Dear OLPC Users in the Ottawa-Gatineau area,
Our next meeting will give us a great opportunity to meet our aspiring local OLPCorps Africa group and to get involved. We will be meet and have a presentation from Sam Burton followed by discussion and hopefully some time just to catch up and share all of your recent OLPC discoveries.
Sam Burton is a MA Mass Communication student at Carleton and Project Coordinator of Jamii OLPC. Jamii OLPC is a multi-university, multi-national team applying to OLPCorps this summer. If their application is successful, they will receive funding and 100 XO laptops to deploy to their partner school, Matemwe Primary School, in Zanzibar Tanzania. As members of the Ottawa XO Users Group you have extensive hands-on experience with XOs, and Jamii OLPC hopes that you are interested in getting involved in the project, and providing insight, feedback and suggestions!
For more information on the Jamii OLPC team Click here
Meet Up Details:
Date: Saturday March 21, 2009
Time: 13:00-15:00 h.
Location:: Carleton Univ. Campus; The Herzberg Physics Bldg (HP) Room: HP4351
Parking: Parking is well marked on the map and I think it is free on weekend.
With thanks to Brett Stevens for arranging the meeting.
Hope to see you there!
The One Laptop Per Child group could soon move to adopt an ARM based processor for its next generation XO Laptop. The move is interesting for a few reasons. First, ARM CPUs tend to consume far less power than x86 chips from companies like Intel, AMD, and VIA. And second, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 aren’t designed to run on ARM processors. So while some work has been done to get Windows XP to run on the current XO Laptop alongside with a custom Linux interface called Sugar OS, there may be no Windows option for the XO-2.
Jeremy pointed me to this article: The Walrus Blogs » The Failure of One Laptop Per Child » World Fast Forward. I disagree with a number of the ‘failures’ as I noted in my comment on the site. But the XO did change our notions of computing, and was a valid attempt to bring constructionism into a wider world.
This new device is both transparent and flexible, while still producing a bright display that can be viewed at almost any angle. Its response time is up to ten times faster than traditional LEDs, making for smooth, smooth video. The engineers of the future could have a field day with this material, creating ultra-light laptops, rollable televisions and digital newspapers.
But why should this product delight an Ecogeek more than any old geek? Most importantly, all LEDs consume less energy and are therefore more efficient. That’s a plus for us on the consumption end. But OLEDs also offer an advantage on the production end – they can be printed onto a wide variety of substrates. Obviously, the environmental friendliness of the OLED ultimately depends on the substrates chosen and the production requirements for that substrate. But it means that manufacturers aren’t working with heavy metals like mercury, which go into many fluorescent lights.
Amazon will sell OLPC laptops - Boing Boing: “Starting in November, Amazon will sell the One Laptop Per Child XO laptop, a marvel of engineering and pedagogy, on a “give one, get one” basis: every XO you buy will also pay for one to be given to a kid in the developing world…”
They ditched x86 compatibility and switched to a MIPS architecture to further reduce production costs. HiVision has managed to create a UMPC that sells right now for $120.00. They say they have refined the manufacturing process and have learned from building this laptop how to mass produce a laptop that will sell for $98.00.”
It runs linux, which will make AlexB happy. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve never worried about OLPC per se, but the concept of zero cost computing was always an interest. This gets the price point down, but is otherwise as lame as most puters in terms of being culturally/pedagogically appropriate.
Negroponte Seeks a Laptop CEO “After weathering an acrimonious split from Intel and harsh criticism from critics, One Laptop Per Child is reorganizing—and looking for a new CEO.”
The first Ottawa Meet Up will be this Tuesday Feb. 26th for XO users in reach of Ottawa. You can read the details in the news forum post Click Here. If you’d like to join us leave a comment here or on the News Forum post.
See you there
Fellow xo owners within reach of Ottawa!
We will have our first meet up on Tuesday February 26, 2008.
The plan (With thanks to James, who made the plan):
Dinner at Habesha on Wellington c. 6:30 (Ethiopian food which requires finger use)
XOs work at the Habesha, but if a mass don’t want to show up for dinner, Collective XO use at the Elmdale Tavern across the road from c. 8pm or when we get there.
We are collecting all the free books, movies, music, and other content that we can in the next five days! Then, on Tuesday (2/19) the Creative Commons will be burning a LiveDVD as part of LiveContent 2.0 with big selection of CC licensed materials that we are gathering—this DVD will be distributed to events like South by Southwest and elsewhere. The bundle of books and educational resources we collect will be used by One Laptop per Child to send all over the world for children, families, and schools! And will compiling and reviewing the best college-level resources they can find for the coming re-launch of their new, community driven site!
Call for Participation, Association of Internet Researchers 9.0
Is this the Diamond Age? Exploring competing goals for the OLPC project.
