Vladerag's Blog

{January 14, 2010}   Twitter: the new 911

Haiti has just experienced a massive earthquake, a 7.0 on the Richter scale, the equivilant of 32 megatons of TNT force.  Haiti’s already beleagured systems have been completly annihilated, health, police, and communications.  Phone services are not working, cell or landline, and so one of the few ways to ask for help is; Twitter.

What can be considered a fun social network, an annoying waste of time, or the best way to keep in touch since the invention of words is now being put to more serious purposes.  Namely, as a 911 serivice, a journalism tool, and as a way for the government to release updates.

You see, the amount of technology that reach the internet has reached the point where, short of nuclear holocaust, it cannot be shut down.  Aid groups, citizens, government, journalists, all are pouring information into Twitter and are getting, at least it looks like, results.  Although, it might be that journalists and citizens are the only ones who are getting anything done with it.  I recently read a series of tweets where a group of friends in Haiti were able to organize and figure out if they were all o.k. and then decide a place to meet in real life. 

So is Twitter going to replace 911?  Maybe, but not too soon.  There are huge amounts of tweets every minute, and sifting through the junk (from a police perspective) and the actual, useful information might be a bit tough.  Also, the infrastructure is just not there for that to be done yet.  However some of that infrastructure might be coming soon.  In 2007, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, announced that they would be adding centers able to accept 911 texts.  Also a NENA member seemed to think that this would be the new generation of emergency response. (source: Government Technology, http://www.govtech.com/gt/127961)

The reason for this advance is to help people who are in situations where they might not be able to speak on a phone to be able to contact 911.  For instance, hostage situations or if a person cannot speak for whatever reason. 

So is Tweeting next?  Maybe.  Until then I suppose we will all just keep plugging away.


{October 26, 2009}   omg i txt 2 mch

Did you get the title?  Chances are your kid would.  You cant walk through a school, mall, or any place kids congregate without seeing texting.  Am i the only one annoyed by this?  Whatever happened to calling people?  Am I not worth the few seconds it would take to dial my number?  Am I not worth correct grammar, or even correct spelling?  The answer, in short, is no.

Kids these days are more addicted to their phones then cocaine.  When a class was asked if they ever left their phones home by accident, each said that they had had at least 100 texts waiting for them when they got home.  You know what the most amazing thing was?  One kid reported he had come home to over 500 texts on his cell phone.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know cell phones would hold 5oo texts.

I don’t know a single kid who would leave their beloved cell at home, much less be off it for more than ten seconds.  If you don’t get the picture yet, this will help.  They have texting rehab clinics!  You don’t need rehab for good things.

Texters have actually developed early arthritis and other old age problems with their joints, but they happen to be sixteen.  You know you are doing something wrong when you get a disease 50 years early because of it.

Still, I could overlook that if it wasn’t so annoying talking to them.  As you speak, they read and reply to texts, not even looking at you as their thumbs fly across the tiny little pad.  Are they paying attention?  Good question, I have no idea.  The person they are texting is apparently not worthy to hear their voice, and I’m apparently not worthy to bother paying attention too.

It is in the classrooms?  You bet!  Kid writing?  Nope, texting.  Reading?  His texts!  Listening, maybe to an iPod, but probably texting.

Forget H1N1, this is the real pandemic!  Soon all we will be reduced to is emoticons and single syllable pre-words before our culture collapses entirely.

et cetera