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Peru Orders 260K OLPCs, Mexico to Get 50K

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the see-we're-not-scared dept.

Education 271

eldavojohn writes "Perhaps in response to recent news that the lawsuit against the OLPC may be a scam, Peru's government has announced they want 260,000 OLPCs and a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim has also asked for 50,000 that he wishes to distribute in Mexico. Things are looking good for the OLPC."

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564401)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
Mexico to get goatse [goatse.ch]

Give It Up, Man! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564471)

If we didn't listen to you the first 63 times you posted that [google.com] , what the hell makes you think we're going to listen to you on the 64th?

<sarcasm>I'm sure you'll get your message across one of these times, keep trying, hang in there.</sarcasm>

Re:Give It Up, Man! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564923)

just because you're too stupid to realize that slashdot suxorz doesn't mean the rest of us are.

peace i'm outta here biatch

Keep Going, Man! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564673)

Troll, you're right, Slashdot doe SUX0RZ, and we need you to keep doing your hilarious customized goatse captions.

Who'd have thought that a troll on slashdot was one of the better parts of my workday?

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565105)

Hey Troll, hope you read this.

You have one of the funniest long-runnings troll posts on slashdot, keep it up! It makes my day!

OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564403)

The One Laptop Per Child program should be preloaded with call center software and a "bad English" tutor to prepare 3rd world chldren for their future.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (-1, Troll)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564453)

I personally believe that the product has taken far too long to hit the shelves and is already out dated.
Why don't you compare Asus EEE PC vs OLPC
http://forumpix.co.uk/i.php?I=1196718038 [forumpix.co.uk]
http://forumpix.co.uk/i.php?I=1196718071 [forumpix.co.uk]

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (4, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564503)

Dude, you're comparing apples and washing machines. One is a laptop to teach third world children, the other is a PDA killer. Just because they're both small, cheap and run Linux doesn't mean they're aimed at anything like the same market.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564765)

no one cares that these run linux. no one. open source serves no usefulness unless you plan on coding for the app. this is clearly not the case. stop being such a fagboi.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565329)

One is a laptop to teach third world children, the other is a PDA killer.
Anything to big to fit in a suit pocket or purse is a small laptop, not a pda, and unless it's that small and handy it's not even a PDA competitor.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565361)

It's a PDA killer in the sense that the Zune is an iPod killer.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (2, Insightful)

sick_soul (794596) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564561)

They are different things, for different purposes.

"The Eee PC is not a competitor to the OLPC XO-1, another inexpensive laptop computer..."

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC [wikipedia.org]

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564695)

I don't think its entirely unreasonable to view these as competitors, they are both small form factor computers at
a low price point.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (3, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565119)

The XO is not a computer. It's a teaching tool.

The EeePC is a very inexpensive and small notebook computer.

they are entirely different beasts.

The Eee has ha UMPC screen (480x800) while the XO has much higher resolution one designed to consume less power and to be readable under direct sunlight. It also sports a next to indestructible design and mesh networking hardware. The Eee is just a low-power (and underpowered) notebook.

Not to say I don't like it. In fact, I would like to have both.

But the EeePC's technology points towards the present - there is nothing new in it except the price. The XO points towards the future. And we all know the future is a much cooler place.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565203)

### The XO is not a computer. It's a teaching tool.

I don't think so. If anything its the software that teaches, not the hardware. The XO is much better for book reading, outdoor use and such as the Eee, but that doesn't make it a teaching tool, it simply makes it the better hardware for such environments.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565325)

The XO is not a computer. It's a teaching tool.
The XO is most certainly a computer. Its also a teaching tool, but the two labels are not mutually exclusive.

Re:OLPC Needs Appropriate Softare (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565547)

OK. But it was not designed to be used the same way we use our computers - That's not its primary design goal.

In that sense, it has as much in common to the notebook I am typing this as this notebook has with the Playstation downstairs.

So... orders make it less of a scam? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564731)

I still don't see how spending $200 for a $100 gimped Lunix machine which doesn't even work isn't a scam. Scamming orders from people who don't know any better is supposed to make it less of a scam?

