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OLPC CTO Quits to Commercialize OLPC Technology

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the there's-more-money-in-money-than-in-charity dept.

Education 168

theodp writes "The One Laptop Per Child project suffered a blow Monday, with CTO Mary Lou Jepsen quitting the nonprofit to start a for-profit company to commercialize technology she invented with OLPC (the first of Jepsen's pending OLPC patents was published by the USPTO on Dec. 13). The OLPC project halted consumer sales of the cheap laptop at the end of December."

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168 comments

Huh ... (0, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874498)

Much as I hate to say it, it sounds like that OLPC group didn't consult an attorney to have a proper contract drawn up between all parties. Not that I RTFA or anything.

Re:Huh ... (1)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874540)

According to the article, she is just moving on in a different direction, and will still help the OLPC project in her new capacity by providing parts at cost.

Re:Huh ... (5, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874546)

Not that I RTFA or anything.

You got that right. FTA: "I will continue to give OLPC product at cost, while providing commercial entities products they would like at a profit," Jepsen wrote in an e-mail.

She was responsible for designing the display, which, depending on who you ask, is either really novel and cutting edge, or a substandard compromise to modern display design. Personally, the display is not anything I would want for standard laptop-like use.

The OLPC has their low-power display, and now she can go off and make the technology available to other markets instead of keeping it exclusive to the OLPC. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Dan East

Re:Huh ... (5, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874900)

Not only that, but if commercial sales result in higher volume, then the production cost will go down, and it's a win for everyone: OLPC users, consumers who buy the commercial version, and of course the open source software world in which this machine lives.

Re:Huh ... (3, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876956)

She was responsible for designing the display, which, depending on who you ask, is either really novel and cutting edge, or a substandard compromise to modern display design. Personally, the display is not anything I would want for standard laptop-like use.

Don't be so quick to disparage it. While I'll be the first to admit that it's not really necessary for typical indoor use, the extremely high definition and brilliant contrast make it possible to use a portable device in scenarios you might not have considered before.

I did a month-long evaluation of an OLPC B2 prototype, and the thing that appealed to me most was the fact that it made it possible (or at least conceivable) to have constant access to information at all times, without worrying about rain, sun or shade, accidents, dust and most other kinds of things that make laptop-users cringe. The display played no small part in this.

I live in what the UN designates as a Least Developed Country, so I'll admit that my needs are special. But I can think of dozens of ways in which a device with similar attributes to the OLPC would be useful to inhabitants of the world's most developed cities. Their low cost and robustness, combined with their suitability to the task, finally give us true commoditisation of information technology.

This dual-mode screen is really impressive when you see it at work. It is truly innovative because it makes new uses of computers possible.

Re:Huh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875288)

you sound like a typical american. everything is about the lawsuit and screwing people out of a way to make a living. how about thanking her for her contribution and wishing her well in her new endeavor. OLPC is non profit so how is she hurting it by starting a 'for profit'? the only thing it can do is help develop newer technology used in OLPC. win-win for everyone.

Re:Huh ... (1, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875444)

Interesting. You complain that I'm being too judgmental, yet immediately put me into a compartment conveniently labeled "typical American". Come back to me when you have some idea what a typical American is, my hypocritical friend, if you ever manage to successfully define what that means. Matter of fact, don't bother coming back.

In any event, when someone leaves an organization and takes key patents with them it is usually not good for that organization, because they no longer control critical assets required for their future survival. In such cases, that usually means that the organization failed to protect its interests, and the fact this woman is promising that she will make parts available at coast is just rhetoric: you can choose to believe it if you wish, but that doesn't mean it will happen that way. That's the only point I was trying to make, genius. Deal with it.

Rats... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21877082)

Rats - Burning Ship = OLPC

Likely the first of many departures. At what point will Slashdot declare the OLPC to have been nothing more than a huge flop? Are they going to wait more than six years, like with Munich's "migration from Windows"?

G1G1 didn't end in November (4, Informative)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874504)

The OLPC project halted consumer sales of the cheap laptop at the end of November.
Erm, no. The quoted story is datelined November 25. It's January now, folks. The G1G1 program was extended until yesterday http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/index.php/ [laptopgiving.org] .

Re:G1G1 didn't end in November (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874578)

from the article: (which might explain why its mentioned now...)

Her last day with the organization is Dec. 31, though she will continue consulting with OLPC, according to the e-mail. Dec. 31 is also the end of OLPC's Give One Get One program, in which two XO laptops can be purchased for about US$400, with a user getting one laptop and the other being donated.

Re:G1G1 didn't end in November (1)

lhorn (528432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874638)

...And as far as I saw, noone offering this for delivery in Norway.
What's the matter with the OLPC - is our money smelly?
I DO want a sturdy, light laptop with long battery life. The Asus EEE comes close, but no cigar due to high energy requirements. I do not want flash or movies, I need web & decent text display, and the ability to stand sand and water in accidental amounts. I would even go G2G1!

Re:G1G1 didn't end in November (0, Troll)

emilper (826945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875168)

IMHO, the OLPC was only a marketing ploy: let everybody know there is a cute little extremely portable weather proof low energy computer that nobody can buy yet, so that everybody will drool (the way I am doing now, imagining myself owning a black XO and being able to read during commute without damaging my eyesight with a PDA) and want to buy it when it goes into production.

Why it was not shipped outside US ? That is called market segmentation: let the secondary market drool a little and envy the primary market, then sell the same product at the highest price the secondary market will bear when you have enough stock. It was done with the game consoles, it is done with movies and music, why not with the OLPC's commercial successor ?

The "buy two, get one" was, imho, just a test, to see how it's going to sell and do some testing with real users.

I hope I did not sound like a anti-capitalist freak ... I think what are they doing is just fine, the only complaint is that it takes so damn long for the XO to get to a shop near me. Come on, Negroponte, my wallet is as wet as it can get, and I'd shoot 300 Euros without thinking too much for a black or grey XO anytime you're ready.

