Forget The $100 PC; India Now Working On A $10 PC... Or Not

from the take-that-negroponte dept

Over the years, we've pointed out some of the more ridiculous aspects of the One Laptop Per Child program (originally known as the $100 PC). While the cause is quite admirable, the project's founder, Nicholas Negroponte has taken a rather strange way to get there. Rather than letting the competitive free market get us to a point where a $100 laptop is feasible, he would attack anyone who dared to try to create a competing product. Also, much of the OLPC was developed very much as a top down project -- rather than opening it up to various participants to look at different options for making things even better or cheaper.

In fact, when the initial designs came down, the countries that were supposed to be all excited about the OLPC, such as India, weren't particularly excited -- turning down a chance to participate in the OLPC program (though, it has run some small scale tests). Now, however, India claims that it's working on its own cheap laptop: and it'll be a $10 PC instead of $100 (and, really, the OLPC is more like $200 anyway). It's not clear how India plans to create such a cheap PC, and the article notes there's a decent chance it won't really be $10 -- but a subsidized $10. Still, one doubts that Negroponte will be very happy about this, despite the fact that it advances his vision, if not his implementation. Update: Well, well, well. Now Indian officials are claiming they misspoke, and the $10 laptop will actually be a $100 laptop. If they can actually get there, more power to them -- because, as we noted, OLPC's $100 laptop is actually $200.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:24am

    Subsidized?

    Does that mean it comes loaded with shareware and trialware?

    That's great!

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

  • identicon
    Wan Link Sniper, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:25am

    They can do better than that...

    What if they pay you for getting the laptop? That would be the -100$ PC...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:31am

    hmmm, $10 PC ......

    10 BLAZING Hertz
    .01 Bits of RAM
    Digital display..... One that is on Calculators.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:39am

    So really it is not a 10 dollar laptop. Maybe India should work on making sure everyone is eating before they start subsidizing PCs. I have a great idea. All of those starving children in Africa... Free convertible. Nothing cures starvation like a convertible.

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

    • identicon
      Jim, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      Many food/clothing drives have done nothing but make people dependent on food/clothing drives while hurting local business and culture.

      On the other hand, giving education (or the tools for education) seems to be a promising prospect in accelerating the standard of living of third world areas.

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

  • identicon
    Keith, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:41am

    A computer cheap enough to throw in a Real Recycle Bin.

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

  • identicon
    some old guy, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:43am

    the usa has starving people too

    Since we have starving people here in the usa too, should we also cancel all education programs until there's noone left hungry?

    Oh, wait, you mean a government can have more than one priority?

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

    • identicon
      Anon Cowherd, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:17am

      Re: the usa has starving people too

      Since we have starving people here in the usa too, should we also cancel all education programs until there's noone left hungry?

      It's amazing that the technology doesn't exist to make $10.00 Easy Bake Ovens.

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

    • identicon
      Brad, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:25am

      Re: the usa has starving people too

      There is a huge difference between starving and hungry. If you are starving in the US you are just to proud and stupid to ask for help. Hungry in the US, well I'm hungry right now.

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

    • identicon
      SDavis, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:56am

      Re: the usa has starving people too

      starving people in the USA? I can believe homeless but not starving....maybe we should get the government to solve all of our problems! Then no one ever has to go to work again! Utopia!

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

      • identicon
        Fred Langly, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re: the usa has starving people too

        maybe we should get the government to solve all of our problems! Then no one ever has to go to work again!

        Something's terribly wrong when people can loose their job to someone in another country... Not even a US citizen... And the Government does nothing.

        While we're on the topic of crappy ideas, let's build free roads and houses in Iraq and Tollbooths in America.

        This is getting nuts

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

        • identicon
          Evil Mike, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re: Re: the usa has starving people too

          "Something's terribly wrong when people can loose their job to someone in another country... Not even a US citizen... And the Government does nothing."

          Go take an economics class and learn about global economies of scale!

          Or move to the country where the jobs are going...

          Whatever you decide, just stop fucking complaining; especially when you do not understand what you're complaining about.

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

      • identicon
        Another Planet, 4 Aug 2008 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: the usa has starving people too

        Yes indeed, many people are going without food in the USA. For whatever karmic reason (I suspect exposure to industrial chemicals while working an electronics engineering job in a poorly-ventilated factory)I fell prey to a neurological illness and I am now disabled. I paid high taxes for many years and now must subsist below the poverty line, on SSI.I often have to choose between buying food or medicine or trifling things like clothes (I need shoes at the moment and they must be special types for the neuropathy in my feet) I can't afford new shoes unless I go without other necessities like food, medicine and clothing. This is the reality of life in America in 2008. This country can't adequately take care of its' own citizens YET!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:46am

    Bill Gates did it!

    Now taking bets! $20 says it will run Mojave, err... Vista... VERY VERY SLOOOOW.

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

  • identicon
    Heartless Bastard, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:47am

    Starvation...

    Ya know, if you just let the starving people do their thing (starve) then eventually, you have no starving people.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:50am

    maybe they can make it out of ginger bread. Compute and eat.

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

  • identicon
    geekboy, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:51am

    seen enough

    moronic posts to delete my link to techdirt

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 30 Jul 2008 @ 9:53am

    Oh, wait, you mean a government can have more than one priority?

