the development of Sugar, a UI (user interface) for the Linux OS that provides educational tools for kids. OLPC earlier this week released the latest version of Sugar, which sports touch support for the XO-4 laptop/tablet hybrid.

Give me some Sugar, daddy.

Too little, too late (2)

timholman (71886) | about 2 years ago | (#42527377)

Is Negroponte serious? Who is going to care about a 7" Android tablet at this late date? The market is already saturated with them - just look on Amazon at all the different brands, at every imaginable price point.

The time has passed for the OLPC concept. They've been in catch-up mode ever since the netbook wave hit, and they've fallen even further into irrelevance since the tablet craze took over. This will be yet another overpriced publicity-seeking OLPC flop that never makes it to production.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527727)

If the tablet also has the dual-mode Pixel Qi display, that would be a notable differentiator.

You misunderstand "the OLPC concept" if you think its time has passed.

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528907)

If the tablet also has the dual-mode Pixel Qi display, that would be a notable differentiator.

You misunderstand "the OLPC concept" if you think its time has passed.

It doesn't.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42528685)

The time has passed for the OLPC concept. They've been in catch-up mode ever since the netbook wave hit,

Aren't you forgetting OLPC is the very cause of the netbook wave?

and they've fallen even further into irrelevance since the tablet craze took over. This will be yet another overpriced publicity-seeking OLPC flop that never makes it to production.

Not necessarily so if, as TFA mentions:

OLPC also said it would focus less on hardware development and more on education projects.

Now, this is long overdue.
I mean: there are plenty courses online nowadays, but I still feel that a constructivist [wikipedia.org] approach to learning going beyond Logo and supported by a computer/tablet is still missing from the landscape.

Two years too late (5, Insightful)

BuypolarBear (2713397) | about 2 years ago | (#42527411)

A few years ago when there weren't many choices in the market there was a lot of demand for them to release one of their devices as an inexpensive, low power computing device. That time has passed. Now days the market is flooded with cheap alternatives. They've waited too long, they're way too late. Unfortunately they don't stand a chance.

Re:Two years too late (3, Interesting)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#42527519)

Perhaps not.

When a government makes a choice about what device it will be adopted for mass distribution, the market logic doesn't necessary applies.

For how many years the device will be in production? For how many years will be possible to fix broken ones? For how many years new software will be available to them?

On the consumer market, this cycle is just too small. No honest and competent govern will invest a ton of money on a device that will be deprecated and abandoned by the manufacturer in the next year.

There's also a political bonus: since the devices are semi-obsolete (as you stated), the manufacturers doesn't have to worry about competition. There'll be no lobby against it. Better, will be lobbies pro it - it's a nice opportunity to make yet some more bucks more using already paid off installations and machinery.

It was always a novelty for the 1st world!!!! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527627)

People here are missing the point. This device isn't about the 1st world. When you complain it has no value to your child, consider yourself lucky, because your child has access to a real computer. To your child it has no value. To a kid in the third world where nobody a round him has a computer and he doesn't even get to school more than once a week this device is a godsend.

This device is not competing with mass market tablets. It is designed to be rugged, work well in hard spots (good wifi, mesh networking etc), be powered by hands/solar/etc. Things the first world user doesn't need or get with the device.

This was never more than a novelty for the 1st world. Whatever money they were going to raise has been raised. However any of that was a bonus to begin with.

2nd. This is being brought to the 1st world by an entity other than the OLPC project. If you notice they used the words licensed. If there is somebody to criticize for being late to the party it's the licensee.

For the OLPC project this licensee is just another entity contributing something. It is soaking up whatever cash is left of the novelty. The OPLC project though is not and has never been targeted at the 1st world. Comparing it to cheap tablets devices which are largely crap just isn't a fair comparison. Fortunately it doesn't really matter what anybody here thinks. We aren't the target for this device. What matters is they gain the support and services of the third world, 1st world (but for the third world), and other non-governmental organizations.

Re:It was always a novelty for the 1st world!!!! (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about 2 years ago | (#42528023)

look at a map of the world taken at night. see that large area that's mostly dark in the middle, that's called africa. where are kids there going to plug in a tablet?

Re:It was always a novelty for the 1st world!!!! (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42528943)

OLPC provided solar, hand crank, and gang charged battery (ie centralized charging) options for the XO-1.

Re:It was always a novelty for the 1st world!!!! (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42530925)

People here are missing the point. This device isn't about the 1st world.

