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Negroponte on Intel against OLPC

an image of Nicholas Negroponte and Kofi Annan demonstrating the OLPC laptop computerUnbeknownst to me, there’s what appears to be a very good website dedicated to news regarding the One Laptop Per Child project.

Interestingly, and fortuitously, there’s a recent feature regarding Nicholas Negroponte’s views on the Intel Classmate PC, which I’ve ‘blogged about recently:

“The difference is that Intel’s approach is much more teacher-centric. Ours is much more child centric. And that in some sense is a philosophic difference. It’s not a technological difference.”

Which is all very diplomatic. But then he adds:

“I think that Intel has made a very big mistake, criticizing us, because we are a humanitarian effort and it really is not very intelligent to criticize it.”

Which, quite frankly isn’t very diplomatic. But I think Negroponte deserves to be so abrupt. And I have my own views:

“For me, here was a chance for Intel to set aside their immediate commercial interests and think long-term by partnering with Nicholas Negroponte et al, put their considerable hardware know-how and industry weight behind the One Laptop Per Child project and help build a better XO laptop for less money.”

I think it’s lamentable that Intel haven’t done the right thing here by backing the OLPC project, but that’s me going over old ground. So here’s some new ground from someone else:

“Do you think Intel, with around $30 Billion dollars in 2005 total income, sees an AMD-backed program expecting $30 Billion dollars in yearly funding as complimentary? Do you think AMD does? And do you really think One Laptop Per Child does too?

I think not. But good attempt at spin, Dr. Negroponte.”

Which is factually correct. However, while Intel are in this for the money, and make use of their considerable earnings from decades past to fuel their future project plans, Negroponte et al and all involved in the One Laptop Per Child Project aren’t, so they have to rely on funds sourced from elsewhere.

That for me is the difference…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.