Price Of The $100 Laptop Going In The Wrong Direction

from the isn't-technology-supposed-to-get-cheaper? dept

I'll admit it. I've never quite understood the rationale behind the $100 laptop (or OLPC or whatever it's being called these days). Yes, it's a noble goal to get technology into the hands of people around the world with the hope that they can do something productive with it -- but a big top down attempt to build something without much actual user feedback seems destined to fail. At the same time, we've noted that the market seems to be doing a pretty damn good job on its own of driving the price of computers down such that a special project may not make as much sense. So it's a bit amusing to now find out that while computer prices are dropping the price of the "$100 laptop" keeps rising. In fact, the price is now $200 per laptop, showing a rather rapid climb. The $100 laptop was never actually $100. Back in February, project backers said it would be $150. In April, they bumped the price up to $176. Just two weeks ago, they said it would be $188... and now it's $200. And we thought technology was supposed to drop in price over time. Perhaps if they'd acted more like a startup from the beginning things would be moving in the right direction.


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  1.  
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    TheDock22, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    Not to mention...

    ...the countries they are marketing to have said they don't want the laptops...

     

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    Josh, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:06am

    Another project, another problem

    I think the $100 laptop has the problem a lot of projects for developing areas has: too high expectations and misguided goals. Sure, these laptops would be cheap, but does that come at the cost of usability? What happens when the children these laptops grow up, and want a computer to do some serious networking, or programming, or just things beyond reading, writing and typing? Mike raises a good point, that computer prices already dip lower and lower, so coming up with a special project to "help those in need" sounds a bit out of place. I still think there's potential in this project, but not the way it's been going now.

     

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    Kappen, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:20am

    Seems odd

    that everytime I see a new corperation has signed on to this program the cost goes up more....

     

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    Don, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:23am

    Pretty shortsighted view ...

    The $100 laptop project is about more than a simple laptop. It's designed specifically for children in Third World nations, and designed to perform in the environments they face. It generates power by pulling a cord, and its screen is the first of its kind, perfectly viewable in full daylight. It also opens up the whole world to children who otherwise wouldn't have access to this kind of technology. So please, hold the cynicism and applaud the incredible effort to do some good in the world, OK?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:24am

    Re: Not to mention...

    Makes perfect sense. Those countries have other more stringent priorities (water, food, medicine) than a gadget allowing their impoverished populace to chat & send out lolcats.

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:33am

    Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    So please, hold the cynicism and applaud the incredible effort to do some good in the world, OK?

    I have a better idea. Why not just give $200.00 to every child in these Third World countries? I have a feeling that would go a lot farther towards their health and education than a laptop would.

     

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    jack, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:34am

    What happens when the children these laptops grow up, and want a computer to do some serious networking, or programming, or just things beyond reading, writing and typing?
    They can do all those things without having to 'grow up'. The laptop forms its own mesh network, it has software to encourage programming from an early age and, most importantly of all, run almost entirely free software, which makes the suggestion that the project is somehow limiting comical. If they want to do something the isn't available by default they can install that software, or modify the software already on the laptop themselves, or write their own. If they don't like the 'Sugar' interface they can go ahead re-install a conventional Linux distro. Or BSD. Or Windows. Or anything that will run on the hardware.
    Mike raises a good point, that computer prices already dip lower and lower, so coming up with a special project to "help those in need" sounds a bit out of place.
    OLPC has far broader scope than simply bringing low-cost laptops to children. It is an education and intellectual freedom initiative. There are many aspects to the project that go beyond the laptop itself. But in any case the OLPC laptop isn't comparable to 'conventional' laptops. It is very rugged (I believe hermetically sealed) has a custom made display that can be read in direct sunlight, can be powered by a dynamo, forms a wireless mesh network on its own, ... etc. The project may have serious flaws, but you don't list any of them.

     

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    B.Rowdy, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    Re: Not to mention... by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, yes, by all means go for a short sighted goal and sleep well tomorrow night feeling satisfied with your effort when they are yet again out of water and food. Don't try to teach the children how to collaborate and empower them to solve their own problems. Keep them separated by short geographic distances and afraid to try and make a difference. - urashortsightedjakas

    It is a far better effort for improvement and a greater investment in the world's future than any of us reading and commenting here will make in our lifetimes. Cynics Suck. -Dotjinks

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    Your missing the point of the project

    The project isn't dedicated at building a cheap laptop. Yes, that is one facet of the project, but it goes far beyond just building the cheapest machine possible.

