Not Chinese, but an invasion never-the-less


The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California is promoting its two casinos with an application for the Apple iPhone.

In the 1980s when people who were paying attention warned us of all of the changes computers and the technological changes they would bring –  most of us just laughed. I certainly did not think those predictions or computers would impact my life – at all! Admittedly I am a dinosaur, but it was 1991 or 92 before I owned my first computer; I was even later joining the Internet and later still discovering email, online media, YouTube, social networking, Second Life and the other worlds that exist in cyberspace.  Worse, there are more than a few other technologies that I have yet to embrace, use or even understand; most notably I don’t own or use a cell phone.  But whether I play Farmville, socialize in Second Life, Facebook or follow my friends and the news on a cell phone, I cannot ignore the growing power of technology to change, not just some of the details and routines of our daily life, but change our very culture.  And because it moves so fast, technology stays ahead, not just of dinosaurs like me, but more importantly the law-makers and law-enforcers charged with regulating our interactions, protecting our homes and providing a place for us to work, play and conduct business safely.

So while casino regulators are stressing about the Chinese and Macau, right under their noses technology is leading gaming into new, uncharted and unregulated territory.  Today it is an iphone “app” – not even a word, but certainly a well-understood term with a very definite definition.  [Palm Springs Desert Sun] An Indian casino in California is using cell phones to communicate with its customers; in the process the customer can play a slot machine when bored while waiting for a burger, an airplane or for a traffic-light to change – right now there is no money exchanged, but one would guess based on other ways to exchange money for goods and services via technology it can be done and that means it will be done.

That is the real lesson of the technology for me; whatever can be done is done and if it finds a commercial application it rolls.  Facebook is said to have hundreds of millions of participants across the globe, try regulating or control all of the activity of that many people in dozens of different countries and cultures.

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