Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Viral Video: Conflict-Free Technology vs. Blood Phones

The controversy around minerals from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo that are used in a variety of popular consumer tech devices seems to be getting another round of much needed attention.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, for example, penned a piece titled “Death by Gadget” this past weekend, with the opening line: “‘Blood diamonds’ have faded away, but we may now be carrying ‘blood phones.’”

The article was prompted by new grass-roots efforts by activists to revive the issue, including the new video below, titled: “I’m a Mac…and I’ve Got a Dirty Little Secret.”

The goal: To get big tech companies–such as Apple (AAPL) and Intel (INTC)–to promise to monitor the sourcing of the minerals they use in their devices, such as smartphones.

The spot is worth a look, but you might also want to watch this full video of a gripping interview I did in 2009 at the seventh D: All Things Digital conference on this very topic with activist Eve Ensler, who has been tireless in her efforts to shed light on the madness in the troubled African nation and link the carnage there to consumer behavior here.


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As long as the newspaper was a bundle, no one ever had to care that people were buying it for radically different reasons. But once you go online, and people can unbundle things, where you can traffic directly to a story without going through the home page or any of the rest of it, suddenly what it — the individual choices made by individual readers come to matter a lot.

— Clay Shirky, on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan