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The problem I have with Infospace is will the wireless web live up to the hype? So far, I think the WW has been a flop. A lot of people have bought the phones, but very few actually use the service, and most discontinue it after the free intro period.

I have to agree, Steve. Heck, I'm guilty. I'm probably one of the more techno-gadget happy people you're likely to meet, but the wireless web just doesn't do it for me. If it was free, sure. But at $10/month? Not a chance.

I think what we need to watch are the melding of the Palm devices into the cell phones....While I again, am skeptical of this particular phone's success (see high price tag), the idea is a good one.

The price tag really isn't all that high. A co-worker of mine purchased one. It was $499. That's just $100 more than I spent for my Palm Vx (this was a while back, I know). To get it all in one device. I think it's a pretty cool solution. Personally, I'm waiting on the Samsung SPH-I300, which adds a color screen.

This convergence of the two devices makes a lot of sense to me. My company develops for the Palm. And if we can put our app on the phone and be able to transmit without any extra cables or having to worry about phone incompatibility, it's a huge benefit. It's also a big benefit to me personally, being the gadget geek that I am, so I don't have to carry around both my phone and my Palm. Works well. Of course, there are limitations - I don't try and do everything from that device. It's got purposes, just like my desktop. There are differences between the two, and a lot of the convergence talk I've seen seems to want you to believe that there isn't. Certainly the way that Microsoft is trying to go. Who the heck wants Windows on a handheld device?!?

When it came to the Wireless Web, I found myself looking up the occasional phone number on my Yahoo! account, because I didn't always carry my Palm with me. And I looked up a movie showtime or two. But that's about it. There just isn't that much out there that makes it worthwhile to me.

Now if I could pay bills with the thing, that would be awesome! Imagine having your ID securely coded in the phone/Palm. Then you could just wave it at the pumps as you gas up. Let it talk to the register when you check out at the grocery store. That's a killer app. I just don't see that much data out there that you need access to. Rather, you can use the device as an ID tool. As a GPS device. A data collection terminal. Remote access to applications, perhaps. Lots of stuff. But looking up phone numbers and surfing the web and doing email or SMS just isn't going to happen in any great numbers, I don't think.

Incidentally, Palm has demonstrated a secure ID-type initiative already. I was unable to dig up a link, but it was a few months ago at a show of some sort. They had the Palm talking wireless (Bluetooth, perhaps, I don't recall) to a Verifone-type payment processing device. Cool stuff.

All my opinion of course... but the more people I deal with who have these devices, the more I think that others think similarly.

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