Smart Appliances



With plans in full swing for the appliances of tomorrow--from
networked water heaters to refrigerators that order groceries--
we consumers must prepare for the inevitability of these sci-fi
devices in our everyday lives.

But smart appliances may do more than save time. Our top ten
reasons to dread them:

1. Over the limit: The bathroom scale keeps telling the fridge
to stop ordering food.

2. Tattle snooze: Your smart pillow talks to your PC, which
emails your boss with a message that, yep, you've overslept

3. Brand name: Not only does your stovetop grill know when
steak is cooked to your exact specifications, but it sears a
nice flying Windows logo onto each side.

4. Buying on spec: Sunglasses combine UV protection with real-
time stock quotes, but laugh maniacally when you approach
margin calls.

5. Car talk: Your dashboard computer insists on making blonde
jokes about your driving.

6. Rotten sense of humor: The perky "kitchen assistant," an
animated onscreen spatula, keeps calling your mobile phone
and asking, "Is your refrigerator running?"

7. Lack of privacy: Your mailbox keeps asking why you get so
many plain brown packages.

8. No dim bulbs: Your lamps are so full of bright ideas you
have to pay for their MENSA memberships.

9. High maintenance: Your appliances secretly open a joint bank
account for repairman kickbacks.

10. Anticompetitive practices: Your Microsoft coffeemaker
monopolizes the countertop.