There's only one thing in the news today more important than Tetris DS with its NiWiFi multiplayer block-completiongasm.
Now, I am not one to trust the stock market. AFAIK, to anyone but type A and type B, it's merely a professional looking gamble. In fact, the Chinese word for operating on the stock market is "wan" which translates literally to "play." How's that for an admission. Type A are people who spend every waking second knowing the going's on of the industry, the business, and the health of the nation, and can edge their investments past the border of profitability. Type B is the the type who makes his broker rich by trading on every other down and up. When they get lucky, they call it skill and intuition. When they take a loss, they call it bad luck.
So you can understand then, given my abhorrence for the investment "pretense" we find amongst wall sharks, that it was a major decision for me to put even a dime last year into Motorola (nyse: MOT). Big M is doing so-so, slightly under-priced, decent company backbone, growing market share after finally making decent phones for a comeback. On the other hand, they have a history of losing their brilliant minds, and their key employees don't seem eager to invest in the company itself.
Enough money talk. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking we know where MOT is going. Why did I buy? Well, since the invention of the lightbulb, the PC, and the cell-phone, nothing has really infiltrated into our everyday dependency. Every year, gadgets try desperately to escape the power strip nursery we created them for. Two things on the horizon will change that.
E-Ink. E-Paper if you will. It seems rather unglamorous at the moment, but it will revolutionize the white collar pantheon. It will become a new force in the Unified Theory of Advertising Relativity. One day, you will eat out of cereal boxes that play cartoons on them. You'll have multi-page post-it notes, self-updating billboards, posters you can order tickets from, T-shirts that change logos, postcards that show home videos, and an umbrella that flickers when it knows there is rain this week. Forms, brochures, pamphlets will all have tutorials built into them, and the 1040EZ will calculate as you write. My business card will host my demo reel.
And you thought e-Books were a big deal. Holographic displays are not the future.
You might be thinking of going to E-Ink.com right about now, but rest assured, they are privately held. But their list of partners reads like the who's who of the future of entertainment.
While these subtle improvements to your life waft in, a scent stronger than silicon will wake you up one day. A battery. A real battery, one that lasts all day under constant use. Or one as thin as a business card. One you can even cut in half if it doesn't fit in your wallet. Will that not be the one salvation to the bindings of this technomania? Only Motorola knows. There isn't a single gadget that wouldn't date-rape a TRUE long-life battery though.
Scotty told me too look out for diabetes and hearing loss on the medical front. He's dead right, and the epidemic is looming. Am I a little selfish to wish for the day a 24-hour iPod leaves half the boomer's babies deaf? For my investments' sakes, I'll leave that unanswered.