Hello Anywhere Sure, there are cheaper ways to make international calls than to plop down $3,000 for an Iridium phone. On the other hand, even with satellite problems, it looks as though Iridium World Communications Ltd. will indeed offer the first telephone system that gives you one number that works anywhere in the world. If you were among the VIPs who got one of the first 2,000 handsets on November 1, then you're probably one of the "traveling professionals who need comprehensive, reliable global wireless communication [with] the convenience and immediacy of cross-protocol roaming and satellite calling capabilities," as Iridium's propaganda neatly puts it.
Now, it's also true that visitors to oil drilling rigs and places like the Kirghiz Republic where the Dime Lady has never been have long had this thing called an Inmarsat terminal for calling the office, but it's big and bulky and even it doesn't work everywhere without a hitch. It's also true that there's the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless standard, but an American GSM phone won't work in Europe unless you buy a dual-band phone which is still kind of clunky.
Besides, only the Iridium phone comes with the extra-cool International Telecommunications Union mark (first ever!) that is supposed to tell customs officials to wave the thing through without documentation.
To find out who your regional supplier is, visit www.iri dium.com or call John Windolph in Washington, D.C. at (202) 326-5626.
A Sucker for Cool Take a look at this lollipop. No inks or dyes create the image, simply millions of tiny grooves one micron high that have been cut into the surface of the pop. It's a hologram. Since hitting the market early last year, these high-tech suckers have been customized for, among others, the MIT Technology Review; the science television series "Nova," and the New York Times (a giveaway to advertising agen- cies when the newspaper finally incorporated color into its pages).
The Holopops are available in two-inch and three-inch sizes; come in two flavors, blue raspberry and red strawberry (more flavors are possible for orders of more than 10,000), and are individually wrapped in mylar pouches. A customized 2,000-pop order costs $2.75 per pop, and takes four to six weeks for delivery. For more information, contact LightVision Confections, based in Cincinnati at (513) 469-0330, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them on the Web at www.lightvision.com.
Honey, I Shrunk the Office left it at the office." Who doesn't hate to say those words? It's like saying your dog ate your homework. Face it, it makes you look pathetic. Well, fellow knowledge-worker, the good people at Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, Mich.--the people who invented the office cubicle--have solved the "left-it-at-the-office" problem. They've created an office to take with you, called the Puzzle. No, this is not a piece of software for your laptop. It is a real office, with desk surfaces, storage, places for the coffee cup from your last convention, a lamp, a marker board, and yes, even a mail slot. For reasons known only to its German designers, it does not come with a chair.
Beyond that, though, it has all you need--even a 15-foot extension cord for its various electrically powered components. The whole thing weighs 300 lbs. and is designed to be easily shipped, set up, taken down, and shipped again.
At $6,948 it's not cheap, but you'll never leave anything at the office again. For more information, visit www.hermanmiller.com.