Techsoup has a good interview with the Chief Connectivity Officer, Michael Bletsas, of OLPC. Unfortunately, it does nothing to quell my concerns about their deployment strategy. Once I get comments back from my paper exploring the OLPC project from a diffusion theory standpoint, I'll post at least the abstract online, but until then, Bletsas condenses my main point of contention into one paragraph:
MB: The plan is still to ship units in large quantities by the end of the first quarter of 2007 – that hasn’t changed in quite a long time. As of now the countries we are going to ship the laptop to will probably be Thailand, Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina, and Egypt. The other two big countries we would like to launch at – India and China – are not as clear yet.
I really object to the language "launch at" - is this a development program, or a marketing campaign (or, for that matter, a military campaign)?