Print 44 comment(s) - last by Zoomer.. on Jan 10 at 8:56 PM

Intel and OLPC permanently sever relationship, AMD donates large sum to OLPC

Intel's relationship with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has always been a stormy affair.  Originally, Intel was very enthusiastic about the OLPC project and its altruistic goals.  However, trouble began for the pair when Intel decided to develop the "Classmate PC", a similar cheap, low-power, small form factor device.  Then came Intel chairman Craig Barrett publicly insulting the OLPC's XO design by saying it's not a "grown-up PC" and criticizing the XO for its power crank. 

Still, many were optimistic when Intel and the OLPC foundation got back together and OLPC founder Nick Negroponte pledged that the pair would settle their differences .

Afterwards, Intel and OLPC seemed to be enjoying a healthy relationship. Just recently, an enthusiastic Intel reported that it would develop a chip to replace AMD's low-power Geode processor, which powers the current revision of the XO.

But alas, all things must come to an end.

While it worked to mend its relations with OLPC, Intel continued to work on its side project -- the Classmate PC. The OLPC foundation developed a jealousy for the "other laptop"

This jealousy boiled over, at last, with an emotional Negroponte allegedly telling Intel that it was OLPC or the Classmate PC.  Intel refused to back down and decided to dump XO in favor of its own Classmate PC. In a statement to the Associated Press, Intel's Chuck Malloy states "At the end of the day we decided we couldn't accommodate that request."

Ironically, the OLPC foundation was planning to display an Intel-power XO prototype in its booth at CES.

There are lots of losers in the scenario -- Intel, who would gain publicity and a major customer; OLPC, who will be forced to rely exclusively with AMD; and the consumers for which the project targets.

The OLPC foundation can find small comfort in a move reminiscent of the NBC and iTunes drama; AMD in OLPC's moment of abandonment has made a big show of faith in support of the company.  AMD employees pooled their money to donate funds that will be enough to provide hundreds of laptops to underprivileged children.

The only real winner in the situation is AMD, who now -- at the expense of everyone else -- is getting to have the leftover cake from Intel and OLPC's failed matrimony.

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Do laptops really increase awareness of education?
By MrX8503 on 1/8/2008 9:55:05 PM , Rating: 5
Providing OLPC's to the underprivileged is a very kind act in itself, but realistically does it improve education? Maybe we should look at other alternatives to improve education. I almost feel like all this effort into an OLPC is a waste of time.

By Roy2001 on 1/8/2008 10:55:51 PM , Rating: 3
Totally agree. Negroponte is a professor, not a businessman. OLPC is not like you make a bike and give it to poor kids so they don't need to walk to school. It is far more complex than that.

By theapparition on 1/9/2008 8:37:13 AM , Rating: 5
Negroponte is a opportunistic showman. Read up on him and you'll find numerous examples of his "humanitarian" projects.
He stands behind this "noble goal" of bringing education to the world's poor...........yet, only his design (aka company) can do it. All other's need not apply.

Tell me, if another company came out with a $50 machine, that was more useful, and this $50 PC enabled Negroponte's "vision" to become reality......but undercut his you really believe he would still support it? Of course not. He's in this for money, for show, and for most of all.......posterity.

Laptops are not the answer.
To learn, children need the following listed in most critical order.
1. Desire to learn
2. Dedicated teachers
3. Safe enviroment
146. Laptops

By UppityMatt on 1/9/2008 12:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, this program would be more worthwhile if it was called OTPC.. One Textbook Per Child. I dont remember needing a PC during my education (excluding college) unless i was in a specific computer class or Typing a paper... and well hell you can still write a paper. I would dare to say that even donating a portion of the sales to fund education would be more beneficial then this program.

By JAB on 1/9/2008 1:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
No child needs his own personal library or classroom to carry around. We did not have laptops when I was a child they dont need laptops or an education. Let them eat cake.

By ebakke on 1/9/2008 12:15:14 AM , Rating: 5
That's the spirit! Cheap and easy, instead of something that'll actually work.

By Spivonious on 1/9/2008 9:02:33 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that what all of those Christian charities I see on TV do?

By Chil on 1/9/2008 9:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
No, they're just trying to feed the kids and keep them alive.

By marvdmartian on 1/9/2008 10:06:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah! That way, in 20 years, they won't be any better off in their ability to take care of themselves (grow crops, produce manufactured goods, etc), and we'll hear the same commercials about saving the children.....only it'll be the kids of the kids we're saving today!!

Instead of throwing money away, year after year, feeding the starving people........why not show them how to grow their own crops, and take care of themselves?? Work on self reliance, instead of generation after generation of people that can't support their own kids, and need handouts from others.

Sadly, that could be said about third world countries..... and our very own country as well!!

By Ringold on 1/9/2008 11:58:22 AM , Rating: 4
why not show them how to grow their own crops, and take care of themselves?? Work on self reliance,

and our very own country as well!!

In other words, make supply-side Reagan-loving Republicans out of them?

