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India's New $35 PC - Blessing or Curse?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Science & Technology
"America is a very powerful country,"...

Image by since1968 via Flickr

In a tremendous feat of modern engineering, India has developed a handheld tablet computer that costs just $35 and comes packed with features including a word processor, web browser, and solar power. PC World says that "in many ways the $35 tablet also makes the $500 iPad seem significantly over-priced."

The price is already a fraction of the $100 price proposed (but not yet achieved) by the One Laptop Per Child organization, yet India's government is planning to bring the cost of their new PC down to an unfathomably low $10 per unit.

This new tablet holds the promise of being a technological boon to millions of poorer households around the world, enabling many people to access the Web for the first time, provided they can find an Internet connection.

But is that such a good thing? Stories of computer addiction and the problems it creates abound, and everybody knows at least one person who spends too much time online. Perhaps there is an opportunity being presented now in India to address these technological challenges before they become as ingrained as they already are in the developed world.

There is also the specter of the chemical and metal waste created by computers, and how to dispose of it responsibly and safely. With computers this cheap, they suddenly become disposable for many consumers. How do we deal with exponentially growing numbers of "dead" computers?

Is this new invention by India's engineers a blessing or a curse?  Seize the skull!  Post a comment below and let us know what you think.

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Anonymous's picture

expensive trash

I think we should limit the amount of people who are allowed to own computers. Perhaps we could use some kind of lengthy and costly registration process to deter poorer people from buying them, or simply cut off peoples fingers, that way we could more effectively protect people from the dangers of computer addiction. However, if that prooves ineffecive and somehow the poor manage to get their greedy hands on some technology, in that case we need to think very seriously about how to stop them throwing them all over the place. You know what the poor are like.

timedesign's picture

Bet those kids in the picture

I think it's awesome. The more connected, educated and self-aware a population becomes, the more likely they are to make a stand against feckless and self-interested leadership.
It's been interesting to observe the Chinese "small-child-on-a-dustbin-lid-sitting-on-old-faithful" attempt to keep their people from educating themselves and asking questions of their 'betters'. Pure democracy. I love it.
As much as I hate to agree with a close friend of mine, the democratisation on the internet is a massive force for good in terms of people demanding rulers worthy of them.

Bet those kids in the picture can't wait to get on Diner Dash.