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Mass OLPC Production Begins

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the slow-starters dept.

Announcements 167

eldavojohn writes to tell us that mass production of the first XO laptops has officially started. "The commencement of mass production means children in developing nations could have the rugged, open-source laptops in hand starting this month. The OLPC has already announced orders for kids in Uruguay and Mongolia. (Residents of the U.S. and Canada participating in the Give 1 Get 1 program--which donates an XO to a child in a developing nation for every machine sold online--are expected to start getting laptops in December.)"

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And since I'm fat... (4, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272191)

...I'll still be around to get mine!

Re:And since I'm fat... (1)

DaSmoove (1185945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273141)

Not sure if it's been brought up before but shouldn't developing countries be concerned with having electricity in all of their cities and towns? Crap...I think kids should be taught to read first before they get a computer in the States!

Re:And since I'm fat... (2, Insightful)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273313)

To get electricity into all their towns they're going to need electricians, draughtsmen, civil engineers, town planners, surveyors, miscellaneous paper-shufflers and so on. To get those they're going to need education.

Re:And since I'm fat... (4, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273425)

To get electricity into all their towns they're going to need electricians, draughtsmen, civil engineers, town planners, surveyors, miscellaneous paper-shufflers and so on. To get those they're going to need education.
Not to mention accountants and lawyers, but if they get those before they get electricity, then they are probably never going to get anything, because it would have been deemed too expensive and illegal in any case.

Re:And since I'm fat... (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273351)

In educated kapitalist Amerika, computer teaches kid to read. (really, they do, edubuntu and gCompris played a big part in teaching my son before kindergarten ever came around)

Cheers.

Re:And since I'm fat... (2, Informative)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274437)

Not sure if it's been brought up before but...
Yes, it's been brought before, a million times every single time OLPC was mentioned.

...shouldn't developing countries be concerned with having electricity in all of their cities and towns?
I've never been to Uruguay, although I live less than 1000 Km from it, but I have friends who have been there and based on what they say, I'm pretty sure there is electricity all over the country. And (who would say that?) they even have some nice stuff like cellphones and TV sets!

How about (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272201)

Give 2, get 0. Why would anyone want one of these other than for novelty? It'll sit in your closet after you mess around with it for an hour.

Re:How about (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272241)

Yes, but imagine a beowolf cluster of... OW! OW! STOP HITTING ME!

Re:How about (3, Funny)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272693)

Yes, I can definitely imagine that. Running a large cluster off the hand-cranks would quite a nice exercise routine.

huge boom (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272711)

We are going to see a huge boom in downloads of bittorrent clients. Seriously, what are these kids in developing countries going to do with these laptops besides host pirated files and do "research" on wikipedia?

Re:huge boom (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273585)

With the 1GB (IIRC) storage? I doubt it.

Re:How about (2, Funny)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273911)

OLPC: Inner children don't count. Because they don't get inner laptops.

Re:How about (2, Interesting)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272303)

I agree, I probably wouldn't want one much for myself, but I am considering doing
this and giving one to my 8yo niece who is starting to mess around with computers.

I need to do a bit more research about what exactly she could do with the machine
though...

Re:How about (3, Informative)

schwaang (667808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272435)

They do have a donation-only option, so you can do that if you want.

But plenty of geeks could use the XO for more than a toy. It's screen would make a good e-book reader. It's fast resume and long battery life, light weight, and solid state disk make it better than a standard laptop for grab-and-go type uses.

I won't drag my laptop everywhere, and my cellphone is too small and keyboard-less to use for much web/email or ssh. The XO fits nicely between the two. It looks very useful to me.

Re:How about (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273315)

I got to play with one for a few minutes recently. I wasn't convinced it would be a great general-purpose computer for an adult: the keys aren't designed for full-sized fingers, and it seemed slow.

But I have to admit, it's absolutely adorable.

Re:How about (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274275)

I would go for the Eee for that though

But it's helping N-squared! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272655)

But if you go with the "buy 1 get 1", you are helping Nick Negroponte prove that his "stupid Lunix vaporware bundled with cripled and lame hardware" idea can actually... well, not succeed, but at least get out the door so he can move on to his next high profile failure.

Now we see how when Teh FOSS Community puts there mind to something, there truly is nothing they can do!

Re:How about (1, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272695)

That depends on what is loaded on it. If it's Sugar and all that then I agree. If it's flashed (or can be flashed) with a cut down Fedora, Firefox, OpenOffice etc. then it's an enormously useful, rugged, mobile computer, perfect for travel, lectures, coffee shops etc. Having said that, I ordered my Eee PC today since it appears more consumer oriented than the OLPC.

