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OLPC To Be Distributed To US Students

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the seizing-the-initiative dept.

Education 338

eldavojohn writes "The One Laptop Per Child Project plans to launch OLPC America in 2008 , to distribute the low-cost laptop computers originally intended for developing nations to needy students here in the United States. Nicholas Negroponte is quoted as saying, 'We are doing something patriotic, if you will, after all we are and there are poor children in America. The second thing we're doing is building a critical mass. The numbers are going to go up, people will make more software, it will steer a larger development community.'"

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Can't touch this! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021510)

Hammertime! [thepounder.com]

Negroponte (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021516)

"Look at me, I'm an attention whore!"

The OLPC is a flop. Its a $100 laptop that costs $250 to make, and the little urchins who DID receive it, immediately used it to surf porn.

Please.

Re:Negroponte (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021592)

That's why I call Negroponte "Nigger-potty mouth" -- racist, offensive bile.

Re:Negroponte (-1, Troll)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021594)

And the ones that aren't used for porn are probably used to send out Nigerian scam e-mails.

Re:Negroponte (4, Funny)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021928)

Someone [zdnet.co.uk] hasn't [linuxtoday.com] been [engadget.com] paying [olpcnews.com] attention [slashdot.org]

Cue the OLPC griefers (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021688)

Motivation? What could be the motivation here? I just don't get it.

Computers for kids. This is so obvious I'm having trouble seeing what the OLPC griefer's problem is. Somebody please explain this to me.

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (1, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021726)

it costs too much and isn't being used in anyway that it keeps being promoted as being. is that clear enough or do i need to start sounding out the words to you?

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (3, Funny)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021816)

How else are we going to teach our children to use L O L and trendy emoticons in their academic papers?

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (4, Insightful)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021848)

Version 1.0 is never the best, but you have to start somewhere. The OLPC has already driven development for a number of other ultra-cheap computers, which is not a bad thing. And perhaps the next version of it really will be $100. As far as people not using it in the way it's promoted, it'll take time to find the best uses to put it to.

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021922)

it costs too much and isn't being used in anyway that it keeps being promoted as being.
I call bullshit. What costs more, the OLPC or the Intel Classmate? Even with the Intel subsidy of their classmate PC, it costs more than the XO. The OLPC XO is being used for its purpose of educating children in every area where it has been deployed to students.

That sounds exactly like what my grandmother... (3, Interesting)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021948)

...said about my first computer. Complaining that I only seemed to play games on it. Which was true at first. Too bad she never lived to see where it would eventually take me professionally.

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (2, Insightful)

VValdo (10446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021972)

it costs too much and isn't being used in anyway that it keeps being promoted as being.

Rufus disagrees [bbc.co.uk] .

W

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022088)

it costs too much...

It's $200, for an extremely low power laptop with an innovative daylight readable screen and mesh networking built in. It costs the governments little or nothing. It costs the kids themselves nothing. Come on. You can do better than that.

... isn't being used in anyway that it keeps being promoted as being.
oh [laptop.org] really [cnn.com] ? These [laptop.org] examples [radian.org] aren't enough [laptop.org] (PDF) for you? They're barely started so there will be [slashdot.org] more [youtube.com] .

Re:Cue the OLPC griefers (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021944)

Unless they demonstrate the same unreasonable bitchiness towards the Classmate PC, I'm going to assume some bias [slashdot.org] .

How else ... (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021866)

are they gonna get sexual education?

Re:How else ... (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021888)

Mod the parent "Insightful" - not "Funny".

Re:Negroponte (1)

me at werk (836328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022024)

no no no, it costs $100 of USD... for the date it was conceived. The value of the dollar has plummeted since then.

Patriotic??? (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021522)

A patriotic thing would be to offer OLPC in US before elsewhere in the world. I am not saying it would be the most practical thing to do, but turning home only after selling everywhere else and some may say after failing to realize the volume is certainly not patriotic.

Re:Patriotic??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021558)

turning home only after selling everywhere else and some may say after failing to realize the volume

Bingo! This sounds like a botched effort by the so-called Missionaries of Charity!

