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Wearable Internet Appliance 67

z)bandito(_X writes "Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), Shimadzu Corporation, Colorado MicroDisplay, Inc., and Xybernaut Corporation are working on a Wearable Internet Appliance. Looks like it runs Win CE 3.0, but if the price is right it could be a big advance for wearables getting a big manufacturing name like Hitachi in on the game. It's an SH4 processor with Type 2 Compact Flash and an 800x600 display that works with glasses. A good picture of the pretty nice looking device is here, and the specs are here." This looks like a good way to seriously injure yourself.
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Wearable Internet Appliance

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  • a beowulf cluster of these things?
  • This is a great idea for a way to make money. Imagine having banners on your clothes and with the new and improved larger banners [] (that cover the whole body), they'll attract more attention. In addition, it'll also drive up the popularity for ugly men and women. Why? Because no one would want to remove those banners, and therefore they would generate more revenue. Whereas, the banners on pretty girls would be immediately blocked for obvious reasons.

    Hey, this could begin a whole new sociological revolution!
  • by FastT ( 229526 ) on Friday March 02, 2001 @09:27PM (#388046) Homepage Journal
    What a load of sterotypical, contrarian Slashdot crap. How do you know they haven't done testing? Sony's i-Glasses have an auto shutoff feature so that you are forced to take a break after a certain amount of time. Obviously, they've thought about the impact to consumers--are they the only ones? What about all the manufacturers of the displays? You think their engineers haven't designed them around the limits of the human eye, much less used these things for extended periods themselves?

    My God, man, corporations are practically defined as incredibly greedy, wholly self-interested entites. Do you think they aren't going to do something to make sure they don't get their asses sued before releasing a product?

    Nobody knows what the long term effects of wearing a tiny screen a few inches away from your eye might be, and nobody has bothered to find out.
    Really? Go ask Thad Starner and all his friends []--they've been using them continuously for literally years.

    <ot>Damn cracked-out moderators will mod anything up on a Friday night. Why does self-serving, contrarian criticism of a Slashdot article so frequently make someone "insightful"?</ot>

  • Yes, I think we're all sick of seeing concept devices. Especially the ones we happen to be looking at right now. If you'll remember, in the big picture, computers were only a fantasy. At their dawn, all we had were "concept devices".

    So, if you're sick of seeing concept devices, drop your interest in computers. Everything starts off as a concept. The whole point of conceptualizing is to see if the market is ready/wants whatever you've conceived.


  • Well, clearly you don't have any practical purpose to invest in an Omnisky. Personally, I find mine to be one of the most useful hi-tech devices I've ever purchased - second of course, only to my PalmVx itself. So, if that's all you can think of to use it for, then don't spend your money on it. There's no sense of bitching at us about it. Sheesh. Just because you're too myopic to see a use for something doesn't mean everyone else is too.
  • You are a real ace. "no substantial testing has been done for health risks" are you kidding me? Ten years ago there weren't so many whiny people trying to gain sympathy by complaining of aches and pains. This is a cool product, even though no one will use it, and we don't need such lameness about health risks because I don't eat right and don't work out once a month.

  • I don't get this. It's too "sci-fi" for 99% of Jo Public to seriously consider trying and too off the wall. I'd feel incredibly stupid for example sitting on a train or in a park wearing one of these things.

    This wearable computing concept is just yet another techno fad that a couple of idealists think they can talk people into wanting. It didn't work with internet "push" technology (another hyped up concept) and I don't see it working here either.

  • Mono though

    Only 320x240 too :( At least the subject of this article has 800x600. Another poster observed that 13" isn't big enough for his pr0n, but I think i could probably survive on that.


