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The XO-3 tablet concept promises a different vision of computing  (Source: OLPC)
Even poor kids need faster computing

Over the last five years, the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project has sought to develop and distribute a low-cost and rugged computer to children around the world in a bid to raise global standards of living. The non-profit organization successfully developed the XO-1, and has distributed over 1.4 million of the netbooks for less than $200 each.

“The first version of OLPC’s child-centric laptop, the XO, is a revolution in low-cost, low-power computing. The XO has been distributed to more than 1.4 million children in 35 countries and in 25 languages,” said Nicholas Negroponte, the founder and Chairman of One Laptop per Child.

Mass production of the XO-1 first started in November 2007. Computer technology has made significant advances over the last two years, and the XO-1 is getting long in the tooth. The XO-1 features an AMD Geode CPU running at 433MHz, 256MB of DDR DRAM, and 1GB of SLC NAND flash memory for storage. A 7.5-inch screen with a 1200x900 resolution is used. Wireless networking is enabled by a chip from Marvell, while a built-in camera, microphone, and speakers add functionality. A variety of battery choices are available. The XO-1 only uses 2W to run.

The OLPC project will introduce a new XO-1.5 in January 2010 using the same basic design. However, it will drop AMD in favor of a VIA C7-M Ultra Low Voltage CPU which will double operating speed. DRAM will be increased to 1GB, while 4GB of flash memory will be the standard, with an option for 8GB. It will be capable of running Windows and Linux, and is targeted for a $200 price.

Two other designs have been added to the OLPC roadmap. The XO-1.75 is currently targeted for the $150 mark and an early 2011 launch. The design will be updated, with rubber-bumpers on the outside for added shock protection. A new 8.9-inch touch-sensitive display will be used. The project is working with Marvell on integrating a new ARM processor that will double speeds while cutting power consumption by 75%. This ARM-based system will complement the x86-based XO-1.5, which will continue to remain in production to give deployments a choice of processor platform.

The XO-3.0 is being developed for 2012 at a target price of less than $100. It will feature a new tablet design using a single sheet of flexible plastic, and will supposedly be unbreakable. The XO 3.0 will leapfrog the XO-2.0, a concept approach that the OLPC project decide not to pursue.

“To fulfill our mission of reaching 500 million children in all remote corners of the planet, OLPC will continue to innovate in design and performance. Because we are a non-profit, we hope that industry will copy us,” Negroponte added.

The XO-1 helped to establish that low-cost netbooks could be functional and affordable, and helped push Intel into developing the Atom. Former OLPC CTO Mary Lou Jepsen left the project to form Pixel Qi, a fabless firm which designs and and markets energy-saving screens that are readable in daylight. There is no word yet on which OLPC netbooks will use the technology, but Pixel Qi just entered mass production of its first 10.1 screens for use with new Pine Trail netbooks, and its future screens  are rumored to be used in Apple's tablet computer.

Walter Bender's Sugar interface has also been spun off. Originally designed for the OLPC project,  it is now being developed by Sugar Labs and is available for free under a GNU General Public License.

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Why not everyone?
By chmilz on 12/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why not everyone?
By amanojaku on 12/23/2009 2:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
“To fulfill our mission of reaching 500 million children in all remote corners of the planet, OLPC will continue to innovate in design and performance. Because we are a non-profit , we hope that industry will copy us,”
There's your answer. A non-profit usually doesn't have enough money to reach its intended goals. In this case, that goal is to supply children in DEVELOPING nations with affordable education devices.

Are you proposing that US SCHOOLS pay to switch to this? In which case you'll find it's your taxes that will pay for the switch over. There are places in the US attempting this now, with mixed results.

RE: Why not everyone?
By Targon on 12/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why not everyone?
By UncleRufus on 12/24/2009 9:29:47 AM , Rating: 5 you live in an alternate universe where teachers aren't overworked, underpaid, pay for their own teaching supplies, work 60+ hours a week, and spend more time with your atrocious kids than you do?

