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Displays Education Portables

OLPC Unveils Plans For Tablets By 2012 102

Posted by timothy
from the take-two-they're-small dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative outlined its product roadmap for the next three years, a plan that includes the release of tablet-based OLPC by 2012. During the next three years, OLPC plans on releasing two laptops, the first two years' priced around $200 and $150 respectively, before launching a tablet in 2011 for less than $100."
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OLPC Unveils Plans For Tablets By 2012

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  • by SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @03:54PM (#30538756) Journal

    I still am not entirely sure about this project -- there seems to be more of a reliance on technology as an end in itself, simply crossing fingers for some kind of digital third-world transformation to occur.

    Instead of outcomes, they seem to be focusing on outputs, namely laptops distributed. But what are they supposed to do with them practically? Does it give them a pocket library, replacing books if not thousands of books? Will this help them with agriculture? Are there any structured curriculums for learning? Can it do anything with disaster recovery, like help locate food and water? Are there guides on it for setting up sanitation systems and preventing disease?

    It seems just to be a bunch of vague educational programs wrapped in sweet talk without any specific outcomes intended.

    If you want to see how this turns out, look at America's school system, for example, where there's been at least a 20-year focus on giving every child a computer for the sake of it. Granted, some school systems use technology in an excellent fashion. But how many billions were spent on computers that did nothing more than, on occasion, provide a replacement for typewriters when students needed to type a proper paper?

    Let's hope the same doesn't happen here.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:07PM (#30538878)
    What's stopping you? I make up tags all the time ... sometimes they even persist and the story stays tagged that way for hours or more.
  • Re:I hate to say it, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:20PM (#30538986)

    > ..making it so cheap that countries wouldn't even have to think about acquiring one..

    Exactly. But Negroponte is about PR and vapor, not producing actual solutions or products. It isn't a coincidence that he worked for the UN, a useless institution known for exactly the same flaws.

    At his point it should be possible to build an ARM based OLPC style machine for $100 in quantity one, far less when sold by the cargo container.

    And once you get past the poorest of the poor, where even basic sanitation is scarce and electricity is virtually unknown, most folks manage to wrangle a TV set. So why not build a $25 computer for them by tucking an ARM into a keyboard and using that existing TV as the output. Not as sexy as pitching a tablet that will likely never actually be built (like his last big idea) but my idea would get a computer into the hands of a billion people by this time next year if somebody ran with it.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:53PM (#30539274)
    Well they're not the holy grail of computing, but they're the natural evolution of the clipboard. A lot of tasks need to be done while moving around, not sitting at a desk. A keyboard doesn't work for those tasks because you'd have to support the netbook with one hand while typing with the other. Clipboards were invented as a combination desk + writing surface for these situations. Tablets are the same thing for computing.

    The problem IMHO is people are still trying to make tablets too much like a desktop computer. It needs to be small, thin, light, and of course cheap with rudimentary pen-based data entry. It doesn't need to be a super-powerful computer which can run the latest version of Windows and calculate Pi to 1 million digits in 30 seconds. The most processor-intensive task it should have to handle is handwriting recognition. In that respect I think an OLPC tablet would be closer to the ideal than the 4-pound $1k tablets on the market today (ebook readers are getting there too). Make something which can replace the clipboard, and businesses will buy them in droves, I think.

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