The One Laptop Per Child project has hit a raw nerve, and is presently at the centre of competing tensions and conflicts. Is it a real computer, or just a toy. Is the project really about education or new technologies? Does the laptop actually address existing needs, or is it a hegemonic imposition? Does the project meet anyone’s legitimate needs? Is it reasonable to abandon established interface and software conventions in favor of a novel interface? How can research communities best navigate the borderlands between developmental and theoretical models and the practical requirements of a scale-driven technological deployment?
We are soliciting theoretical and practical papers addressing, but not limited to, such as:
* low cost or disposable computing
* design innovations for youth computing
* novel uses of low-power / low-eco-impact technologies
* grassroots educational projects
* mesh-networking as a model for social communication
(pedagogy and education)
* social construction of knowledge
* constructionist learning
* transfer of pedagogical experiences and knowledge
* education across cultural boundaries
* adolescent Internet adoption
* child and adolescent development theory
* hackable hardware and hackable pedagogy
* subversive education
* the ethics of radical/emancipatory pedagogy (cf. Ivan Illich and Paolo Friere)
* cultural influence / localization of content, privacy, censorship
* conflicts between Western notions and ‘native’ rationales for learning
* translating existing technology into XO activities
* age-appropriate technology and content
* local vs. remote instruction, communication, discussion
* technology and the child’s cognitive development
* technology-driven pedagogy vs. educator drive initiatives
* the cultural hegemony of international educational initiatives
* OLPC, Classmate, and eee platforms
* platform ecosystem / development
* platform ethics
* transgression of expectations
* children as software engineers / inventors
* user-initiated design
Submissions will be reviewed and organizational decisions made quickly.
Due date: as soon as possible.
Panel participants are requested to submit their brief proposals (200-250
words) to the organizers as quickly as possible, so that we have an
opportunity to organize and sequence panels prior to the AoIR submission
Elijah Wright, Indiana University [email@example.com]
Jason Nolan, Ryerson University [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Lois Scheidt, Indiana University [email@example.com]
A new installment of ‘As the laptop turns” tells of the off again/on again relationship between OLPC and Intel, with Paul telling his side. It makes me thinks of the old WAR song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
I think if either side wanted to take the ‘high road’ they’d work together, form a coalition to bring laptops to developing countries with a variety of platforms available. They can show them all together, make their pitches and then accept the results. Monopolies are bad. Diversity is good. Interoperability is necessary. Any position that wants to ‘control’ the situation has problems, IMHO. Let’s be friends
“I give you this information to help you in the context of the OLPC saga. Some people at Intel criticized Nicholas’s project when it was first started. That was a mistake, and we have long ago apologized for that. Last summer, I contacted Nicholas and asked him a question. It was ‘is your goal to get every kid a laptop, or to get every kid an OLPC laptop?’ He laughed and said ‘the former, of course.’ With that answer, I said we would like to work together.
“Intel signed a contract with OLPC. We provided the organization with $6M of funding in 2007, and were their largest single source of funding. We were working on porting our software to the XO, and were working on an Intel-based version of the product. Last fall, Nicholas demanded that we drop our work on Classmate (this fact was reported with a quote by Nicholas in the Wall Street Journal). He felt that our work was causing less success to OLPC as a competitor. I reminded him of his answer to my question when we talked in the summer. He disregarded it and said that he had changed his mind. Intel could not and would not withdraw our support to governments and the small computer manufacturers in developing countries who were building Classmate. Nor would I bow to his pressure to grant OLPC a ‘monopoly’ on kids. At the time of our breakup, Intel had honored every contractual commitment we had made to the OLPC organization.
“Despite the fact that Nicholas and his team have been all over the press telling their side of the story, we have elected to take the high ground and not lower ourselves to refuting his lies.
An anonymous reader noted yet another story about credibility and disclosure on-line. An OLPC news site highly critical of the project was run by an Intel employee who actually is working on a project that competes with the OLPC. Oh, and the site failed to disclose this pretty serious bit of bias. The article talks about the most extreme interpretation (”Intel secretly bankrolls blog that disses competitor”) but even the less extreme version (”insider badmouths competitors anonymously at night”) is pretty fishy. Just more reasons to never believe anything on-line, including me I guess.
This site, One Laptop Per Child News, is one that I read and use the forum of. To be honest, I’m not a fanatic for any side or technology. OLPC ‘did it’ and should always get cred for that. Someone may do it better. To be honest, I’ll always support open initiatives over closed ones.
Here’s some more info:
So it doesn’t take too much of a conspiracy theorist to believe that Intel is secretly bankrolling the OLPC-News website.
Adding insult to injury, OLPC-News is buying advertising on Google to attract visitors to its website.
OLPC News denies all the accusations, but fact is that the site has a huge conflict of interest that it conveniently failed to disclose.