RE: Why not everyone?
By fox12789 on 12/30/2009 9:33:39 AM , Rating: 1
sneaker: airmax 90, 95 etc $35-42 free shiping.
boots: UGG etc $60 free shiping.
Jeans : polo etc $35-49 free shipping
T-shirts : A&f etc $12-18 free shipping.
hoodies: 5ive etc $28-40 free shipping
handbags: Ed hardy etc $35-68 free shipping
Sunglasses: LV etc $17 free shipping
Belts: BOSS etc $15 free shipping
Caps: red bull etc $12-15 free shipping
Watches:rolex etc $80 free shipping

RE: Why not everyone?
By thehappyguy on 12/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why not everyone?
By richwenzel on 12/24/2009 10:47:16 AM , Rating: 5
Teachers' pay is much better on average than 28,000

Median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in May 2008; the lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280; the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970.

Thats from (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

This also ignores the fact that they have incredible job security, one of the most powerful unions, and excellent benefits.

RE: Why not everyone?
By elgueroloco on 12/24/2009 6:13:35 PM , Rating: 3
I have a hard time feeling sorry for teachers who spend all their time correcting homework. If they didn't assign so much, they wouldn't have to spend so much time correcting it.

When I was going through school, most of the homework assigned was merely busy-work and didn't contribute at all to the education of the students. Also, many teachers use HW as a crutch to avoid actually having to teach their students anything.

When my dad was in school they had no more than an hour of homework each night. In order to get A's, kids had to spend 6-8 hours every night just to get all their homework and studying done.

There is a big problem with this. A standard school day is 7 academic hours of class time. A student taking a regular full-time course load should spend 40 to 45 hours per week on academics (including both class and study/HW time). That would be 12-15 credits at college. 45 hours per week is 9 hours, 5 days per week. With 7 spent in class, that leaves a maximum of 2 for HW. Maximum. IMO, children should not be working more than 45 hours per week under any circumstances, and really shouldn't have to work any more than 40. I believe 1 hour should be the maximum total homework a kid should have in a night unless they voluntarily take on extra course load, with parental consent. For kids, HW needs to be just a brief exercise at the end of class to give the kids an opportunity to practice what they just learned. It also gives the teacher a clue as to who needs help before the test comes up and what they need help on. I believe this is what HW was in the past, but now it has become the end rather than the means.

My personal experience has been that this trend of excessive HW has a horribly detrimental effect on both education and quality of life for Americans.

RE: Why not everyone?
By Jedi2155 on 12/25/2009 4:03:32 AM , Rating: 2
I hate homework with a passion. Especially essays and reports in courses where the professor does nothing except ask questions and repeats what the other students says adding very little of his own opinion/points across. Thank goodness I've just finished my engineering more of that liberal arts BS.

RE: Why not everyone?
By jdietz on 12/27/2009 12:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
Do teachers have a class every period? My impression was they didn't.

RE: Why not everyone?
By MrBlastman on 12/28/2009 11:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding me? My wife works her butt off every day teaching Kindergarten. Not only does she come home tired, exhausted and ready to go to bed, but she has to spend hours every evening outside of work to plan and prepare for her lessons.

Give me a break. A lot of teachers bust their tails and have to put up with snot-nosed brats whose parents don't give a darn about raising them properly and expect the teachers to do all their work for them... while the schools give the Teachers ZERO recourse to fight back and discipline these brats because the parents are so quick to sue for little things they don't like.

Before you trash teachers, spend some time in their shoes. It really would open your eyes.

RE: Why not everyone?
By Drag0nFire on 12/23/2009 2:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you want one for your kid, buy one. The point is the dirt farmer can't afford it for his kids, whereas you can.

RE: Why not everyone?
By Homerboy on 12/24/2009 12:37:25 AM , Rating: 5
No I can't afford it. Nor can 8%+ of America that is unemployed.

RE: Why not everyone?
By StevoLincolnite on 12/24/2009 3:39:50 AM , Rating: 2
Even some people who ARE employed would still be un-able to afford it, simply because of debt or low wages, and general living expenses, I think that number of 8% might be higher than we might actually expect.

RE: Why not everyone?
By inperfectdarkness on 12/24/2009 7:50:44 AM , Rating: 1
yet another program to give aid to 3rd world countries while our own country is in massive debt?


RE: Why not everyone?
By lagitup on 12/24/2009 12:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Shut up.

This isn't costing you your tax dollars, your republic congressmen aren't being bought off. Go whine somewhere else.

