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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 15:17:47 PDT

Eugene Leitl asks, echoing Tomwhore:
> I've been abstaining from comments on this whole WAP craze, but what
> can it be good for, given size-dictated dinky displays and keyboards
> in cellphones?

The question, "What is a 40x90-pixel one-bit-deep one-square-inch
display good for?" is rather similar to, "What is a 1-MIPS computer
with 4K of RAM good for?", which was a popular question in the late

The answer is that a 40x90-pixel one-bit-deep display is not good for
nearly as many things as a 1600x1200 24-bit display, but it has
compensating benefits. For example, I can carry it everywhere.

You can put roughly 13,000 times as much information on the bigger
display, so you can use it for more things.

But there are lots of applications for these tiny screens:

- asynchronous notification of particular events; preferably
  ten words or less. Examples: calls at your office number, stock
  changes, servers going down at your office, important email arriving,
- quick access to particular well-defined bits of information: Is
  Alaska Airlines flight 7248 on time?
- somewhat-less-quick access to somewhat-less-well-defined bits of
  information: what's new on Slashdot?
- sending one of a well-defined set of responses to queries, or sending
  numeric responses to queries: will you be late, yes or no? Buy,
  sell, or hold this stock, and how many shares? What's John's phone

Unfortunately, WAP sucks for all of these.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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