Re:How about (2, Interesting)

pdxdada (684092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272721)

I'm buying one of these because I want to have a computer I don't have to worry about. This thing is designed to be dropped, to have stuff spilled on it, to thrown in a bag. I'm buying one of these because I travel a lot and when I travel all I want to do is check my e-mail, read some documents, and maybe take some notes and not worry that every bump or drop of my bag will spell doom for my laptop. And finally I'm buying one because it can do all those things and if I do manage to kill it, lose it or it gets stollen at $400 it's not the end of the world. Call it a toy if you want, but I've wanted something similar for quite a while and I do plan to get a lot of use out of mine.

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272765)

Why would anyone want one of these other than for novelty? It'll sit in your closet after you mess around with it for an hour.

Not really, for example: a lot of the work I do requires only a Web browser, Web server, PHP MySQL (or SQLite if resources are tight) and Vim. The OLPC can handle that nicely. One other thing that really appeals to me is the reading mode. Documentation can be read on the road without worrying that the battery will run out. Have a look at the hardware specs [laptop.org] :

This Liquid-crystal display is the basis of our extremely low power architecture. The XO is usable while the CPU and much of the motherboard is regularly turned off (and on) so quickly that it's imperceptible to the user. Huge power savings are harvested in this way (e.g. by turning stuff on the motherboard off when it's not being used (if even for a few seconds), while keeping the display on)

Even if you don't buy one, the XO has advanced laptop technology in some interesting ways.

Re:How about (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272819)

Honestly, I've considered it. As somebody that is pretty into photography, the ability to view images on a respectable screen in the middle of nowhere is actually surprisingly helpful. Trust me the screens on those is infinitely better than even the biggest screens on a quality dslr.

All one would need would be something to charge the camera, and an external storage device, and it would mean that one wouldn't have to come in for months at a time. I don't think that most would want to stay out that long, but one could.

Geode LX-700 (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273099)

It's got a nice processor, the Geode LX-700. [laptop.org]

That's a lot of oomph actually. I know we're all used to our 3ghz desktops, but think about how nice 700mhz(equiv) actually is. I've got a refurbished eMachines 650 in my basement. It plays divx video with no problems.

You could use one of these as a portable entertainment center easy. Or how about a router? The thing is designed for minimum power draw. Use one in your basement as a router that works the way you want it to work.

A sub $200 x86 with that kind of horsepower and power specs has hundreds of uses.

Re:Geode LX-700 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273815)

The Geode is a piece of shit. an ARM running at 200MHZ beats it hands down (while costing less, using less power, and is more tolerant of temperature extremes).

Re:Geode LX-700 (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273921)

For a network probing tool or a debugging workstation, it's ideal in a whole lot of ways.

Re:Geode LX-700 (1)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274001)

refurbished eMachines 650 in my basement. It plays divx video with no problems
Hum... what kind of videos do you think he is watching in the basement. ;-)

Re:How about (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273481)

Give 2, get 0. Why would anyone want one of these other than for novelty? It'll sit in your closet after you mess around with it for an hour.
I want two for my kids. That way I don't have to worry about them trashing my fancynancy uberpriced mac.

Re:How about (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274569)

Why would anyone want one of these other than for novelty
PORN! Didn't you read the previous article a couple months ago about how all the kids with OLPC's were using them to download porn....which brings up my other point, if they're only just producing them now, where did the ones from before come from? If I remember correctly, A LOT had been distrubted. As in enough to be considered mass production.

Internet (1, Interesting)

dslmodem (733085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272233)

Do they come with free internet? Or a low cost internet option?

Fuck you Rich White Trash Fuckers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272277)

You've turned -and perverted-Fuck white men.

Re:Fuck you Rich White Trash Fuckers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273597)

White Trash > Niggers

White people float and black people sink.

Re:Internet (5, Informative)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272311)

Do they come with free internet? Or a low cost internet option?
yes [cnet.com]

From that article:
However, the latest twist in the story is nothing but positive. T-Mobile is now offering a year of free Hot Spot Wi-Fi access, good at nearly 8,500 public T-Mobile Hot Spot locations throughout the country, including Starbucks coffee shops, Borders bookstores, and more than 70 major airports across the United States.

