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I get asked a lot why I don't have a car. My modes of transportation change on a regular basis, everything from pedestrian to driving a gas guzzling pickup truck for work over the past few years, and there are many factors involved in deciding when it's time to change.

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Here I am, sitting on MARTA, and I get to see a phenomenon that I have not encountered before.  Complete strangers explaining how their shared bits of technology work.  Three people who have just met are comparing two sidekicks and an iphone.  One of the sidekick users ends up explaining, to the wondrous amazement of the other sidekick user, that they can access AIM chat rooms on the sidekick (with an easter-egg like keyboard shortcut).  This sort of knowledge propagation is a severely underexplored factor in Joe Sixpack's use of technology.  This ia a feature that you or I would have found minutes after turning on the device, that was available on almost any smart phone five to ten years ago, and that adds substantial value and functionality, and yet this guy could have maintained oblivious to it for years.

Today, almost any PDA/cell user would scoff at the idea of learning anything useful from someone else who doesn't have the exact same device from the same provider.  This occurence gives me hope.  I look forward to the day when two Android users can share the same sort of moment, while using different handsets on different networks.

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Sparr

June 2017

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