Technology has taken most of the worthwhile debauchery out of life as a foreign correspondent.
There is no more hiding behind time zones, unreliable phone lines, rickety fax machines. Editors can always get you. As I found out when a tryst went tumble-dry in Rome thanks to a text message about G8 protests in Genoa. Or strollus interruptus on Saturday night in Verona following half an hour on my mobile with New York explaining a device that makes offside calls in soccer games. And moving day in Milan, when I was forced to Sherpa boxes up five floors then race down to an internet point for read-backs to London about opening night at the Scala.
Fortunately, broadband came to Italy and brought back a slight, but necessary, frisson to life abroad. Laura, a Canadian freelancer with an Italian husband in IT, was the first to get cabled up here in Milan in 2004. This was the end of TiVo envy and the beginning of a new era.
In better news, DVD Jon has announced that HD-DVD Jon, as he has registered DeAACS.com and wants to make sure you will be able to skip the intros in your newfangled DVDs, when we all know that Blu-Ray is the real champ here.