Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs look on the lighter side at technology with attitude and messages from your washing machine.
It's easy to get jaundiced after you read the hundredth announcement of some new whiz bang technology. That's why a recent announcement from Ruckus Wireless grabbed our attention. The subject was "Ruckus Wireless Announces 15 New U.S. Rural Telcos....". The Web link led to the headline Why IPTV is Nowheresville in the U.S. ( theruckusroom.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/the_iptv_hype_i.html ), accompanied by a picture of a farmer holding a pitchfork--which turns into an Ethernet plug. Rather than using technical terms, the explanation focuses on simple bullet points like "the crappy copper problem". There's lots more, so you may want to check out the Ruckus blog ( www.theruckusroom.com ). ( www.ruckuswireless.com )
You've Got A Message...From Your Washing Machine
The Internet Home Alliance--now part of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)--has started a new study to see how technology can ease the chore of doing laundry. The study, called Laundry Time, is built around a "connected laundry solution" that links a washer and dryer to a home network and sends text messages about the laundry's progress to a computer, TV and/or cell phone. It includes products, services and intelligence from Whirlpool Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Panasonic and Procter & Gamble and is focused on "ways to make it easier for people to manage the (laundry) process remotely or while doing other things around the home." Perhaps we lack imagination, but we're not sure that we would be thrilled to get an IM from our washing machine saying "I'm done". ( www.caba.org/iha/ )