Supreme Court Plays Catch Up With Smart Phones
Stunning is more the word I thought of when the Supremes came down with a decision that requires police wanting to search a “smartphone” to acquire a search warrant. — Blue Bronc
One of the “miracles” of our world is that if you understand it you can be who you want, where you want and when you want. I grew up with the computer age, adding to it and changing it and now appreciating how we are all part of it now. I have been described as many things, including computer engineer or scientist (I can’t find that piece of scribbling anymore) or other such labels.
Science fiction used to be a lot of odd ball looking creatures within a morality play, Captain Kirk fights the good fight, loses and then with logic convinces the foam creature to play nice. Now, we know that science fiction is only as lasting as the last computer system.
What happens if you are living in a world which is what was called science fiction less than *30 years ago? You hold in your hand the computing power that once filled rooms and required a power station to supply electricity to make it function for a day. You regenerate your computer just by placing it on a mat in the sun for a few hours or even minutes and once again you are in communication, sending email or text or computer programs around the world.
Each of us, every day, has more power and influence on this ball of rock in space than all or our ancestors combined. Each of us can contact people of influence and power, who in all of time before us, did not rely on our support or help to make decisions. You, in high school or even middle school have more knowledge than any of my generation (old creaky critters in our 60’s and older) could have ever dreamed of.
Can any of you on the down slope of the bell curve of life even think of once considering mailing (using the U.S. Postal Dept. or other country postal office) a suggestion of how to improve anything that the government does? How about a letter to your congress critter or other elected official? Right now the elected go to the people (children to many of us) in schools for ideas on how to do things, now and in the future.
Do you realize if the world is too abstract to even begin to know what I am writing about? Software programming sent to India. Legal drafting outsourced to Korea. 3D printers are making replacement body parts. And, your ten year old granddaughter is writing an app for her “smart phone” to get herself out of the Calculus class (hopefully it is my “outta here” app” which I give away) she wants to skip today.
Ask yourself, and be honest this one time, “Am I as smart as or smarter than that guy/woman I voted for in Congress?” Hopefully the answer is at least as smart.
Ask yourself, “do I know how to setup a VPN so I can listen to Spanish radio or TV just like I am in Madrid?” I am using Spain because it does not require a special license on the television set or home address, many of us do try to stay somewhat legal as we bounce around in time and space. “Do I know how to change my privacy settings on websites such as Facebook? Or even your web browser?”
If you have no clue what I wrote about in the last several paragraphs, welcome to the “modern” world of the Internet. Even if you are totally clueless and can only send an email to your mother (because she sent you one and told you to hit the big “reply” button), just type and hit the big “send” button,” you are beyond anything our forebearers could have imagined.
In 1776 there was no thought that by hitting on a contraption filled with letters printed on buttons you could instantly send a message anywhere in the world. And, much of their world was literally “unknown,” as in unexplored or even imagined. What we are today is great. What will we be in another two hundred or three hundred years? Damned if I know. Right now I just hope I do have descendants, and if not mine some descendants from human kind conceiving code to make the machines work for the betterment of their life.
Computer driven technology is our way of life. From what we eat, to how we drink, to what we wear, to how we even view our world on the flat screen television, it is all created or generated by a computer. We can escape the computer life but only in certain ways. Buy a boat and go out in the middle of the oceans, but you need tools to locate where you are. Go to a “third world country,” sorry those untouched by technology are hard to find anymore.
The world is fascinating, but technology changes every day, which changes our lives every day. That is extremely scary to many people. What can they do to preserve life as they imagine it should be? They rebel, join the Luddites, fight back and drag their feet. Occasionally a group of them in power makes a decision that is surprising. Stunning is more the word I thought of when the Supremes came down with a decision that requires police wanting to search a “smartphone” to acquire a search warrant.
Considering how many of the current crop produce decisions would be considered nuts by the original Supremes, that this group would actually conceive of a decision protecting a modern device that becomes more powerful every day, is something that required several readings. For whatever reason they did it, whether out of ignorance and depending on a clerk for help, or they actually use one for communication and keep the password for their work computer on it, the decision was a great one. One that will resonate if the TSA does more than require a “smartphone” to power on.
*Back to the Future
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