Making a so-called virtue out of a bare necessity, more like. Just sell the damned things like any other simple goods or service, and keep quiet about the philosophy bit.

Re:Patriotic??? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021636)

never mind patriotism, producing these laptops in bulk for richer countries would probably help tweak the process so that they could be produced as cheaply as planned or at least better than they are now. That way it could allow for a lot more of the rest of the world to get these cheaply as well.

zigactly (4, Insightful)

mckwant (65143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021784)

Someone will have to explain how artificially limiting your market to those least able to pay makes ANY sense whatsoever.

Sell them in the US for $250, and let that drive your product for the first year. Asus shipped hundreds of thousands of the eee pc last quarter, so the market is there. Buy one get one was just a little more altruism than the market could bear.

OLPC is a terrific idea, but the implementation is an unmitigated mess.

Re:zigactly (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022082)

I'm with you on this one. If people with more money want to be the testers of the first generation, that seems like a win-win.

At the very least, the more wealthy individuals can help to achieve an economy of scale and work the bugs out of the computers before people that can't easily bring them in for repair get them.

It still seems very much like a misguided attempt at saving the third world with something that is most helpful in the second or first world areas. Achieve a price reduction to the point where these are affordable in the third world, then market them in the third world. The resources would be much better spent on things like micro loans, jobs and actual teachers. The $250 price tag is more than a teacher makes in a year in a few of these countries.

Come to think of it, isn't the whole venture just a good example of what the phrase ass backwards means?

Re:Patriotic??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021704)

sadly, this is the same reason why the TATA nano won't sell here.

very soon some neurotic parents would complain that they don't want third-world laptops in first-world classrooms. school districts would then be forced to purchase alienwares to support the students' habit of surfing pr0n.

Re:Patriotic??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021894)

Where do home schoolers get a OLPC?

Re:Patriotic??? (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021982)

turning home only after selling everywhere else
Actually, many (now-Western) institutions were tested first in the colonies before being applied at "home", so what he is doing make sense, but it sounds conflicting with what he set himself up to do\ldots{}

Re:Patriotic??? (5, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022036)

Every time someone tries to sell something to the government they spin it as "patriotic". When Halliburton sells to the government they make noise about how "patriotic" it is that they are selling to them. The same is true of everyone who builds anything from roads to aircraft carriers to now laptops. Maybe I am being cynical, but I do get tired of seeing the word "patriotic" used so many different ways for so many different reasons that it really doesnt seem to have the meaning that it used to.

Re:Patriotic??? (2, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022046)

It's an education project, and giving a computer to a child who may not have even seen one previously has more impact than giving it to some inner city kid who would be able to access a computer at school or a library. This is also an example of why doing things because it is patriotic, is sometimes a quite short-sighted approach.

God Bless America !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021572)



God Bless America !! And those wacky, child-killing muslim egyptians living and killing in Lewisville, Texas !!

Is it like the pilot project? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021578)

Do only niggers get them, or does everyone have a shot?

Re:Is it like the pilot project? (1, Insightful)

nyekulturniy (413420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021604)

Why don't you go back to Stormfront, you jackass?

OLPN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021588)

One Laptop Per Nigger

There can be no patriotism amongst world citizens. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021590)

I appreciate and understand the OLPC project.

But Nicholas Niggerponte cannot simply pretend to be patriotic while at the same time championing the ideals of OLPC as they stand today.

OLPC is for all nations, and as such nationalism has no place in its promotion.

The unanswered, yet most important, question: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021596)

N i g g e r s ?

Well, now I feel like an idiot... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021602)

...for buying one for my 2nd grader last November with the Give One Get One program. I am beginning to think OLPC stands for One Laptop Per Consumer.

Re:Well, now I feel like an idiot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021634)

Won't somebody please think of the children.....by buying my crap.

Re:Well, now I feel like an idiot... (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021734)

As long as these consumers pay for 100% of these laptops I've got nothing against it being per consumer :)

Re:Well, now I feel like an idiot... (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021876)

I want one for my 3rd grader. Where can I get one?

Explain why exactly? (4, Insightful)

VValdo (10446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021954)

Well, now I feel like an idiot... ...for buying one for my 2nd grader last November with the Give One Get One program.

