Monthly Archives: December 2007

Cheers to One Laptop per Child’s (OLPC) Mary Lou Jepsen

When I visited the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Headquarters in Cambridge, MA, the first thing that I noticed is everyone working so intensely.  They were all on a mission.  They’re changing the world.

One of those employees that was busy working to change the world and that I had the pleasure of meeting at OLPC HQ on one of my visits is their Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen.

According to OLPC President Walter Bender’s weekly community news email letter, Mary Lou Jepsen is leaving OLPC for new adventures.

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.

So on this New Year’s Eve, Mary Lou I lift my glass to you. Cheers!

WidgetDevCamp in Washington, DC will be January 25-26th, 207

WidgetDevCamp Logo

If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll remember that this fall I announced the concept of WidgetDevCamp.  Well today I’m pleased to announce that WidgetDevCamp will be in Washington, DC on January 25 (evening) & 26th (all day) at Blattner Brunner (1250 Eye Street, NW, 12th Floor).

At the event, we’ll be talking about, discussing,  and learning about modular/social/widget application development.  There will also be a time for developing and designing.  If you had fun at BarCamp DC… if you like chatting about Facbook and all things social web, you need to be at this event.

Of course… the event is free but due to limited space at our venue we only have room for 60 people so sign up now.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, it’d be  HUGE help. There is an option for sponsorship on the registration page.  Maximum sponsorship is $250.

If there is a topic around widgets that you wanna hear or a topic that you wanna speak about, make sure that you make a note on the session ideas wiki page. Note: This page is just for preliminary planning purposes.  The agenda for the event will be made the day of the event… on site.

If you have an idea for an awesome widget, add that the widget ideas page.  Maybe we’ll make it.

This is a community-centric event.  I hope we’ll see you there and I hope you’ll participate.

The Power of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Give One Get One Program (G1G1)

PC290006 PC290001

So… a few of us got together yesterday for an informal meetup of DC residents that own One Laptop per Child (OLPC) XO laptops through the Give One Get One Program.

It was great fun to meet other people who were excited about OLPC.  We talked through some issues that people were having with their laptops.  We showed the computers to other people at the coffee shop.  We played some games using the mesh network.

The folks I met yesterday and everyone who has participated in the OLPC Give One Get One (G1G1) Program has really helped to change the world.  President of OLPC Walter Bender in his weekly community news e-mail letter wrote:

G1G1 has not only made it possible to seed the launch of programs in Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Afghanistan…

He goes on to say…

…we have also greatly broaden the community of participation in the project. The community has already jumped in to help: the level of activity in our forums, IRC, email lists, wiki, etc. has risen dramatically over the past few weeks. G1G1 participants have asked lots of questions—and have uncovered some new bugs—but they also have lots of answers—and have submitted some new patches. The community model seems to be scaling.

You too can participate but you only have till tomorrow.  The OLPC Give One Get One (G1G1) program ends tomorrow, December 31st.

Go now.

Only a few days left participate in the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Give One Get One Program…

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So I just got my One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Give One Get One XO Laptop and I love it.  It’s such a wonderful little computer.

While i’ve worked with some early betas of the laptop, this is the first time i’ve gotten my hands on a production version of the hardware.

I look forward to doing a deep dive into the software and what it’s capable of.  I’ll definitely be writing about it more in the future.

You too should give one and get one of these xo laptopsThere are only a few days left to participate.  The program ends December 31st, 2007.  So donate right now.

If you already have your OLPC XO laptop and live in the DC area, we’re going to do an impromptu get together this weekend at 2:30pm at Murky Coffee in Arlington, VA.

It’d be great to get a bunch of these computers together, demo what they’re capable of, and see how many other people we can get to buy them.

Wanna Help Stop Rumors… Be Transparent. Give people some real news to talk about.

In a recent post on Facebook’s corporate blog, Carolyn Abram talks about how Facebook users should not be listening to rumors about Facebook that are passed around via chain letters, Wall messages, and third-party applications.

So… let me think about this…

If you’re transparent about what you’re doing and actually give people real information, why would they spread rumors?

If Facebook actually talked more about what was going on people wouldn’t spread stupid rumors.  They’d be talking about all the amazing things Facebook has going on.

