he year for OLPC started with a bang of changes in the first ten days:-
Either Intel left because OLPC was behaving badly or OLPC threw Intel out for not contributing the media's jury is still spinning out the accusations and counter-allegations but the bottom line is that the marriage (or was it just an engagement?) is over and the baby previously called XO-2 has been aborted. (Apologies to those offended by the pun but it seems most apt)
Mary Lou Jepsen left OLPC to become CEO/CTO at Pixel Qi a One Laptop per Child spin-out that will capitalize on her XO related inventions in the for-profit arena alongside non-profit by pursuing the $75 laptop, while also aiming to bring sunlight readable, low-cost and low-power screens into mainstream laptops, cellphones and digital cameras.
According to NetworkWorld's IDG News, Nicholas now thinks "To have the United Sates be the only country that's not in the OLPC agenda would be kind of ridiculous". So OLPC America has been born to work with the 50 US State Governments aiming for the poor kids in the USA. It already has a director and a chairman, and will likely be based in Washington D.C.
Lancor's $20 Million lawsuit and injunction against OLPC distribution activities in Nigeria means the new production machines that the Galadima School kids were supposed to receive on Monday their first day of school this year to replace the Beta test ones that were taken at the end of last term can't be given to them.
So instead of twiddling my thumbs staring at distraught kids, indignant Government officials and unintelligible lawyers in Nigeria, I spent some time in London's Olympia at BETT education’s largest international conference on technology in education with the two Alans from The Open Learning Centre who were displaying the XO to visitors at the stand put up by Stephen Aitken, Bob Blatchford and Alan from Open Forum Europe.
The response was quite heartwarming with a lot of the visitors wanting to see, play and in the case of the guys from Dubai buy a few for their schools on the spot. I also met a Director from one of London's Local Education Authorities who was quite keen on getting a UK G1G1 scheme going and a Nigerian Teacher who was enthusiastic enough to take a mugshot with us.
So here from left to right with the display XOs are Alan Lord, yours truly, Margaret Udo (Nigerian Teacher) and Alan's partner at The Open Learning Centre Alan Bell.
And the beat goes on....but the dance has definitely changed.