Lying on the shoulders of giants

In this business, things are often not exactly as they seem.

A Calgary company on a mission to create seamless tiling for flat screen monitors once demoed what was supposed a four monitor array. It was in fact a single large-screen plasma TV. But boy, was the tiling seamless.


the Slightly Beyond Our Control desk comes confirmation in the mainstream media that the art shop that produced the packaging for the latest version of Corel Draw actually designed it in Adobe Illustrator. (That’s probably not as ironic as it sounds – I’d bet a substantial sum that most PC software ads are designed on a Mac.)

Perhaps is pushing the envelope, though. The company says it’s developed revolutionary cell phone technology that allows the creation of disposable, $30 cell phones with 60 minutes of air time. (Though why anyone would be willing to pay $2 a minute for cell traffic on a disposable and thus untraceable phone is beyond me – maybe there’s a hint in the word “”traffic.”” Hmm.)

Where was I? Oh, yes. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, promotional samples of the Hop-On product, when cracked open, turned out to be Nokia 8260s. Which, I am sure, are very serviceable products, but hardly proprietary, unless you happen to be Nokia, which Hop-On is not.

This, of course, is fodder for any number of analogies. It’s like cracking open your Handspring and finding a Palm inside.

How about Hewlett-Packard demoing a new printer that turns out to have a Canon engine inside? Or for that matter, a Ford with a GM engine?

I opened up one of the new iMacs. I found it was a Westinghouse 60-watt table lamp. (Ouch.)

Smarties in your M&M box? A Big Mac wrapped as a Whopper? Send your analogies to me at [email protected]. Best one wins whatever cheesy demo software we have lying around.


Reuters reports that Mitsubishi has developed a smart glass that signals wait staff when it needs refilling (beep).

The iGlassware mugsh are coated with a clear … where wash I? Oh yeah (hic) … a clear condugting material (beep). They, uh, shend a radio signal to mobile devishes carried by the, y’know, the people who bring you drinks (beep). Look, I never shaid it was a good idea. Quit twishting what I say. You are alwayshh in my face like thissh (beep). You wanna piece a me?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a technology journalist with more than 15 years' experience. He has edited numerous technology publications including Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Computing Canada and eBusiness Journal. He now runs content development shop Dweeb Media.

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