RE: Why not everyone?
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/24/2009 1:06:28 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Why not everyone?
By albus on 12/24/2009 6:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
It is cheaper than the computer you are typing this on.

If you purchased this computer, you can surely afford the OLPC.

RE: Why not everyone?
By chick0n on 12/24/2009 11:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
what if Im typing this in a public library ?

I can't afford one. Where is my OLPC?

RE: Why not everyone?
By albus on 12/24/2009 12:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
You can afford to live in a first world country. You directly/indirectly pay for all your amenities. The infrastructure, roadways, utilities are funded by you. Yes, that includes the internet access in public libraries.

Public libraries are a rarity in poor countries. There is no "free" internet access. Internet cafes can be found in cities. But the rates are too high for the poor student who can barely afford to buy textbooks. In villages, you would be lucky to find anyone with a computer.

For them, it is a choice between sending their children to school or sending them off to earn bread for the family. Governments encourage the people by providing free meals, textbooks & uniforms.

RE: Why not everyone?
By lagitup on 12/24/2009 12:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
Where are my fries with that?

RE: Why not everyone?
By jdietz on 12/27/2009 12:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot afford internet access if you cannot afford OLPC.
Have fun at McDonalds.

RE: Why not everyone?
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/24/2009 1:06:08 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Why not everyone?
By elgueroloco on 12/24/2009 5:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think the point he was making is that adopting these devices with e-books would cost schools significantly less than using paper textbooks and also have way less environmental impact, and that schools should therefore adopt them. This would save the tax payers money and improve quality of education for kids.

I happen to agree. I think it's a good idea. The only big hitch would be in getting the crooked publishers of textbooks to agree to sell mass e-book licenses for an actually reasonable price, and also not to make new editions every year that mostly just re-word or re-order what's already in the book but then charge you for a whole new book (though I think that is much more of a problem in college than in K-12).

RE: Why not everyone?
By fox12789 on 12/30/2009 9:32:03 AM , Rating: 2
sneaker: airmax 90, 95 etc $35-42 free shiping.
boots: UGG etc $60 free shiping.
Jeans : polo etc $35-49 free shipping
T-shirts : A&f etc $12-18 free shipping.
hoodies: 5ive etc $28-40 free shipping
handbags: Ed hardy etc $35-68 free shipping
Sunglasses: LV etc $17 free shipping
Belts: BOSS etc $15 free shipping
Caps: red bull etc $12-15 free shipping
Watches:rolex etc $80 free shipping

Ah! XO 2.0 dropped?
By Belard on 12/24/2009 2:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
But was a cool design too.

Two touch screens... one for keyboard, the other for the screen. And if you hold it like a book, the format changes to a book. Open it flat - and two kids can share it.

But thinking about it... its understandable. The added complexity ads costs and hardware failure possibilities. If/when the hinge wears out - it won't work like a "notebook" anymore... a very real point of failure.

Having a single tablet... it can work a lot better.

RE: Ah! XO 2.0 dropped?
By Mitch101 on 12/24/2009 9:14:34 AM , Rating: 2
Reading this makes me wonder why e-book readers cost so much.

RE: Ah! XO 2.0 dropped?
By UncleRufus on 12/24/2009 10:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
Because they can. They will milk all the money they can out of the early adopters. In 2 years you will buy them in walmart for $19.99 and they will display whatever format you want them to.

Honestly though I don't see how e-book readers can really take off. I've already read dozens of books on my smartphone. That screen only needs to get a little bigger (and the battery life a little longer) for me to never wish for an e-book reader. AND that's one less device I have to carry. My phone already took the place of my mp3 player and it's starting to take the place of my laptop.

RE: Ah! XO 2.0 dropped?
By Solandri on 12/24/2009 5:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
e-book readers almost all use e-Ink screens for long battery life. Those are relatively new and have a massive amount of R&D costs to recoup before they can be sold for pretty much manufacturing cost.

The OLPC tablet looks like it's going to use a regular LCD. Once upon a time those were incredibly expensive (I paid $850 for a second-hand 17" LCD back around 2000, which looking at today has really crappy contrast, refresh rate, and viewing angles). But they've long since recouped their original R&D costs and the manufacturers are now busy doing everything they can to cut manufacturing costs.

