While the success o f the olp c ef f o rt will reveal

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Unformatted text preview: and can be f lipped to co nvert into an e-bo o k reader. And a ho st o f o pen so urce so f tware and wiki to o ls f o r co urseware develo pment all aim to keep the co sts lo w. Mesh netwo rking allo ws lapto ps within a hundred f eet o r so to co mmunicate with each o ther, relaying a single Internet co nnectio n f o r use by all. And since the XO is targeted at the wo rld’s po o rest kids in co mmunities where po wer generatio n is unreliable o r no nexistent, several battery-charging po wer generatio n schemes are o f f ered, including a hand crank and f o ldo ut f lexible so lar panels. The OLP C Fo undatio n delivered o ver 2.4 millio n lapto ps to children in twenty-f o ur co untries.C. Lawto n, “The X.O. Lapto p Two Years Later,” Wired, June 19, 2009, http:/ / lapto p.o rg/ map. The XO is a pro duct made po ssible by the rapidly f alling price o f co mputing. Figure 5. 4 The XO PC Source: Us ed wit h p ermis s ion from fus ep roject . While the success o f the OLP C ef f o rt will reveal itself o ver time, ano ther tech pro duct co ntaining a micro pro cesso r is already transf o rming the lives o f so me o f the wo rld’s mo st desperate po o r—the cell pho ne. There are three billio n peo ple wo rldwide that do n’t yet have a pho ne, but they will, so o n. In the ultimate play o f Mo o re’s Law o pening up new markets, mo biles f ro m Vo daf o ne and Indian teleco m pro vider Spice sell f o r $ 25 o r less. While it to o k ro ughly twenty years to sell a billio n mo bile pho nes wo rldwide, the seco nd billio n so ld in f o ur years, and the third billio n to o k just two years. To day, so me 80 percent o f the wo rld’s po pulatio n lives within cellular netwo rk range (do uble the 2000 level), and the vast majo rity o f mo bile subscriptio ns are in develo ping co untries.S. Co rbett, “Can the Cellpho ne Help End Glo bal P o verty?” New Yo rk Times Magazine, April 13, 2008. Why such demand? Mo biles change lives f o r the better. Acco rding to Co lumbia eco no mist Jef f rey Sachs, “The cell pho ne is the single mo st transf o rmative techno lo gy f o r wo rld eco no mic develo pment.”J. Ewing, “Upwardly Mo bile in Af rica,” BusinessWeek, September 24, 2007, 64–71. Think abo ut the f armer who can verif y prices and lo cate buyers bef o re harvesting and transpo rting perishable cro ps to market; the labo rer who was mo stly unemplo yed but with a mo bile is no w reachable by tho se who have day-to -day wo rk; the mo ther who can f ind o ut if a do cto r is in and has medicine bef o re taking o f f wo rk to make the co stly trek to a remo te clinic with her sick child; o r the immigrant labo rer serving as a ho usekeeper who was “mo re o r less an indentured servant until she go t a cell pho ne” enabling new custo mers to call and bo o k her services.S. Co rbett, “Can the Cellpho ne Help End Glo bal P o verty?” New Yo rk Times Magazine, April 13, 2008. As an example o f impact, lo o k to po o r f ishermen in the Indian state o f Kerala. By using mo bile pho nes to f ind the best lo cal marketplace prices f o r sardines, th...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.

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