Re:G1G1 didn't end in November (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875830)

Why it was not shipped outside US ?
There's no conspiracy here: The OLPC foundation is not Microsoft or Apple with legions of paid staff who can just set up base anywhere in the world and immediately start fulfilling thousands of orders. They're a tiny team who were massively overstretched just trying to meet demand in the country of their base of operations. In short, the reasons are manpower and logistics.

one laptop per CHILD (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875482)

What's the matter with the OLPC - is our money smelly?
It's that you're not a child. Have your state/province/country's department/ministry of education look into deploying XO laptops.

innvocation (0, Flamebait)

kavehmz (755591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874514)

Who said that free movements had no innovations? :) Also it had invented a bitch.

Sounds great. (1)

notthe9 (800486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874518)

This sounds like this could be great for everyone. Hopefully Jepsen's new career path leads to more and more products having the sorts of technology we're seeing used by the OLPC folks. She can continue innovating as the XO is designed and the OLPC project focuses on manufacturing, distribution, and such and then cooperate with the OLPC people in the future as their product will be updated.

Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (0)

Kostya (1146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874532)

I don't know what this means for OLPC, but I hope it doesn't fragment it or hurt the movement. I just bought mine yesterday through the "Give one, get one" (or however that goes). I figure I'll either hack a little on mine or give it to a local family I know who could use it (and not be able to afford it). I think it's a great idea. I know some criticize and go one about providing basic needs--but why can't we do both? These computers represent a quantum leap in education--which will hopefully translate into a significant improvement in living conditions for many. If we all step up and try to support programs that provide food, water, and health care, imagine the possibilities!

Not to criticize OLPC, but I think they should just keep the "Give One, Get One" program going. They could even drop the price a little and use the success of the project overall to purchase free ones for third world populations. Maybe it wouldn't be as direct or immediate as the 1/1 ratio now, but it would keep things moving. But I get why they are doing what they are doing--I just hope it succeeds and that people are as giving as they give them credit for ;-)

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874598)

> Not to criticize OLPC, but I think they should just keep the "Give One, Get One" program going.

I don't. By OLPC's own admission, many have been getting DOA or flakey laptops, there is no support, and the cost of dealing with hardware problems on an ad-hoc basis could drive them under. I don't begrudge their program or technology, I'm just pointing out that G1G1 cannot ignore market realities -- and shouldn't participate in it unless they're prepared to jack up the price in order to afford it.

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874844)

I forget the term for it, but some charities operate businesses aimed at crowds not in need of their charity in order to fund the charities they are involved with. It sounds a lot like this move is going along these lines which should translate to what you suggest, jack up the price in order to afford it so they can participate.

Personally, I can see a lot of use for Tech in the OLPC project outside laptops. My understanding of the screen is that is doesn't wash out in sunlight so a variety of Fish finders, control panels, GPS units, and so on might be able to benefit from it the display tech along. And speaking along the same lines, Sonar -depth/fish finders units, could be adapted to use different and perhaps better processing power making use of more receivers for finer and more accurate results on less costs.

I was thinking just the other day about a passive sonar device to detect the presence of a human within a certain distance of a bus using normal engine noise as a base signal. Throw this on a small display pointing to the location of the bus and the driver will have a second audible and visual warning if he fails to see a child dangerously close to the unit, or perhaps one that has fallen under the wheel's track that might be missed when looking into a mirror. It could also record the data and allow management to instruct the driver the kids (or people) are walking to close to the bus as it is driving off. Both issues that could cause accidents taking small children to and from school. I'm thinking with four or six receivers and a little mathematics, this shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. I think the OLPC device might be powerful enough in itself to power the unit let alone adapting the components to streamline costs that it is hardly a tick in the budget for poor school districts when provisioning new equipment.

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874892)

I forget the term for it, but some charities operate businesses aimed at crowds not in need of their charity in order to fund the charities they are involved with.
Bullshit - is that the word you're looking for?

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875332)

Actually, it is called "social entrepreneurialism". I was hoping someone who wasn't a bitter troll could refresh my memory on this but it seems you made me dig out some information and look it up.

An example of this is Athena Partners who sells bottled watter as a non profit to raise funds for breast cancer. Baldev Farms which is one of largest Banana plantations on South India exists to raise funds for The George Foundation's Women's Empowerment program. IT is another prime example of this concept effectively working. There are more if you look around.

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (2, Funny)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875438)

Baldev Farms which is one of largest Banana plantations on South India exists to raise funds for The George Foundation's Women's Empowerment program.
Thanks for the (previously unknown to me) examples of this type of business/philanthropy mix.

But a banana plantation in support of Women's Empowerment, hmmmmmmmmmmm ;-)

Re:Bought mine (and some child's) yesterday (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874822)

No you've got an educational laptop, you can find out what a quantum leap is.

Initial Reaction (1, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874550)

My initial reaction was "What the hell, you theiving bastard stealing technology from a non-profit organization" But when you look at it, what difference does it make going out and selling these cheap laptops for profit, firstly the main selling point is gone, and the market is gone, so its just another cheap laptop- all be it with a littl einteresting technology, but nonetheless, atleast here in the UK that market has already been entered (asus eepc) so, betrayal- probably morally rather than contractually (Sp?), good move- probably not actually.

It Makes Sense (4, Insightful)

bmartin (1181965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874554)

A person claiming responsibility for some of the XO's innovations has left the OLPC in order to be compensated for her inventions. I don't see the problem with this. The power consumption technologies are amazing; hard drives, processors, and displays all consume a lot of power.

My laptop only runs about 40 minutes at full bore (i.e., if I disable all of the power saving features). There is much work to be done in this area. I'd like to see a huge transition from HDD to solid state disks (i.e., 2.5" and 3.5" flash-like drives), as well as from CISC to RISC processors, especially for servers running on the x86 architecture. The former is probably more likely. HDD pales in comparison to SSD for reliability, performance, and power consumption. We already have small devices that run on flash memory; why can't we use similar technology for laptops in the future?

