Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sloppy Seconds

Having recycled himself from the PS to the UMP, Eric Besson is now offering the state's assistance to private firms that recycle used computers (after wiping their disks clean of confidential data, supposedly). Many will end up in Africa, where the hope is that they will reduce the "digital divide" between that continent and the rest of the world. Few details are offered. Are the recycled computers loaded with Linux? One hopes so, since Microsoft Office costs more than the average per capita annual income in many African countries. (Or is Microsoft donating its software?) Are older versions being pushed (since newer ones tend not to run very well on five-year-old machines)? Are the recipient countries being assisted with Internet infrastructure? Are the refurbished machines headed for schools, businesses, or private homes?