Here comes the mobile phone ad disaster

Today's trickle of mobile advertising is about to turn into a tidal wave. It's worse than you think.

I recently visited the Greek island of Santorini. The island is best known as a sunny destination for jet-setting holiday makers who lounge in idyllic hotel rooms perched on the sides of steep and majestic cliffs. But historians, geologists and archaeologists know Santorini as the site of one of the most horrible disasters in human history.

In 1967, archaeologists began excavating a site on the island, a small town called Akrotiri which had been buried in volcanic ash long ago. The site revealed an advanced Minoan civilization that had flourished on the island between 3,000 BC and around 1600 BC.

Scientists found frescoes showing life on Santorini - happy people lounging in the bay on shaded pleasure boats, fisherman, boxers and, most famously, barefoot maidens gathering saffron in the fields. Homes in the town uncovered had, incredibly, hot and cold running water, indoor bathrooms and frescoes showing a magnificent city on the island, now lost.

Santorini, it appears, was a kind of paradise, until something utterly catastrophic happened. The island was shaped at that time like the letter "C," with a little island in the middle. That little island was formed by a "hole" in the Earth's crust, which served as something of a relief valve for the tectonic pressures that build up between the African and Eurasian plates.

Sometime around 1600 BC, a very strong earthquake rocked the island, wrecking homes. Then the volcano blew rocks the size of cars into the air, some of which came crashing down on the island's towns and villages. Most or all of the survivors, at least in Akrotiri, fled in boats.

After they left, the volcano erupted in one of the most catastrophic events of the past 5,000 years. The eruptions, and the toxic layers of ash that fell, dozens of meters deep, killed all life on the island. Silt and ash unloaded into the atmosphere, creating a global "nuclear winter," which caused massive crop failure and famine as far away as China. Scientists can still see the effects of the eruptions in polar ice cores and 4,000 year-old bristle cone pine trees in California.

The residents probably headed for either Crete, the other major Minoan island, or Egypt, with which the Santorinians had extensive ties. Regardless, they probably didn't make it. Tidal waves and earthquakes wiped out most of the buildings on nearby Crete, and destroyed most or all of the boats there, ushering in the beginning of the end of the Minoan civilization. Any boats in the water would have been washed away by tidal waves. Santorini was destroyed and forgotten for 3,600 years. Crete quickly slipped into a permanent dark age. The great Minoan civilization was gone forever.

Which reminds me of mobile phone advertising.

Coming to a phone near you

Life is good in the mobile phone universe, with plentiful choice, data access getting faster and cheaper, and great new technologies like GPS and better cameras being built in all the time.

Unfortunately, the "paradise" of using a mobile phone may soon be destroyed by a tidal wave of advertising. You may be shocked by what the advertising, handset, search, software and other industries are planning for your phone.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mike Elgan

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?