• U.S.

In Brief: Jun. 4, 2001

2 minute read
Lev Grossman

DIAL M FOR MODEM Last week AT&T unveiled 25 Internet pay phones at airports in New York, Atlanta and Dallas. The AT&T Public Phone 2000i has a 12-in. screen, a full-size keyboard and a touch pad. Internet access comes at a reasonable 25[cents] per minute (with a 4-min. minimum), and callers can talk and surf at the same time. No, you don’t get your quarter back if you don’t have any e-mail.

GIRL POWER It’s great to encourage girls to learn about computers, and if it takes a spokesdoll like Barbie to get them interested, more power to her. The Barbie B-Book ($59.99) isn’t a real laptop in any sense of the word, but it has a full keyboard and a pink-and-lavender mouse (with matching mouse pad), and it talks in that inimitable Barbie voice–it sounds like Britney Spears huffing helium. The B-Book comes preloaded with 50 educational games,including Search ‘n’ Spell, Zoo Clues and, uh, Shop ’til You Drop.

AIR MAIL Ever wish you could carry your desktop PC with you–without giving yourself a hernia? One solution is the new AirSpeak FLAIR ($1,985), a flat, lightweight touchscreen peripheral the size and shape of a cocktail tray that connects to your computer wirelessly. The FLAIR displays whatever is on your desktop, so you can check your e-mail or surf the Web from the living room or the boardroom. And when you’re finished, you can serve martinis on it.

–By Lev Grossman

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