Since the OLPC project is, allegedly, "all about the kids"... than why is it being used as a pretty blatent attempt at force-feeding a non-Windows and non-Intel tinker toy on them? If it were "all about the kids"... wouldn't they be cheering about the $200 Intel Classmate and the $30 Windows/Office package?

But of course not. This is just another lame FOSSie attempt to force people into using Lunix... which realistically nobody wants. They've tried to claim that anyone providing alternatives to the OLPC is somehow racist, and they've tried their hardest to torpedo any alternative to OLPC. They've even had upper management threaten to quit if the OLPC ever goes with a Windows based solution.

So please... tell us again the OLPC isn't, like Lunix, a project with a hidden agenda, a project which has nothing to do with helping kids in poor countries.

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564847)

Lay off the coffee bud.
Some people just want a $200 laptop and to donate some money. I G1G1ed and I hope that some child in "fill in the blank" will get some use out of the XO.

I want one because it should be pretty much be a cheap "Tonka toy" tough laptop for my child to use.

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565011)

>> But of course not. This is just another lame FOSSie attempt to force people into using Lunix... which realistically nobody wants

Excactlly!!!! What it really needs is AmigaOS4!!!! Yeah Baby!!
http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=764 [leamancomputing.com]

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565297)

>> But of course not. This is just another lame FOSSie attempt to force people into using Lunix... which realistically nobody wants

Yeah, of course! why should any child in the world learn on a system which is transparent, and can be explored, when they can be brought up thinking that computers ARE Windows, and that a computer system is something that will ALWAYS be purchased from a single American company and never to be shared, discussed, or cracked open to learn from?

Oh wait, but that will give third world children *more* opportunities than American children! kill the OLPC!

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565061)

I've seen the OLPC and I can assure you that it works.

The OLPC is a (non-profit) response to the need to educate children in developing countries. Intel's Classmate is a (for-profit) response to an inexpensive PC that doesn't use Intel's CPUs. Microsoft's $30 Windows/Office package is a (for-profit) response to a free operating system that is "making the news". Can you see the difference? Neither Intel or Microsoft would have created their responses if OLPC did not exist. Why would they?

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565569)

Neither Intel or Microsoft would have created their responses if OLPC did not exist. Why would they?

Is it not price discrimination in the USA to sell the same product at different prices based on who is buying it? Time to stick it to Intel/Microsoft in keeping prices artificially high.

Go Linux go! One thing these brain dead $$ execs can't seem to comprehend is that chips and software are commodity items. I remember buying a 8080a for $7. Expect I will see a low power Core Duo Quad at $20 before not too long.

Re:So... orders make it less of a scam? (1)

DirtyHerring (635192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565539)

> So please... tell us again the OLPC isn't, like Lunix

Please, get it right: It's called Lunizzz

Mexico is only ordering 50K? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564407)

Are we handing them out at the border or something?

Re:Mexico is only ordering 50K? (5, Informative)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564519)

Mexico is only ordering 50K?

Er...

and a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim has also asked for 50,000 that he wishes to distribute in Mexico.

The article didn't mention Mexico ordering any. Someone ordered them to be distributed in Mexico.

Carlos Slim (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564637)

Carlos Slim [wikipedia.org] is not Mexico, in much the same way as Bill Gates is not the United States.

Re:Carlos Slim (3, Funny)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565097)

Yeah, but he does have Olympic medals in both Limbo and Sex... ... err, wait.. that's Barbados Slim...

[badum-ching]

Re:Carlos Slim (1)

tooslickvan (1061814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565395)

I hate SAT analogies! Carlos Slim is to not Mexico as George W Bush is to Felipe Calderon.

That does not sound right.

CompUSA (3, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564455)

Since Slim owns CompUSA, maybe he's creating new customers.

Re:CompUSA (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564571)

Since Slim owns CompUSA, maybe he's creating new customers.

Except that the OLPC systems run Linux. What are the chances of finding someone at CompUSA who would know anything about them? Might as well take it to 7/11.

And I don't think that the OLPC systems have much need for the $20 CompUSA printer cables [compusa.com] , either*.


