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The average desktop computer costs the equivelent of three years worth of wages in Cuba

After the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the transfer of power to younger brother Raul Castro, life in Cuba is getting better for some citizens. For many years, Cuban’s were denied the things we take for granted here in the U.S. because of presidential decree.

A few weeks ago, Raul Castro lifted a ban that forbade Cubans from legally owning cellular phones and DVD players. This week, BBC News reports that Raul Castro lifted a ban that prevented Cubans from legally owning personal computers.

Desktop computers are now available in Cuba and BBC News reports that a crowd formed at the Carlos III shopping center in Havana when the first PC shipments arrived. Despite the large crowds most were there only to look on as others bought.

The average price for a new desktop PC in Cuba is reported to be around $800 and the average monthly wage in Cuba is a mere $20. That would mean an average computer in Cuba would cost most citizens over three years of pay.

Most Cubans have access to supplementary income according to BBC News, typically from family who live abroad. Despite the availability of computers on the island nation, internet access is still limited to a few locations like workplaces, schools and universities.

The Cuban government is unable to connect to undersea fiber optic cables due to trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. The internet access available in the country is via limited bandwidth satellite connections.



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who cares about all that, what i want to know
By kattanna on 5/6/2008 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
is when i can legally hit up my local cigar shop and get a good cuban.

one thing i have always found interesting is that one reason thats always been given as to why we continue to openly trade with china is to bring in more of americas influence and "encourage" democracy. yet we willnt try that with a country barely 90 miles off our coast. hmmm




By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 12:10:53 PM , Rating: 1
Willn't huh?

Well I for one am not going to shed a tear that we can't trade with Cuba.


RE: who cares about all that, what i want to know
By gramboh on 5/6/2008 1:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
You would if you knew about the deep oil/gas reserves within their territorial control.

That alone is why the US will eventually resume trade relations.


By therealnickdanger on 5/6/2008 2:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why do that when we can just slant drill into it the way China is doing it to us in Florida? Oh wait, that's right, the Sierra Club.


RE: who cares about all that, what i want to know
By gramboh on 5/6/2008 2:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
The Cuban reseves are very deep, pretty sure too deep for directional drilling. We are talking $100M a well in drilling costs.


RE: who cares about all that, what i want to know
By emarston on 5/7/2008 8:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, we have some the same oil down below our territory in that part of the Gulf... it's not that we can't get to it, but environmental policy/regs prevents us from drilling there. People don't want wells off the coastline and such.


By gramboh on 5/7/2008 11:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that is true, I guess people don't want platforms within view or any potential risks of blowouts or something. Out of sight out of mind I guess? Hah.


By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 2:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Oh god no we can't buy oil from another foreign source. God forbid we actually tap our own oil reserves.


By JustTom on 5/7/2008 1:56:16 AM , Rating: 3
Oil is fungible, whether we trade with Cuba or not the oil will enter the market.

Having said that I do hope we end the trade embargo.


By ElFenix on 5/6/2008 6:09:07 PM , Rating: 3
why do people forget that it takes two to trade? castro didn't want any US anything on his island. he was very happy about the embargo because it allowed him to blame his own failures on the embargo rather than manning up.


yay for the new spam!
By zinfamous on 5/6/2008 11:39:49 AM , Rating: 3
so...how long until we start seeing a flood of Cuban-based spam and scam emails? Look out Nigeria!

Dear ser,

My name is Raul, and I comi to you with proposetion regarding fininciel benefits to yours and my families. I have obtained for your security a large sum of money to be deposited in securities of Habanna national bank, in equivilent sum of 2mil US Dollores.
Due to the recent deposition of local government forces, this money is first-come, first-serve. please send me 10 thousand equivilent US Dollores to so that I might secure account transfer in your name.
Regards, Raul.




RE: yay for the new spam!
By Aarnando on 5/6/2008 12:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Oh no! Now we'll have to deal with Cuban businessmen, too? Aye carumba!

-Aarnando


errors
By CW23 on 5/7/2008 2:25:18 PM , Rating: 3
It's called spell check.




Wow
By Ensoph42 on 5/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wow
By PrinceGaz on 5/6/2008 2:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
The news does arrive daily, it's just that some of it is a little old, like this PCs in Cuba story which was reported by the BBC last Saturday.


