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Comment Re:reasons this may not catch on in the US (Score 1) 533

I do the same thing - ride 365, but I do it in a heavily modified 350watt ebike (32km/h before I start to use my pedals). Back when I was a young cyclist I was one of the idiots that everyone complains about, but now that I'm old I've learned to follow the rules. The odd thing is, I actually outpace most cars in crosstown traffic even with following the rules (full stops, signaled turns, giving right of way to cyclists, watching out for pedestrians). I act like a bike in the bike lane, and like a motorcycle when I'm not, giving way and signaling well in advance as I change between the two 'modes'. I average a continuous 30Km/h in stop and go city traffic, rarely having to stop because I watch the road ahead and time the lights, turning drivers, and streetcar stops. I'll admit, I've modded my bike to intimidate drivers - its about 6 feet long and the handlebars top out about 5 feet off the ground and looks like the bastard child of a Harley Chopper, a downhill racer and a bmx having a orgy in the Thunderdome. I've also chosen my riding gear to look intimidating - knee length black leather duster and a four foot length of 0 gauge chain looped over my shoulders combined with my steampunk helmet, goggles, and mask tends to give me a good 3 meters of 'personal space'

Comment Re:Laptops in schools can be a big headache (Score 1) 279

The XO is entirely flash based, runs linux, and weighs less then 3 pounds, is water resistant, impact hardened, and can be re-flashed back to basic operating system in 15 minutes by putting a USB stick with the OS installer into a USB port, holding down the gamepad buttons and turning on the power. Trust me, the MIT Media lab did a really good job designing these things for use by children in third world countries.

Comment Re:View of a SC Public School IT (Score 2, Informative) 279

I'm an XO owner... " needs to have the power capabilities to also handle 20-30 laptops as well." -- XOs are specifically designed to use minimal power - you can run 20 XOs at less than the energy requirements for a TV, and they can be charged up in rotation while students do other things, then used 'cord-free'. "How about network connectivity?" --Xos have built in wifi mesh networking, and any installation of an XO cluster includes a local server that administers the wifi logins, long term data storage, web filtering, the chat and project collaboration system, the email system. "How about all of the volume licensing agreements?" --The XOs run Linux, with the Sugar GUI - it is 100% open source, free, and being maintained and updated continuously. As the students learn they can also install other flavors of Linux/Unix. "anti-virus clients, patch management systems, etc. are all done by volume. Who is going to pay for the additional licenses for these systems?" -- All handled gratis by the Linux community - you can upgrade the XO automatically from the desktop, use the YUM repository for applications, and the OLPC and Sugar foundations are constantly adding new and imporved apps and functionality. And Linux does not need antivirus (at least not in my experience). "Maintenance? Is the grant going to give us enough spare laptops to cover for children while they're laptops are down for repair, students who forget laptops, etc? What about the increased workload of an already-thing IT department covering the additional laptops that will, in all likelihood, break more often?" -- The XO clusters in third world countries have 8 year old girls repairing, maintaining, and upgrading XOs. The OLPC project was _really_well_thought_out_ before they went into production. The figured from the start that the entire system from end to end needed to be such that the children could handle the majority of the administration themselves. "And as for the Linux? I'm a FOSS advocate, run nix at home, etc. But you have to realize that *most* school/district IT departments are staffed by folks who were the most technologically proficient users at the time the equipment was installed, e.g. the librarian who knew how to install MS Office got promoted to be the head of the district IT department. Sorry, but supporting (or even running) Linux for a lot of these folks is over their heads." -- The Sugar GUI will handle that, most kids will be quite happy to stay in the Sugar environment, and the activities and apps available there will provide all the functionality they need; and the nerdcore kids that want to go deeper have the option to - the XO drops with everything required for a kid to go from computer illiterate to writing HTML, PHP, Pearl, and Javascript. The kids will teach themselves. "Is all of this worth it to give young students laptops? Will this really foster that much additional learning?" -- In schools as bad as these sound like, if even 10% of the kids that get XOs use them to their full potential it will be worth it. "Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that someone is trying to promote the technology. Unfortunately there are a lot more pressing matters to take care of in SC schools and a lot of issues to tackle before this could be successfully implemented." -- The XOs will last the kids for years, and once integrated into the 'school life' they will replace a lot of paper, pens, textbooks, etc.

Comment Talk to Nicolas Negoponte @ OLPC (Score 1) 236

I have a first gen G1G1 XO - $200 when I got it a year and a half ago (specs here I've sat in a bus shelter in Toronto in February when it was sleeting and -30 watching movies, playing nethack, or surfing the web through an available hot spot; I've also sat on a Toronto bar patio with no shade in 35 degree heat while using it as a dice roller/source book viewer/wiki checker for a marathon GURPS game while getting plastered (spilled the pitcher on it twice). The XO really stands up to punishment, has phenomenal power management and resource allocation. If you can get your hands on a couple of them, gang them together into a wireless cluster that scales usage by turning on additional XOs as resources are needed you're set. Because they have no moving parts they can get moved around easy, the batteries in them last forever - you just need to have big SD cards or external USB drives for data storage. They are designed for wirless mesh networking/collaboration , so making a distributed cluster server should be a viable option.

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