02 June 2006

Hoaxtop update

you should know
that negroponte is peddling snakeoil
because we've heard comparable promises
a million times before

of products coming real soon now
that will set the world on fire

and when they arrive
a day late and a dollar short
they always disappoint
(especially if they come out of academia)

poorly engineered
awkward interfaces

not at all like it looked
in the glossy magazines

you simply don't engineer
good products this way

starting with hype about low cost
and super features

there are hundreds of comparable
hardware platforms
in the $500 range
and none of them shows any promise
of setting anything on fire

if the $500 model isn't fun
the $100-$200 model won't be, either

i love the dream
of a cheap device that kids love
where they can learn to hack

and it will happen someday

but it will start
from one of those $500 models
like the nokia 770
that hits a sweet spot for hackers
and over a period of a few years
evolves, via the programmers' 'bazaar'
a useful and fun software feature set
that can be ported
to incrementally cheaper platforms
inevitably eventually hitting the $100 mark

but not this way

how can they skip the phase
where they put 100 working prototypes
in the hands of their target audience
and painstakingly gather feedback
thru multiple cycles of finetuning???