stories filed under: "manners"
Thu, May 28th 2009 5:47pm
Some grumpy old editor at the New York Times must really be upset about all these damn kids and their cell phones. First, earlier in the week, it ran a story in its health section talking about how texting is destroying teenagers' thumbs and ruining their minds; now, it's got a piece on how texting at the dinner table is the latest epidemic of bad manners. There's the obligatory quote from a mental-health professional, as a therapist weighs in to say that texting while eating has become "a major issue" among couples in counseling. It also has etiquette writers keen to push their latest book by touting the need for proper gadget etiquette, as if being rude or inconsiderate has somehow changed since we got cell phones. It seems like for years, people have been saying how American families never eat dinner together anymore, but apparently that problem's been solved. Now if it weren't for those damn texts...
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 11th 2008 5:53am
from the mind-your-manners dept
If there's one thing companies should understand by now, it's the idea that restricting people from doing stuff that they want to do tends to backfire, badly. Just look at every attempt to create "DRM." Well, apparently Microsoft is trying to create a different sort of digital restrictions policy: one based on hard-coded "manners." A few folks sent in notice that Microsoft has applied for a patent on a system for "device manner policy" (DMP). Basically, such a DMP system would restrict the use of certain features in certain locations. So, for example, a mobile phone that has the DMP technology might not be able to ring in a movie theater, but would instead shift to vibrate. Or a digital camera or cameraphone would automatically disable the ability to take photos in a museum. Really, this is just another form of DRM, restricting what people can do with the technology they own. While it's nice to think that technology could somehow block out rude uses of devices, the opportunity for problems and abuse seems quite high. Wouldn't we be better off focusing on social norms to get people to learn when it is and is not appropriate to use certain technologies?