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Archive for January, 2012

A recent comic tweet on Twitter was: “iPhone > Android > Land line > Typewriter > 2 cans with a string > Message in a bottle > Pigeon with a note taped to it > Blackberry”

It prompted a friend to say, “It’s sad, because Blackberry was the original leader in the industry. I had one of the original Blackberry text pagers, when all other pagers were just using numbers.”

It has actually been happening more often in recent years to companies that fail to innovate or maintain a cutting edge. In graphic arts and desktop publishing, it is QuarkXPress. It was once untouchable and the gold standard for graphic designers and publishers. Now, Adobe InDesign has surpassed QuarkXPress and taken the lead. I doubt Quark will ever reach more than a corner of its former market, if it continues to survive.

And, with a real sense of personal loss because of memories I have of using Kodak products over the years, I think of Kodak filing for bankruptcy this past week. Again, its longtime business has been overtaken by new technology.

I remember in 2002 there was a book, Love, Greg & Lauren, written by the husband whose wife was terribly burned at the WTC. He frequently mentioned how he was sitting at her hospital bedside writing long emails about her condition to family and friends on his Blackberry. (The compilation of all those emails was the basis of the book.) At the time, it was the first I had even heard of Blackberrys.

Now, in 2012, the Blackberry appears to be on the wane, even among businesses that have been the largest portion of its users.

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After years of touting itself as a champion of free expression on the Internet, Twitter Inc. on Friday touched off a torrent of criticism after it announced it can now remove messages from the online service within specific countries if asked to do so. via Twitter’s Censors Provoke Backlash – WSJ.com.

With the world becoming one in communication, this shouldn’t be surprising that some countries already controlling its populace would want to control their social networking as well.

Maybe to its credit, Twitter will point out when and where it has exercised its censorship, so that users will be informed of it.

I’ve also read that there are easy workarounds that would reveal the contents of the parts that are censored. It’s difficult to say if these loopholes will be plugged or will provide Twitter with a facesaving means of providing uncensored information to users while at the same time using censorship procedures as required by different countries.

Finally, thoughts turn to users here in the United States. Is there a chance that the government or big businesses in the United States may put pressure on Twitter to censor information that they believe should not be shared publicly? As it happens to others, so it may also happen to us.  All it takes is for people to accept one small change, then another, and another.  In retrospect, you can see how sweeping changes can take place with almost no opposition. Keep that in mind.

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