First, the cooking tips. Well, actually, just a tip, singular. Do not deglaze a pan in which something has been cooking with whole pepper corns.
Joe and I were cooking dinner on saturday. (Lamb top round… yummy.) Joe was dealing with the sauce (Bordellos) which used red wine to deglaze the pan where the lamb was searing. The lamb had whole pepper corns on it. Lamb is out of the pan. Wine is poured into the pan to deglaze… and then we come under fire. Literally, the pepper corns exploded.
Remember when you were a kid a had a bonfire on the beach? Remember burning that cool seaweed, you know, the kind with the little poppers that pop when you burn them. Take that popper popping noise, make it louder, and then pack a bit of explosives in the seaweed and then you begin to approximate what was going on in the kitchen of Hotel Glazer. These little buggers pack quite a punch. To the point that they spread wine all over the kitchen, and I do mean all over. The wall where my phone is, looks like someone was shot. The ceiling (which is 10 feet from the floor and a good 6 feet from the overn) was not spared. The cabinets were not spared. But amazingly, Joe and I walked away spot free.
I happen to discover, during the cleanup phase, that most of the walls in my house are painted with flat paint, which doesn’t repel red wine stains well.
Second, the paranoid ponderings. There are two pieces of technology on our horizon that are a bit scary. And if they are merged, they are terrifying.
Location information. Your cellphone reports your location to the 911 switch board when you call. Well, it is supposed to, according to the FCC. Phase one, the cellphone reports what cell it is from. Phase two, more exact location info… think GPS.
In Europe, location information is just beginning to be tapped in major way. Imagine getting an SMS from a friend when they look at their phone and discover you are around the corner. Think, AIM in the real world… people aren’t online, they are near-by.
A more important application, besides chat, is commerce. Imagine that all your shopping preferences, your cookies from all your browsers, walked around with you. Now when you walk near a Gap, you get a digital ad for 50% the boxers you really like. You walk in, beam a little data to the cash register, and out you walk with a new pair (why are they always called a pair, even when there is one of them) boxers having just made a micropayment which will show up on your phone bill.
There are two major reasons why location information won’t be a major issue for a while. First, because of the telcos backwater technology and competing implementations, ubiquitous location data won?t be readily available for a while. Second, there are people in the government making sure that our privacy is protected… thank you Dean.
The second hunk of technology is nothing new. It’s a database. It’s a huge database that stores demographic info about each of us. It is Larry Ellison’s suggested National ID database, used to issue National ID Cards.
Your identity in a nice neat row in a database. Your family is linked to you. Your friends are linked to you. This information is extremely valuable.
Scared yet… you ought to be.
Now I know that databases like this exist already. For example, I just refinanced my mortgage. I was at my banker’s office today. He got a new credit report on me in thirty seconds. Thirty seconds to gather some rather interesting info about me. On a Sunday no less.
Will this become a major issue in the future. Maybe, but I definitely bet that Larry and Oracle won’t be building the database. Oh, what a relief, a private company won’t be in charge of this data… it will be the government, and we trust the government… right?!
Let’s merge these two little gremlins together. What do we get? My phone, with all my shopping habits, buddy lists, and such is enabled by a National ID. Now my identity and my location start to merge. Identity theft happens all the time… but now the threat is more real that ever. But let’s add a new twist, theft of location. I fool the telco networks into thinking I am someone who I am not and somewhere where I am not.
I think I will stick to leaving the phone at home, turned off, encased in a lead box.