The offer is only good from November 12 to 26, and considering a 12-month T-Mobile Hot Spot plan would cost $359 on its own, we can see how this could lead to a lot of OLPC purchases. OLPC has set up a Web site, laptopgiving.org, which has more details.

Re:Internet (1)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272589)

No thanks, I'll just head down the street to the locally owned place and use their net
for free, on my spacious thinkpad keyboard.

disclaimer: Probably getting an OLPC.

Re:Internet (1)

dslmodem (733085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272863)

Thanks. I am also interested in the similar offers in those countries where OLPC should make bigger impact.

Who gave my post a "flamebeit" mark?

Re:Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273043)

Physicsboy500 as AC:
Unfortunately /. mod system doesn't allow anyone to see who modded what, but know that a "flamebait" modding was undeserved.

As for free internet elsewhere, I know that OLPC was at one point making an effort to develop a peer-to-peer system where if there was only one connection available and a lot of XO PC's in an area, they would form a network p2p cluster to share the bandwidth. I'm not sure on the development status or if it was implemented, but for the developing nations this is targeted to it's great because an entire village only needs 1 or 2 high-speed connections. The result won't be a particularly fast internet experience, but it should get the job done in the meantime.

If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272275)

OLPC is a thinly-veiled attempt by corporations to create the next generation of IT "professionals" they can ship in to work for a third of what you charge. They're really laughing it up that they can do this is under the guise of a humanitarian gesture and get all the tax breaks to boot. There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272381)

OLPC is a thinly-veiled attempt by corporations to create the next generation of IT "professionals" they can ship in to work for a third of what you charge. They're really laughing it up that they can do this is under the guise of a humanitarian gesture and get all the tax breaks to boot. There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.
Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

But a nice troll, nonetheless.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (-1, Flamebait)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272399)

Spoken like someone who's never lost their job to outsourcing.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272547)

Frankly if you're finding that people in developing countries are able to
duplicate your skill-set, that's probably a sign that you need to spend
more time enriching yours.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272575)

Or thought much about it, or knows what a third world country is like. How can I compete with someone who only pays $30 a month for rent, can take his family to a nice restaraunt for a dollar, or ride anywhere in the country for a nickle? Not even by doing away with such luxuries like electricity and running water could I compete with that!

That was what Thailand [kuro5hin.org] was like in 1974 [kuro5hin.org] (USAF at the end of the Vietnam war). You can't compete with "dirt cheap".

-mcgrew

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272875)

You can't compete with "dirt cheap".
Target is doing a good job of competing with Wal-Mart at the moment. To compete with low cost you have add value to your product.

For example my company has a programming group in India that may all be unemployeed soon. They have gotten sloppy and lazy. If you don't have a quality product price advantage won't last.

Not that high price is good; look at the American auto companies.

Target competing with Walmart is a bad analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273027)

as they both are on the same playing field, doing business with the same laws, economy, and regulations.

A better comparison would be if Target was able to employ slaves paid 12 cents per day to run its cash registers, and started selling only stolen merchandise. Obviously Target would be able to sell its products far cheaper, soon putting Walmart out of business.

In this analogy you are Walmart and Target (3rd world programmers) will be soon putting you out of business.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21274137)

How can I compete with someone who only pays $30 a month for rent, can take his family to a nice restaraunt for a dollar, or ride anywhere in the country for a nickle? Not even by doing away with such luxuries like electricity and running water could I compete with that!
Apparently everyone on Slashdot is an idiot.

There are two ways to compete. One is to offer the same product for less. The other is to offer a better product for more. Since you can't lower your price, improve your product.

Ask yourself this: how can BMW compete with bicycle manufacturers? You probably think I'm insane to ask this question, and rightfully so. The two products are totally different. Sure, the BMW costs two orders of magnitude more money, but it provides a completely different experience.

So you must be with the outsourced people.

I have a good job, I'm paid well, I enjoy my work, and I have no fear that outsourcing is ever going to harm me. Why? Because I'm an expert in several niche fields that the diploma mills will never touch. Sure, if you need somebody to mindlessly monitor your network or write unbelievably bad PHP code for a login page, find some cut-rate guy in India, but if you need true expertise on the complicated subjects I'm good with, you won't find anyone in third-world countries willing to do it for the sum total of my monthly cable bill.

Expensive Westerners with first-world costs of living are good at tasks requiring a great deal of creativity and independent thought. If you possess a great deal of creativity and independent thought, you have nothing to worry about. If your skills are so shitty that you're afraid that some noodlehead living out of a shack is going to be able to do the same thing you do, then answer me this: why do you deserve a job?

