Museweek, Part 1

The other day I thumbed through the Dec. 3 and 10 editions of Newsweek. A number of new media and technology stories caught my attention. Today I’ll review some “techie stuff” from the December 3 issue.

Page 20: A new movie, “Look”, examines how our privacy is being invaded by security cameras. The footage is taken from actual surveillance cams. Nothing is staged. Any lawyer types out there know if the producers can be sued by anyone who is caught on tape? Obviously, they didn’t sign a release form! Shocking news from this story: Some states allow cameras to be shot into dressing rooms while customers disrobe.

Page 28: In the “My Turn” column, a 40-something man laments that he tried unsuccessfully to find romance through an Internet dating service. Oh, come on, dude. The commercials say it’s a sure-fire way to find a soulmate. Does anyone out there actually know anyone who hit a home run using one of these services?

Page 51: Italy‘s Communications Police use tools such as Skype, YouTube, Facebook and MySpace to help catch criminals through electronic surveillance of computers, Internet traffic, and cell phones. Currently, they are in the middle of a gruesome murder case, and “computer forensics” is playing a major role in their investigation.

Page 66: N’Gai Croal, who pens the mag’s “American Geek” column, says he doesn’t have the latest and greatest gadgets. People are surprised when they learn that. A tech writer should have all the cool stuff, but not Croal. I don’t know what his ethics and disclosure deal is, but some tech writers get a lot of gear for free so they can review it. He is on the same wavelength with me in one respect. He and I both prefer separate devices for different activities. I make and take calls on my cell phone (I also take some pictures with it, but I don’t text). I book appointments on my PDA (a five-year-old Palm Zire 89). I check email on one of my computers, including my new handheld MyPal. It’s not the most efficient way to get by, but it works for me. My main problem with owning a bunch of gear is the cost. Gradually, they add up to a hefty amount of cash.

I spent this past Tuesday and Wednesday home with a sore back, and I barely left the computer. That is a bit scary, even though most of my time was spent on work-related activities and catching up on Newsweek.

In my next post, which will be foisted on you early in the week, I’ll poke through the Dec. 10 Newsweek. Later on on the week I’ll talk about Clear Channel’s latest bloodbath and Amazon’s Kindle reading device.


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