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Christmas Cheer Technology

Technology-Based Social Change 132

Posted by Zonk
from the bits-and-silicon-for-the-people dept.
vivekg writes "BBC has published an article featuring the highlights of technological social change from around the world for this year. It is amazing to find out how technology is being used in very different ways for very different communities. Victims of the Tsunami disaster, Virtual Wallets in Japan, and the Indian government, bringing technology to rural areas, all have been touched by the positive use of technology. Hope to see more good community-based collaboration in 2006."
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Technology-Based Social Change

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  • Too connected? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scoth (879800) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:34PM (#14327291)
    I miss the days when I could go out and have a nice dinner without people yammering on cell phones, tapping on PDAs, talking about computer problems, etc. Sometimes I think people are a little too connected and socially technological these days.

    I'm sure there have been positive effects too though.
    • by mister_llah (891540) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:38PM (#14327333) Homepage Journal
      I have to agree... with the internet expanding exponentially and more and more collaborative tools being concocted... there is a point at which there becomes just too much information out there...

      Sure, you can find something on anything, but the lines of truth blur in the presence of so much information... and valid opinions and ideas become easier to overlook...

      I don't know, there are definate upsides, it is easier to communicate with people who I couldn't keep in close touch with, but in the old days, they would have just slipped away... and one day wondered 'I wonder how mister_llah is doing?' ... and then they would call me... now... they will know, and won't call, the curiousity is sated....

      Plus there is something to be said for face to face conversation and *whoa* physical contact... *shrug*
      • What would you prefer as an alternative?

        Would you rather have more valid opinions and perspectives expressed, and thus a blurier truth, or would you rather have a clearer truth, with fewer valid opinions and perspectives..?

        In fact I think we will have both: We continue to find ways for our tools to help us organize our communications and information, and to help us form a clearer picture of a multiplicity of perspectives.

        When I read what you wrote, I thought: "Whoah-- somebody feels that their version of th
    • Re:Too connected? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pete6677 (681676) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:59PM (#14327438)
      The problem is that some people do not use good judgement about the use of technology. They must forget that their cell phone has voice mail and that they don't necessarily have to answer their phone every time it rings. Some people just naturally have poor judgement and don't think about why they shouldn't be yapping on the phone during a meeting/concert/church or other place where quiet is expected. I think eventually social manners regarding technology will catch on, and shouting into a cellphone while ignoring your dinner companion will be considered to be about as rude as picking your nose at the table.
    • Re:Too connected? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by travail_jgd (80602) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:04PM (#14327470)
      Rude people will find a way to be rude, technology or no. The people on cellphones would just be having loud conversations with someone in their company. Some of the folks using PDAs would have their little black books, or planners, or folios with them. Teens always find a way to be loud (been there, done that :).

      Sure, there's bad with the good. Technology hasn't changed human nature, it's just a visible scapegoat.
    • Re:Too connected? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by metlin (258108)
      The relationships between humans become more superficial, as technology-induced connectivity goes up.

      You miss body gestures, nuances and postures and become completely dependent on technology to get to know a person. I mean, you communicate at least as much on the phone and on IM/e-mails as you do in person; and while they maybe fruitful communications, they just aren't the same.

      Heck, I communicate with my room-mates over IM far more than actually walking down to their room and talking to them about somethi
      • Re:Too connected? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:18PM (#14327545) Homepage Journal
        You miss body gestures, nuances and postures and become completely dependent on technology to get to know a person.

        In other words, the rest of the world becomes just like I've been all along. I've got Asperger's Syndrome (NOT self-diagnosed) and I always felt weird growing up. No wonder I'm far more verbal in text based communications than in real life.
        • I think many people are more "verbal" in email communication because of the pace. Face-to-face, dead air is a sin, so you're pressured to blurt half-cooked thoughts before they're done baking. In an email, you have time to think about how to word things so they sound somewhat intelligent. You can also edit things if you don't like the way it came out the first time, something that's impossible in voice (or IM, for that matter).

