Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Internet Fad of the Week: Chatroulette

Haven't you heard of Chatroulette? All the plugged-in web-savvy peeps out there have. It's no surprise that Mr. I-Have-Over-Four-Million-Followers-On-Twitter, Ashton Kutcher himself (@aplusk), has been caught in the act. Chatroulette is a website that connects users with one other random user at a time, for communication via webcam and text. Apparently, its appeal crosses borders and even species (see: Catroulette).

According to good old Wikipedia, the site was launched in November 2009 by a 17 year-old high school student in Moscow. It will certainly be interesting to see how this service evolves or if it's just the flavour of the week.

I can't bring myself to try it, even in the name of The Daily Breakthrough, because I just don't want strangers popping into my home via my computer screen. Thanks, but no thanks. All this talk of webcams and invasion of privacy reminds me of a terrifying news article I read recently. Check out this unbelievable story about a Philadelphia school that spied on its students using webcams on school-issued laptops, in an attempt to find a few missing computers. Welcome to 1984, ladies and gents.