  • Do crotchless panties count?
  • Well, as one of my professors says, you can have pizza, or you can have a seven course meal. Any designer worth their education can look at an interface and tell if it was designed by a programmer. There's a reason we have a profession, as there is a reason you have one. Love you geeks, but hey, I promise to stay out of the code if you stay out of the interfaces. Of course, a lot of people like pizza, and a lot of people can't afford seven-course meals...
  • Being half-asleep when I read this, the first fact that jumped out at me was that it was powered by Hitachi SH-4 processor, which also (if I remember right) is the Dreamcast CPU. Guess Hitachi needs something to do with all the leftover chips :)

    How cool would it be to have a wearable DC? Take it to the gym, hop on a treadmill and fire up Sonic Adventure. For the more adventurous hacker, figure out a way to hook up the treadmill's speed control to Sonic's in-game speed, for the ultimate VR :)

  • There is no reason that somebody cannot create a fully compatible Windows/Linux system using a portable pIII processor and solid state storage

    Xybernaut [] has been doing this for quite some time. There are also quite a few single board computers (SBCs) that are a very good base to build your own wearable. EMJ [] is a good place to find out more about SBC's. There are instructions for building your own matchbox server [] at the Stanford wearables page []. With the addition of a HUD, this could easily be converted to a wearable. You can even order your own pre-made matchbox server here [].


  • I would use something like this if I cound mount two quickcams in the back of my car- to see what's behind me and to remove the blind spot from my car. If I had a couple little tiny windows floating up high and out of the way in my field of vision, I wouldn't have to turn around to make sure I'm not about to get sideswiped when I want to pass someone. It could also overlay the tach and speedometers. I don't know as if what isn't covered by the window is visable, though. That would be something that would need to be reworked, obviously. It might be illegal to do something like this while you're driving too. And just think of all the whales it would save each year- we could all take the sideview mirrors off our cars to cut down on drag!
  • When I had to use an SH4, I just created by own real time os for it, it just had to talk to a GPS, Radio Modem and a display (and of course keyboard/mouse), but nothing fancy, but it was a fun project :). It has a very nice and fairly simple architecture and I just had to compile a GCC that for it and it was all over. But it's a fun processor, and I'm wondering how hackable these things will be :).
  • I found this on the Hitachi web site over two weeks ago while I was looking for a new vcr.
  • I don't think so. If the displays are semi-transparent, it would become second nature quickly enough that this wouldn't become an issue. I think it'd be really neat if your speed in the game depended on your actual speed. Think about it: 20,000,000 soccor moms playing Quake instead of running a treadmill.
  • Wearable computing needs to either have a display you cannot identify immediately as a computer display, or no display at all to be successful. Sure, there will be geeks who buy these things, and wear them religiously, and claim it's the best toy they ever got. But meanwhile, everyone who sees them on the street will snicker at them - Except the people who mug 'em, steal their computer, and sell it on ebay.

    Frankly, I think that an intelligent audio interface is the best way to go. Sure, you wouldn't have menus, but you'd get used to it. "Computer, I need a phone number for <insert name here>." The emphasis denotes the speech the computer is actually interested in. (I figured I could forestall a bunch of idiot posts with that gimmick.)

    Otherwise, glasses which don't look dorky which function as a HUD is the next best thing. Still lets you have an interface, doesn't interrupt your vision. At the point when it can do pupil tracking and head positioning (a nice trick out in the real world) then you can do all kinds of cool stuff, like paint lines on the ground and whatnot. The bummer is, it's not like a football field, where everything is instantly recognizable - Oh, there's a player, there's the ball, there's some nice convenient marker lines on the field - It's a rough-and-tumble kind of place in the real world.

    The other point is that that computer looks way too big. Really, it should be something I can wear on my belt buckle without looking like a (stereotypical) Texan. Barring that, I could handle a palmpilot-sized device with a super-thin (yet strong! ha ha) cable running up to one arm of my transparent video overlay glasses.


  • The only problem with the unit is that it uses WinCE and an embedded processor; this basically means that there is zero application support. There is no reason that somebody cannot create a fully compatible Windows/Linux system using a portable pIII processor and solid state storage. The most difficult part about designing such a system is cutting cost and creating a usable display.

    It seems that Hitachi has a decent display and they should focus on bundling it with a system that is actually flexibile enough to run complex Internet/Intranet connectivity applications.

  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Friday March 02, 2001 @08:06PM (#388062) Homepage Journal
    wow. a wearable internet appliance. for the kids who just couldn't get beat up enough in school.

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • Maybe they should include opaque contacts to increase sales.

  • What self-respecting yuppie would wear a computer?

    If you're so hooked on it that you need to strap the Internet to your body, there's something really wrong.

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • Think about it; are you going to walk around the with this high-tech eyepatch on? And do you really need to be viewing /. in full color while away from your computer? I just can't see any practicality in these type of devices. Sure, they look cool, but I won't be buying one anytime soon. Besides, I would probably have to stop paying rent just to afford it anyway... I'd be kicked out of my apartment, but at least I can browse the internet with a headset!

    I think it would be better if the view screen were paper thin and transparent. This way I could focus through it to the outside world if need be, and it would be less intrusive. Maybe something like a double blink to turn on/off the display.

    Then it can used as a heads up targeting display, etc. In that kind of mode, a GUI is possibly the wrong angle, or else would have to be redesigned on rather different principles.

  • Yes, it's certainly a shame that Nintendo abandoned that whole toys-that-make-people-vomit-and-have-seizures market.

    It was a black day, no doubt.
  • Frankly, I am much comfortable with geeky UI designs (well, GIMP being exception) than some strange and frankly, unworkable GUI that came out of design shops ( Lotus Notes, Mac GUI etc ...)
  • He he. Not only is this a troll, but I distinctly remember this exact comment in one of the older wearable-related stories I've read on Slashdot. At least make up something original, don't recycle.
  • It seems to me the engrish [] on this page rivals the engrish in All Your Base. I would be impressed, however, if trolls started posting engrish that actually sounded smart. Take this from the above page for example:

    Visibility under sunshine extends the market for mobile terminals


    Additional external Battery achieves longer Battery life

    So Just remember trolls, "Without HDD - reliable"

  • Why don't they consider Linux for the SH4:

    Having used both Wince and Linux on an SH4, Linux performas much better and is more functional. Hitachi has plenty of developers working on this, and if Xybernaut uses Linux too, I can't see why they only talk of Wince.

  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Saturday March 03, 2001 @11:05AM (#388071) Homepage
    I'm sure some Slashdotters would find that aspect pretty useful. :-)
  • They call SCO a mainstream OS???
    Laptop006 (RHCE: That means I know what I'm talking about! When talking about linux at least...)
  • My take: Hitachi has an expensive (and therefore slow-selling) product called the E-Plate []. So, someone [] gets the bright idea to repackage this bad boy with an even more expensive and power-hungry display solution. []

    And this improves on the iPaq [] how?

    -Mr. Cranky (dvd_tude)
  • And just how far will you be able to run while playing Quake before you trip over a curb or run smack-dab into a telephone pole?

    No, it won't be pretty. I guess we'll just have to buy treadmills.
  • Make it invisible. Because who would want to be seen walking around wearing that thing? Not me, I have my reputation to uphold. No wait, my reputation is for being a computer-obsessed nerd.

    Oh well, I guess it does sorta match my "Linux 0wNz y00" t-shirt.
  • Concept devices, even the ridiculously priced ones, will often end up breeding a more reasonable market for the regular Joe.

    Best example I can think of: Aibo. Horribly expensive, hard to find, produced in very limited quantinties, and insanely popular.
    Shortly after its release, the market was flooded with cheap little animatronic pets. Sure, they're not nearly as fancy as Aibo, but you get a good market spread, from low-end to high-end.

    So, concept products often do create something, eventually.
  • so I don't HAVE to buy it.
  • 1. Imagine you are walking around with such a thing. You should have an instant Internet access - or all this system becomes meaningless (If you don't reread something you have read before, of course). So, you should either have a reasonably powerful radio modem to connect with your own ground-based access point, or the cellular modem (read: pay a lot to your cellular provider), or the 802.11 card (read: pay a lot to your 802.11 network owner) or Bluetooth (Tens of meters from the access point or a lot of money to the support network owner).

    So I believe it will be only be limited to campuses where either the administration supports the efforts or the student self-organization does the same.

    Unfortunately, the authors have not mentioned any network access mechanism on their page.

    The second problem is the absence (at least visible) of any keyboard input. So, it becomes the browsing ONLY device - NOT the organizer, NOT the electronic notepad, NOT the programming tool.

    The hated MICROS~1 OS, lack of open-source OS, the terrible price, possible eye injury are IMHO secondary compared with these two.
  • >The only problem with the unit is that it uses WinCE and an embedded processor; this basically means that there is zero application support.

    That might seem like a problem to you, but this device is clearly intended for vertical markets. Do you think that a technician using one of these to access online blueprints and doc is going to care if it runs the latest version of [whatever]? How about the delivery guy who uses it to access maps and scan barcodes for package tracking? Setups like this usually run a single app, a small suite at most, and nothing else. The guy delivering packages shouldn't be playing Quake at work anyway.

    Counting the number of people who would actually consider using one of these and an everyday machine would probably give you a fairly accurate estimate of the slashdot's population.
  • oh please. it's attitudes like this that keep us locked into those rediculous bloated processors that Intel keeps spewing out.

    embedded devices aren't going to run the same types of applications as your average desktop for the near future. they're designed for totally different markets. this device is not going to be a consumer-level device at first: it's going to run very customized software for customized work environments.

    additionally the PIII/4 are lousy processors. yes, they'll run pretty damned quickly, but they need to be clocked to rediculous clock speeds to do so. the only reason that the Pentium series is still a leading processor is because Intel is pouring billions of dollars into its development! if they were to pour that many dollars into a well-designed RISC processor, the results would be even more impressive. there will aways be more life in the x86 family, but those improvements come with huge development costs because they're tacked onto an infrastructure that really wasn't meant to do it.

    on a related note, if you put a PIII in a device like this and wore it on your belt you'd probably get third degree burns on your hips. the PIII was never meant for embedded applications. it's all about using the right tool (or chip) for the job

    but anyhow, i'm ranting. but still, i don't see why x86 has to be everywhere. there are better processors for these types of environment, and hanging onto this archaic backwards compatibility is seriously hampering development. embedded devices should use embedded processors, and hey, maybe it's even a chance to help break the WinTel monopoly: Linux runs perfectly well on every embedded processor i've worked on. eventually you have to give up, and move to a new architecture that's better designed for the task at hand. embedded devices are a great place to start this change.

    so do yourself a favour and start looking into the PowerPC, MIPS, SuperH and other embedded processors. the x86 is not the be-all-and-end-all of microprocessors!

    - j

  • I think the most similar example of a technological advance that has seemed very odd at it time of conception is the Mobile Phone. I mean, why would you need to make a bunch of calls from away? Most of them could wait until you get back home, and for those that couldn't there are plenty of phopne booths. The only thing cell phones have done for us is annoy us during meetings and scare us during flights. Yet for some reason, most of us now own them. There are plenty of times in conversation when you feel like checking something on the web, and I have plenty of times felt annoyed that I didn't have access to my computer. The idea of being able to check statistics and trivia, as well as E-mail, and eventually use IP-phone from a little unit behind my ear (or in my pocket, either way) seems rather appealing to me. My only problems are with the technology itself, bandwidth, screensize / resolution, processor speed and storage capacity. /nils
  • really.

    its quite dead around here

    can you tell?

    I can. That's becuase I'm still awake.

    p.s. - mod me down! its fun! everybody does it!

  • Oh, gee. Another whiz-bang product that will either never see the light of day, or be so ridiculously over-priced as to be out of the reach of any normal user.

    Am I the only one sick of seeing "concept" devices?

  • And I bet it only costs $8,000! Just another yuppie toy that the average consumer will never buy.

  • That would suck if your walking with it, and it crashes.........and you walk into traffic or something trying to get the thing to reboot...

    I have a palm pilot, and debate about whether or not to get Omnisky or something. But, I'd rather socialize with REAL PEOPLE than check the spam email I get or see if Commander Taco posted a new story so I can try to get a FP.....

  • This thing looks rediculously(SP) high-tech. Do they really think people will be walking around the street with that thing on their heads, get real. Its probably going to be complicated and overpriced anyways.
  • Gee, just what I always wanted. A wearable iMac.

    If you really have a need for colorfull shells, then check out the Visor.

  • Using bluetooth, you could LAN onto any buildings in-built information system, keeping track of train times for instance, or ordering tickets for the cinema standing in the lobby.

    Use it as a citrix or remote terminal server client. Sit in your front room, use your desktop from the other room.

    Put a face on that doll you've got using animated-gifs or pngs...


  • --a 13" virtual screen is nowhere NEAR large enough to enjoy any pr0n...


    but seriously folks
    "The Mobile Assistant IV (MA IV), Xybernaut's patented wearable PC, runs all major PC operating systems, including Windows 98/2000/NT, Linux and SCO Unix."
    I'll be looking for support for this in, what, kernel 2.4.3?

    and one more quote to pick at before I go to bed:
    "WIA indicates a key direction for Information Appliances in the post-PC era"

    It's lines like this that speak volumes as to the vaporousness of the product...

