Patricia Cohen in the Times: "There was a time when ... points of trivia might arise at dinner or over drinks and lead to a brain-racking long debate or an unsettled and angry standoff. But now... hand-held wireless devices can immediately settle disputes over points of fact."
"Kimberly Cardiel, a bartender at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square, said that when she started working there more than seven years ago, bar bets or plain old disputes about sports would be decided by checking the newspaper, calling around to friends or asking someone nearby for the answer. Most of the time, the majority ruled. Sometimes the question would be left unsettled. But now, she said, those with hand-held devices or cellphones look it up on the Internet. Instant adjudication."
Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.