Barbara Ellen: Observant readers may have noticed that it has been quite warm. Yet strangely, as I was scurrying from one patch of shade to another, trying to stop my internal organs from liquefying, at no point did I start fretting about sunbathers being unable to read work emails because of the glare on their smartphones.
However, now this “problem” has been solved by US and Taiwanese scientists, who have taken the light-baffling habits of moths to conjure technology that reduces screen glare from 4.4% to 0.23%. Which is fine, except, if people are frolicking in the sunshine, then why are they even bothered about work emails?
Now I’m a very old woman, a crone really. I’m so old that, not only would I doubtless sexually repulse the likes of Michel Houellebecq, Hugh Hefner and Jeremy Clarkson, I also remember yon ancient times, when there was a system where you went to your home or office and pressed a button on something called an “answerphone”, which relayed missed work and social messages. If I recall correctly, generally this didn’t involve people hysterically screaming: “Oh sweet Jesus, I can’t believe that I can’t reach you – this is the end of civilisation as we know it!” Somehow, we managed.
These days, paradoxically, there are people who’ll moan endlessly about Big Brother-style intrusions such as security footage, surveillance, and ID cards, and yet nobody seems to mind that most of us are already voluntarily carrying around what amount to endlessly demanding electronic tags. Has instant gratification given way to instant communication, because I call that a bad swap? Soon, there’ll be nowhere left to hide. All a soul can do is await, with grim anticipation, the smartphone that can be used underground in a grave. – The Guardian