    Question is... when people are starving - should they?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      No, the question is..,
      Why are they starving?
      Government causing them to? Too Lazy to work or farm or hunt? Too religious to eat a cow or pig?
      Or is it the work of Force Majure? In that case, let's help!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        If the government has money to subsudize computers then it has money to subsidize food.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          FYI: Indian government does subsidize food, fuel and education.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 12:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then why are people still starving. Go India. India wins a $10 laptop.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 2:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Whiteys looted our country and became rich and now they us for being poor.

              Abt ur comment let me give an example. Gas costs about $2/liter and government subsidizes it reducing the end cost to $1.5/liter. But because as per capita income is $4000/year most people cannot still afford that price. Kerosene, which is used by most people for cooking, is subsidized further and it costs only $0.5/liter.

              Likewise food is subsidized a great deal and without subsidy most Indians will hungry. But India is not rich enough to provide poor food to everybody.

              Maybe we should build large armies like you, loot others and then live on luxury.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:03am

    Increased tech skillsets to enable outsourcing of American Jobs

    Got to give your $1.00/hr workers a method of production!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:09am

      Re: Increased tech skillsets to enable outsourcing of American Jobs

      I can't wait until India takes over America. I can get used to their food. I love red curries.

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

      • icon
        chris (profile), 30 Jul 2008 @ 12:46pm

        Re: Re: Increased tech skillsets to enable outsourcing of American Jobs

        it's the circle of life man:

        the standard of living and the exchange rate of the rupee make it cheaper to export labor to india. this hurts the american economy, standard of living, and the value of the dollar.

        soon the standard of living and the value of the dollar will drop to the point that it will be cheaper for india to outsource back to the US.

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

  • identicon
    DS, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:17am

    Old Guy-->Laptops =! Education

    And of course Nick Neg will be ticked. It will not have his name on it.

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

    • identicon
      Jim, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      I think you are trying to say that having laptops does not mean you will be educated. I suppose that can be considered true - but it is also true that a child can go to school for 12 years and still be uneducated.

      With a cheap laptop and projects like OpenTextbook, people have all the tools necessary to get a very good education. Whether or not they will utilize those tools is still to be seen.

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

  • identicon
    Dave, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:26am

    It's $100, the first announcement was wrong

    There's a news item on The Inquirer. The first announcement was wrong, it's going to be $100. The original announcement had a mistake.

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:32am

    Re: It's $100, the first announcement was wrong

    Aww. That disappoints me. I would pay ten bucks for a cheap laptop, then reformat or strip it for parts for a better laptop.

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

  • identicon
    Ryan, 30 Jul 2008 @ 10:43am

    Better Education

    It follows the standard "Catch a fish, teach a man to fish" ideology. Yes, you are right, people are starving in India, but if you spend your money on food for everyone, (or an establishment that provides food for that matter) it doesn't solve the problem except on a temporary basis. They will only become hungry again later, and they haven't learned anything except, "My local soup kitchen is where I go to eat." You need to provide education and resources to aid in education, (i.e. a laptop, what a thought!) to help them learn to make their own living and provide for themselves.

    Also, continuing education would sprout more businesses, allowing for more jobs, etc. This process starts with education. Start there, and the snowball will roll on.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:23am

    #26

    That is where we are heading, won't be going to work cause there are NO JOBS!!!! Then the populous can feed off the corporations, CAUSE THAT IS WHERE ALL THE $$ is. And we'll, Its no secret whose pocket the corporations are in..........


    ..... And it makes me wonder .....

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

  • identicon
    Indian Child, 30 Jul 2008 @ 11:45am

    Me take your job...

    Me government gives me cheap laptops. I become smart and steal your job. I get all the food and you get none (actually a blessing for you given how obese you are).

    Me also watch porn on it ;)

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

  • identicon
    dbs, 31 Jul 2008 @ 9:17am

    OLPC being misrepresented. Again.

    I'd like to point out that while the comments in the post were colorful and probably provided great press, they weren't particularly accurate. Or at least, they didn't portray the situation correctly.

    The XO laptop was never meant to be a market commodity. It was never meant to be sold int he commercial market, and throwing it into the capitalist market, and depending on it's success there to achieve it's noble goals would have doomed the project to failure.

    OLPC is focused on providing laptops for education in development countries. Period, end of story. As such, it is being wildly successful, with hundreds of thousands of the devices distributed and in use.

    The 'competition' snarkily referred to was an attempt by Intel to undermine OLPC's mission. Intel wasn't interested in education or green devices or low cost. The salesrep involved was motivated by dollar signs.

    OLPC is one of the few projects that is not being drive by money and 'success in the businessplace'. Comparing it with commercial products sold out of Best Buy is an inappropriate metric and misses the point.

    Now, to India's project, more power to them. I look forward to seeing their finished product, and seeing if it will actually deliver as promised, or will it just be another business vector for Intel and Microsoft. Me, I'm skeptical. Doing a project like this correctly is a daunting task, and there are a lot of lessons to be learned from OLPC's project, but 'starting over' isn't the proper approach.

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

  • identicon
    Vis, 3 Feb 2009 @ 11:47pm

    Getting back on the subject

    I dont understand the reason for publicizing it as a $10 laptop when it si going to be a $100 laptop sunsidized to $10. All bloody politics :(

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

  • identicon
    دردشه, 8 Jul 2009 @ 6:40am

    That sounds more like what those kids will be doing with their laptops

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


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