December 26, 2003

We gotta catch up with Eastern Europe...

Via Drezner, a Chicago Tribune story about the growth in credit card use in Hungary. This is what really impressed me:

....The biggest obstacle credit card marketers had to overcome in Hungary was fear of fraud. But consumer concerns about the safety of their cards have led to an important security innovation made possible by the explosive growth of mobile phones in Hungary.

Each time a card is used, the cardholder immediately gets a text message on his or her cell phone confirming the transaction and notifying the cardholder of the balance. Initially developed in Hungary, the messaging system is used widely in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is now being introduced in Western Europe....

Fascinating. We gotta catch up with Eastern Europe...

In our family, like many, everyone has a cell phone. So each little Weidner has his or her own phone number, which is something new in the world. And now the US has a law that cell phone numbers must be portable. If you switch to another provider, you can take your number with you. (My impression is that other countries don't share our number problem, what with our six big providers constantly grabbing customers from each other.) So now we can, if we wish, keep our numbers forever. So I'm guessing we are rapidly heading to the time where everybody in the world has their own permanent phone number.

And then it could turn into an everything number. Send an e-mail to someone's "phone number," and it will be automatically routed to whatever mailbox they are using. Enter a "phone number" into a web page, and go to that person's home page or blog.

What I'd like to have is a home phone that is connected to a re-charging dock for all our cell phones. When you are "at home," your phone is in the dock, and any calls for you ring on the home phone. If nothing else, it would bring some order to our current phone chaos here at Weidner Central, what with children setting down phones any old which-where, and then panicking when it's time to leave for school.

Posted by John Weidner at December 26, 2003 10:34 AM
Weblog by John Weidner