September 15, 2007
How do you say boondoggle in Swahili?
Hint: The phrase starts with "$100" and ends with "laptop." Yes, you read that correctly. "$100 laptop" is the newest four letter word in places like Nigeria. And it's probably not a good time to be working for the One Laptop per Child Foundation, especially since they just jacked the price up. Sources tell me that several OLPC employees have already been pistol whipped by young African men (above) who will no longer be able to afford the portable computers that now cost $188 each.
So why the price jump? Apparently Red Hat wanted to up its support price by $5 per laptop, and then Novell caught wind of it and wanted in on the action too. So now the OLPC has a laptop that costs $10 to make and $178 to support. Makes sense right? No? Well, I don't get it either. Guess we'll have to blame it on the rising cost of free software. I just feel sorry for the third world countries that are going to have to foot the bill. Nobody should have to pay that much for a computer that runs Fedora and is full of recycled Apple IIe parts.