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E-gad – IBM's got a name for something and it doesn't have "e" in front of it. It's called "pervasive computing" and although it's nothing new this is the first time it's been demonstrated in the UK. Allegedly. "Pervasive computing is about enabling people to gain immediate access to information and services anywhere, anytime, without having to use a standard PC or a modem," said Mark Bregman, worldwide general manager for IBM's pervasive computing division. "However, while mobility and wireless technology are a big part of it, it's really about making computing personal. (So, does that mean personal computing has been impersonal up until now? - Ed). "Thanks to the explosive growth of the Internet people will soon expect to be able to engage in Web-based activity effortlessly," he said. The best examples of this so far were the Screenphone that gets you onto the Net in a fraction of the time it take to boot up a PC. As its name suggests, it has a screen and a phone as well as a keyboard and it is a Web browser. The other was a V-Class Mercedes kitted out with a wired office in the back. This digital optional extra will cost you a whopping £7,000 on top of the price of the car when it becomes available in September. That said, they were both quite neat and just the thing for boys who like nothing more than fiddling with gizmos and gadgets. Uh –oh – we spoke too soon. It turns out that pervasive computing is in fact part of IBM's e-culture vision. E-f**k. ®

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