*I know from having previously worked at CompUSA (#787, Minnetonka, MN) that the markup was at least 10-fold on printer cables, which far, far, exceeded the margin on the printers - or just about anything else in the store except for CD jewel cases.

Re:CompUSA (-1, Flamebait)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564735)

I don't think you know what 10 fold means. If the markup was 10 fold, the cost price of the $20 cables would have been 2 cents.

Re:CompUSA (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564911)

The definition of tenfold is ten times as much. 0.02 x 10 != 20.00

Re:CompUSA (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564937)

Not only are you wrong, I fail to see your logic. 2 cents is 1000 times smaller than 20 dollars.

Re:CompUSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564955)

Either you don't know what it means, or you're terrible at math.

Definitions of tenfold on the Web:
        * containing ten or ten parts
        * by ten times as much; "the population increased tenfold"

A tenth of $20 is $2.

Re:CompUSA (1)

SilentTristero (99253) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564961)

10 fold means "10 times as much" [thefreedictionary.com] . And "markup" [thefreedictionary.com] is the amount added to a cost price in calculating a selling price, so if cost price is CP, selling price (SP) is 20, and markup is 10*CP, then SP=(CP + 10*CP) gives 2.00 = 11*CP or CP = 2.00/11 or around 18 cents. Which I think is quite possible for a Chinese-manufactured printer cable in bulk.

Or do you know a different definition for 10 fold?

[OT]Re:CompUSA (1)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565009)

Any chance you have a cite for that usage of "fold"? I've always thought that it was a straight multiplication factor. Looking in online dictionaries I don't see any explicit version of that usage. However, several point out that the "ply" in "multiply" is derived from "fold", so it'd seem reasonable to thing the grandparents usage is correct. I've always thought "a 2 fold" increase and "a 10 fold" increase meant to multiply by 2 and 10 respectively. However, I've been wrong before, and be interested to see the background of "X fold".


Kirby

And how much ? (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565519)

Ignoring the debate of other /.ers about the meaning of "10-fold"...

the cost price of the $20 cables would have been 2 cents.

How much, do you really think that the raw materials and the cheap underpaid, overworking employee cost the Chinese manufacturer ?
I really doubt that such cable could any way cost more than 1$ to the factory, and I think that I'm still grossly over-estimating the price.
A couple of cents may be a very close to reality figure.

I mean, Chinese companies can make whole DVD players which are sold, including the scart cable (at least as much complex as a parallel printer cable), for not more than 50$ in the shop and everyone along the chain makes profit (they can't sell at a loss something for which they can't apply the same technique as for inkjet printers).
Do you genuinely think that the cable cost 10$ to produce ?

Re:CompUSA (5, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565473)

Except that the OLPC systems run Linux. What are the chances of finding someone at CompUSA who would know anything about them? Might as well take it to 7/11.

And if a computer tech from a major store can't figure out GUI linux, how can we expect it to make inroads into mass market?

I have some hope...if we can incorporate texting into the command line, we may be able to hook an entire generation of kids:

user@ubuntubox:~$ what r u
Description: Ubuntu 6.10

user@ubuntubox:~$ sup
top - 14:36:37 up 39 days, 4:21, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
Tasks: 70 total, 2 running, 68 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.0%us, 0.0%sy, 0.0%ni,100.0%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 0.0%st

user@ubuntubox:~$ stfu
This server is going down for shutdown NOW!

Re:CompUSA (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564761)

Since Slim owns CompUSA, maybe he's creating new customers.


Since Slim controls Telmex, Telcel, and America Movil, and since telecoms tend to have big IT needs, maybe he's creating new workers.

Or, maybe, given his history of philanthropy (including offers to match donations to certain charities in Mexico dollar for dollar without limit in 2006), his interest aren't as narrowly selfish.

Re:CompUSA (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565183)

I like how the article mentions the richest man in the world as if no one has heard of him.

Re:CompUSA (1)

snd_chaser (104514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565323)

I like how the article mentions the richest man in the world as if no one has heard of him.
I've never heard of him.

Re:CompUSA (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565255)

I was under the impression that he was unable to complete his CompUSA purchase due to some irregularities here and there in the way he tried to buy it.

