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Re: One Laptop per Child Free T-mobile access

Hi Bob, 

I presume the limited offering is because Deutsche Telekom who own T-Mobile
have no desire to lose money - offering free WiFi hotspot access, even for a
year, has a cost.

Not wishing to put a damper on it I do wonder about the economics of the
project. The original target was $100, this has already shifted to $200 and I
wonder what they are currently getting in the way of subsidies from the
Peruvian Government and various International Bodies UN, UNESCO etc to allow a
$200 price tag.

If the project were economically viable then the primary market would be the
wealthy citizens of North America, Japan and Europe. I suspect that even at
$200 a piece this is not a profitable venture and depends on subsidies. 

Still if taxpayers dollars are indirectly subsidising the hardware then we
should take full advantage of it. Software is the key and given that it runs a
Linux based operating system there should be a significant amount of Open
Source software available. 

As Peter has mentioned there is a serial interface available which would permit
various Amateur Radio control applications eg rotator control. 

73 Trevor M5AKA

--- Robert Bruninga <bruninga@usna.edu> wrote:

> I notice that the OLPC comes with one year free T-mobile
> wireless access.
> Am about to purchase.  The fine print says:
> - No support.  No service. BLOGGS will help you.
> - You are part of a mission, not a customer
> - BOGO from 12 to 26 November only.
> Questions:  Is there an implication here, that after this
> initial offering, that these will not be sold to USA students
> and kids?  That these are only for 3rd world?  That there will
> be some kind of limit to keep afluent kids out of the program?
> I assume not.  Because all this program needs is VOLUME
> production and the way to get that is to sell to everyone.  And
> besides, they need lots of talented kids develping software to
> raise the overall open-software collective value.
> Can anyone shed light on this?  Rather than buying my kids a
> flufffed up bloated windows laptop, I'd rather get them an OLPC
> to support the program and so they can learn the big picture and
> contribute to the collective education of the world.  I assume
> it will have a word processor, a browser, a spreadsheet, a
> drawing program and other basic tools.
> Big picture?  Will American schools be fully participating?
> Bob, WB4APR

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