    The $100 laptop (OLPC) project has broken ground in many ways, including the OLPC enginered rugged LCD display that works well in direct sunlight and can be produced for a fraction of what a traditional LCD can be made, as well as the unique push towards open hardware standards, long battery life, and one of the only no frills, all function laptops available. And of course there's the software, far too much information about it to include in this short post.

    You should do you homework before you go all haterade on a project like this.

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Not to mention... by Anonymous Coward

    Keep them separated by short geographic distances and afraid to try and make a difference. - urashortsightedjakas

    You should have had a $200 laptop as a child. Then, just maybe, you would know how to spell and use grammar.

    All I am saying is providing children with a laptop is not going to revolutionize their way of thinking and make them any more educated than a traditional and solid foundation in the education system. Make the people more educated and they will embrace technology on their own and do things to help their countries out of poverty.

    I think giving them laptops will do what has happened in western society...make them lazy and introverted as a mass. When the only thing standing between life or death of a village is children having the knowledge and work ethic to farm and make the required resources, then tell me how one laptop is going to help with that?

    Give a man a fish...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    There is no point in giving these children laptops. Their parents will just use them as shields when they go hunting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:16am

    Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    Yup, the Western world sure knows what's best for developing countries. We've always known they can't think for themselves and it's been our burden to help them by selling them what we have.

    In the meantime, we also think that our markets need to be protected from the unsanitary and unsafe goods these countries product. It's for your own good, you understand.

    We know what's best.

     

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    B.Rowdy, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Not to mention...

    I like your point, well thought out with good grammar. You probably like to take a hard line in every post.

    Frankly I find Hope in the effort and I plan to donate during the give one get one promotion that is supposed to start Nov 12th.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    You forgot to blame George W. Bush for something/anything.

     

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    Jim the Generic Tech Guy #4, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:36am

    Back to the drawing board, boys!

    The project from the start has been misguided. If you want to help these children, change the system that put them in such a horrible squalor in the first place. Help the parents of these children find decent, stable jobs without having to worry about being murdered or kidnapped on the way to work or school. Help the people of these nations reject leaders who take in money donated from overseas and keep it all for themselves while the people they lead are dying of diseases that western civilization wiped out over a century and a half ago. OLPC represents a significant advance in technology, and that's wonderful, but advanced technology doesn't put food on the table in the immediate sense. It also doesn't change the present situation for the people in this absolutely disgusting situation.

     

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    Edgardo, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Not to mention... by Anonymous Coward

    "I think giving them laptops will do what has happened in western society...make them lazy and introverted as a mass. When the only thing standing between life or death of a village is children having the knowledge and work ethic to farm and make the required resources, then tell me how one laptop is going to help with that?"

    Why should they be condemned to stay in the "village" and be "farmers"? Why should they be on the other side of the digital divide?

    "Traditional" education as you say is very bad in poor countries, high tech alternatives could be a solid solution.
    I'm from PerĂº. And, although I live in Lima, I've been to the poorest andean villages. Technology would make a world of difference to them. It would make them part of, or at least open the door to, the possibility of discussing like we are doing here.

     

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    WhyNot, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:43am

    To Pretty Short Sighted View

    Sorry, you're right. George Bush is a fool and should be blamed for something considering the mess he has made.

     

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    NM, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:49am

    Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 11:59am

    Education is fine. Food is better. I personally think that countries with starving children should be addressed before trying to give them computers. Contrary to popular belief, one does not need a computer to live.

    I like one of the comments above, about the usability factor. Even at $200, these laptops cannot possibly have decent enough hardware or software to be of any real value, at least not by today's computing standards. And yes, the countries they are marketed to aren't in any big hurry to start buying them. I say drop the project, sell off all the laptops (if possible), and donate the proceeds to charities that put food in starving mouths.

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not to mention... by Anonymous Cow

    Why should they be condemned to stay in the "village" and be "farmers"? Why should they be on the other side of the digital divide?

