It was the virtual reality book; the one that got made into a movie. The only thing that's stayed with me was a passage where one character looks at another and says : "We have all this whiz-bang VR stuff and what do we do with it? We build virtual filing cabinets." Which is what I thought of when I read the following :
Why not take a web service that gives today's TV listings, for example, and combine it with a system that searches Google for details of the casts of each of the films. Then use another to order a pizza, to arrive just as the first advertising break starts? All from a few lines of simple computer code, and a bit of imagination, web services not only make this possible, they make it easy.
I'm not trying to diss Ben who by all appearances is a clever guy; nor do I disagree with the overall thrust of his article. But it says something, I think, that these are the first things we think about doing with all the cool-ness we suddenly have at our disposal. Is your life really that complete -- or empty -- that you need to worry about whether the pizza arrives during a commercial? Am I so lame that I can't figure out for myself that the milk has gone bad? And if you never leave the house anyway, who the fuck cares if your toast(er) tells you it's raining?