karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

A Happier New Year

A while ago, jongibbs ran a post that included a list of things he would do if he ruled the world. Alas (or maybe just as well?), I don't think it likely anyone is going to put me in charge of the world any time soon. But I would like to see some changes, so I'm going to start 2010 by listing a half dozen things I would like to see invented, preferably sometime soon. Keep in mind that I write spec fic, so I'm not one to limit myself to a plausible reality.

Item 1: A way to make spam cost money to produce
Spam is so much worse than junk mail because it costs nothing per copy. A junk mailer only sends paper advertising when he thinks there is some chance the person receiving it will bite. A spammer doesn't care. If he has to send 20,000,000 emails to get 20 people to respond, that's fine. This is why I, a female, get ads for devices to enhance body parts I don't have. Over and over, I get them!

Item 2: A magazine eReader
Magazines are dying left and right, and I think technology could save them if we had an eReader that had the look and feel of a magazine (i.e., it was opened up to show two side-by-side 81/2" x 11" color pages) with excellent battery life, wireless connectivity, and the ability to fold into a much smaller size (about what a Kindle or a Nook is now). It would help a lot if it wasn't too expensive. Hey, it's a lot easier to do than Item 5!

Item 3: Driver simulation training
Traffic is terrible where I live, and one reason my daughter still doesn't have her license is the high percentage of Type-A drivers around here (the A in this case, stands for a body part). They tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, and otherwise scare the hell out of new drivers, all in pursuit of a few seconds advantage. It would be really nice to have a virtual realty training program that let a new driver practice maneuvering without actually risking life, limb, and collision insurance rates.

Item 4: Fantastic low-calorie foods
I know there are people who rhapsodize over the taste of celery and carrots. I am not one of them. I have nothing against either vegetable, I just happen to think both of them taste better with a generous dollop of dip (French onion, spinach, whatever). Fooling nature has proved to be trickier than expected. Most diet food either tastes bad or (in the case of artificial fats, for example) it has an unfortunate effect on the human digestive tract. What I want it Beef Wellington that has the same taste and texture as the real thing but the same amount of calories as poached cod. I want a hot fudge sundae that has the calories of a small apple.

Item 5: Wormhole/transporter technology
I don't buy the Star Trek transporter idea, where it takes you apart at once end and put you back together at your destination, but I would not mind being able to open a wormhole to Arizona, or Boston, or Mexico or any of the places where I have family or friends living. My brother lives in Richmond, only 120 miles away, but that 120 miles is mostly spent on the Highway to Hell, otherwise known as I95. It would be nice to see the people I care about more often. I suppose until then I should investigate Skype.

Item 6: A way to exercise while asleep
If you think about it, this is a logical solution to more than one problem. What don't we ever have enough of? Time. What don't we get enough of in consequence? Sleep and exercise! We solve both deficiencies with some kind of bed that waits until you're asleep and then gives your body a workout. And after all, what's the first thing you do when you wake up? Take a shower! Well, why not when you've been working out all night?

So, what's on your list?

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