Blasphemy! Continent-sized social welfare nets ftw!

On a more serious note, there is no glory for Negroponte or his ilk in building for building mundane things like a realistic school (not Oprah's extravagant example in waste) and locating and paying a teacher (or paying for one to go to school) and then placing them there, or paying local publishers to print text books. That's just not sexy, not hip, and requires too much hard work over prolonged periods of time -- during which not a single headline will ever be made. The US dollar has tremendous purchasing power in some of the worlds most undeveloped areas; using the dollar on expensive developed-world goods and then air-dropping them in to these places completely negates that advantage as well.

By ImSpartacus on 1/9/2008 3:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
I say everyone pull out of the area for 50 years. By then the entire current generation will be gone, and anyone left would have had to learn how to fend for themselves. Then teach them to survive. No handouts. They have every right to live as we do, and no more right to handouts than we do.

Better for half the population to die, than for all these organizations to barely keep them alive long enough to have more babies. So then it takes even more money to feed them!

And then after population is stabilized, education can begin to make strives. Thats when these laptops will do good.

Granted some countries are already to that point, so I think the OLPC can do some good, but it's far from perfect.

By Lifted on 1/9/2008 8:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
So what exactly gave you the idea that OLPC was meant for countries that, according to your description, are on the brink of annihilation?

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Wheerrre is myyyy mind?

For some reason every time OLPC is mentioned, everyone who knows knothing about the program comes out with "feed them, they need foooooood, not computers!"

By Zoomer on 1/10/2008 8:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Will you stand by your argument if that "area" was improvished neighbourhoods in America? Pull welfare, pull unemployment, fence these areas up, wait 10 years, then go in?

By defter on 1/9/2008 1:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
Of course is less expensive to send laptops. But I hope that you aren't thinking that laptops themselves are replacement for teachers or library??

I wonder why some people just refuse to accept that OLPC is just a toy for most users. Look at what kids are doing with computers in developed countries: how many of them write software or are doing something else "useful"? How many of them just use computer for fun, to chat with their friends, play games or watch youtube videos? Why would kids in poor countries behave in a different way?

By xti on 1/9/2008 2:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
so...let them?

By jajig on 1/9/2008 8:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
That's an important list of skills to have in an office!

By PAPutzback on 1/9/2008 9:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
Tru Dat

By Strunf on 1/9/2008 3:07:17 AM , Rating: 2
$100 is like 5 months pay for a teacher on those locations...well maybe not but sure is a lot of money there.

Let's imagine this you have a village with like 20 kids, that makes 20 OLPC or $2000, with that money you could pay a teacher for a long time.

By 16nm on 1/9/2008 1:43:25 PM , Rating: 1
FYI, schooless, rural villages are not the target of this project.

I think that $100/child would be better spent on books than laptops.

By jajig on 1/9/2008 1:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
When I was studying text books cost far more than $100. With this laptop kid's in theory have access to many books.

By TMV192 on 1/8/2008 10:50:34 PM , Rating: 5
guess he didn't know what the C stood for

By Masterrer on 1/9/2008 6:50:53 AM , Rating: 1
I don't get it...

What does C stand for?

By jajig on 1/9/2008 8:29:10 AM , Rating: 3
Child. A child is not a grown-up.

By KernD on 1/9/2008 8:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
OLPC stands for "One Laptop Per Child"

By Ringold on 1/9/2008 12:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
I can see the argument, to some extent.

What do we want when we're done with students? Children, with experience with childrens equipment, or adults with real experience?

blame asus
By gorobei on 1/8/2008 11:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
The relative early success of the eee probably convinced Intel that OLPC and AMD wouldn't run away with the ultra portable computing low end market(domestic at least).

The real question is if Intel is still going after the third world markets.

RE: blame asus
By Master Kenobi on 1/9/2008 12:03:18 AM , Rating: 2
Third world no, they are going to go after the underdeveloped. Places like South America, rural Asia, etc....

RE: blame asus
By pugster on 1/9/2008 10:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
Believe it or not, I have seen a couple of ultra portable pc's using AMD's geode processor in asia. Though they didn't sell very well, but they do exist. Probably in a few months from now, they will be replaced with low end intels.

As for the olpc project, Intel's classmate pc will have a hard time to catch up. Intel can make the hardware easy, but the olpc's secret is its software loaded into the pcs. Unless Intel will spend a couple of millions on the software part, it won't take off.

RE: blame asus
By sonoran on 1/9/2008 3:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
The real question is if Intel is still going after the third world markets.
Absolutely, and you can see it in the upcoming products - which could power not only Mobile Internet Devices, but also low cost laptops.

They are not like us, they need the laptops
By dragonbif on 1/9/2008 11:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
Don’t be foolish, a laptop is the best thing that most of those kids could ever get. They don’t have textbooks, libraries, picture books or in some cases a school hut to meet in.

