Thank you both, for the topic and the article (how old, do you know?)
It´s a bitch this topic, as how do we weigh up what is justified useage of this resource against the damage caused by it´s demand?
We are all typing from devices that require this mineral, in our case, to spread the news of bad events, shenagins and outrages (this issue included) that the masses should not support if they only knew the truth.
In other cases, these devices are cluttering the airspace with largely pointless music, at terrible levels of quality and pure quality discussion upon public transport, of where said transport is and what happened in a soap opera last night!
I recently visited the Gambia to distribute more convenient solar cookers based on Dr Steven Jones funnel cooker design and there a cell phone is essential.
They need them to have contact from family outside the town/slum areas and the remote wilds. They need them for business and emergency help. They serve a purpose rarely seen in the west, that couldn´t be achieved by alternate infrastructure.
Pointing out that one Africans benefit comes, at the expense of another African childs welfare is harsh and feels unjustified. To most there it is function over bling. For us......
The Coltan conlict saw a few corporates wring their slapped hands by outsourcing the Coltan to the Chinese or other manufactuers of their shiny things as a form of CSR that they are now absolved from legal issues with. Is this enough?
I type from an Open Pandora UMPC console of non corporate origin, whose makers would likely have quit their determined example that not only the big boys can make a shiny thing, if they knew their product no doubt contains the Coltan of conflict (note it may not but likely does)!
For me it´s the device I needed on hand to show arguements to the public with proof, that change is needed beyond that offered by false politicians, false green activists and false gods on the whole.
Is any Coltan useage justified? Has the internet or cell phones brought us closer together, or divided us via distant screens, or interrupted conversations by an annoying ringtone ?
According to Wiki ..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassiterite
Thats another can of worms we shouldn´t mess with in the Congo,
as hyperinflation threatens to make food storage a wise idea, but only the Yanks have tinned butter, cheese, bacon, ....roasted chickens....supersized u name it burgers (wtf) etc.
Though a couple of tins and a piece of string?