Friday, August 12, 2011

(empo-tymshft) More on changes in portability

In our previous installment, Joe was in a coffee shop in August 1981 when he met a strange man named Zynga who talked about "why fie" and and "eye phone," looked around and realized where he was, and then was suddenly thankful that he didn't have to deal with trillion dollar deficits any more.

All of this talk was very strange to Joe, although he was beginning to suspect that the person (who wore a "Zynga" t-shirt) was from the future.

But if Joe thought that his friend Zynga was strange, things were going to get much more strange indeed.

As Zynga was singing an odd song with the lyrics "don't you want me baby," there was suddenly a brilliant flash of light, and the scene around Joe and Zynga changed completely.

They were still in the same coffee shop, but now it looked completely different. There was all sorts of coffees now with weird names...and the prices were a LOT higher. What's more, just about everybody in the coffee shop had those "net books" and "eye phones" that Zynga had. Actually, some people had "net books" with no keyboards at all.

Joe wondered if he had been transported to the future, so he began looking around for a newspaper so that he could check the date. But he couldn't find any.

Zynga was smiling, but had a look of wistfulness in his eye.

"Oh well," he said. "It would have been nice to stay there. Life was so simple back in 1981."

All of a sudden, Zynga's eye phone started playing a song with words like "sugar how you get so fly."

Zynga put the eye phone to his cheek. "Hey," he said, and it became apparent that the eye phone really was a phone. "No, I was out for a bit....You wouldn't believe....Yeah, Gail's in Finland right now....We could Skype her, but Matt's in Italy and he has the freebie version. We could try a hangout, if I can get my crappy one gig computer to support the video."

Zynga leaned over to Joe. "Watch this," he said. Then he whispered: "Oh, and by the way, don't say anything about how a black man can never become president. I'll explain later."

Joe looked at Zynga's net book, and he immediately became mesmerized. A blue and white screen appeared, and all this text appeared. Unlike a real computer, this "net book" didn't show the text in green letters on a black background.

What's more, this computer actually displayed real pictures.

"Wait til you see this," said Zynga.

Zynga then moved his finger around below the keyboard, and a "tube" page (whatever that was) appeared on the screen. After a few more wiggles of the finger, the computer actually showed a music video. Just like that brand new service MTV, although I guess if you're in the future MTV isn't new any more.

The video showed a guy dancing. The guy had an English accent. Joe had never heard the song before, but it had a catchy chorus: "never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down."

For some strange reason, Zynga was laughing uncontrollably.

"Welcome to the future," Zynga said between laughs. "We're a trillion dollars in debt, China owns us, and you've been rick rolled! But at least you can tell your five thousand closest personal friends about it."

More here.
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