Tech Dreck: iPhone Does Homework, AT&T Plays Big Brother, Twitter Celebs Fake It

"Parents have lost the war over buying cellphones for their children," says Saul Hansell in the Times. He must be talking about those parents, overrepresented in the Times' demographic, whose children can battle for the right to own expensive electronic geegaws without getting smacked. Hansell says that since Apple partnered with the educational Blackboard app, children have a better excuse for demanding an iPhone: they'll need it for their homework. He'd have done better to mention that, given how often and easily iPhones break, the iPhone will also give them plenty of excuses not to have their homework.

Oh, and here's another reason to hate the goddamn iPhone: its sole service provider, AT&T, has agreed to cooperate with media companies on a "procedure" which sounds to us like a way to rat out music- and movie-pirating users. AT&T strenuously denies this -- but they do admit they'll be "forwarding warning notices from copyright holders" to users suspected of violating copyright. A rational person may conclude that the companies will have received that suspicion from AT&T.

But on the brighter side, the Times does us the service of naming many stars who are famous for being on Twitter but don't actually write their own tweets. 50 Cent, for example, lets the "director" of his "empire" write "his" tweets, but "the energy of it is all him," presumably meaning 50 pays for it. Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Kanye West -- all are fronting on this front, but athletes (Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O'Neal) are said to be more hands-on, perhaps because they feel at home with the 140-character limit and tolerance of misspellings. We mean, we love THE_REAL_SHAQ, but even the Whale at the Museum of Natural History writes better than he does. Photo (cc) Andy on Flickr.


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