Re:It Makes Sense (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874642)

Frankly, I'm surprised someone hasn't commercialized the OLPC hardware/software combination yet.

The specs are free, and the hardware is quite impressive (battery life and durability wise). Sell a laptop for $200 that can do internet access and you will likely sell-out to the Walmart crowd.

Re:It Makes Sense (3, Interesting)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876044)

Frankly, I'm surprised someone hasn't commercialized the OLPC hardware/software combination yet.

Look at what intel and Microsoft have already tried to do to the OLPC. Do you think they'd stand back and let anyone else have a go?

Re:It Makes Sense (2, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874646)

A person claiming responsibility for some of the XO's innovations has left the OLPC in order to be compensated for her inventions.
The main problem that I see: she has benefited from another purse while developing this technology, then kept the patents for her self to benefit on. It may be acceptable in a human-eat-human world, but it is far from charitable. Maybe it would have been better for her to move on and develop better technology, then patent and profit from that. For example, that XO display has a number of benefits over the competition but still has deficiencies. With her knowledge of the original, perhaps she could have gone on to develop one with a higher contrast reflective mode. (As an example.) That way at least she is doing something outside of the context of the OLPC project to add value, without straight off stealing the goods.

Re:It Makes Sense (3, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875166)

The main problem that I see: she has benefited from another purse while developing this technology, then kept the patents for her self to benefit on. It may be acceptable in a human-eat-human world, but it is far from charitable. Maybe it would have been better for her to move on and develop better technology, then patent and profit from that. For example, that XO display has a number of benefits over the competition but still has deficiencies. With her knowledge of the original, perhaps she could have gone on to develop one with a higher contrast reflective mode. (As an example.) That way at least she is doing something outside of the context of the OLPC project to add value, without straight off stealing the goods.

How? We have no idea what the agreement between her and OLPC was; and as another poster pointed out the patent is assigned to OPLC - not her. I would guess tehre has been some sort of licensing agreement reached between her and OLPC that both find reasonable and beneficial to avoid nasty lawsuits.

She, understandably, wants to make some money off of her ideas; while still benefiting OPLC (selling components at cost per TFA). Just becasue she was at a non-profit doesn't mean she shouldn't do what many have done before - leave to start their own company. often, non-profits can't or won't commercialize products; and employees leave to fill what they see as a market opportunity; having worked at a non-profit I've seen that happen first hand - in this case; after trying to convince the organization that they could create a for-profit sub and use the profits to fund other activities.

Re:It Makes Sense (-1, Flamebait)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874736)

I don't see the problem with this.

Since no one else has said it yet, let me spell it out for you:

"Jepsen, you money-grubbing whore, we know what you've done, and god help you when this fails (because first-worlders, ie those with money, mostly don't want what you have) and you have to come crawling to apply for a job somewhere one of us, those you betrayed, works. We will look down gleefully on you as you starve to death, mocking you to eat the pathetic patent portfolio that meant so much to us all, and so little to you besides another way to make a buck. Mary Lou, fuck off and die".

Too subtle?

Re:It Makes Sense (1, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874874)

Too subtle?

Nope, just right: it let us know that you're a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth troll. You may have some basis for what you're saying, but have decided not to explain it further.

Thank you come again.

Re:It Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875216)

Flamebait???

S/he just said what MOST of us are thinking about this. Just because *you* might not have the balls to come out and put it so bluntly, doesn't mean it's flamebait, people.

Re:It Makes Sense (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875250)

Just because you and the GP are thinking it doesn't mean everyone is thinking it.

Re:It Makes Sense (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875504)

Just because you and the GP are thinking it doesn't mean everyone is thinking it.

So I suppose you wish her well in her new endeavor - Making money off "her" IP that OUR donations of time, money, and goodwill, subsidized the creation of?

Hey, deny it if you want, or put it more delicately if you fear some form of retribution, but she's shown her true colors; and I, for one, have no reservation about calling a spade, a spade. I have nothing against making money - I wouldn't mind doing so myself, someday. But to (try to) do so with a bait-and-switch involving 3rd world kids... You just can't get a whole lot lower than that.

People said far worse things about those running bogus charities post-Katrina, and those involved far less deliberation and systematic lying to their donors.

Re:It Makes Sense (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875950)

Sorry I'm not sure I buy that, the screen tech was more or less researched when they started the project, not true?

Re:It Makes Sense (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875368)

Hard drive power consumption is over rated. At MAX, notebook hard drives consume about 2 watts. On an average 60W/hr battery, it could run at max for 30 hours. The performance and power consumption benefits are too meager to justify the cost of SSD. A system designer would get a lot better bang for the buck investigating other power saving measures.

Patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875976)

So, patents are "goog" as long as "good" people own them? Or are they still "bad"?

Is it just me? (1)

bloosqr (33593) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874602)

Or is there just something really distasteful about the way the OLPC was hyped, sucked obscene amounts of funding and ultimately delivered? Media Lab's always had a degree of self-congratulatory hype machine about it, but the OLPC at $200 is way overpriced, way too specialized as far as maintainability, and this little patent trove they've accumulated and will now "sell" to others is just the icing on the cake. This ordinarily wouldn't bother me but its all being done under the guise of helping 'the poor 3rd worlders' which frankly I think is nonsense. The 3rd worlders will build their own machines from asian/chinese parts and replace them w/ similarly cheap parts when bits break at basically the same price point the OLPC is selling at. That will cover 99% of the 3rd world just fine, OLPC is over engineered for a very specific subset of rural, dirty and apparently earthquake prone 3rd world. What they really built was a fantastic low power rugged laptop for engineers/field technicians in an outdoor rough environment (oil derricks, large machinery etc) (and I bet this is what the spin off is going to cater too) but funded it by having us think of those "poor 3rd worlders"

Re:Is it just me? (3, Interesting)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875056)

It's just you. Seriously, calm down and take a few deep breaths; the sheer awfulness-of-it-all you're seeing everywhere doesn't really exist. It costs $200 because that's about what it costs to build such things with current tech, that's all; it's not such a bad price for what you get; licensing and commercialising the technologies is not evil - on the contrary, by increasing distribution and scale, they can make it cheaper (and there is free market competition now from AO Asus and Intel to keep the prices low) - cheap simple computers selling in large numbers WILL help the 3rd world. Last I checked they had quite a few orders from 3rd-world countries, which ARE going to benefit (basically all (non-corrupt) free-market trade is mutually beneficial - if they weren't going to benefit, even at the current price, they wouldn't have bought it). I live in a 3rd-world country. Trust me; any cheap computer is better than no computer at all (and NO, 3rd-world countries are not "just going to make their own" - the reason they're 3rd-world is that they don't (yet) have it in them to just start making things like computers).

