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Cuban ingenuity in iPhone age [work around a 50-year embargo and an anemic, centrally planned eco]
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | September 13, 2012 | Elien Blue Becque

Posted on 09/16/2012 6:30:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

When my iPhone slipped from the back of the tank and into the toilet,I snatched it out immediately. Though at first all seemed fine, it soon switched off and remained unresponsive.

"It's toast," was the verdict from Grant,an Apple store Genius. "We don't deem it really,like, worth it to replace the inner components of the shell of a broken phone. I'll throw that guy away and get you a brand new one."........I was about to leave on a trip to Cuba, where my phone wasn't going to work anyway. So I thanked him and left.

.....On my second day in Havana, .....A kid wearing white-framed Ray-Bans nodded when I knocked on the green plywood door at the destination. His name was Andy,and he was confident he could fix my problem. Removing the tiny screws that hold the glass cover in place,he began a rapid disassembly.......After 20 minutes of careful prodding and scrubbing,Andy miraculously resuscitated my phone, but the battery holds little charge.

.....Roberto asked me to wait and bounded up a set of concrete stairs. Minutes later,he returned with a new iPhone battery in its black plastic wrapper.

As payment, he accepted an 8-gigabyte flash drive I'd been carrying. Flash drives are valuable in Cuba, where Internet use is restricted and monitored. Roberto, an architecture student, explained that while "tuition here is free, you have to buy lesson books, paper, pens, your food, your transportation." All that costs money.

......Just as their fathers learned to fix obsolete Detroit cars, Andy and Roberto have learned to make a living with Palo Alto technology to which they have no official access. The healthy cell phone repair market here is the latest example of Cuban ingenuity that locals call sobreviviendo. It's small-scale capitalism working around a 50-year embargo and an anemic,centrally planned economy.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: blackmarket; communism; cuba
It's small-scale capitalism working around a 50-year embargo and an anemic,centrally planned economy.

That's what it is, the U.S. embargo and their centrally planned economy [aka COMMUNISM] that makes the Cubans so ingenious!

1 posted on 09/16/2012 6:30:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Cuban ingenuity ...
Gee, I hear they have a great healthcare system too. What a swell place that must be.
2 posted on 09/16/2012 6:34:58 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: All

They also have “free” health care in this “anemic centrally planned economy’ where you need to bring your own towels, sheets, food, etc for hospital stays — even then...

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2010/jan/15/cuba-cold-snap-kills-26-psychiatric-hospital/


3 posted on 09/16/2012 6:35:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

He probably could have found half a dozen kids within a few miles of the Apple store who could have done the same thing. Hopefully, they would have been smart enough to charge him.


4 posted on 09/16/2012 6:36:35 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: oh8eleven
Flash drives are valuable in Cuba, where Internet use is restricted and monitored. Roberto, an architecture student, explained that while "tuition here is free, you have to buy lesson books, paper, pens, your food, your transportation." All that costs money.

And "bump" to Post #3.

5 posted on 09/16/2012 6:36:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: oh8eleven

Its like living in the dark ages. Sure they survived but damn, I dont think a poor American would survive. They could not complain that they where not given “Everything”!!!

Its all perspective......


6 posted on 09/16/2012 6:37:29 AM PDT by Baseballguy (If we knew what we know now in Oct would we do anything different?)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It's small-scale capitalism working

It's more like the underground economy, where, people learn to cope, with whatever means and resources and ingenuity.

Meanwhile, the government knows about that underground, and opts to keeps it's mouth shut, in the hope that nobody will notice how inefficient communism and socialism are.
7 posted on 09/16/2012 6:47:35 AM PDT by adorno
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To: oh8eleven; Cincinatus' Wife

My favorite high school teacher was a Cuban refugee with a PhD in Chemistry from the Sorbonne. Che would have put a bullet through his head if he had gotten the opportunity. My favorite doctor was a graduate of the University of Havana. When I was living in New York, I had a Jewish girlfriend, whose nice Jewish mother worked in a medical association that was staffed by a number of doctors, mostly Jewish. When I needed a doctor, she recommended the Cuban. It turned out my high school teacher (a Roman Catholic cleric) was one of his patients. One of the first things I noticed when I entered his office was a framed excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath, forswearing abortion.

Cuba’s people are vastly better than their government.