          Asperger's or whatever, I think many people just don't think quite as fast on the
          • My point was- for me in person, in real life, is just as much guesswork as e-mail. Verbal clues, posture, body language- these all go right over my head, they are meaningless to me. That's one of the determining factors between REAL Asperger's syndrome and the self-diagnosed variety. It can be a real headache (in more ways than one, another symptom for me is migraines) trying to figure out emotions- thus I'm much more comfortable with the emotionless nature of asynchronous text based communication.

            As yo
            • I have a 5 year old who currently is diagnosed as PDD-NOS, which will probably later be changed to either Asperger's or something in the same territory. I've been considering setting her up with an email account to try communicating with her (she's been able to read for almost 2 years now), as face-to-face conversation can be so difficult sometimes.

              As someone who's been there, would you recommend this approach?
              • Had it been available 30 years ago, it probably would have helped with me. I could read by age 3 also, but the real big plus will be in teaching her to type; many of these disorders come with associated nervous system disorders, which makes learning to write difficult at best. Be sure to turn on the spell checker in whatever e-mail program you choose for her; us early readers are word-recognition types and therefore sometimes learn to spell incorrectly from misprints in books.
                • She can type (hunt & peck, but that's enough). She even gets the puncuation. She likes to put in www.nickjr.com, though it's in her favorites now so she doesn't type it anymore. The word recognition I've seen in action, it's occaisionally very confusing when she tries to use a word that she's never heard but has only seen written. The usage is usually correct, but the pronunciation can be a little funky.

                  Thanks for the info. I may just try this.
              • I'm no expert, but I wouldn't recomend that. She will need to learn how to communicate face to face eventually, and as her parent, you are in the best position to help her. If you're going to avoid this, there's no telling how/when she may learn, if she can learn at all from others (will they be as patient as you?). I also think you should be open with her, and explain, in plain english what she can expect. "When ppl roll their eyes, it can mean they are frustrated" or "If they stare into space, they are th
                • I'm considering it for occaisional communications, not 100%. There are times when I have absolutely no idea what she has or hasn't understood. My thoughts on the matter are that if she CAN effectively communicate via written means, then it might be an excellent outlet for her to express herself sometimes. As near as I can tell, she has NO means of clearly communicating many ideas to people.
          • > Face-to-face, dead air is a sin, so you're pressured to blurt half-cooked thoughts before they're done baking.

            What a great way to put it.

      • Heck, I communicate with my room-mates over IM far more than actually walking down to their room and talking to them about something. While it certain has benefits, it also has downsides.
        That's why I video-conference with my roomies.
    • Does this apply? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Asakusa (941025) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:15PM (#14327531)
      I wonder if this feeling applies to solely older persons. Being 21 years old, I don't remember a time when you could go to dinner without people yammering on cell phones, as you point out. Having grown up with technology, it seems a natural order of life. I enjoy it. I use 3 different e-mail addresses, AIM, my cell phone, texting, Myspace and so on. I have about 7 ways to contact a single person, but it's convenient and it doesn't bother me. Maybe in 30 years when everyone is connected directly to the back of my brain I will reminisce about when we used to use cell phones and PDAs.
      • by jacksonj04 (800021)
        The next logical step would be turning those 3 emails, AIM, cellphone, myspace and so on into a single address.

        When there's a single address which *will* get hold of you if you are available, there's only one thing to turn off.
      • Bingo. Welcome to societal evolution. No offense to the grandparent...but your views on technology overload are gradually being replaced by younger generations who have grown up with, and adapted successfully to, this new constant influx of information.

        As someone who is 22, I remember a time before I had the the worlds information at my finger tips. But I shudder to think about what life would be like if I was still stuck in that time. I THRIVE on the constant information, and one of the reasons is beca

    • Re:Too connected? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Animats (122034) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:24PM (#14327578) Homepage
      I've seen couples in Palo Alto coffee houses where both people had laptops up and running. Twice in the last two weeks. They were dating, not having a business meeting or doing homework. Seeing half a dozen people having a meeting in a coffee shop, laptops at the ready, has been going on for a while. But now people are taking all this gear on dates.

      One good-looking young couple had in use, between them, two laptops, two cell phones, a Blackberry, and a graphing calculator. Plus at least one iPod. But no annoying ringtones. They're using the gear, not showing it off.

