Monday, October 08, 2007

OLPCNews update

I was annoyed at the way OLPCNews treated Sylvia Martinez and stopped reading for a while

I was pleasantly surprised today when I went back for a look. There is still carping criticism of Negroponte, who is described as an ego maniac, but some of the articles I read were valuable and informative and filled a gap in my knowledge. Unfortunately, the official OLPC site doesn't really discuss controversy.

uruguay_xo_laptop_victory_intel_microsoft by Wayan Vota
I am shocked at the non-response to last week's announcement that LATU Uruguay, the government entity testing both Intel's Classmate PC and One Laptop Per Child's XO computer, rated the XO-1 the better option for the children of Uruguay's Florida province, 56.84 points to 53.06 points.

Am I the only one to notice that this was the first (and so far, only) government administered test between the Classmate PC and XO laptop? A beneficial competition between low-cost laptops for the developing world with an objective winner, One Laptop Per Child.

Where are the Linux geeks screaming victory from the top of Monte VI De Este a Oeste? Do they not realize that with Uruguay poised to buy 100,000 XO laptops running a Sugar user interface on a Linux kernel platform, it is the first large-scale loss for the Wintel duopoly?
In this article, Wayan points out how much the OLPC has already transformed "the whole global mind-think around technology":
No longer is low cost computing in education a fantasy, no longer are big technology companies secondary, and everyone wants to sell technology into classrooms. Intel introduced Classmate PC to Brazil, Asustek is selling Eee PC's in the USA, and even thin-client manufactures compare themselves to OLPC.
The best article I found was 10 Reasons Why Negroponte Should Change OLPC Distribution by Alexandre Van de Sande. He effectively challenges the whole concept of only selling millions of units to governments:
  • Many third world governments are corrupt and populist
  • The real DO-ERS are local enthusiasts, NGO's, eccentric billionares and early adopters. Best to use them.
  • Selling in thousands, rather than millions, achieves critical mass and better logistics.

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