PC World's Harry McCracken ordered an XO laptop from the One Laptop For Child charity on November 12. He gave a $400 "donation" — half to buy himself a laptop and half to buy a laptop for a "deserving child" in a developing country. After many emails back and forth and 35 minutes on hold, McCracken still hasn't received his laptop. Neither has a colleague of his. OLPC claims that they don't have a mailing address for him because he paid with PayPal.

Which is nonsensical: One of PayPal's features is that it gives merchants a verified address. And why wouldn't they get in touch to complete the order? Apparently he "might have good news in February." Some customer service that is. Snafus like this prevent the OLPC project from being taken seriously. If you can't ship laptops to a few reporters in California, how can you deliver hundreds of thousands of laptops to developing countries? Of course, the nonprofit has no profit motive to spur it to deliver on its promises. The invisible hand has a way of providing visible results.