Sublime and Not

First, the sublime: I heart the iPhone. Just look at it! It's like a space-ship! That you use as a phone!

Now, the not: At CES, Bill Gates had a very important announcement.
Our ambition is to give you connected experiences 24 hours a day.... And in thinking about that broadly, one area that comes up that clearly demand [sic] special work, and that is thinking about connecting to the car...

But the car is special. You've got to have things that are simple. (like a computer)

And so we've been investing in this, and we've had a very key partner who's been willing to pioneer this with us, and we're just making a significant announcement in that overall vision today. And so to help me with that, I'd like to welcome Mark Fields, the president of the Americas for Ford Motor Company, to join me on stage. (Applause.)


BILL GATES: Welcome, Mark.


MARK FIELDS: The new thing is a fully integrated, voice activated, in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players...

So what Synch does is it totally integrates like never before all of your electronic devices, like your cell phones, Zunes, iPods, all the things that are in your pockets when you get in your car, right into the vehicle, and seamlessly...

Yes, what a good idea. We should let Microsoft get its tentacles into our cars. It won't be long before the following joke doesn't make the software guy look bad:

Four engineers were driving a car. There was a chemical engineer, a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, and a software engineer. Suddenly, the engine died and it coasted to a stop on the shoulder.

"Must be vapor lock", said the chemical engineer.

"The distributor's probably shot", said the electrical engineer.

"The timing belt broke", opined the mechanical engineer.

Then the software engineer spoke up. "Look, everyone calm down. Let's just get out of the car, then get back in and start it back up."

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