Tech Treats, Hard and Soft

There’s a new tech product in the offing that you might like to know about.

When, in the last 40 years or so, has that line not been true? Commerce, posing as news or progress or pleasure, has insinuated itself into every nook and cranny until every crook and nanny has a pretty heavy jones for technology, hard and soft. This is, of course, a blessing (and a reprieve?) for our market economy which, not that long ago, seemed on the point of exhausting itself in the creation and meeting of every (then) conceivable nuanced need. Now that a new land lies before us we see one technological solution after another hit the stores declaring an intriguing problem we didn’t know we had. Vibrations at the office, touch screens in the bedroom, earbuds in company, maps that don’t need folding…

Of course it’s the holiday season that has me not dyspeptic so much as dispirited, perhaps. But this stream of tech is the eau de vie, the uisge beatha, the little water that we all swim in now and I only slip beneath the (electromagnetic) waves for short periods, weighed down by the seasonal freight. For good or ill this head of mine’s a bobber and has been since the days when radios could be taken apart like bicycles and chemistry sets were legal. So up I come to say…

There’s a new tech product in the offing you might like to know about.

bug.png

Fortunately it’s not on the market yet, so you can have the luxury of priceless contemplation. It’s called BUG. And it’s more hardware than software, with little of the Apple shine and more of the old Heathkit feel — a Lego for Geeks. The notion is simple and cool: a small (palm sized) unit is a cpu running Linux and fitted with numerous slots into which a variety of tools can be plugged, things such as cameras, GPS systems, LCD screens. It’s a do-it-yourself thingamabob. Even better is the fact that it’s hackable and meant to be so. A couple of screws and the back comes off. Make your own add-on bit. Mix your own app.

It’s better to see what I’m saying. Scoble has three videos of an interview with the makers that will give you a much better sense of what’s new and different about BUG: video 1, video 2, video 3.

As a coda to this bugfest, it’s worth noting the tech chain that brought this news to you: Scoble’s phone took the videos; he put them on his website; announced it on Twitter; I watched on Safari; and am blogging it on Slaw; which will, all by itself, announce the post on Twitter, whereupon…

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