The Worcester Telegram & Gazette (registration required) is running my latest op-ed today. It's about mobile phone number portability, and how this goverment-mandated consumer convenience may have unintended consequences down the road. Maybe it's just paranoid ramblings, but keeping one's phone number indefinitely could lose its appeal, if the number becomes a magnet for unsolicited text messages:
As barriers to communication drop, parasites emerge. The mobile market is approaching this vulnerability, just as e-mail did for spammers...
...I’m stuck with my e-mail account; it would be too difficult to change it. But how many marginal e-mail users got turned off by the cacophony of hucksterism arriving in their inbox every day?
...What seems like inexorable progress toward instant, universal communication has hit a snag with e-mail, and might suddenly stop with GPS-enabled tracking and [cell spam]. By mandating location services and number portability, the FCC may have actually made mobile phones less desirable.