Doesn’t this make sense?

“Because something is happening here…”

Today while at work I watched the video from Leo Laporte‘s keynote at the Blog World Expo this last November. Leo has always proved to be an extraordinary public speaker and he lived up to this with this keynote.

He talked about the social media revolution and he quoted a portion of the Bob Dylan song Ballad of a Thin Man, which I thought was really cool:

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Something is happening here and there are days where you can’t predict what’s going to happen day to day.

One thing is for sure. We are amidst a revolution.

Media, entertainment, communication… how people exchange information will never be the same again.

The World Wide Web has changed EVERYTHING.

Random Thoughts while Watching TV

I’m sitting here watching tv with my parents and have a bunch of random thoughts…

  1. So… where is the killer Facebook app?  Up until now, all of the Facebook applications have been pretty silly and elementary.  Many of people told me… “just wait. the killer app is coming.  it just will take time to make it.”  Well… where is it???  It just seems like the general buzz around Facebook applications has died down.
  2. I’m really hoping that Steve Jobs announces an Apple TV 2.0 in January at Macworld Expo.  I want it to be cheaper.  I want it to work with any television.  I want it to have a big hard drive on it.  It seems like this would be a killer product.  I want to be able to easily watch Wine Library TV on my  television.
  3. I’m hoping that Mobile Web will take off in 2008.  People need to see what is possible by having the Web in the palm of their hand.  I guess… cost needs to go down… speed needs to go up.  I hope 3g gets better.
  4. I’m having a hard time evangelizing Twitter to some of my friends.  They just don’t see why it’s important.  How do you show them that its beneficial to have that constant connection to some of the people you’re friends with?
  5. I really dig Pownce but people seem to be confused about it.  They see it as a Twitter competitor even though Leah Culver has time and time again said its more like lightweight e-mail.  Was it bad timing that has caused Pownce’s downfall?
  6. Is it bad that we’re using these silo’d systems like Twitter and Pownce?  I can’t view someone’s Facebook status on my Twitter account.  I can’t send a Pownce Message to someone’s Facebook Message account.

More thoughts later…

Washington Post Reports on One Laptop per Child’s Deployment in Peru

The Washington Post has a really cool report from the recent deployment of the One Laptop per Child’s (OLPC) XO Laptops in Peru. Children’s minds are being opened to the world of possibilities which is set before them.

 “Some tell me that they don’t want to be like their parents, working in the fields,” first-grade teacher Erica Velasco says of her pupils. She had just sent them to the Internet to seek out photos of invertebrates _ animals without backbones.

Antony, 12, wants to become an accountant.

Alex, 7, aspires to be a lawyer.

Kevin, 11, wants to play trumpet.

Saida, 10, is already a promising videographer, judging from her artful recording of the town’s recent Fiesta de la Virgen.

The Queen of England is Now on YouTube

The British Monarchy is on YouTube

I’ve always had a fascination with the history and the mystique of the British Monarchy… maybe because here in the United States we don’t have a king or queen.  It’s just fascinating  to read about and watch documentaries of.  But alas… it’s always been so far away (across the Atlantic Ocean)… until now.

The British Monarch is now on YouTube.  They’ve launched their own channel.

This rocks. They can upload videos from today and from years past.  You can get a peak behind the family and inside the history… my inner nerd is smiling.

And the thing is… I must not be alone because the channel itself has almost had a quarter million views (250,000+).

The Queen is going to even upload her Christmas message to YouTube so that its available there the same time its being played live on TV.

I’d post some of the videos but they disabled embedding… bummer.

Nick O’Neill Interviews Sean Greene of LaunchBox Digital

Nick O’Neill has recently posted a great interview with Sean Greene of Lauchbox Digital up on his blog Social Times.  Sean talks about how Launchbox Digital is here to help give interactive and digital media companies and entrepreneurs the foundation they need to get ahead of their competition.  This foundation means everything from a chunk of money to advice from the smartest people in the area.

I think what Launchbox Digital is doing for the Washington DC area tech scene is great.  I hope a lot of people will apply for their  Spring/Summer 2008 Program.