EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE
March, 2008 Vol. 7 No. 8
PIZZA! PIZZA? SQUIRRELED
by Rocky, our Tech Guru
Isn't technology wonderful?
I'm sitting comfortably glaring at the Sunday night TV crapfest, when my cell phone rings. It's my girlfriend, Robin, calling from the Florida Keys where she and her mom are taking a weekend off to be tourists.
They are in a Ramada Inn in Key Largo. Robin has tried to call the local Papa John's Pizza repeatedly to get a pizza delivered, but they aren't answering the phone. She notices in the motel room ad that they have Online Ordering.
So she gives me a mission. I log on to papajohns.com and register as a pizza lover. I use the address of the motel as my home address and the phone number in the room as my phone number. After asking what she wants, I order a small pepperoni pizza to be delivered to their room.
The return email says 30-40 minutes to deliver the pizza. Robin and I chatted on the phone until, shortly after the 40-minute mark, a knock on the door comes and it's the PJ delivery punk with their pizza.
To summarize, Robin calls 2800 miles away to get in touch with a pizza place that's less than a mile from her location to order pizza over the internet because the pizza joint's phones (or their employees) aren't working. Welcome to 2008.
THE OTHER PIZZA STORY
by Ski, Editor in Chief
My office is a converted house on a busy suburban street. It has a large back yard which abuts other residences. Since it is in an older neighborhood, the landscape has matured into large trees and bushes. The office backyard is a quiet micro-ecosystem. We get the occasional mallard ducks resting between nature preserves, the gang of crows who caw for an hour in the tree tops gathering their clan, a cooper or red tail hawk hunting the band of house sparrows, a few stray cats, and once a large waddling possum who wanted to den in a window well. But my young nieces liked the three squirrels that ran around the yards, chasing after each other. They called them The Crazy Squirrel Brothers.
I guess the only reason most people consider squirrels cute is that they stay outside and bury nuts while other rodents, like mice and rats, attempt to burrow inside homes freaking out residents. Now, these three squirrels are at each other constantly. Paranoid about the others stealing their food. One got so clever or strange that he attempted to hide a large nut between the V-joints of the porch awning, about five feet above the ground and in open sight. That one nut stayed in place for a whole winter without being disturbed. We have also seen them crawl up the parked car tires and leaving nuts in the treads or looking to put them into the wheel wells. I have also seen them get inside a closed commercial garbage dumpster.
When they are angry or upset, squirrels let out an extremely loud, high pitched whine. It usually is around their tree nests. Otherwise, they are free to roam the outside in perfect adaptation to the surroundings.
When you walk between offices, it takes something usual out of the corner of your eye to make you stop. In the middle of the back yard it appeared at quick glance a squirrel eating a large piece of cardboard. On closer examination, it was a squirrel eating a large slice of cheese pizza. One of his brothers came up to the feast and tried to steal it away from him, but he dodged those advances to wind up in a tree finishing off the crust. I took that to mean that the squirrel had done some dumpster diving or a garbage bag from a nearby residence was dug into before pick-up.
Then about a week later, I got another one of those glances. A squirrel in the parking lot was almost covered by an even larger slice of cheese pizza. It was bigger than his body; about a sixth of a large thin crust pizza. It was so much he was gorged, and was dragging it around trying to find a hiding place for the rest. It was too good to have it waste away in the snow or rain; this had to be saved for the next hunger pains. This squirrel has found the addictive quality of suburbia's favorite food: the pizza.
And what does this story have to do with the Internet? Nothing.
February was a Leap Year, it contained an extra day. Some cultures believe that the extra day is for you to do something exciting and different; take a leap of faith so to speak. In technology circles, taking a leap of faith is upgrading your system operating systems. The more and more features and code put into existing OS is creating more downgrades than upgrades. It takes a full back up, prayer and time to install a computer upgrade. People now fear the worst. The extra leap day gives network administrators another 24 hours to figure out what went wrong. Not the personal day leap year was supposed to provide people.
PARENTAL UNCONTROL OBSERVATION
PBS had a feature program on recently about the role of parenting and children's use of the web. The main point of the feature was that parents were battling their own children over the control of technology.
A generation ago, parents had control over the main distraction device that the household had: the television set. If a child did not do their chores or their homework or got into trouble, no television was the punishment. Such was the transition from corporal punishment to deal making in the parental manual of raising children.
But today, the modern household's television is not the center of attention. A teenager has access to cell phones, text messaging, and web social sites. It is the latter, with his lurking predators and inappropriate content that has parents on edge. Some parents have all but surrendered control over the digital lifestyle directly to their children, whether they are mature enough to handle the responsibility and dangers of it. News reports are filled with cases where young, impressionable kids are connected with criminal deviants who prey on the naive. Most of those stories end badly.
Parents are generally protective. They are aware that the evils of society are encroaching more and more into their homes. The four walls of a nice, secure family residence cannot block the images and information pouring in through the walls from the broadband cables.
One mother's solution was to have the family computer placed in the kitchen. So when she was working on dinner, she could observe her son's Internet activities. The concept was that she would be monitoring her son's activities because she was in the same room. However, she even admitted that when she would come by the computer screen, it would go blank. Her son had a fail-safe privacy key to blank out what he was viewing at any moment. So, mom was not as sophisticated as her son in regard to computer technology. She also did not have the strength or desire to turn the electronic tables on him. She sort of shrugged her shoulders in the conclusion that she was doing the best she could under the circumstances.
Her son's viewpoint on the situation was also revealing: he thought that his privacy rights trumped his mother's parental control in regard to his web surfing. What he was saying or doing on his web pages was solely his business.
Other students concurred in that statement. Many high schoolers on social networks use their myspace or facebook pages to interact with their friends. Others use it as a game to see how many new friends they can generate with their pages. Many students are aware of the dangers of on-line predators and stalkers. Others seem to not care about the consequences of their actions because on the net, they can change from timid loners into totally different personalities. A quiet, dowdy school girl can transform herself into a Goth skin queen just to get the attention she is missing in her real life. And her parents would have no clue unless they stumbled across her web cam broadcasts.
The real disconnect between parent and child is this: while children are claiming that their web surfing is a private matter that does not need parental supervision, the images, text and matters that the child is putting out on the web have no privacy filter. A flirtatious image to one friend can immediately be copied and sent to hundreds of thousands of people to the embarrassment of the child and eventually their family. A child's private thoughts and images are not private on the web but one won't realize that until it is too late.
THE COMBINATION OF FOOD AND POLITICS - - - Ski's IMMORTAL COMBAT IRON CANDIDATE RETURNS JUST IN TIME FOR THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. NEW ISSUES CAN BE SEEN AT THE NEWS STAND AT pindermedia.com.
DON'T MISS THE SIZZLING SATIRE, THE FRIED EGOS, AND THE SHARP WIT OF AMERICAN POLITICS.
From the Creator of Rapter Agent and Dr. Philistine: IRON CANDIDATE!
THE AMERICAN BORG
SURF TO LIVE
LIVE TO SURF
THE WHETHER REPORT STATUS
Question: Whether on-line retail sites will kill off paper mail catalogue companies?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
Question: Whether MMOG tournaments will become more popular than current spectator sports such as baseball, football or basketball?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
Question: Whether the safety and control of home schooling increase with the implementation of on-line, real time Internet based learning modules?
* Educated Guess
* Vapor Dream
EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE