Slashdot linked to an interesting article this morning:
"The '$100 laptop' Negroponte is hoping to put in the hands of millions of kids in developing nations may actually be more like the '$900 laptop.' From the article, 'Jon Camfield says...once maintenance, training, Internet connectivity, and other factors are taken into account, the actual cost of each laptop rises to more than $970. This, he says, doesn't even take in to account the additional costs associated with theft, loss, or accidental damage. Camfield contends that such an expensive undertaking should at least be field-tested in pilot programs designed to establish the viability of the project before asking countries to invest millions, or perhaps billions, of dollars.'"
I have to give myself the typical "self-backpatting" as many bloggers tend to do and say, I saw this from the very beginning when the One Laptop Per Child program was announced.
This sounds cruel ... but I have always thought:
How many calories does it burn to crank the laptop (to power it) ... how much more food will we have to send in aid to make up the difference?
Even if Negroponte decided (unethically) to skim $1 off of each "$100 laptop" and sold the the proposed 1 million ... you do the math. This has sounded like a scam from this perspective from the beginning, but from a "forced support and training" perspective as well. Volunteer IT workers AREN'T EVEN CONSIDERED for the OLPC program. They are ALL paid! This has had scandal written all over it.