I was just talking to my wife about RFID tags (yes, I know scintillating conversation for a Sunday morning) and we were discussing some of the both cool and scary uses to which the technology can be put.
On the one hand checkout at the supermarket can be as simple as just rolling your cart out the door (assuming you can bag your items in the cart while you shop). It’s just a matter of time until your credit and debit cards will also have little RFID tags as well. So, in addition to scanning your purchases the store also knows the means you have available to pay for them. All you’d need to do is to select from a list of cards that the scanner had detected on your person and the slowest part of the transaction would be having the receipt printed.
Now picture shopping with a friend. It might be fun if they walked through the shopping scanner with you. You could just select one of their credit accounts! 🙂 I know there will be some validation but the idea tickled me.
But one of the best (ab)uses of RFID technology will be when this generation of tech savvy kids come into the living room on a blustery late-December morning and find grandma proudly placing carefully wrapped Christmas packages around the base of the tree. She’ll look up at them and see the eagerness in their eyes and admonish cheerily, “Now these gifts are to stay right where they are until Christmas morning.”. The children nod happily and pull out their gameboy (or whatever the current handheld gaming/PDA/Cellular Phone toy is called by then) and wave it over the base of the tree.
While turning to leave to go play with their friends outside they call back over their shoulder, “Thanks for the sweater Grandma, the size is a little small for me but I can exchange it for a larger one if you leave the gift receipt with mom and dad. And I can’t wait to play with that new Fast’n’Furious XXII!”
I read this blog entry on Douglas Welch’s web site and it intrigued me enough to check out the webinar.
Everybody has their own time-management systems and I don’t believe that you can really completely adopt another system exclusively as your own. However there are some very good points to be taken away from the GTD philosophy (from the David Allen Company). I’m currently trying out their Outlook add-in and am quite impressed so far. Now to decide if it’s practical enough to keep (it’s well conceived and pretty robust so far) or if I just take away some of the ideas that it promotes.
I’m thinking of picking up a laptop to replace the tired one that has been faithfully serving me for the past while. I got it used and it was a good addition to my computer menagerie but that venerable 600E IBM Thinkpad is now too slow and non-portable to be of much use anymore. The battery has been dead since I got it so it was good for using around the house but I am increasingly seeing the value in being able to take my computer on the road.
From what I’ve been hearing in IBM’s new X41 Tablet PC seems pretty ideal, if a little pricey. I first heard about it on The Tablet PC Show podcast and I’ve been doing a bunch of research at places like CNET.com and on IBM’s own website. They have a great online demo by the way that lets you get a pretty good sense of the machine and its attributes.
I have a T42 that I use at my day job and prior to that was using a T30. I have a high opinion of the durability of these machines, even with the new “Lenovo” moniker it looks like the quality of the machines is going to be maintained.
Two things are holding me back, first is the complete lack of stock. Something like this I’d be a little happier picking up in a bricks-and-mortar business. There have been supply issues and even ordering from the web site I can expect at least a month or more of delay. Also I’m having some difficulties figuring out how to configure the machine. On IBM’s website there seem to be two species and you can take it or leave it. I want to get a larger hard drive and more powerful battery but I also want the built-in biometric fingerprint reader. But this last option is in no way offered with the “better” model.
Also, is it me or do a lot of the choices on the “Customize and Buy” page not really make a lot of sense. It looks like it was programmed by somebody who believes that the consumer needs to already know everything about the machine and has very little guidance. You could easily end up purchasing two copies of office for the machine if you weren’t careful.
I think I’ll end up calling one of the online retailers and walking through the configuration with them and see if I can’t get exactly what I’m looking for.