One Laptop per Child ?

sufi

lala
what do we reckon to this then?

From all of us at One Laptop per Child, thank you for your interest in our mission. Today marks the first day of our limited-time "Give One Get One" program. Starting today, when you donate an XO laptop to a child in the developing world, you'll receive one for the child in your life. The price for the two laptops will be $399, $200 of which is tax-deductible. Additionally, T-Mobile is offering donors one year of complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpot locations throughout the United States, which can be used from any Wi-Fi-capable device, including the XO laptop.

Please visit www.laptopgiving.org to participate in Give One Get One and discover more about the revolutionary XO laptop. You can also donate by calling toll-free 1-877-70-LAPTOP (1-877-705-2786). This is the only time we're making the XO laptop available to the public and quantities are limited, so early purchasers have a better chance of receiving their XO laptops by the holidays.

Once again, thank you. We sincerely hope you'll join our growing community of people working to create a connected, educated, enlightened future for the world's most essential resource -
it's children.
techno-cultural colonialism or honest philanthropy guvnor?
$399 seems a steal to me, having browsed the specs i'm well tempted (regardless of whether t-mobi will be available in eurp)
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
I'd prefer it if they were the clockwork ones, wasn't there a computer war going on as to who would get this sort of commission?
 

turtles

in the sea
It's a nice idea but I think mms is quite right that a laptop is not going to help people a whole lot in really rough conditions. On the other hand, the penetration of cell phones into third world countries is really high (I could find the statistic but I'm too lazy), there are apparently a lot of people from poorer nations who had never made a single phone call in their life until they got a cell. I think in terms of mobility, durability, robustness the cell phone is really the place to be focusing attention in any attempt to bridge the "digital divide" as they like to call it.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
It's a nice idea but I think mms is quite right that a laptop is not going to help people a whole lot in really rough conditions. On the other hand, the penetration of cell phones into third world countries is really high (I could find the statistic but I'm too lazy), there are apparently a lot of people from poorer nations who had never made a single phone call in their life until they got a cell. I think in terms of mobility, durability, robustness the cell phone is really the place to be focusing attention in any attempt to bridge the "digital divide" as they like to call it.

I think I disagree, multilple people can jack into a wireless network, on phones you have to pay for all that stuff, don't you? Surely free access to the net is priority?
 

turtles

in the sea
I think I disagree, multilple people can jack into a wireless network, on phones you have to pay for all that stuff, don't you? Surely free access to the net is priority?
True, but the infrastructure required for wifi is way higher than for cellphones. The range of the two are just not comparable at all, really. With a few cell towers you can cover a huge amount of area, which is especially important if you're trying to reach poor rural areas and not just the urban poor. Whereas with wifi you need to get the internet connection to the spot (generally with optical then phone/cable lines) and then set up a wireless router with a range of 100-200 feet thereabouts. So accessability wise, cell networks have wifi beat easily. Though you've got me on the private/public network thing, but I suppose there's nothing stopping government from setting up their own publicly funded cell networks...

Another good thing about cellphones in comparison to laptops is the interfaces on cellphones tend to be more iconic and simpler, which is a good thing when considering literacy levels. Now certainly programs could always be developed for PCs that rely less on reading/writing, but when you've got a big keyboard sitting in front of you, the temptation as a software developer is to make use of it, while if you're stuck with just a number pad plus a few directional buttons, you tend to a) not rely too much on text entry b) just generally reduce the overall complexity of your applications due to the limited interaction methods available.

I dunno, I guess I'm just really big on cellphones/smartphones/PDAs/handheld devices right now. I think that's where the interesting stuff is going to be happening in the future. I think the pc as we know it is a dying form.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
True, but the infrastructure required for wifi is way higher than for cellphones. The range of the two are just not comparable at all, really. With a few cell towers you can cover a huge amount of area, which is especially important if you're trying to reach poor rural areas and not just the urban poor. Whereas with wifi you need to get the internet connection to the spot (generally with optical then phone/cable lines) and then set up a wireless router with a range of 100-200 feet thereabouts. So accessability wise, cell networks have wifi beat easily. Though you've got me on the private/public network thing, but I suppose there's nothing stopping government from setting up their own publicly funded cell networks...

Another good thing about cellphones in comparison to laptops is the interfaces on cellphones tend to be more iconic and simpler, which is a good thing when considering literacy levels. Now certainly programs could always be developed for PCs that rely less on reading/writing, but when you've got a big keyboard sitting in front of you, the temptation as a software developer is to make use of it, while if you're stuck with just a number pad plus a few directional buttons, you tend to a) not rely too much on text entry b) just generally reduce the overall complexity of your applications due to the limited interaction methods available.

I dunno, I guess I'm just really big on cellphones/smartphones/PDAs/handheld devices right now. I think that's where the interesting stuff is going to be happening in the future. I think the pc as we know it is a dying form.

You're totally right about the connectivity aspect, and the user interface. When I was in Lesotho even the goat herds had mobiles, they make total logical sense. I was just so taken with the clockwork/solar laptop that I really want it to break through, even though I suspect it'll be like the electric car of IT. I'm freestyling on this one really,
 

turtles

in the sea
You're totally right about the connectivity aspect, and the user interface. When I was in Lesotho even the goat herds had mobiles, they make total logical sense. I was just so taken with the clockwork/solar laptop that I really want it to break through, even though I suspect it'll be like the electric car of IT. I'm freestyling on this one really,
Yeah, its frustrating actually, because I think its the right idea just applied to the wrong piece of technology.

I heard a great story from some visiting professor (can't remember who...or some of the details of the story...damn you memory!). Anyway, it was about these rural, traditional hunters in India, who were now being employed by a conservation agency to track the tigers and other animals that they used to hunt in a now-preserved piece of jungle. So some university group comes in a figures out a pretty handy application for these guys, whereby they can mark on a map on their cellphones where they've spotted various animals, all using iconic interfaces, as they all essentially illiterate. And the response of these hunters was, even regardless of whether the application was all that useful to them or not, it gave them great pleasure because it gave them the opportunity to show their intelligence to the well-educated conservation workers who kinda looked down at them as being uneducated savages. Just getting the technology in their hands and getting them to use it was a really big thing for them. I know this is a little "gee-whiz yay technology!" but I think it also illustrates how important these types of universal accessibility issues can be.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
yeah that was a fantastic idea and execution I think, I remember it, found it here as well for anyone else

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/01/wildlifetracker_tec.html?category=technology

I love the idea that 'people' are meant to go through some sort of evolutionary steps with regard to technology, when in actuality Africa's shown us that you can jump from having none to post-Fordism in one easy leap, more like a hop.

More here on that XO, it is the clockwork laptop

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/t...1191677876-fOSMs3sQvlI/nggC+bTIHA&oref=slogin

having looked at the interface I'm not too sure about it, I'd like to give one a try. Hell, if they bring out one in black I'll buy it...
 
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