    I am not saying we need to sit idly while people in this world suffer. There are better ways, but why a laptop? I would think food, clean water, clothing, solid shelters, medicine, electricity, and education all take priority over an entertainment item (let us be realistic and know these computers will be used mainly for gaming and instant messaging because we a dealing with children here).

    I just think the OLPC has misguided goals. While the idea is nice, I am not sure they will get the results they are looking for.

     

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    AlninoRhino, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    Total Cost Of Project

    I wonder what the cost of this project has been so far. I think they may be better of using the money to build up infrastructures and economies instead of giving someone a laptop. Where it is a nobel gesture, I think they are putting the cart in front of the horse.

     

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    Another Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    Food? This is for countries that doesn't have such

    These countries that they're trying to sell to don't have a damn famine! We're talking about countries like India and Brazil. The kind of countries that don't have civil wars and humanitarian crises every 10 years!

    This is for to help countries that don't have a humanitarian crises on its hand to take things to the next level.

    Even at 200 dollars, these computers will be more than enough to meet demands. It is not like they're running memory sucking programs that we're used to.

    Come on! It is not like most westerners need the sort of power beyond what is needed to email and make documents(Heck, we don't use close to the full capacity of the computing resource most of the time)

    These computers are designed to do more than just emails and make documents. These computers come equipped with development environment and such.

     

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    Charlie Potatoes, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Not To Mention...

    Our first commenter said 'the countries' don't want them'.. wow... nice going.. to interpret the mood of a nation.. tell me...do you begin by asking the guys in the marble palaces if they want it or do you start on the end of the country with mud huts and lean-to shanties? how the hell, exactly, do you know what the country wants or does want? In Texas there used to be an oil-well company that advertised with the motto, "Don't have an oil well? get one!" same principle here. I suspect the people who want or need this product do not make it into your survey when you opt to speak for the country, bubba.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Back to the drawing board, boys!

    Get the parents jobs at the local factory? Maybe the local market? Maybe buy some food to get a few villages through the next few months?

    There is no local market or local factory. That's the point. Some of you people seem to think all we need to do is throw money at a problem and it'll go away. Well guess what, the US (and others) have been throwing BILLIONS of dollars in military support, food rations, and medical aid. These countries are still impoverished because of the short sited approach of buying a hungry person food and giving a sick person medicine.

    I'm not saying let people starve, I'm saying teach him to fish instead of giving him a fish.

    Also, the OLPC project isn't being run by some government agency, it is being run by a group of open source computer enthusiasts and volunteers applying what they have to a problem the best they know how. If you're so concerned you should get off your butt and donate your money, or donate your time on a project like this. Because unless you do you have no right to participate in any conversation regarding what "they" should or should not do with their resources.

     

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    Bill, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:50pm

    There are many different priorities...

    and many different groups trying to address them. Each group deals with a problem they can address based on their skill sets. The goal of OLPC appears to be addressing the need for a tool that can be used in the course of education. What's at the basis of education? Learning to communicate; via written language, spoken language, the language of mathematics, and learning to communicate in a global environment.

    At what point does ANY child need "real computing"? Most likely when they have succeeded in mastering the basic skills I have mentioned. Computers serve multiple purposes and we will need competent programmers from all over the globe. However, we need educated and responsible world citizens first.

    The idea of teaching someone to fish, I think, is a reasonable approach. One thing that might be worth addressing in this discussion is this: "How will the teachers, parents, guardians, etc, be trained to make the best use of these computers?

    What happens when the children these laptops grow up, and want a computer to do some serious networking, or programming, or just things beyond reading, writing and typing?

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Not To Mention...

    wow... nice going.. to interpret the mood of a nation..

    I am not sure you have been following the OPLC very long.

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20060726/101214.shtml

     

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    bcostoa, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    I have a better idea. Why not just give $200.00 to every child in these Third World countries?

    Because the fungibility of an OLPC is much lower than cash. The OLPC is so child-like and so locked down it's theft value is much lower than money. Money that could be easily taken by the local warlord, mayor, thugs, tax collector, death squads, police officers, etc. once distributed.

