Aside from your alarm clock, what is the most important technology in your life (assuming you have a job to wake up to or care about being on time to class). What technology could you not live without? What gadgets are changing your world, like it or not? That’s what we’ll be talking about in this space every four weeks. Don’t worry, we won’t be going into the inner workings of ADM chips or use language like, “you’ll need to know your TCP or IP address in order to use your WAN or LAN.”
So, if you know the maps of Halo 2 better than the layout of Chico, shoot video on your cell phone, save a weeks worth of Jon Stewart on your TiVo to binge on during the weekend or visit Google more than you visit your mother, you’ll want to keep an eye on this spot (sorry, no RSS feed—yet).
Your phone’s got worms. The airborne Cabir worm was jumping between Bluetooth-enabled cell phones last month at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki. The wireless bluetooth technology in phones has a range of up to 30 feet so when a large group of bluetooth phone owners gather in one area (such as in a sports stadium), these worms can travel fast. The Cabir worm drained the batteries of the susceptible phones as it looked for new ones to infect.
R2-D2 won’t clean the toilet. People have been living with robot dogs now for years (really). Now there’s the Roomba (www.roombavac.com), a robot that will do your vacuuming. For less than $200, you can have a little horseshoe crab looking device that navigates itself around your house, lightly bumping off chair legs and following walls, until it has covered every inch of a room picking up dirt, dust and real dog hair. Then it goes back to its docking station to recharge its batteries. Now if it could just collect all the empty beer bottles and turn them in for cash.
Gore may have invented it but Bush owns it. While politicians sprain their thumbs trying to access the hidden “Hot Coffee” sexual Easter egg in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (for research reasons, of course), George W. and the gang, encouraged by the religious right (see Family Research Council at www.frc.org), have put the brakes on the .xxx Internet domain for adult Web sites, further infuriating the separation of church and state folks and prompting the international body that has worked toward getting this domain—in part to make it more difficult for children to stumble across explicit adult Web content—to ask, “does the United States own the Internet?”
Next week, in the CN&R’s new Fine Arts column: What is Artoberfest?