If you had read the other article... (4, Informative)

Stony Stevenson (954022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564467)

If people had bothered to read the "OLPC Lawsuit-Bringer Has Past Fraud Conviction" (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/03/0526202) article, they would have seen that it mentioned Peru's and Mexico's purchasing plans.

Re:If you had read the other article... (5, Funny)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564867)

> If people had bothered to read the ... article

This is Slashdot. Not even the editors read the articles. There are only 10 people here who read the articles. First is the submitter and the other is you.

Re:If you had read the other article... (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564971)

Not even the submitter reads it.

Re:If you had read the other article... (5, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565367)

Incorrect, the submitters always read the articles. If they didn't, then once in a while an accurate summary would arise by pure dumn luck.

Re:If you had read the other article... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564919)

Obligatory:

This is slashdot. We're not even going to read THIS article.

Carlos (0, Offtopic)

BigDumbAnimal (532071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564501)

I guess Carlos [slashdot.org] can afford [slashdot.org] to hand out these $200 laptops.

not quite a scam (2, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564507)

The lawsuit is Nigerian, but it's not so clearly a scam. It seems to be a claim that a keyboard layout (i.e. which key goes where) is a patentable design. Of course in most of the world keyboard layouts are standardized, denying us the fun of learning a new keyboard layout whenever we buy a new keyboard -- but perhaps this isn't the case there. If anything, I would suspect it to be a harassment tactic. I wonder if this Nigerian company has recently started a strategic partnership with a large American software company ...

Re:not quite a scam (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564703)

The lawsuit is Nigerian, but it's not so clearly a scam.

It's a patent troll lawsuit. Bad enough for me.

Effect (2, Interesting)

ShiningSomething (1097589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564509)

It would be great if at this point we started thinking how to evaluate the laptops' impact. Surely there won't be enough for *all* children, so starting a data collection effort on the children, maybe assigning them randomly to schools or towns (otherwise, how to ration them?), and comparing results down the line could be an interesting project. Negroponte should think of funding a few data collection efforts, I think.

Re:Effect (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564965)

I really hope somebody does conduct a randomised trial, so we can have some proper evidence when debating this project. The UK managed to screw up the evaluation of Sure Start (a child development policy) by refusing to randomise the initial allocation, and now we'll never be able to properly evaluate the benefits. It probably falls to local governments to develop and implement these plans though, and not Negroponte, who would certainly be accused of a conflict of interest if the findings were positive.

Re:Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565359)

We already know a little; see Glimpsing Nigeria's digital lifeline [bbc.co.uk] (which I never noticed on Slashdot). They break and get stolen, are distractions in class, require support that schools don't yet have, and people love them.

Colombia (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564525)

Peru's government has announced they want 260,000 OLCPs [CC] and a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim has also asked for 50,000 that he wishes to distribute in Mexico.

In other news Colombia has proposed to help the OLPC organisation respond to the increased demand by manufacturing hundreds of thousands of OLPC laptops and shipping them to the USA, thereby only letting the non-profit organisation take care of the worldwide distribution of the laptops.

Re:Colombia (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564609)

Oh I get it... because Columbia is the cocaine distributing capital of the World and will hide 1/5Kilo of drugs in the laptop? Am I right?

Re:Colombia (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564753)

Oh I get it... because Columbia is the cocaine distributing capital of the World and will hide 1/5Kilo of drugs in the laptop? Am I right?

Yes, that's the joke.. :-/

Sorry.

Re:Colombia (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565165)

"and a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim"

Who, AFAIK, currently holds the title of the richest man in the world.

Wha?! (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564527)

I thought they swore that taxpayers would never pay for OLPC? That was one of the main selling points, originally. WTF?

Re:Wha?! (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564715)

Just saw the OLPC founder being interviewed on the news last night. It seems he's been trying to sell them to governments all along. I'd like to see him take a principled stance against doing this, but of course that will never happen. It almost seems like he is more concerned about the success of his charity product than actually seeing them get into the hands of kids. Why else would he be so angry at Intel for producing the Classmate PC? Surely there is a large enough market for low-end, affordable laptops... the whole thing puts a bad taste in my mouth.

