Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary

Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary

On his website, Christie grandiloquently declared himself to be “Canada’s greatest free speech defender.” What nonsense. When did Christie ever defend speech with which he did not agree? He gained a national platform defending clients against hate-crimes laws and human-rights tribunals, but less well remembered was his own frequent use of the courts to stifle the speech of opponents.

Comment: Beyond ‘quick wins’: Decolonizing British Columbia – Op-Ed – Times Colonist

Comment: Beyond ‘quick wins’: Decolonizing British Columbia – Op-Ed – Times Colonist. Way to go, Times Colonist. How can I encourage them to keep posting thoughtful pieces like this? Should we be sending letters in response?

Redress settlements are necessary, but not enough. As the Idle No More movement so well illustrates, the problems associated with a century or more of white supremacy are hardly over. The murder and disappearance of hundreds of indigenous women is tragic testimony to that fact. Without mainstream society taking responsibility for the past, do we have a future?

For its part, the provincial government has done even less than the federal government. In our classes, students are often stunned and at times end up in tears when they learn the truth about the province’s past. They deserve better.

How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform computing as we know it

How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform computing as we know it.

So many things were interesting to me in this. Boy, if small electronics materialized out of the air instead of out of open pit mines, the idea of abundant disposable tablets would be pretty exciting.

In other words, people will start buying something in large numbers if it solves a big problem for them. But most first-world problems—needing an easier way to record your favorite TV programs or keep track of what’s in your fridge—just aren’t that pressing. In developing countries, on the other hand, technology can transform lives.

One of the reasons these tablets are so cheap in China and India, where they are made, is that production costs have now fallen so far that shipping, distribution and customs duties have become a significant part of their price in the rich world. (Devices comparable to the Aakash 2 or the generic 7″ tablets of China cost $99 and up in the US.)

Enabling that revolution will require many more manufacturers than Datawind. The company is scrambling to meet its current obligations, and Tuli says that in six to nine months Datawind will be making 500,000 tablets per month—half again as many units as Google’s hit Nexus 7 tablet has been shipping every month. China’s unbranded 7-inch tablets are widely available, but bringing them to other countries at a price comparable to the Aakash will require setting up factories and supply chains in every country in which tablets will be sold.

“You will see regional tablets,” says Wadhwa. “There’s no magic here—you can buy components all over world and build locally, and voilà, you have a tablet.” Eventually, in other words, we might think as much about the maker of our tablets as we think about the printers of our books or the manufacturers of our paper. As a medium, tablets and their successors could become the ultimate commodity.