OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) will begin taking orders for the xo laptop starting on November 12 with a nice twist: You pay for two (around $400), one is shipped to you and the other to a needy child in a third world country.
Another interesting news item: EA donates SimCity to OLPC.
I still have mixed feelings about this project, but am increasingly persuaded that it is a good idea to insure that this technology is available. It is really quite amazing that OLPC has been able to create a durable, functional laptop computer though a bit over the original $100 per mark. One major aspect of this being the dependence on OSS and the creation of a unique OS called sugar. The modified RedHat Linux is really quite amazing. You can try it out yourself by downloading the live ISO. As I mentioned in a previous post the OS is really important on a low-end system, and GNU/Linux does this well. This is the same with the Nigerian decisions to purchase Intel Classmate PCs with Mandriva Linux installed instead of Windows. This, despite some last-minute meddling from Microsoft. Add to the ability to run on low-end resources, the ability to customize the Linux OS depending on the use and you have a uniquely pliable system that can fit many uses.