[sugar] Privately-owned data on XOs?

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 23:18:42 EDT 2007

I don't question that kids learn fast and that across the cultures we
are deploying there are varied expectations of privacy (especially for
children). I also think we have the makings of a framework that can
provide some new and potentially powerful forms of collaboration. That
said, given all the things we are juggling and the large number of
things we just don't know (or know that just ain't so) I do think
being conservative--by letting the human social context dictate the
rules of sharing and privacy rather than trying to engineer them--is
the prudent course.

In answer to Michael's specific questions:

> First, are we actually intending to try to measure this (or more
> generally, to measure what our design communicates and fails to
> communicate)? If so, could you say a few words about what kind of a
> measurement you're envisioning us making?

At a minimum, we can look at this simply from an information
theoretical perspective: is the information sufficiently apparent in
the interface to communicate the message. Then we can ask, what are
the conditions under which this message is received and understood. I
don't think we have even met these minimal measure yet in any of our

> Second, I'm not sure that I know which "kids" are you referring to and
> what kind of "understanding" you're looking for. For example, haven't
> many anonymous individual kids have been collectively redefining and
> understanding what it means to be "connected" for a much longer time than
> we have, and with greater overall success thus far? Admittedly the
> process is not without risks; people have gotten hurt. So perhaps what
> you're saying is that we can't afford to take those risks. Is this what
> you meant?

What are the risks? Lets spell them out and then let the communities
who are receiving the laptops make an informed decision.

> I don't think we're really attempting, at the moment, to provide such a
> space.

We are providing many other tools: wikis on the server, the ability to
share objects a single mouse click, group chats, etc., and internet
access to all the same tools that the open source community uses to
share and collaborate.


Walter Bender
One Laptop per Child

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