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Bridging the African Digital Divide—with a 'Toaster'

from the Christian Science Monitor

Johannesburg, South Africa—The interior of the massive Chamber of Mines Building, on the west end of the University of Witwatersrand's main campus, is like a dark, concrete maze.

... So, when you get to the reception area for the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, it's hard not to do a double take at the shiny orange, vending machine-sized box with the cheerful cartoon logo—the one that proclaims "Burn free, as free as the source flows!" It seems gleefully out of place.

... So far, to the uninitiated, the words connected with this man-sized box make little sense. But this is Mr. [Brett] Simpson's new quest in life, as the head of Breadbin Interactive, the company now charged with producing Toasters: to explain why this machine is a bright spot in the sometimes drab, often challenging, world of African technology; why it can knock down some of the computing obstacles in the global digital divide.

Read more ...


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