Uh no, you have missed the point, along with OLPC. This device is utterly unsuited for the developing world. Flexible power? Gone. Cover for the screen? Gone. WiFi repeater functionality? Gone. Ruggedizing? Most important single feature, gone. The truth is that you can buy similar devices from Aliexpress for half the money. Why pay twice as much to get it in a goofy color?

I doubt it will be a hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527723)

Wal-Mart competes on sticker, they try to "anti-sticker shock" their customers. The problem is that it's a crapshoot... will these be like their $25 sneakers (actually pretty good) or their $3 reading eyeglasses (sounds like a steal, but unusable for the vast majority who plunk down their cash). Anything above $30 is an investment for their customer base, not an impulse buy. And those customers will do their research and realize they should pass.

Re:I doubt it will be a hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42527921)

As I understand it, Walmart's usual strategy is, let's say for a garden rake, to have three or four different products on the shelf. One total POS at the low end that they advertise the hell out of, and two or three others, priced slightly higher than they are elsewhere, e.g. at the local hardware store – the hardware store owned by your neighbor Bob who's scared shitless that Walmart's going to put him out of business. Now when you come in, lured by the ad in the paper that proclaimed a garden rake for $3.99, and look at it, you say "I'm not buying that POS, it's not going to last five minutes, but since I'm here I'll buy one of these other rakes instead," and you've just been suckered into paying more for the rake than if you'd bought it at the hardware store.

So were does the OLPC laptop fit in this scheme – is it the POS loss leader used to lure suckers in, or is the the overpriced model you're going to buy instead?

Negroponte, please (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#42527859)

OLPC was always a scam... although I suppose thats why its ending up in Walmart.

Significant departure from OLPC's original vision (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528193)

Cannot help but notice that this is a significant departure from OLPC's original vision. Just consider:

* Uses proprietary software.components
* No sugar-UI (the open source educational UI in use in 3 million XO laptops)
* Seems OLPC just picked a random android tablet off the market and added a green cover to it. Does not look rugged, and easily repairable at all (like all OLPC laptops till date).
* No sunlight reflective screen
* No mention of Negroponte
* Closed door development

If I were squinting hard enough, this wouldn't look like anything OLPC has been involved in ever since it started out.

Re:Significant departure from OLPC's original visi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42529407)

They've said before they were getting out of the hardware market and focussing more on the educational part of it. I guess the fact is that 3 million laptops is small potatoes when compared with the volumes of mobile phones and tablets out there. There's a WSJ article on this release at the moment (looks like real actual journalism too, rather than just a rebadged press release) where the OLPC CFO is quoted as saying there's nothing in it for them in the hardware, really, though they have released a new XO-4 laptop at the same time as this. It seems to me that this is a kind of a bridging device. The XO-4 has a touch screen and a dual-core and Sugar, to keep their current customer base an upgrade path while they get to test a new approach, and also get to build some expertise in the new area. I'm sure that the organisation still has many of the people with the core values of open source, and so forth, and hey: if they sell a million of these things in North America maybe it'll actually fund laptops in the third world like they never could manage with earlier programmes! I'll pass judgement when I see one in June or whenever, I guess. Especially when I see what software is on it - and what price tag.

Re:Significant departure from OLPC's original visi (1)

Shadowmist (57488) | about 2 years ago | (#42539823)

Cannot help but notice that this is a significant departure from OLPC's original vision. Just consider:

* Uses proprietary software.components * No sugar-UI (the open source educational UI in use in 3 million XO laptops) * Seems OLPC just picked a random android tablet off the market and added a green cover to it. Does not look rugged, and easily repairable at all (like all OLPC laptops till date). * No sunlight reflective screen * No mention of Negroponte * Closed door development

If I were squinting hard enough, this wouldn't look like anything OLPC has been involved in ever since it started out.

That's largely because it's "original vision" remained just that.... a vision. It really never got to execution. The original laptops never got to the the 100 dollar price point and had a tendency to self destruct under even moderate use.

But will it have the SCREEN? (1)

Fencepost (107992) | about 2 years ago | (#42528207)

If it has a decent dual-mode color/b&w screen readable in direct light without backlighting, I'll shop at Wal-Mart for the first time in years, because this will immediately become an eInk killer.