Now it is getting fun. Pixel Qi is the project of Mary Lou Jepsen (former CTO of OLPC). Their web site starts off:
What computing can be, the XO laptop was just the first step.
Pixel Qi is currently pursuing the $75 laptop, while also aiming to bring sunlight readable, low-cost and low-power screens into mainstream laptops, cellphones and digital cameras.
Spinning out from OLPC enables the development of a new machine, beyond the XO, while leveraging a larger market for new technologies, beyond just OLPC: prices for next-generation hardware can be brought down by allowing multiple uses of the key technology advances. Pixel Qi will give OLPC products at cost, while also selling the sub-systems and devices at a profit for commercial use.
On another note: OLPC America to launch in 2008. What I’m afraid of is the cultural ignorance of the US. America is not the name of their country. They are the United States of America. If they say “OLPC America” means their 50 states, it is just reminding me that they either have to include all the Americas, or better, how about OLPC.US.
This is a neat path, sarting with northxsouth : free software news from latin america claiming “Corporatism threatens One-Laptop-Per-Child Project”:
Then, it was discovered that Intel was secretly pushing the Peruvian government to drop their order for OLPC computers and instead purchase an Intel competitor laptop. Intel is supposed to be a part of the OLPC project When Nicholas Negroponte complained about this, Intel’s response was simple: they withdrew their support from the OLPC project. You can read about it in this NYT article: Intel Quits Effort to Get Computers to Children.
This article points to the New York Times article, Intel Quits Effort to Get Computers to Children, which notes:
A frail partnership between Intel and the One Laptop Per Child educational computing group was undone last month in part by an Intel saleswoman: She tried to persuade a Peruvian official to drop the country’s commitment to buy a quarter-million of the organization’s laptops in favor of Intel PCs….
In Peru, where One Laptop has begun shipping the first 40,000 PCs of a 270,000 system order, Isabelle Lama, an Intel saleswoman, tried to persuade Peru’s vice minister of education, Oscar Becerra Tresierra, that the Intel Classmate PC was a better choice for his primary school students.
Unfortunately for Intel, the vice minister is a longtime acquaintance of Mr. Negroponte and Seymour Papert, a member of the One Laptop team and an M.I.T. professor who developed the Logo computer programming language. The education minister took notes on his contacts with the Intel saleswoman and sent them to One Laptop officials.
And most interestingly to a long article in Fortune, Negroponte on Intel’s $100 laptop pullout - Jan. 4, 2008
Fortune: What’s the biggest single reason your partnership with Intel fell apart?, which is an interview with Negroponte not only outlining the problem
Negroponte: The biggest single reason was that they were directly selling their Classmate laptop as opposed to having it be a reference design. They’re not selling it in this country because they’d be killed by their biggest customers like Dell (DELL, Fortune 500). But in the developing world they are selling directly. It just set them apart from every single one of our other sponsors [which include AMD, Google, News Corp., Taiwan’s Quanta Computer (which builds the XO), and Florida-based distributor Brightstar]. When Intel joined us we thought we could move toward that being a reference design more and more, and less toward them selling the Classmate itself.
But oddly it went in the other direction. And then they started using their position on the board of OLPC as a sort of credibility statement. When they disparaged the XO to other countries they said that they should know about it because they were on the board. They even had somebody go to Peru, which was a done deal for OLPC, and rant and rave to the vice minister in charge. He dutifully took copious notes and was stunned.
And he shared them with you? Yeah. It was unbelievable. “The XO doesn’t work, and you have no idea the mistake you’ve made. You’ll get yourselves into big trouble,” and that kind of stuff. We kept the sale of course, but when one of your partners goes and does that, what do you do? It first happened in Mongolia. And at that point [Intel CEO] Paul Otellini called me and basically asked to not be thrown off the board, because they were going to change their ways. But they didn’t.
Why, do you think? He’s got 100,000 people and he can’t control all of them. That’s part of his problem. When I sign a nondisparagement clause that means all our people. He said we’ll get a machine ready for CES and make a joint statement together there. As recently as three days ago we still thought we were going to introduce it. We had asked them to do very very small things and they just decided not to.
Do you wish OLPC and Intel could be less acrimonious? Well, we weren’t acrimonious for 7 months. But they signed an agreement and didn’t do one single thing in the agreement.
Like what? Nondisparagement is the easiest. That clause they violated all over the place. They said they’d work on software, but they didn’t touch it. We said we’d work on the architecture together, and that wasn’t done. We said we’d work on a processor and to this day don’t have a spec on it. The nonfulfillment on theiir side was so continuous I don’t even know what to say.
