So farewell then, OLPC CTO (and

It's the first IT Blogwatch of 2008: in which The One Laptop Per Child project loses its CTO. Not to mention a (Canadian) copyright carol...

Agam Shah reports:

The One Laptop Per Child project suffered a blow this week, with Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen quitting the nonprofit to start a for-profit company to commercialize technology she invented with OLPC ... Jepsen was responsible for hardware and display development for the rugged and power-saving XO laptop, designed for use by children in developing countries. [more]
OLPC's Walter Bender adds:
Mary Lou's last day at OLPC is December 31. She will be continuing to consult with us on a number of different fronts as she chases after her next miracle in display technology. Mary Lou was OLPC employee Number One, both in terms of when she joined the organization and in terms of the breadth and depth of her contributions. [more]
OLPC's Wayan Vota waves a tearful farewell:
We're gonna miss you ... Mary Lou was more that an employee, she was the foundation of OLPC ... in what I still think is an under-reported feat, she made the XO the greenest laptop ever made ... She also kept the program real, skipping the grandiose statements for getting things done ... From all of us who care about OLPC, may we deliver you the best wishes for you and yours in 2008 and beyond. Thank you. [more]
Justin Thorp, too:
She has done a great deal for the project by inventing the laptop’s display which allows you to view it in direct sunlight, which ROCKS!!!! She also co-invented the laptop’s power management, which gives you more battery life then any other laptop you’ll get your hands on. The OLPC XO Laptop and the knowledge that comes with it will be so much more usable and accessible to many more children across the world because of Mary Lou Jepsen’s contributions. [more]
But Fake Steve Jobs calls it, "Great news":
She wants to make money selling stuff she developed for OLPC ... Frankly, I'm shocked -- shocked! -- at the idea ... [Did] Mary Lou Jepsen actually manage to retain ownership of her designs while working for OLPC, a 501(c)(3) organization? If so, doesn't this mean that in effect taxpayers subsidized the R&D for whatever "for-profit company" Mary Lou Jepsen is now about to launch? [more]
Mary Lou Jepsen (for it is she) retorts:
I'm not taking my inventions from OLPC - I'm licensing them from OLPC. Why: An inventor has a good chance of improving the price/performance of her inventions. Why restrict her access to them if our goal is lower cost computing for the developing world? ... My new company is trying to explore the concepts of open hardware - and trying to figure out the right way to do it ... Doesn't anyone want a 50 Euro laptop? I do. [more]
And bmartin is supportive:
A person claiming responsibility for some of the XO's innovations has left the OLPC in order to be compensated for her inventions. I don't see the problem with this. The power consumption technologies are amazing; hard drives, processors, and displays all consume a lot of power ... why can't we use similar technology for laptops in the future? [more]
Dan "318230" East sums it up:
She was responsible for designing the display, which, depending on who you ask, is either really novel and cutting edge, or a substandard compromise to modern display design ... now she can go off and make the technology available to other markets instead of keeping it exclusive to the OLPC. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. [more]
And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

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:

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