I'm visiting my parents. They've tried 3 times to get a wireless network installed in their house. Today, it finally came to pass: 6 hours of tech time, $638, and two routers and an extra modem later.
Overnight, the satellite TV stopped working. Two futile phone calls to call centers and one to a local installation guy (who is actually a furloughed Delta pilot) and we're finally told, "Its just hardware. Unplug it, wait a minute, and plug it in again." Works fine now.
On the drive here I heard about the crash of the Dow Jones computers (which explains why my brother, the investment banker, was in such a bad mood yesterday around 11 am pt). Computer freezes, investors all over the world see the DJI not moving at all for awhile, backup computer brought online, recalculates, and investors around the globe watch the DJI drop 200 points in 60 seconds.
I'm a tech fan. I think all the new ways we're connected are exciting, and some of them revolutionary. Two new services I'm intrigued about - in terms of how they could be useful to activists or donors - are NING (from Marc Andreesen of Netscape fame) which lets you launch a social network anytime for anything, and NEXO, which lets you build quick web-based groups.
But the only one I think is really revolutionary is the mobile phone as bank, video recorder, upload device, remittance source, gaming source, cash repository, mapping tool, and so on. Its amazing that these phones, which so few of us had 10 years ago are so common and that their original purpose (phone calls) is almost secondary. Finance by phone - this could change the way we think of change.
And, at the same time, the first three paragraphs of this post are to remind us that we ain't there yet. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go outside and around the corner so I can get enough reception to make a call.