By Nury Vittachi
Christine McMorrow of Massachusetts posted almost 10,000 comments on a newspaper website without making the slightest impression on human society. A few days ago she was using her phone's speech-to-text function to dictate yet another bland comment when a friend turned up -- and their conversation accidentally went straight into the New York Times comment section.
The text that was posted under her name was this: "Zero optimism that the Democrats can ever regain hello hi oh you're there are you outside oh well let me come to the door I'm icing my knee and I'm hard boiling some eggs I'll turn them off and then will do our meeting..." It went on in the same vein for many lines. The post was widely celebrated and the New York Times magazine declared it "the best comment of the year".
Another colleague told me that a reporter at US National Public Radio last month tried to share a family picture of his cute baby looking at his cute cat with friends but accidentally uploaded it as a news item on the station's website. It turned out to be one of the popular news reports of the day. "Sometimes you just need to look at a baby smiling at a cat," said one news junkie.
But perhaps the best happy-tech-accident story of the week came from a UK woman named Emma Perrier who fell in love with an internet conversation partner who was a handsome 34-year-old man, judging by the photograph he showed. After six months of romance, he still refused to meet her face-to-face. You can guess the ending. Yes, he was a creepy old man who had stolen a photo of an actor.
Yet the story, reported by The Atlantic magazine, has an extra ending. Emma wrote to the actor to tell him that his photo was being used -- and he fell in love with her. Thank you, creepy old man!
But tech mistakes can be dangerous. This summer in the Philippines, the President's office accidentally broadcast a bit of a superhero movie, "Logan", on their esteemed leader's Facebook page. President Rodrigo Duterte is famous for his merciless "Oh-look-all-the-suspects-died-resisting-arrest" anti-drug campaign. "Logan" is about a superhero who manages to finally defeat evil by taking an overdose of a powerful drug. A coincidence, of course.