Let the strangeness in Cuba end
By phxfreddy on 5/6/2008 5:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
So we think Castro tried to kill Kennedy or maybe since no candidate seems to be able to win the presidency without Florida. I'm as right wing capitalist as they come. However its easy to see we are winning the war in China. ( they are changing ....We are not! ) ..... If it worked in China it will work in Cuba! Hook em up a fiber optic cable and let them have high speed access. See if it helps or hurts our cause. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that they change FASTER towards capitalism!!!




Security!
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 7:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
If a computer costs you 3 years salary, I would be very leery of your neighbor. You might consider dropping an additional years salary on a broken-glass bottle topped concrete wall and a Rottweiler as well. Or maybe you could just get insurance and check about a discount for a fingerprint I.D. device and adding an administrator password to your bios so you could laugh knowing that who ever steals it the day after you bought it won't be able to use it. Muahahaha.

Wait, does this mean I have to get pwned by Cubans and their lag on StarCraft now too? :-\




By Bender 123 on 5/6/2008 3:40:13 PM , Rating: 1
How long until we see this in our inboxes...

Greeting America investor I am Hugo Sandaval a attorney for your distant relative that died in plane crash. He had approx. 1,000,000 American dollars in Cuba bank and we trying to get money away from Cuba. Send us your bank # and we will gladly leave you 250,000 in service fee for your service...




Computers ?
By SaintSinner1 on 5/6/08, Rating: 0
A nice transition, but...
By daftrok on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: A nice transition, but...
By TimberJon on 5/6/2008 11:46:02 AM , Rating: 1
Funny how we are Buddy-Buddy with asia cause we would DIE without electronics, ceramic mugs, office supplies, toner, Etc.. etc..

I have doubts about them really gearing up and becoming an E-threat. It takes you time learning on computers to be able to code and all that hacker stuff. Unless there are some uber geniuses there just waiting to plug-in.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Tsuwamono on 5/6/2008 11:47:46 AM , Rating: 5
thats not a form of communism. Communism is where all wealth is shared amongst the people equally. Communism in practice usually ends up being combined with a dictatorship which is what you are talking about.

Your society(USA) is a Capitalist democracy. There are Capitalist dictatorships, Communist democracies, Communist dictatorships, socialist democracies and socialist dictatorships.

Dictatorship(also includes monarch societies) or Democracy are a general description of the government.

Capitalist/Socialist/Communist are a general description of an economic setup.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By porkpie on 5/6/2008 11:53:42 AM , Rating: 5
The USA is a semi-capitalistic Republic, not a Democracy.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 12:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The USA is a representative government in the form of a republic, with a mixed-economy.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Alpha4 on 5/6/2008 6:10:36 PM , Rating: 5
My head hurts.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BansheeX on 5/6/2008 12:48:00 PM , Rating: 5
Correct, but you shouldn't capitalize it. The terms republic and democracy do not correlate to Republican and Democrat. The latter are party names representing ever changing ideological platforms. A democracy actually blows hard, our forefathers considered it tyranny of the majority. If you're black and you move into a white neighborhood and everyone holds a vote to divy up your land amongst them, you lose 50 to 1. That's a democracy. In a republic, the majority can vote, but the minority has something called rights, property among them, which are to be protected regardless of democratic consensus. I don't know why "spreading democracy" has become the punchline of the day.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By mattclary on 5/6/2008 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 3
OMG, why the f... were you rated down? Guess people don't like knowing how their government was actually designed to work.

Well, you would have +6 if it were up to me.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 2:40:21 PM , Rating: 1
You're correct. Pure democracies don't work in practice. Thats why the electoral college exists. Our countries founders wanted a protection mechanism in place in case the people ever tried to vote in someone who clearly wouldn't be good for the country.

Of course these days, it seems the minorities opinion matters more than the majority. The majority of this country speaks english and feels it should be the official language. The minority so far have kept that from happening. The majority of this country is Christian and doesn't care that "In God We Trust" is on the currency, the minority are trying to stamp it out and could some day succeed. Hell do public schools even say the pledge at the beginning of the day anymore? God forbid we offend the minority who don't want to say it and make them feel excluded.

