By Soulskill from Slashdot's hope-you-like-sharing department
sends a BBC report on a study that found there are, on average, 150 people per Wi-Fi hotspot, worldwide
. In the U.K. alone, there is one hotspot for every 11 people. The study estimates there will be roughly 47.7 million hotspots worldwide by the end of the year. France has the most
, followed by the U.S., the U.K., and China. Future growth is expected to be high:"Over the next four years, global hotspot numbers will grow to more than 340 million, the equivalent of one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 20 people on earth, the research finds. But this growth will not be evenly distributed. While in North America there will be one hotspot for every four people by 2018, in Africa it will be one for every 408. While Europe currently has the most dense wi-fi coverage, Asia will overtake it by 2018, according to the report."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's dude-I-loved-their-2nd-album department
The modern electronics industry relies on inputs and supply chains, both material and technological, and none of them are easy to bypass. These include, besides expertise and manufacturing facilities, the actual materials that go into electronic components. Some of them are as common as silicon
; rare earth minerals
, not so much. One story linked from Slashdot a few years back predicted that then-known supplies would be exhausted by 2017
, though such predictions of scarcity are notoriously hard to get right
, as people (and prices) adjust to changes in supply. There's no denying that there's been a crunch on rare earths, though, over the last several years. The minerals themselves aren't necessarily rare in an absolute sense, but they're expensive to extract.)
The most economically viable deposits are found in China, and rising prices for them as exports to the U.S., the EU, and Japan have raised political hackles
. (At the same time, those rising prices have spurred exploration and reexamination of known deposits off the coast of Japan
, in the midwestern U.S.
, and elsewhere.
< article continued at Slashdot
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