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OLPC Now Distributes Kid-Friendly Tablets, Not Just Notebooks (Video)

Roblimo posted 1 year,18 days | from the less-costly-than-even-a-few-years'-worth-of-textbooks dept.

Portables 55

Giulia D'Amico, Business Development VP for One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) talks about the new OLPC tablets, which are now available in the U.S. through Target, Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers, with some of the $150 sales price for each tablet going to support the OLPC project in places like Uruguay, Cambodia, Rwanda, and other countries where a tablet loaded with teaching software is a way better deal than trying to supply all the books a child needs for six or eight years of school. While there are many Android tablets for sale for less than $150, Giulia points out that the OLPC tablets contain up to $300 worth of software. Plus, of course, just as with almost any other Android device, there are many thousands of apps available for it through Google Play. And let's not forget the original OLPC laptop. It has been redesigned, and renamed the OLPC XO-4 and looks much cooler than the original. You can learn more about it through olpc.tv, which has videos from the introduction of both the OPLC tablet and the XO-4 at CES 2013. OLPC has shipped close to 3 million laptops so far, and is working to port Sugar to Android so that the laptop and the tablet can use the same software. One more thing: OLPC is now focusing on software rather than hardware. When the project started at MIT, back in 2006 or so, there was no suitable hardware available. Today, many companies make low-cost tablets and keyboards for them, so there's no real need for OLPC to make its own instead of using existing hardware.

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Kid friendly... (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709021)

So I take it they've made the entire tablet out of the same material they make airplane black boxes out of? Because I've seen children destroy things that were made out of die-cast titanium without even realizing it, let alone feeling sorry about it.

Re:Kid friendly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44709073)

OLPC was already focused not just on cost, but also openness.
How explorable/hackable are these tablets?

Re:Kid friendly... (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709843)

Better parenting usually prevents things from becoming destroyed I have found. A better parent doesn't hand a child a $800 titanium encased tablet and then ignores them for 8 hours leaving them in a room full of hammers and saws.

Looks like a brick (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711365)

So I take it they've made the entire tablet out of the same material they make airplane black boxes out of? Because I've seen children destroy things that were made out of die-cast titanium without even realizing it, let alone feeling sorry about it.

http://olpc.tv/ [olpc.tv] shows the devices they look pretty solid interestingly I notice the thin screen protector doubles as a solar charger, but they look very solid.

OLPC (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709123)

OLPC, now a generic Android tablet brand. Who didn't see this coming?

Re:OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44709509)

Yeah, I know. When the OLPC project was founded in 2005, everybody saw it coming that in five years Apple would popularize the tablet form-factor and that Google would release an operating system for it that would cause tablet computers to become a cheap commodity item that would be suitable for the OLPC's goals at a fraction of the price of their custom hardware.

It was bleeding obvious. Of course we all saw it coming.

Re:OLPC (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709703)

Generic = affordable.

Shifting focus to the First World (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709135)

Uh, wasn't OLPC created to serve third-party countries, not first world countries?

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44709267)

In the first world, the tablets are sold at a premium, and the extra money goes towards giving one to a kid in a third-world country.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44709311)

RTFS:
"some of the $150 sales price for each tablet going to support the OLPC project in places like Uruguay, Cambodia, Rwanda, and other countries"

Selling to the first world serves the third world.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709313)

Uh, wasn't OLPC created to serve third-party countries, not first world countries?

Freudian slip?

Anyway, it's still focused on technology-poor countries. What they've found is that they can subsidize the devices going to these countries further by selling the same product marked up into technology-rich countries, now that they've got their production line up to high capacity. Everything that goes into them, and the design of the products, is aimed at tech-pooor country feedback; tech-rich countries just have the option of paying extra for a piece of the action without affecting the actual design decisions (much).

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710357)

Uh, wasn't OLPC created to serve third-party countries, not first world countries?

Freudian slip?

No, I have been working with integrating third party software alot at work.

Anyway, it's still focused on technology-poor countries. What they've found is that they can subsidize the devices going to these countries further by selling the same product marked up into technology-rich countries, now that they've got their production line up to high capacity. Everything that goes into them, and the design of the products, is aimed at tech-pooor country feedback; tech-rich countries just have the option of paying extra for a piece of the action without affecting the actual design decisions (much).