In a Republic its supposed to be that the majority opinion wins but we just be mindful of the minorities rights. Today it seems we just say screw the majority, give the minority what they want to shut them up.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course these days, it seems the minorities opinion matters more than the majority.
A democracy/republic assures that people get the government they deserve.
quote:
The majority of this country is Christian and doesn't care that "In God We Trust" is on the currency, the minority are trying to stamp it out and could some day succeed.
I don't get the meaning of this statement. Are you saying that a majority of Christians do or do not feel so insecure and/or power hungry that they need to have their faith recognized on currency?

And by the way, what's with the atheist tattoo on your forehead? (I'm assuming you don't have "In God We Trust" tattooed on your forehead. If you do, then my bad.)
quote:
Hell do public schools even say the pledge at the beginning of the day anymore? God forbid we offend the minority who don't want to say it and make them feel excluded.
It hasn't been officially required since sometime in the 70s or 80s I believe, when some Jehova's Witnesses got beaten and tied to a flagpole for not reciting it.
quote:
In a Republic its supposed to be that the majority opinion wins but we just be mindful of the minorities rights. Today it seems we just say screw the majority, give the minority what they want to shut them up.
So what you're saying is that a republic should really just be a democracy that pretends the tyranny of the majority doesn't exist? I, for one, am glad you were not one of the founding fathers.

If I didn't think McCain had already won the election, I'd ask how you would feel about minority rights if Obama/Clinton had 55% in both houses next year.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By MamiyaOtaru on 5/6/2008 4:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't get the meaning of this statement

Obviously. I'm pretty sure you took the meaning of his post to be the opposite of what he intended.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 7:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
Glad someone picked up on it. When the majority of the citizens of a nation do not see a problem with something that doesn't even affect their daily lives.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:04:15 PM , Rating: 1
That isn't why the electoral college exists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_%28...

The electoral college exists to simplify voting. However, with modern technology we might consider doing away with it, and let every citizen actually (online from home). The problems lie within accuracy and security, which we have now anyway. Therefore, wouldn't it be better and cheaper just to vote for issues online? Why should a select few represent us all? Should we not have the right to represent ourselves? It's like talking to a priest who talks to God, because we're incapable. It's the priest who tells us we can't talk to God in the first place though...


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
This nation is not majority Christian. That's a misconception that Christians would have you believe, because it's proclaimed Christians that go around holding political power and making the most noise. Most atheists don't go around "speaking blasphemy". I mean, how can you? The church will either shut you up, kick you out, or ban you with politics (RIAA, ESRB, FCC, etc). Atheists don't really assemble much, it's not like we go around singing anti-religious carols together at Christmas, or wearing black on St. Patty's day in protest. We usually partake in all of the religious holidays, because someone in our family invites us to. See how nice all us Atheists are?


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JustTom on 5/7/2008 2:02:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, a republic just means that you vote for the people who make the laws rather than actually voting for the laws themselves. It has nothing at all to do with minority rights. In the United States property rights are theoretically protected by the Constitution, and various state constitutions and laws. There is nothing inherent about republics that ensure property or minority rights.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 5
In Communism, Comcast would provide subpar service with no regards to its customers because it is a government-sponsored monopoly.

In the US, Comcast provides subpar service with no regards to its customers because it is a government-sponsored monopoly, and makes a ton of money doing it.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 2:48:43 PM , Rating: 1
Uh no. In Communism, Comcast and other ISPs wouldn't exist. Cable TV and internet would be run and owned by the government. If a company was given the rights to handle it for the government, there would be only one company.

And if you think Comcasts service is subpar, come to my area and use the shitty company I have. I would love to get on Comcasts service. I pay $60 a month for 7Mbit internet when Comcast in the area offers 12Mbit for $45. And any day but Sunday and really late at night, I'm lucky to be able to download at 150KB/s. Plus they offer twice as many HD channels as I'm offered.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 3:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Uh no. In Communism, Comcast and other ISPs wouldn't exist. Cable TV and internet would be run and owned by the government. If a company was given the rights to handle it for the government, there would be only one company.
Oh, my bad. I don't know how I could have mistaken Comcast for a company that is given rights to handle something by the government where it is the only company allowed to do so. What was I thinking?