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (3, Insightful)

xappax (876447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272603)

Outsourcing is shitty, but the solution isn't to keep third world kids stupid and computer-illiterate. We need to demand that US corporations take more responsibility for the local workers and towns who have carried them this far. Big business will screw over local workers as much as they can get away with, but we can reign them in as a society simply by demanding more than low, low prices. Support local businesses, boycott unethical/irresponsible companies. We don't need to resort to sabotaging the educational systems of other countries.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274117)

When you fail to understand why you lose your job to someone who costs a third of what you do, yet can do everything you do, it's time to learn something new. I suggest something around Economics 101.

Maybe you will be jobless, but, at least, you will know why.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272599)

Working Americans, sadly unlike both their governors and their foreign replacements, have the curse of honesty and responsibility. The foreigner has no stake or interest in the public welfare, as they come seeking only immediate opportunity. Having no connection or involvement with the majority of citizens, they are willing to perform difficult labor, yes; I have no problem with this per se. However, as they experience such an increase in standard-of-living in their immigration, they are then willing within their field to perform the most odious tasks in gratitude. They will manufacture the most dangerous goods, consent to adulteration of foodstuffs with diseased or fouled meat, generate the most slipshod engineering projects. They will do this in ignorance of the crime they are perpetuating for their (wealthy and white) masters.

No, I am not entitled to employment automatically. However, the foreign laborer (intellectual or non-), is a threat to the honest American in a much broader sense: they are willing to do jobs which oughtn't be done, in ways which are dishonest and long-term damaging. We have made incredible progress in our safety and way-of-living. Apart from our near-forgotten triumphs such as the moon landing and development of atomic power, &c., it is our only contribution. In importing and expecting labor of a third-world standard, we are cashing this in and for whose benefit?

And now, dear Reader, whether you agree or not, I ask you only whether I am trolling. I do not know any more.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272897)

Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

But a nice troll, nonetheless.


I shouldn't have to compete with every twit in every 3rd world country willing to work for the cost of a soda a day.

Globalization is a horrible, horrible idea for everyone involved -- except the corporations.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (3, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273625)

I shouldn't have to compete with every twit in every 3rd world country willing to work for the cost of a soda a day.
Maybe you think that, but the person paying the wages probably thinks otherwise. Since they are paying the bills, their opinion counts. You are, of course, free to start a company employing only workers on Western salaries if you believe that's how it should be. Let whichever provides the best service win.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273961)

I shouldn't have to compete with every twit in every 3rd world country willing to work for the cost of a soda a day.
If you can't even compete with twits willing to work for the cost of a soda a day, then you don't deserve to have cushy high-paying job anyway. If you can't do anything more than some idiot with no real education operating out of a shack in Indonesia, why should you get any more money? A fancy job isn't a right, it's a privilege, and you have to prove you deserve it by being more capable than people who are willing to work for less. If I were a customer of your employer, why should I have to pay an order of magnitude more money just so you can do a job that any moron with an internet connection will do for pennies? Provide some value or quit whining.

Which is why I would like (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273019)

to be able to designate where the 1 goes. In particular, I would like to see my freebie one go to a school in America. We have plenty of under and un educated kids here. We desperately need laptops like this. No more of the silly games like reader rabbit.

Since when were we afraid of Linux? (1)

Fryth (468689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273957)

I'm tired of people saying that good ideas are an attempt at taking away jobs from ignorant people. This is a blatant troll, but I'm biting anyway. If it's really good enough that it'll revolutionize computing, let it happen, and let the best, not most monopolized, system win.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274011)

Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

Actually, I suspect in 10 to 20 years my job will be replaced by robots leaving me and the kid from Africa out of work.

But seriously, people think that being educated and working hard gets you an automatic good job that you can keep, but it is really about intelligent applied effort. If your job can be automated, then you'll be out of work fairly shortly.

The trick is to be the ones doing the automation. Doesn't matter if you live in the US, China, or Africa for that. Just focus on a job that is about creating automation in IT.

Of course once you learn how to automate those who make the automation, then you won't need humans anymore for IT beyond initial infrastructure setup. We aren't there yet but we are getting close.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274691)

Hey, I'll be employed as the "last guy in the country who actually knows how the silly thing really works". I make a fairly decent living showing youngsters how to really make it work, and the foreign high-tech people are often easier to impress: they're not used to disbelieving what the textbook said.

