I have a love/hate relationship with technology in general, and smartphones in particular. I love what these gadgets can do. But I hate what they're doing to us — turning us into distracted, mindless freaks, heads perpetually looking down at our palms as we become more impervious to the real world around us.
So I totally support the Broward School District's push to ban gadget use among drivers/parents in school zones. I don't know what the penalty can be, but I know what it should be: Immediate seizure and destruction of the phones, preferably by hurling them into the path of an oncoming cement truck.
I've interviewed thousands of people over my career, but never a machine. Until now. Here's a 100 percent true transcript of a recent conversation I had with Siri, the iPhone's talking concierge.
Me: Hello Siri, how are you?
Siri: I am well.
Me: What's the temperature in Sochi, Russia?
S: It's currently 48 degrees in Sochi, Russia.
Me: How will they have a Winter Olympics in Sochi if it's so warm?
S: I found 15 sushi restaurants a little ways from you [screen displays map of local Japanese restaurants].
Me: Siri, where were you made?
S: Like it says on the box, I was designed by Apple in California.
Me: But where were you manufactured?
S: I Siri, was designed by Apple in California.
Me: Do you have anything to do with China?
S: I can't answer that.
Me: What do you mean?
S: I respect you.
Me: OK, so answer my question. Have you ever been to China?
S: No, not yet [screen displays nearest Chinese restaurant].
Me: Is it true that Chinese slave labor makes these phones?