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The dorkiest of technology devices (TREKKIE HEAVEN)
Star Newspapers - Chicago ^ | October 15, 2006 | Myra Eder

Posted on 10/15/2006 3:52:14 PM PDT by Chi-townChief

First prize winner, for sure.

Today I am announcing this column's inaugural blue ribbon award for the totally dorkiest look of the year.

There's no contest here.

Without any doubt, the dumbest sight anywhere in 2006 is a human ear with a Bluetooth technology device sticking out.

For starters, it looks ridiculous — like a reject part from the Borg (evil cyberbeings).

Is anyone so important she or he must be linked to Verizon Wireless or Cingular or any mobile service on an 24/7 basis?

I don't think so.

And if one has to be on call for any reason, there are more subtle devices.

But hanging out of the ear?

That is — so not fashionable.

Regular readers probably are thinking about my passion for all that is Star Trek and how the first Enterprise communications officer, Lt. Uhura (Robbins native Nichelle Nichols), wore an earpiece.

Yes, she did.

But Uhura was on a starship, traveling at warp speed across the galaxy in the 23rd century.

The Enterprise crew had to stay connected on all wavelengths, including subspace.

When you're hundreds of light years away from home, constant monitoring of all transmissions is mandatory.

Evil forces such as the Romulans could surface anytime.

On TV sci-fi, the ear thing was nifty.

But on Earth, uh-uh.

So on Tuesday when my husband, Murray, told me he bought a phone with the word-that-cannot-be-spoken technology, I went ballistic.

He assured me he'd only use it when driving alone in Chicago or anyplace with a law requiring hands-free phones behind the wheel.

That is, unless Romulans are nearby.

Meanwhile, on the subject of technology, more than one person contacted me about the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner and other robots, the subject of last week's column.

Lucy Venditti, of South Chicago Heights, summed it up in her e-mail.

Last summer she saw the Honda Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, or ASIMO, robot on stage at Disneyland in California.

"He was about 5 feet tall, his arms bent at the elbows (and) hands moved. ...

"He walked forward and backward, went up the stairs and down, answered the phone, packed lunches for his stage family and sent them off to work and school," she wrote.

"He even gave each a tender hug. I'd love to have one. ...

"My daughter bought me (a Roomba) for my birthday, but I had her take it back after a couple of days.

"ASIMO I'd keep."

(You can check out ASIMO with video and more at

Alas, ASIMO costs about $1 million and is not yet mass produced.

But as Venditti reiterated, the age of Isaac Asimov's vision for robots has begun.

Myra Eder may be reached at or (708) 802-8818.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: beammeup; dorks; dweebs; nerds
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To: Chi-townChief

My husband gets all rabid about these things, but I'm only annoyed when you get this situation:

Person in line (while looking right at me): "Hey, how are you?"

Me: "Oh, uh, I'm fine..."

PIL: *Frigid stare - points at BT hidden behind hair*

PIL (to phone): Gawd, someone thought I was talking to them *snicker*

Me (thinking): *25-life for murder, 25-life for murder...*

61 posted on 10/15/2006 6:39:59 PM PDT by Shion (Bring Back John Galt)
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To: Chi-townChief
I have one, but I only use it when I'm driving and expecting calls (wife/kids/boss/etc.). Even then, I minimize the time I'm on the phone.

The neat part, however, is using it to place calls using voice command. No fumbling with keypads, etc. while driving...

62 posted on 10/15/2006 6:51:09 PM PDT by Jonah Hex ("How'd you get that scar, mister?" "Nicked myself shaving.")
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To: raybbr
I understand that hands free may be required when talking on the phone while driving... What I do not get is someone walking around with it stuck in their ear 7X24.

It kinda seems like someone could plug in their ear set (bluetooth or wired) when it is time to talk.

63 posted on 10/15/2006 7:19:36 PM PDT by nctexan
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To: lesser_satan
If he ever takes it off and leaves it unattended it's going in the toilet.

After stomping on it, I assume. You've got to make sure...
64 posted on 10/15/2006 9:00:17 PM PDT by kenth (There are three kinds of people in the world. Those who can count, and those who can't.)
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To: kenth

True. I'm quite convinced it's a minion of Satan, so I may call a priest in to perform an exorcism on this vile device as well.

65 posted on 10/15/2006 9:05:50 PM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: upchuck
But would the Roomba be worth it for someone with only one level? Did it get stuck under furniture? Did it have problems between carpet and tile?