      • You see this all the time in the vicinity of colleges too. People are hanging out, on basically social occasions, but with gear in tow. I honestly don't think it is such a bad thing. It eliminates the need for tons of polite small talk, which no one really liked to start with, and you might just figure out that you have mutual interests.

        Two people go to work on a group project for calculus, bringing laptops in tow to type up the report, use mathmatica, etc. Everyone is awhile they take a break. On one break
    • As long as people don't talk louder on there cell then they would to someone there dining with, how is it a problem?

      How loud do the people where you live tap on bdas? jeez.

      How is talking about computer [problems any different then Car problems? TV problems? etc.

      The problem here, my friend, is you.

      Unless you mean people you are dining with. In that case, they are just being rude.
      • I was meaning, occasionally, people I'm dining with. Otherwise, yes, people do tend to talk more loudly on cell phones than they do in person. Another thing I've noticed is people seem to go on at length about more personal things on the phone, often with the aforementioned loud voice, than they would in person. I really don't need to hear about my table-neighbor's irritable bowl syndrome while I'm eating. No idea what causes that partcular phenomenon but I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing it.

        I guess th
    • I miss the days when neo-luddites were less prevelent.

      "yammering on cell phones" = yammering to the person sitting next to you "tapping on PDAs" = scratching on paper with a pen "talking about computer problems" = talking about anything your not interested in

      Your problem is that you hate technology just for the sake of hating technology. The only difference between you and the Omish is that the Omish don't run around whinning about how everybody else isn't Omish.

      All of your complaints existed jus
      • Neo-luddite? I'm as much a gadget freak as anyone. I just prefer people who use their technology responsibly and in a non-invasive manner. Granted I dislike people talking louding to people near them as much as I do people talking loudly into cell phones, it just seems like cell phones induce it.

        As for talking about computer problems, I'm a computer geek. Seriously. I was the kid typing BASIC into the Apple IIs in elementary school, on up to running Gentoo on anything I can get my hands on today. It's proba
        • And did they pay your dinner, or something?
          Or you were happy with just the fuzzy feeling of being Bill's free 24/7 tech support?
        • There was no foot in mouth,(other than maybe spelling Amish with an O). You agree that the problem is loud talking, and not the phone itself, yet you still complain about the phone. You admit that the tech problem is your, yet you compain about the PDA.

          As for your laptop experience. Did you know that people in all sorts of industries get that kind of treatment? Did you know tht doctors get asked by people they don't know for medical advice? Did you know that lawyers get asked by people they don't k
          • Never said I was talking about computers ;) Anyway, you're reading far too much into what were intended to be quick, general statements about everyday life as they related to the topic. Naturally it happens to doctors and lawyers, but the article was about technology in social situations. I was referencing the more philosophical issues regarding someone absorbed in their own work rather than perhaps interacting with their world around them. Again, I realize the same could be said of a book, magazine, or new
    • well, it used to be that being "into" computers was a geek thing and would socially isolate you (usually to the computer lab)..

      go to any computer store now, you have all the cool kids in there fawning over the latest computers and if you don't have a computer you are considered strange.. And I read an article a while back about meeting women while computing and what computers are considered cool...

      how funny the switch...
      • how funny the switch...

        And note what it was that helped technology & computers to cross that line... when they became tools to do everyday tasks, like make calls, send messages to keep in touch with people. Computers only became cool when they were all connected up.
        • Photography and film used to be for geeks too. It's a pretty technical field, and movie companies still have a big staff of techie people. The perception about it, however, is very different.
    • This reminds me when LANs became more common they were touting the eventual "paperless office", with all documents handled electronically. Well, guess what, computers have caused a paper explosion as anyone can churn out thousands of pages of drivel at a click. Documents today look prettier but little things like proper speling, grammer and, punctuation, are far worser and also content sux0r hehe omfgwtf jamez joice wud be prawd strm of conciousnes watever crap u think come out cuz u dont haf to be rite j
    • I've never seen a case were a dinner is constantly interrupted by cell phones,PDAs etc. Usually when people come to a dinner, even a professional one, it is because they are important to them, so they really pay attention to the conversation. Those that pay too much attention to their devices are usually considered rude.

      As technology invades our lives, so will changes come. But that's not a problem, and it will certainly not be in the future where technology will be almost invisible.
    • > I miss the days when I could go out and have a nice dinner without people yammering on cell phones, tapping on PDAs, talking about computer problems, etc.

