I sometimes wonder just how much the computer has really
helped us in our lives. Oh, to be sure, the information now available over
the Internet is incredible. But lately, more and more informational Web sites
are being found with completely false information. Then we are blessed
with the hate sites, the anti-government sites, pornography and many sex
offenders luring young children all over the country.
Privacy is also under real attack. I have an unlisted phone number
and have thus been left alone by telephone solicitors for years. Not anymore!
And every time I ask where they got the number, after initial responses
like “Out of the phone book,” they admit they got it out of the computer. That
is why when I order something through the mail, the request for a home
phone number is not filled out. Oh, and don’t you just love it when the phone
rings and you have already been placed on hold with the message, “Please
stand by for an important message.” I hang up immediately now because I find
it extremely rude.
National security is in danger, as many of the military computers
have been breached in the past. In fact, almost all levels of government have
had such problems. Not common knowledge, but a friend of mine in the
know informed me that last year, shortly before W.T., someone from the
Netherlands hacked into the City of Seattle’s computer. I was not
informed as to what was found, but it makes you think about the fact that such
hackers are worldwide and can cause immense damage when information gets
into the wrong hands.
Speaking of damage, one small computer virus introduced into
the system and years of work can be destroyed in a heartbeat. System
failures in the public safety field are on the
rise, with police and fire dispatch centers no longer being able to receive
or broadcast emergency calls for help because the computer crashed.
Seemingly all aspects of our lives are now run by computers, whether
we like it or not, or even whether we have one of our own or not. I have
noticed over the last two months on TV ads or ads in the paper about products
you can order that they give you a Web site to contact, nothing else. Even
government resource centers with information for the general public are
advertised, some, again, with nothing more than a Web address for contact.
Hello people, many of us do not have a computer, and many who do are not on
the Internet. To be honest, this last issue is what got me going on the subject
of computers in the first place.
Gas prices are going up, and a group of scientists back East
are quoted as stating they hope the price goes much higher so that people
will buy cars with other sources of energy than fossil fuels. What bothers me
is that this type of vehicle is few and far between, and costly. The
scientists making this statement probably have more than enough money to pay
the high gas prices, but the working stiff driving 50 miles a day or more
certainly does not, nor could they afford the new car, even if they could
find one. Man, talk about tunnel vision putting the cart before the horse.
Thought for the week: Live each day enjoying that which you have
because in a heartbeat, all can change and be taken from you.
Preston News Notes author,
Bill Hebert, can be reached at
P.O. Box 918, Preston, WA 98050.