Remember the wave of dot-bomb failures? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
I looked at the calendar and realized two things: First, Valentine’s
Day is upon us again. (Sorry, Auntie is taken). Second, Mr. Bill is giving
us his token of love in the form of the Visual Studio .NET, due to ship
Feb. 13. As exciting as this is, Auntie wants you all to promise to take
your sweeties out to dinner on the 14th—the new toys will still be there
when you get back.
Along with VS .NET, of course, we’re going to see a bunch of new Web
services launch from a variety of vendors. Web services actually let you
manipulate objects over the Internet, without those pesky firewalls getting
in the way. Isn’t that keen? Now it’ll be even harder to keep the drones
from getting to sites they shouldn’t visit during working hours. You can’t
hardly block port 80, can you? But I digress. Here at Casa de Pea, I spend
much of my time keeping in touch with the industry, and I’ve been deluged
with hot tips about Web services to come. Here’s my personal list of “Web
Services That Will Not Get My Investment Dollars.”
MyServant.NET: If you’ve already gone the X10 route and automated
your home, this is the next logical step. With the MyServant.NET Web service,
you can instantiate an object in Schenectady to represent the light bulb
in your garage and then send it commands to turn on and off. The system
interacts with your X10 controller by using a satellite to beam commands
to a specially equipped wireless PDA that you plug into the system. You’d
just better hope your Internet connection doesn’t go down while you’re
trying to turn the lights on.
DMV.NET: Sign in with your Microsoft Passport to renew your driver’s
license! At least, that’s the theory. When I tried to test the service,
all I got were timeout errors. (Not too much unlike the real DMV, now
that Auntie thinks of it.)
MyStars.NET: With this service, your SOAP request for a date with
any of the top 50 leading men and ladies in Hollywood is automatically
translated into a fan letter and faxed to the appropriate agent. The stars
will personally write their answers (yeah, right), which will then be
keypunched in by offshore operators. The last time I looked, there were
something like 83 million requests of you, so don’t count on a last-minute
Valentine’s date with Jennifer Aniston.
Mattress.NET: Don’t stuff your cash beneath your mattress any
more! Attach a U.S. Treasury-approved paper shredded directly to the USB
port on your computer and feed the money in. It’ll be translated to an
electronic funds transfer message and stored on Microsoft’s “Hailstorm”
servers. You can then see a simulated picture of your safely stored cash
on any Web browser whenever you want to check on it.
DDOS.NET: Never let it be said that the Black Hat community is
behind the technology curve. Once you install the DDOS.NET client, it
can be turned into a zombie ready to bombard CNN or the White House with
packets with a click.
My Grocery List.NET: With this Web service, you can add items
to your grocery list any time you think of them. Then you’ll have anytime,
anywhere access to the list while shopping. Well, at least, you’ll have
access once every shopping cart in the country is equipped with a wireless
Web browser. Uh, yeah.
MCP.NET: Finally, it’s the advancement you’ve all been waiting
for. Point your Web browser at the MCP.NET site and you’ll be able to
take certification exams in the privacy of your own home. Of course, you
have to install the right hardware: a credit card terminal to take your
money, biometric retina and fingerprint sensors to identify yourself,
and of course a Webcam so that the test proctors can keep an eye on you.
That’s not a problem, is it?
Em C. Pea, MCP, is a technology consultant, writer and now budding nanotechnologist who you can expect to turn up somewhere writing about technology once again.