Technology is an astonishing thing.
If I were being kind, I would say that with every new development, it continues to make our live easier and the world a better place. Every passing year, also sees it make the world a smaller place. A smaller place where we can share the joy and pain of others almost immediately. News travels across the world at the speed of light. This weekend alone with the shocking Helicopter accident in Glasgow and the train crash in the Bronx, our thoughts and prayers can be with people far and near almost as soon as these awful events occur.
In all such situations,you can never overestimate the vital role played by all of the rescue services. Highly trained and dedicated men and women, who will do what ever it takes to help others.
Perhaps it was watching news coverage seeing exactly that, closely followed by an advert for the new "Mayday" service on the Kindle that has resulted in this post.
Amazon have just unveiled the Mayday button, which is a live tech support service which will feature on the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablets. The support service will operate 365 days a year 24 hours a day with Amazon promising to connect you within an 15secs of pressing the button.Once pressed it will connect you to a live tech advisor via a one-way video chat in which you can see them but they can't see you and they can help you with whatever problem you are having.
My issue is not with the service itself but in the inane and thoughtless use of the word "Mayday"
This is a word that is used in life and death situations. A word that is used to help save lives not to help someone stream a movie to their television set.
This is technology or marketing at it's very worst, trivialising something in a deeply inappropriate way.
A word like 'mayday' should not be misappropriated for commercial use.
Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French expression "venez m'aider", meaning "come to help me".
It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators, but in some countries local organisations such as police forces, firefighters, and transportation organizations also use the term. The call is always given three times in a row ("Mayday Mayday Mayday") to prevent mistaking it for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call.
Time to choose another name for this function Kindle.
Choose one quickly...