I disagree. The XO tablet is a generic Android tablet and, unlike the XO laptop, the hardware is not designed for use where there is no service center. It is a sealed unit that is hard to repair if it breaks and the primary user surface is glass. The laptop was repairable and more robust and rugged than the tablet.

It is hard to tell if the original business plan was workable or not; it ended up being undercut by Wintel who didn't want mass third-world usage of a laptop without a Windows OS or an Intel processor.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709731)

Yes, it was a program put in place to trade laptops for children. That business model struggled, as the management team failed to account for the costs to feed all the children it received in trade. They are hoping that the new business model offering one tablet per child will be more profitable.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (1)

steveha (103154) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711059)

Uh, wasn't OLPC created to serve third-party countries, not first world countries?

Why can't they do both?

One of the big criticisms of the original plans with the XO-1 was that they didn't mass-produce the thing and get the costs as low as possible. Instead of stacks of XO-1 laptops on the shelves at Wal-Mart, they only let you buy one if you paid double the price for it in the "Give One Get One" program. I don't think they ever really had a prayer of getting the cost under $100 with the original device, but massive mass production would have helped a bit with the costs.

Now, they can get a complete tablet (I'm guessing they didn't even design it, that whatever Chinese company manufactures it had a reference design ready to go) and just have a custom case for it, and put a customized set of apps on it, for less money than designing and building their own custom hardware platform. What's bad about that? The tablet is already low-power, already reasonably durable, and now the OLPC project can just focus on their core competency: software.

The article says that part of the $150 will go to supporting the OLPC project, so this doesn't seem to me like it is abandoning their core mission. They have just found a different way to go about it, and I think it makes more sense.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44711465)

Third world countries don't need OLPC with $70 android tablets existing that boast specs like:
7" Capacitive Multi-Touch screen, Android 4.0, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM, Cortex A8 1.2Ghz processor, 3G, Wifi, 1.3MP Front Camera, and HDMI [amazon.com]

At this point OLPC is just embarrassing itself. They'd better serve their mission statement by becoming a dedicated android app development shop.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44712685)

Read the reviews on your own link and you'll see that it has 1hr battery life and over half (half!) the reviewers had it break on them.

Re:Shifting focus to the First World (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | 1 year,18 days | (#44713625)

Uh, wasn't OLPC created to serve third-party countries, not first world countries?

Seriously have you had a look at Detroit lately? It is making some places in the so called third world look advanced. I don't think the Detroit public schools can afford to hand out iPads. Besides what good is a school system that relies upon system locked text books and expensive proprietary devices. I can see that standard text books can easily become something which are operating system agnostic and any move to make electronic text book media exclusive to one operating system like Apple or Microsoft should be fought for the sake of public education and the very future of the economy and our children.

I am almost willing to bet that a parent is not going to want to send their child to school with a 700 dollar iPad and make them a target on the bus or God forbid even the hallways and locker rooms! Sorry we are in desperate need of affordable devices for education especially in communities which are going bankrupt like Detroit.

interesting (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709161)

The software organization looks very interesting:

OLPC has organized this content into Dreams to match the aspirations of children 3-12 years old. Each dream features a potential career and related applications organized into beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill sets.

Anyone else's BS detector go off? (3, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709189)

... there are many Android tablets for sale for less than $150, Giulia points out that the OLPC tablets contain up to $300 worth of software ...

Is anyone buying this? I doubt very much that there is any of that supposed $300 worth of software that there isn't as good or better free alternatives for. And this was supposed to be an organization that was based on free and open software. As the summary points out, there are many Android tablets available at far less than $150. And those are produced by "for profit" companies, not supposed non-profits (although I expect some pay their chief executives less that the OLPC executives skim off the top).

I see this as just another OLPC fail, at least as long as your not one of the ones cashing those OLPC paychecks.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (2)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709305)

OLPC years ago published articles that the 3 core parts of the project:

1) A logistics of delivery of expensive items to the truly impoverished
2) A hardware platform designed to be inexpensive and usable by children in substandard working conditions
3) An open ecosystem of learning software

were in natural conflict. They hadn't realized it at the time but now the did and so they forked 1,2 and 3 into separate projects.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709655)

Is anyone buying this? I doubt very much that there is any of that supposed $300 worth of software that there isn't as good or better free alternatives for. And this was supposed to be an organization that was based on free and open software. As the summary points out, there are many Android tablets available at far less than $150. And those are produced by "for profit" companies, not supposed non-profits (although I expect some pay their chief executives less that the OLPC executives skim off the top).