The Philippians purchased 6000 of those laptops for their rural inland villages. I cant remember the name of this one village but the country put a small wireless station up there and for the first time the teacher could show them pictures of invertebrates other then bugs. Now the kids learn more then what they used to be able to and they can study at home. Remember they do not have textbooks and the like where they are at and well never have a library, that costs way to much.
Most of these places have what they need to survive they only thing they lack is an education outside of what they try and understand from a teacher who can only try and explain it without the use of most visual aids.
Don’t say stupid things like;
“Yeah! That way, in 20 years, they won't be any better off in their ability to take care of themselves (grow crops, produce manufactured goods, etc), and we'll hear the same commercials about saving the children.....only it'll be the kids of the kids we're saving today!!

Instead of throwing money away, year after year, feeding the starving people........why not show them how to grow their own crops, and take care of themselves?? Work on self reliance, instead of generation after generation of people that can't support their own kids, and need handouts from others.”
What is the one thing that you need to “grow crops”??? Anyone? LAND AND WATER! If you do not have land you cant grow anything. The vast majority of these place are war torn counties and the people cant own the land or work it and the places that they can buy the land can not pay for it. Besides places like that the kids most likely will not get a laptop or even have a teacher.
They do not live in places like the US, UK, Canada or even China (witch is better off in some ways) and do not have the same human rights as we do. The UN is a good for nothing in places like this. So don’t think of it as if they are even remotely like us. They might not even know what a computer is.

RE: They are not like us, they need the laptops
By Ringold on 1/9/2008 12:17:07 PM , Rating: 4
You bring up the fundamental problem of development economics: breaking the vicious cycle of poverty in places with a large endowment of human bodies and a low endowment of resources.

Education and infrastructure investment (electricity first; the World Bank has discovered water and roads tend to naturally follow) are key. Unfortunately, the precedent isn't very good, as the Asian Tiger nations managed to make armies of engineers without nary a laptop in sight. There's been little in the way of data that I've been made aware of that shows the effectiveness of spending the money and resources this way rather then other programs. Not just the Asian Tigers, but every developed nation thus far in history, and almost every generation within them, have managed to get along without a laptop.

At least we do agree on the failure of the UN to do much thus far.

By dragonbif on 1/9/2008 1:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
There is not really any data on if a laptop (lets call it a MDT, mobile data terminal instead) would have any impact. It seems to me that this sort of technology is rather new and possible for such use. It is going to be interesting to see how it affects this new generation of kids that are part of the program 20-30 years from now. With these new MDT’s out there they can learn about electricity, water filters and roads not that it helps without money to implement them.
sigh....come on UN don’t be a sandbag be useful.

Power crank
By Azsen on 1/8/2008 9:53:32 PM , Rating: 3
I'd love a power crank on my laptop, would save me so much money and give me a workout at the same time. Better yet, hook it up to an exercise bike.

RE: Power crank
By inighthawki on 1/8/2008 10:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
lol, i can second that idea. They need to have laptop docking stations on the exercise bikes themselves so you can work while pedaling.

By Creig on 1/8/2008 10:52:35 PM , Rating: 2

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

reminds me of...
By thartist on 1/9/2008 1:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
"who wants to marry a millionaire", but this time when the Intel bride was told that there were no millions and the couple would be a flop, there you have her running...

I did the buy one get one.
By Schmide on 1/9/2008 3:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
I have yet to receive it but, I'm totally on board.

A books, teachers, and schools have great value in the 3rd world, but this is just another tool in the box. It should be used as an addition to education, not a replacement.

It's as much about the software as it is about the hardware. The open sauce has a cool "view code" feature on many apps thus teaching codding on the fly. I believe you can actually change the code on the fly. I plan to write at least one application for it.

<kidding>Who cares about the education value? I picture a buncho 3rd world kids fragging at doom and NES games</kidding>

By jabber on 1/9/2008 5:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
...helping to train the next generation of 419 scammers!

By Saist on 1/10/2008 5:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
Originally, Intel was very enthusiastic about the OLPC project and its altruistic goals.

This statement is factually incorrect. Intel was never enthusiastic about the OLPC project. When Intel was originally approached during the design stage Intel said it couldn't be done. The original contract went to AMD. During the first calendar year of development there are several published records of Intel rubbishing the device and it's aspirations. Intel has several public records stating that the device was doomed to failure from the start, and has consistently derided the OLPC at every opportunity given.

Intel only became interested in the device when it was clear that OLPC was within shooting range of the design goals, and when it became clear that AMD was going to reap in major benefits from being attached to the project from a public relations viewpoint, and potential profits from being the only processor supplier.

Sorry AT/DT. You are not re-writing history on this. I've stated before that I believe that you are being actively funded by Intel. Trying to re-write history to be positive to Intel only adds evidence to this claim.

By TALENT on 1/10/2008 4:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
OLPC is such a folish waste of money and resources. I hope the program crumbles and fades away as a result.

Dumped at the Alter? Two words:
By frobizzle on 1/9/2008 8:16:48 AM , Rating: 1
Who cares?

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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