25 January 2009

This day in history...

This day in history...

As admin for our cold war history group on facebook, I check in at History.com for highlights every couple days or 10. Today's news of note that caught my eye is not related to cold war origins, but still timely. On this day in 1961, JFK held first live TV news conference. Fast forward to now: Within moments of the inaugural ceremony, President Obama had his staff launch the Whitehouse blog AND they're tweeting (haven't looked on facebook yet). And you've probably already heard about his Blackberry addiction. Hooray for presidential technophilia!

How will our government be communicating with us 40 to 50 years from now? I'm hoping NOT the stuff of old science fiction, like in-home CCTV monitoring, or chips embedded in our necks. Although law enforcement is using CCTV surveillance and license plate scanners on city streets in North America and the U.K. Our cell phones have GPS technology for tracking of teens by parents, or workers by bosses. (Okay, maybe not in real time, unless you have a data service. However, I used to audit employee cell phone bills, so once a month, I saw from what city the user made calls. "Uh, do we have an office in Pebble Beach... ?")

In grade school and junior high, I was really into science fiction and fantasy. I remember the fantastic gadgets - video phones in 2001: A Space Odyssey; Star Trek's communicators and phasers; the awesome and frightening vehicles of U.F.O. and Space 1999. (Re videophones: Our family tried the webcam calls for a while a few years back - the novelty quickly wore off , although now that we all have broadband interwebs, maybe it would be less annoying.)

What will we come up with next? Google had suggestions, but it was all way over my head. I'm just hoping I can soon justify, and afford, getting an iPhone. I have great tools on my PCs, and my favorite web apps, but as for device-to-device communications? Not so much. I CAN send/receive text messages, and have been known to tweet therefrom!

Ideas, anyone? Please let me know!