Mods are on crack. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272425)

What fucking racist white ass crackers modded this crap up?

What gives you the precious ability to hold these people away from IT?

Why SHOULDN'T they be given a chance to learn? You are a fucking racist white ass!

Please go die, you fucking American.

I hate Americans. God save the Queen!

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (5, Insightful)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272441)

I remain at a loss as to why so many of my fellow Americans seem to believe
that by being born within these borders they deserve a job.

Having lived and worked in a developing African country I would much rather
see jobs go to people who work their asses off with few educational and
technical resources than to lazy Americans who don't even appreciate
the educational opportunities available here.

Fortunately not all Americans are as such, and those few will remain
competitive, by working their asses off, just as it should be, not by
being born with the national silver spoon in their mouths.

Insightful?? (1)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272677)

Before sending an OLPC to Africa, I'm gonna send a crate of guns.

While America is blessed with great natural resources, so is Africa. And let us assume that racial differences between the populations don't account for much.

Why are we so superior to Africans in just about every way? Easy, we organized ourselves properly. Maybe there are plenty of Americans who are lazy, probably the same percentage as Africans BTW -- not more, but even these lazy people stand up for values that matter. Even Democrats. although to a lesser extent.

The OLPC will achieve nothing..

Re:Insightful?? (4, Interesting)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272891)

There are a lot of arguments relating to this in the book Guns, Germs and Steel.
I'd recommend checking it out if you haven't. According to the author it comes
down to geography and (related to geography) the availability of native domesticable
plant and animal species -- which is the one resource that matters most. The Eurasian
continent had them, the Americas, Africa and Australia did not.

It's a fascinating book with loads of information. I understand the difficulty
people have with the question you pose -- it's not at all obvious. While treating
these peoples (Native American, South American, Native Australians, Africans ...)
as inferiors for so long was/is not justified, it's understandable why
so many people assumed they were an inferior subspecies -- it in fact takes a lot
of analysis to figure out why their societies are so behind Eurasian based societies.

Now, I agree the OLPC may not do anything. I think it depends on what is included a lot.
I worked as a mathematics and physics teacher for a few years in West Africa. In my opinion
if the OLPC can serve as a substitute for the relatively expensive school books students
are expected to purchase today it would be a massive help -- and in fact cheaper, OLPC and
co wouldn't need to give these machines away if they could show the value of them. That's
all of course beyond the IT educational component of the thing, which seems to be the focus
at OLPC. From what I've seen on the wiki it looks like the ebooks component of the project
is pretty undeveloped.

If the thing was packed full of 12 years of well made interactive textbooks, it would be
a Godsend. I'm a bit worried though that it's going to be more of a toy that kids play
around with -- IM, WWW, email, etc.

Just my 2 cents.

Re:Insightful?? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273129)

If the thing was packed full of 12 years of well made interactive textbooks, it would be a Godsend. I'm a bit worried though that it's going to be more of a toy that kids play around with -- IM, WWW, email, etc.
And the smart developer will start creating an API for doing nice text books. This is how you get around all the publishing houses. Right now, they have a strangle hold on text books and because of their prices, it causes books to be used as long a decade. Worse, the authors do not get that much (but most are college profs and this is a feather in the hat). The situation with primary education text books is actually worse than the music world; only the labels really make out.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273163)

Fortunately not all Americans are as such, and those few will remain
competitive, by working their asses off, just as it should be, not by
being born with the national silver spoon in their mouths.


So, the way "it should be" according to you is that everyone has to work their asses off just to be able to make an honest living? Enjoy that life, I know I won't. There's nothing wrong with wanting time to enjoy life, time to learn to play an instrument, to play soccer with your kids, and time to watch a good movie with a friend and not have to worry about a project's deadline.

In the west we've had the luxury of choice when it comes to how we spend our time. The challenge is to bring this choice to everyone all over the world, not to give up this choice. There is nothing wrong with wanting the choice to spend time away from work.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273229)

By working our asses off?

So what, we should do 80, 100 hour work weeks because a small percentage of third world schmucks are willing to?

We should never see our families because 0.5% of Indian men don't mind never seeing theirs?

That's fucking bullshit. Read up about the labor movements in your country. Westerners developed these tools, and we're entitledto the basic worker protections (i.e., 40 hour workweek) that our forefathers - the same ones who later developed IT - fought for.

Just because you put your faith in the market doesn't mean we have to.