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you live out in the country and pay $1600 for a 2 year contract of broadband wireless from Sprint that is slower than DSL (but faster than dialup!) quit complaining.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By daftrok on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: A nice transition, but...
By ebakke on 5/6/2008 1:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By phxfreddy on 5/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: A nice transition, but...
By Ringold on 5/6/2008 11:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, I assume we agree nothing is pure capitalist, pure socialist, pure communist, pure anything when it comes to economics.

With that ground rule in place, I'd suggest to you that China is close. It's not communist, as the average Joe has no say. They don't have a single person as a dictator, but they do have a single political entity as one.

There may also be a Eastern European or another Pacific-area nation that happens to not be free but also have adopted free market economic policies, but having a hard time thinking of any. There have been several coups in the last couple years, so some I don't know what they are at the moment off hand.

At any rate, it's working fantastically for China, and Chinese people commonly have protests when their sense of free-market fair play is offended, such as when local governments try to put on price caps.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Eris23007 on 5/7/2008 11:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
What about Pinochet in Chile? Clearly a dictator, and I don't see how you could argue that Chile was not capitalist during his reign...


RE: A nice transition, but...
By unbaisedgamer on 5/6/2008 12:48:37 PM , Rating: 4
Its called a sanction and it is in no way shape or form a communist practice.

Russia severely tainted the view of communism. While I completely hate the idea of communism, in theory its a nice, make everyone happy/equal idea. In practice its horrible and its usually used by corrupt dictators to control all aspects of life.

Anyways, don't confuse a sanction with a communist practice. Media control is not communist. Its simply a tool of control that many different governments use to prevent unwanted ideas from reaching the ears of citizens.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By mackintire on 5/6/2008 2:54:19 PM , Rating: 2
socialisim is not neccesarly communisim.

But yes america is a capitalist republic.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Eris23007 on 5/6/2008 5:22:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
While I completely hate the idea of communism, in theory its a nice, make everyone happy/equal idea. In practice its horrible and its usually used by corrupt dictators to control all aspects of life.


Uh, no. Somebody has forgotten to read their Rand!

A central tenet of Communism, as well as other Collectivist philosophies, is that man exists for the sole purpose of serving the state / serving the collective. In no way, shape, or form is this a "nice, make everyone happy/equal idea." It is an evil, corrupt idea that takes away any notion of individualistic rights and freedoms, because who needs rights and freedoms when people exist solely to serve the collective?

Read your Ayn Rand, and for that matter Solzhenitsyn, Locke, and even Marx and Lenin who clearly laid out these notions.

I wish our leaders would read more and gain a better appreciation for the slippery slope of collectivism...


RE: A nice transition, but...
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/6/2008 6:26:09 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, I only use the Fountainhead as a literal weapon, not as a thought-provoking one :)


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Eris23007 on 5/7/2008 11:37:09 AM , Rating: 2
Atlas Shrugged when he read that comment...

:-D


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Heaven forbid we trust ourselves. I prefer having someone filter the things I hear, because my feeble mind simply can't deal with the truths and ugliness of this world. NOT!


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/6/2008 5:24:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seriously the U.S. should lift that ban on fiber optic cable access.


Why ?

quote:
the U.S. is stringent against communist countries


Not all. But in Cuba's case they almost precipitated a nuclear war and destabilization of the entire region. So yeah, they can just sit there and simmer for a while for all I care. Want internet coming from the US ? Simple, overthrow your BS government.

quote:
deciding who has access to the fiber optic cables is a form of communism


Hmmm it is ? I think this has been covered by a few DT posters by now. I just also wanted to chime in and say your an idiot.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By phxfreddy on 5/6/2008 5:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
Its a latin culture. ( I love Brasil so don't call me any names )...... Latin cultures tend to be more pacific. The people tend to go round rather than confront lord look at how they drive and you'll clearly see. They do the stupidest things in traffic and NO ONE gets mad. Thus its impractical to say "overthrow your lame-o gov't".......Information works in favor of those who hew to the true nature of humans and I'm damned sure that's the USA. Thus yes end the hi speed internet connection ban. Should have been done when the internet arose. These guys can't handle the truth or the dictators in china would not have a cow with Wikipedia entries.


By LatinMessiah on 5/8/2008 9:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Latin cultures tend to confront lord look at how they do the stupidest things and gets mad. the true nature of humans damned the USA. These guys can't handle cow.


Such racism.


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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