OLPC partners with Neonode to bring mutlitouch tech to educational notebooks
As expected, One Laptop Per Child's next ultra-affordable notebook will sport a multi-touch display, but it will be called the XO Touch and not XO-1.75. The technology will come thanks to a newly started partnership with Neonode. It will get a 7.5-inch display, according to SlashGear.
Basic hardware for widespread adoption
Marvell brought its XO 3.0 tablet—the brainchild of One Laptop Per Child—to Las Vegas ahead of CES, where Electronista took the opportunity to finally handle the education-focused device. Although the tablet shares many hardware features with Android-based offerings, the physical build and OLPC's own Linux-based Sugar OS offer a much different experience.
OLPC XO 3 gets long overdue unveiling
The One Laptop Per Child project's long-in-waiting XO-3 tablet, now called the XO 3.0, will get its formal unveiling at CES. The eight-inch, 1024x768 slate will have a ruggedized body to survive rural schools and, like the original notebooks, consumes very little power. OLPC notes that it can take energy from a solar panel and that a hand crank can give it 10 minutes of power for every minute of turning, letting it work even in remote areas where electricity isn't guaranteed.
Organization to take hands-off approach
The One Laptop per Child project will reportedly include plans to airdrop the XO-3 tablet onto remote villages. Organization chairman Nicholas Negroponte told Open Mobile conference attendees the tablets would be distributed in some areas using a hands-off approach. Researchers would wait an entire year before returning to the villages to study the outcome.
Transflective LCDs much more visible outdoors
3M's New Ventures organization has invested in Pixel Qi Corp., a developer of next generation LCD panels. Pixel Qi's unique screens can generate either e-paper output or high-intensity images for much better outdoor visibility than other contemporary LCDs. Mary Lou Jepsen, co-founder and CEO of Pixel Qi, said the funding would accelerate the company's product into the mass consumer market. She also said the company would continue to pursue mobile device manufacturers and digital signage applications.
OLPC XO-3 due early next year for under $100
One Laptop Per Child's delayed XO-3 tablet for children in developing countries will get rubber covers that will not only protect the device but may also have solar chargers, satellite Internet or external keyboard connections. OLPC founder and chairman Nicholas Negroponte during an interview with PCWorld revealed that he hoped to draw more interest through the features, which are targeted at countries where power and reliable Internet access are harder to find. The device, originally announced in late 2009 and due to arrive on the market early in 2012, will be priced at under $100.
Apple gets Navy guru David Rice as security head
Apple has quietly hired David Rice as its Global Director of Security, multiple insiders said on Saturday. The now former Monterey Group executive director built most of his experience as a cryptology officer in the US Navy and was also a Global Network Vulnerability analyst for the NSA. AllThingsD noted that he might be best known in public for Geekonomics, a 2007 book that argued computer security vulnerabilities represented genuine threats to US infrastructure and that companies should be liable for the damage done by unpatched exploits.
Device still on track for Feb. release
One Laptop Per Child chairman Nicholas Negroponte has admitted that his organization's XO-3 tablet has been delayed. The device was originally scheduled to arrive on the market late this year, however the project has been pushed back with an anticipated launch 45 days after January's CES expo.
OLPC's leader says XO-3 more creative than iPad
One Laptop Per Child project founder Nicholas Negroponte told those at the Mobilize conference today that tablets needed to be more creativity-driven than the iPad. While not directly critical of Apple's design, the OLPC lead said Apple was primarily making "peripherals for iTunes" that were meant for passive consumption. For devices like the XO-3 tablet, the focus had to be on active learning and creation, which Negroponte didn't see as an iPad strong suit.
OLPC working on bringing multi-touch to XO-1.75
The OLPC engineering team this week announced new software is on the way that would bring with it multi-touch support. The updated Sugar OS to make this possible will make its debut in the upcoming XO-1.75 child notebook. The embedded controller will have an open codebase, with one small exception, and is believed to become the first notebook with open embedded controller code.
OLPC speeds up touchscreen tablet plans
The One Laptop Per Child project team today said it was stepping up the schedule for its XO-3 tablet. The touchscreen, sub-$100 tablet is now due to have first appearance at CES 2011, two years ahead of schedule, but will shed some of its original ambitions to get to that point. It should instead be based on Marvell's Moby platform and use a 1GHz ARM processor; the design won't use an all-plastic, waterproof shell and should be thicker than the quarter inch set out earlier as a target.
OLPC partners with Pixel Qi on XO displays
The One Laptop per Child Foundation (OLPC) on Tuesday announced that it has partnered with Pixel Qi to deliver notebooks meant for children with the latter's low-power displays. The permanent and royalty-free cross-licensing agreement will grant the OLPC Pixel Qi's 3qi screen technology including more than 70 patents. Pixel Qi, in return, will get a full license to the dual-mode indoor and outdoor display technology used in the XO notebook.
Intel pledges Classmate PCs with Pine Trail CPUs
Chipmaker Intel will soon release updated Classmate PC netbooks with its Pine Trail Atom CPUs. Apart from the new, more efficient and quicker chips, the netbooks will also be redesigned, strarting with the 10.1-inch Convertible Classmate. The challenge will be to make the devices lighter while keeping them rugged enough to withstand drops and other abuse from schoolchildren.
OLPC XO-3 may get camera, wireless power
(Updated with better photos, interim XO details) The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project today provided a deeper glimpse into its XO-3 tablet, including concept shots and more features. The roughly letter-sized computer will now hopefully include a camera on the back to record video in a more intuitive way than the XO-1. The developers also clarify that founder Nicholas Negroponte's desire for "no holes" would involve wireless power.
New Sugar Labs OS brings
Sugar Labs on Tuesday released the downloadable Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry OS meant for children's education. The program was originally developed for the One Laptop per Child XO-1 netbook, but this version can be loaded onto any Windows or Mac PC, and is also available for computers running on Linux.
Pixel Qi 3qi mass production next month
Pixel Qi has quietly revealed that it plans to mass-produce its unique 3qi displays in December as well as early plans for a TV. The screens will just miss their original target of the fall but promise a major breakthrough in displays for netbooks and other small computers as it can operate both like a full color LCD but behave like e-paper either to save energy or to become readable in bright daylight, albeit in grayscale.
Company changing focus following layoffs
The One Laptop Per Child Association, the manufacturer behind the OLPC notebooks, has axed its plans to build a dual-screen XO device, according to an Xconomy interview with the group's founder and chairman, Nicholas Negroponte. The second generation notebook, originally announced in May of last year, has been scrapped as OLPC instead focuses on adapting the first-generation XO with updated internals.
CTL outs 10.1-inch Classmate PC netbook
CTL has introduced its next generation 2Go Classmate PC, and the first to sport a 10-inch display. The 2go Classmate PC E10 is another rebranded Intel Classmate PC, which itself was developed to compete with the OLPC XO Laptop. All are made to serve as educational tools in developing and developed nations alike. The 10.1-inch form factor allows for the use of a keyboard that is 90 percent the size of that of a conventional notebook, which is better than the 77 percent of the older, smaller models.
Archos portable PCs debut
In addition to the headline-grabbing unveiling of the Windows 7-based Archos 9 tablet, Archos has also released the Archos 13 notebook, Archos 10s netbook and the Archos Digital Satchel educational PC for children on Thursday. The Archos 13 is the French company's first notebook PC, sporting a 13.3-inch, 1280x800 screen. Specs include a 10-cell battery, 120GB hard drive and 1.2GHz Intel Celeron Ultra Low Voltage CPU. Thickness is said to be just 1.08 inches, while weight is fixed at 3.3lbs.
Apple gets security expert
Apple has hired the former director of security architecture at One Laptop per Child, Ivan Krstic, according to ZDNet. Krstic developed the Bitfrost security specification for the OLPC project, which he considers a foolproof system to protect against malware attacks. With the new position at Apple, Krstic will be working on core OS security.
Pixel Qi Hybrid Display
Indirect OLPC offshoot Pixel Qi is developing a new display that would fulfill three different roles at once, the company's chief Mary Lou Jepsen said today. The panel is characterized for CNET as more advanced than that on the XO-1, which can only switch between an efficient black-and-white mode and a color screen. The new model would have these two features but could also assume an e-paper mode suitable for reading. It's not clear whether this would let images remain on the display when power is shut off, as with most e-book readers.