I am a nursing student with limited time to clean so it could be a huge help. In fact, I need to log off and go back to studying. Having to choose between studying, Freeping, and vacuuming - guess which wins. LOL.

66 posted on 10/15/2006 9:25:05 PM PDT by myprecious
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To: Chi-townChief
For starters, it looks ridiculous — like a reject part from the Borg (evil cyberbeings).

Shows what she knows. Any Doctor Who fan can tell you that Bluetooth earpieces are how the Cybermen get you.

67 posted on 10/15/2006 9:32:41 PM PDT by RansomOttawa (tm)
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To: Chi-townChief
When you talk on a cell phone in public, what you're really saying is, "MY conversation is SO important that it takes priority over good manners, decorum and public peace."

When someone is talking on a cell phone at the expense of others around him (such as in a restaurant) I sometimes talk back to him as if he were talking to me. They usually get visibly annoyed but I only smile politely and keep talking.
68 posted on 10/15/2006 9:36:03 PM PDT by spinestein (If you think you may be using unlicensed software please call 1(800) GUL-IBLE)
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To: Chi-townChief
This has taken the place of carrying a piece of paper around offices over the whole world to look busy for the boss.

I gotta get one.

69 posted on 10/15/2006 9:50:47 PM PDT by right way right
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To: myprecious
Uh, that was a joke. I've never used a Roomba. But it appears it would do a decent job.
70 posted on 10/15/2006 10:42:00 PM PDT by upchuck (Q:Why does President Bush support amnesty for illegal aliens? A:Read this:
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To: Axhandle

I am like you, I maybe make 1-2 calls per week, and may recieve 3-4 calls per week. I actually prefer not being in contact with the outside world 24-7.

71 posted on 10/15/2006 10:45:18 PM PDT by LukeL (Never let the enemy pick the battle site. (Gen. George S. Patton))
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To: upchuck
LOL. You had me going.

I was hoping you would say the Roomba is great. I want one, but the cost would be a stretch for us now. I have hinted for one several times, but intend to really bug Santa about it this year. Usually it is not a good idea to give appliances, but this sounds like it would make my life easier. Always a good thing.

72 posted on 10/15/2006 11:00:56 PM PDT by myprecious
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To: BP2
Good point. I wonder why they don't come in clear and skin tone colors to try to hide them.

The dorks actually want you to see it in their ear and that is where the rub is. They could make these things small enougn to fit onto the tip of a pin but the "status" would be lost and you'd be hard to distinguish from the DUmmie talking to the mothership as they were walking down the street.


73 posted on 10/16/2006 5:07:27 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If a pug barks and no one is around to hear it... they hold a grudge for a long time!)
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To: KyHammer

In NorthTexas they're "Ghetto Phones".

74 posted on 10/16/2006 5:10:28 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: sonic109
She has that Michael Jackson look a bit.

By Jove, I think you'e got it!!! We always knew that MJ was trying to turn into a white woman; now we know which white woman.

75 posted on 10/16/2006 5:14:32 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Spaceballs ping. I loved that movie!

76 posted on 10/16/2006 5:17:19 AM PDT by winner3000
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To: raybbr

And to think, I went to high school with her...(and she's over 40 too...).

Good ol' Sandy Bullock.

77 posted on 10/16/2006 5:24:44 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: LukeL

Likewise. I actually hate the idea that I can be reached 24/7. Even if you turn the damn phone off, it gives people an excuse to say, "Why don't you answer your phone?" I finally gave my cell to my sister, and I don't miss it in the least.

I also hate talking on the phone in general and, as a guy who is still playing the dating game, cellphones make it far too easy for gals to willingly give you their number. You don't even have to ask anymore—they practically shove it down your damn throat and expect you to call "anytime".


78 posted on 10/16/2006 5:27:27 AM PDT by Mark-in-Kentucky
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To: Axhandle
These things make it a lot more difficult to discern who is sane and who isn't.

You're the first person I've seen who's noticed that. Most people I mention that to haven't noticed it.  How do you not notice that these devices are destroying tens of thousands of years of learned human behavior?

I can't stand bluetooth devices specifically because it's now so much harder to figure out who you need to cross the street to avoid.  The first time I ran into someone blathering away on a bluetooth device I was literally startled. 

These things piss me off to no end.

79 posted on 10/16/2006 5:35:11 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: myprecious

Amazon often has good deals on reconditioned roombas in their outlet:

Just make sure you get the one that plugs itself in to recharge. It's worth the extra money.

Warehouse stores will also often have them on sale.

80 posted on 10/16/2006 5:37:36 AM PDT by Eepsy
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