Age of entitlement. (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273363)

We have become a nation enslaved to our government through entitlements. The politicians daily spout that YOU deserve this and this, these people over here deserve this, and those over there get to pay for it because their too rich. When jobs are lost overseas the politicians trot out declaring evil corporations are to blame and that these entities need to be penalized; taxed more; to set the balances right.

We are encouraged to run up debt and then disclaim responsibility for our actions. We can engage in risk behavior and blame does who don't stop us (bartenders, smoking, riding without helmets, etc). We are told constantly that so and so wasn't at fault for murdering people because society, movies, video games, Iraq, etc, made them do it.

We are bombarded by the very people we elect to believe "It's okay, the government will make it all right" and people buy into this. Its easy to do when your not footing the bill for your actions. Unemployed because you won't learn a viable trade? Its okay, we got help for that. As such we see business practically driven overseas or the jobs go there.

An entitlement state only exists for as long as the people stuck paying have the means to do so. We won't run out of people to vilify soon, but it is still wrong.

No, we don't deserve jobs just because we live here, we don't deserve health care, we don't deserve cell phones, we don't deserve fancy cars, we don't deserve high speed net, we don't deserve a lot of things but it never ceases to amaze me what order people put their priorities.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273385)

Actually yes. We (meaning americans, our money, our people, etc.) built OUR COUNTRY up to the current state that it is (horrible political structure not withstanding). So yes. I DO deserve a job here over some kid in a third world country that can barely count his fingers.

'Working your ass off' varies hugely. I might have a busy 12 hour day where I sit at my ergonomic desk in my ergonomic chair, with blinds to keep the glare of the sun up on the 51st floor on my office high-rise in financial NYC out of my eyes sending emails, making decisions, creating documentation and participating in meetings. I'd say i worked pretty hard that day. Compared to a 16 hour shift in a coal mine or scrounging garbage for metal to recycle i've got it pretty easy.

Guess what? As one of the benefits that my parents (and ancestors) have passed on to me, i get to have a much nicer 'hard day'. Maybe some of these third world countries should try doing something other than breeding more poor, diseased, hungry children. The US managed to avoid that route after all. So have plenty of other countries.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (2, Insightful)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273557)

All of this babbling about hard work misses the point...if hard work was what determined value then fruit pickers would make a ton of money. It's not hard work, it's your ability to provide value that matters. As work currently done by americans is offshored we need to respond by providing higher value services. Less simple code jockeying are more software architecture and design, that kind of thing. Keep upgrading your skills, they set you apart much more than simple hard work ever can.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273727)

Denying support to the OLPC is silly. People in developing countries need modern-technologies and education if they are survive, become productive members of their own societies. If you want to be more crude, if they don't become educated and realize that 1 billion people in a food and water-poor country is a bad thing and not sustainable, we're all in for a world of hurt. And religious-rights groups sure as heck aren't helping by denying condoms and safe-sex education. But onwards with the 'tech' discussion.

The OLPC is also a great idea because it promotes lower energy use in computing. I'm all for Quad-core pentiums and such, but my system is generally off and I use my laptop so as not to use too much power for web-browsing and such. I also turn on as many power-saving features as I can at work. I don't know that the OLPC will take-off in corporate America, but, something like the Asus EEE PC, has a good chance.

Besides, trying to deny persons in developing countries the ability to use the OLPC for fear of "losing your job" is ludicrous. While there is a possibility, these countries will eventually I would hope, create their own I.T. support infrastructures requiring people trained in their fields. And I would hope, some software developers may come about and sell domestically or abroad. The only 'problem' I would see with this is the idea that security auditing in software, protection from financial scams during purchase and good UI design will be issues. I'd say, that as the markets mature, and laws are introduced or respected that this will self-regulate.

It's not a matter of "entitlement" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21274599)

It's a matter of people in the 8-figure-plus end of the income scale selling out America to make a buck. The middle class is rapidly, rapidly being eliminated in this country. If something doesn't change, in the near future we will be a country of lords and peasants. And guess what: you won't be one of the lords.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272455)

So they're going to outsource my dbadmin/business analyst position to someone who can't speak english? Unlikely.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

JewGold (924683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273131)

News flash: many people in the 3rd world have learned English. Have you called into a tech support or customer service line this century?

100% of IT positions don't need to be exported/given to immigrants to drag down the average wage, just enough so the supply outweighs the demand. Then the screws will really be applied (even more than it they have already) to the American worker.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

sjf (3790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272469)

Note for the approximately six billion people who DON'T live in the US. He means "if you work in IT in the United States in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC".
Otherwise welcome this aid to competiting with your most valuable resource: the minds of your people.

