Will Saletan parses the Apple tablet vs Obama’s SotU debate. His quick summary of recent tech is jaw dropping:

Look around the globe. One of every three people in China now uses the Internet. The same is true in Iran. Hundreds of millions of users are on Facebook, often communicating across borders. Four billion people now have mobile phones. India has nearly 400 million; Bangladesh has another 50 million. And phones are getting smarter. Apple has sold 50 million iPhones and iPod Touches. Another 25 million people use BlackBerrys. In the United States, the number of text messages sent each month has passed 100 billion.

How powerful is wireless communication? Consider this: Three years ago, we upgraded the software of two vehicles on Mars. On Earth, we’re mobilizing people and solving problems at unprecedented speed. Last month, the U.S. government put 10 red balloons in random places around the country and challenged contestants to find them. The winning team, using social networking, succeeded in less than nine hours.

Gadgets have swept the world before, but mobile computing devices are different. Through applications and upgrades, they can acquire new powers. Apple alone offers more than 100,000 apps and has delivered more than two billion downloads. Phones are becoming maps, TVs, libraries, shopping tools, video cameras, car keys, and credit cards.

If you aren’t following Saletan on twitter, you should be.

[“Apple vs Obama” – Slate]

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