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Today's Spider Jerusalem Award for the best blurb in tech journalism goes to the New York Times's Ilan Greenberg, who writes about silicon scavengers digging through Kyrgyzstani landfills for the material that makes Chinese computer chips:

Nearby, a stooped woman wearing a smock swirled in purple and red, who insisted on being called only "Grandmother," bundled her silicon pebbles and headed to a silicon bazaar. There, among vegetable sellers and old men who shuffled along selling tin foil, Chinese middlemen perched over rusty metal scales were doling out money for silicon.

"When this mine is finished I hope we can find another one," she said. "Nobody cares about this region. We can all starve to death and nobody will notice our bodies."

There's Money in Dirt, for Those Who Find Bits of Silicon [NYT]