There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years

Pssh, let me sell you some long term options then.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272487)

Prosperity brings with it the fear of losing prosperity.

However, if anyone is going to fleece American's of their prosperity it's the people who already have power, not the ones with a crank-driven laptop.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272595)

Not to worry. Without a Microsoft OS, nobody can get an MCSE using these things. You should be safe :-)

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272941)

There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.
That's one possibility. The other possibility is that, as they become more technically skilled, their standard of living will rise, the economy will build up with an influx of cash from foreign corporations, and they will become consumers of the products that IT makes as well, increasing demand in their own country until it gets to the point where they are trying to outsource to other nations.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

das_magpie (1149995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273285)

Yeah you might be right but I guarantee once these people become more educated from using there new computers and acquire great jobs in the west and find out what its like to be on call 24x7 365 they will change there mind about working for the lowest rates possible.

That is human nature. No one likes to get ripped off and everyone is fickle at times.

Re:If you work in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273491)

It's kind of a conspiratorial diversion, but you do raise an important issue. When corporations are under threat from foreign competition, they go crying to government who then step in and protect them in various ways using our hard earned money. In contrast, when we are under threat, it is apparently tough and a case of "how dare we expect a well paid job just because we spent years studying hard".

How can you compete with an equivalently intelligent person in a country where the cost of living is so much lower? Anything you try to do to get the upper hand, they can do too. As communications technology improves, this problem is only going to get worse. Eventually company CEOs themselves may be replaced with cheaper versions from overseas, but as amusing and satisfying as this will be, it won't help people who have lost jobs to outsourcing. Then again, perhaps when globalisation starts hurting the rich as well, we will start to see some government action over the issue.

No EEE News??!!! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272333)

It seems to hottest product right now is the ASUS EEE PC, a Linux based subnotebook, yet I've hardly seen a peep about it on slashdot.

Slashdot editors are been slurping the OLPC from day one, and now its ignoring something that's better and actually available to people in developed countries. It's sad how behind the times this site is.

It's about time. (3, Interesting)

Forge (2456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272361)

After following it's development from concept through revised designs and explanation of the rational for it's features.

Frankly I feel like it's already part mine. Baring unavailability or some weird sales structure, I plan to get one. Or a few.

What choice do I have when my 15 Month old is monopolizing the main desktop at home?

Re:It's about time. (1)

ipjohnson (580042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273565)

Tell him to stop surfing for porn its daddy's turn?

Made in China? (0, Offtopic)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272401)

Hopefully these Playskool laptops contain less lead than other recent toys from China.

Re:Made in China? (2, Informative)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272449)

That's unfair. The problem with the lead in the paint was due to the standards being changed during production. As such, toys that were made prior to the change in standards could not be magically "unmade" and had already reached the retail shelves. Admittedly, some factories in China were using the inferior paint but for those that weren't, they got a raw deal.

Mattel simply wanted a scapegoat.

Re:Made in China? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272661)

Even worse, the majority of the recalls were due to design flaws rather than the paint.

"Chinese manufacturers have taken plenty of heat in the U.S. over recent widespread toy recalls, but U.S. toy maker Mattel says it's mostly to blame. The company says there were flaws in some of the toys' designs."
"A top Mattel executive took the opportunity to apologize to his Chinese colleagues, saying they were being blamed for simply following flawed design plans."
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/09/mattel_recall4.html [consumeraffairs.com]

The apology from Mattel was too late and too little publicized to change the truthiness of blaming the Chinese.

Thank you OLPC (3, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272473)

Excellent. I was getting tired of scam email from people in Nigeria. I look forward to the scams that will be coming to me from Uruguay and Mongolia.

Re:Thank you OLPC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272529)

Don't you pathetic fucks ever get tired of this same old line?

I bet you mention chair-throwing every time a Microsoft article comes up. Or whatever other knee-jerk meme you feel compelled to repeat at us over and over as if it had any life left in it whatsoever.

I for one do not welcome our unimaginative cliche-ridden overlords.

Re:Thank you OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272623)

In Soviet Russia, cliches use YOU.

Re:Thank you OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272657)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of whiny ACs...

Re:Thank you OLPC (0, Offtopic)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273767)

Actually, Natalie Portman think memes are cute.

Is it just me (4, Funny)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272477)

Or is anyone else amused that the name for this laptop, the XO, is an emoticon for a frustrated person yelling? Seems like Microsoft would have nailed that name down. I keed, I keed.