What next, are you going to tell me that when I buy a cheese slicer with a dozen attachment doohickeys from an informercial for $19.95, it's not actually a $300 value?

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710531)

Top tip: Don't watch "infomercials"

Infomercials - What a crassly stupid, stupid name.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44710023)

Yep..just a quick look at Fry's (http://www.frys.com/category/Outpost/Tablets/Tablets/) shows several android tablets below $150. Down to $50...but how many run an old version of android? And this is off the shelf at a big box retail outfit.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710831)

Down to $50...but how many run an old version of android? And this is off the shelf at a big box retail outfit.

Yea, there are plenty of tablets available with pretty dated versions of Android. And it really bugs me when I see big name players like Samsung and Lenovo not update their Android software. But there are a lot of Android makers and many who offer Android Jellybean 4.2.x., many well under the $100 mark. That others still sell older stuff hardly justifies the supposed non-profit OLPC gang in selling pretty lame $150 units and claiming the value is in the software.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44711151)

well .. perhaps "all the books a child needs for six or eight years of school" is categorized as "software" ? .. in that case, it might be a pretty good deal. Dead tree versions can be pricey .. definitely more than 300 bucks, if you consider the required books for 8 years of schooling.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44711489)

I doubt very much that there is any of that supposed $300 worth of software that there isn't as good or better free alternatives for.

They have done the searching for you (which is worth a lot) and the tablet itself seems to be protected much better than others. (Would be nice to know if it was actually more durable than other tablets). To me, that makes up a lot of the price difference between the $70 bargain tablet and the $150 OTPC - assuming the quality of HW and SW really is there. And presumably part of the $150 goes back into R&D. [Citation Needed]

But your point about this project's goal to be 'open' is completely valid IMO. It would be nicer to have the whole tablet image open sourced. Open source hardware would also be pleasant, but a little less useful ATM.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (1)

westlake (615356) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711581)

I doubt very much that there is any of that supposed $300 worth of software that there isn't as good or better free alternatives for.

That was the sales pitch when the XO tablet was launched.

Distribution: 1.8 million units. Most to Peru and Uruguay. That's a slight exaggeration. But not by much. One Laptop per Child: Deployment of XO laptops [wikipedia.org]

It was the "New Math:"

The Media Lab knows all. One size fits all.

No need for a teacher. The geek can get the job done. Through the magic of open source software.

Re:Anyone else's BS detector go off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44714969)

When the OLPC first came out, I loaded an image into Virtual Box, and was absolutely baffled by how to use it. I don't know if it's the same software now, but it made Windows 8 and Gnome 3 look friendly and usable. The OLPC software does not prepare kids to work with any known form of computing in the real world.

Diverged from original goal (1)

Pastis (145655) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709253)

Years ago I wanted to purchase the original OLPC Give 1 Get 1 but wasn't able due to payment issues and not being in the US. I remember cursing on the 31st of December as I watched the deadlne pass.

So while this is very different from their first tablet, both in business model and openess, it still is something a bit different than most tablets offered by the competition.

<shamefull_plug> That's why we accepted to donate our kid educational software (DragonBox5+ / http://www.dragonboxapp.com/ [dragonboxapp.com] ) to those who would purchase it.</shamefull_plug>

As a geek and open source user, I think there's still room for a more open platform. Especially in the educational space. Still we see that purely open initiative are hard to market/finance (think of the latest ubuntu phone). Hopefully they will be able to redo something more in the line of the first G1G1 tablets one day. As an entrepreneur, I hope to be able to give more as well.

Re:Diverged from original goal (1)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710573)

When the original OLPC came out (I did manage to get one during G1G1) everyone had been laughing at the concept of a sub-$200 laptop even being possible, much less usable. The entire netbook/chromebook market segment exists because it was pioneered by OLPC. I'm glad to see that they're porting Sugar to Android, but I wonder if the tablets are going to be as robust as the laptops have been. Hopefully they'll be field serviceable, the way that thousands of kids all over the world are servicing OLPCs in their areas.

