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How to cheat death by swizzle stick
TECHNOLOGY. Yeah, it's all very pretty and makes lots of cool noises, but what has it done for us lately? Sure, computers help us with stuff like business, education, medicine, defence and so on, but has it actually done anything really useful?
No, it hasn't. Well, not until now, that is. Thankfully, Heineken, the company that brought us beer and - uhhh, well, that's enough really - is using technology for its most important purpose: getting us drunk. Imagine this scene. You are in an unfamiliar town or city, possibly attending a conference called Data Mining: It's Really Interesting, or Using Paradigms to Create Synergy, and you are in the mood to take in the local nightlife.
You step into an establishment called Knifey Dave's Last Night of Your Life Bar and Grill, unaware that this is the place where local hoodlums and low-lifes accumulate, keen to sample Knifey Dave's famous Complete Coma cocktail.
Ignorant as you are to these facts, you innocently start a conversation with one of the regular patrons, which soon descends into an argument as to whether Dick Sargent or Dick York made the better Darrin on Bewitched and before you know it you are gasping your last breath after being impaled on one of Knifey Dave's particularly vicious swizzle sticks, with a cocktail umbrella jammed in your eye for emphasis.
And even worse than being dead is dying without being able to finish your drink.
This tragic, all too common, scenario is a senseless waste of human life, not to mention beer. But now all this horror can be avoided with a new system called BarTrek, available in 15 locations around the world, including Australia.
Using a Palm III or higher, you can connect to a GPS system that will work out where you are and give you information on local bars, such as the opening hours and what sort of people frequent it, as well as a map to help you get there.
So, for instance, on your conference, you could read the description of Knifey Dave's as a pub that "hurts more than just your wallet and your head" and decide to give it a big miss, or at least not butt into the Better Darrin discussion.
And frankly, that's the second most useful thing we can think of to do with the the 24-satellite navigational system originally developed by the US Department of Defence. The most useful thing that a GPS system could do, of course, is help get you home after you've been to the pub.
Tabled to inform those demure types yet unresolved to venture out from the bunker & rejoin the fray, suitably attired with gizmo naturally.
Regards from Down Under, Southern Hemisphere, via GPS satellite ...
-- Pieter (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 03, 2000