but I need a supercomputer to watch youtube!

via Slashdot, which alert us to the following article at c/net: Will the $100 laptop spell the end of Moore’s Law?

Since 1965, the tech world has obsessed about keeping pace with Moore’s Law — an empirical observation that computing performance will double every 24 months. Concurrently, consumers have lusted after the latest and greatest computing hardware, encouraged in part by newer, fatter, ever more demanding operating systems and applications.

Moore’s law is great for making tech faster, and for making slower, existing tech cheaper, but when consumers realise their personal lust for faster hardware makes almost zero financial sense, and hurts the environment with greater demands for power, will they start to demand cheaper, more efficient ‘third-world’ computers that are just as effective?

Of course, a first world demand for cheaper laptops doesn’t spell the end of environmental damage, considering the millions (billions?) of $100 laptops may be produced. But that’s the tricky trade-off between environmental protection and social equity. Personally, I prefer that needs of the developing world don’t get lost in our (largely) first world concerns for the environment.

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