Thursday, May 24, 2007

News from the Technical World

Good news - no magnetic explosion in my knee -- and my sweetie's head MRI is normal!

Now, on to the business of blogging. Tonight, news from the world of technology.

First: Get ready to use that cell! Right now in Europe, you can get cash with your cell. Say the electric company needs to send you a refund (well, that's the example they give, though could they have chosen a more unlikely one??) They send you a text message with a bar code in it. You go to the Post Office, or a designated site in a store (in the US I'll bet Walmart, Walgreen's, etc. get on board). They scan your cell screen with the bar code, and give you the cash.

Like I say, already happening in Europe. Next, bar codes in your phone that are your credit and debit cards. And cash wages by phone (useful for those without bank accounts). And text coupons to use at the grocery (already done by European Unilever). Here comes your electronic wallet. A little matter of checking identity, of course, still remains, I mean, given how many cell phones are stolen in Europe! But get ready, you may have heard it here first.

Second, also in Europe, real-life police investigations may lead to real-life court trials for on-line rape - rape, that is, in the virtual world Second Life, where some disturbing cases of stalking and attacks have occurred. People who spend days and nights in a darkened room with their computer creating their fantasy being can, and I understand this, feel deeply violated when that on-line being is attacked, raped, savaged. The terms and conditions of joining Second Life, it must be said, prohibit all such activity. Thus the potential to apply real-life laws to those who violate others in virtual reality as well as on the real cement streets.

Oh sigh. Here is a beautiful second world, in which everyone gets to be pretty if they want to be (must explain the preponderence of big busted, long-legged young women, and studly gents)...and what happens? Because we can all go there, it begins to become, gee whiz, just like the real us after all. Full of good and evil, sanity and perversion. Except for appearances. It is harder to recreate the world in the image we would prefer than many wonderful good-hearted activists think.

1 comment:

laura said...

Glad to know you haven't blown up! I would miss you something fierce, Juffie!

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