A dog whistle for kids

Shopkeepers in England, annoyed by adolescents loitering around their stores, are installing a new device called the Mosquito. It emits an ultra-high pitched annoying noise—”eeeeeeeeek”–that people over 25 cannot hear. It drives away the kids while adults, with their deteriorating hearing, remain unphased. Read this: Merchants in Britain Give Young Loiterers an Earful.

Yes, some people in England are claiming that the device constitutes age discrimination. Still, young people have had their own version of the Mosquito for some time that drives away adults. It’s called rap music.

But still, isn’t the Mosquito a great invention? Don’t you just want one? I can imagine many other uses. I wonder if Mosquito technology could be applied to all boom-boxes and car stereos, once the windows are opened, so that only young people could listen to their music despite their good-hearted impulse to share it with the rest of us.

Microsoft vs. Google

Microsoft once ruled as the computer leviathan that everyone loved to hate, yet utterly depended on. But now in the high-tech world the computing power of individual computers has become secondary to online computing. Now the leviathan is Google, which not only invented the search engine everyone relies on but found a way to make money off the web with omnipresent advertising.

Now Microsoft is trying to buy the one rival search engine and portal website Yahoo. (See
this.) The company’s goal is to compete with Google. Some fear that Microsoft could build into its operating systems elements that could work only with Yahoo.

Is there a good guy vs. bad guy theme in this fight? What technological developments might suddenly make both of these companies obsolete?