So the real issue was they were competing with you? We’re like the World Food Program and they’re McDonald’s. They can’t compete. They are both food organizations but for completely different purposes. If the Classmate were in the hands of every single child in the world, that would be pretty good. Could it have better power charcteristics, a better display, etc.? Sure, that would be good. But I don’t care if kids get the XO so much as that they get laptops.
This is interesting information. I’ve always been worried about OLPC being a bit of a Western hegemonic force, or the danger in becoming one. The reason I want my own laptop is that I want to see and follow how the OLPC can be subverted by the learner and the learner’s culture to do what is meaningful and important for them beyond the purview of the West (or in the West, out of control of the dominant discourses). Can the OLPC be ‘good’ for the people who are getting it. The model, which Negroponte notes is apt: world food program vs mcdonalds. I was thinking of the world food program vs baby food producers (Nestlé boycott - Wikipedia). Of course I have no personal information about any of this, and I’m just sharing what I’ve read. Intel could have valid reasons that we don’t know about. I’m not condemning anyone. But it does seem like the OLPC has the moral high ground on this, and that Intel is helping them to define it and show it. If so, it becomes a direction and technology of even greater interest to me, and, I hope, of value to the world. Let’s see.
JuliaD sent me this World development report 2007 : development and the next generation, Vol. 1 of 1 and told me to look at Chapter 8, page 188, and this is what I found. It is very interesting to see what the world bank has to say about ICTs, and you can see what this has to day about the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project: local language content, access to information, skills building, child safety, etc… It is harder to become a victim of human trafficking if are not ignorant and isolated. Yes, food and basic healthcare, but why stop there.
Young people today live in a world integrated by faster movements across borders—movements of goods, capital, information, technology, ideas, and people. This chapter focuses on the two international movements in which youth play the most major roles: international migration and the spread of information and ideas through information and communication technologies (ICTs). Youth involvement in these two global movements can enhance growth and alleviate poverty. It can also broaden their opportunities, enhance their capabilities, and give them second chances when things go wrong in their many transitions.
Young people’s opportunities widen when they can migrate to work abroad or use today’s technologies to acquire new skills and get better jobs at home. More developing-country students are studying overseas and at home through online education programs. New interactive technologies are providing unprecedented amounts of information to youth, allowing them to become more informed decision makers and to communicate more with youth in other countries.
One problem is that young people in many developing countries have few legal options to migrate, leading to illegal migration and trafficking. A second is that the rapid expansion in mobile phone and ICT use has yet to reach many young workers. The challenge for policy is to extend the beneﬁts of migration and ICTs to more developing country youth—and to enhance their development impact while mitigating the new risks.
Receiving countries can do more for poverty reduction and development by providing more opportunities for less-skilled young migrants—through seasonal and temporary worker programs and by letting the youth who do migrate use and build their human capital. Sending countries can also do more to increase the development impact of youth migration. The beneﬁts from existing young migrants can be increased—by lowering the costs of sending remittances and facilitating return migration. They can also expand the opportunities for other youth to migrate by avoiding hefty passport costs and restrictive legal conditions on emigration—and setting up more agreements for labor migration. And they can mitigate trafﬁcking and illegality by providing more information on the risks of moving and living abroad and by implementing policies that foster more domestic opportunities for work.
A youth lens on ICTs suggests that governments need to pay more attention to particular types of regulations, in addition to their broad regulatory and competition policies. Communal access to new ICTs is more important for younger individuals than older, so regulations that allow easy entry for prepaid phone card operators, Internet cafés, and village phones can have large payoffs for youth. Policy makers should do more to use ICTs to communicate and interact with youth on government policy and to promote local language content. Policy makers also need to experiment with helping the ﬁrst generation of youth using these new technologies to do so in a responsible and safe way, mitigating the risks of child pornography, cyber bullying, and other such dangers.
temporary worker programs and by letting the youth who do migrate use and build their human capital. Sending countries can also do more to increase the development impact of youth migration. The benefits from existing young migrants can be increased—by lowering the costs of sending remittances and facilitating return migration. They can also expand the opportunities for other youth to migrate by avoiding hefty passport costs and restrictive legal conditions on emigration—and setting up more agreements for labor migration. And they can mitigate trafﬁcking and illegality by providing more information on the risks of moving and living abroad and by implementing policies that foster more domestic opportunities for work.
A youth lens on ICTs suggests that governments need to pay more attention to particular types of regulations, in addition to their broad regulatory and competition policies. Communal access to new ICTs is more important for younger individuals than older, so regulations that allow easy entry for prepaid phone card operators, Internet cafés, and village phones can have large payoffs for youth. Policy makers should do more to use ICTs to communicate and interact with youth on government policy and to promote local language content. Policy makers also need to experiment with helping the ﬁ rst generation of youth using these new technologies to do so in a responsible and safe way, mitigating the risks of child pornography, cyber bullying, and other such dangers.