Friday, February 03, 2006

What Hath God Wrought?

Today I read that the Western Union telegram had finally met its demise after one hundred and fifty years of service. I was under the impression that the telegram had gone the way of the dodo bird around the same time that records started to be cool. Nope, the telegram was still clicking away as recently as February 1, 2006. In fact, the Swedish Company Telia still sends telegrams and nostalgic novelty items. I suppose that means that telegrams have not yet completely died and the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

In other technological news, the United States is set to switch off the televisions of over seventy million viewers from around the country. February 17, 2009 is the proposed date for the end of the broadcasting of analog signals. Canada may soon follow suit and grandpa and grandma's television will fade to black. Once the spectrum is free it will be sold off to tech companies who can use it for improved cell phone, wireless access and other such technological mumbo jumbo. The American government is proposing vouchers for those who rely on VHF/UHF signals so that they can purchase digital or cable access. This has some in the Canadian Liberal Party asking, "what is to stop these people from spending this money on popcorn and beer?" Perhaps a revolution will occur in which thousands of souls stuck at home watching fuzzy re-runs of That 70's Show will suddenly be inspired to visit their local library and read some books.


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