The House of Lords often gives the impression of being full of fusty, crusty members of the landed gentry who wouldn't know an iPhone from a gramophone if it app-ed them in the face. So it came as a pleasant surprise to Sneak this week during the Lords' committee stage debate on the Digital Economy Bill, to find that some were clearly keen to show they are in fact rather switched on about the whole thing.
Lord Mitchell boasted of a 43-year career in the IT industry and claimed that the IT industry, instead of going into middle age and slowing down, seems to have "reverted to adolescence and is growing faster and more frenetically than ever".
"Look at a product such as the iPhone. A year and a half ago, Apple announced the product called apps - applications to go on the iPhone (he clarified for presumably less clued up members) - and just 18 months later there are 130,000 applications for the iPhone. I read yesterday that 3 billion downloads - one for every two people on this planet-have occurred," he said.
He also mentioned the recent release of Google's new phone and touched on the rumoured Apple product announcement for an "iTablet".
He sure wanted to talk about Apple didn't' he? Coincidentally he mentioned that he "holds a significant shareholding in Apple".
Meanwhile, showing an unexpected penchant for somewhat low-brow television Lord Clement-Jones said the recent success of X-Factor, Dr Who, and Strictly Come Dancing over Christmas were proof public service content "brought people together".
"I forget which show had the largest audience; it was probably "The X Factor", which I believe was watched by some 20 million people," he bluffed unconvincingly, clearly knowing full-well X-Factor won the battle.
However, not all the Lords managed to shake their old-school image with Lord Lucas somehow coming to the conclusion that Charles Dickens would have been an avid iPhone user.
"If Dickens had been alive today, he would look at the iPhone not as a threat but as a wonderful opportunity to get out there with drama in ways that no one had ever thought of before. He was a great user of new media in his day," he said.
So using the new media of today he'd have presumably written Oliver Twitter, or perhaps Martin Chuzzletwit. Any other suggestions?
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