Friday, March 26, 2004

The modern world

In 1992, I was in Poland at a moment when Australia were playing Sri Lanka at cricket at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. In order to find out the winner of the match (Australia, thanks to the efforts of a then unknown spin bowler named Shane Warne) I had to buy a day old copy of the Sunday Times, for which I paid the equivalent of something like £5. (I had access to the internet for work at the time, but it was good mainly for sending e-mail to other geeks. The idea that I would ever have access to it while on holiday was not yet reasonable).

As it happens, Australia are playing Sri Lanka at the same ground again right now. I am in London, but if I were in Warsaw I could find out the score over the internet at an internet cafe, or if I had my laptop with me I could connect to the intenet and find out the score via a WiFi hotspot. Or I could get someone to SMS me the score on my mobile phone. Certainly there are now few places in the world where I cannot find out the score of an international cricket match almost instantly.

As an example, I suppose, over the last couple of weeks I have been getting cricket scores off a British server for matches being played in Sri Lanka and SMSing the scores to someone in Adelaide, who is unable to access score directly when at work. And I have been able to provide him with this ad hoc global electronic scoring system quite literally without having to get out of bed.

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