Re:Diverged from original goal (1)

zippthorne (748122) | 1 year,18 days | (#44712973)

How much did you pay for your sub $200 laptop.....

sexy wallpaper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44709629)

http://wallpaper002.blogspot.com/

Case/Parental Controls (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709695)

We recently got two 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablets for our kids. We splurged for the Otterbox cases because those tend to be very sturdy. (We have one on our iPad and it survived a pretty decent fall with no damage.) The cost for a Tab 2 and Otterbox case? About $210. Looking the specs over, the OLPC model seems to have a slightly faster processor, less MP rear camera, and more MP front camera. Otherwise, they look pretty similar.

The built-in parental controls are nice, but I've found some free Android apps that do that too: App Lock and ScreenTime. The latter of these has a "remote control" app you can load on your Android phone/tablet to monitor and control your kids' usage. I recently used it when my son refused to go brush his teeth because he was busy tablet-gaming. Instead of trying to pry the tablet out of his hands, I simply opened the Remote Control app and locked him out for five minutes with a "Go Brush Your Teeth" message.

I'm interested in other parental control apps folks might use. Especially since my son has gone on YouTube - after I told him there are videos there that aren't for him - and signed up for the social aspects of a game using my e-mail address - which I'm mostly upset about since the company didn't send an e-mail saying "Your e-mail was used to sign up for an account." Any good web filtering apps would be appreciated.

Re:Case/Parental Controls (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,18 days | (#44714545)

When I read the parental control section, it scared the shit out of me. Are we learning our kids today that total surveillance is good? That Big Brother is part of the family? I would rather have that parents pry the device from their children's hands and lock it away instead of conditioning them to be monitored always.

Re:Case/Parental Controls (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | 1 year,18 days | (#44715635)

No, parental control software is to be used for kids who are old enough to use a device on their own, but not old enough to completely understand that certain actions can get them into trouble. My oldest son is 10 years old. He doesn't need constant supervision when he uses he tablet (and we couldn't constantly supervise him if we wanted to). However, partly due to his age and partly because he has Asperger's Syndrome, he's very naive about how the world works. He understands intellectually that there are bad people in the world, but he assumes everyone is his friend until proven otherwise. Not a bad world view ideally, but online that means he could get into trouble.

Think of parental controls like training wheels on a bike. They're there to help keep the kid from falling and to help the kid learn how to ride, but eventually they go away and the child rides without the training wheels.

6 - 8 years? (1)

hammeraxe (1635169) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709933)

So they intend to replace 6 - 8 years worth of books with a tablet? How long are these cheapest of the cheap pieces of hardware actually last?

Re:6 - 8 years? (2)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710519)

Last year my sister-in-law in Peru finally retired the Windows 95 laptop that we gave her in 2001, when we gave her a new laptop. My niece is still using the second-hand laptop that we gave her in 2006. IOW, they'll last a frack of a lot longer there than they would here, people will treat them with care because they're (comparatively) expensive and important.

Battery replacement (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,18 days | (#44712653)

But how easy is it to replace the rechargeable lithium ion batteries in these tablets? Most laptops from the Windows 9x era have removable batteries.

Re:6 - 8 years? (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | 1 year,18 days | (#44713895)

Last year my sister-in-law in Peru finally retired the Windows 95 laptop that we gave her in 2001, when we gave her a new laptop. My niece is still using the second-hand laptop that we gave her in 2006. IOW, they'll last a frack of a lot longer there than they would here, people will treat them with care because they're (comparatively) expensive and important.

I am writing this on an IBM T42 that was sold to me by the Gov of BC for 75 bucks. LOL It has lasted and works better than today's netbooks, at least running Linux. When I go to a coffee shop and type out a document or send an e-mail or phone someone with Google talk, use Google Earth to map out a trip or whatever like it was a more expensive newer i5, it amazes my boss who struggles doing the same things with his slow as a dog Sony 3 year old piece of crap with Windows 7.

So great hardware from 2005-2006 can still be useful even though it won't run Win7 or even XP SP3 worth beans. Keep it up Microsoft the more used cheap great hardware your operating system releases put on the market the better!

The optimizations, speed, ease of use and software advances that are happening in Linux Distos, Android and Chrome on tablets and netbooks and notebooks are starting to make the Windows operating system look primitive and kludged together instead of being designed for users. Within the next year or two finally people will start to see real alternatives to Windows and Mac on computing devices at least at the consumer level.

If OLPC catches on in cash strapped American public schools more and more kids will learn how to re-purpose their parents old Win XP and early Vista and Win7 laptops and computers. The rate of old computers heading to oriental sweat shops for recycling is about to slow big time. People cannot afford to just run out UPGRADE this time around. And this is why Win8 sales are in the tank it has as much to do with the economy as the obvious public hatred for the Metro interface IMO.

