Sunday, April 29, 2007

The future: Stories and interactivity



April 29, 2012:
Forget the Itoothbrush. That’s so 15 minutes ago. This month’s gadget is the Ibutton, which allows users to scan printed words and images and get sounds into their music players. Folks also use it to scan for Internet addresses, which they can later send into their computers for further surfing.

The technology will soon be incorporated into Iphones and Blueberrries, which folks also use at the grocery instead of debit and credit cards. This year’s killer device combines all into one, which forgetful boomers are calling their external brains. The gadget can even locate car keys, glasses and other easily misplaced items, by sending a signal to the errant thing, which then emits a unique sound.

J.K. Rowling is about to launch her next Harry Potter story despite her best intentions. In this one, Harry is about to graduate from Cambridge and doesn’t know what to do with his life. All he knows is that he can’t become a boomerang child, like many of his peers. Jobs are hard to come by, and parents welcome the kids back because someone has to mow the lawn. Hermione is deciding between med school and a lucrative, rare offer from Goohooazon, which employs all the journalists and techies who haven’t retired.

“I didn’t continue it for the money,” Rowling said. “The characters just would not go away, and I got tired of all those amateurs writing my creations’ destinies and posting them on Facespace and Ourtube and Third Life. They’re my bloody inventions, and I’d like to control their destinies.

“The hard part is that I have to spend so much time in Third Life protecting my characters’ identities. Then I squeeze in writing during my kids’ futball games.”

So it goes for working moms, always. Rowling hired a Third Life assistant for a while, but finding the right person is difficult. All the best candidates are mowing their parents’ lawns or working for Goohooazon.

The professional storytellers learned a couple of years ago that the best oasis was Goohooazon, since it had a business model for making stories pay. Some free newspapers still exist, designed to work with the Ibutton. They’re owned by Goohooazon, of course, but the best journalists can still specialize in one or two mediums.

Residents of both Carolinas and Tennessee get Internet access at a bargain, only $99.99 a month, because they passed laws for large wind farms to power Goohooazon servers. Some Goohooazon money also supports libraries, which have expanded to serve those who crave access to The Washington Post’s “On Being” series. Goohooazon rightly kept The WashPost brand and the NYT brand alive when it acquired the papers.

So Goohooazon beckons folks like Hermione, because it’s better than working for Wabofia Bank, which found a way to get rid of the word “America” in its name during the last merger. In a time of serial oil wars, its brand was wearing thin.

But medicine lures Hermione too, because some older folks want to implant their external brains between their ears.

Hope still exists.


4 comments:

Andria said...

Oops. I erred. I should have named Goohooazon as Newsgoohooazon Corp.

gercohenJoMC712 said...

"This month’s gadget is the Ibutton, which allows users to scan printed words and images and get sounds into their music players. Folks also use it to scan for Internet addresses, which they can later send into their computers for further surfing."

Andria, that is so YESTERDAY, it was the CueCat, given away by Radio Shack in 2000. It looked like a cat, and read embedded barcodes in ads. You hooked it to your PS2 port.

"For roughly a year, starting in October, 2000, The Dallas Morning News and other Belo-owned newspapers added the barcodes next to major articles (Belo had invested in Digital Convergence)."

"The CueCat's failure to catch on in the early adopter market to which it was marketed prevented any chance of wider acceptance."

"The dream was to connect items in the physical world to the Internet, automatically. In January that dream hit a bump in the road and the servers were taken offline. They will scan again... If you have a Cue Cat, save it. The patents and technology created by Digital Convergence will again be available for business and consumer use."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuecat

A. T. Kelso said...

I just knew J.K. Rowling was fooling herself by saying this book was the last. I just knew it! Thanks for the update. :)

serena fenton said...

I remember the CueCat - in fact, I think that I still have mine! I never did get to use it tough. They were obsolete before any ads came out in the magazines that I read!

For some images, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat