Originally on Arizona Edu
by Emily Litvack
A research team led by the University of Arizona is working with community stakeholders to make the Manhattan borough a place where computing is cheap, fast and secure for all residents – not just the tech-savvy and the well-to-do.
If you want to use one of the internet-connected computers at the Harlem Library in New York City, you’ll have to make a reservation. With broadband costing residents $55 per month on average, one in four Manhattan households go without. As one of the few bastions of free internet for public use, the library is a happening place, and a 45-minute computer session is among its most coveted amenities. All day, every day, its computers are in use.
But a research team led by the University of Arizona wonders, “Can we not do better?” Their new project(link is external) is based on the premise that, in fact, we can. The endeavor to bring cheap, fast, secure computing to the people in Harlem is funded by a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
“What we’re trying to do, ultimately, is to break down barriers to technology,” says Dan Kilper, leader of the project and research professor in the UA’s College of Optical Sciences(link is external).
It starts, he says, by reimagining broadband and the computer itself.
Taking Apart a Laptop and Building a Better Cloud
Take, for example, streaming an episode of a show on Hulu. To do this, a computer needs to communicate with “the cloud.”
“When we talk about the ‘cloud,’ we’re talking……
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