      Boy I miss the days when I could go out to a nice dinner without people yammering to the people across the table from them, forks and knives scraping against plates, talking about politics, etc.

      Is it the talking that bothers you, or the phone's ringing? That's the thing that gets me. I realize that people have a tendency to speak louder into a cellp
    • I think you need a Caribbean getaway, yes I am from the Caribbean.
    • Move away from California. ;p
    • "Sometimes I think people are a little too connected and socially technological these days." - Stuff and nonsense.

      The problem isn't too much information or too much connectivity. The problem is rude people who impose their gadgets on others. This isn't something that calls for special technological manners. The principles can be generalized quite easily from the stuff your mamma taught you when you were five - like, don't talk loudly in a public area, and don't ignore the people you're with.
  • Girl gamers? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mister_llah (891540) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:34PM (#14327299) Homepage Journal
    This could mean good things for the gamer guys... but something tells me that the author (whose photo looks rather mousey) ... won't be as lucky as others...

    Poor guy!
    • Girl-gamers are an important technological breakthrough for gamers who want a mate that won't complain about multi-hour, semi-social gaming sessions.
    • Heh.

      That female was talking about having guns in the sims. Seriously, what's the point of Sims again? I mean, isn't it a lot easier to live your real life than live it out in a virtual world?

      Heck, if there were guns in the Sims, it'd have been a lot more interesting. Form gangs, fight evil couples blah blah.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:34PM (#14327300)
    Says absolutely nothing about porn
  • Seems we're also reverting back to old technology while developing new ones: Podcasts are simply unregulated radio, only the more advanced ones having video (Marcus Hates His Job [marcushateshisjob.com]) as an example. Technology is always advancing and changing our world, but it seems that as we advance, we often look back to old technologies and adapt to changing settings..
  • How is this news? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Surely, fire, flints and the wheel where once the techonologies that peoples used to enhance their lives in the way they saw fit.

    Man is a technological animal - of course he (or she) will use new tech in a way that fits and enhances their way of life.

    Where is the news here?

  • This month I've conceded, again, to having a Cell Phone.

    I was an early Adopter of cell phones back when they were bag phones (it still works and has power and range a hand held only dreams of!) Then I moved to a hand held Motorola unit, which would still nearly split a pocket in my jeans.

    In 2000 I had been living in California and was searching for a while and found I needed one to secure a new appartment. Being able to get in touch or be got in touch with was a necessity as I found during the late dot

    • This go round is pay as I go. While doing some holiday shopping, however, I could scarcely believe my eyes on how many outlets there are for cell services. This crap must be hugely profitable.

      Not as profitable as in the old days when the carriers paid dealers monthly residuals on every line they connected and a percentage of the monthly bills of each user. Nowadays the residuals are mostly gone.
  • Women gaming clubs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rowan_u (859287) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:43PM (#14327364)
    As far as the article on women in games go, I'd like to agree with the social aspect. That is often what brings the women into gaming. I've seen women pick up titles as diverse as Burnout 3, Call of Duty, or Dead or Alive, but only after being dragged to a LAN party by significant coercion. Once games are properly experienced nobody (Male or Female) sets them down lightly. The games speak for themselves.

