New York Times Magazine: Pedal-Powered

New York Times Magazine: Pedal-Powered Internet Picture this: A remote farmer in the dirt-poor country of Laos wants to check some e-mail. So he goes to the only computer in his village. (It's bolted to the floor of a public building, to prevent theft.) He brings a friend along -- not to Web-surf with him, but to pedal a bicycle-driven generator that powers the computer. When they've cranked out enough juice, they can log onto the Web, using a jury-rigged set of wireless antennae. It's a clunky system made out of spare parts, but when it goes live next year, it will become the newest way to hook up the developing world: the pedal-powered Internet.