8 posted on 09/16/2012 6:49:36 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (AGWT is neo-lysenkoism.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
With all of that pent up ingenuity, Cuba would make giant strides forward if the people were only free to do so. Meanwhile, O’pology’s ‘Forward’ is sending us in the direction of present day Cuba.
9 posted on 09/16/2012 7:02:26 AM PDT by JPG (Make it happen)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If there ever was an example of the uselessness of embargoes, Cuba is it.


10 posted on 09/16/2012 7:07:14 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
.....Cuba’s people are vastly better than their government.

That has certainly been my experience.

11 posted on 09/16/2012 7:07:25 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Kudo’s to the resourcefulness and entreprenuereal spirit of the ordinary Cubans - may they learn to use it in a way that liberates them from the jackwads at the top of the criminal enterprise that enslaves them.

And on a matter related to the other point in this article, I read on some site that if you destroy your iPhone by dropping it in water, you can often revive it by drying it out by hand as much as you can, and then placing it in a container of uncooked rice to dessicate out the moisture remaining inside. Don’t know if it always works, but it’s probably cheaper (and more pleasant) than taking the darn thing to Havana to get fixed.


12 posted on 09/16/2012 7:07:51 AM PDT by Stosh
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Years ago I finally gave up listening to NPR when
I listened to an NPR report saying that extreme poverty
in Castro’s regime was good for the environment
because poverty forced people to recycle. Haven’t
listened since.


13 posted on 09/16/2012 7:12:49 AM PDT by grumpytimm
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

As an aside, if they can make a $20 Timex watch waterproof, why not a $200 iPhone?


14 posted on 09/16/2012 7:27:51 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Hopey changey Low emission unicorns and a crap sandwich)
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To: grumpytimm
.......Haven’t listened since.

Too many drink the kool aid .....

Sept 14, 2012 - EPA: Staff-wide Che Guevara email an ‘inadvertent error’ - "Environmental Protection Agency staff opened their inboxes Thursday to find an agency-wide Hispanic Heritage Month email featuring a prominent picture of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, and largely plagiarized from the website Buzzle.com.

According to the EPA, the email — which heralded the beginning Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday and offered cultural details about Hispanics — was an accident and the employee responsible has apologized. ..............."

15 posted on 09/16/2012 7:28:13 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: DonaldC
If there ever was an example of the uselessness of embargoes, Cuba is it.

For all practical purposes there is no embargo. Cuba can freely trade with any other nation in the world, including China, Germany, England, France and many other industrialized nations that can and do sell just about any product imaginable. And a number of US exports are exempt from the embargo, including agricultural and food products and some medical supplies.

It is difficult to find a product that Cuba cannot buy on the world market, except for things like jet fighters from McDonnell Douglass. And if they had the money they could buy military hardware from their friends in Russia.

The Cuban government has used the excuse of the embargo for years, when the truth is that the failure of their economy is solely a result of their socialist policies. The real reason they have next to nothing is that they don't generate the money needed to buy anything in the world market. They can't even afford oil from Venezuela, or consumer goods from China.

16 posted on 09/16/2012 7:28:28 AM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: DonaldC
If there ever was an example of the uselessness of embargoes, Cuba is it.
While it's the people who suffer. I believe the embargo is payback to Castro for allowing the Soviets to install nuclear weapons.
Perhaps a Castro link to JFK's assassination as well.
My guess is it'll stay in place until Fidel and Raúl both assume room temperature.
17 posted on 09/16/2012 7:32:26 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Stosh

I inadvertently washed and dried a memory stick once and it still worked.


18 posted on 09/16/2012 7:32:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Thanks CW. This is an good article. I’m interested in the real Cuba but so many books written on life there are either so pro Castro or hate Castro that you question how objective they are. So far I’ve found two books both by Englishmen that seem a fair treatment of whats going on there...


19 posted on 09/16/2012 7:52:03 AM PDT by djone ('..,...... you're fired')
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To: freeandfreezing

Even worse yet, the liberals in America believe that America’s embargo is the cause of Cuba’s failures!

Idiots fooling idiots!


20 posted on 09/16/2012 9:07:27 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In the U.S., to a large degree, when someone says something can’t be fixed, what they really mean is it’s not worth the labor cost to fix something compared to simply buying a new one.

I tell customers this all the time when they bring me old, broken or failing PCs or laptops. Sometimes newer, out-of-warranty devices are worth fixing. It’s kind of sad, really. But we live in a throw-away society, and the pace of electronics innovation is such that a failed or failing device is often a good excuse to buy the latest and greatest one.


21 posted on 09/16/2012 9:09:28 AM PDT by catnipman ((Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!))
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To: catnipman

You’re right. Then too, when buying a device you always wonder when the next generation is coming out. It’s really a “racket.” Not to mention planned obsolescence, as well as the item that has a cash cow requirement (like ink for copy machines).


22 posted on 09/16/2012 9:17:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: muir_redwoods

Watches dont have a port for headsets, power adapter and speakers. Those allow water to get inside.


23 posted on 09/16/2012 9:22:02 AM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Defiant

All those ports could be wireless. I currently(no pun intended) use a wireless charger and blue tooth technology could do away with the headset and speaker jacks


24 posted on 09/16/2012 2:04:36 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Hopey changey Low emission unicorns and a crap sandwich)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Cuba’s people are vastly better than their government.

I suspect more often than not that might be true, no mater where you roam...

Regards,
GtG

25 posted on 09/16/2012 2:06:57 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: muir_redwoods

I suggest you seek funding for your new phone that requires Bluetooth headphones for music or to listen to calls, a Bluetooth Mic, and a wireless charger that you have to carry with you wherever you go. I wish you all the best. In the meantime, those of us in the real world of consumer choices will have to risk water damage as a result of our inferior phones that expose the phones insides to water (when dropped in a toilet or pool).


26 posted on 09/16/2012 2:59:45 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Defiant

I suggest you look into careful reading; I never suggested blue tooth for use of the phone as a phone. It’s a simple matter to put a waterproof membrane over both the speaker and the mouth piece. Wireless chargers were sold for the iPhone by Brookstones two or three years ago; it is well established technology. The only change I suggested would be Bluetooth to external speaker, again well established technology.

Careful reading is a valuable life skill, you might want to look into it


27 posted on 09/16/2012 3:17:32 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Hopey changey Low emission unicorns and a crap sandwich)
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To: muir_redwoods
Look, dude. I had a wireless charger 3 years ago, with my Palm Pre. I know all about them. They are nice to have, on a night stand in your bedroom, or in your office. They are not going to be carried around for charging on the go. It is not an option for anyone who is making phones to tell consumers to carry an adapter and a wireless charging brick around with them. But you are welcome to try it. Or, better yet, sell the idea to Apple. They need more humor over there.

Your other idea is more lamebrained than membraned. That won't hurt voice or speaker quality to place a waterproof membrane over the speaker ports, microphone and earpiece, now will it? Seriously? The people who fret over the risk of dropping their phone into the drink can go get one of those aftermarket solutions (I think they run over $100), but OEMs don't have time for such nonsense.

28 posted on 09/16/2012 4:30:27 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

During the last hurricane, I saw a report that about 3% of Cubans have automobiles.

I think that’s Baraq’s model for the USA.


29 posted on 09/16/2012 4:35:17 PM PDT by nascarnation (Defeat Baraq 2012. Deport Baraq 2013)
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To: Defiant

It’s fun sometimes talking to someone with absolutely no imagination but I find it quickly get boring. Gotta go, bye.


30 posted on 09/16/2012 5:10:18 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Hopey changey Low emission unicorns and a crap sandwich)
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To: muir_redwoods

When you get that patent, let me know. I’ll keep looking for that waterproof bluetooth membrane wireless charging phone, it’ll be here any day!


31 posted on 09/16/2012 7:17:11 PM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: djone

I’d be very interested in the title of those books, if you have them handy.


32 posted on 09/16/2012 7:44:43 PM PDT by Eepsy
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To: Defiant

Yeah because technical design never changes.


33 posted on 09/17/2012 2:11:59 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Hopey changey Low emission unicorns and a crap sandwich)
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To: Eepsy

......”I’d be very interested in the title of those books, if you have them handy......-I’m sorry I don’t remember the titles; it’s been a year or two. But there are not a lot of books on Cuba so I’d suggest a search of Amazon and look for British authors. The one I remember the most the writer was sort of a diplomat or businessman and described day to day life and a few travels in and around the Island. The other was by a teenager who went to visit to meet for the first time his Grandparents and other relatives and when he was preparing to leave he discovers his relatives have stolen all his shoes. He asks why they say : ‘you are rich and can get more shoes but we are poor and no one here can ever get such leather shoes’. You can imagine his reaction.....Good Luck ———’D’


34 posted on 09/17/2012 7:58:47 AM PDT by djone ('..,...... B. O. ...you're fired')
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