I am befuddled by all the faux outrage in the online media bout the National Security Agency spying on us via our internet behavior and telephone calls. Should we really be surprised by any of this? After all, this sort of panopticonic staring by self-anointed government elites is nothing new.
Let’s take a quick Boles Blogs trip back through time to examine our intrepid reporting on this matter of the NSA spying on us. We begin on June 30, 2006 — You are an Electronic Jigsaw Puzzle:
It’s horrifyingly fascinating how this government effort to connect all our dots appears to be orchestrated in pieces using separate private companies to deter detection of a non-severed surreptitious intent — banks for banking records; conservative ownership of personal web portals for access to MySpace data; internet providers who reply upon government regulation to stay in business are required to help monitor and analyze internet traffic patterns and process email keyword triggers — leads the cogent among us to question who we really are and if we actually own a right to any sort of privacy whatsoever.
When I attended graduate school at Columbia University in the City of New York in the late 1980’s, one of chits of living on the Morningside Heights Campus — believe it or not — was getting a phone number with a 212 Area Code. I know that may sound silly to some, but if you had a 212 phone number, that meant you lived in the exclusive borough of Manhattan, and you were desirable and important and to be envied by the rest of the world.
It was a thrill to wake up this morning, power on Gmail for BolesUniversity.com, and be greeted with an invitation to set up Google Voice for video chat and phone calling from directly inside Gmail!
Today, I fell, once again, into a Fool’s Queue and helplessly tried to upgrade my two iPhone 3GS devices to iPhone 4 cellphones. I should’ve known better. Upgrading your iPhones has never been an enjoyable, or easy, job. I first logged on to the AT&T website to upgrade.
A little over two years ago, I wrote an article about mobile phone usage in public called Banning Cell Phones in Public Places. I was, and still am, of the opinion that most public spaces are not the place to whip out your mobile phone and start loudly talking about your personal life, to the detriment of the people around you — particularly when the people can do nothing to get away from you, such as on a bus. Last night, I discovered in horror how easy it is to become that person on the phone.
At last week’s NAMM 2010 show, Fender and T-Mobile introduced a “Fender Phone” that looks like it’s made out of wood, but it’s not. Eric Clapton is the spokesmodel for the phone.
Nokia are doing interesting things with cellphones like providing Braille SMS on their phones. However, the plan to teach English to poor rural children in India using cellphones seems like a bad promotional gimmick rather than an honest effort at education.