Posted on February 18, 2009 in IP, OLPC by Brian RoweComments Off


This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in technology and making a real impact in developing nations.  Here are the details:

Volunteer to be part of an unforgettable travel and learning experience by participating in the OLPC International Internship program.

At OLPC, our interns will be active members of our innovative 1:1 laptop learning project and an important part of the on the ground support system. OLPC summer internships run for 10 weeks (June until early August) and are full-time commitments. Interns will work closely with a local implementation team comprised of teachers, technical professionals, government officials and members of the OLPC learning group.

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in education, technology or capacity building, our internship will provide you with invaluable hands-on experience.

Interns will:
• travel to one of the selected countries for 10 weeks: 1-week orientation and 9 weeks at a community site in either Peru, Uruguay or Rwanda.
• support an interactive English language learning program
• help children learn by designing and constructing their own software projects
• receive an XO laptop
• participate in online activities/training with OLPC employees
• participate in a wrap-up and celebratory session

• Passport
• Immunizations
• Proficiency in the Spanish language for internships in Peru or Uruguay

How to apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume to: Nia
Applications must be received by February 28, 2009
For more information on OLPC please visit our website at

This is an unpaid internship position designed to increase OLPC’s impact.  We encourage applicants to apply for funding through their university. OLPC does offer a limited number of stipends for those with financial need. If you are in need of funding please contact Nia Lewis,

This might also be a good opportunity for someone from the FC community to voice concerns FC concerns from the inside.  FC has been very dedicated to OLPC and feels a little abandoned by some of the recent software choices.  I have found that when I give time to an org they are more willing to listen because they can see that I care about the good work they are doing.

Posted on April 30, 2008 in microsoft, OLPC, XO by Brian RoweComments Off

At LinuxFest NW 2008, this last weekend, our OLPC was by far the most popular thing at the FFIP table (second was the bad Vista stickers from FSF). We could have easily sold 10 OLPC’s at Linuxfest if they were available. At the same time we were showing off OLPC, Mircosoft and Negroponte were announcing that they are working together.

“It would be hard for OLPC to say it was ‘open’ and then be closed to Microsoft. Open means open,” Negroponte said.

This statement perplexes me, this is like saying “It is hard for Culture to be ‘Free’ without DRM.” The only way this would be a good ideas is if the Microsoft OLPC version of XP is open source. Open does not mean closed source the last thing developing nations need is a Vista style debacle on OLPC’s.

Posted on January 2, 2008 in IP, Jepsen, nptech, OLPC by Brian RoweComments Off

The Chief Technology officer for One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Mary Lou Jepsen has left the non-profit to start company that will commercialize inventions related to display technology. She has stated that she will continue to offer improvements to OLPC at a discount:

“I will continue to give OLPC product at cost, while providing commercial entities products they would like at a profit,” Jepsen wrote in an e-mail.

I am dubious of whether it is a good idea for OLPC to actively license technology even at cost. My understanding was that OLPC rejected an offer from Microsoft to license a stripped down version of Windows in favor of Linux as its primary OS. Basing OLPC on free open inventions allows the most flexibility for developing nations to use the machines. Before leaving OLPC Jepsen did submit patent 20070285428 (’428 for short) to the USPTO for approval. I am curious how OLPC will treat this patent. The OLPC wiki has a strong statement in favor of Open Software, authored by Benjamin Mako Hill:

“[OLPC] Must not be otherwise encumbered by software patents which restrict modification or use in the ways described above. All patents practiced by software should be sublicenseable and allow our users to make use or sell derivative versions that practice the patent in question.”

There is no similar statement about hardware patents related to OLPC. I would hope that all patents related to OLPC would be held in an patent pool similar to IBM’s patent commons that allows for open source use and innovation. I am curious about how OLPC plans to use ’428 in the future.

Related documents:
Patent 20070285428 (an OLPC patent on which Jepsen is listed as an inventor)
Computer World

PS Do not confuse Mary Luo Jepsen new patent’s with “jepson claims“. I did, but I am better now. If anyone has a full copy of Mary Luo Jepsen’s email I would be interested in reading it please email me at Brian (at) FreedomforIP (dot) org.

Posted on December 3, 2007 in IP, OLPC, patents by Brian RoweComments Off

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Association has been sued by a company based in Massachusetts: Lagos Analysis Corp. Lagos claims that OLPC reversed engineered its Shift2 keyboard driver source codes.

This seems like a terrible patent to me. Using the shift key to change characters has been around for a long time. Using a shift key for changing language setting and add marks for different languages appears at first glance as obvious and not novel. I look forward to seeing the actual complaint filed and the patent in question.

Press Coverage:

Virtualization (warning annoying popup)


Disclaimer: I bought a OLPC though the Give one Get one program. It is still in transit, I look forward to reviewing it soon. I strongly support the project philosophically.

Posted on November 11, 2007 in Giving, OLPC, open source by Brian RoweComments Off

Starting tomorrow, November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home.

If you’re interested in Give 1 Get 1, sign up at One laptop Giving