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Negroponte Responds to $100 Laptop Criticisms 586

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheap-machines dept.
teefaf writes "Wired News is running an article on the most recent developments surrounding Nicholas Negroponte's (of MIT) $100 laptop project. The project aims to make 'cheap' computers available to children in developing countries. In the article, Negroponte responds to the inevitable criticism from Intel and Microsoft, "When you have both Intel and Microsoft on your case, you know you're doing something right", and elaborates on his vision for the future of the project, "He also said the display and other specifications could change as enhancements are made. In other words, he seemed to be saying to his critics: Don't get too hung up on how this thing operates now, 'The hundred-dollar laptop is an education project,' he said. 'It's not a laptop project.'". The article also states that the initial production cost of the laptops is expected to be $135; the $100 price-point probably won't be hit until 2008. It's possible that the cost could drop as low as $50 by 2010."
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Negroponte Responds to $100 Laptop Criticisms

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  • by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:19PM (#15063163)
    It's doubtful Microsoft would have been taken up on the offer. Apple offered OS X [wsj.com], but the project organizers wanted something that was totally open source. I'm a big OS X fan, but I think that choice made sense, for this application.
  • Re:god (Score:5, Informative)

    by westlake (615356) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:56PM (#15063357)
    How do you fight AIDS in Africa, with a sub-machine gun?

    The Freeplay Foundation uses radio, all-but-indestructible clockwork and solar powered multiband portables that can be manufactured anywhere.

    The MITS laptop is dependent on the giant asian OEMS. Exchange rates, production and shipping costs. It wouldn't take much to push the project over the edge.

    The infrastructure for radio is in place and we have seventy-five years of experience in educational broadcasting on which to build. Shortwave means that news filters in from outside.

    The networking of the MITS laptop seems limited and fragile. You are essentially limited to whatever information the local powers-that-be are willing and able to provide.

  • I don't know. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:08AM (#15064277)
    A laptop is all well and good. However, do we really have the software infrastucture to educate the people using this thing? ESPECIALLY in languages other than english? At the momement I'd have to go with no.

    I think what the world needs more than anything at the moment, is a device to connect everyone. Read Steven Baxters "Manifold Time". I much prefer his conception of the global device than the idea of a laptop.

    And TBH, that device could be made for under 100 bones. Add in the idea of a kiosk operator and you'd have a winning combination!
  • Re:god (Score:2, Informative)

    by Omaze (952134) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:56AM (#15064738) Journal
    When you're giving away that $28 billion to organizations which you, or your business compadres, already control it makes perfect sense.

    See, for example this guy [nytimes.com].

    There is always an ulterior motive and, in today's US, multimillion dollar charity is just a PR front for the pyramid scheme.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:47AM (#15064882)
    Well, all those who did any work with computers in 1990s does remember that the $4,999 models (say 486 DX2/66 or so) were wonderfully powerful and solved a lot of tasks...

    It took me about two years of lobbying before I got one to upgrade from the 286. Wordstar, Lotus 123, dBase IV, Ventura 3, and Coreldraw 2 for Windows all ran at blinding speed. I still use some of that stuff.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant

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