Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
Anyone remember "Ginger"?
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
You know -- the magical personal transportation device that was so highly
praised by a handful of Internet and computer-industry figureheads last year.
We have been told that it's so revolutionary they'll probably design
entire cities around it and that everyone will want one.
Since it was first announced there has been immense speculation as to
what it could be.
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News wires and commentators ransacked the patent office to try and find clues
as to exactly what Ginger might be, generally coming to the consensus that it
was probably a new kind of scooter.
Meanwhile, the inventor, Dean Kamen remained tight-lipped -- further increasing
the mystery that has surrounded the device also known as "IT."
Well it seems that the shroud of secrecy might well be removed this week,
with US breakfast TV anchor, Diane Sawyer, claiming that all will
be revealed on her show.
According to information released so far, whatever IT is, it will be launched
onto the market next year and cost about US$2,000 -- so start saving your
NZ$4,762 if you want one.
Personally I think we'll find that the most astounding aspect of Ginger will
be the way a few geeks were able to inflate its importance to unbelievable
There won't be any ultra-high-efficiency Sterling engine driving this thing and
it won't be a giant leap forward in personal transport for the average person.
However, I expect that marketing and psychology textbooks will find a warm
spot for Ginger -- listing it as a great case study of how to use hyperbole
to build market demand.
If you really want a breakthrough in personal transport -- why not just
get yourself a scooter and strap a jet engine to it? :-)
The Horse Has Bolted
A Dutch court has ordered that the P2P file-trading software vendor Kazaa
must stop its users from trading copyrighted music -- but they can't.
Unlike Napster, which was successfully shut down earlier this year, Kazaa
doesn't rely on a central server through which users locate files -- Kazaa
is a distributed system.
This creates a real problem for all concerned.
If Kazaa can't stop the use of its software as demanded by the courts, will
it be in contempt?
Should the company be culpable for something it no longer has any control over?
This is a little like demanding that Ford stop all the owners of its cars from
speeding or drinking while under the influence of alcohol -- it just can't be
done and it's stupid for a court to demand it.
Once again it appears that the courts have a lot of catching up to do if they're
to really get to grips with this new-fangled modern technology stuff eh?
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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