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66 OLPC XO '$100 Laptops' Stolen from Poor Kids

66 OLPC XO '$100 Laptops' Stolen from Poor Kids
We've been closely following the story of the OLPC XO, the supposed '$100 Laptop,' since it first began production. Months later, when it was finally shipped to needy kids, it actually cost just shy of $200 a pop. Though there have been a number of setbacks and disappointments in the project, none have been quite like the latest: According to Peruvian Radio News RPP, 66 OLPC XO laptops were stolen from a Peruvian school two weeks ago, where they were being stored in preparation for being given out to kids.

What's even more frustrating is that the stolen laptops are likely to deactivate themselves in a short while, making them completely useless. When an OLPC XO is activated, it is supposed to be locked via a passcode specific to a user. So, if the laptop is turned on by anyone else, it will deactivate itself. There have been cases where the laptops have not been locked down as they were supposed to, meaning a stolen laptop could indeed work for anyone. But, even so, eventually each laptop will need to be re-activated to continue functioning, and if the thieves don't have the necessary code to do that they'll turn off and stay off.

This means, rather sadly, that the kids who need these laptops won't get them, and those laptops will probably just wind up in the trash heap. It seems that sometimes a cheap laptop can't solve the world's ills after all. [Source: RPP NOTICIAS via Gadget Lab]

Tags: breaking news, BreakingNews, crime, kids, olpc