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A Day in 2018: #9

Categories: General, Stories Composed by OTB Participants
Date: 30 April 2008

I wake to the reassuring sounds of the ABC’s AM program, as I have for decades, which goes on automatically by my bed at 7.20 am (I’m the programmer in my life) as part of my home’s Automated Media Selection (AMS) system (which pre-sets all electronic media devices — radio, television, online, movies on demand, messaging, banking, shopping, booking — which are all convergent, with all programming available on demand, everything can be consumed on every screen/outlet, and everything programmable through a single selector).

I stumble outside to pick up my newspaper, reflecting whistfully on the old days when I used to have three papers delivered (of course that’s not possible any more since the “media merger mania” of 2013 after Rupert died and his family, after inheriting his declining Australian newspaper empire, executed their brazen reverse takeover of Fairfax and WAN in order to amalgamate all Australian metro mastheads into one daily and one Sunday rag — thanks, of course, to an acquiescent federal govt who are still enjoying the editorial fruits of that decision, five years on).

“Newspaper” is, of course, a misleading term. There’s no “news” in the paper any more, more like an outpouring of opinions, gossip, lifestyle advice and so-called analysis. Which, at $7.50 a copy, is beginning to grate even on a media junkie like yours truly. Nostalgia comes at a price these days.

Into the car for my daily 30-minute commute to work, where my AMS delivers me the edited highlights of all the audio (from old-fashioned radio stations to the best on the online world) as soon as the car starts. Interrupted, as usual, by phone calls that come via the perfect audio quality of my car’s Automotive Audio System (AAS) and automatically pauses my audio programmes. I check my emails on my car-screen (formally known as the Automated Car Screen) at traffic light stops (that’s the law and I obey it, unlike so many other drivers I can seeing with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on their ACS).

In the office it’s all there on my large screen that pops up from my desk — an identical screen to the one on my fold-out mobile device (FOMD) and all the screens at home (even built in in the bathroom
mirror) and my car’s ACS. But in the office my personalised AMS system has a distinctly professional persona, with all the relevant video news flashes interposing themselves as I work away at messages, on-screen conferences, and regular glances at my CPC (Customised Professional Content) system, pumping in information about my industry, my company and my marketplace on a mind-numbingly regular basis. Fortunately it’s so easy to delete most of it with my now-perfected Audio Recognition Deletion (ARD) system — just point at the item (whether it’s text, audio or video) and bark out “delete” and it’s gone (unless, of course, you want it back, which happens miraculously by ordering it to “return”). The ARD system also enables me to file or retrieve anything in my AMS by a series of audio instructions (no swear words allowed).

That’s basically the story of a day in my life of media consumption, driven by my AMS that is with me, in one screen format or another, wherever I go. Since its launch five years ago the AMS is a much more sophisticated device, completely two-way (I can talk to anyone on it by issuing audio instructions, buy whatever I want the same way, call up whatever information I need, like the weather, the location of traffic jams, flight arrival times, etc) as well as having an on-demand news, commentary, entertainment and information service, all ARDable.

But you know what? At the end of a long, information-infested, AMS-directed, ARDable day, all I want to do is turn everything off and curl up with a good book and scotch on ice.

Unbelievably, they still exist.