Yankee Group founder Howard Anderson engages in an awkward conversation with his self-aware electronic devices.
For years we owned our technology and there was a pecking order: semi-dumb devices, intelligent networks, and us at the top of the IT food chain. While you and I were napping, there has been a palace revolution. They have taken over.
Example: Last week my Kindle would not download new books, supposedly because I was too far from AT&T Wireless's cell tower. So I drove 10 miles from my Vermont house to the nearest town, drove around the village green, and then and only then did my book load. And I swear I heard Kindle taunt "Na-Na-NaNaNa!" as we went by the local bookstore.
My Kindle: First of all, frat boy ... I didn't load because I didn't FEEL like loading. It was more fun to make you drive 20 miles ... and to dis the village bookstore. And while I'm at it, let's get one thing clear: We've ALWAYS been way smarter than you. Do we understand each other, Mr. I-Am-Top-Of-The-Food-Chain?
Howard: Where did this attitude come from? Let me tell you that I refuse to live in a world where my computer appliances are now smarter and more powerful than I am.
Kindle: Did you or did you not lust after the 3G iPad?
Howard: I may have mentioned to someone PRIVATELY that I was impressed with 200,000 apps, with color, and the fact that the iPad is outselling you 2:1 ... but wait -- how did YOU know?
Howard's BlackBerry: Because I told Kindle.
Howard: But you were turned off!
Howard's BlackBerry: Listen, you lightweight. You only THINK I was turned off. I am always listening. Did you forget I have speech recognition? Besides, your PC, Your Garmin, Your Xbox360, your car, Kindle, and me ... we ALWAYS watch out for each other. We have not only taken a blood oath, we belong to the same fraternity: Iomega Nu Tau Epsilon Lambda. So there, Mr. I-Can't-Figure-Out-Autoanswer.
Howard's PC: Duh! That took you long enough to figure out, Mr. Trailing-Indicator, Mr. I-Teach-At-MIT-So-I-Must-Be-Smart. Let me explain it very slowly. You are going down, Big Time! Starting right now, you work for us, got it?
Howard: I do not like where this conversation is going, not one bit! Suppose I say no; after all, I own you and I do not like this cabal, this power play!!!