So wait-- you spend $400 for one computer given to a kid in Afghanistan and one for your 2nd grader- who up until this announcement would have had almost no chance of finding anyone in his school to communicate/collaborate/share with (a major feature of the Sugar UI).

Now that some OTHER American kids will also have the opportunity to use an XO... how do you lose out exactly? How does your kid?

I don't get it. What are you complaining about?

W

Cowboy buttsex! (1)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021614)

There once were two cowboys out on the cowboy trail
one day they found out they can have sex with another male

now they're havin buttsex
Cowboy buttsex

Sodomeeeeheeeeyyyyy!!

Sing it with me!
Sodomeeeheeeeeeeyyy!!

Sodomeeeyyeehheeeeey!!

Sodomy..

The SW experimenter's kit (4, Interesting)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021620)

Hurray for OLPC team!

Maybe we might begin to develop a generation of students who haven't been mesmerized by the MICROSOFT logo. Tweaking around with the OS for fun will sprout a new generation of "garage" hackers. I'll never forget my first erector set. Now it will be virtual. Go kiddies GO !

Re:The SW experimenter's kit (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021766)

Garage developers are an essential step to producing inventors. Inventors are an essential step to producing genuinely new ideas and new products. (Generally, "innovation" - as opposed to invention - seems to involve stepwise improvements at best, more often just slightly better eye candy and a thicker manual.) The same mindset that produces inventors also produces "deep science" (radically new work, as opposed to filling in the gaps) and other important original work. Originality is the key element, here, because it is both rare and potent. A lot can come from original work. As originality declines, the return on invested effort declines, but the return will always decline faster.

Fast drive to the bottom ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021626)

Thank you Mr. Bush! Thank you for the opportunity to be treated like a developing country. Viva the American Peso!

Stinky niggers! (0, Troll)

Asshat_Nazi_v2.0 (989409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021638)

I like sugar, and I like tea
But I don't like niggers...no siree!
There's two known things that'll make me puke
And that's a hog eatin' slop, and a big, black spook!

You know it...cause I show it
Like a barn-yard rooster I crow it!
And the NAACP
Would sure like to get a-hold of nigger-hatin' me!

Roses are red, and violet's are blue
And nigger's are black, you know that's true
But they don't mind, cause what the heck!
You gotta be black to get a welfare check!

And I'm broke...no joke
I ain't got a nickel for a coke!
And I ain't black, you see
So Uncle Sam won't help poor nigger-hatin' me.

Jig-A-Boo, jig-a-boo...where are you?
I's here in the woodpile...watchin' you
Jig-A-Boo, jig-a-boo...come out!
No! Cause I'm scared of the white man's a-way down South

You know it!...cause I show it.
Stick your black head out and I'll blow it!
And the NAACP
Can't keep you away from little old nigger-hatin' me!

Mirror, mirror...on the wall
Who is the blackest of them all?
A man named King, and there ain't no doubt
That he's causin' lots of trouble with his baboon mouth.

Brewin'...he's a doin'
It's caused by the trouble he's a-brewin'
And the NAACP
Can't win if the white men stick with nigger-hatin' me!

Hey! Mr. President! What do you say?
When are we whites gonna have our day?
The nigger's had there's such a long, long time
I'm white, and it's time that I had mine!

You know it...cause I show it!
Stick your black head out and I'll blow it!
And the NAACP
Can't win if the white man sticks with nigger-hatin' me

Re:Stinky niggers! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021772)

PROTIP: your father was a Jew and your mother was a closet lesbian.

Re:Stinky niggers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021852)

You're the load that your mother should have swallowed.

Re:Stinky niggers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022078)

Amazingly, my mother actually enjoyed sex with my father. Yours had to settle for the village dyke and some in-heat pigs.

finaly! (1)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021708)

I'm glad that the US will get OLPC's attention. There are plenty of under served communities that could benefit from a cheap laptop for every student.

It is high time that the inefficient paper-based education system be overthrown by digital technologies. Open Source style text-"books" on an Open Source platform could revolutionize education for all the places that can't afford to educate their kids.

