Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Technology news in the NY Times

The New York Times had a trifecta of interesting technology articles today: 
1. Texting May Be Taking a Toll is an article in the "Health" section that talks about health effects of the teen texting phenomenon ("American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the 4th quarter of 2008").  Although "the rise in texting is too recent to have produced any conclusive data on health effects", the article discusses concerns about the psychological effects as well as the possible effects on, um, teens' thumbs. 
2. The Idea of the Day column today was titled The Case for Taxing E-Mail ; it points to  an article in the British magazine Prospect suggesting that taxing a few cents per email might cut down on the estimated 90% unwanted junk e-mail that we all receive (though one might point out that charging postage on snailmail hasn't stopped the original junk mail from arriving on our doorsteps).
3. Roger Cohen's Op-Ed column, Peaceful Evolution Angst, discusses the effects of social technology in repressive communist countries: "Technology has taken the “total” out of totalitarian. The Stalinist or Maoist dark night of the soul has been consigned to history by wired societies...communication and the online world serve as safety valves for one-party states ...Students don’t do sit-ins, they blog and use Twitter.”

hat tip: Tom Bruce

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