Don’t Forget the Toddlers!

18mobileBecause when it comes to mobile phones, age eight just isn’t early enough.  From the NYT:

When a toddler’s wails soar to piercing volume, do you shake the baby rattle or dangle the mobile phone?

unlikely group of entertainment companies is betting on the mobile
phone. The target customers are children who may be incapable of
coherent telephone conversation but will cuddle with a portable phone
to watch Ernie deliver an ode to his chubby rubber ducky.

Ken Hyers is one of the market-research geniuses behind the idea:

To test the personal appeal of mini-entertainment, Hyers turned to
his own children, ages 3 and 5. He downloaded movie trailers for "Harry
Potter" and "Finding Nemo" to a personal device and passed them the
little screen. "They watched it over and over," Mr. Hyers said.

"It’s really convenient because there’s only so much ‘I Spy’ that you can play out the window."

Link: The New York Times > Technology > A Way to Calm Fussy Baby: ‘Sesame Street’ by Cellphone.

BlogHer Conference in July

The new BlogHer Conference has just been announced.  From the mission statement:

BlogHer is a network for women bloggers to draw on for exposure,
education, and community. By holding a day-long conference on July 30,
2005, and establishing an online hub, BlogHer is initiating an
opportunity for greater visibility, learning and success for individual
women bloggers and for the community of bloggers as a whole.

Via BlogHer Conference.

Cyberselfish in 2005

I recently read Paulina Borsook’s book Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech.  It was published in 2000, so yes I’m a little behind the times.

It’s a fun read, unless you’re a very thin-skinned techie — check out the reviews on Amazon for a sampling of nasty reactions to the book, and of the culture of which she writes.  I hadn’t thought that closely about libertarianism in high tech before, but her analysis does explain a lot.

Has much changed since 2000?  I’d suspect that 4 years of Bush junior have turned at least a few technolibertarians into lefties, but I may be wrong.

The official site for the book is still up —, as is a fan site with many of Borsook’s articles.  Neither looks to have been updated since about 2001, though, and I haven’t found any more recent writings of hers on the web.  (If you know of anything, on-line or off, please let me know.)

This page: Freedom Through Technology (part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site) has some interesting articles on technolibertarianism from around the same time period.

Here is an amusing exchange between Paulina Borsook and Eric Raymond on Salon (his review of the book, and her response).

Raymond wrote (in 2000),

"Ultimately, it appears to me that what Borsook and Kakutani and their punditocracy ilk truly fear about hacker culture is in fact its libertarianism and what’s behind that, the liberating power of technology and free markets. Beneath that, I think they fear freedom itself …"

There you have it!  These critics of technology fear freedom!  I hope King George doesn’t hear about this.