Some choice nuggets from the article:

The fabled hand-crank:

Béhar’s crew also discovered that putting a crank on a laptop – the most distinctive feature of nearly every design so far – was a bad idea. If the user gripped the laptop with one hand and the crank with the other, the whole thing would shake with each whirl, wasting muscle power and putting too much stress on the hardware. Other design firms are working on a foot pedal, a kind of rope tug, and a more efficient crank built onto an AC adapter.

The (understandably) importance of color & cultural pride:

All the while, Negroponte has been relaying feedback from around the world, trading emails with Béhar in the middle of the night. “The Brazilians wanted a bigger display, and we did that,” Negroponte recalls. “The Thais wanted a taller touch tablet” – big enough so kids could write on it in tall Thai script – “and we did that.” And everyone, it turns out, is a decorator. “Color is a time sink in conversations,” Negroponte says. “Nigeria has asked for it to be in their national colors.”

Controversial - he talks about some governments' decision that the OLPC is the right investment of their precious resources.  (You'll remember India recently declining the OLPC offer.)

Béhar thinks the laptop project is more pragmatic than his skeptics realize. “There’s a criticism that comes up,” he says. “I think it’s the stupidest argument: Send kids food, send them water.” These critics, he says, imagine all the developing world to be a famine-stricken village in Africa. “This is the typical ignorance of the West. There are different conditions in different places,” he says. “And there are a lot of places where kids are not starving, where kids want to learn more than anything else.”

- neema