It's IT Blogwatch: in which the One Laptop Per Child project is losing executive after executive, amidst rumors of disquiet and rancor. Not to mention an animated macro...
Agam Shah reports:
Drastic internal restructuring at the One Laptop Per Child Project has led to the resignation of one of the nonprofit's top executives from the effort. Walter Bender, the former president of software and content at OLPC, has left the organization to pursue "new activities" ... Bender's original position as a president was eliminated during OLPC's restructuring process, and he resigned as a director of deployment ... [He] played a key role in the development and deployment of open-source software for the organization's low-cost XO laptop, aimed as a learning tool for children in developing countries ... [and] promoted the use of open-source software for the XO laptop in the face of repeated efforts to load Windows XP, which has gained him a big following in the open-source community ... OLPC has lost three top executives in the past few months. In January, OLPC lost Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen ... In February, Director of Security Ivan Krsti? resigned from OLPC to protest the organization's restructuring and "radical" change in goals. moreWayan Vota might vote with his feet:
Walter Bender resigned from OLPC! ... Apparently, rumor has it that Nicholas Negroponte is close to abandoning Sugar and Linux in favor of Microsoft XP, to spur sales of the XO laptop. Negroponte thinks that many more laptops need to be sold and a partnership with Microsoft is the way to achieve that goal. Walter Bender disagreed with this near-total abandonment of the original mission ... Personally, I think I'm going into shock for a bit. As I've made clear, I feel that XP on the XO is the end of OLPC as an education project. If OLPC falls to the Dark Side, I may just join Walter Bender in resignation ... [However], he says he doesn't know about any plans for Windows XP on the XO laptop, so my fears of a Microsoft take-over of OLPC may be unfounded ... I hope OLPC realizes that Walter's leaving represents a major trauma to the formal organization. More than Mary Lou Jepsen or Ivan Krsti?, Walter Bender was OLPC on a day-to-day basis ... Nicholas Negroponte needs to show that OLPC's reorganization is really going to increase educational impact, and he's not just moving deck chairs on the Titanic. moreBut Walter Bender neighs:
After more than two years without a break at One Laptop per Child, I have decided to take some time to reflect on how I can best contribute going forward to the goal of giving children around the world opportunities for a quality learning experience ... My personal interest is in helping build a community of developers, educators, and learners dedicated to advancing the quality of free and open source software for learning and the sharing of pedagogical approaches in this community by adopting the spirit and methodology of the open-source movement. While my goal is to create a complementary effort to broaden the reach of the software and pedagogy--a free and open framework in support of "learning learning", I hope to continue working with the great team at OLPC as well as the various groups that have formed around the world in support of one-laptop-per-child deployments. moreEgan Orion looks to the stars:
Announcement of Bender's resignation comes shortly after recent reports have surfaced that OLPC's XO laptops are being hit with keyboard hardware glitches involving "sticky keys," but there's no indication that the two events are related. OLPC spokesman George Snell reportedly said that the position of president of software and content has been eliminated. He did not mention Bender's latest position as director of deployment but did say "Bender will not be replaced." moreJustin Mann muses:
The reasons may be obvious, depending on your perspective. Bender apparently has a disagreement with Nicholas Negroponte, the pioneer of the project itself, about the future of the OLPC and their future partnerships ... The implications and reasons for his leaving may have serious impact on how people view the OLPC project in the future. Could the OLPC eventually become nothing more than your run of the mill low cost laptop? moreFake Steve laughs his fake head off:
Well it's getting kinda lonely around the Cambridge headquarters of the OLPC craptop intiative. Walter Bender, designer of the device's almost completely unusuable Sugar interface, has resigned. OLPC News reported that Bender was leaving in a huff because Nicholas Negroponte is going to use Windows XP on the green machine. Not so, Bender insists. In his exit statement Bender says two years of non-stop work (imagine that! two whole years) has wiped him out and he needs a break. So, um, he's quitting. Apparently the idea of a vacation did not occur to him. And that's it. His departure follows that of the project's security chief, as well as Mary Lou Jepsen, the chief technologist who won worldwide praise for her work in designing the barely functioning laptop ... I don't like to gloat, but I must say this: I told you so. moreesocid sniffs the air:
It looks like Bender was kind of forced to resign since all of his responsibilities were absorbed into the other 4 restructured areas. Since January the OLPC has lost three top execs, one of whom was asked to stop collaborating with Bender. Something seems a little fishy with this operation now. moreNicholas C. Weaver wonders if XP might not be all bad:
The software stack may be questionable, but the hardware is brilliant. Nothing else comes close for efficiency, cost, battery life (with working software), ruggedness, total lifetime, etc. The thing is VERY tough (i've tossed mine several times), very low power (3 hours battery life with 100% broken power management. Good power management should get 6+ hours battery life for typical users), with a brilliant screen. Just put real software on it and its very nice. Let alone the environmental tolerance: Normal notebook batteries die if you try charging them at 100F. moreAnd finally...
- Direct2Dell: Earth Day Feature: 5 Steps to a Greener PC
- Data Center Knowledge: Amazon Growth: Boost for Rackable?
- Herding Cats: Sacred Cow: Teams
- 1 Raindrop: Security Rules
- Ben Worthen: Does Your Boss Own Your Relationships?
- Andy Oram: Consider the economics in network neutrality
- C.G. Lynch: Why Microsoft Office Going Free Would Be Good For Business (And Users)
Other Computerworld bloggers:
- Douglas Schweitzer: How deep on the spectrum is high-tech green?
- Seth Weintraub: Apple buys P.A. Semi
- SJVN: Can we please stop Cross-Site Scripting Attacks?
- Preston Gralla: Why Windows 7 won't save Microsoft
- Don Tennant: Good sports
- Mark Hall: Beyond FTP and e-mail attachments
- Shark Tank: Oops!
- Shark Bait: The End of the Internet?
Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in IT Blogwatch: