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Use your phone to call someone, now that's technology

January 10, 2011

At the 2011 annual orgy of technology in Las Vegas, a Verizon Communications executive stepped up to the microphone and said this: “Five years from now — or sooner — Verizon will be selling 100 Gig directly to customers and we will have a terabyte in the backbone.”

Now they tell us. Maybe if surgeons had been able to remove that terabyte from its backbone, Verizon could have shown up to fix the Actual Telephone Line that runs to the phone we have on our house that we use to make Actual Phone Calls.

But they couldn’t because, as it was explained to us, if you are not placing your phone calls by way of the International Space Station, you are far too uncool for Verizon to bother with. I might be paraphrasing a bit, but long story short, we gave up and started using Antietam.

As a matter of fact, it’s not even cool to make phone calls anymore, unless the person you are talking to appears on your screen in 3D, or can somehow reach through the airwaves and make you a peanut butter sandwich while you talk.

It might be more impressive, of course, if any of this stuff worked. But if your music is of high quality; if you can make a phone call without being cut off midconversation; if you can read a page of text without barbecuing your eyeballs; if you can read a map without waiting for an hourglass to stop doing back flips; if you can pay a bill without typing in the wrong password and freezing your account, I feel truly sorry for you because you are so behind the times that it is pathetic.

You probably don’t do all your shopping at the “App Store,” do you?” I downloaded an app for my bank. It doesn’t work. I downloaded an app for my brokerage. It doesn’t work, either. I downloaded an app that works as a level and would have been truly useful for my carpentry projects. But it didn’t work. The only apps that work have no apparent purpose:

“Look at this app. You can hold the phone up in front of a radio that’s playing a song that you don’t know, like so, and it will tell you what you’re listening to.”

“Interesting. How many times have you used it?”

“Oh gee, counting this time?”

“Yes.”

“Once.”

We can hardly wait for the release of the new Droid Bionic Techno Titanium Fusion Quantum, whose key attribute is that by the time you get to the end of the name you’ve forgotten why you needed it in the first place.
We will also buy anything that begins with the letter “X,” pronounced like the letter “Z.” There was a great new device at the Las Vegas show called the Xoom, which immediately won the show’s coveted “X Pronounced as Z Award.”

This concept also demonstrates why the Microsoft Zune failed. As advanced as Microsoft’s scientists are, they forgot to spell “Z” with an “X.” It should have been called the Xune. Today, we laugh at the old electronic dinosaur known as Zenith. But if it was spelled Xenith? Got your attention, didn’t it?

I guess this is what the world is coming to, but every ad for something new and cool is always presented with some dark, industrial, robot-armed backdrop that to my mind really doesn’t make the future look all that appealing.

But at least the future will have, articles on the technology show promise, a refrigerator that “will tell you when you are low on milk.”

No offense, but if you need a machine to tell you when you’re low on milk, you probably have some other problems that technology will never be able to solve.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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