- 16 November, 2005 09:54
A GBU mug goes to this creative sys admin in Sydney. He received a very urgent support call advising a system was down. He explained he was offsite and couldn't get back to the office but would do what he could remotely. The admin had a laptop and a MiniMax ADSL wireless modem. He called vendor support and while on the phone to them dialled in and fixed the problem ... it took three hours. In that entire time he was in a tattoists chair getting tattooed. Now that is multi-tasking.
Some people will buy anything. An eBay seller is hawking a little piece of Silicon Valley history -- an 11-DVD set of Microsoft chairman and chief architect Bill Gates' 1998 deposition recorded shortly before the US Department of Justice brought its antitrust lawsuit against his company. According to the posting for the item, listed under the title "the Bill Gates triumph valley pirates nerds of silicon", the DVDs include more than 17 hours of footage of "unrehearsed and uncensored Bill Gates answering hundreds of probing questions before the US government". Riveting stuff.
We wield remote controls to turn things on and off or manoeuvre battlefield robots. But manipulating humans? Just imagine being rendered the rough equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car. Japanese telephone company Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, says it is developing the technology to perhaps make video games more realistic. But more sinister applications also come to mind. At a recent demonstration at an NTT research centre, a headset was placed on a person's head which sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of the ears through the head - either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control is moved. The technology is called galvanic vestibular stimulation. Essentially, electricity messes with the delicate nerves inside the ear that help maintain balance. NTT says the feature may be used in video games and amusement park rides. But a defence contractor in Texas, Inovocon, is exploring whether precisely tuned electromagnetic pulses could be safely fired into people's ears to temporarily subdue them.