Any technology you grow up with seems less impressive than it is, because you take it for granted. Air travel, television, the Internet, vacccines, eyeglasses, plastic, treated municipal drinking water, central heating, the wheel—if it became widespread before you were born, chances are you hardly give it a second thought.
Mobile phones are becoming like that, but Rich Mogull in TidBITS this week makes a good point:
...after you learn a little more about the inside of the [cellular telephone] system, maybe, just maybe, you'll be a little less irritated the next time you battle to make a simple call. [...] If you think about it, you are basically wandering the planet with a tiny radio in your pocket, but by calling a single number anyone can track you down in seconds.
For almost the entirety of human history until the past decade or two, that would be miraculous, something available only to Captain Kirk and his fictitious future-centuries cohorts. Now we're cheesed off when it doesn't happen instantly.
Labels: geekery, telecommunications, tidbits