The future ain’t cheap

The Marlboro Man in full effect

The Marlboro Man in full effect

An inflatable ball
If you are NOT one of those people being pinched by our present Bushonomic downturn, here is a product for you: the Sima XL-8 96-inch inflatable theater screen and audio system. The 8-foot screen (also available in a 12-foot model) and pair of 100-watt speakers with 8-inch subwoofers will let you bring Rock Band 2 or The Wire: The Complete Fifth Season anywhere you can find power—for something in the neighborhood of $1,000. Wonder if you can inflate the screen with helium and fly it like a kite?

Shut the Window
I have always argued that people who hate computers are generally those forced to work on PCs, and those who love computers use Macs. A generalization, of course. But perhaps this will soon change. I have been reading about the death of the personal computer and, more specifically, a post-MS Windows world. Some tech gurus are claiming that our phones will soon do all the computing we need, while others are musing about some sort of Tom Cruise/Minority Report/hands-flying-in-the-air type of contraption. One thing is for sure: Microsoft is talking about a time when future youth will need to research MS Windows on Wikipedia to know what it was. Microsoft is developing Midori, possibly the company’s next operating system, which is being written to cope with various third-party, Internet-based programs as opposed to software designed to run on one’s personal hard drive. A good idea for our mobile lifestyles. Just hope it is smoother, both functionally and aesthetically, than Windows.

Believe it or not I’m (sorta) typing on air

Virtual reality check
Get a jump on the future today with a projected laser keyboard for your pocket computer/cell phone/gaming device/other Bluetooth device. The I-Tech Virtual Laser Bluetooth Keyboard (VKB) is about 3 inches tall and 1 inch wide and deep. This little James Bond-type device projects a virtual, full-sized (though slightly nonstandard), QWERTY keyboard on any solid, flat surface. An infrared device interprets your finger movement and conveys the information back to your cell phone.

Some of the reviews were less than stellar, citing difficult set-up processes, the necessity of the device to stand straight up (forget typing in moving vehicles) and reflections interfering with the laser projection. At about $200 it’s not cheap, but in the future nothing is.

Wacky Web Site of the Week
I visit this site every once in a while for a good laugh. Photoshop screw-ups, mostly from the advertising world. Great stuff.