RE: Ah! XO 2.0 dropped?
By jdietz on 12/27/2009 12:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
They are lying about the price. Or if you're feeling charitable, "Making forward-looking statements." That is a 7" touch screen. How much does a 7" touch screen cost today? Answer: About $100. They are talking about developing some new display technology which may or may not pan out the way they want.

You can't really roll your own eBook reader (like you can a PC), can you? E-Readers need that E-Ink display which is pretty expensive.

By chagrinnin on 12/24/2009 1:14:03 AM , Rating: 1
...when the kids turn these in for food, many days rations do they get,...on average?
And what's the resale value on these laptops?

Hate to say it but I'm sure someone's already looked into it.

RE: So...
By brundall on 12/24/2009 1:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
“To fulfill our mission of reaching 500 million children in all remote corners of the planet, OLPC will continue to innovate in design and performance. Because we are a non-profit , we hope that industry will copy us,”

How are these children in the remotest corners of the planet going to find a plug to charge this cheap laptop??
'Sorry Juan but you can only use your new laptop for 3 hours every third month'

RE: So...
By Fritzr on 12/24/2009 11:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
You might want to read some of the tech specs for OLPC designs before commenting. They are designed with hand crank generators and solar panels in mind. Wall sockets are nice, but not necessary for a properly designed low power PC.

RE: So...
By brundall on 12/26/2009 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I can read - unlike the 75% of the worlds children who will be getting this laptop.

I am sorry but I did not realise that Juans family - although unable to afford food, water or clothing - will be installing a new solar panel array on the roof of their mud hut.

I also see no mention of a hand crank generator in the specs.

Don't sell your tools!
By bravenewworld on 12/24/2009 4:15:02 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the success of each child using one of these OLPCs depends on how the child and family view it.

If viewed as tool for learning skills that can lead to a job, and food for the family, they could have tremendous success.

If viewed as a toy to while away their time with. perhaps the parents will tell them to stop playing with the PC and get to work so we can eat.

I can also envision some families trying to sell the PC, legally, or on the blackmarket, if their gov. prohibits sale. This way they can turn a profit to spend the money on things that more directly help them get out of poverty. (seeds, farming equipment, other tools)

The unfortunate thing is that some of these PC's may be used to help give rise to more third world scammers similar to the Nigerians.

The bigger concern for other 2nd and 1st world nations is that there will shortly be an even larger base of potential 'Tech savvy' young people, ready to staff the jobs the jobs those other countries thought they had a vise grip hold on.

One example:
One Spanish speaking Tech support employee in the US, could possibly be replaced by lets say 5-7 Peruvian Techs, at near the same cost. (Made up costs, based on exchange rates)
If the US based client speaks Spanish, or the client is in say Mexico, or Chile, they will not have the same problems we currently have communicating with our outsourced foreign Tech support.
Although the example Spanish speakers I listed have some differently used words, they can understand each other much better than the average American that calls an Indian Tech support call center.

RE: Don't sell your tools!
By jdietz on 12/27/2009 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
You can't save the world with a computer.
For example, to "feed the family" in a western sense takes expensive farm equipment and fertilizer as well as a computer. You need arable land too, which is in short supply in Africa. Just a computer won't help.

Rocket fuel for OLPC laptops
By crystal clear on 12/24/2009 10:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
Adding rocket fuel to these OLPC machines doesnt help the cause for which this project was initally designed/targeted for.

OLPC cannot deliver at price points it uses to publicize their projects,ultimately ends up at cost twice the original price announced.

OLPC's founder Nicholas Negroponte said in 2005 the nonprofit would release the world's first US$100 laptop. However, the project was derailed by production problems and waning orders that delayed shipments and doubled the laptop's price. By that time, competitors like Asus jumped into OLPC's turf with low-cost laptops and netbooks.

Message to OLPC -

Put sense & simplicity into technology !

Faster is not necessarily better !

Message to Dailytech readers -

Happy Christmas & A Happy New Year !

Negroponte's dream
By killerclick on 12/27/2009 6:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Developing countries don't need computers, they need political and socioeconomic stability, massive infrastructure development and education investment. As admirable as Negroponte's motives are, I don't think these problems can be solved from the bottom up.

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