    Your point is quite valid though and does take place in the form of the microloan system. In the same vein, giving someone money empowers them to make choices. Many times better choices than a government official. Also valid is the need for health care but I believe the point is to "teach a man to fish" and give the children of today the tools to fix their problems tomorrow. Not perfect but if it works it'll be a big win for everyone.

    Hopefully many of the OLPCs will also see double duty with the parents using them (after the kids are in bed) to manage the local farm/business. Not out right cash but a small step in the right direction.

     

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    William, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 1:22pm

    Inflation sucks

    It totally sucks.

     

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    Shun, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Does OLPC have a goal?

    I would like to suggest that the OLPC project is not merely a simple charity organization which sees itself as "empowering the poor" or "giving something to the community".

    Perhaps the creators of the project did not understand what they were taking on when they created it.

    OLPC is not about just giving laptops to poor children, and it's not mission will not be done once every child in the 3rd world has a laptop (I know, it's starting to sound bureaucratic already). Really, OLPC is about changing the model of how technology is distributed in poor countries.

    OLPC is about giving people in developing countries the tools necessary for a rich and fulfilling education. I think they'll be done (and they will hopefully go away) once kids in under-developed countries start writing code superior to code produced by professionals in industrialized countries.

    Basically, OLPC's goal will be met when they are successfully pwn'd by a kid hacking away on his free laptop, somewhere in the proverbial "Village in Africa", although a few other continents come to mind.

    Do I expect to see more 419 spam and credit card scams? Of course. As long as someone has money to burn, someone else will be interested in burning it for them.

    My solution: I believe that secure digital e-cash needs to be embraced, or we may as well go back to trading seeds, stones, and steel pieces.

     

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    Falindraun, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 2:05pm

    Just a few problems.

    i have always thought this is a bad idea from the start.

    1. Somehow some sort of 'instant messaging' program is going to find its way onto these computer's (weather they want it to or not). Can we say Pedophiles, cause that is the last thing in the world those kids need right now is to worry about some pedophile trying to snatch them up.

    2. What happens when the computer gets a virus or has some sort of other standard computer malfunction. How much is tech support going to cost them?

    3. A $200 lap top is most likely the last thing on the mind of third world countries. More pressing concerns such as clean food and clean water in adequate amounts for their families.

    4. Medical attention. These people need medical attention and supplies as well as soap and water to bathe in.

    I would say until after these problems are dealt with, the entire project should be scraped.

     

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    gwk, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 2:09pm

    who needs laptops?

    One more valuable commodity for third-world warlords and dictators to steal from the poor. Our kids are inundated with porn, spam, pop-up ads and pirated rap music - why should African kids be any different? Do poor starving orphans need spreadsheeting skills or farming, building and fighting skills?

    /one cynic's views....

     

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    Falindraun, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Does OLPC have a goal?

    Education is a great thing and I'm not going to say anything bad about it, but if the user can't live to see tomorrow what is the point of the laptop? Even if some are given the laptop for free, if there is something else 'dad' feels they need more (ie: food, water to drink and bathe in, medical attention, a safer environment in which to live in) they will trade it away, perhaps in an unused or new condition.

     

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    laptards, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 2:39pm

    laptards

    The project should be called f$$k you if we can. That means that whoever makes the laptops will collect $100 for the laptop sale plus $100 in recovery fees, taxes, government surcharges, etc - call it whatever you like = $200/laptop. It's kind of like danglind the bate idea that the local phone companies do with your wireless bill. If you really want to make this a breakthrough, make it so that what you have proposed in the first place is what you deliver - only then should anyone buy the product. We have enough of scam artists pushing us things that we don't need or want, now these bosos are pushing us things that we want but don't actually exist or viable in real life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    So please, hold the cynicism and applaud the incredible effort to do some good in the world, OK?

    What's the matter, can't stand the truth?
    Then please, just STFU, OK?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    It is very rugged (I believe hermetically sealed)
    Hermetically sealed? Despite your personal beliefs, no, they are not. Makes me wonder how many other "inaccuracies" there were in you post. For instance, you're the first one I know of to claim that the machines will run Windows.