I am sure that the OLPC touch interface makes sense to a child, Metro seems to miss the fact that kids are not stupid and will learn things quickly, essentially Metro has no depth and less purpose it is a simple interface that does little and the fact that it is a constantly IN YOUR FACE screen instead of a well planned INTERFACE speaks volumes as to why Surface tablets are not catching on the way the iPads did.

The next move from Microsoft will be to try to dump a tonne of their unsold surface tablets on the public school systems dirt cheap, after all what the hell else can they do with them other than try to block OLPC and what Apple is up to for that matter. Interesting times ahead, especially as Win8.1 device sales tank this Christmas the way Win8 device sales did last year.

Challenge is greater than production (2)

gsgriffin (1195771) | 1 year,18 days | (#44709935)

I travel a lot around the world in 3rd world countries helping the poor. I don't think their challenge is in manufacturing or getting these out to the field. The challenge will be finding a way for the tablets to not be immediately sold for cash when the people are in need of food and medicine to survive. Heck, pass these out for free in the 1st world conditions and where will they end up. I'm sorry, but it would be nice to help the kids and schools and teachers, but none of these will be in a classroom 1 year after they are given out.

Re: Challenge is greater than production (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44710543)

Yes to this. I have worked in Sierra Leone at an aids-orphan home and one tablet like this will be sold for an entire years worth of pencil stubs, gardening tools, flip-flops, and rice.

Re: Challenge is greater than production (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711479)

Yes to this. I have worked in Sierra Leone at an aids-orphan home and one tablet like this will be sold for an entire years worth of pencil stubs, gardening tools, flip-flops, and rice.

But Google will be beaming poor people the internet from BALLOONS. Why do they need pencil stubs and flip-flops when they can watch Justin Bieber videos on YouTube?

My charity is better than yours. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711493)

I travel a lot around the world in 3rd world countries helping the poor. I don't think their challenge is in manufacturing or getting these out to the field. The challenge will be finding a way for the tablets to not be immediately sold for cash

Bill *Fuck your charity* Gates *I don't have to pay tax* agrees with you. I don't think you realise how offensive you are being, OLPC was born from from real world observation, and the benefits computing could bring first hand.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1240339 "In 1980, Sheik Yamani of OPEC funded a center to help children in developing countries and Seymour Papert and I worked in Pakistan, Senegal, and Colombia. While the Media Lab was being built as an entity, physical as well as organizationally, we worked with kids in those countries. They were totally comfortable working in computers and computer programming – in this case, it was Apple IIs. They didn’t need the manuals, they didn’t need anything. So fast forward 20 years. The Media Lab had always had about 25% of its activity with children and learning. And after I directed the Media Lab for 20 years, somebody else came in as director and I said, “It’s my turn to do something.” And that’s when One Laptop per Child, or what was first called the Hundred Dollar Laptop, was born."

Re:My charity is better than yours. (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | 1 year,17 days | (#44719605)

That's fine. I'll be offensive and you can be naive. If you find that trust and honesty and integrity is high on everyone's list all around the world, then go ahead and send out all the electronics and money you want all around the world. It's your money.

Nobody likes a tourist (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,17 days | (#44720409)

It's your money.

...and you own a surface tablet.

Garbage (1)

KalvinB (205500) | 1 year,18 days | (#44710265)

Just another consumerism device. Not a device for teaching kids how to create.

A device that would actually be useful is a device that can be used to interface with the environment through sensors and be programmable to solve real world problems.

OLPC should be working with the Raspberry Pi people to create a rugged cheap complete solution. Change the flimsy GPIO Pins to a standard Parallel connector and enclose it with a decent LCD screen with keyboard and USB mouse and you'd have a far more useful and productive device.

Garbage and confusion (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | 1 year,18 days | (#44711411)

OLPC should be working with the Raspberry Pi people to create a rugged cheap complete solution. Change the flimsy GPIO Pins to a standard Parallel connector and enclose it with a decent LCD screen with keyboard and USB mouse and you'd have a far more useful and productive device.

You seem very confused. The Rasberry Pi people made something that people actually wanted. That's how they achieved success. But that is the evil capitalistic way of doing things.

