Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The Blackberry saga
Blackberries are big news.
Big news here and worldwide, because of the threatened ban on parts of the Blackberry service. I've just been listening to a piece about it on Sydney's ABC local radio station for example.
Most of what I've seen and heard in the international media seems to be just reporting the TRA's threatened action without comment. But the stories are attracting plenty of reaction and the internet's full of comment.
Two aspects of the comments are amusing me.
First is the shock that a government might want to eavesdrop on people's communications. Typical of a non-democratic dictatorship is the theme of many comments.
'Naive' doesn't begin to cover it.
I'm amazed at how many people are unaware that our communications are routinely monitored by governments, including the world's leading democracies. Never heard of Echelon?
The other amusing aspect to me is the claim that companies won't be able to operate if they can't use Blackberry - businesses are totally reliant on their BB, people are saying, and without it they can't carry on their business.
In reality only a small percentage of companies use the device; I wonder how they managed before it was introduced.
Of course, the same could apply to any new device - I wonder how companies were able to operate before e-mail, before fax, before telephones, before telegraph, before...
It reminds me of a situation back in Sydney when I worked for a hotel group.It was the bicentennial year, hotels were running full. Some regular card-carrying business guests were having trouble getting a room with us, so we suggested that the hotels ran a wait-list for regular guests who could then be allocated a room if a cancellation came in.
At a marketing meeting the reaction from a hotel was presented, that they couldn't create a wait-list because the (computer) system didn't have that function.
A colleague shook his head while he held up a pencil and writing pad.