Thursday, February 27, 2003

The Mobile Many

Via SmartMobs: Drug jailed leader commanded a cellphone bomb and riot today in Rio de Janeiro. Rio awakened with bomb explosions, burning buses and gangs of armed robbers ordered by Red Command's jailed drug leader Fernando Beiramar, shutting down schools, commerce and services. He coordinated the movement by cellphone from Bangu's jail. At least 19 buses were burned and 13 people wounded, 2 seriously hospitalized. The goal of initial action to paralyze transport services was sucessfully achieved. When morning came, 3 bombs exploded at Vieira Souto avenue in Ipanema, one of the richest parts of Rio de Janeiro, breaking windows and terrifying people.

On a lighter note: A New Set of Social Rules for a Newly Wireless Society by Mizuko Ito

Before initiating a call to a keitai [cell phone], they will, almost without exception, begin with a text message to determine availability; the new social norm is that you should "knock before entering." By sending messages like "Can you talk on the phone now?" or "Are you awake?" text messagers spare each other the rude awakening and disruption of a sudden phone call. Keitai-wired youth are in persistent but lightweight contact with a small number of intimates, with whom they are expected to be available unless they are sleeping or working. Because of this portable, virtual peer space, the city is no longer a space of urban anonymity; even when out shopping, solo youths will send photos to friends of a pair of shoes they just bought, or send fast-breaking news about a hot sale that is just opening. After meeting face-to-face, a trail of text messages continues the conversation as friends disperse in trains, buses and on foot, nimble thumbs touch-typing on numeric keypads.


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