OLPC XO-1 Goes to VIA
The One Laptop Per Child project tonight said it would overhaul the XO-1 with a major internal upgrade. The Gen 1.5 update will drop the AMD Geode processor that has been used since launch and instead use a VIA C7-M with a clock speed that varies between 400MHz and 1GHz depending on the amount of heat. By making the swap, OLPC also gets a new chipset that adds 3D acceleration, HD video decoding and surround sound. The combined design is meant to consume no more energy than the current XO-1 while active but to use less power while idle, run faster, and (through component cost drops) ultimately reduce the price.
OLPC XO2 Likely ARM Chips
The One Laptop Per Child project's CTO Ed McNierney today said that the organization's XO-2 notebook will most likely drop AMD's Geode processor in favor of an ARM-based, all-in-one processor. OLPC is "almost" set to implement a new chip and would make the switch both to reduce the power draw as well as to give the portable accelerated graphics and wireless without needing separate chips that would boost the cost. AMD's design is older and simpler by comparison.
OLPC internship program
The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project announced on Friday it is launching an internship program that will involve as many as 100 teams of university students distribute the XO laptops to children in Africa during the summer of 2009. Undergraduate and graduate students from around the world will be eligible to participate, with each student team receiving 100 XO laptops and related accessories as well as $10,000 to cover operating costs.
Pixel Qi Ships LCDs
Pixel Qi on Friday said it's closer to shipping LCD displays that should significantly extend the battery life of notebooks. The technology reduces the dependence on a backlight and instead draws on nearby light from both human-made and natural sources to create the illumination itself, potentially extending a portable's run time by letting the backlight stay off in a brightly-lit environment. Pixel Qi estimates that a notebook with three hours of battery life today would get about 4.5 hours on one of its displays, or about a 50 percent boost, without compromising on display quality.
No Geode replacement: AMD
Computer chipmaker AMD said on Monday it will not be replacing its low-power Geode CPU currently used in devices such as the XO laptop made by the One Laptop Per Child project, UMPCs and set-top boxes, according to a Tuesday report. An AMD spokesperson did reassure those who depend on the current CPU that the company will continue to offer the product as long as there is demand for it.
OLPC Give 1 Get 1 program
As promised back in September, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) on Monday announced it will once again launch its Give 1 Get 1 program that aims to put a simple, Internet-connected laptop to children in developing countries to help in their education. Anyone can participate in the program by buying two XO laptops for $399, one for themselves and another for a child in a poor country. The other option involves donating as many XO laptops as they want at $199 each. The nonprofit organization's program aims to put more than 1 million laptops into the hands of children in 2008 in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Cambodia, among others, or more than double of what it did last year.
Kid picks Linux XO laptop
A recently performed informal experiment saw an eight-year-old American student pick the Linux version of the XO laptop over the Windows XP version. The eight-year-old, representative of the target audience for the educational notebook, spent an afternoon exploring each notebook, finally picking the Linux version mostly because it had more software that was not yet explored. Each iteration had its pros and cons, however, including the Linux version's slower web browsing and more complicated user interface, at least to those used a Windows interface.
HiVision $97 notebook
An ultra-low cost PC was unveiled by HiVision at the IFA show by Chinese manufacturer HiVision, prompting comparisons to and fresh criticism of the OLPC notebook, as the former offers many of the same features at the latter's originally intended price. The Linux-based notebook, called the HiVision miniNote Linux Laptop, reportedly features a MIPS-based processor and 128MB or RAM along with built-in Wi-Fi and just 1GB of flash memory. The paltry amount of memory will be offset with an SDHC card reader and three USB ports. An Ethernet jack will also be standard fare, along with audio inputs and outputs.
OLPC Give 1 Get 1 program
A second run of the One Laptop Per Child project's Give 1 Get 1 program will begin on November 17th, writes Laptop Magazine. The founder of OLPC, Nicholas Negroponte, has announced that beginning on that date, shoppers at Amazon.com will be able to pick up an XO notebook of their own for $399, with a second system being sent to one of the poor countries it was designed for. The first 100,000 to 150,000 people to buy an XO will get theirs immediately, claims Negroponte.
Amazon to sell OLPC laptop
With Microsoft having finished a version of its Windows XP operating system for the One Laptop Per Child notebook in July, the computer should be nearing its launch date, and a Thursday report seems to confirm this. Citing an OLPC official, the report alleges both Linux-based Sugar and Windows XP operating systems will be available on the low-cost XO laptop, which was designed to help educate kids in developing countries. While the laptop is estimated to launch in about a month, another story from the same source has Amazon selling the laptop in November.
