The New York Times reported last week that led by robots, roaches abandon [their] instincts. Specifically, when left to their own devices, groups of cockroaches followed their instincts and natually preferred a darker hiding place to a lighter hiding place virtually all the time. And when a minority group of robotic cockroaches replaced some of the bugs in the cohort and followed natual cockroach rules, again virtually all cockroaches sought the darker hiding place. But when the robots were programmed to seek the lighter, rather than a darker hiding place, fully 60 percent of the wild cockroaches teamed with the robots rather than obeying their instincts, thus demonstrating that even cockroaches are susceptible to bug peer pressure.… Read more
Just a friendly reminder: the two-week Give One Get One OLPC promotion got under way today, which means you have until November 26 (should you be a resident of the U.S. or Canada) to plunk down $399 to purchase an XO laptop for yourself while donating another to a child in a developing nation. If you want yours by the holidays, it's probably best to act sooner than later; OLPC doesn't guarantee delivery in time for the holidays but states your odds are greater the earlier you order. Two other notes: you can write off $200 of … Read more
I recently mentioned my plan to get the new Eee PC laptop from Asus in spite of a price hike just before the product was introduced. The Eee PC is basically a low-cost subnotebook intended for developing markets, like the One Laptop Per Child project's XO, which I've also written about here--but unlike the OLPC, the Eee PC will be regularly available in commercial channels.
Following a number of delays, the One Laptop per Child Foundation's much-awaited XO laptop for needy kids has finally gone into mass production. Early Tuesday (local time), Taiwan's Quanta Computer started producing the green-and-white computer in its new Changshu manufacturing center, two hours northwest of Shanghai.
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 … Read more
The $100, er, $200 laptop just got a glowing review from The New York Times' top tech reviewer.
Nicholas Negroponte's project to bring laptop computing to developing nations has been plagued by delays, price hikes and bad publicity. But according to David Pogue, the XO is "a wonder" to behold and a "technological breakthrough."
"The truth is, the XO laptop, now in final testing, is absolutely amazing, and in my limited tests, a total kid magnet. Both the hardware and the software exhibit breakthrough after breakthrough--some of them not available on any … Read more
According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 1.8 billion children in the world under the age of 14.
Intel would like to sell them all a processor. And, ideally, a chipset with graphics, some flash memory, and networking.
If there are going to be 1.8 billion $100 laptops, Intel might be able to earn $25 each, or $45 billion for the chips inside them.
Of course, AMD would also like to earn that revenue. Before this week, it looked like AMD had the inside track. AMD was in the right place at the right time when … Read more