Re:Is it just me? (4, Informative)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875128)

Have you played with an OLPC yet? These machines are very clearly designed for children, not adults. Nobody with adult size hands could touch type on the keyboard.

That said, they're great little machines. One of our engineers bought one and we've been playing with it for the last couple of weeks. It's small, light, waterproof, and is quite capable. As far as I can tell, from both the hardware and software standpoints, the OLPC is exactly what they promised that it would be (except it's a little more expensive...hopefully they'll be successful in bringing the price down).

Re:Is it just me? (1)

bloosqr (33593) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875164)

I played w/ it for about 30 minutes a few weeks ago. the current version is clearly designed only for children, one might imagine it wouldn't be that hard to design one w/ a proper sized keyboard at some point. It is way too rugged by spec than it really needs to be I think (droppable from X meters, waterproof?) (and simultaneously has noncommodity/support issues, which I suppose may be fixed at some point).

too rugged? (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875442)

There's a dearth of rugged laptops on the market, just a few and pretty expensive. On the other hand, you can get any number of delicate laptops that commonly turn to junkage within a short time. I think this project has really pushed the envelope and embarrassed other manufacturers into considering similar better/cheaper/tougher machines. It hasn't hurt, put it that way. There are different market segments based on needs and price, we need them all, there is no one sits fits everyone machine. You want expensive and delicate, you can get that right now, they'll gladly sell you one. You want real tough and cheap,until this thing came around, not so much doable. And one of the main points with laptops are they are portable, even *gasp*, the theoretical ability to use one out in the big room with the yellow light and blue wall paint. Regular laptops are pretty sucky there, the screens disappear, you have to worry about the weather, the battery life sucks with all of them, this one however claims it is actually usable out in the light and also has a few different self powered options, meaning long range "battery life" away from a wall plug..

    I know I have been holding out getting another laptop, after having three of them, because I just can't use them outside. If I am inside, well duh I have a desktop with a big screen. and I don't hang out in starbucks and so on, but I am an outside worker and could actually use one now and then. But it has to be dust and moisture proof/resistant and be able to take some knocks beyond the normal lightweight commuter train ride and sitting at a cafe or conference table. Hopefully this better screen tech and "ruggedness" will induce other builders into making adult sized versions without them costing more than semi-decent used cars.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876438)

It is way too rugged by spec than it really needs to be I think (droppable from X meters, waterproof?) (and simultaneously has noncommodity/support issues, which I suppose may be fixed at some point).

Technology aimed at kids needs to be rugged. Never underestimate the damage potential of a 8 year old hyped up on kool-aide.

They can drop it and they can accidently poor liquids on it.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875180)

Yes, its just you. Now go in the corner and sulk.

Re:Is it just me? No, its me too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876882)

OLPC: Over hyped PR company that says a lot and does little.

They could have shipped the software and standardized hardware using a conventional 7 inch screen and a power brick, and it would have been GOOD ENOUGH for 99% of the children who would use it. Its always been run like an MIT media lab project where the main beneficiaries are Negroponte and his team, and not the children. Its not just you.

One Cell Phone Per Child is next ? (2, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874618)

I wonder if there is some way to bootstrap this to get the price of high function cell phones down? After all the high end HTC phones are little more than palmtop computers that have a phone instead of a modem and NIC.

Re:One Cell Phone Per Child is next ? (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874952)

Yea, but the sims reader and the locking device would cost around $800 or so. You would still end up with an over priced phone that doesn't do exactly what you want and you can't take it to another provider when you find out the current one is crap when considering your needs.

And with that, you still need a quality microphone and headset. The plus side is you could wrap the contents into a box like shape that resembles a womens work boot and get that 80's retro look down pat. The good thing about it, unless your driving, would be that you could wind it up when your battery goes dead while talking on it. Just don't wind it up while texting and driving at the same time.

And for a serious note, I'm sure something productive could be done but I'm not sure anyone with the power to do so would be interested. They already control the game and it is a very profitable one at that. It is easier to just mark up the costs and sell you a "plan" while you think your getting a discount and they are still pulling in the profit.

Re:One Cell Phone Per Child is next ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875198)

WTF is that 'locking device' ?

That should be some fucking science-fiction star-wars thing to cost $800, considering that a complete unlocked phone is under $200, and most of that price is the display and the battery.

Re:One Cell Phone Per Child is next ? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875348)

Dude, it was a joke. didn't the 80's style womens work boot look making it retro clue you in on some things?

Not Necessarily Bad (2, Informative)

lansirill (244071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874644)

She'll continue to consult with OLPC and provide product to OLPC at cost. I think, I may be overlooking something, I'd love to see all of the OLPC tech released into the commercial market this way. It could help drive the manufacturing costs down and get the XO back down to the original $100US per unit goal. I participated in the Buy One, Get One program because I thought the hardware sounded damn handy, despite being configured for children.

I am all for anything that brings us closer to a similar commercial unit at a reasonable price as long as it isn't directly detrimental to the OLPC project. This does seem like this could go in a similar direction to the Classmate PC, but that would be the decision of the final manufacturer/distributor and would presumably require price breaks to be competitive. Honestly I haven't looked into the Classmate much, but I may have to spend a little time looking into it. I disliked having Windows on such a project, but I really don't know enough about the hardware to feel strongly about it.

