By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 4, 2001
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It's about time
What a fabulous idea! Let's take the established system we have for telling time and throw it out the window. Rather than that pesky hour, minute and second thing, we'll think in degrees, minutes and seconds. We couldn't even adopt liters, kilometers and kilograms when our government suggested it, so the chance of this catching on is slim to none. There was mild Internet-based interest when Swatch came up with a new system, but I have a feeling that was a ruse to sell more watches. This idea seems genuinely altruistic, but that doesn't improve its chances.
Oooh! Feast your peepers on the high-tech eye candy contained at the bottom of this Web page. Finally, a laptop that really could be a desktop replacement. Sure, most laptops are more than powerful enough to physically do the task, but what hinders them is the ergonomic issue. In essence, each prototype model in this showcase allows you to detach the keyboard and trackpad while folding the base over to get the monitor closer to your eyes. It's a swanky move because plugging an external keyboard and mouse into a current model laptop means the screen feels as if it's across the room. Put that checkbook back in your pocket. These are pie-in-the-sky-ware and not available today.
Games cell phones play
Quick, what's the most useless phone accessory you can think of? The glowing light that goes on the antenna? Close, but no cigar. I think it has to be the gift you give the person who has everything: a joystick for a Nokia cell phone. There are a few games tucked away in nearly all modern Nokias and, of them all, Snake seems to be the most popular. In Europe, the cell phones have an infrared port that allows you to play games with others. Mildly useful for killing time at the airport. Go ahead. Spoil yourself with a piece of plastic you're sure to lose on your next trip.
Duck and cover
In case you don't live close enough or have the inclination to drive to beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, you'll miss the Cuban Missile Crisis exhibition at the Florida International Museum. While the museum has the physical objects from the Kennedy era, this site tracks scads of media goodies of the day. And it's very well done. If you are heading down to see the exhibit, this should get the cranial juices flowing beforehand.
The Microsoftization of the Internet continues unabated, so it seems. Those Brits who wander the corridors of power over there have contracted with the Redmond, Wash., company to turn the plain old government into a fully fledged e-government by 2005. It's access for everybody and all that, but only for those who use a Windows-based Microsoft browser. With other options available and with Euro types way ahead of the game in wireless, the UK government hypothetically could be on a course to lock a bulk of its citizens out of the e-future. Not particularly smart.
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