US loves wasting money (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021710)

It actually is a good strategy, US State/municipal/national governments are notorious for wasting money. There is a chance they will actually be able to push their laptops over commercial products which give a better cost/value ratio. They could never sell it to a commercial enterprise because they actually have to answer to investors/shareholders who dont like to see money being wasted unnecessarily. As long as he hires some good lobbyists he has a shot.

Re:US loves wasting money (2, Insightful)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021810)

It's not that America is wasteful. It's that skilled workers are VERY profitable for your country. There was a time when most of the most skilled workers in the world were American. People are finally starting to realize that it's a very bad thing to keep the trend going as is.

Much like globalization/free trade, it's a sort of globalization of education. Finally these people in other countries are getting this opportunity. It would be wasteful to make it equal between America and the rest of the world.

Re:US loves wasting money (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022116)

It's that skilled workers are VERY profitable for your country.
Not quite afaik. The more skilled your workers are, the less you will be able to convince them that low wages are normal. This of course doesn't work for the US-like societies, where workers actually believe that wages correlate with hard work... Anyway, you get the point (being an overly simplified equation)- the more educated your workers are, the less profit you'll get out of them.

There was a time when most of the most skilled workers in the world were American. People are finally starting to realize that it's a very bad thing to keep the trend going as is.
Well, actually, increased education in *some* parts of the world isn't actually the result of free will of those people. They weren't some "bunch of idiots who didn't know better" - they were *allowed* to get better education only after the kind of "trade" (read: exploitation) they were involved in (read: subjected to) changed its nature from less technological to more so (e.g. cash crops vs tech support in India, an ex-British now-American colony).

globalization/free trade
There is no such thing as free trade. Trade is, and has always been regulated, in an asymmetrical manner of course...

Finally these people in other countries are getting this opportunity.
I doubt the education they receive can be called opportunity. After all, the education that is set up for them (and not "by them" per se) is oriented towards the kinds of jobs they will get in the neocolonial market, and that market isn't very kind to them...

TROLLKORE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021716)

America's education system (5, Insightful)

HandsOnFire (1059486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021718)

...to distribute the low-cost laptop computers originally intended for developing nations to needy students here in the United States.

Wouldn't it have made sense for him to have started in America, seeing as the education system is similar to that in quality of the systems in the developing nations? :p

Re:America's education system (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021752)

i know you intend to jest there but it's actually the truth. there are plenty of 3rd world students more educated then americans, mostly because they know what it's like to starve in the streets and know the value of an education.

Re:America's education system (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021796)

The education system is fine for whites and asians. Spics and niggers (~ 30% of the population, sadly) have trouble, just like they do in their third world homeland.

YOU CAN'T POLISH A TURD. OR A BURRITO.

Re:America's education system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021870)

if it's so good for whites, why do so many of them believe in creationism now? Why are so many of them living in trailer parks? where exactly did we get the term 'white trash' from?

One fact folks around the globe do not know (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021754)

'We are doing something patriotic, if you will, after all we are and there are poor children in America.

That's one fact I did not know about America and specifically the USA. I thought America was a place where everybody was rich. Its government was always funding a significant portion of my country's budget and building schools and hospitals.

That's what I believed till I came here. I saw what capitalism can be. The rich get richer and the poor have almost no chance of escaping poverty's grip! All in America.

I also saw something: America is rich in what I call material prosperity...that is, infrastructure and all supporting services; but beyond that, people (most of them) are really hurting and living from hand to mouth. Sadly, our politicians are doing us no good at all. Corruption is rife in America and incompetence is reaching terrible levels.

The other sad fact is that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Re:One fact folks around the globe do not know (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021832)

incompetence is reaching terrible levels.

That's because the best way to get a government job in the US is to have an advanced degree of some sort, and no real world experience.

Re:One fact folks around the globe do not know (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021882)

The poor will always be with us.

Re:One fact folks around the globe do not know (0)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021898)

> The rich get richer and the poor have almost no chance of escaping poverty's
> grip! All in America.

I call B.S.
The poor in America have an astronomically better chance of escaping poverty than the poor in most of the rest of the world. Many of them do. The ones that don't aren't motivated to try, typically.

