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Mass OLPC Production Begins 167

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the slow-starters dept.
eldavojohn writes to tell us that mass production of the first XO laptops has officially started. "The commencement of mass production means children in developing nations could have the rugged, open-source laptops in hand starting this month. The OLPC has already announced orders for kids in Uruguay and Mongolia. (Residents of the U.S. and Canada participating in the Give 1 Get 1 program--which donates an XO to a child in a developing nation for every machine sold online--are expected to start getting laptops in December.)"
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Mass OLPC Production Begins

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  • by RandoX (828285) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:40PM (#21272191)
    ...I'll still be around to get mine!
  • Internet (Score:1, Interesting)

    by dslmodem (733085)
    Do they come with free internet? Or a low cost internet option?
    • Re:Internet (Score:5, Informative)

      by physicsboy500 (645835) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:48PM (#21272311)

      Do they come with free internet? Or a low cost internet option?
      yes [cnet.com]

      From that article:
      However, the latest twist in the story is nothing but positive. T-Mobile is now offering a year of free Hot Spot Wi-Fi access, good at nearly 8,500 public T-Mobile Hot Spot locations throughout the country, including Starbucks coffee shops, Borders bookstores, and more than 70 major airports across the United States.

      The offer is only good from November 12 to 26, and considering a 12-month T-Mobile Hot Spot plan would cost $359 on its own, we can see how this could lead to a lot of OLPC purchases. OLPC has set up a Web site, laptopgiving.org, which has more details.
      • by jay-be-em (664602)
        No thanks, I'll just head down the street to the locally owned place and use their net
        for free, on my spacious thinkpad keyboard.

        disclaimer: Probably getting an OLPC.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OLPC is a thinly-veiled attempt by corporations to create the next generation of IT "professionals" they can ship in to work for a third of what you charge. They're really laughing it up that they can do this is under the guise of a humanitarian gesture and get all the tax breaks to boot. There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.
    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:52PM (#21272381)

      OLPC is a thinly-veiled attempt by corporations to create the next generation of IT "professionals" they can ship in to work for a third of what you charge. They're really laughing it up that they can do this is under the guise of a humanitarian gesture and get all the tax breaks to boot. There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.
      Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

      But a nice troll, nonetheless.
      • by _KiTA_ (241027)
        Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

        But a nice troll, nonetheless.


        I shouldn't have to compete with every twit in every 3rd world country willing to work for the cost of a soda a day.

        Globalization is a horrible, horrible idea for everyone involved -- except the corporations.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ed Avis (5917)

          I shouldn't have to compete with every twit in every 3rd world country willing to work for the cost of a soda a day.
          Maybe you think that, but the person paying the wages probably thinks otherwise. Since they are paying the bills, their opinion counts. You are, of course, free to start a company employing only workers on Western salaries if you believe that's how it should be. Let whichever provides the best service win.
        • Globalization is a horrible, horrible idea for everyone involved -- except the corporations.

          I think the people that make a decent (by local standards) living from working for overseas companies would disagree with you.

          The only people that are hurt by globalisation are the rich Westerners, i.e. the people who can most afford it. If you've got somewhere to live, money for 3 good meals a day, clothing, and education, then you're pretty damn well off. [globalrichlist.com]

        • by noamsml (868075)
          So you have more of a right to an IT job than a person in Africa or Asia? Somehow, that strikes me as racist.
      • to be able to designate where the 1 goes. In particular, I would like to see my freebie one go to a school in America. We have plenty of under and un educated kids here. We desperately need laptops like this. No more of the silly games like reader rabbit.
      • by vertinox (846076)
        Not with an attitude like that. You're not entitled to a high-paying job, you have to compete for it. The way to compete is to stay educated. Provide more value than "someone working for a third of what you do now".

        Actually, I suspect in 10 to 20 years my job will be replaced by robots leaving me and the kid from Africa out of work.

        But seriously, people think that being educated and working hard gets you an automatic good job that you can keep, but it is really about intelligent applied effort. If your job
      • Hey, I'll be employed as the "last guy in the country who actually knows how the silly thing really works". I make a fairly decent living showing youngsters how to really make it work, and the foreign high-tech people are often easier to impress: they're not used to disbelieving what the textbook said.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What fucking racist white ass crackers modded this crap up?

      What gives you the precious ability to hold these people away from IT?

      Why SHOULDN'T they be given a chance to learn? You are a fucking racist white ass!

      Please go die, you fucking American.

      I hate Americans. God save the Queen!
    • by jay-be-em (664602) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:57PM (#21272441) Homepage
      I remain at a loss as to why so many of my fellow Americans seem to believe
      that by being born within these borders they deserve a job.

      Having lived and worked in a developing African country I would much rather
      see jobs go to people who work their asses off with few educational and
      technical resources than to lazy Americans who don't even appreciate
      the educational opportunities available here.

