Friday, January 28, 2005

In any event, I was sitting at my desk in New York on Wednesday night, writing a BarlowSpam, when Skype started to emit the old-fashioned bell tone that signals a request for a voice chat. I looked at the window associated with the request and saw a bunch of Chinese pictograms where the name should be. Some kind of Asian chatspam, I figured, and I ignored it. A few minutes later, it rang again. The name of the caller was "Kitty11_3". There was also a text chat box on the screen, also from kitty11_3 which read, "I need a friend." I was skeptical. I figured that "Kitty," or whomever, was probably looking for "friends" to come see her "relax" in her web-cam equipped "bedroom." But I took the call. A delicate Asian-sounding voice came from someplace in Cyberspace. "Will you talk to me?" she said.


"I want to practice my English."

"Why me?"

"Because your name is John. I think that anybody named John speaks English."

I remained skeptical, but further conversation convinced me that she was telling the truth. She really had no idea who or where I was and had plucked me at random from all the Skype users named John.

I find this more interesting as demonstration of how people are using technology. There are many examples of people using new technology in ways it was never intended to be. The internet is full of innovation. If only we could harness this innovation for bigger and better things, Than stuffing a mini mac in a car so you can watch DVD's.

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