Re:One fact folks around the globe do not know (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022050)

The poor in America have an astronomically better chance of escaping poverty than the poor in most of the rest of the world. Many of them do. The ones that don't aren't motivated to try, typically.

How is this possible when the government still maintains the minimum wage which when worked for at 40 hours a week, the worker is guaranteed to be in the "poverty class" of the population?

what the hell... (5, Insightful)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021756)

...is with the messed up tag: "onelaptopperblackchild"? Am I the only one who thinks that's slightly wrong?

Re:what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021820)

Yes, it's wrong. They forgot hispanic/latino kids.

Re:what the hell... (0, Troll)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021842)

That tag is totally fucked up.

Re:what the hell... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021850)

Probably. Is it slightly wrong because it's true or because the tag actually says it?

Re:what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021862)

If you were in the UK, it'd be:
'onelaptopperblackordisabledorspecialneedsordyslexicchild'

Re:what the hell... (1, Interesting)

Amigori (177092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021880)

Agreed... Being poor has nothing to do with your race/creed/color/etc. Of all the typos throughout the day... Mod parent up.

Re:what the hell... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021918)

Well, except in the US I guess. My experience of the US is that it is an incredibly racistic society and it is very difficult for blacks to find decent work commensurate with their training. The result is that there are many more poor black kids than poor white kids, despite them being a much smaller part of the population.

Re:what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022034)

There's no denying that on average black people in the US have less money, but it's a wildly untrue, racist generalization that every black person is poor and in need of a handout.

Doubtlessly the tag came the Gay Nigger from Outer Space crew. And doubtlessly you don't know much about the US that doesn't come from popular entertainments.

Re:what the hell... (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022124)

That's because most of them have a poor education.

And, that's what OPLC is all about, education.

Re:what the hell... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022128)

I'm guessing you're not American. Here in America, we don't use 'poor' and 'kids' in conjunction. You see, that would imply that we're not an uber meritocratic nation. Despite that being the truth, we instead like to go into denial mode and yammer nonstop about how here in America, anyone can grow up to become whatever rather than admit that yes, there are poor kids (with the black population having a higher percentage of these).

IMO, America is more classist than racist. Very few people are openly racist; however, many tend to have this simplistic notion that everyone rises to their place in life according to skill, and that the class you're born into plays no part on this. Obviously, you need not look any farther than the president to see otherwise. However, this classism tends to form a sort of pseudo-racism, as more blacks are poor (and therefore less educated, hold crappier jobs, ect.) than whites.

/offtopic rant

Re:what the hell... (-1, Troll)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021900)

I couldn't agree with you more. That tag is extremely racist. And Taco and the rest of the editors should be ashamed of it being on their front page like that.

RacistDot.org

Re:what the hell... (1)

quakehead3 (988738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022000)

no [youtube.com]

oneblacklaptopperchild - there, fixed it for you.

Re:what the hell... (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022004)

It won't be wrong or right until we find out who actually gets them. Are you going to put your money where your righteous mouth is and make an actual prediction? Racist will likely characterize the distribution of the laptops. Racist does not describe the tag, which suggests only what the predicted distribution of laptops and says nothing of the qualities of any race as far as I can tell. You, sir, are more racist than the tag to suggest that the tag describes the economic disposition of black children.

Re:what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022014)

The tag is racist and needs to be removed.

Re:what the hell... (0, Troll)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022044)

..is with the messed up tag: "onelaptopperblackchild"? Am I the only one who thinks that's slightly wrong?
what is "slightly" wrong is that the US (and the rest of the world to which colonialism "touched") is a racist society and it treats its black people almost as the same as the people of its colonies... Though others might use the tag as irony or something, I think there is merit to the use: it is not known for the US to test everything first "on" its black almost-citizens; to cast them away and starve them to death; to finance only those public services, which it knows will probably fail at the end; and to force them to be poor and stay poor. So I think there is more to the tag than just irony and error... It's rather insightful, if you ask me.

Re:what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022052)

Make no mistake: When people talk about "poor" in the united states, they mean black. They do not mean Latino, or Chinese, or Italian, or Indian, or Arabian, or anything else. They mean, specifically, black.