Re:But will it have the SCREEN? (1)

dublin (31215) | about 2 years ago | (#42539331)

You've never seen a PixelQi screen, have you? I buy them for my company, simply because they're the best thing out there for reading a computer in direct sunlight. (Sunlight is distressingly common at the solar arrays my company monitors...) That's not saying that the PixelQi display is very good, just that it's the best of a set of even worse options.

E-ink is great for reading, but you can't buy a real computer with one, and refresh is glacial.

Most people don't know this because they haven't seen one, but a PixelQi display becomes a fairly poor monochrome-only display in sunlight. You only get (even washed out) color from a PixelQi display if you leave the backlight on and your surroundings are dark enough.

They're better than nothing, and quite nice compared to the alternatives, but they're definitely not the sort of display I really *want*...

For the mobile device revolution to *really* take off, we need a fast, vibrant, cheap, color display technology that doesn't emit light (but could be lit). (Preferably one that like e-ink, will maintain an image indefinitely without power, and can be made in virtually any size. Flexible would be nice, too, but isn't an absolute requirement...)

Qualcomm's Mirasol looked promising, but has a "failure to thrive", and color electronic ink has been just over the horizon for decades now. Sadly, there's still no display other than printed paper that can handle color and bright sun well... My ideal display looks just like a page from National Geographic - that's the display quality metric we should be shooting for!

LeapPad 2 (2)

KalvinB (205500) | about 2 years ago | (#42528381)

A LeapPad 2 can be had for $100 and the software is $25 a pop or a little less if it's on sale.

It doesn't sound like the OLPC thing will get to the $100 mark and what's the quality and quantity of the educational software?

And since it's all Android, what is the incentive to buy their tablet over any other Android based tablet?

At the end of the day, the device is the least of the cost and value. It's the software. Who cares if the tablet is $50 if there's no good software for it? Or if I can get the same software on my smart phone?

Such a waste (0)

FyberOptic (813904) | about 2 years ago | (#42528391)

I still find it funny that people ever thought OLPC was anything other than a company trying to sell hardware. Just goes to show that you can get anybody to dump a bunch of money into something if you convince them it's for a good cause.

The market differentiator? (1)

4wdloop (1031398) | about 2 years ago | (#42528487)

crank-powered?

more information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42528993)

article with links and a demo video from CES

http://www.olpcnews.com/prototypes/xo/olpc_xo_tablet_to_become_available_in_us_stores_in_march.html

A rant from an unhappy G1G1 buyer. Caveat emptor. (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 2 years ago | (#42530665)

This may be unfair, but it's what I'd do with any other "product" as like the 2008 G1G1 XO and any other "company" that produced it. It was a while ago and hopefully things have utterly changed, but I have to say that my experience with the 2008 G1G1 program was so inexcusably bad that it poisoned MY opinion of the program. Supporters will make excuses and some may be valid, but the thing was a travesty. It fell utterly short anything we expect from a "product." It was simply not as" advertised".

The biggest disappointment to me was that it was billed as a transparent system, with all of its own OS code supposedly exposed and viewable via a "View Source" key. As delivered, and during its first year of updates anyway, that button did nothing of the sort. It would show you HTML source within the web browser, and did nothing at all elsewhere--not even give a warning.

The claimed "20 hour" battery life turned out to be about 3 hours. Several subsequent "power management" updates increased it to about 4.

At least my keyboard worked. A colleague who bought one had a keyboard failure within about a month of delivery, and it turned out that such failures were common--and that anything resembling "customer service" simply didn't exist.

Re:A rant from an unhappy G1G1 buyer. Caveat empto (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42531581)

The technology available for $100 has changed considerably in the last five years. The $100 laptop goal was ambitious back then. A $100 7" tablet now is just a retail device, the difference of this one being free content stored on the media. Big difference.

OTPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532339)

There, I fixed it.

What it runs on....is not the problem. (2)

Shadowmist (57488) | about 2 years ago | (#42539785)

What it runs on I don't care. So far all of the OLPC laptops have been utter failures in the mission they were designed for. Being cheap robust instruments for the children of the third world. The kind of operating system being used is irrelevant if it's major faults are not otherwise addressed, to whit the tendency for the units to fall completely apart under even benign conditions here in the First World, much less the the Third.

This is such a disappointment (1)

Oflameo (2806007) | about 2 years ago | (#42557985)

This OLPC tablet is such a dissapointment to me. I would rather have the OLPC laptop because it has a keyboard. By the way, does Ethiopia even have Walmarts?
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