Communications I don't tend to buy new technology because it's there. What I mean to say is I'll use the same thing for years until it stops working before I replace it, even if there are better models doing the job better. My mobile phone was an old model when I bought it and it's looking increasingly ancient. It has an ariel for goodness sake. It has a small memory. But I love it for those reasons. Like an old mini, it fits my personality somehow. I can use it to call people, they answer and we can have a conversation. Works for me.

But I know that some people have to have the new thing so I'm not at all suprised at this story from Wired. The crux of the matter is that when users upgrade they're being asked to drop their old phone in a 'recycling' bin. The general feeling is that it's helping the environment, the 'r' word engendering a 'green' message. What is actually happening is that the phones are reconditioned then sold on mass into the third world. The companies spearheading the system suggest that this is a good thing because it means that it's getting people connected, giving them a way of communication. But what it actually means is that phones which have already had an innings are being flogged even more so their secondary shelf life will be shorter and the net result will be a refuse issue in another country which will then have the problems of disposal which we have suddenly dodged.

This is not good. I'm closet luddite really. Although technology has connected us all and let's me communicate with you now, it's also the cause of an even greater divide between the so-called first and third worlds. They after all are always getting our cast off technology, not the other way around. I would love for an African company to jump up and bite Ericsson or Intel and beat them at their own game. But in the current climate or situation this isn't going to happen. All I want is balance really.

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