Watch the news on television. Read the newspapers. Listen to talk radio. When "poor and disenfranchised" appears in a sentence, you can bet your life that "black" is going to appear in the next.

You're completely right - it is wrong. There are lots of people who are poor and lots of people who need help, but let's face it - the black community produces votes so politicians and charity organizations practically fall over themselves to cater to the blacks.

Suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021760)

The big question: why wasn't this the original game plan?

The big answer: the OLPC won't stand up to serious, educated scrutiny. They planned all along only to hoodwink some insecure, gullible, incompetent 3rd world bureaucrats.

Not because Negroponte and his crew don't believe in the OLPC, but because they know it's based on radical ideas which have already been examined, tested, and rejected in the West. Selling to the third world was their end-run around a consensus of informed judgement they happen to disagree with.

This is why the OLPC people are dangerous: they're confident enough to be willing to be underhanded.

Anyway, it won't fly in the USA, and when 3rd worlders see that the Americans are rejecting it, they won't want it either.

I think Vista will increase digital divide... (0, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021764)

Unless the OLPC is widely avbl. in the US; kids elsewhere will learn proper computing while kids in the US will be brought up on an unhealthy diet of Allow / Cancels; viruses, trojans, activation keys and insecure PCs. MS will be forced to release a slimmed down and truly secure OS for the OLPC; else they risk being exposed for churning out second-rate code.

Like the OLPC and the EEE PC; more such mini-PCs will signal the demise of Vista and the downfall of MS as we know it today. Let there be more OLPCs I say.... it should even be made avbl. to corporate users, IMO.

Thought it was multinational (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021776)

I kinda got the impression from my reading about the OLPC project and it's drivers that it was a multinational project. So this news is a bit of a surprise to me.

Selling ice to eskimos (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021838)

Yeah, good luck with that plan. A country will a reasonable electricity grid and an abundance of cheap second hand computers doesn't need the OLPC. Besides which, the entrenched schooling systems of the first world prevent the kind of encouragement that is needed to make constructivist learning happen. Americans already have widespread access to the Internet and educational software, and they're still dumb as lamp posts.

But hey, if it gets the numbers up so there's some chance of fulfilling the third world plan, go for it.

Tax the rich.

The problem with constructivism. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021986)

the entrenched schooling systems of the first world prevent the kind of encouragement that is needed to make constructivist learning happen. Americans already have widespread access to the Internet and educational software, and they're still dumb as lamp posts.
Americans are mostly literate, hardworking, and competent at their jobs. This is the success of the American education system. It's a similar level of success to similar education systems in each first world country. There is really nothing horribly wrong with the fundamental design of these systems. They are weakened more by decadence (reduction in traditional discipline), the growth in power of teachers' unions (fighting the firing of bad teachers), and divergence from proven methods of teaching (such as "whole word reading" and "new math", and their misbegotten descendants) than they are by imperfections in their basic design.

The problem with constructivism is that it's based on looking at how very clever, curious, talented children learn, and then assuming other children can learn in the same way.

The constructivist approach to learning doesn't work well for teaching the fundamental skills: basic literacy, spelling, and arithmetic. These are most of what actually sticks with people into their adult lives from school.

Now, smart kids with educated parents learn these things quickly at home. A lot of academics started out like this. They went to grade school and resented being trained along with all of the dull-minded average kids who actually needed the lessons. They grow up thinking everybody else's time was wasted, they think about how they themselves learned without being taught, and then they become constructivists.

The ideas of constructivism are not all bad. Constructivism describes how children learn easy or interesting things by playing. However, it is a dangerous philosophy of education in that it neglects the need for disciplined classrooms in achieving societal goals like universal literacy.

Re:The problem with constructivism. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022042)

If you think Americans are mostly literate then you either have a different definition of 'American' or you have a different definition of 'literate' to the rest of us.