    The project may have serious flaws, but you don't list any of them.
    A steadily rising price seems like a pretty serious project flaw to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    Because the fungibility of an OLPC is much lower than cash. The OLPC is so child-like and so locked down it's theft value is much lower than money.
    What an ironic admission. In other words, the $200 laptop isn't worth anywhere near $200. Also know as "a waste of money". Wasting money is not exactly what an impoverished third world country should be doing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Your missing the point of the project

    The $100 laptop (OLPC) project has broken ground in many ways, including the OLPC enginered rugged LCD display that works well in direct sunlight and can be produced for a fraction of what a traditional LCD can be made,
    Then why doesn't the project license that technology to other manufacturers and use the proceeds to make the laptops less expensive? Could it be that the technology really isn't all that "ground breaking" great?

     

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    radioric, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 4:05pm

    100 Buck Laptop

    Yeah, yeah, yeah - but it's a neat machine and the idea is good at heart. Don't, won't, work, will kill it as surely as *icrosoft wants it dead. Let's all buy one for $400 so some kid in the backward boonies gets one too - and hope for the best, the rest, what comes from it.

    radioric

     

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  39.  

    Laptops least of worries

    Our old computers make their way to third world countries by the pound. I bought from a computer recycle company for a while back to resell at swap meets and they had containers filled and ready to ship overseas.

    A better business plan would be to develop the $100 combined water purifier, medical service, food producing, birth controlling, educational providing, dictator killing, and Swiss army knife relief box.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Back to the drawing board, boys!

    Get the parents jobs at the local factory?
    Who said anything about factories? Oh wait, you did.

    There is no local market or local factory.
    Then why are you going about them?

    If you're so concerned you should get off your butt and donate your money, or donate your time on a project like this.
    Why would I want to throw my money away on a foolish project? Fook that, you and the horse you rode in on. I'll make my contributions to worthwhile projects, thank you.

    Because unless you do you have no right to participate in any conversation regarding what "they" should or should not do with their resources.
    I have no right to my opinion? (unless I'm stupid enough to give money to your stupid project that is) Once again, fook you and the horse you rode in on. If your project is full of people like you then the sooner it fails the better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    Thank you Don (#4), for the proper view of the "$100 computer" project.

    This blog is becoming a narrow-viewed one that just spouts the same few ideas, regardless of the deeper aspects of subjects.

    Lousy article Mike.

     

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    Michael C. Neel, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 6:52pm

    They aren't for you

    Mike Masnick, to be blunt, they are designed with a great amount of user feedback - but you are not the user. I'm amazed in the year 2007 how many do not understand the proverb "Give a man a fish...". I also find it quite out of line to accuse someone of charity to be wasting time - would you tell a breast cancer charity they are a waste of time because they don't try to help all cancers? Or maybe you'd tell them "raising awareness" is a waste of time and money and they should just close up shop...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Pretty shortsighted view ...

    The $100 laptop project is about more than a simple laptop.
    Some people, when they miss their goal, want to move the goal and pretend that's where they were aiming along rather than admitting that they missed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 8:15pm

    Re: They aren't for you

    I also find it quite out of line to accuse someone of charity to be wasting time

    Hey, if you're being ineffective then you're probably wasting time, regardless of the nobility of your intentions.

    would you tell a breast cancer charity they are a waste of time because they don't try to help all cancers?

    If you're going around peddling some kind of snake oil and telling people that it will cure cancer then calling your product a "waste of time" is putting it charitably.

    Or maybe you'd tell them "raising awareness" is a waste of time and money and they should just close up shop

    So they never really meant to produce $100 laptops and it was all just a publicity stunt to "raise awareness"? That sounds almost fraudulent to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re:

    They don't currently run Windows, but there was an annoucement, (last week? Maybe earlier?) that Microsoft would be developing a version of the Windows platform to run on OLPC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Your missing the point of the project

    Because an "Open" standard can't be sold. RTFM - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board, boys!

    "Get the parents jobs at the local factory?
    Who said anything about factories? Oh wait, you did."

    I was refering to the previous post:
    "Help the parents of these children find decent, stable jobs "

    There are no jobs to be had.

    "I have no right to my opinion? (unless I'm stupid enough to give money to your stupid project that is)"

    No, you don't. You don't get to have an opinion and you get absolutley no input on a project unless you participate. If you think sending cash/food/medicine is a better use of your resources, then go for it. Spend your resources anyway you want. God bless, I hope your short sighted solution makes you sleep better at night.