Re:Is it just me (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272747)

Microsoft already used the "screwed up face with tongue stuck out in disgust" in the name of their successor to Windows 2000.

Re:Is it just me (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273551)

Here in H-Town, home of Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, DJ Screw, Slim Thug, and S.P.M., an "XO" refers to a tablet of ecstasy.

Does the picture in TFA remind you of: (1)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272519)

1. The last 5 road construction crews you saw?

2. The SA's desk when the network drops.

Child Labor (1)

josh61980 (1025498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272625)

Has anyone aside from me looked at TFA. The from picture is several children at the assembly. Just makes me thing of armies of child laborers in underdeveloped countries making laptops for children in other underdeveloped countries.

Re:Child Labor (2, Insightful)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273523)

Those aren't children. They're young women. Get some glasses.

Wow, a lot of anger surrounding this issue (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272673)

I, myself, will be getting one so I can remain competitive with the next generation of outsourcing going around.

Foolish People (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273061)

I am sure that many of you believe that children in 3rd world countries will get one of the laptops. Reality is that they can't even use the laptop, don't have the knowledge or understanding to use it. It will probably end up in the hands of some tyrant dictator, where he will probably sell it to put $25 in his pocket for each one. The third world is a hard place to live, where fairness and honest just don't exist. Great idea, just like food for third world countries, unfortunately the people there still starve.

Re:Foolish People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21273301)

I assume (could easily be wrong) that the program will only be donating the machines to nations with enough infrastructure and education to at least be familiar with this type of technology. I certainly don't think my give 1 get 1 will send one to a tribal nation in Africa straight out of "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

Re:Foolish People (1)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273563)

I hear they eat their own children too, over in that bad ol' third world.

For $400 (0, Troll)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273469)

Since you have to buy two to get one...

I can easily get a "real" laptop for $400 and it's not even black friday. Heck, given that i actually live in a house with a roof (and running water and electricity!) I could buy a desktop. Those can be had for $300 without a big fuss.

Remind me again why I should care? I mean other than as an excuse for some big company to get a tax write off and free press. Something that would actually help me keep up with the price of gas and heating oil and electricity.

Re:For $400 (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21273989)

Well you're actually getting two laptops and donating one. Let me know if you can do that on Black Friday for $400.

Re:For $400 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21274027)

Something that would actually help me keep up with the price of gas and heating oil and electricity.
For what it's worth, the XO uses much less electricity than other computers. According to this page [laptop.org] , a typical laptop idles at 20 watts, while the XO idles at 1 watt.

Re:For $400 (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274079)

Does your regular laptop have a daylight readable screen? Can you chuck it in the back of your car without a second thought? Does it have a sealed keyboard so you can use it at the beach without a worry? How much does your regular laptop weigh and what is its battery life like?

Distribution? (1)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274337)

With 10's of thousands of these being ordered and shipped to third world countries, has anyone actually thought about how they are going to be distributed? It's kind of like the food programs for poor countries...it is not that there isn't enough money or food, it just nearly impossible to get the resources to the people that actually need it.

I envision thousands of these laptops sitting in warehouses across the global, with only a handful of "showcase" schools actually receiving and using the laptops.

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't think real problem here is technology or the cost of it.

Re:Distribution? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21274487)

With 10's of thousands of these being ordered and shipped to third world countries, has anyone actually thought about how they are going to be distributed?


Hundreds of thousands, actually.

It's kind of like the food programs for poor countries...


Actually, its not at all like that. Unlike food programs, these aren't being distributed by well-meaning foreign governments or NGOs with no local involvement, they are being, for the most part, purchased by the recipient governments, and delivered (along with associated content, etc.) through their school systems. As has been the vision of the OLPC program from the outset.

Presumably, the national ministries of education that have decided to spend tens of millions of dollars purchasing computers have put some thought in how they are actually going to deliver them to schools.

I envision thousands of these laptops sitting in warehouses across the global, with only a handful of "showcase" schools actually receiving and using the laptops.


Any reason, aside from your prejudices, supporting this image, or is it just your fantasy?

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't think real problem here is technology or the cost of it.


So, prior to the release of the XO, there was a widely available, low-cost, computer designed for the needs of the education systems in the developing world, but the problem was just the logistics of delivering the systems to end users? I think not. Clearly, whatever other real problems there might have been, the availability of appropriate technology was a real problem.
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