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Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Aug 15th, 2011 12:05am Post subject: The Computer that fits in your palm

Fantastically idealistic ( how we need more idealists these days! ) British computer company makes not only a tiny computer, but, even better, one that works in most of the usual ways and aimed at ensuring that even the most economically devestated people can have access to anything and everything the rest of us take for granted...

http://news.dice.com/2011/05/16/a-25-computer-that-fits-in-your-palm

Really? Wow.

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Astronomeradam


Member

Posted Sun Sep 18th, 2011 3:46pm Post subject: The Computer that fits in your palm

Things like that tend to be innovative but useless, until someone sees a use and makes it in to something great.

If you wish to learn something then the night sky is the best university you could hope to attend. Have a look tonight.

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Silvermute


Member

Posted Wed Sep 21st, 2011 11:49am Post subject: The Computer that fits in your palm

I'd hesitate to describe a device like this as "innovative but useless, until someone sees a use". The uses already exist: attach a keyboard and screen and you've got a linux PC; hook a load together and you're on the way to a supercomputer (q.v. the PS2 cluster described here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3_cluster - imagine how useful that would be for a third world university). As Nitro says, this will make computer technology accessible to people who otherwise wouldn't stand a chance of affording it, and you've got to wonder how many Turings and Stallmans are out there, living in poor countries and just waiting for something like this.


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croose


Member

Posted Wed Feb 8th, 2012 11:20pm Post subject: The Computer that fits in your palm

It has been something that has taken the world over and smartphones, for the past 5 years or so have really taken a bold step forward.

Some time ago, we could all just wish for the technology to prosper and evolve into something better which I think is the route it has taken. Considering what other groups are thinking though, it is a little hard to make up of their ideas which seem to be out of this world.


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Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Feb 20th, 2012 5:45pm Post subject: The Computer that fits in your palm

One thing a device like this might create as a kind of side discourse, hopefully, is how people 'in the West' think of tech vs those outside of 'the West'. Let's just say 'impoverished' if it's easier to understand.

For example, most of the people who actually build iPads cannot afford to buy them themselves. This is not our experience and so we tend to be in a minor state of disbelief that it could occur in our tech-modern times, but it does.

And as Silvermute so very deftly pointed out, there may be, and I'd wager there ARE, extremely bright, innovative minds in impoverished countries who, while they can't afford to attend some far away university because they don't have cars even and can't afford a netbook to explore the w.w.w with like we all take for granted, a tiny device such as the one starting this thread has REAL potential to benefit these folks.

And I'd go a step further and suggest it really doesn't matter if the people in impoverished countries have ten Einsteins or Curie's or Wilde's waiting to bloom; what does matter is that the internets is lacking very much in the input of peoples experiences and perspectives in these countries. For example, a mother of five in a poor country probably has plenty of things to say and it's indeterminate to know who that might matter to. What matters, imo, is that her voice and people in Tibet and Haiti etc all have a chance to participate.

A box full of such devices with donated keyboards and monitors has the potential to teach somebody to fish. And the suspicious side of me wonders if the lack has more to do with a kind of intellctual/cultural bigotry about who is 'worthy' of having access to cheap tech. People that think nothing of spending $500 on a new iPhone package seem astounded that there are still people who would have to work five years to make $500 and given a choice between food and an iPhone, the iPhone loses.

Anyway, this creates another problem where tech is abandoned very quickly in favor of the next gen, causes a lack of backwards compatibility that is very rarely logically rationalized. Often it's totally unecessary to do. My problem with many smartphones though is one more of security. If you cannot remove the battery on your own phone, you cannot control wether it is used as a geolocation device. But tracking's another topic.

I'd love to see more public faces get behind devices like this as a humanitarian cause. Purchase a 1,000 of 'em and co-ordinate donated keyboards and monitors, call a press conference so everyone knows how wonderful this face and idea is, and give them to some community. It doesn't have to be more complex than that.

Really? Wow.

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