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Future Shock
« on: December 02, 2007, 10:00:21 PM »
Future Shock

While I'm not one to underestimate the threat posed by spam, there are some possible risks that I can't get too excited about. Take, for example, this article from nanotechnology newsletter Azonano which suggests that — when we all have functional nano-assemblers hooked up to our computers — spammers may somehow find a way to cause them to materialize 3D objects on your desktop. Apparently, as soon as domestic nano-factories become as common as refrigerators, those pesky spammers will start popping up miniature statuettes of porn stars (“I have no idea where that thing came from, honey, I swear.”), spy-bots or even bombs (or viruses, as in New Rose Hotel) in our homes and offices.

This is a pretty dystopian vision of the future. I think I could handle the Rolex spammers creating replica watches all over my house, but I'm really not eager to see what the penis enlargement spammers will do with the technology. However, before you all run to bury yourselves in a disused missile silo in Iowa, I should just point out that the capabilities hinted at in the article don't exist and that by the time they do, we might just have figured out a way to keep spam out of our mailboxes. There's also the question of attachment size: I'm willing to bet that the recipe to make a functional spy-bot or even a saucy miniature of Jenna Jameson would require a fair number of bytes to describe. Unless we see some correspondingly impressive advances in communications technology, nano-spams will take so long to download that the spammer will have given up and found honest work before his sales pitch gets delivered.

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