Windows XP for OLPC done
Microsoft has finally completed the OLPC version of Windows XP, the company has announced. The scaled-down operating system has been released to manufacturing, and is being installed on select versions of the OLPC group's XO notebook, intended mainly for schools in poor countries. The computer uses bare-bones components to reduce cost to approximately $200, such as a smaller screen and flash-based program storage.
OLPC XO2 Multi-Touch
The One Laptop Per Child project's XO2 notebook will use an improved form of multi-touch display when it ships, says Mary Lou Jepsen of the display's creator company, Pixel Qi, in a new interview with Laptop. Instead of using an iPhone-like technique that sandwiches the touch-sensitive layer in between the glass and an LCD, the XO2 will use an in-cell touchscreen where the receptors are woven into the display itself. The process both saves money by reducing the production to a single part and also produces a brighter screen without the need for a surface layer.
XO Sugar for 4 PC Makers
Early talks are underway to bring the Sugar interface from the One Laptop Per Child project's XO notebook to different PC builders, according to news from former OLPC executive and now Sugar Labs Foundation head Walter Bender. The spin-off company is now said to be discussing the use of Sugar with four "ultra low-cost" notebook makers who would use the front-end on top of the underlying operating system for computers targeted at children.
OLPC 2 Early Details
The One Laptop Per Child project plans a radical revision of its notebook that will make it at least as advanced as other PCs, organization head Nicholas Negroponte has revealed today at the OLPC Global Country Workshop. Superficially resembling Nintendo's DS Lite, version 2.0 of the XO will use two touchscreens that adapt to a given context; the design will change keyboard sizes to accommodated older children and adults, and both screens can combine to form a single display used for games and other activities that involve two users at the same time.
OLPC XO to get XP by fall
Microsoft tonight revealed that the highly talked-about OLPC XO – a laptop initially designed for students in developing countries – will ship with Windows XP as an option in August or September, with some countries to get the low-cost ultraportable sooner. Engadget expects that in the future, the operating system will most likely replace the current Sugar front-end offered in the XO, but OLPC has not explicitly said anything to support the theory. The build is allegedly the same as that of the Eee PC, with custom drivers for the XO hardware.
MS extends XP support
One version of Windows XP will continue to be available years after other editions have ceased to exist, Microsoft has announced. XP Home, the most basic version of the operating system, will still be available for OEMs through at least June 2010, in order to support low-cost computers such as Intel's Classmate PC, and ASUS' popular Eee PC. This is because the systems have less RAM, smaller hard drives and inferior processors, making it difficult to run any version of Windows Vista.
OLPC project turmoil
The One Laptop Per Child project is undergoing serious internal problems, InfoWorld reports. The non-profit group is said to be in the middle of a massive restructuring effort, prompted by an organization described by chairman Nicholas Negroponte as "almost like a terrorist group, doing almost impossible things." OLPC is now hunting for a new CEO, and its director of Security Architecture, Ivan Krstić, has announced his resignation.
Intel Classmate PC in US
Intel will sell its Classmate PC notebook in its home territory of the US as well as in Europe, the company said Thursday. While the PC was designed for developing-world countries where cost and a toughened design are necessary, a refreshed version of the Classmate will be available in the more developed areas within weeks from today. Other companies are expected to follow with designs of their own, though whether this includes known "netbook" designs such as the ECS G10IL or the Eee PC 900 is unknown.
OLPC XO Notebook Review
The One Laptop Per Child project set out to create a system that could be used by children, even those who have never seen a computer before or may not even know how to read. With the system coming to North America through the recently-ended Give 1 Get 1 program, however, it also serves as a benchmark for low-cost computing and for the progress of Linux as a mainstream operating system. In our XO notebook review, we find out not just whether the $400 spent is worthwhile for the donation but also whether it can stand in as an ultra-budget alternative to a Mac or Windows portable.
OLPC turns to US children
The One Laptop Per Child project will soon turn its attention toward poor American children, officials have announced. The group's XO notebook was originally built to be a $100 system for schools in Third World countries, granting computer access which might otherwise be too expensive; the final system is selling to foreign governments for $188, while Americans can get their own by buying one for themselves as well as another country. The Give 1 Get 1 bundle costs $400, however, which may still be more than some American families can afford to budget.
