The XO laptop, part of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, is finally set to go into mass production based on the release of the final Beta-4 (B4) engineering model. The so-called $100 laptop actually will cost about $178 and should start shipping in quantity by October.
The OLPC initiative, Nicholas Negroponteís brainchild, aims to put computers in the hands of poor children with the help of government agencies in developing countries around the world. The project received a major boost earlier this month when Intel decided to reverse its long-standing opposition to the proposal, joining a host of other companies backing the initiative such as Google, Red Hat, and rival AMD.
Recently, some controversy around the project surfaced, when it was revealed that Nigerian schoolchildren were using low-cost laptops to surf pornographic sites on the Internet.
"I've seen whole computer rooms turn into porno galleries as boobie-gazing men replace women and children as the primary customers of a center. Yes, itís sad, but itís also human nature," wrote Wayan Vota, on the OLPC news blog.
As a result, the XO computers will now be fitted with filters, according to Wayan, but noted that porn surfing is not a technical problem to be solved with filters, it's a human nature issue addressed through a comprehensive cultural integration process.