Moore’s Law II: Moore Payback!

Moore’s Law is, of course, the famous dictum that computing power can be expected to double roughly every two years or so*.  Funny thing about that: turns out that this applies to cheap electronics, too.  Also turns out that putting a cheap video camera in an equally cheap cell phone turns it into an impromptu, yet serviceable guerrilla video device – which last fact is seriously disconcerting a lot of repressive regimes out there who are not accustomed to having their antics being recorded and disseminated in real time.  Or for having their domestic opponents plugged into a robust telecommunications grid, for that matter.

The response by said repressive regimes is therefore to shut down the aforementioned grid at the first sign of serious trouble, of course; which has in itself sparked an interesting sort of do-it-yourself telecommunications arms race between the regimes and the people protesting them. Do-it-yourself directional antennas, mini-local wireless networks uploading to a central location with reliable outside access, roving satellite uplinks – they’re even going back to using analogue by translating digital information into a format that can be broadcast over ham radios.

Interesting stuff: read the whole thing.


Sorry: I was going to finish up with something else, but I forgot what it was.

Moe Lane

*Yes, yes, YES: I am oversimplifying this statement to a degree that would give an actual computer person migraines, or perhaps a nosebleed.  Sorry about that; may we move on, now?

3 thoughts on “Moore’s Law II: Moore Payback!”

  1. You may want to take a look at this “Wired” article, from early in February; the article is somewhat short on details, but it looks at a possible capability of the US military (specifically the Air Force’s EC-130J): forcibly offering telecommunications and internet access to restive, rebellious populations.

    My first thought was, the US may offer wi-fi to your friendly neighborhood dictator.

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