Friday, January 25, 2008

OLPC: Not Delivering ... Children In Africa Denied Their Porn Fix OR Children In Africa Must Crank Themselves Instead Of Their Laptop To Burn Calories

As reported on SlashDot:

[There's a] growing concern over the failure of OLPC to deliver laptops to some of its customers. PC World editor-in-chief Harry McCracken notes that record-keeping was poor for some of the people who paid via PayPal.

A report on LinuxJournal also suggests that customer information was lost due to errors in the database software used by OLPC.

Quoting PC World:

"OLPC spokesperson Jackie Lustig acknowledges problems with the ordering and the fulfillment process, but says the biggest challenges are a short supply of XO laptops and the organization's ability to meet consumer demand for the XO laptop. Some also wonder whether chronic delivery problems for Give One, Get One donors may bode poorly for the 15 countries slated to receive nearly 500,000 XO notebooks. Lustig says delivering in bulk to just over a dozen countries is infinitely simpler than processing and delivering 80,000 individual laptops."

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------

As many of you know I have been pretty critical of this program from the beginning for not choosing Apple or Microsoft operating systems and or choosing these two companies as manufacturing partners. A larger corporation would have also most certainly assisted in accounting. I would also posit that I have thought this whole thing was a scam by Nicholas Negroponte from the beginning. If just $1 is secretly or covertly shaved from EACH of these laptops and the goal of 1 BILLION laptops is reached - that's $1 Billion dollars. A piece of electronic equipment such as this has so many components that it's easy for me to see how easy that at just one or two small parts just 50¢ could be added to their cost and then the funds forwarded to Negroponte. Consider this ... if some part of the chains shaves just 25¢ - the net is $250 MILLION!

These laptops are being pushed by state governments without ANY thoughts or planning as to what the high costs of support or re-training are. The manufacture of these laptops is severely straining laptop production for more established computer manufacturers like Apple, Dell, and HP.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The actual process of delivering 500,000 notebooks en masse may be easier than delivering 80,000 to individual consumers, but there's no getting around the fact that if you're experiencing shortages when making 80,000, it's going to be worse when building half a billion.

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that Negroponte could be lining his own pockets with $1 per unit, but it sounds to me as if the accounting for a project of this magnitude is sadly lacking.

I've never fully understood why it's so important to get laptops into the hands of children who in some cases may not have the basic necessities of life, like food and shelter.

For the people who were part of the buy one/donate one project, it seems to me they would have been better to either a) donate the whole amount to an organization that makes sure those same kids have their basic human needs met, or b) donate the half that actually paid for the donated laptop.

I just don't think sending underpowered laptops to developing nations is at the top of the priority list.