    You are like a non-voter who complains about politics, STFU.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board, boys!

    >"Get the parents jobs at the local factory?
    >Who said anything about factories? Oh wait, you did."

    >I was refering to the previous post:
    >"Help the parents of these children find decent, stable jobs "

    >There are no jobs to be had.

    Jobs =/= Factories

    >You don't get to have an opinion

    Just what kind of fascist are you anyway?

    >STFU

    Back to you. And may your project go down the toilet like the big stinking turd that it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They don't currently run Windows
    Yeah, I thought not.

    but there was an annoucement, (last week? Maybe earlier?) that Microsoft would be developing a version of the Windows platform to run on OLPC.
    Otherwise known as "vaporware". But what could be more appropriate? A nonexistent OS for a nonexistent $100 laptop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Your missing the point of the project

    Because an "Open" standard can't be sold.
    Am I to guess that you don't know what patents are or that you're being dishonest? Part of the deal with a patent is that the invention is openly disclosed to public. Plenty of companies charge licensing fees for things they openly disclose through their patents. To say they can't is ridiculous. I can almost guarantee that various components of the OLPC (AMD processor, processor chipset, WiFi chipset, flash memory, etc.) are covered by numerous patents. If you can document otherwise, then please do. Otherwise I call "bullshit".

    RTFM - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware
    I suggest you do the same. Nowhere does it state that the OLPC is patent free. "Open source hardware" basically just means that the hardware is fully documented, not necessarily patent free.

    But now assume for a moment that the OLPC really was patent free. That makes the OLPC look even worse because it means that its special "ground breaking" technology is so crappy that mainstream laptop makers won't use it even for free. How bad does something have to be before you can't even give it away?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 1st, 2007 @ 2:13am

    Re: They aren't for you

    Mike Masnick, to be blunt, they are designed with a great amount of user feedback - but you are not the user.

    I know I'm not the end user. I'm not bashing it from the standpoint of the end user at all... but from the standpoint of the general lack of interest in the project and the mistakes that the project has made.

    I'm amazed in the year 2007 how many do not understand the proverb "Give a man a fish...". I also find it quite out of line to accuse someone of charity to be wasting time - would you tell a breast cancer charity they are a waste of time because they don't try to help all cancers? Or maybe you'd tell them "raising awareness" is a waste of time and money and they should just close up shop...

    If that breast cancer charity were spending all of its money on an idea that obviously wouldn't help breast cancer, then yes, I would say they were wasting their time.

    I'm not saying that charity is a waste of time. I'm saying this particular effort is a huge waste of time and money. And it's not because it doesn't solve "all" problems -- but that it appears to be attacking the wrong problem from the wrong direction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Your missing the point of the proj

    It's not a patent issue, it's an open standards issue.

    The OLPC is not pantent free, nor did I ever claim that it was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lol, NOT running Windows is a good thing. If nothing else not running Windows is one thing OLPC got right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board, boy

    I'm the kind of facist who believes someone with no input of time or money into a project should have no right to dictate the goal or direction of a project.

    You must be an American, how's the view from way up on that high horse of yours? Knowing nothing about the project or it's history, and giving nothing of yourself to the project but you feel compelled to assume you can be an authority on the topic and dictate where the project should go and how it should get there?

    I'll take being a facist over being assuming the role of all powerful American dictator.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Back to the drawing board,

    I'm the kind of facist who believes someone with no input of time or money into a project should have no right to dictate the goal or direction of a project.
    Who's dictating? Having on opinion certainly isn't dictating. However, declaring that other people have no right to their own opinion sure sounds like a trait of a dictator to me.

    You must be an American,
    I'd sure like to know what country you're from where they don't think people should be allowed their own opinions. Care to tell us or are you too ashamed?

    Knowing nothing about the project or it's history...
    Not only do you believe others have no right to an opinion of their own, you seem to be a blatant liar to boot. Not surprising.

    giving nothing of yourself to the project
    If it's based on Linux, then there a good possibility that it's got some of my work in it.

    I'll take being a facist over being assuming [sic] the role of all powerful American dictator.
    It sounds rather like you aspire to be both, actually. Is the OLPC project full of people like you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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