  • I'll tell you right now at least one set of folks whowill use it: Aircraft Avionics and Powerplant maint techs. Those guys could use a "flip down" PC instead of having to climb back to the computer, etc. There are a lot

    So the price point isnt for you college /. slackers, nor for coders. Tts for people who work for a living away from a desk.

  • I'm sick of people spouting off all these stupid open protocols that never even leave the ground. Who uses bluetooth? No one. Who uses ogg vorbis? maybe 100 opensource geeks who are scared frauenhoffer might sue them. Ever hear of VQF? its been out for years and rivals mp3 in every way but no one uses it either.

    Anyhow I'm just sick of all this junk that never leaves the drawing board. Netwinder anyone? $2500 for a small server with an IDE hard drive.
  • true but this could be expanded by compact flash slot and usb
  • 18-BIT Color!
    Without HDD - reliable
  • What standards do internet appliances adhere to?
    Do they even adhere to a common standard?
    What capabilities do they have for updating their code to adhere to standards in the future?

    As a designer, I keep my eye on a variety of browsers. I keep my eye on [www.websta...argetblank] and Mozilla [mozilla.orgtargetblank] and I try to see where the trends are and where they're going.

    But Internet appliances are another story. If they are following a common standard in any way shape or form, I simply can't find it. And that scares me.

    Ignorance does that to people.


  • This thing supposedly isn't vaporware as it was evidentally shown at Booth 626 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January according to this article [], which also talks about the paper cell phone previously covered on slashdot.
    Anyone played with one of these wearables or catch a price?
  • According to the wonderful Segfault satire, Wearable PC maker calls it quits [], the company executive discovers the real reason why the business won't work:

    "I finally figured out why we haven't sold any of these things. No one is a big enough dork to actually wear a PC."
  • I'm still waiting on HMDs (Head-Mounted Displays) to drop under a grand. Too bad Nintendo gave up on them after the Virtual Boy failure.
  • Manufacturers expect consumers to wear these devices -- often for hours at a time -- but no substantial testing has been done for health risks.

    Nobody knows what the long term effects of wearing a tiny screen a few inches away from your eye might be, and nobody has bothered to find out. This is characteristic of the technology sector, though. No one considered the risks of keyboards until people started losing the use of their hands. No one asked if monitors were healthy until people started going blind.

    I am not anti-technology, by any means. However, it is ridiculous to destroy one's body for whatever short term gains you may be pursuing. Ultimately, it is an individual's responsibility to assure their own safety, but callousness of manufacturers is appalling. Until congress forces a change, though, I doubt health considerations will be taken into account when designing a product.
  • Think about it; are you going to walk around the with this high-tech eyepatch on? And do you really need to be viewing /. in full color while away from your computer? I just can't see any practicality in these type of devices.

    Sure, they look cool, but I won't be buying one anytime soon. Besides, I would probably have to stop paying rent just to afford it anyway... I'd be kicked out of my apartment, but at least I can browse the interet with a headset!

  • by Graelin ( 309958 )
    Ok, let's assume you can actually find a SAFE use for this thing - obviously you couldn't drive wearing this, and you wouldn't want to walk around with it (you'd get shot or laughed at). Besides, how do you input? I didn't see any keyboards and a stylus would be kinda annoying I think. I think it'd be cooler to throw another viewport for the other eye and do some stereoscopic VR.. Forget the wearable computer, do I wanna look like a borg? (Where's gates? He's involved somehow....) Ahem... I made my point.
  • I'd like to see things like this combined with electricity-generating shoes []. Yes, that's right. They're shoes that, when you walk, they convert some of the energy from the pressure of your feet into electricity. I'm not sure how well it would work for general walking, though. You still may need an external battery, or maybe a helmet covered with solar cells. Or perhaps you'd need to run in order to keep the thing going.

    Either way, portable computers + shoes that produce electricity when you walk == exercise and hacking all in one. The geeks dream come true (well, at least the hacking part. the exercise shouldn't hurt.).

