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olpc negroponte
Nicholas Negroponte of OLPC
Do you know the significance of this week for One Laptop Per Child? Do you anticipate an OLPC proclamation by Nicholas Negroponte? Specifically, did you remember that last Thursday we passed an important deadline for the OLPC XO?

If not, let me refresh your memory. In Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC Analyst Meeting presentation, he said:

"...the countries were told just a few minutes ago in the other room, May 30th is their deadline.

That's the first deadline, and you know this isn't a sales and marketing job where you know when you come you come. This is it, the train leaves. It's looking like a closing, you know if you're having a round of funding, it closes on such and such a date. If it's over-subscribed, it's over-subscribed. If it's under-subscribed you shoot yourself, or whatever.

The point is, it has a real date. We'll all know May 30th"

And now it's June 4th and we still don't know who will be in the first round of participating countries. Dr. Negroponte didn't announce it as his Berkman Center speech, and didn't tell Ethan Zuckerman in a follow-on email about it. Nor are they listed in Walter Bender's Community News, or on the OLPC Wiki.

While we all wait with bated breath, others are not. In a proclamation reminiscent of the fanciful Indian $10 laptop, none other than Venezuela President Hugo Chávez is declaring his intention to create a low-cost pc for distribution to citizens in South America.

olpc Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez: pro OLPC?

If Nicholas Negroponte doesn't have his 3 million computer OLPC production "trigger" yet, he might do well to talk sense into President Chávez.

Like Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya, Chavez could use the OLPC XO as a humanitarian donation to neighboring countries, helping him be seen as regional statesmen. That is unless he later reduces his order if the XO computer price goes up.

No matter how deep his involvement, Hugo Chavez could not do better than One Laptop Per Child in developing clock-stopping hot computer technology.

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7 Comments

It looks like his deal is under-subscribed. But due to this nobody needs to shoot himself. So far no harm is done. Only continuing to ignore current weaknesses of the OLPC project will do harm in the future. It only has become high time Prof. Negroponte answered to himself a few critical questions. If none come to his mind he just needs to read in OlPCNews a little. He might better try to recognize past mistakes and think up a revised plan of actions containing necessary corrections.

When he publically presents such a new plan he should not blame everything to Intel. If the OLPC project had not had any weak points Intel could not have created any disturbances.

I really hope that Prof. Negroponte can bring up in himself the courage and the humility to admit mistakes and pronounce their correction and then really go about correcting them. This would tremendously increase (and not decrease) his credibility and credit as a person and a leader. A sensible amount of self criticism is a personal strength. Its absence is a weakness.

Will undersubscription not mean that the production plants will be reallocated?

If that happens, there will not be an XO in the forseeable future.

I am not in HW manufactore, but if the HW producers withdraw, could that mean the end of the line for the OLPC?

Winter

I hope you're kidding about dealing with that dictator Chavez.

The only "official" bit I've been able to find about the Simon Bolivar computer (silliest possible name, actually) is

http://www.vive.gob.ve/inf_art.php?id_not=2952&id_s=6&id_ss=1

Looks like a press release, and it's actually from November 2006!

Apparently, the plan involves setting up a plant with Chinese help, from a company called Lang Chao, and it's about common computers, albeit at a cheaper price, something around USD 300, plus notebooks and mobiles.

So, nothing to think that he has a plan for an XO-1 competitor. I wouldn't even think that Chávez would talk to Negroponte, for a large number of reasons, beginning with the conspiracy theories involving the Negroponte brothers trying to conquer the world (shades of Pinky and the Brain, perhaps?)

If and when I find something else, I'll post it.

I watched the 60 Minutes essay last night about OLPC and the end of the story, it sounded foreboding as there are no official orders by these countries that OLPC was originally designed for. The thought came to me (as I have been living in China for 10 months now) -- what if those governments don't WANT their population educated? Isn't it better for those in power -- those would WOULD write the checks for 150k units -- to keep 50% of their populace uneducated, better for them to continue to life off the wealth they currently enjoy?
I don't think I'm being cynical, but realistic.
Awareness and education leads to critical thinking, which can lead to revolutions. Isn't that what the fourth largest economy in the world (China) is all about monitoring? I don't see how other less developed and highly corrupt countries would think otherwise.

I would like to say that the OLPC Wiki is only a scratch board for ideas. The program has an official site. They have shown you pictures of the lap top on both official sites. They gave some information about usage goals and price and marketing expectations.
What is all the personal; opinion about what info you should know? Is this based on the quality of general feed back from the few that enjoined themselves to post on a public board Wiki . I am sure they at MIT and OLPC know more about the inside of the unit. Because of the style of the wikii you believe these people to be unprofessional based on the personal rantings of some code writers? I believe the Wiki on a social level has changed the world because if you have read what regular people have said you can see how un supervised many can be! I hope as Vista has proved that there'll be many changes made in who works where based on the ramblings of a few computer monkeys that got the paid job. If they represent the over all world then the world may have to change. All the information that should be needed is there. Did you ever think that this was a test to say if given the chance what people would say and do to base the future on? User Weakness

Shipment targets of OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) notebooks from Quanta Computer and the Eee ultra-low-cost notebooks from Asustek Computer for this year could both be revised downward, with Quanta likely to ship less than one million OLPCs, and Asustek only delivering 200,000-300,000 Eee PCs for all of 2007, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

Quanta has begun placing orders for needed parts and components with downstream suppliers but with the ordered quantities falling far short of expectations, said the paper...

http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20070709PB207.html

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