As to some of our modern appurtenances, I’m somewhat lukewarm, for example those hyper-charged so-called smartphones. I see a lot of solutions vainly in search of problems. Being constantly hooked up to the Internet, sports scores, television and whatnot strikes me as overkill of a high order.
One shining exception is satellite radio. I’ve had it in my car for about 4 years now and consider it an indispensable travel accessory. Other than the occasional top-of-the-hour foray for some local weather and news, I happily avoid conventional radio almost all together.
The satellite subscription in my car provides almost unlimited choice in commercial-free content – music, talk, sports, special interests – although admittedly, I mostly listen to the serious jazz channels.For about $13 per month, it’s a screaming, raging deal.
As I’m in the process of building a new house and decided to equip it with satellite access also, I called the service provider to find out how much an additional subscription would cost. What the nice woman from customer service told me was a very pleasant surprise. In Canada, my subscription entitles me to free access to the Internet-based broadcasts of almost the entire program catalogue (except for the loathsome Howard Stern).
A little more research and, for less than $150, I was equipped with an Internet radio with WiFi capability that fits neatly into my existing stereo system, runs off my broadband connection, took less than 5 minutes to hook up and fills my house with wonderful, unlimited choice (mostly) music. Wow. I feel almost as if I’m getting away with something.
This is one example of technology convergence that I can’t help but marvel at. It’s another case where something really good is made better by the Internet (not that all things are). I have a sense I’m going to feel the same way about Netflix sometime in the not-too-distant future.