Even before Steve Jobs made the bold prediction that new formfactors such as tablets would eventually replace the PC, there’s been ample evidence that the landscape of personal computing is radically changing—and mobility is a driving force. Just look around at all the folks carrying smartphones, the massive growth of the netbook sector, and yes, the phenomenon that is the iPad. Even your most hardcore PC power-user is finding a need for these smaller, more portable computing devices in his or her life. Whether the growing proliferation of these gadgets spells the end of the desktop workhorse PC is arguable, but change is definitely afoot. But hardware is only half of the story. Applications are evolving, as well. They have to. Smaller, slimmer, more lightweight devices necessarily entail more modest resources, e.g., less processing power, less storage. Enter the cloud, aka the Internet.
With the recent hullaballoo over the dangers of talking on the the phone while driving, we couldn't help but be reminded of a real-world experiment our sister publication Mobile ran way back in February 2005 about the very same issue. Using noted drinker Roger Hibbert as a guinea pig, they headed for the hallowed grounds of our local Malibu Grand Prix, carrying a phone, a stopwatch, a Breathalyzer, and bottle of 100-proof Absolut. Our goal: To find out if our subject could stay on the road while besotted or blathering. Our results will shock you to your very soul. Naturally, the tests are completely un-scientific, but it's a funny read, and the results are sobering (a-ha!) so we thought we'd repost it here for your consideration. Enjoy!