Darren Waters

300 seconds and counting...

  • Darren Waters
  • 8 Jan 08, 22:56 GMT

What do you do when you only have 300 seconds in which to interview someone?

That was my dilemma when I was offered an interview with Paul Otellini, chief executive of Intel, the world's most powerful chip company.

What do I ask? Where do I start? How many questions can we fit it?

The interview followed immediately after his keynote speech at CES, in which he laid out his vision for a more personal internet. You can read my report of his speech here.

So a question about his speech was a given. In the week before the interview I considered many different questions but in the end my other questions were decided for me.

At the end of last week Intel announced they were quitting the One Laptop Per Child scheme.

This was followed by a strongly-worded statement from OLPC, accusing Intel of failing to deliver on promises.

Needless to say, it was obvious I would have to ask Otellini about this.

But where to place the question; that was my dilemma. If I opened the interview with a question about OLPC and the row, and the question irritated Otellini, the interview could be over in much less than 300 seconds.

So in the end I decided to ask about OLPC second. Otellini politely answered, saying the row had not overshadowed his keynote.

But when I asked him if OLPC's assertion that Intel had failed to deliver on promises his answer was brief - in the extreme.


The interview never recovered from that point, although Otellini answered all my remaining questions politely.

Rory Cellan-Jones has today interviewed Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the OLPC scheme, to get his side of the story.

We'll be writing up Negroponte's answers, together with Otellini's comments, very soon.


At least you didn't ask the question first.

  • 2.
  • At 01:52 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Erin Ernst wrote:

Typical BBC. So FOOLISH.
It's amazing that Intel gave this guy
300 seconds. To focus his time on OLPC, is pathetic. BBC can't understand the huge benefits of the capitalist system. In the long run isn't the world best off if Intel operates outside such a charity operation? Look at BBC - simply can't escape its soft-headed bias.

Intel deserves much more bad press then it is getting on its ridiculous behaviour towards the OLPC project.

Capitalism doesn't work if you have a monopoly using its established sales, distribution, government cooperation, worldwide investments connections when in a negociating position with governments in a situation where Intel whats to compete with a non-profit, open-source organisation like OLPC, built by an open community of volunteers.

Intel's behaviour towards this project has been pathetic to say the least. Hopefully the international media won't let Intel continue on it's dishonest mission to crush all the better PC/laptop projects out there.

  • 4.
  • At 09:45 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • anand wrote:

Obviously Intel (and also Microsoft) is afraid of OLPC. Imagine a billion Computers and none running on Intel (or Windows). They have tried to introduce Classmate PC just to muddle waters. But unfortunately for them, it didn't work for IBM, and it will not work for them. IBM tried to thwart the PC makers by trying to force a proprietary bus but nobody took it. Similarly, the Classmate is a similar device. They are hoping the governments will balk due to confusion created by competing products, and money. But some governments will take it up. Rest will be done by private enterprise, Non-Governmental Organizations.

  • 5.
  • At 11:44 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • ~n wrote:

Nice point Erin Ernst!
You understand the 'huge benefits of the capitalist system' perfectly - you don't have to shepherd sheep like my father did as a child or work in the fields like some of my uncles or my grandfather, constantly hungry. Real poverty has never gotten it's teeth into you. And as long as disease, illiteracy and hunger never affect you then, why, all's just tickety boo.
S'right isn't it, Erin?

  • 6.
  • At 12:03 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Kev wrote:

Someone name one company that gave a damn about charity?

No company in the world cares for charity and if any one says differently then answer this... Why are they still making records profits year after year if the are a Charity Friendly company?

Did you know, if all companies in the world gave as little as 1% of their post-tax profits then the amount of money they would be giving would be higher than 10-fold of what all governemnt combined gove in aid.

Now that is a lot of money, but obviously 1% of profits after tax and everything else is simply too much to give away and may put the company in jeapordy... HA! HOGWASH!

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