Where's The Outrage? - InformationWeek
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7/10/2006
12:48 PM
Mike Elgan
Mike Elgan
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Where's The Outrage?

Are we becoming numb to scandal and controversy? In the world of technology, there's always plenty to go around. Some of the controversy shows up in tech product advertising. A new ad campaign by Sony showcasing a new white Sony PlayStation Portable, depicts a black woman, wearing all black, and a white woman, wearing all white, fighting each other. Some say it's racist, others say it's sexist.

Are we becoming numb to scandal and controversy? In the world of technology, there's always plenty to go around.

Some of the controversy shows up in tech product advertising.

A new ad campaign by Sony showcasing a new white Sony PlayStation Portable, depicts a black woman, wearing all black, and a white woman, wearing all white, fighting each other. Some say it's racist, others say it's sexist.Sometimes tech products themselves are outrageous in their blatant sexism.

A UK catalog called Fabstuff.net is selling a lingerie-clad female torso mouse. It works with both Windows and Macs and is a two "button" mouse, of course.

In Japan you can buy a $140 "Angel Kitty" USB Keyboard costume. The fully functional USB keyboard is built into the chest of the outfit. The company even claims the keyboard relieves carpal tunnel syndrome because the keyboard takes the shape of the wearer's breasts, which is ergonomically beneficial.

A Chinese blog site held a blogger beauty contest that awarded cash prizes to the female bloggers deemed "Most Beautiful," "Sexiest," "Most Popular," "Most Fashionable," and "Most Talented."

A hot-selling Japanese PlayStation 2 sim called Maiden Love Revolution gives players control over the life of an overweight ex-beauty queen. The objective of the game is to make the character lose weight through dieting and exercise until she is slim enough to get asked out on a date.

Some game companies, especially Kuma Reality Games, are accused of exploiting real events and real human suffering in the creation of their topical games, such as "Death of Zarqawi" and "Assault on Iran."

Other scandals involve the possibly inappropriate use of technology.

Minneapolis middle school teacher Brock Dubbels uses video games in his English class. Basically, the kids play games, then write about character, plot, and narrative.

And sometimes people generate controversy on purpose in order to generate profit for themselves.

A woman named Lisa Lewis, who ran onto the field wearing only a bikini in the final seconds of a Rugby match between New Zealand and Ireland Saturday, sold the garment on the New Zealand auction site www.trademe.co.nz to pay for her defense after being charged with "disorderly behaviour."

The Sheraton Chicago Hotel launched a program recently where they offer to lock up guests' BlackBerry devices free of charge while staying at the hotel as a way to combat "CrackBerry" addiction. It's a service that didn't cost them anything, but garnered massive press coverage.

Other stories seem to reflect good old fashioned bad decisionmaking.

VeriChip Chairman Scott Silverman has proposed that immigrants and guest workers be given RFID chip implants at the border.

And, of course, gaming, teen cell phone users, and China are controversy factories unto themselves.

Is there so much controversy in technology that we can't get upset about anything anymore? What's YOUR view? mikeptp@elgan.com

PS: Like the Personal Tech Pipeline newsletter? Then you'll LOVE the blog. I also recommend that you subscribe to the blog's RSS feed and the RSS feed for the site.

Mike Elgan Editor, Personal Tech Pipeline mailto:mikeptp@elgan.com?subject=[PTP]-07-07-2006 http://www.PersonalTechPipeline.com/

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