Lost Packets – April 1, 2005

Meet PERSI, your office Internet personal trainer

PERSI is on a mission to help prevent repetivite strain injuries in office computer workers. She is an animated character and the creation of Denny Rudy the co-owner of the Regina-based software company PRSI Software Inc. Every hour for five minutes PERSI will talk to workers through their computer and teach them personliazed exercises to prevent repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition to developing this program, called PRSI Break, Rudy is also a Hellerwork practitioner (“a process of tissue mobilzation that focuses on the repair and maintenance of damage incurred in daily living and trauma.”) To download PERSI at a cost of US$60, visit www.prevent-rsi.com. Or get the CD version for US$72 by calling 1-866-730-7774.

I’ll take insults with my fries

Some clever hackers in Troy, Mich. played one huge practical joke on customers at the local Burger King drive-thru early last year. After placing their orders, patrons were greeted to a variety of insults. These included: “You don’t need a couple of Whoppers. You are too fat. Pull ahead.” In another insult, the hackers told customers the restaurant had run out of food and drink, while some had profanities hurled at them. The pranksters are believed to have hacked into the wireless frequency of the fast food chain’s drive-thru intercom system and staff have since changed the frequency to prevent further embarrassment. So far the culprits have eluded authorities but if caught they face up to three months in prison.

Checking-in for flights from the comforts of home

Tired of long line-ups at the airport? To ease congestion at airports, Air Canada has made travelling a whole lot easier. Effective last month, the Canadian airline expanded its Web check-in service to now include all of its flights departing Canada to any destination in the United States and overseas. This joins online domestic flight check-in introduced last year. To take advantage of this feature, passengers from their home or office visit www.aircanada.com and enter their Aeroplan number or credit card used to purchase the ticket to check-in, select their seat and print boarding passes. When at the airport, passengers with baggage can proceed directly to the Express Baggage Drop-off or those without may go directly to security screening. Web check-in is available 12 hours before a flight and up to one hour before domestic flights. Future expansion includes online check-in for international flights bound for Canada.

The wireless dream home

It is 7,000 square ft. and features over 60 products that showed how existing wireless technologies can make life easier for homeowners. This is the wireless dream home and was part of CTIA Wireless 2005 held last month in New Orleans. It gave visitors “the first glimpse at a truly wireless lifestyle” and allowed them to imagine what it is like to have features like live customer-service assistance through a cellphone when assembling a piece of furniture or cooking the perfect meal by scanning a bar code. The exhibit also showed visitors how wireless technology can instantly order products online, control kitchen appliances and keep a eye on the family home.

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