My own personal OLPC project (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021856)

Well I guess I've been doing my own personal informal OLPC project for a while without really thinking about it. Namely, buying iBooks cheap off of eBay and giving them to my nieces, nephews, family, friends, etc, as well as donating my old machines to various places. Haven't we reached the point where there are more than enough computers out there that are more than adequate for basic computing tasks? Can't we donate those old computers to schools rather than wasting resources building shiny new computers to run bloated new software that doesn't run any faster than the old software ran on the old hardware? Granted the new stuff theoretically gives you more bang for the buck, but do most people really need that extra bang? Sure computers break down and there will always be a need for new ones to replace them, but haven't we pretty much reached the saturation point? I can get a $50 laptop off of eBay that will browse the net, check e-mail, i.e. everything an average user would need.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (2, Informative)

rugger (61955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021910)

Comparing an old laptop to the OLPC laptop is not a good idea:

The OLPC devices are much better then most other laptops because:

1) High quality automatic WI-FI meshing.
2) Very long battery life.
3) Usable out in bright sunlight.
4) Highly durable and reliable design, with no moving parts.

The only thing the old laptops can compete in is performance. Performance is only a small, co-incidental factor in designing a rugged laptop for children.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (2, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021938)

Don't forget standard setup/os. You can't exactly get 30 used computers with OS's ranging from OSX to Win 95 to Win XP and expect to use them all in a classroom. Instruction would be impossible.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (1)

rugger (61955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021970)

Of course, that is a damn good point that I didn't get around to saying :)

Also a standard hardware setup greatly reduces the cost of repair/support. The classroom guru doesn't need to learn 15-30 different laptop designs, he/she just has to learn how to use/repair/support that one design.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (1)

SSpade (549608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022006)

The OLPC also has a vastly smaller display (7.5" ?), small (256k) main memory and tiny (1 gig) permanent storage and, I think, a 15Wh batter (as compared to four times that in a typical laptop). Those are possibly decent engineering tradeoffs to ship a cheap system with adequate battery life, but in terms of usability they're pretty crappy compared to second-hand laptops from a couple of generations back.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (3, Informative)

rugger (61955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022102)

Yep, it is a small display, but it does 800x600 fine in colour, more in greyscale.

Main memory is 256meg of ram, not 256kb, which is plenty for most reasonably complex software.

Storage is 1gig, but it is flash ram based and doesn't suffer the same mechanical problems standard drives do.

There are tradeoffs, but the software they run is DESIGNED to handle them, which makes the system perfectly usable.

Repeatability and standardization (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021926)

One of the most important things for anything that can be used as a textbook or a learning aid in a classroom environment is standardization, at least among the students of a single class. A kid should be able to show his friend something which the friend should immediately be able to do. If we just donate old computers (a worthy effort in its own right), you just don't get that effect. Also, the OLPC has been more or less designed with education and kids as a primary purpose. This makes it far more useful than just throwing your used computers at children.

Re:My own personal OLPC project (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022080)

The fact that old computers can be recycled and used by people who might not otherwise have had their own computer *does not* imply that everyone should stop buying new computers. First, if people stopped buying new computers then there would be no used computers to give to your nieces and nephews. Second, if people stopped buying new computers then there would be no R&D budget to develop better hardware - and just because you personally are happy enjoying the results of 50 years of exponential progress in computer hardware doesn't mean that the rest of us should be deprived of the potential results of 60 or 100 years of that process.

*now* he thinks of the economics? (4, Insightful)

theantix (466036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021930)

If the project had offered these laptops for sale to the general public from day 1, they would have sold quite a few (look at how the EEE did at twice the price). This would have helped get towards the production economies of scale they wanted and they'd be able to sell these things to their target market.

Now I think it's too little, too late.

Re:*now* he thinks of the economics? (4, Interesting)

|deity| (102693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022030)

I agree they should have offered the laptop to the general public from day one. I don't agree that it's to late to do so now though. There is an untapped market of people that would like to use these as cheap ebook readers. Since they have low power usage and are usable in the sunlight, they could be used as a decent book readers.

I do wish they would offer them in a different color scheme, say basic black. I don't see a whole lot of non-geeks carrying around a white and lime green laptop that looks like a childs toy.

apropos patriotism (2, Informative)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021962)

Patriotism is dangerous, we all know it by now. Doing something "in the name of patriotism" is even more dangerous.

