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Negroponte Hints At Paper-Like Design For XO-3 69

Posted by timothy
from the in-that-it-is-not-made-of-raspberries dept.
waderoush writes "In May 2008, Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, unveiled an e-book like design for the second-generation XO Laptop, consisting of a pair of facing touchscreens. In a new e-mail interview, Negroponte says that design has been thrown out, and that instead the foundation is working on version '1.75' of the existing green-and-white laptop with a more powerful processor, as well as a '3.0' version that would look 'more like a sheet of paper.' Negroponte also addressed a range of other questions about the OLPC project, including the significance of the project to make 1.6 million e-books readable on the XO laptop and the organization's push to reach more children in Latin America, Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."
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Negroponte Hints At Paper-Like Design For XO-3

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  • It makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:46AM (#29963332)
    I think that in any third-world country access to "open source" text books on any subject at zero extra cost would be more important than the actual "educational computer" functionality. It makes sense that the primary design goal should be that it is a good ebook reader. It looks neat and at $75 it is a fraction of the cost of current readers ... I want one!
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:47AM (#29963362)

    From the OLPC website:

    Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

    They even go on to say that this is about education, not laptops [laptop.org]. So why are they working on building these devices when if all they want is a cheap Panasonic Toughbook? It seems that instead of trying to build cheaper devices, they could partner with a company (like Panasonic) to provide this kind of technology on the cheap.

    By focusing so much on the technology, we are forgetting that the purpose of these devices is to enable kids around the world to become more connected. This can be done with an old Toshiba Satellite laptop from 2001, you don't need the latest and greatest software to access the Internet.

  • Sorry what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:55AM (#29963432)

    Dual screens? E-paper? Touchable displays?

    Surely what you really need to make it cheap is cheap components and low R&D costs. Toughen up a netbook for god's sake! At the time the last OLPC came to everyone's attention, it was a fairly revolutionary idea. Then Asus released the Eee range and others quickly followed suit. Nearly all of them make the OLPC look like last year's trash and for not much price difference.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:03AM (#29963512) Homepage

    What's that you say? You have a better version coming next year? Well, thanks for being so honest - we'll put our checkbook back in our pocket rather than giving you money for the obsolescent model now.

    Oh, what? There'll be an another new version soon after that? Well, that's just great! Give us a call back if and when it's ever available - we'll do lunch.

  • Re:Sorry what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by acklenx (646834) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:03AM (#29963520) Homepage
    Without the OLPC driving, the industry had no interest in net books. And they still don't have much interest in durable netbooks. And, well, the cost does matter. And since the cost does matter I would question the dual screens on the device (assuming added a second screen makes it more expensive). It doesn't need to look and feel like a book - certainly not for people that haven't ever held a book. And even for those that have - let go of the past.
  • Re:Sorry what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:39AM (#29963956)

    > I suggest we form a non-profit company called "one trip to Mars for every child"
    > and announce we're going to be designing a spacecraft to take poor children on trips
    > to Mars. I predict Boeing and Lockheed will have competing Martian colonies with
    > twice-daily commuter service within a year.

    As a counter-example, I'd point out that your scheme hasn't been a huge success for the plethora of "three square meals a day, clean water and some clothing for every child" non-profits. It could just be they need a snappier name...

    c.

  • Re:Priorities (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dragonslicer (991472) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:43PM (#29965730)

    I just can't help thinking that sorting out such basic problems as hunger and poverty...

    The only real solution to these problems is education. Everything else is just a temporary fix.

  • Re:Priorities (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pwfffff (1517213) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @03:41PM (#29967070)

    "I just can't help thinking that sorting out such basic problems as hunger and poverty should be slightly higher on the list than whether they can play Facebook and post on Twitter."

    Shouldn't it also be more important than you posting on /. then? How many orphans have YOU fed today?

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:31PM (#29972662) Homepage

    The trouble with the OLPC is that it's mostly a vehicle so that Negroponte can hang out with heads of state and such. Actually shipping product is secondary. It's all about national-level deals. Remember when OLPC had a "buy 2, get 1, give 1" program, and they botched basic order fulfillment?

    Those things should be in bubble-packs alongside the graphing calculators, with the price down to the original $99 by now. They don't need a fancier model. They need a cheaper model. They're being run over by the netbook industry. Netbooks are down to $100 if you buy in bulk from China. Look on Alibaba.

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