Hundred-dollar laptop: Now $400, and for sale to American yuppies

See here. Since orders aren’t rolling in from the Third World, Saint Nicholas now is targeting a new audience — freetards who will overpay for a piece of not-quite-working-right equipment in order to keep Double-N from having to admit defeat. The deal is you’ll have to buy one for yourself and one for the kids who don’t want them, under a new buy-two-and-get-one model that takes the concept of freetardation to a whole new level. Money quote from the Double-N: “There’s a much bigger gulf between a handshake with a head of state and a real check coming out of the treasury. You could argue I could have been more realistic in the beginning, but if I had, I would never have done this.”

Think about that last sentence for a minute. Read it again if you need to. Let it sink in. Kind of distills the entire OLPC fiasco right down to its essence, doesn’t it? If I’d been more realistic, I wouldn’t have done this. Wow.

Meanwhile, in light of the fact that they’ll be selling these machines in November, maybe you’re wondering how close to being completed the actual product is. If so, check out this reassuring memo that OLPC prez (and MIT Media Lab dude) Walter Bender sent out over the weekend. (Photo: Burt Hammer, Hammer Agency.)

UPDATE: Double-N writes in to tell me that they stole their business plan for us. Writes the prof: “Boils down to this: Charge too much, and people will flock to your product.” He says the chose the $399 price point to match our new iPhone price. Fair enough. I know which one I’d rather have under my Christmas tree. If I had a Christmas tree, which I don’t, because I don’t believe in Christmas.