      Fortunately not all Americans are as such, and those few will remain
      competitive, by working their asses off, just as it should be, not by
      being born with the national silver spoon in their mouths.
      • by jsebrech (525647)
        Fortunately not all Americans are as such, and those few will remain
        competitive, by working their asses off, just as it should be, not by
        being born with the national silver spoon in their mouths.


        So, the way "it should be" according to you is that everyone has to work their asses off just to be able to make an honest living? Enjoy that life, I know I won't. There's nothing wrong with wanting time to enjoy life, time to learn to play an instrument, to play soccer with your kids, and time to watch a good movie
      • by Shivetya (243324)
        We have become a nation enslaved to our government through entitlements. The politicians daily spout that YOU deserve this and this, these people over here deserve this, and those over there get to pay for it because their too rich. When jobs are lost overseas the politicians trot out declaring evil corporations are to blame and that these entities need to be penalized; taxed more; to set the balances right.

        We are encouraged to run up debt and then disclaim responsibility for our actions. We can engage i
        • by kestasjk (933987) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @09:29PM (#21275895) Homepage
          An "entitlement state"? Is this the new buzzphrase that makes a complex situation seem really simple?

          I thought the government was paralyzing us with fear, and helping the rich get richer. Isn't "state of fear" that the current anti-government line?

          The reason the western world has it better than most of the rest of the world is a complex and interesting one, that can't be boiled down to politicians telling us we deserve something or rich people paying for everything good in our lives. All that matters for your argument is that America does have a very high GDP, as does the rest of the developed world. Because we're developed we're more productive; America isn't a country of people on welfare who are all wealthy for some inexplicable reason, businesses don't thrive in the US because the government is stealing from the rich, China accepts US credit for a reason.

          If you don't think we deserve this or that modern convenience then give them up. Don't write on a laptop about how "ohh we are so terrible, we don't deserve laptops and cheese graters, damn government! No Mr Bush I don't deserve this fancy car you say I'm entitled to and that you're willing to pay for at the expense of the rich, give me a horse and buggy like they probably all use in China! I'm going to help the developing world by denying myself the cell phones and cars they manufacture."


          On outsourcing, while I'm writing: My experience with outsourcing is limited to freelance sites like rentacoder.com , where people across the world can bid on software projects. I found that the prices for bids quoted by people in India or Romania or China are right in line with prices I would quote. There are no coders living in tents that will write SQL server for a hundred US dollars.

          A lot of the outsourcing by Microsoft and the like to India Research is often done because it lets them get more done per day; as Redmond goes to sleep Bombay is getting down to work, as Bombay goes to sleep Cambridge is putting the coffee on, as Cambridge goes to sleep Redmond is checking its e-mail and seeing what progress has been made.

          If you're really scared about outsourcing rather than fight the market you should want these countries to develop as quickly as possible so that everyone is on a level playing field. India will have more IT pros, but it'll need them in their own economy.
      • by torkus (1133985)
        Actually yes. We (meaning americans, our money, our people, etc.) built OUR COUNTRY up to the current state that it is (horrible political structure not withstanding). So yes. I DO deserve a job here over some kid in a third world country that can barely count his fingers.

        'Working your ass off' varies hugely. I might have a busy 12 hour day where I sit at my ergonomic desk in my ergonomic chair, with blinds to keep the glare of the sun up on the 51st floor on my office high-rise in financial NYC out of
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by truesaer (135079)
          All of this babbling about hard work misses the point...if hard work was what determined value then fruit pickers would make a ton of money. It's not hard work, it's your ability to provide value that matters. As work currently done by americans is offshored we need to respond by providing higher value services. Less simple code jockeying are more software architecture and design, that kind of thing. Keep upgrading your skills, they set you apart much more than simple hard work ever can.
        • by spisska (796395)

          So yes. I DO deserve a job here over some kid in a third world country that can barely count his fingers.

          So how many languages do you speak? I've met lots of people in Africa and Asia whom you would probably judge can't 'count their fingers' but they can speak English as a fourth or fifth language.

          'Working your ass off' varies hugely. I might have a busy 12 hour day where I sit at my ergonomic desk in my ergonomic chair, with blinds to keep the glare of the sun up on the 51st floor on my office high-rise

        • by AVee (557523)

          Maybe some of these third world countries should try doing something other than breeding more poor, diseased, hungry children. The US managed to avoid that route after all. So have plenty of other countries.

          Yeah, don't worry, that's being looked into right now. Looking at the US it seems it should involve moving into a land you don't own, kill most of the people who live there and bringing in cheap, disposable even, labour from somewhere you can catch^H^H^H^H^Hhire sla^H^H^H employees.

          Take a look at your at the worlds history, no civilisation ever became big without resorting to oppression, not a single one ever. The US is just another fine example of how that works.

        • by jay-be-em (664602)
          Believe it or not there are many very educated people in developing countries. Many whose
          mathematics knowledge goes quite a bit beyond counting their fingers. Some may even exceed
          your skills in mathematics, yes, even you, sitting in your Manhattan high rise.

