Monday, August 02, 2010

Wireless in Gaza

I had a problem with my internet connection the other day and needed technical help. So I called the four-digit help number. And of course a very nice gentleman in Bangalore answered. With perfect English and impeccable courtesy he asked me my first name, then walked me through a solution to my problem. Which was really an end-run around my service provider's problem.

It wasn't so many years ago when the television went on the blink one opened the back, pulled all the tubes, walked down to the drugstore with the tubes in a brown paper bag, where there was a tube-testing machine, which told one which was the faulty tube, and in a cabinet under the tester one fetched the appropriate replacement in its cardboard box and took it up to the counter for purchase.

No tubes anymore. For that matter, there are no brown paper bags. Or neighborhood drug stores.

But we do have the nice gentleman in Bangalore, who for all I could tell might have been next door. Quite suddenly, it seems, the world has become rather small. Which I suppose is not a bad thing.

Did I read recently that there are 500 million active users on Facebook? There are also hundreds of millions of blogs, a couple of new ones every second.

"Do I detect an Indian accent?"

"Yes, Chet."

"Are you in India?"

"Yes, Chet."

"Bangalore?"

"Yes, Chet."

"Ah, welcome to the neighborhood, and thanks for the help."