This will prove to be a HUGE mistake for Jepsen (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874650)

The "consumer demand" for OLPC is based on its price and novelty, not on its performance or utility. She has jumped ship quite prematurely and her character flaws will soon result in a bitter future for the OLPC project and her own independent ventures.

If she thinks she can start collecting royalties on the OLPC and get rich, which is what I suspect is her intent, she'll find that it won't pay off nearly as well as she imagines and ultimately, she'll end up selling her patent rights to some company that somehow sees the OLPC operation as a competitor.

The OLPC project has proven to be a very interesting story to follow in that various new technologies were developed or improved while creating the devices. But it seems that there is very strong potential for OLPC to fail due to greed and short-sightedness. It's shameful, but it's neither rare nor unexpected.

Re:This will prove to be a HUGE mistake for Jepsen (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875192)

What in either article linked makes you think

If she thinks she can start collecting royalties on the OLPC and get rich, which is what I suspect is her intent,


The articles reference an email she made that said

I will continue to give OLPC product at cost, while providing commercial entities products they would like at a profit,


what she is saying is, you will always have yours but other who want it will pay more for it. Actually, this is somewhat common with charities. They hold business ventures that are connected to the non profit aimed at people the non profit isn't attempting to address. This creates a revenue stream, simplifies development and costs associated with it and ensure a cheap commercial production of a unit that benefits the project in and of itself.

"At costs" on an ad-hock production basis is going to be more then "at costs" for a automated commercial production model. You buy things in bulk, automate production lines, have more or better skilled workers increasing quality not to mention a commercial feedback method that can improve overall quality and reliability. This just seems to be a win-win situation for everyone. Even you as a consumer would hopefully benefit in some device that gets extra battery life, increased readability in sunlight, or has decreased costs because of using this tech or because competition from it demands it.

The OLPC project has proven to be a very interesting story to follow in that various new technologies were developed or improved while creating the devices. But it seems that there is very strong potential for OLPC to fail due to greed and short-sightedness. It's shameful, but it's neither rare nor unexpected.
Only if your not paying attention. This Greed and short sightedness will lead to improvements and costs savings and implementation that we all can benefit from. I'm not saying that everyone will, but the potential is now there. It isn't shameful but it is unexpectedly benificial.

Re:This will prove to be a HUGE mistake for Jepsen (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875228)

The "consumer demand" for OLPC is based on its price and novelty, not on its performance or utility. She has jumped ship quite prematurely and her character flaws will soon result in a bitter future for the OLPC project and her own independent ventures.

Not true. I have an Asus Eee PC. It's a fantastically useful little laptop. Sure it's not as fast as modern laptops, but its plenty fast enough for web browsing, mail, skype, word processing, even movie playback. The important thing is that it's cheap, small, light and boots and shuts down fast. You can throw it into a bag, you can open it up in coffee shops, or in a lecture hall, or wherever you like with no hassle at all. I even used it on a Ryanair clip tray the other day. If you've flown Ryanair you'll know what an impressive feat that is.

The OLPC has many of the same benefits as the Eee PC and adds a few of its own such as lower power, kid-strength robustness and swivel screen. It's screaming out for a consumer version. Sell them with some more memory, some more storage and a cut down Fedora and they'll sell by the truck load. Just like the Eee PC is doing right now.

I am really surprised they aren't commercializing the OLPC. The profits from a consumer spinoff can be used to lower costs and fund the charitable arm. Everyone wins. I'm personally disappointed since I ended up buying an Eee PC when I was very much hoping the OLPC would recognize the opportunity first. Oh well. Perhaps this story is garbled and CTO has resigned because this is exactly what they're trying to do.

Really Bad Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874676)

The program wasn't "Halted" - the end date was extended to 12/31 - the headline is written to make it sound like this chick left and the program was "halted".

Love That Profit Motive (0, Flamebait)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874680)

I don't know the details of the new technology and who deserves to be compensated for it. Frankly, I couldn't care less. What really, really makes me sad is that all of us...the "First World" countries...use so much and have so much, yet we're so goddamned cheap about spreading it around.

I'll freely admit that I'm pulling a number right out of my ass here, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the total cost of the Iraq invasion (including care for wounded veterans) outstripped the total expenditure on aid and charity over the period.

It might be time to have a look at our priorities.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875014)

Unfortunately, too many people have this attitude, and it's just very naive. If poverty could be solved by mere money, it would've been solved a long time ago. The real problem is infrastructure. When money is sent, a large proportion ends up in corrupt hands. The problem of poverty is not a lack of money, it's the lack of stable political systems. Or, to put it another way, a lack of stable Capitalism.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875872)

However, it's darn hard to solve a poverty problem without money.

The real problems are complex and intertwined. That doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't be addressed. Of course, it's more points politically to serve up simple solutions, and in fact lots of aid is spent to prop up thoroughly corrupt regimes that happen to be useful to first world governments. Moreover, first world corporations benefit from corrupt regimes that can be trusted to deal with any unionization efforts with extreme prejudice, and who have no interest in making their countries self-sufficient in any way.

What the countries need in order to benefit most from money is a democratic government with relatively low corruption, but that's hard to get without a minimum level of wealth. Anything that will increase education and communication is likely to make democracy more feasible. Of course, any increase in democracy is likely to be inconvenient to foreign exploiters, and may well be opposed by people with money.

Capitalism is largely irrelevant here, since corporations are no more concerned for the general welfare than corrupt governments. What the countries need is government accountability to the people, and some actual benevolence from the first world would help.

This is why I'm in favor of the OLPC project. I don't know if it'll actually do much good, but it has to be better than sending food to people who have no prospect of learning to feed themselves, and handing over money to corrupt bureaucrats.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876942)

Capitalism is largely irrelevant here, since corporations are no more concerned for the general welfare than corrupt governments.

No, they have opposite goals. Companies by default are concerned solely for their own benefit, and any deviation from that to benefit other people is remarkable charity. Governments by default are concerned for the benefit of their citizens, and any deviation to that to benefit private individuals is corruption.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875102)

'outstripped' is an understatement.

I reckon the cost of the Iraq war was at least an order of magnitude more than the aid and charity over the same period.

But then you have to define 'cost'. There are people who made money from the war.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875104)

I disagree. Even though I live in a 3rd-world country I disagree. The first world gives *massively* in many many different ways to the third world, seriously.

Re:Love That Profit Motive (2, Informative)

FailedTheTuringTest (937776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875422)

Your ass is correct. In 2006, the USA spent $23.5 billion [oecd.org] on official development assistance, and $100 billion [boston.com] on the war in Iraq. (Iraq is currently the largest recipient of American aid, and one could debate whether that portion of the aid budget should actually be counted as part of the cost of the war. Before the Iraq war, the largest recipient of aid was Israel.)

There is no profit (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874682)

In being nice.

You might make a living giving yourself away, but you wont make a real profit.

Altruism doesn't exist (-1, Flamebait)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874688)

The OLPC was a marketing ploy and nothing else. You fall for it every time. Altruism doesn't exist, because people use altruism to promote themselves as better than the rest of us.

The Third World doesn't need laptops. It needs rice and medicine. Or ideally, it needs none of these things, since the reason it's having problems is that it's disorganized and cannot support its own population. Let them die out and the third world stabilizes itself.

Western aid to the third world has done nothing but breed more people who cannot take care of themselves, the same way our welfare programs breed useless idiots.

You complain about our elections going to the wrong guys, and that people always buy the wrong technology. Why, then, would you ever support any initiative to make more idiots?

The OLPC is an initiative to make more idiots, most notably by convincing all of you it's altruistic, and then every person involved using it as a profit center. But you fell for it again, because you, humanity, are suckers for nice-sounding things that have no reality in them.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (4, Insightful)

hab136 (30884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874778)

The Third World doesn't need laptops. It needs rice and medicine. Or ideally, it needs none of these things, since the reason it's having problems is that it's disorganized and cannot support its own population. Let them die out and the third world stabilizes itself.

Rice and medicine are great in the short term, like after a disaster, but long term any free aid like that just kills local industry, ensuring that the third world country you're "helping" remains third world - and dependent on aid.

Laptops to poor people may seem useless (and I'm not convinced of their worth), but at least it's trying to change the underlying cause of being poor (access to production), instead of simply prolonging their existence for another day.

Close but no cigar (-1, Troll)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874972)

While your statement is closer to reality, ask yourself this:

If all they need is the means of production, why didn't they develop it?

Your average third world country is a former empire of greatness that has completed failed. Its people have IQs in the 80s and 90s on average. This is ten to fifteen points behind the industrialized world. Coincidence?

What afflicts the third world seems to be disorganization, corruption, dishonesty, and low intelligence. That's why they're in the fix they're in, just like some communities in the USA (trailer parks, urban ghettoes, "artist communes") are third world status because they're filled with dishonest, disorganized, foolish people.

I mean, this is basic reality 101... but you can't say it in public. Why is that? ;)

Re:Close but no cigar (5, Insightful)

nick.ian.k (987094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875238)

What afflicts the third world seems to be disorganization, corruption, dishonesty, and low intelligence. That's why they're in the fix they're in, just like some communities in the USA (trailer parks, urban ghettoes, "artist communes") are third world status because they're filled with dishonest, disorganized, foolish people.

And we all know that these characteristics are absolute, because everybody in these places is dishonest, disorganized, and foolish, and they're all there because they chose to be there. And because all success takes is somebody to decide they're going to dig themselves out. It's not about resources, it's about willpower. These people can end their struggle and saunter off to Cigarandbrandytown and make a mint whenever they like.

No, wait, it's not like that at all. People are born into poverty, it's a genuine bitch to get out of it, and most have to spend at least the first 16 to 18 years in it by default, during which they may either luck out and develop solid values and see what's so incredibly fucked about where they're coming from, or they may experience quite the opposite and have their health ravaged by subsisting on cheap convenience foods, using drugs, and placing heavy value on trivial material possessions viewed as luxury items --never mind the education issue. And then leaving home with no financial aspects whatsoever is an utterly fantastic way to get set to enter the job market, where most positions available for people with no certifiable skills provide precious little room for advancement in either position or wage; the result here is either changing jobs a ton and seeming unstable or unreliable, or sticking it out longer-term with one or two businesses and then not getting anywhere and looking like a slug who does the bare-minimum to not get fired.

I could go on, but speaking as somebody who *did* grow up poor and pull himself out to live in a decent neighborhood and ultimately land a job paying $40,000 a year -a sum many of you will figure as paltry, but it's more than I'd ever anticipated making when I was a kid watching the cops come and haul away the latest drug dealing neighbors every few months- I can tell you that the people who pull themselves out are exceptions. Most people are stuck there because their situation is utterly hopeless, many of them know no better, and there is precious little in the way of outside stimulus to encourage them to get out beyond waking up every day and knowing that the people in the nice houses thirty miles down the road consider you to be the scum of the earth, which isn't really "encouraging" in the way most people would use the word.

Exactly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876048)

The only way to understand the true reasons for perpetual poverty is to experience it for yourself. I always find it amusing when people who have quite obviously never been in that situation decide that they know exactly why people continue to be stuck in poverty. Why yes, of course it is because they are all simply unintelligent and happy to ride the dole for the rest of their lives.

Thank you for taking the time to attempt to insert some sense into the discussion. If I hadn't spent my mod points a few hours back, your post would be at the top of the heap, where it should be.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875612)

Well, laptops produce high-tech skills. High-tech skills produce external investment. External investment produce the resources needed to dig third-world countries out of the hole they are in. It's a good long-term solution, but there's a huge gap between the immediate-term of food/medicines and the decade+-term of training an advanced workforce.



