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CES 2013: Clinton on guns, smartphones and download speeds

Samsung’s keynote at CES saw none other than former US president Bill Clinton take to the stage to discuss the ways in which technology can help eradicate the world’s most pressing problems.

Clinton, an ambassador for Samsung’s Hope for Children charity, joked that the average mobile weighed five pounds when he first took office, and that the were “only 50 sites on the Internet.”

One of the main areas he was keen to address was internet download speeds, noting that the US had slumped to 15th place in the world; a significant distance behind South Korea, which boasts the world’s fastest Internet download speeds. “Our speeds are one-fourth that of Korea,” he said. “We need to see the Internet as part of our commitment to infrastructure.”

However, the 42nd US president’s speech was centred on bringing the benefits of mobile technology to the world’s developing countries, stating: “The world has huge challenges, which I think technology can help to overcome.” He also drew attention to research from the World Bank that emphasised how growing mobile penetration is having a positive effect on GDP.

Clinton then went on to switch his gaze to the current political landscape with regards to gun ownership in the US. On addressing the recent massacre in Newton, Connecticut, he argued that lawmakers were guilty of an “unjustifiable neglect of gun safety,”

He posited the question: “Why does anyone need to carry one of these things that has 100 bullets? I grew up in a hunting culture, but this is nuts.”

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