31 May 2009

In the US, even the homeless stay connected

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Homeless and online
The Wall Street Journal reports on the use of the internet by homeless people in San Francisco.

“A few years ago, some people were worrying that a “digital divide” would separate technology haves and have-nots. The poorest lack the means to buy computers and Web access. Still, in America today, even people without street addresses feel compelled to have Internet addresses.”

The photos are great, and so are some of the quotes:

“When he realized he would be homeless, Mr. Livingston bought a sturdy backpack to store his gear, a padlock for his footlocker at the shelter and a $25 annual premium Flickr account to display the digital photos he takes.”

But it also shows to what extent the internet in the developed world is still a computer-based phenomenon, in contrast to emerging markets where it is largely mobile.

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