• U.S.

Your Technology Jun. 14, 1999

2 minute read
Anita Hamilton

HAVE PHONE, WILL TRAVEL If you like the idea of a global phone but can’t afford thousands of dollars for a bulky satellite model, Ericsson’s new I 888 World ($299) might fit your budget, and briefcase, a little better. Using the newer GSM cellular network, the 6-oz. phone works in 48 countries, from Iceland to Indonesia, and bills international calls at $1 to $2 a minute. A built-in infrared modem lets you send e-mail wirelessly from one of the many notebook computers equipped with an infrared port. The glacial 9.6-kbps transmission rate, however, billed by the minute, can be a drag.

BARBIE STRIKES AGAIN As if there weren’t enough Barbie paraphernalia already, HP’s Apollo division has unveiled the first Barbie-theme printer, the P-1220, in “mist gray with glitter pink accents.” When released in July, it will come with Barbie Magic Hair Styler software and heart- and flower-shaped decals. Unfortunately, the $80 printer is not much more than a pretty face. It prints a sluggish 1.5 pages per minute in color, or 3.5 pages in black-and-white. At least kids will have something cute to look at while they wait.

MODEM CHASTITY BELT The folks at Tel-Lock understand how hard it can be to trust your kids when they’re online. So rather than ask you to monitor Internet use in person, Tel-Lock provides a special telephone jack that locks with a key to block any incoming or outgoing calls. At $20 a pop, replacing all your outlets with Security Jacks (available at telephonelock.com could be costly–especially if one of your kids needs to call 911 someday. CEO Calvin Flowers calls the Security Jacks “foolproof.” Hmm.

–By Anita Hamilton

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