Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OLPC: And then there was one


Well it’s getting kinda lonely around the Cambridge headquarters of the OLPC craptop intiative. Walter Bender, designer of the device’s almost completely unusuable Sugar interface, has resigned. OLPC News reported that Bender was leaving in a huff because Nicholas Negroponte is going to use Windows XP on the green machine. Not so, Bender insists. In his exit statement Bender says two years of non-stop work (imagine that! two whole years) has wiped him out and he needs a break. So, um, he’s quitting. Apparently the idea of a vacation did not occur to him. And that’s it. His departure follows that of the project’s security chief, as well as Mary Lou Jepsen, the chief technologist who won worldwide praise for her work in designing the barely functioning laptop. That leaves Double-N alone at the top, though he’s trying to bail too by hiring a CEO to replace him. No word on how his top choice, Kofi Annan, responded to the offer.

I don’t like to gloat, but I must say this: I told you so.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

HP, hater of Third World children


Why else would they roll out yet another OLPC killer? The HP mini notebook weighs less than 3 pounds, costs $500 with Linux on it, and is aimed at schoolkids. How dare they? Don’t they know that Nicholas Negroponte has already solved this problem? Why are they working so hard to undermine him?


Monday, March 31, 2008

Kids: OLPC sucks, wah!

Some hack at the Wall Street Journal bought an OLPC machine for his kids and guess what? The kids hated it and rejected it. Money quote: “The screen tended to jump around, games stalled while loading, video clips stuttered so much they were unwatchable.” Yeah. Other than that, it’s friggin great. Just ask David Pogue of the Times, who gave it a rave review. That screen! The mesh networking! Wow! Back in the real world, the kids dumped the OLPC machine and switched back to a 5-year-old Windows machine, which, um, did everything they wanted it to do. Great work, OLPC people. All of us in the industry are humbled by your innovations. We could learn so much from you. The Nobel is on its way.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

More good news for OLPC

The guy who did all their security stuff just quit and is bitching about the way the organization is headed. Great work all around. Really. Start lining up the Nobel prizes.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

When the going gets tough …


… the tough go looking for someone to take their place. That’s right. Saint Nicholas of MIT is looking for a CEO to run OLPC. Plan is that he’ll step back and be, um, chairman. In other words: It didn’t work out, so I’m bailing.

Some amazingly great inadvertently hilarious quotes from Negroponte in this article, like the following:

* “In the end, we should not be in the hardware or software business.”

(Really? Ya think?)

* “I am not a CEO. Management, administration, and details are my weaknesses.”

To that list I would add a few other things: designing computers; building computers; writing software; working with others; setting realistic expectations; listening to criticism; soliciting feedback; maintaining a grip on reality.

The real screamer comes when Double-N says his ideal candidate for someone to run OLPC would be Kofi Annan. Right, because there’s a guy with a real nitty-gritty grasp of how to run a company. Uh-huh. Loads of tech experience. Honestly, I blew miso soup out my nose and onto the keyboard of my MacBook Air when I read that one.

Larry says we should get Bono to call him and offer to take the job, and have Negroponte fly to Dublin for a meeting or something and then totally punk his ass. We’ll see.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Attention freetards: $100 laptop now available for only $600

See this ad on Craigslist and act fast if you want to snap up one of these precious machines for only six hundred dollars! That’s right. Six. Hundred. Dollars. Or you could just take the money out into your backyard and set it on fire. Or you could send six hundred dollars to help some kid in the Third World get food. Or medicine. Just saying.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Negroponte in 1993: "High-definition television is clearly irrelevant."


I’m not making this up. That’s what he wrote. See here. I’m not sure about this because I don’t ever visit actual retail locations other than our own, but I get the sense that many of the so-called “big box” stores now do indeed sell and promote a wide range of high-definition television sets.

If anyone knows of any other really hugely wrong Negroponte predictions, please send them in. I’m told there are dozens and dozens of them.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MacBook Air sneaks up on XO laptop, mates with it, then kills it


Not really. But the guys at TUAW happened to have both on their desk at the same time, so they decided to take a picture. See here. Best part is the comment string.


Amish giant loves his XO laptop


“At long last, someone has made a PC that fits my freakishly small fingers. God bless you, Nicholas Negroponte,” he says.

Um, not really. But they are going to start selling these things in Australia, for reasons that remain unclear at this time.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Caption contest


Not sure what exactly is going on here. Any ideas? If you think it will help you can check out the original article here.