A Day in the Life: Conference


I’ve noticed that a lot of people are walking around with ear plugs; those Bluetooth devices that either connect to their cell phone or are themselves a self-contained cell phone. In some respects it is quite distracting to be standing beside someone carrying on a conversation on one of these devices as they appear otherwise alone: physically alone, but wirelessly connected.

Clearly these external appendages are just the first step on the path to becoming Borgs. However, unlike the characters in science fiction, we will be assimilated by the marketing agencies of large corporations rather than some alien species–granted some may argue there is no difference.

At the vendor fair, Microsoft was demonstrating Borg 0.8 Beta. A functional version of a product intended to hit the market when the price-point reaches commoditization levels, expected to be within the next couple of years. The Microsoft employee demonstrating the attachments, though clearly drawn, explained that after some initial rejection of the implants things generally seemed to be going ok. There were some minor inconveniences, such as he kept on hearing Frank Zappa’s Uncle Meat album playing through his mind, but this would be overcome in 0.81.

Across the floor at the Apple booth, they too were demonstrating their version of a similar technology, quaintly called ‘Delicious.’ Like the Microsoft beta it had a ways to go, but clearly demonstrated that company’s attention to ergonomics and usability.


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