A cool story. Reminds me of my days on BITnet and xyzzy in college.
On John Perry Barlow’s blog today, this account of a random human connection by VoIP — testament to how technology can make this an oddly intimate planet.
I was sitting at my desk in New York on Wednesday night, writing a BarlowSpam, when Skype started to emit the old-fashioned bell tone that signals a request for a voice chat. I looked at the window associated with the request and saw a bunch of Chinese pictograms where the name should be. Some kind of Asian chatspam, I figured, and I ignored it. A few minutes later, it rang again. The name of the caller was “Kitty11_3”. There was also a text chat box on the screen, also from kitty11_3 which read, “I need a friend.” I was skeptical. I figured that whoever it was probably looking for “friends” to come see her “relax” in her web-cam equipped “bedroom.” But I took the call. A delicate Asian-sounding voice came from someplace in Cyberspace. “Will you talk to me?” she said.
“I want to practice my English.”
“Because your name is John. I think that anybody named John speaks English.”
I remained skeptical, but further conversation convinced me that she was telling the truth. She really had no idea who or where I was and had plucked me at random from all the Skype users named John. Kitty11_3 turned out to be a 22 year old girl from Hanoi, who, like her father, works for the state-owned oil company. She had managed to get five of her neighbors in the Hanoi suburb where she lives to go in on a DSL line and WiFi which she had set up herself. Her boyfriend is off in Korea getting
…excerpt from: www.boingboing.net…