    What is significant here is the gaming stereotypes that are keeping women away from gaming in the first place. You only need to turn on G4$ T.V. for approximately 5 seconds to see what I'm talking about. What you need to do to bring women into gaming is to stop marketing to 13 year old boys alone. It's pretty simple.
    • I don't think your assessment is entirely true. I think that the difficulty getting women into gaming is similar or identical to the difficulty getting women into the sciences. They're both on the rise, fortunately, but there is a social stigma present that is hindering progress. Very simply, gaming is perceived as a male pursuit. Although gaming companies often cater to this perception, women themselves often decide not to explore gaming simply because they've been taught to direct their energy elsewhe
    • by VegeBrain (135543)
      Once games are properly experienced nobody (Male or Female) sets them down lightly. The games speak for themselves. In my case games have spoken for themselves and I booted them out. I played a whole bunch of top of the line games of all types (FPS, RTS, Simulations, Civs) a few years ago and simply got sick and tired of the whole idea of spending seemingly endless hours glued to my computer screen clicking with a mouse and pecking at the keyboard. Nowadays I'd just rather relax or take a walk outside.
    • I'm male, and like almost all of you, I HATE g4. I actually find watching that channel to be mildly insulting (to me) and highly stereotypical. 43% of gamers are female, and only about 35% are under 18. (http://www.theesa.com/facts/gamer_data.php [theesa.com]) The dialog is mildly retarded, who exactly are they trying to appeal to, maybe they never checked out the demographics. Whoever is running that network needs to go watch every episode of The Screen Savers and Call for Help ever made, apply that formula to the
  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:43PM (#14327366)
    I have a very positive emotional reaction whenever I see technology being used to defeat censorship from fearful totaliatarian governments around the world. This article [smh.com.au] describes how the current government of mainland China is struggling mightily to embrace information technology while at the same time censoring personal blogs. Their efforts are futile and I think that in 10 years you will see a very different system of government there.
    • That is a rather rosy view of technology. It may well be that China will have a different system of govt in 10 years but it probably won't be because of bloggers. Remember that the protestors in Tiananmen square didn't need cellphones and blogs to organise one of the critical protests in the Chinese freedom movement. So often it seems that technologies are taken by governments and used against their citizens - a prime example is the plan for the British govt to monitor all road movements of vehicles with

    • I'll get excited when I see the collective realization that just the technology we currently have [faqs.org] enables the defeat of many entrenched [fpa.org], obsolete [publishers.org] social [riaa.com] constructs [politicalreviewnet.com].

      It's the withering away of the state; Lenin forsaw it but mistook it. It turns marxism and capitalism both ass-over-teakettle.

      Why not use these techniques to defeat fearful [mfa.gov.il] democratic [assemblee-nationale.fr] and republican [sourcewatch.org] governments, as well? They are equally egregious, just the authoritarian regimes are less duplicitous and a damn sight rougher.
    • If there new system of government becomes a bad thing, we are blaming you.
  • by timpintsch (842091) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:48PM (#14327391)
    I used to rail against the evils of cell phone use, from 1998 to present as I worked at various ISPs and ISP like entities, everyone around me was showing up with new pretty cell phones that lit up pretty colors and played deceptively good midi ringtones. Constantly these phones were getting smaller, thinner, and louder. And now, I have one. I can blame marriage, I can blame my wife, I can even blame my stepchild. But at the end of the day, it was the hamster dance in Midi that finally sold me.
  • by komodotoes (939836) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:53PM (#14327418) Homepage
    It is amazing to find out how technology is being used in very different ways for very different communities.

    Like surveillance of the masses [slashdot.org], more surveillance of the masses [slashdot.org], tracking vehicle movements [slashdot.org], really tracking vehicle movements [slashdot.org], seriously tracking vehicle movements [slashdot.org]....



    NeverEndingBillboard.com [neverendingbillboard.com]
  • by TheSixth1 (81935) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:58PM (#14327432)
    I see one of the big benefits of the spread of these new technologies is in the vein of social equality. Every few decades there seems to be a surge in society that, for better or worse, makes a great change in the way that people interact. I think the surge we are riding right now is acting as a social equilizer that has the potential to blind us to the bigotries triggered by economic status, religion, race, or whatever.

    I am not saying that this technology makes everyone equal, but what I am saying is that this technology gives everyone the chance to start out on the exact same footing when they use these new technologies to interact. Whether you connect to the web via your own dual-processor hyper pentium uber-computer with a dedicated T1 at your house or from a free terminal at a public library, the packets are the same. At that point no one cares about your race, economic status, religion, whatever, the playing field is level for you to express yourself. Now, what happens after you post -- that falls back to the current social climate and really depends on what you the individual has to express.

    A lot of hopeful thinking I know... but hey, it's that time of year.
    • I am surprised BBC has chosen to highlight the computer and internet technology in India. To me, the real story is the mobile phones (which just gets an honourable mention). It has been the big story for the last several years; and I am sure it will be so for the next several too.

      The early nineties saw the rise of manned pay phone booths. It was seen as a big deal, simply because it made telephones accessible to everyone (amd also gave employment opportunities to a lot of people). For the first time, those

      • RE: I am surprised BBC has chosen to highlight the computer and internet technology in India.

