"Mobile phones are where computers were thirty years ago," wrote Erick Schonfeld, co-editor of TechCrunch, in 2008(click here).
Thirty years ago--that's 1980, the dawn of the PC era, when Radio Shack was king of the mountain, with its product that resembled a cash register. There I acquired my first computer skills, nudged by my father, a visionary who had also installed solar collectors that provided us with luke-warm showers, but who really needs hot showers anyway?
He had jumped on the visionary bandwagon and remained fiercely loyal to Radio Shack until he died in 1993, right before the Internet was born, a medium he would have loved.
The first word processors required programming that usually didn't work. Remember that green and white striped paper that rolled out of our daisy wheel printers?
I envisioned a word-processing program that turned out to be Microsoft Word, still the king of that genre. Just type onto a blank white screen and print out your content onto an 8-1/2 by 11 sheet of paper.
So whether it's the iPhone or the Android, computers will soon be palm-sized. What will result for those who are visually impaired? That's on the list somewhere, no doubt, but not at the top.
At this point I must repeat a DC anecdote many of you have already heard about--the tale of a teenager who fell into an open manhole while texting--in other words, not looking where she was going. The guys under the sidewalk had left it open for just a few seconds--even that was against the rules. But at the trial, the point was made that the teen should have been looking where she was going. It's one thing to walk down the street jabbering on cellphones, but quite another, a new era, when texting can be hazardous to your hardware. Cell phones, when used copiously, threaten brain disease,
But everything in our society is toxic, even love. Somehow the Arctic Wildlife Refuge is still an oasis for nonhuman, non-microscopic creatures who are choking on environmental damage everywhere else. But the writer of that article didn't consider that the Polar Ice Cap is melting. Surely the two events are related. I hope not. I'm no environmentalist.