Re:Wha?! (2, Insightful)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565025)

Why else would he be so angry at Intel for producing the Classmate PC?
Because his PC has all Open Source software on it. I remember when I learning about computers as a kid running Windows. There was this brick wall I just hit one day because I was not allowed to learn any more. It was a really frustrating feeling.

Also it seems like Intel is getting in to the game because they are out to make a buck not to help. So once they are the only game in town they are likely to just have the price jump up.

FYI: The TWIT [www.twit.tv] that came out today talked about the OLPC project a lot.

Re:Wha?! (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565211)

Why else would he be so angry at Intel for producing the Classmate PC? Surely there is a large enough market for low-end, affordable laptops...

He's mad about the Classmate PC because making a "low-end, affordable laptop" is most emphatically not the point. The point is to make a tool for learning, which places the emphasis on the software and the collaboration that the system (as a combination of hardware and software) allows.

In other words, he's mad because the Classmate PC is merely an attempt to indoctrinate a new set of kids into the Intel/Microsoft closed-source and commercial hegemony, while his goal is to give the kids a tool they can modify themselves as they see fit.

Re:Wha?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565421)

Ask your self if the classmate PC would exist if the XO didn't. When you come up with answer come back to /. and let us all know how your mouth tastes.

Re:Wha?! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564729)

What are you on about?

The plan from day one has been for countries to buy the laptops to distribute to children through the school system.

Try to keep up.

Re:Wha?! (1)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564743)

I'm not sure how you got that impression. The goal since the beginning was for governments to place orders for OLPCs for their countries (or for first world governments to pay on behalf of third world ones). As most governments tend to be funded by taxes, and someone or something is paying those taxes, taxpayers would obviously be funding OLPC purchases.

Re:Wha?! (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564791)

I thought they swore that taxpayers would never pay for OLPC? That was one of the main selling points, originally.


No, in fact, the whole point of the project from the outset was the main market was going to be direct, bulk sales to governments (specifically, national ministries of education) who would distribute them on a one-per-child basis in their educational systems, the reasoning being that only by selling in that manner would (1) they get big enough orders, and (2) the laptops being fully integrated into the educational system to give the most advantage to students and educators.

Re:Wha?! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565085)

How dare governments invest in education! Don't they know that's just a money pit, and it makes the "help" get all uppity.

Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564615)

Carlos Slim recently surpassed Bill Gates as the world's richest man. I found it sort of jarring that whoever wrote the summary hadn't seemed to have heard of him.

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564687)

Um, when you use quotes, you should probably actually quote what is said. Nowhere did the author write "some Mexican billionaire."

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565181)

Exact quote:

a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim
Okay, so it's one word off. But that's how I read it. If the summary had said simply "Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim" it would have been more understandable. The use of the indefinite article and the phrase "by the name of" was a bit... off.

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (3, Insightful)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564825)

What about that would be so jarring? The fact that there are people that don't actually care about or track how much wealth other people have?

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (2, Funny)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565193)

No, but this is Slashdot. When Bill Gates ceases to be the richest man in the world, I would expect /.ers to take notice.

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565275)

Well, it has to do with world affairs. The fact that a single man reaps the benefits from the near entirety of Mexico's cell phone service, for one. Or, we could go into how Carlos Slim owns Comp USA, which I suppose is related to Slashdot interests. Either way, he's a pretty notable figure who in some circles needs no introduction. If one had said, "a software billionaire by the name of Bill Gates", wouldn't you have found it strange?

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565039)

Anyone who can count their assets is not the richest. The Earl of Northumberland (who owns the City of London amongst other things) is probably the richest man in the world.

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565289)

The Earl of Northumberland (who owns the City of London amongst other things) is probably the richest man in the world.


The title "Earl of Northumberland" is, per Wikipedia at least, a subsidiary title of the Dukes of Northumberland since Hugh Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, was created Duke of Northumberland in 1766 and his heirs to this day retain that title; the present Duke had, as of sometime in 2005, an estimated wealth on the order of 300 million GBP, which is something like two orders of magnitude less than Carlos Slim's fortune.

