The Big White Golf Ball

Written by Ieuan Dolby

I remember wellrepparttar first ship that I joined that had a Satellite Phone on it. I joined as Chief Engineer on this tiny little Research Vessel on a tiny little river in Papua New Guinea and I never sawrepparttar 133558 ship when I arrived atrepparttar 133559 wharf, all I could see was this massive white Golf Ball perched high onrepparttar 133560 top deck. Looked as if it was pushing what little there was ofrepparttar 133561 ship down intorepparttar 133562 water. I remained in awe of that UFO forrepparttar 133563 first half ofrepparttar 133564 trip and forrepparttar 133565 remainder I wished that I could affordrepparttar 133566 six-pounds per minute that it cost to use!

Yeah, satellites and all that went with them sneaked up on all ship’s staff without notice or prior warning. Once upon a time we could leave port and not be heard from, left to our own devices untilrepparttar 133567 next port but now we are being constantly monitored and required to send daily reports through torepparttar 133568 company. No longer is it “have a safe trip and see you when you get there”, now it is “we’ll be watching you”. Ah, long gone have those days when we where a team all alone onrepparttar 133569 high seas!

Engineers never really became involved withrepparttar 133570 Sat phones for many years. One day sunbathing onrepparttar 133571 Monkey Island andrepparttar 133572 next a UFO had landed on your favorite spot. Andrepparttar 133573 funny thing was that nobody ever really talked about it at all. If it had been a new generator or a new ballast pump then everybody would have been discussing it for months before and after. “At last we are getting a new one”,repparttar 133574 Chief would say andrepparttar 133575 Captain would respond with “no more blackouts then eh”? Faxes and telexes would fly around and all would be posted for all to see, evenrepparttar 133576 cook would become enthused due torepparttar 133577 excitement surrounding him. “A new ballast pump eh?”repparttar 133578 cook would say at dinner, “yep, 300m3/hour”repparttar 133579 third would reply enthusiastically. The cook would then typically respond with “good, great, no more blackouts then, eh?” having totally crossed his wires. Butrepparttar 133580 satellite remained a silent misnomer that was unheard of one day and thenrepparttar 133581 next installed and running. I am never sure why this was asrepparttar 133582 whole idea and set-up far exceeds that of new machinery or anything else but there we have it. I would hazard a guess forrepparttar 133583 secrecy and lack of conversation regarding this advent – that of fear of such tremendous change. So new and so large an alteration inrepparttar 133584 way of life at sea, but this is only a guess.

Andrepparttar 133585 Captains? Well, they all changed. Most became serious recluses (more so than before) and watched these phones day in day out, warding off Engineers and others alike from getting close. Padlocks and intricate codes were used to prevent usage other than by themselves, and those that could installedrepparttar 133586 phone in their cabins. It was a stressful time and lasted nearly ten years. Ten years of complete disintegration of any normalcy between Engineers and Captains and ten years of Engineers having to beg, borrow or steal to even get close torepparttar 133587 Black Handset. I suppose it was such an advanced and sudden change that it took a while to get used to and become accepted as an everyday piece of equipment – just another one that may break down or require maintenance.

Of course over time everything got cheaper,repparttar 133588 white golf balls became smaller and have all but disappeared. Handsets reduced in size from large and awkward monstrosities to those resembling typical household phones (except forrepparttar 133589 padlock thatrepparttar 133590 Captains could never actually dispense with) and Engineers suddenly became necessary inrepparttar 133591 operation ofrepparttar 133592 associated software. Why do I say that? Well, let me digress for a moment. When Engineers and Deck Officers step ashore in an unknown and distant port it rapidly becomes apparent thatrepparttar 133593 Engineers are far more able to navigate their way back torepparttar 133594 vessel. The same becomes clear when computers are involved. There isrepparttar 133595 Captain with a nice little sat phone and software through which he can do his departure checks, send daily reports, order stores, check his private email and on more advanced systems checkrepparttar 133596 latest stock prices. But he has an ongoing problem as every time he presses “send” nothing happens, or he has lost his latest daily report to some unknown “chip with legs” insiderepparttar 133597 white box that hums.

The Camera Mobile

Written by Ieuan Dolby

Since I wroterepparttar last article on mobile phones so much newness and advancement has been made that I just have to write another one. Of course there are thousands of lost souls still using their phones as a form of escape fromrepparttar 133557 outside world and many others talking to a dialing tone, but now they can take photographs of themselves as they do it.

The mini-camera phobia has now reared its ugly head and although it has long been a futuristic novelty idea it is now with us for real – phones with cameras in them. The James Bond life style can be with us all! The cost of these phones is prohibitive to all butrepparttar 133558 fashion conscious desperate, those with lots of money andrepparttar 133559 Koreans. In Korea 4 million handsets have already been sold torepparttar 133560 gadget crazed population. Four million little mobile phones with a camera lens in them have been purchased by four million potential spies.

Allot of bad publicity has followedrepparttar 133561 development, introduction and us200200age of these cameras worldwide. Most ofrepparttar 133562 bad press has focused onrepparttar 133563 possibility of spying on others in a simple and effective manner – as highlighted byrepparttar 133564 woman who used her new acquisition to photograph a poor innocent bather in one of Koreas many public baths. The bathers were naked:repparttar 133565 young girls showing off their fine bodies and inrepparttar 133566 corner was a crabby old lady talking on a mobile phone, ignored byrepparttar 133567 crowd. Only she wasn’t talking onrepparttar 133568 phone she was taking photographs ofrepparttar 133569 nudity surrounding her. A few days later this lady sold these photographs to Web Sites aroundrepparttar 133570 world and made allot of money.

It is not all bad though. Recently a phone was used to photograph a sex maniac onrepparttar 133571 prowl. A young lad snapped shots ofrepparttar 133572 driver andrepparttar 133573 license plate of a car and subsequently submitted them torepparttar 133574 police. The driver had followedrepparttar 133575 boy making rude suggestions and innuendo but soon found himself arrested: withrepparttar 133576 possibility of five years in prison.

Althoughrepparttar 133577 hype and media opinions have focused onrepparttar 133578 negative side of these expensive gadgets it is not without cause. Happy ending stories likerepparttar 133579 one above are far and few between and even inrepparttar 133580 short lived history of these phones they have been used illegally or for illegal purposes on numerous occasions. It has been such a worry forrepparttar 133581 thirds largest mobile phone manufacturer that they have banned them in their office buildings to prevent spies from having an easy time. Samsungrepparttar 133582 very company that pioneeredrepparttar 133583 sticking of a lens into a phone have banned them onrepparttar 133584 factory floors,repparttar 133585 office buildings and corridors and have even gone torepparttar 133586 extent of fitting X-ray machines that will sound warning if a person has one on their person. A Samsung Official was asked about this latest ruling and he stated that, “camera phones are handy andrepparttar 133587 quality is so good it can be used for Industrial Espionage”. So whilst trying to justifyrepparttar 133588 ban fromrepparttar 133589 very place that they were invented he also got in a good bit of advertising.

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