Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Catching Up

The ever-observant and thoughtful Fabio Sergio explores possibilities for controlled disconnection in an always-on-world. While technologies like BuBL Space - You'll feel pleasantly isolated inside, even in a crowded place. Evaporate all phone signals up to three meters around. Enjoy the silence - promise almost total disconnect, Fabio suggests something more along the lines of selective invisibility.

Theme park takes a trip back to the bad old days of East Germany. Recognising a surging need to reconnect with a state that now only exists in memory... The plan is for surly border guards to monitor the people queuing up to get in, to randomly search them, demand their euros are changed into DDR banknotes and warn them not to bring in "decadent" western literature on to the premises. Signs at the entrance will proclaim: "You are now leaving the German Federal Republic." (Via NSOP)

Dr Pepper is trying to use the grass-roots power of Weblogs to promote its new drink. Those spreading the news via their blogs won’t disclose their flackitude, says Springate, because officially they’re not paid Dr Pepper employees; they only get promo items like hats and T shirts. “We’re independent and can advertise Raging Cow the way we want,” says Nicole, 18, a Louisiana high-school senior with a popular blog. Uh-huh. And my students don't consider heavily branded clothing to be advertising.

Also, an English essay written by a British teenager in text messaging short-hand has reignited concern among teachers that literacy standards are under threat. I see this happening in my student's papers as well, and it appears to be more common among ESL students who are learning to write SMS-English before formal English. It's certainly strange, but I can't help but think of the controversy around the use of ebonics in American schools. (News links via BoingBoing)

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