Re:apropos patriotism (1)

TheGoodSteven (1178459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022096)

I believe it is dangerous to some degree, but I don't think it necessarily applies here. I believe that companies should refrain from outsourcing jobs. So does keeping jobs in the U.S. at the expense of products fall under "dangerous" since I believe this for patriotic reasons?

OLPC in Birmingham (2, Informative)

Ignis Flatus (689403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22021968)

there's some talk of doing this in Birmingham, AL.

http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/1194945540247570.xml&coll=2 [al.com]

Students will get laptops with plan Tuesday, November 13, 2007 BARNETT WRIGHT News staff writer Every student in grades one through eight in the Birmingham city school system will receive a laptop computer under a tentative agreement Mayor-elect Larry Langford has reached with a foundation that provides computers in developing countries, an adviser to Langford said Monday. "Over 15,000 children will be receiving their own personal laptops," said John Katopodis, a longtime Langford friend who is negotiating with the One Laptop Per Child foundation on Langford's behalf. "We feel that technology, and the ability to use technology effectively, is an important learning tool," Katopodis said. "We believe providing these children with the tools to catch up will give them a head start in life because technology is such an integral part of learning." Katopodis said some details remain to be worked out. A spokeswoman for the Boston-based foundation said talks are being held this week about implementing the program. Under the tentative agreement, the city would buy the laptops at a discount through the foundation and provide them to the city schools. They would not be the students' personal property. ...

mod 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22021978)

profits without windows, SUN or continues in a his clas4 with lizard - In other Impaired its people's faces at exactly what you've a nned to play

Aren't there exclusive contracts with some corps? (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022016)

I don't live in the US, but my possibly skewed understanding is that the administrations of quite a few school districts have signed agreements with companies (like Microsoft) which state that they're not allowed to do things such as purchase other Operating Systems and competing applications in their schools, unless they forfeit the right to massive discounts and the like from those companies.

Can someone a bit closer to the issue maybe comment on whether this will have much of an effect on getting OLPC laptops distributed around schools in the USA? Or is this part of the reason why Microsoft seems so keen to get Windows working on that hardware?

Re:Aren't there exclusive contracts with some corp (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022104)

I think you are seeing conspiracies where there are none. The closest thing might be that the district would get a discount if they purchased enough at the same time. (any company in any industry will give you a discount if you purchase 10,000 copies of something as opposed to 200)

Also, Microsoft doesnt generally sell operating systems directly to the schools. They sell them to companies like Dell who then sell their computers to the schools. And it is quite common to see schools that have computers from both dell and other brands.

OLPC XOs are instanely entertaining (5, Interesting)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22022028)

We had our first meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area OLPC user group. Not sure if we even have a name. At any rate, a bunch of us got together at the Linux lab in the San Francisco State University to just goof around with these machines. It is really funny to hear them hiss at each other as they try to figure out how close the nearest XOs are. Yep, they talk to each other. They emit a brief hissing sound when you ask them to calculate the distance between XOs. They listen for the hissing sound (or so I was told, dunno, didn't check into it) and then they calculate how long it took for the sound to reach each other, and then they all report back to each other, and they determine how far apart their fellow XOs are. Hilarious.

They also have built in video, which two of the resident children were really enjoying by making monkey faces, much to the embarrassment of their parents. Insanity, you know, is inherited from your children. heh. One kid composed music on his XO. He is 5. As in less than 6 years old. You can add eyes to the screen, and the screen will talk to you to tell you how many eyes it has. Very entertaining for a 3 year-old. Did I mention that these computers are called One Laptop Per *Child*? They really figured out how to make these computers entertaining *for kids*. This is really a kid-centric device.

The amazing thing is that it brings out the kid in adults.

Patriotism != Third World (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22022122)

Patriotism? This makes my gut wrench. If this is patriotism, then what has Negroponte being doing to those third-world countries? I'm not an American. Does this mean if I advocate OLPC I am supporting America? The Article doesn't say what the costing will be. Will Americans get a 'discount' over third-world countries?

How sad. I thought this was an International effort. They might as well wrap the thing in the stars and stripes.
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