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OLPC founder, Negroponte, has a few words for Intel on low-cost laptops

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative, accused chip maker Intel of undermining the OLPC by selling its own cut-price laptop, the Classmate.  Negroponte claims that Intel is trying to drive him out of the market.

According to BBC, Negroponte said that Intel hurt his mission in trying to distribute laptops to kids in developing countries "enormously".  Intel's chairman, Craig Barrett, has denied all claims of undercutting Negroponte's mission, stating, "We're not trying to drive [him] out of business. We're trying to bring capability to young people."

Though the hardware specifications differ between Intel’s low-cost laptops and Negroponte's, OLPC founder believes that the main problem is that his machines use AMD processors, Intel's main competitor. "Intel and AMD fight viciously," he told CBS. "We're just sort of caught in the middle."

Professor Negroponte also claimed that Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments entailing negative aspects of the One Laptop Per Child and outlining superior aspects of the Classmate.  Some of the literature had titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach".  Intel responded by saying that it was just making comparisons between the Classmate PC and the other device in the market.

Countries have until May 31 to place their orders for the first round of PCs.  The launch price will be $175 but the goal is to get them down to $100 each.  Intel is taking orders for the Classmate for over $200 each.



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I don't get why they need laptops
By eppenoire on 5/21/2007 8:31:07 PM , Rating: 3
Excuse me if I missed something. Negroponte is trying to help poor countries improve their education. So, he wants to sell them laptops? How are laptops going to help their educational standards? It seems to me, that a collection of slightly used Encyclopedia Britannicas and bunch of math books from Half.com would be a lot more useful. Unless the idea is that digital books are cheaper, in which case shouldn't he be working with ebook manufactures?

Giving students laptops will not improve their education, just look at California. We have given our children great hardware to work with, but all they have accomplished is a new level of dumb. We have high school students who cannot pass a basic math and English proficiency test. Computers are easy to learn about, but unless you understand the basic core, you will never accomplish much more than writting some uneducated drivel in your blog.




RE: I don't get why they need laptops
By Etsp on 5/21/2007 8:46:53 PM , Rating: 5
You did miss something. IIRC These laptops contain literature that is focused on learning and teaching. Also, please please PLEASE do not compare the desire for education between Californian children and children of undeveloped countries. Their attitude about it is completely different when it comes to education. Most American children see it as a burden and a chore. Children of third world countries know that the number of people that are properly educated in those countries is very few, and those few have far more opportunities than they do, and usually a much safer, if not easier life. They have a far better understanding of the importance of education simply because they, and everyone around them, lack it.


By eppenoire on 5/21/2007 9:05:38 PM , Rating: 3
Children are children, no matter where they are. I spent part of my childhood growing up in a very rough, poor and uneducated part of Oregon. Very few people in the area could read and if it wasn't for my mother, I wouldn't have had an education. I have visited some of the worst hell holes on Earth and I understand how hard it is for these kids. However giving them laptops, which will be stolen and stripped for scrap, is the single dumbest idea I have heard in a while. Books can be found cheap, $100 dollars can buy a lot of used books.

I used California, as an example, because these kids have every opportunity and have failed seize it. You are right about children in third world being more receptive to education. However my point is, that a laptop is a dumb choice for an educational tool.


By aurareturn on 5/21/2007 10:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
California giving their kids great hardware? Where? California gives the bare minimum for education. We still use(unusable)7 year old macs and 7 year old PCs. Browsing on the internet is nearly impossible.


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