Cheap computing still isn’t cheap enough, says Eric Brewer, founder of Web-search company Inktomi. Brewer heads the University of California, Berkeley-based Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions project.
Is Moore’s Law letting us down?
Even a hundred-dollar computer is too much for billions of people. The bigger problem is that we design technologies for the First World, then hand them down and hope they’re useful. A lot of times they’re not.
What’s your focus?
Reliable shared infrastructure and low-cost, point-to-point wireless connections. We’ve already got 10-kilometer broadband links, using $800 worth of modified Wi-Fi gear. Simulations say we can get to 80 kilometers.
Who runs it?
It has to be local stakeholders on the ground. They can be volunteers or entrepreneurs.
Why not just invent another great search engine?
When you have a billion dollars – even just on paper – you start to think, What do I do with this stuff? I don’t have all the money anymore, but I still have the interest in getting the benefits of IT to everyone.
Other short items of interest
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.
If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.
Crypto is weathering a bitter storm. Some still hold on for dear life.
When a cryptocurrency’s value is theoretical, what happens if people quit believing?
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.