Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

PCs for the poor: Ultimate solution or scam of the century?

Filed under
OLPC

At the 2005 World Economic Forum in Switzerland a soft-spoken academic made an announcement that sent seismic waves across the computer industry. Nicholas Negroponte, then director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, spoke of making laptops available at US$100 for schoolchildren in developing nations.

The price was not the only big news. Negroponte named companies that had agreed to collaborate on what would become the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

Notably, the list did not include Microsoft and Intel, the world's largest software and microchip manufacturers, respectively. Instead, the laptop would use a processor from Advanced Micro Devices and an operating system based on Linux, whose code is freely available for anyone to modify and distribute.

Full Story.

Complete Scam

We could provide all the worlds school children with a hammer for much less then $100/child but that won't end the worlds housing problems either.

Without the infrastructure to teach those kids how to use a computer (or a hammer) it's a complete waste of time and money. Plus the $100 price tag doesn't reflect the cost of the project overhead, which will be many many many times the $100/unit cost.

Finally, most of the target Countries are rife with corruption, with governments so unstable they can't even figure out what to call themselves this week, let alone who's really in charge. So it's highly unlikely that the figures in power (this week) will pass by the opportunity to exploit these types of programs to their own benefit, and the kids will once again be left literally in the dirt.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • Download Linux Voice issue 18
  • Windows desktop share falls below 90% [Ed: based on Microsoft-connected firm]
    The desktop share of Windows computers worldwide fell below 90 per cent for the first time since it established the mark, according to figures from the web analytics company Net Applications. While there were encouraging figures for Microsoft among the various Windows versions, the overall share fell to 89.23 per cent.
  • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.6 RC6, Dubbed "Charred Weasel"
    It's Sunday night, so Linus Torvalds has announced the release of a new RC build for the upcoming Linux 4.6 kernel series, which has been dubbed "Charred Weasel." According to Linus Torvalds, things continue to remain fairly calm in the development cycle of Linux kernel 4.6, which might very well get one more Release Candidate (RC), version RC7, next week, on May 8, 2016. Then, one week later, on May 15, we should be able to get our hands on the final release of Linux kernel 4.6, which will hit the stable repositories of various distributions most probably around June 2016.
  • Reaper Audio Software Is Coming To Linux
    If Audacity and Ardour aren't cutting it for your audio editing needs on Linux, there's another Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) option coming to Linux: Reaper. Reaper is a high-end audio production software suite developed by Cockos Software. Reaper has been supported under Windows and OS X for this software that's been around since 2005. With the current development version, native Linux support is coming.
  • Plasma Mobile : New base system
    Last Akademy, the Plasma team revealed the first prototype of the new Plasma Mobile. [...] Our initial Ubuntu Touch base was Ubuntu 15.04. Eventually, our image started to diverge from the Ubuntu Touch base. For example, we upgraded libhybris to upstream version because libhybris available in Ubuntu archive diverged too much from upstream to be useful in our context. We also had to upgrade to a newer Qt version, and we also needed to upgrade the base system to Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) because we did not have the resources for managing different branches for packaging the latest git KF5/Plasma for 15.04.
  • Converging Kubes
    Kube, our PIM-Client in the making, is supposed to run on a variety of platforms and form-factors. We aim to provide a consistent look and feel across them all. If you know how to use Kube on your desktop machine, you will know how to use it on your Android phone or tablet as well. So what we are going to do, is building a UI for the phone, allowing it to display multiple pages on the tablet and in the end serving it on the desktop as well. Good idea, right?
  • openSUSE announces first round of accepted proposals
    The first round of proposals for the openSUSE Conference have been accepted and people who submitted a call for papers should log-in to events.opensuse.org and check to see if their talk has been accepted as part of the first round of proposals. For proposals that have been accepted, users should confirm their proposal as soon as possible and also register for the conference if they had not done so already.
  • Prepare your Raspberry Pi for space with an Astro Pi flight case
    One year ago this month, I published my first article on Opensource.com. I talked about our Astro Pi program in Students compete for a chance to have their Raspberry Pi code run in space. We've come a long way in that last 12 months—in December, our two Astro Pi units were sent to the International Space Station aboard the Cygnus spacecraft on a resupply mission; closely followed by British ESA astronaut Tim Peake.

Red Hat News

Android Leftovers

6 colleges turning out open source talent

Most IT departments have project road maps that will require open-source skills, but finding recent college grads with open source talent can be challenging. Whether your company is planning an open-source-based big data implementation, installing an open-platform file manager, or adopting an open approach to customer relationship management, experts say traditional computer science departments might not be turning out students you need. Read more