One of the problems with a number of these countries is deforestation has altered the reflective index of the ground and, in turn, altered the local climate. Another problem is that there has been some level of dependence on natural reservoirs and natural water sources. All fine and good, except when environmental shifts have depleted the natural reservoirs and instability has impacted availability of natural water sources.


The cost would be high, but it should be possible to produce artificial reservoirs with (a) some degree of protection against evaporation, (b) some degree of artificial change in reflective index, and (c) some method of pumping heat. It need not be a perfect setup, it need only be good enough to capture torrential rains and release them slowly to farmers, and also encourage even a fractional increase in rainfall in the region.


That last one seems ambitious, but horticulturalists and engineers are experts at building microclimates and a microclimate is all this is about. A small microclimate that has a fractionally higher humidity and a way to exploit it.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876582)

I'm sure nigerians will make great use of them.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874808)

I was going to flame this comment because it's title sounded like something worth flaming. But then I saw the text and realised that it's really art. Jihadist (if that's your real name) ; you have brought a new vision to the world. Many people have created characters who were incoherent or unable to communicate. The idea of someone who can contradict themselves five times in the same sentence whilst at the same time giving the impression of a neo-phycho-conservative-paranoid-loser is something incredible. Your character, going beyond a mere inability to communicate with others or simple self-satisfied lack of understanding of others actually manages to treat the entirety of humanity with as a singular "you"; a level of mental illness seldom reached in great literature and certainly an amazing feat for a slashdot comment. Truly you are the master of the isolated sentence.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (-1, Troll)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875174)

What the Thirld World needs is for Europe to grow its own food, then they can go back to eating theirs.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (2, Informative)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875336)

Europe is a net exporter of food.

Please people, can't you atleast study the basic isses of poverty and starvation based on facts rather than just having strong opinions based on assumptions? The info is on wikipedia, if you can't be bothered to even read wikipedia, you're not entitled to an opinion!

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (1)

clacke (214199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876898)

What the third world really needs is actually for the EU to stop protecting its domestic food production, so the third world can start earning some export profits.

Re:Altruism doesn't exist (2, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876404)

The OLPC was a marketing ploy and nothing else.
To what? Sell cheap laptops to enhance education? That's what they're doing so what's the problem?

It's not a donation, the countries it's being targeted at are buying these laptops. If anything it's an education scheme to improve a countries citizen's knowledge. It's going to take 10 maybe 15 years before we actually know if it worked of course.

The Third World doesn't need laptops. It needs rice and medicine.
Since they're the ones purchasing the laptops I don't think it is appropriate for you or me to tell them what they need.

Western aid to the third world has done nothing but breed more people who cannot take care of themselves
The OLPC isn't a donation. The countries are purchasing these PCs. Western aid is off topic.

We'll know that it worked... (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876728)

"If anything it's an education scheme to improve a countries citizen's knowledge. It's going to take 10 maybe 15 years before we actually know if it worked of course."

I think it may be sooner than that.

The XO seems to include a generous dose of hands-on, tinkering, write-your-own-programs tools. In many ways it reminds me of the start of the PC revolution. One of the really sad things to me is that during the 1980s there were really large numbers of "laypersons" who bought Commodores and Ataris and Apples and IBM PCs for no good reason, just to see what they were like, and wrote trivial programs in BASIC and HyperCard and so forth. People bought magazines that had programs slightly more complicated than they could write for themselves and typed the darn things in.

For reasons that aren't completely clear to me, this has all gone by the wayside.

I don't say that everyone who writes a thirty-line BASIC program goes on to become a programmer, but I'll bet that a darned large percentage of the professional software engineers of today were shaped by junior-high-school experiences tinkering with software.

The guys who invented the airplane probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere without the years they spent tinkering with bicycles.

We'll know that it worked when there is a sudden wave of software innovation coming out of those Third World countries, and my bet is that we'll start to see it in less than "10-15 years."

Not unexpected... (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874832)

What, do you think people work for free? Jeez, fancy that.. a benevolent effort to build a $100 notebook made a key person who worked on it realize that they could get quite rich if they could still make $40 a piece off of them.

This only reinforces my general thrust - all of these "save the people types" have some angle in it for them. Now we find out that OLPC was in fact, just another one of those slick tricks. Everyone on board digs the "we're not the corporation" mine to get attention, then they deliver something, and then, establish a price point. Now, they'll leave the OLPC one by one, and filter out into cushy jobs with normal companies, getting 6 figure holiday bonuses and 7 figure stocks, giving the likes of Lenovo and Dell their lessons learned on how to make $100 notebooks. OLPC will gradually die, staffed on by a few talentless fools and ideologues that had no idea that the plan was never to have OLPC succeed at all, and the people left behind will engage in all sorts of double think to try and cover that they have been betrayed.

Everyone has an angle.

OLPC was always a scam (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874888)

A lot of people creamed their pants over the linux part, but why would they use geode x86 over ARM? Why would they get pissed when MS started doing the same thing?

Just sell the thing for $199 (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874944)

OK, they need to get the price down to $100. Instead of selling them in the US at $400 at a 100% profit margin to raise money for charity, they need to just sell the things for $199 commercially and take over the low end market. In a year or two, they'll be down to $99 through sheer volume.

Those things ought to be in bubble-packs at the local drugstore, alongside the cheap calculators, electronic dictionaries, and other low end electronics. This wouldn't stroke Negroponte's ego, but it would get the things out there in volume. Soon enough, they'd be available all over the world, purely on price.

Jepsen probably sees this. Negroponte wants to meet with heads of state and be in the press.

Re:Just sell the thing for $199 (2, Informative)

slamb (119285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876100)

Those things ought to be in bubble-packs at the local drugstore, alongside the cheap calculators, electronic dictionaries, and other low end electronics. This wouldn't stroke Negroponte's ego, but it would get the things out there in volume. Soon enough, they'd be available all over the world, purely on price.