    And what if you could add in sensors to sense your body movement. What if the machine was powerful enough to run Quake. Yes, you could have a virtual game of Quake for a seemingly infinite length of time (until you died or were too tired to go on) since you should be producing enough electricity by running and jumping to keep your machine going. That would add another element of skill to the game: physical endurance!

    kickin' science like no one else can,
    my dick is twice as long as my attention span.
  • I found an article today where some internet guru type (don't recall and I'm too lazy and drunk to find it) was taling about uses for G3 tech and the wireless web. his main point was this: The wireless web, and wireless internet applicanes, aren't going to be used for work.

    They are going to be primarily used for entertainment. The only information services people are going to use are stuff like mapping, movietimes and directions. In the near future, nobody is going to be typing novels or trading stocks or anything like that on these wireless do-dangles.

    I think that they'll sell like crazy, and I might buy one myself, just so I can /. and ignore my pitiful life, but I don't know that the 'business justifications' for it will be that great.
    I certianly want to try one out. I mean, what better client than someone who's posting online at 22.44 on a friday night?

  • TekGear - M1 Personal Viewer - TekGear []

    $500. That cheap enough for ya :-) Mono though, but not bad.
  • Bleck.. WinCE?!

    I guess i cannot blame corporations for choosing (or being bullied..?) into using this POS OS, all i'm saying is: dont expect me to shell out any hard-earned dough for something as unstable/laughable as WinCE.

    I actually saw one guy's WinCE-powered handheld freeze (Gray Screen of Death?) once.. *LOL* My Palm is worth 10 times anything WinCE powered i assure you.

    Just a thought.. :-)
    BTW: Mozilla 0.8 [] is mighty fly if you havent used it yet!

  • The psychological effects of a wearable computer must be pretty severe, judging by the effects of standard ones people have at home and work. Sitting for hours frustrated over work or schoolwork, which alone have created a society of ill-tempered sociopaths, ready to murder their classmates a la Colombine. Can you imagine if people had one with them all the time? I can tell this ungodly place is just crawling with evil already. Ye must repent, and bow to the football players and cheerleaders, for they are your betters. If God had meant the geeks to be the leaders, he would not subject you to such suffering. Be meek, and accept the judgement with humility.

  • Now we will be able to wear something that allows us to surf and drive. And they think that a cell phone causes a distraction to those that are driving, what is this going to do?

    Just think of this scenario: "Yes, your honor I am addicted to pr0n. I was surfing when I should have been driving, but I only looked away for a second..." The only people that will probably make more money off this than the manufacturers, will be the lawyers!

  • strap my tower case to my back, and a 21" monitor to my head!

  • "Geeks should stick to designing the technology, and leave the aesthetics to people who actually have design training"

    Although you didn't mention it, I assume your talking about "hardware" when you wrote about Geeks sticking to technology and not aesthetics. I say that because I'm a programmer for a small law firm in NYC, and have written numerous GUI's for some of the Applications our associates use. One of the responsibilities I have with writing the programs is the User Lay Out(or Aesthetics as you write). Your post seems to insinuate that my employer should take on a design consultant which is highly unreasonable not to mention much to costly.
    So, being a "geek"(I assume you're one like many here), are you involved with putting furnishings in your residence, or putting clothes on in the morning, etc. Since these are nothing but aesthetics, should we leave these things to people with design training as you wrote? It doesn't make sense to me.
  • by tapiwa ( 52055 ) on Friday March 02, 2001 @07:53PM (#388109) Homepage
    I disagree.

    When mobile phones and pagers first came out, they were used for business, primarily ... doctors etc. Later, as prices fell, a lot more people got them, and a network effect later, a lot of us cannot live without our mobiles.

    Having information at hand will be a requirement will be a must for the businessman of the future. A CEO addressing a group of stock analysts will want to know 1 minute b4 he speaks how his stock is doing.

    A salesman will want to be able to confirm delivery date to the customer by checking available factory capacity, and also book/reserve this capacity by placing an order in realtime.

    The possibilities go on.

    While these devices will span an entire entertainment category, do not discount their business / work usefulness!

  • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Friday March 02, 2001 @07:54PM (#388110) Homepage
    The first lawsuit to allege that wearable internet appliances cause brain cancer will be filed in May, 2005.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle