I saw this photo last week and it made me realize that if the human race somehow survives for another hundred years, and not just in a living-in-holes and running-from-fires kind of way but actually in a warmer but not dissimilar world to the one we have now, we will reach a point in time where actors who star in period pieces set during the last century will have had no physical experience with a corded phone—no time spent tethered to an object mounted on a wall or planted in one corner of the room, twirling the cord around [...]
The rotary dial was a building block of civilization, the key that unlocked the phone system for millions of people. It was an integral part of your parents' lives. Imagine your father stuffing his dirty fingers into the waiting greasy dialpits, over and over and over again, over and over and over and over again, ringing your mother's bell until finally she shudders and reaches—for the phone and says: “Hello? This is [YOUR MOTHER'S NAME].” “Hey,” says your father, “this is [YOUR FATHER'S NAME].” “Well, how do you like that?” asks your mother even though she likes it very much. He asks her out to dinner. “Let me [...]
Sometimes, like once a day, my house phone rings! It usually rings about six times, and I go from "Ooh, someone's calling me" to "Oh right, no one is actually calling me" by ring number two. The rest of the rings are just an interruption of key plot points to whatever PBS drama I am watching at the time. That is because I do not pickup my phone. Because no one even has the number. It rings all the time, with phone-spam and fake bill collection agencies and sales pitches disguised as surveys. And the fool is me, because I am actually paying for this annoying non-service. It's not [...]
I find it impossible to write fiction that's set after 2002. Not because I'm a Gen-Xer waxing nostalgic about relaxing to Morcheeba on a distastefully stained sofa I found partially torn apart by a dog in an alley. (Oh, the glamour.) It's just that it's inconceivable to depict contemporary times authentically without including interludes where characters stare at their cell phones instead of advancing their plotlines – their lives – towards some conclusion. Which is, as a thing to read, mind-numbingly dull. Unless I write "and then his Galaxy 4's battery died" no one can ever get lost, forget an important fact, meet a partner outside of a dating [...]
If you're not following the Carrier IQ story, it's the flip side of the User Agreement Trust Economy. It's the modern tale: Who Secretly Owns Your Data and What Do They Do With It? For background of the story to date, here's a fairly good timeline. Carrier IQ gathers diagnostic information on some phones; it may or may not actually keylog what you type on your phone; it may or may not sometimes or always gather the passwords you enter on your phone; and, according to the FBI's refusal to release information, it may or may not have actually turned over information to law enforcement. (Carrier [...]
The data suggests that iPhone users have more sex.
I'd suggest that iPhone users are 1. more likely to live in big cities and 2. to work in fields where they don't have to carry a BlackBerry. You know: slutty fields-like architecture and graphic design and book publishing. And in big cities-where everyone is already a whore. So the iPhone is just a general marker. Like a Foursquare badge. But for casual sex.
"The percentage of households with a microwave climbed from 82 percent in 1992 to 97 percent in 2011. Similarly, the percentage with a computer jumped from 21 percent to 78 percent over the period. Landline phones followed the opposite trend; the share of households with landlines fell from 96 percent in 1998 to 71 percent in 2011."
"Our phones already know more details than our moms ever will: where we are, who we are with, what we're saying to them and what we just did (possibly with photographic evidence). Tomorrow's models are going to be smarter, learning from our mobile behavior and feeding a digital experience more closely geared to our lifestyle choices and the brands we love – or who are loving us."
I knew-because I saw a ton of pieces online about how the new AT&T data pricing was a great thing for America!-that actually it will be not at all a good thing. It is a delight to feel vindicated. Let the machine that writes Felix Salmon's blog posts explain: "AT&T could easily have saved consumers all the trouble of having to try to predict their next month's data usage by having a single plan: $15 for the first 200 MB, say, and then $10 per GB thereafter. They didn't, because they're looking forward to getting $30 per month from people exceeding 200 MB of data but who use nowhere [...]