MS Denies Dual Boot OLPC
Microsoft is not working with the One Laptop Per Child project to develop a dual-boot version of the XO notebook, the former company has said through a spokesperson. The software developer says it has "investigated the possibility" of taking the Linux and Windows hybrid approach but reiterated previous claims that it was conducting tests this month with a Windows-only version of the developing-world system. This contradicts claims by OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte that Windows would co-exist alongside the system, according to reports.
Pixel Qi 75 Dollar Laptop
A side project of the One Laptop Per Child team plans an even less expensive portable than the XO, according to news from the CES floor. Calling the firm Pixel Qi, Mary Lou Jepsen says her business intends to produce a $75 portable that will borrow key aspects of the XO's design while reducing costs. The system is still in the very early stages but will rely heavily on the unique technology of the XO's LCD (created by Jepsen) that allows it to be read even in broad daylight. Other parts of the system that can be drawn from the OLPC group will be purchased at cost and while others will be sold in the opposite direction, Pixel Qi says.
OLPC XO Hands-On
Electronista has received its own XO notebook from the One Laptop Per Child project and is about to put the notebook for the developing world through tests to see whether it works well for its stated goal of bringing computers to those who may never have used (or seen) a computer before -- as well as whether the small Linux-based system can co-exist with a world of more complex Mac and Windows PCs. So far, the device is promising and even shows a relatively Apple-like simplicity, but may almost prove too simple for some purposes.
The One Laptop Per Child project is developing an update to its XO notebook that will let users run two operating systems on one of the computers, group chair Nicholas Negroponte says in an interview. Though multi-boot setups are not unique to the Mac, the OLPC head says the portable for developing-world schools will soon have a multi-OS system "like on an Apple" that lets users quickly flip between the OLPC's custom Sugar Linux-based interface and Windows XP. Although concerns have been raised about the Microsoft software's performance on the $200 system, the OLPC group notes that the XO's version is not the same as on most computers.
Intel Quits OLPC Project
The One Laptop Per Child project has revealed that Intel has resigned its position from the non-profit group, ending any further teamwork on future projects. Although it had only joined the group in July, the company has been forced out of the group over its refusal to abandon projects that would directly compete with the XO notebook, which forms the backbone of the OLPC team's efforts. Systems like the Classmate PC are considered unacceptable by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte both because they may take sales from the OLPC and because they use software other than the XO's custom Linux interface, Intel claims. The Classmate normally uses either a standard version of Linux or Windows XP.
Innovation Rankings 2007
Despite its features, the iPhone is not the most innovative development of 2007, according to PC World's top 25 list for 2007. The magazine instead presents the top award to Google Gears, the search engine giant's platform that allows Mac and Windows users to run web apps such as Google Reader and Zoho Writer without an active Internet connection. Though still in beta, Gears is more innovative for eliminating one of the last obstacles to abandoning at least some desktop-based software in favor of downloads.
Gartner: Eee rivals coming
ASUS' fledgling Eee PC is doing extremely well, the company reports. It expects to sell over 400,000 systems by January, and at a tradeshow in Taipei last week, it sold out all 5,000 units it brought for the occasion. Targeted sales for 2008 could be in excess of 3.8 million. This very success could, however, become a problem for ASUS, notes the research firm Gartner. It has already attracted competition, such as from the Chinese company Hasee, which is building a stripped-down 13.3-inch laptop.
OLPC Windows XP in 2008
Microsoft's Unlimited Potential group will test the One Laptop Per Child project's XO system with Windows XP, the company has announced. As part of a program to establish the guidelines for using the OS with budget notebooks with flash storage, including Intel's Classmate and the ASUS Eee PC, the software developer says it will run a field trial to see whether it can provide a "high-quality" implementation of Windows on the system, which runs an ultra low-power AMD Geode processor and typically runs a version of Linux to reduce costs and performance overhead.
OLPC Team Nigerian Lawsuit
The One Laptop Per Child project today was found to be the target of a lawsuit from Lagos Analysis over the XO notebook's keyboard. Known for short as LANCOR, the US-based but Nigerian-owned firm has filed the complaint in Nigeria claiming that the OLPC team deliberately reverse-engineered its keyboard driver code. By including multiple Shift keys to accommodate special characters in non-English languages, the XO violates LANCOR's own patents for a similar technology used in a dedicated international keyboard; the OLPC team bought two of the keyboards with the explicit purpose of stealing the technology inside, the Nigerian firm claims.