On Wed, 23 Dec 2009, Sameer Verma wrote:

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 10:09 AM, Stanley Sokolow <overb...@earthlink.net>wrote:

My personal experience tells me that it wouldn't help to have this piece of
vaporware come into being.    The limiting factor in bringing computing to
the poor masses on this planet is the high cost of connecting them to the

Lack of connectivity did not prevent the non-poor from getting computing.
There was such a time when we didn't have Internet connectivity. It surely
didn't stop us :-) Offline content and offline mirrors on local servers
could very well fill in a large part of the gap.

the old saying is 'never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with tapes'

with current hard drives (1-2TB each), don't underestimate the bandwidth a a suitcase on a mule.

when I last ordered drives in bulk I got 20 drives in a box ~6" x 12" x 18" packed for shipping.

one round trip a week of 20x2TB drives is 554Mb/sec, or 69MB/sec. To simply transfering the data to/from the drives would require two drives reading continuously all the time at each end to read the data being received and two drives writing continuously to write the data being sent

now, this isn't taking into account the horrible latency in this network connection ;-) but it means that if there is much of any transportation the data can be moved around to make it available.

this won't work for interactive services, but it will work for e-mail, data requests, etc.

now this is obviously overkill and beyond what is reasonable to try and implement for one data link in the wilderness, but this sort of thing is being done today, in first-world countries to move large scientific datasets around.

20 drives cost ~$4k, shipping them 2nd day will cost ~$200/shipment so shipping this 15 times in a month is ~$3k and result in ~2Gb/sec in bandwidth. you won't get 2Gb/sec in connectivity for this price (assuming that you can get it to your location in the first place)

David Lang


Even wireless service is beyond the reach of rural villages without massive
government help, not likely to come about where it is needed most.
Negroponte should now focus OLPC's attention on connectivity cost, not on
making claims (which I doubt will come to fruition) about ultra low cost
tablet devices.

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 9:11 AM, Sameer Verma <sve...@sfsu.edu> wrote:

On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Benjamin M. Schwartz <
bmsch...@fas.harvard.edu> wrote:


"It aims to make its tablet PC highly durable, all plastic, waterproof,
half the thickness of an iPhone and use less than a watt of power,
an 8-gigaherz processor. The price: an unprecedented $75."

Well, that's cool.

Deciphering OLPC press releases sometimes feels like I'm playing chess
with Picasso, and he keeps breaking the rules, and I can't tell whether
this is some kind of art or he's just cheating.


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More than anything I find this quote amusing:

"We don't necessarily need to build it," Negroponte told Forbes. "We just
need to threaten to build it."

I suppose we could threaten to code the OS, threaten to support it,
threaten to create content... :-)

Hey, its Festivus. Air out the grievances!!!


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