They're doing pretty well on volume now. They have a brand-new factory, and last month they planned to ship 150,000, then 80,000-100,000 every month after (source [engadget.com] ).

Where are they going? I just did a bit of hunting. Uruguay ordered 100,000 units(see wiki [laptop.org] ) and Peru ordered 260,000 (see this post, near bottom [radian.org] ). According to the "country news" section, Mexico's also placed some order; I think 100,000 is the minimum order size. 150,000 to 170,000 individual G1G1 orders and 15,000 for Birmingham, Alabama, for a total of around 400,000 G1G1 laptops (see interview [laptopmag.com] ), so I believe they have solid orders for 800,000 laptops.

Hopefully when they've had success with those 800,000, the other countries that originally intended to be part of the launch will get back on the bandwagon. So while I'm not a manufacturing expert, I would guess the difference between 1 million/year and 2 million/year isn't going to hugely affect the cost.

Re:Just sell the thing for $199 (2, Insightful)

slamb (119285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876168)

OK, they need to get the price down to $100. Instead of selling them in the US at $400 at a 100% profit margin to raise money for charity, they need to just sell the things for $199 commercially and take over the low end market. In a year or two, they'll be down to $99 through sheer volume.

$100 is in some ways a harder target now than when they originally set it. I don't recall exactly when they first talked of it costing $100, but the dollar has fallen in the last five years (e.g. 25% against the GBP [yahoo.com] ), and the OLPC folks have upgraded their system specs (e.g., 128 MB RAM -> 256 and 512 MB flash -> 1024 [thecommandline.net] ).

Re:Just sell the thing for $199 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876718)

"Jepsen probably sees this. Negroponte wants to meet with heads of state and be in the press."

lol... looks like somebody has actually met Negroponte...

I fail to see ... (1)

SubComdTaco (1199449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874964)

how this as blow to the OLPC project, she is still offering her technology at cost to OLPC and still consulting with them. Also, because of the G1G1 program Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Afghanistan now have seed programs, which means that her technology is now on display in at least eight different countries[counting Mexico and Peru].

"At cost"? (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875018)

What does it mean when she says she will continue to provide OLPC "at cost?" Does she (or her new company) do the actual manufacturing? If that's the case, it's very honourable. Or does she mean "a reasonable break even patent licensing cost," in which case it's a little "evil."

Was she hired by OLPC? Yet she retains all the patents for her work?

The incremental cost for any patent licensing is effectively "0". (Note, I said "incremental" cost. Yes, there's development effort put into it, which may or may not have been on OLPC's dime, not her's. But whether they make 100,000 or one billion OLPC's, any incremental cost for patent usage should be zero.)

I'm all for a profitable commercial version; I'd love to have a lower powered (and physically powered) laptop, for so many different purposes (web browsing, thin client, and so on). I love the idea, but I wouldn't want it to be at the expense of the original purpose of the project.

Re:"At cost"? She's profiting more than Negroponte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876946)

She wants more than her salary, which I am sure like Negroponte, was inflated at OLPC. The whole project was a non-profit in name only and this is yet another way for the founders of OLPC to profit while others give them "donations", i.e. G1G1.

the first of Jepsen's pending OLPC patents? (5, Interesting)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875026)

The linked patent may have Jepsen listed as an inventor, but it is assigned to "ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD ASSOCIATION, INC.", so I'm not sure why it's mentioned in the summary. She's can't use that without OLPC's permission.

Re:the first of Jepsen's pending OLPC patents? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877134)

Because it suits with ohh so well started OLPC smearing campaign? It is getting old, period. And I don't care what actual facts are. All I see is two possible scenarios - there are bunch of over jealous geeks who thinks that truth with opinion is better truth than facts OR it is fully paid campaign against OLPC, to smear it's aims, to smear it's creators.

I simply choose to believe OLC team rather than article submitter who can't right even summary somehow objectively.

Someone from OLPC team wants to commercialize on OLPC inventions? Rock'n'roll to that person who will do it! Rock'n'roll to those people who helped to invent them. It will revolutionarize laptop and even desktop market. They are so longing to have some shakedown.

I never heard back from her . . . (1)

ejp (18891) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875498)

Well I sent her an email, cover letter and a pretty good resume when the project was kicking off, I never heard back. Always a bit of a red flag on a personality by my set of rules. But maybe she was busy!

Re:I never heard back from her . . . (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876364)

Did I miss a joke here? Since when does anybody expect a response when they send their CV to anybody but a personnel department (unless specifically instructed otherwise)? Sending it to a principle is tantamount to a crank letter as it screams that you have no idea how submit your credentials professionally.

Why everybody is impressed? (1)

ghostbar38 (982287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875828)

I mean, is the best way to get even cheapest products selling more and more, producing more and more, this is the only way to get cheaper products and if they get cheapest products then they can compete against Intel and Asus! This is NOT bad.

patents (1)

celle (906675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876246)

Shouldn't the patents belong to the olpc project since it was done on their tab. Nice to see ethics in the well educated.(not) I doubt she didn't get paid and compensated for her developments.

A complete betrayal of the open source movement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876328)

To find out that OLPC has funded a patent troll truly disgusts me.

This calls into question the integrity of everyone associated with the project.

Offer expired ad... (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876544)

The OLPC project halted consumer sales of the cheap laptop at the end of December.
And for the first time, today, 1/1, I saw a TV ad for OLPC (buy one, get one program). Nice ad. Which ended with "offer ends 12/31". Oops.

Price and volume (2, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877196)

If the OLPC is ever to reach the US$ 100 target price (even if we give it the adjustment for a shrinking dollar) it is via production volume of its key parts. Making them available to other companies via a for-profit seems to be the best way to do it.

It was always pretty obvious to me that, even if the XO itself does not bring a huge change, its technologies and its "less is enough" approach are bound to make a massive change to a very monotonous market.

Let's hope it's the next Apple II ;-)
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  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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