Yup; the Internet is screwed up.

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Sat Jun 11 23:40:46 UTC 2011

> But this is all luxury, it's not the fulfillment of a basic need and 
> even a right (as proclaimed by the UN). It's going above and beyond 
> that, which is fine, but it's not *needed* in the sense of survival and 
> being able to further yourself in life and career.

A smartphone may be a luxury.  I strongly suspect, for example, that
for the 14-year-old kid wandering around with an iPhone that the use
is one of luxury; I, on the other hand, finally felt forced into one
because I had a compelling (even if only occasional) business need 
to do things like ssh without lugging a laptop and wireless card with
me at all times.

Is that an accurate way to look at it?  Maybe.  However, if I were a
parent, maybe I would have an additional perspective: perhaps I like
the idea that I can run "Find my iPhone" and be likely to be able to
track my kid, because I know damn well that the social status bump of
having the phone means it's going to be with him/her.

Or maybe one day my kid is snatched.  The ability to call 911, the
ability to track, the ability to record, the ability to take pictures,
even the ability to use the camera as a flashlight, etc., who knows 
what might be useful.

So while the phone might be a luxury on one hand, there's also a real
big potential for it to be a serious tool, even a lifesaving one, in 
a crisis.

What about


for example?  With police frequently snatching and confiscating, or
even smashing, recording devices, might we consider a high speed
communications channel as an essential way to record evidence away
from the scene of an event in realtime?  It doesn't have to be a 
cellphone.  How about a home security system's external cameras?

We continue to evolve new uses and technologies that make the
capabilities that we have more useful.  Luxuries?  Sure, many are
nice to have as well, but just because something might frequently
be used for unnecessary purposes does not reduce the importance of
other uses.

> Just as a toyota corolla perfectly fulfills the need to drive your 
> toddlers around and drive to and from work. An SUV in almost all cases 
> is added luxury.

My SUV carries seven passengers and allows me to haul gear including
conduit, lumber, ladders, etc.  It's actively dangerous to do some of
these things in a sedan.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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