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News Link • Cuba

Inside Cuba's D.I.Y. Internet Revolution

• Wired by Antonio García Martínez

—which you are, of course: a depraved cokehead trying to get a hit. And you'll scroll over the same content you swiped over 15 minutes ago, pretending that it might have refreshed and that it might provide the dopa­mine rush your brain is demanding. Yet it does not refresh. It will not refresh.

Your fix will come in the form of a small green scratch-off card, almost like a lottery ticket and usually costing a quarter of the average weekly Cuban wage. Some quick work with a coin will reveal two horribly long strings of numbers, and along with a hunched-over clutch of other addicts, you'll enter the numbers into the password page of ETECSA, Cuba's government-run telecommunications monopoly, whose design aesthetics are solidly 1997. And then … nothing. Your phone will fail to connect, or its signal will quickly fade, since your chosen hot spot, like most of the city's hot spots, is overwhelmed by demand. (The government claims there are 60 hot spots in Havana, up from a handful a few years ago.

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