"It was unthinkable for most of these children to own a computer. A girl told me that his father said that he would buy her a computer when chicken grew teeth", said Cabrera.
It became a part of daily life, as evidenced by these messages he received:
"I'm not letting Nicolás get his XO because he ignores me and doesn't respect me."
"Nelson is late because he forgot his XO in the drawer"
For the teacher, the arrival of the OLPC project (locally called Plan Ceibal) "is something very positive, one of the most important things done in the last years", because of the acquired knowledge and because of the fact that "any child, no matter his economic status, has access to the same tool".
The laptop itself was received by a 6-year old child of School N 157 from Villa García. The first grade children received the laptops one by one, but were unable to open them before the teachers showed them the mechanism. Fourth graders, on the other hand, were already making plans: "we will study, listen to music and play with the computers".
Acer500 writes: BBC reports that a nasal spray based on the "love hormone" oxytocin, which increases trust for strangers, is showing promise as a treatment for social phobia according to scientists from Zurich University.
They found that people who inhaled the "love hormone" oxytocin continued to trust strangers with their money — even after they were betrayed. Brain scans showed the hormone lowered activity in the amygdala — a region which is overactive in social phobics.
These findings were initially reported to Nature, according to an earlier article titled "Scientists create 'trust potion' "
Acer500 writes: "The One Laptop Per Child project became a reality yesterday in Uruguay, as the 160 children of the school number 24 "Italy" in the humble town of Cardal received their XO computers from the hands of president Tabaré Vazquez, as most newspapers in the country headlined yesterday (in Spanish)
In what has become a matter of national pride in being the first country to realize the project's goal, the target is that by 2009, every school-age child in Uruguay will have one, and an initial 15 million dollars have already been allocated to the project.
From the newspaper articles "The happines of having a PC in their hands, some of them for the first time, had the kids in ecstasy, which didn't wait to turn on their computers, introduce their personal information (required the first time they're turned on), choose the screen colors, and start experimenting with them. What initially made them more enthusiastic was the possibility of taking photographs and filming each others with the included webcams"
According to the unofficial blog of the Uruguayan project, named "proyecto Ceibal", , the infrastructure for wireless is not yet in place but will be provided in the next few days by the national telco ANTEL. No photos of the event have been posted online, but you can see an institutional video on Youtube here
One interesting point is that it has not yet been decided that the XO will be the laptop of choice for the entire project. Two other companies want to be considered: Intel, with their Classmate PC , and israeli-manufactured ITP-C. In a press conference, Intel manager for the southern cone Esteban Galluzzi went as far as to compare the XO to a Pentium II, and stressed that the Classmate is able to run Windows XP. http://tic.item.org.uy/?q=node/1013
As advisor and local guru Juan Grompone stated, "who will ultimately benefit from this is education". This will be an interesting test to see if the OLPC project meets its intended goals of "learning learning". Let's hope this project is the means that will foster among some of the children the desire to learn and to tinker; I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the first feedback from this."
Acer500 writes: "New Medium Enterprises in U.K. has announced that they have successfully developed a Versatile MultiLayer Disc (VMD) which is capable of holding anywhere between 20GB up to 100GB of data stored across 10 layers and read via conventional red laser technology.
Originally, it appears, the format was developed by two companies called MultiDisc and TriGm.
The big surprise is that the first players will be launched in January already and cost a pittance compared to rival formats HD-DVD and Blu-Ray at less than $180 (£95). On top of that, the VMD discs have a significantly larger storage capacity, according to the company's website: starting with a minimum storage capacity of 20GB today.
"Looking ahead to 2007, if and when the blue laser becomes more reliable, for greater capacities such as VIDEO ON DEMAND (100-200GB), Blue laser Multi layer Discs using VMD technology can be developed along traditional lines. VMD has the capability to enhance Blue Laser through its Multi Layering technology, increasing capacity of its currently proposed 50GB maximal possible capacity to 100GB and 200GB." (from the company's website)
At CeBIT in March 2006, NME demonstrated a prototype VMD player and announced that they were expecting to launch the format in the third quarter of 2006. Rather than competing head-to-head with the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats, they intend to market their format in China and India initially with a possible expansion into Eastern Europe, Russia and South America coming later. With this in mind, they have signed a deal with Bollywood production company Eros Group who intend to release 50 Bollywood features on the format before the end of 2006 (information from Wikipedia).
Acer500 writes: "I am looking for ideas for an university project, and I've noticed that some small companies or development teams use several different tools for each part of the project management life cycle (requirements, project schedule & time tracking, bugs/issues, etc), often by different vendors, using different kinds of databases and interfaces (for example, Project & Bugzilla).
I want to know if this is prevalent or just a few isolated cases, and if there is a need for an integration/middleware system, so I'm asking for your help in determining this:
Does your small company or software development team use more than one tool for the project management life cycle?
Do you find that you have to look at information from those several different programs to get information about the project's status?
Is information entered twice into your systems (for example, hours worked on a bug fix in both the bug program and the project schedule)?
Do you think this problem has been solved (for example by the integrated approach of Microsoft Team System)? Or are there companies that would need or desire this approach?
Would having the information in a central location be useful for a project manager? Or would it be better if the middleware interacted with each program, updating them each time information is entered in one of them, keeping them synchronized (say, a bug is entered, and the project schedule tool is updated to reflect this)?