Samuel Klein sj at laptop.org
Fri May 23 22:31:52 EDT 2008

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 11:46 AM, Benjamin M. Schwartz <
bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

> John Watlington wrote:
> | On May 22, 2008, at 11:01 AM, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
> |> GPS enables a lot of mapping and geography-related educational
> |> activities, which is why it was originally considered for the XO-1.
> |> It would probably (like the camera) only be powered on when being used
> |> (although the long lock-on time might make this user-unfriendly).
> Long lock-on times have been reduced considerably in the latest generation
> of cheap GPS hardware.  Initializing with a good guess makes it even
> faster, just a few seconds.


> |> Google Earth-like applications are fantastic for giving students a
> |> sense of their place on the earth, and there's a lot of economic
> |> possibility inherent in allowing kids to create better maps for their
> |> local neighborhoods.  But, the time/cost was not ripe for Gen 1, and
> |> it may not be for Gen 2 either.
> |
> | Probably not.   Remember the accusations that we already
> | HAVE a GPS unit in the XO, and are using it to track everybody...
> | Would we have to have a hardware-only light that indicates that
> | the GPS unit has been used to locate the laptop ?
> A hardware light sounds like a good idea to me.  Nonetheless, we should
> not allow the conspiracy theorists to design our hardware.  We are of
> course speaking about GPS receivers, not location transponders.  OLPC may
> not be able to include GPS, but we should not deny useful technologies to
> children merely because we expect a backlash from uninformed armchair
> critics.
> - --Ben

Ben is spot on.  Wad, I'm surprised you are so worried about that...  of
course including a good location transponder would be a /real/ power drain.

If we are worried about transparency of 'location', we should have a visible
indicator every time an XO calls home over the network -- this is something
I actually really want to see, and significantly more relevant than a gps
hardware light would be.

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