          Where did your ancestors inherit that wealth from? If you investigate it, much if it you
          may consider illegitimate and stolen -- exploitation of these now 'developing' countries
          all over the world; don't forget that our initial wealth was inherited from
      • Denying support to the OLPC is silly. People in developing countries need modern-technologies and education if they are survive, become productive members of their own societies. If you want to be more crude, if they don't become educated and realize that 1 billion people in a food and water-poor country is a bad thing and not sustainable, we're all in for a world of hurt. And religious-rights groups sure as heck aren't helping by denying condoms and safe-sex education. But onwards with the 'tech' discussio
    • by sjf (3790)
      Note for the approximately six billion people who DON'T live in the US. He means "if you work in IT in the United States in IT, you shouldn't support OLPC".
      Otherwise welcome this aid to competiting with your most valuable resource: the minds of your people.

      There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years

      Pssh, let me sell you some long term options then.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not to worry. Without a Microsoft OS, nobody can get an MCSE using these things. You should be safe :-)
    • There will be no Americans in IT in 20 years.
      That's one possibility. The other possibility is that, as they become more technically skilled, their standard of living will rise, the economy will build up with an influx of cash from foreign corporations, and they will become consumers of the products that IT makes as well, increasing demand in their own country until it gets to the point where they are trying to outsource to other nations.
    • by MrSteveSD (801820)
      It's kind of a conspiratorial diversion, but you do raise an important issue. When corporations are under threat from foreign competition, they go crying to government who then step in and protect them in various ways using our hard earned money. In contrast, when we are under threat, it is apparently tough and a case of "how dare we expect a well paid job just because we spent years studying hard".

      How can you compete with an equivalently intelligent person in a country where the cost of living is so mu
    • Yes yes, much better to keep the rest of the world poor and illiterate. That will really shrink our export markets and protect our jobs.

      Oh wait, now i've been layed off because because our sales just shrunk, whoops!
  • It's about time. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Forge (2456) <kevinforgeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:51PM (#21272361) Homepage Journal
    After following it's development from concept through revised designs and explanation of the rational for it's features.

    Frankly I feel like it's already part mine. Baring unavailability or some weird sales structure, I plan to get one. Or a few.

    What choice do I have when my 15 Month old is monopolizing the main desktop at home?
    • by ipjohnson (580042)
      Tell him to stop surfing for porn its daddy's turn?
    • by evilviper (135110)

      What choice do I have when my 15 Month old is monopolizing the main desktop at home?

      A slightly obsolete computer, that will run Linux just fine, is absolutely dirt cheap, and you can pretty easily install the exact software programs that normally run on the OLPC if you want them.

      Unless you are in a situation where you have absolutely no infrastructure (electricity, internet, etc.), I can't see the benefit to getting an OX/OLPC.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rbanffy (584143)
        "Unless you are in a situation where you have absolutely no infrastructure (electricity, internet, etc.), I can't see the benefit to getting an OX/OLPC."

        It's called the XO, not the OX. Apart from that it's small, portable, usable under direct sunlight, wireless, runs Linux and has great battery life.

        I want one too.

        Still, the about USD 400 buy-two-get-one price tag doesn't make much business sense...
    • by jabuzz (182671)
      One of the Asus EEE machines? Though they don't have the same physical robustness that the XO has. I would like to get one for my five year old niece, except being in the UK I cannot even get one on a buy one donate one option.
  • by Intron (870560) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @05:00PM (#21272473)
    Excellent. I was getting tired of scam email from people in Nigeria. I look forward to the scams that will be coming to me from Uruguay and Mongolia.
  • by Critical Facilities (850111) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @05:01PM (#21272477) Homepage
    Or is anyone else amused that the name for this laptop, the XO, is an emoticon for a frustrated person yelling? Seems like Microsoft would have nailed that name down. I keed, I keed.
  • With 10's of thousands of these being ordered and shipped to third world countries, has anyone actually thought about how they are going to be distributed? It's kind of like the food programs for poor countries...it is not that there isn't enough money or food, it just nearly impossible to get the resources to the people that actually need it.

    I envision thousands of these laptops sitting in warehouses across the global, with only a handful of "showcase" schools actually receiving and using the laptops.

    Mayb
    • With 10's of thousands of these being ordered and shipped to third world countries, has anyone actually thought about how they are going to be distributed?

      Hundreds of thousands, actually.

      It's kind of like the food programs for poor countries...

      Actually, its not at all like that. Unlike food programs, these aren't being distributed by well-meaning foreign governments or NGOs with no local involvement, they are being, for the most part, purchased by the recipient governments, and delivered (along with associa

    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      With 10's of thousands of these being ordered and shipped to third world countries, has anyone actually thought about how they are going to be distributed?

      My God! Call Negroponte immediately. How could they have spent years planning this and missed that? Lucky you noticed, or they'd just have dumped them all in a landfill.

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