I wasn’t enthused with the project at all. Despite all the flash, it didn’t promise to really revolutionise the computing. Primarily, it would be assinine to expect families with $1 per day meagre wages or less to buy; there was some kind of a subversive pressure on the governments to subsidise which would have led to huge amount of outgo of public funds; organised gangs would have made sure that intended benefits for the “impoverished” would never reach them; the whole system wasn’t designed to plug in leakages et al.
The investments in public health are more urgently required. If the government is serious about spread of computing, let them abolish the taxes for five years, allow more manufacturers to set up manufacturing plants (but not the silicon as it’s environmentally very damaging) and encourage cheap unlimited broadband. Unfortunately, the policy makers need to get their heads out of sands and breathe some fresh air.
However, it was MIT’s decision to load up Linux which probably irked Microsoft; as if it thrust a whole pound of chilli paste up theirs in public view. It hurt them and this project seems to have been embroiled in a controversy.
The reason I post this here is because India is the intended beneficiary; while the technology demonstrator concept sounds good in theory; we’d be much better off minus all these public stunts.
Given the huge amount of money at stake, Linux popularity and bruised egos, it’s not hard to imagine the Bill Gates and his cahoots could sit back and lie down. Hence they tomtommed their own version of “cell phone with Internet facility”.
Craig Mundie, a Microsoft vice president and chief technical officer, said in an interview here that the company is still developing the idea, but that both he and Gates believe that cell phones are a better way than laptops to bring computing to the masses in developing nations.
We all know what horse crap is this all about. Here’s one of the world’s richest men making such a statement! Brains and money don’t go together. The problem is that they aren’t afraid to be the laughing stock of the entire world! I mean, imagine Gates grinning about Windows and saying that it’s the “best”!
Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child project sounds phoney in the first place. Incidentally, I believe they were the same group who wanted to start something in India; the exact details elude me though.
Some business and development policy specialists have raised questions about Negroponte’s laptop, pointing to the price of Internet connectivity, which can cost $24 to $50 a month in developing nations. But Negroponte said networking costs would not be an obstacle because the laptops would be made to connect automatically in a so-called mesh network, making it possible for up to 1,000 computers to wirelessly share just one or two land-based Internet connections.
Not a good idea in my opinion; would someone enlighten me as to what would be the end user speed in this case? Secondly with almost next to nil investments in localised content creation and excessive zeal to block Internet resources, would this really benefit?
Something that we really need here is a thin client server model which would make sense. The laptop runs Internet wirelessly; we all know that intended countries have their telecom networks in shambles while BSNL gets abused like an overused slut who , linguistically speaking, cannot be raped more.
The intended beneficiaries are :
Thailand, Egypt, Nigeria, India, China, Brazil and Argentina.
To round it off, I would concur with the following statement by some worthy fellow:
Stuart Gannes, director of the Digital Vision Program at Stanford University, said a better way to bring computers into poor countries would be to put them into the hands of entrepreneurs and make them revenue generators. “We need to look at technology as a way to bring cash into the poorest communities,” Gannes said.
All we need is some common sense and freedom from tyranny of Governmental control.