(As for the City of London, I was under the impression that it had been a corporate city for many centuries, and not "owned", even the sense that a purely titular feudal holding might be said to be "owned", by anyone, save, in the sense that this is true of all land in England, the Crown.)

Re:Richest man not just "some Mexican billionaire" (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565301)

1) I think he was being ironic/facetious/whatever.

2) Carlos Slim *is* "just some billionaire". Slim got rich by getting the government to hand him a telecom monopoly that allowed him to hold Mexicans by the balls and thereby extract monopoly rents. Bill Gates, on the other hand, legitimately gained market dominance by offering a superior product and THEN locked people in and extraced monopoly rents.

OLPC Language Suite (5, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564683)

To me, a language learning software package for deployment in Mexico would be the killer app. Mexico should have a leg up on India and China when it comes to importing stuff to the United States. Mexico is much closer and the time difference isn't much if any. Mexico is getting shoved out of nearly all markets however due to their inability to compete. China is shoving them out of the goods market because of their low prices (and associated poor environmental and human practices). India is beating them on call centers because many Indians are willing to learn English and have a chance to do so- something most Mexicans can not or will not.

Mass adoption of English as a second language could give Mexico the enormous economic boost that India has enjoyed in recent years. Can the OLPC fill this gap in Mexican education? Will Mexicans care to learn English? I doubt it. There may soon be a time when large numbers of Indians stop immigrating to the US because there are plenty of good jobs in India. It would be nice to think that Mexico could get to that point too.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565063)

The ironic thing is that would help quite a bit with the illegal alien situation too. While there are other reasons to not like the situation, the thing I dislike the most is that I see a great many of the illegal aliens and coming in and not integrating. That's why we have Spanish on all sorts of menus and signs here in the middle of the country where there is no good reason: for people who aren't integrating. If more illegal aliens knew English, they could integrate better, get better jobs, and not stand out as much as "them". That would probably help lower the number of people wanting something big done to fix the problem (although it would still need fixing). Out of site, out of mind. If we didn't see large groups of people who didn't seem to try to integrate, many people wouldn't be nearly as vocal about the issue.

I agree though, learning another language (English is obvious, but Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish, anything else big) would be a great reason to give these to kids.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565121)

Of course, the same could be said for any country. Making sure 100% the population speaks english fluently should be on the agenda for any government. I think that countries that have big language are at a disadvantage here though. There is so much entertainment and decent translations of anything for the spanish language, so why should people learn english? The same is true for german, french, the various forms of chinese, for example.

I think many african countries are in a better position in that way actually. In the old british colonies, english is the official language even though most speakers only learn it as a second language. The incentive to learn english in those countries is very strong. Besides, wages are generally much lower in african countries.

However, I don't really think the language barrier is as important as you portray it. China has shown better growth than India, and some african countries do not really grow at all even though they have populations more or less fluent in english. Infrastructure and politics is what matters.

And to bring this back to topic, I hope that Infrastrucutre and politics is what these computers might give to the children. Hopefully, it will be more profitable to trade ideas through wifi than goods on roads, and hopefully democracy becomes more powerful when ideas spread more easily.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565145)

yes... a language learning program would be great!!! so that you can learn that you "export to" and "import from" ...

Re:OLPC Language Suite (0, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565327)

Well... id say that Mexico has, by far, the most english-learned society in latin-america and certaintly more per-capita english speakers than spain, for example.

Other countries are kicking our buts cause we have a politicall disaster here and because democracy is something that our "leaders" do not enjoy that much, and economic liberalism is even less popular.

Kind of where the US is heading, BTW, should you guys keep letting the bushes steal your elections.

"many Indians are willing to learn English"??? (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565417)

Hello? They have been speaking English in India for a very long time. And installing a language tutor isn't going to instantly create a population of fluent English speakers. Extensive fluency in a population requires a that they converse in that language.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565425)

Somewhat diferent situations.

India is a former British colony with about a bajillion different languages, so English is the lingua franca there - lots of folks learn english not to get a job in a call center, but because it's pretty much required to exist and function.