The OLPC gang took a philosophically different approach. They went for "Think of the Children" and talked about building a $100 laptop that starving kids in third world countries could hold while they starved. They got corporate sponsors to buy into the "Think of the Children" philosophy. They convinced some chumps to think of the children and buy two laptops (that never met the promised $100 price, although they have plenty of excuses for that) so that one could be given to the starving children. They may have even delivered some of the paid for units to corrupt dictators of third world countries with starving children, although they likely never reached the children. They convinced other governments to "think of the children" and made shady deals with big corporations that seemed to many to be in direct conflict with the stated goals. The OLPC approach is completely opposite of that of the Pi people.

I kind of suspect that the OLPC gang has some knowledge of the existence of the Raspberry PI and that they knew about it even before you made your suggestion. So might General Motors. But neither organization see the Pi has having anything to do with what their business does.

Actually, the Pi wouldn't be cost effective to build on for your stated project. It includes an HDMI interface and there is a hefty HDMI "tax" to be paid for any device with an HDMI interface. No point in including that if the goal is to keep costs low and it isn't needed. But the approaches taken by the Rasberry Pi people are openly documented. OLPC could take them as a starting point if their goad was to build something that people actually wanted and would actually be useful. But having watched OLPC since it's inception, I have no reason to think they would have any real intention to do that.

Re:Garbage and confusion (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,18 days | (#44713549)

Think about this: I am a highschool drop out from an abusive home. I had to leave to avoid further abuse. Having access to computers in elementary school and at home I had taught myself to program and was making money selling my wares on Compuserve. It wasn't enough to support me, and I couldn't take my PC with me anyway on the streets -- Had I a laptop or Internet cafe I would have at least been able to feed myself while remaining homeless. The homeless shelters were a bad idea -- Upon leaving I was mugged.

It's hard to get a job when you're young and have no home address, but I got one and that afforded me a very small "efficiency" apartment. I immediately leapfrogged into an entry level programmer's position without any college experience because I had already been coding for 8 years on my own (thanks to having access to a computer), and lived a comfortable life to this day.

The OLPC gang took a philosophically different approach. They went for "Think of the Children" and talked about building a $100 laptop that starving kids in third world countries could hold while they starved.

If only I had one of those OLPCs I wouldn't have had to starve for weeks on and off. I wouldn't have had to ration a partial meal's worth of food over days when I did find it. How many days can you make a single muffin last? For want of a laptop I wrote programs on notebook paper; Some of them are still in use making me money today.

What you see as a toy is anything but, fool.

Re:Garbage and confusion (1)

Jiro (131519) | 1 year,18 days | (#44713679)

The serious answer to this is "that doesn't count". Yes, a computer was useful to you personally because you ended up becoming a programmer. Giving out computers on those grounds is like giving out Barbie dolls on the grounds that one of them might get a job as a Barbie doll toy designer.

The whole idea of giving them stuff is that they are going to use the freebies as general tools, not so that they could become specialists in the jobs associated with the freebies. Yes, it would have worked in your case, but most people who get computers, regardless of their income level, don't become programmers. If 100 such $100 computers were given out, and you were the only one who got a programming job as a result, it would have been a waste of money, and they'd have been better off just giving out $5000 each to two poor programmers.

Re:Garbage and confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44714947)

"that starving kids in third world countries could hold while they starved"
Mmm yes, we know that all kids in poor countries are starving and that OLPC was set up with the aim of helping starving children, you can see the reference to starving kids all over their web site, thank goodness someone wants to help starving children. Oh wait...

And the real payment is? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | 1 year,18 days | (#44712593)

My favorite part from TFA:
In this case the XO is sporting parental controls that track usage and learning styles. The tablet also has a Journal app that details and breaks all this down for the parents

If anyone believes the information is "for the parents" I have some nice property to sell about 200 miles north of here [google.com] depending on the tide and winds.

Re:And the real payment is? (1)

fygment (444210) | 1 year,18 days | (#44715505)

Your sig: "exacerbated" not "exasperated" ... but agree with the rest of your post.

Re:And the real payment is? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | 1 year,13 days | (#44751185)

w00sh

Why isn't it the other way round? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44714319)

Why isn't Africa providing millions of laptops to Europe?

Any answers?

They should use the 20USD India Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44718925)

They should use the 20USD India Tablet and add their software on top. But it is clear that they are pretty bad at getting hardware price down. ( http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/13/05/04/1349206/indias-20-android-tablet-first-project-completed ).

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