We here in the States were sleeping off our turkey comas and fretting over holiday shopping, so this week's laptop news is bursting with international flavor. Packard Bell unveiled plans to release the EasyNote XS20 UMPC on the Singapore market, while Dynamism.com began offering the Wibrain B1 UMPC to customers outside of Korea. Apparently Dell is looking to expand its reach in China, which is Lenovo's home turf. (Fight! Fight!) Philips is reportedly set to launch a notebook line in Brazil, and Brazilian artist Romero Britto has designed a custom paint job for NVous PC. Meanwhile European … Read more
Cellphones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 music players are among the hottest gift items this year. For preschoolers.
On the plus side, retailers and toymakers have learned that children are not satisfied with fake gadgets. Hooray for authenticity!
On the minus side...… Read more
Given all the interest around One Laptop Per Child's "Give One Get One" program, I've been wondering just where all those laptops that are being donated are actually going.
For those who have been in the dark, the organization is trying to boost its low-cost laptop program through a promotion in which people in the U.S. can pay $399 to donate one of the rugged Linux laptops and also get one for themselves. The program's terms and conditions say little, other than that it will go to a child in a country on the … Read more
It's unclear where Lagos Analysis Corp. (LANCOR) expects the One Laptop Per Child project to come up with the money, but it has sued OLPC, anyway, for patent infringement. To make matters more complicated, the suit was brought in the Nigerian-owned company's backyard in Lagos, Nigeria. I'm sure the court will have no bias whatsoever....
LANCOR is seeking big money damages because, um, it has lost millions selling $100 PCs to developing nations (???):
The patent infringement lawsuit was filed on November 22nd, 2007 as a result of OLPC's [alleged] willful infringement of LANCOR's Nigeria Registered Design Patent # RD8489 and illegal reverse engineering of its keyboard driver source codes for use in the XO Laptops.… Read more
The offer began two weeks ago and had been scheduled to run through November 26, but the organization extended it until December 31, according to its Web site. With the offer, customers who spend $399 get one laptop, and a child in a developing nation gets another.
"Thanks to a growing interest in the program, we are extending Give One Get One until the end of the year," the organization said.
Customers also get a $200 … Read more
Nicholas Negroponte had the best of intentions. Unfortunately, when those intentions clash with the profit motives of private vendors, private industry has become quite aggressive, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The One Laptop Per Child project has sold nowhere near its stated goal of 150 million laptops shipped by the end of 2008.
As is often the case, the person with the idea is not necessarily the right person to capitalize on it:
Mr. Negroponte's ambitious plan has been derailed, in part, by the power of his idea. For-profit companies threatened by the projected $100 price tag set off at a sprint to develop their own dirt-cheap machines, plunging Mr. Negroponte into unexpected competition against well-known brands such as Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.… Read more
Steven Levy's Newsweek cover story The Future of Reading was so unabashedly reverential toward the new Kindle reader that I had to check twice to make sure the article wasn't a paid product placement. Though the official product review only took up three-quarters of a page, there's no mistaking the impression that the seven-page spread is about Amazon's Kindle and its potential as the electronic device that will "leapfrog over previous attempts at e-readers and become the turning point in a transformation toward Book 2.0. That's shorthand for a revolution (already in progress) that will change the way readers read, writers writer, and publishers publish." Other devices such as the Sony Reader and One Laptop Per Child XO laptop receive very brief mentions.… Read more
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
Thank you for participating in Give One Get One. Your donation will bring education and enlightenment to children of the developing world, and, in recognition of your gift, you will be receiving an XO laptop for the child in your life as well. If you have any questions or problems, please contact One Laptop Per Child at email@example.com. Should your employer wish to match your donation, we are a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is 20-5471780. Thanks again, and welcome to the One Laptop Per Child community!
Why two?… Read more