Mexico is a former Spanish colony where the native languages were pretty much wiped out. One can get along just fine in Mexico, or anywhere in Central and South America on spanish alone. Indeed, I sometimes think it is a point of pride for some immigrants to NOT learn english when they live in the US.

I don't disagree that it would help Mexico immensely for such a program to exist, but comparing to India is a red herring.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (3, Informative)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565495)

Um, a lot of these workers in India are "willing to learn English" because it's their birth tongue.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565545)

Um, a lot of these workers in India are "willing to learn English" because it's their birth tongue.


Its like the #40 first language in India with only a pretty small number of people speaking it first. Its the most popular second language, IIRC, though, with something like a third of billion Indians fluent in it.

Re:OLPC Language Suite (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565513)

China is shoving them out of the goods market because of their low prices (and associated poor environmental and human practices). India is beating them on call centers because many Indians are willing to learn English and have a chance to do so- something most Mexicans can not or will not.


Both India and China are cheaper-labor countries than Mexico, and insofar as they are more attractive, that's the reason for both, not just China. Mexico also has a higher per capita GDP than either, though, so I'm not really sure that those two are "beating" Mexico in any meaningful sense.

There may soon be a time when large numbers of Indians stop immigrating to the US because there are plenty of good jobs in India.


There may soon be a time that pigs fly because they evolve large enough, strong enough wings and learn how to use them, too. Wonderful word, "may".

It would be nice to think that Mexico could get to that point too.


A casual familiarity with the relevant geography would make it obvious why Mexico would need to be developed to a level far closer to that of the US than India would need to be to make immigrating to the US for economic reasons equally unpopular in each of those countries.

260k? Get the 1 Meg version dammit (3, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564739)

They'll find they can run a lot more programs concurrently. Don't believe all that '640k is enough for anybody' bumf.

Save them---PLEASEEEEEEE..poor children (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564799)

Could the poor children get some Macs instead... please save the world!

Good For Peru! (4, Interesting)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564861)

I travelled briefly in Peru in 2005 and saw the crushing poverty both in and out of the cities. It's worse out of the cities, and not uncommon to see houses with no electricity and water delivered from wells.

In Cuzco begging is rife, and the kids usually try to sell something to justify giving them money. Postcards are pretty popular. These kids are smart too, learning enough English to have a conversation and show their sense of humour. I think that giving them an opportunity to learn valuable skills can only be a good thing for them and for their country.

Re:Good For Peru! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565153)

... the kids usually try to sell something to justify giving them money.

Makes me wonder if some unscrupulous geek traveling in Peru soon might not get the kids to sell him their XO laptops for $20US each.

Intel should be ashamed (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564893)

Intel and Microsoft should be ashamed for their attempts to poison this fantastic project.

Re:Intel should be ashamed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565439)

Intel and Microsoft should be ashamed for their attempts to poison this fantastic project.

Think, it just backfired. Can't buy a usable copy of XP Pro for the price of the whole thing.

I guess Linux desktops just jumped by 300,001 !!!!!!!!!! (1 is because I just loaded FC8)

that's no good (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564903)

the summary said peru ordered 260K OnLine Complex Processings (olcp). that's not going to help the cause of One Laptop per Child (olpc)

Slim among richest men (1, Redundant)

killstead (869603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565283)

> a Mexican billionaire by the name of Carlos Slim

only one of the richest men in the world link [wikipedia.org] [ wikipedia.com ], richer than Bill Gates.

who really gets these laptops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565387)

I have to ask. Despite whatever good intentions exist in giving laptops to kids, do all these laptops really go to children? As cheap as they are, and even with the low specs, might they still be of interest to poor nations for government offices, businesses, or even Nigerian (or the like) spammers in poor countries wanting a laptop of their own instead of having to use the ones at the local internet cafe that gets raided periodically?

Mexican billionaire (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565447)

I was going to jump in with the inevitable, "Mexican billionaire? So about $34 American?" Then I remembered the peso's worth slightly more than the dollar now. So... uh... yay... Go him!

Re:Mexican billionaire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21565497)

  1. Carlos Slim is richer than Bill Gates.
  2. The Mexican peso is about USD$0.09. Maybe you're thinking about the Canadian dollar?
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