Google Calendar, Cell Phone Users, Pet ID Tag and Digital Audio Books

There is a lot of talk about a new web service called Google Calendar. With Google Calendar you can add events and invitations and share your information with friends and family like other calendars but it also has a Gmail integration component and some other unique features.

According to the AP-AOL-Pew Research Center mobile lifestyle survey 29% of cell phone users said that they could NOT LIVE without their cell phone! And, apparently, all 29% are in the same movie theatre with me when I go to a movie! When the house lights dim and I see several small lights in the theatre I know that people cannot detach themselves from this technology. Don’t get me wrong – I like my cell phone but I’m not obsessed. I’m one of those rule-followers who promptly sets my cell phone to ‘silent’ before the movie starts. I always liked that ad before the movie with ‘cell phone guy’ (turn off your cell phone reminder) who used his phone at all of the inappropriate times. Now, my local theatre has, once again, switched hands so they no longer show the ad. I often found the cell phone guy ad better than the movie!

By the way, the same 29% also drive in front of me or directly behind me while on the way to the theatre and after leaving the theatre! When someone is on my bumper, more often than not, they are on a cell phone.

A couple of interesting tech items I came across on the web are the
Pet ID tag that is a 64MB mini USB drive
that attaches to your pet’s collar and playawaydigital books.

The pet ID tag/mini USB drive is $39.95 and a cool idea. Put your contact information on the drive and attach it to the collar. However, I paid about $9.00 for a tag with my dog’s name and my phone number engraved on it. The technology gadget folks will love the idea of a mini USB drive and probably pay the extra money but they had better hope that, if their pet runs away, a tech-savvy good Samaritan finds Bingo or Fluffy so that they will know how to use the drive.

Playaway sells self-playing digital audio books. Really, there are no CDs, cassettes or downloads involved. You pull a tab on your Playaway digital audio book and that activates a battery. Then you plug in earphones and push the ‘Play’ button. The books are pricey ($35-$55) but the convenience may be worth it to some folks on the move. The Playaway website offers several suggestions for how to share your digital audio book once you have finished it. Some suggestions are: give it to a friend or relative, hook it up to your home stereo so that your family can listen, donate it to a children’s hospital or nursing home and hook it up to your car stereo for a road trip with friends.


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