        Well, 65% of the British public want to know what's going on back home.

        Not joking or being a moron about it either, just a statement of fact. India and England have a very close relationship and MANY dual citizens. I picked up my love for a good vindalu and pakoras living in the UK as a kid.
    • On a somewhat similar note, I think technology is making the nation state more and more irrelevant. What are becoming more and more important are communities people choose to join, instead of mostly being born into.

      Think about it. The web allows you to share information with people around the world, regardless of whether the information is artistic collaboration or state secrets. Anonymyzing layers and encryption provide the protection. Technology helps _avoid_ surveillance as much as the other posters poin
    • "but what I am saying is that this technology gives everyone the chance to start out on the exact same footing when they use these new technologies to interact"

      Well...as much as I'd like to agree, that just isn't true. Education still plays a large role in how useful a piece of technology (read: a tool) is to someone. The amount of use they can get out of it is directly related to how much aptitude/education they have, along with a myriad of other factors.

      Additionally, not all hardware/software is create

  • by tlk nnr (449342) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:08PM (#14327496) Homepage
    What about negative changes?
    • UK plans to build a national database of all vehicle movements
    • European Commisions decides to create a database of all phone calls (Only numbers - the actual content will be added to the bill in two years), all sms messages (I'm not sure if the content is included)

    I'm sure the US list is similar.

    ---

    Please click me, it won't hurt [monstersgame.net]
  • But how come they don't have photos of any cute girl gamers?

    Is this because they don't exist? And I almost got my hopes up.

    • Oh come on, you're on slashdot. You can't have /standards/.
    • I actually had a girlfriend in college a few years ago who loved playing video games. She also liked watching Quantum Leap and a few other cool shows, loved reading and writing fan-fiction, and loved MacGyver. She was a really pretty redhead and I thought we were doing great, but I kissed her for the first time at her parents house (not around them and after we had been apart for three months), they found out and made her break up with me. I miss her sometimes, she was so much fun. My wife can't underst
      • Give me Christine's phone number. Now.
        • If only I had it, I lost touch with her after the break up and haven't seen her in years. She was my favorite girlfriend, and I wish I could have said something when she broke up with me and said her parents had decided she had to do it. I wish I could have talked her into still dating me. I was just so caught off guard after just moving back into my dorm room, and then she said it, left, and I basically never saw her again. They are one in a million, that's for sure, and she was an engineer, too. *sob
      • A college-aged girl broke up with you because her parents made her? Wow.
        • You know what made it even worse, though, was the fact she spent part of that summer in Germany, and I spent hundreds of dollars calling as often as I could. I worked at an internship in Virginia and had two cute interns always flirting and trying to get me to cheat on her or break up with her and date one of them. I always told them no, I wanted to marry this girl. A girl who loves video games, MacGyver, and Quantum Leap? And she was a gorgeous redhead to boot. So I just kept telling them both no all
  • Ugh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Golias (176380) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:13PM (#14327521)
    Victims of the Tsunami disaster, Virtual Wallets in Japan, and the Indian government, bringing technology to rural areas, all have been touched by the positive use of technology.

    Obviously grammar-checking is one area where technology still lags.
    • by Jeng (926980)
      Although grammar checking is a technology that still lags, and is being worked on, you mind pointing out the grammatical errors to those of us who lack in grammatical skills?

      I mean, if your going to be a grammar nazi, go all out!
  • by catmistake (814204) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:18PM (#14327544) Journal
    I think this is a case of wag the dog.

    If one thing is clear from the history of technology, its that people do not change. Technology changes.


  • Sure. It's 1940's technology, but really, has there been anything else that has created so much social change and is STILL creating social change?

    We still don't know what the long term social effects will be, on the West especially, for another 50 years.

  • by Ucklak (755284) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:40PM (#14327687)
    I want my lightsaber and a personal transporter.
    I do not want a flying car because that means that the drivers who are idiots will then be in the air. (Disclaimer-I am a pilot)
    I don't want technology displacing pilot education and the requirements to become a pilot.

    There are a good bit of us here that remember when-
    you couldn't buy a phone, you had to rent them.
    when Russia was the bad guys. (anybody born in the '90s -huh?) Now everyone has a spycamera.
    Pull strings on toys. (Today's See and Says are battery powered, Mrs. Beasley - huh?)
    Movies used to have cartoons in front of them
        I remember the MGM movies had Tom and Jerry, UA movies had Pink Panther. Now it's only Pixar and commercials.
    • I want a flying car because the human occupant will not be flying it. The computer (SkyNet?) will be in control of the vehicle at all times. That will seriously rock .. I just hope I get to see it in my lifetime.
  • facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SnprBoB86 (576143) on Friday December 23, 2005 @01:47PM (#14327721) Homepage
    I am amazed that no one has mentioned http://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com]
    facebook has had an increadable impact on the social lives of college students.

    Not to mention, it is an increadable well designed web app.
    • Agreed! We're working on a social networking site all about inspiring and empowering people to go out and change the world: http://www.zaadz.com./ [www.zaadz.com] Won't be "officially" launching till early '06, but we're pretty excited about it.

      -brian

      http://brian.zaadz.com/ [zaadz.com]
    • Facebook is great except that like all communication outlets...it has become a haven for spammers. They really won't cut down on it till they offer an easy process for marking a spammer....like a "Mark this message sender as a spammer" link on the spam message. Its too much of a pain to go to their profile and report them. It would take forever to get them all.

      • I visit facebook practically every day. Hell, I have been there maybe 20 times today due to wall updates (it's my birthday). I have never seen any of this spam you are talking about. There are a few fake profiles on there because some of the more tech-savy students know you can create a secondary email address at my school. But, generally, the fake profiles are fun. I am "friends" with Slimer from Ghost Busters and Peter Griffen from Family Guy and a few other dopey characters just for laughs. I did once ge
    • I agree that facebook is well-designed, for what it is, and that it's having an impact, but I'm not convinced it's a positive impact. The dynamic is that because you approve some profile via email, you are "friends" with a person. I think this blog entry (not mine) states it much more clearly than I could, in the context of networking: http://www.ianybarra.com/blog/archives/2005/08/fa c ebooking_is.htm [ianybarra.com]

      On top of that, there is the dark side of facebooking - it's public. Someday someone is going to see somet
      • As with everything, there are high points and low points to facebook.

        A lot of people just amass friends to appear popular or just because they are bored. I've probably got a dozen people on my friends list that I have only ever talked to once, but who cares? It's not hurting anyone.

        With facebook I have... ...organized parties ...found people to study with ...caught up with old friends ...laughed quite a few times ...shared things that have certainly made others laugh ...easily retrieved contact information
  • by sjames (1099) on Friday December 23, 2005 @07:06PM (#14329816) Homepage

    It seems that the more 'connected' a person makes themselves through technology, the less they actually connect. Just how meaningful can a conversation be when it consists of:

    RING

    Hello?

    A: Hi Z! How's it going *BEEP*

    Z: Hang on, another call *CLICK* Hello?

    B: Howsit going?

    Z:It's cool, but I'm on another call, can I call you back?

    B:Sure, cool.

    Z: *CLICK* Hey man, sorry about *BEEP*, hang on...

    C: Hey man, whatcha doing?

    Z: Actually, I was just talking to A, can I

    C:Hey! I haven't heard from A in a while, tell him to call me when you're Done.

    Z: Sure, talk in a few. *CLICK* Sorry man, Hey, I just heard from C, he said *BEEP* hang on...*CLICK* Hello?

    C: Hello!

    A:Hey C! Whatcha up to?

    C: I'm sitting right next to you. We're on a date remember?

    A: WOAH! Sorry about that, so why'd you call me on the phone?

    C: That's the only

    Z: *BEEP* hang on a sec, I gotta answer that *CLICK*

    E: Hey man, what's up?

    Z: I'm on a date with C! How 'bout you?

    E: Just chilling man

    A: Hey? Where are you going? What's wrong? Man WOMEN. I can't believe she just walked off without saying a word. OH MAN she HUNG UP on me too!

    E: Yeah, go figure *BEEP* Hold on man *CLICK*

    That MIGHT be a little exaggerated, but I doubt it.

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