According to a report in the New York Times today, a spin-off of OLPC
is planning to launch a competitor to the company's $200 XO
laptop. Mary Lou Jepsen, former CTO of the Nicholas Negroponte-led company, claims that her new organization, Pixel Qi, can do it cheaper and better. "Spinning out from OLPC enables the development of a new machine, beyond the XO [laptop], while leveraging a larger market for new technologies," Jepsen wrote on the company's website, adding, "Besides, I need that extra $125 for laundry and stuff." Jepsen claims that the cost of a device like the XO can be reduced by, "Allowing multiple uses of key technology advances." If you'll recall, the original target price for the XO was $100, back in the hazy, optimistic days of 2005. Using an advanced abacus coupled with a complex system of levers and pulleys, we've determined that when and if the Pixel Qi laptop makes it to market, the cost will be no less than $150, and Nicholas Negroponte will say something crazy about it.