Monday, September 17, 2007

Jealousy

My friend and old relay team member Austin Craig got to see one of the 5 One Laptop Per Child models in existence. Here.
-You know how they got this thing to fly? They faked it. They didn't have prototypes to show potential investors and philanthropists, they had plastic models. When Nicholas Negroponte was showing this off to everybody, he was using a cheaply (carefully and skillfully, yes, but cheaply) made model. It was faux wood with pins and plastic, etc. That's what he showed to Kofi Annan, that's what he gave the Pope when he wanted one (yes, the Pope called and asked for one), that's what he leaked to the world as the earth shattering innovation. When Negroponte himself leaked some of the first images of the OLPC, what he was really showing was a cardboard mock up.
And my favorite part
-That picture with Kofi Annan? If he looks a little flustered, it's because he just broke the handle off the cheap model at a press meeting, and is trying to stick it back on. They wrote the designers asking for a repair kit. The designers sent them super-glue.

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