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Extreme tech-addicts have a new leader (The Funny Side)

Fri, Apr 17, 2015, 09:02 AM
A nosy co-worker read my screen over my shoulder and was shocked that I had 12,141 unread emails. I told him: "The intelligence agencies read our emails these days. Why duplicate the work?"

He didn't approve, warning me that if I let other people read my emails, someone would steal my identity. Let them. They can take over the unending struggle to pay rent and school fees, I'll go and do something easier, like solving the Middle East crisis, fixing the Greek economy, finding Waldo et al.

People have such a defeatist attitude these days. The guys at the local rice lunchbox shop were complaining that the universe was fundamentally unfair because their phones had only 32 gigabytes of memory but their wives had 2,500 terabytes of the stuff. Why not the other way round? I told them that Moore's Law about the exponential growth of computing power will ensure that gadgets will overtake wives by about iPhone 8.

You have to love technology for the access it gives you. But be careful not to overdo it. For example, I have regularly pressed "like" on Lady Gaga's Instagram posts for a while, but I will now leave it for a week to make sure she doesn't get the wrong idea. With my luck, she'd track me down when I was in a parent-teacher school meeting and her clothing choices would cause discomfort and the summoning of security guards.

Anyway, this reverie on technology was triggered by a communication from reader Mark Amburan, who announced that the world of extremist tech-addicts has a new king: Christopher Wallace, aged 24, of the United States. There have been many cases of fugitives on the run stopping to update their Facebook or Twitter pages, enabling police to catch them. "But Mr Wallace has just set a new standard," said Mark.

After several weeks on the run from police, fugitive Wallace uploaded a photograph of himself on Snapchat, telling the world that he had returned to his home in Fairfield, Maine. Police, who had been keeping an eye on the account, promptly raced over to search the house. Wallace slipped into his hiding place: a man-sized gap at the back of the kitchen cabinets, behind the pots and pans. He held his breath and listened with delight as he heard cops stomp all over the house, failing to find him, mwa ha ha ha! But you can guess what happened. Yes, his twitchy fingers caused him to send out just one teeny weeny little Snapchat message to the effect of: "The police are at this very moment looking for me but I am cunningly hidden in this cabinet!" With this help, police found him immediately.

If Mr. Wallace is reading this, don't feel too bad. Mistakes are learning opportunities, right? I had a trouble-prone friend who used to say: "Mistakes are not necessarily bad. Without them, some of us would have never been born."

I have to stop writing now because someone's at the door and it may be Lady Gaga wondering why I haven't liked any of her pix for the last couple of days.

By Nury Vittachi

(17.04.2015 - Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)
Agency: IANS

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