It's a week before Christmas, and I haven't even begun shopping yet, so this wish-list is being crafted under deadline pressure. I figure if I can do some last-minute scrambling, so can you. Please do your best to deliver the following when you visit my place:
• I'd like you to find a way to get rid of spam, scams and online shams forever. I know it's a tall order, and whoever pulls it off will be the hero of the virtual world forever, but it's worth a try. Yes, there are myriad companies that rely on their abilities to snuff out the latest online deviants, but can't something be done to make it easier?
• While you're at it, I'd like you to help enlighten the computer-user universe to the benefits of switching to Apple Macintosh computers. Twice this week I heard stories of previously dyed-in-the-wool Windows PC users joining the world of Macs. These folks are friends of mine who for years have pooh-poohed the very thought of making the change.
The final straw in each case came when family members who happen to be Mac advocates (aren't all Mac users in this group?) got their resisting loved ones to experience the difference. Besides, the Mac offers the potential for the best of both worlds; their processors can run Windows XP side-by-side with the Mac operating system. Now that Las Vegas boasts two Apple stores, the opportunity to test-drive a Mac is greater than ever.
• While we're talking switching, please get more folks to stop using Internet Explorer and switch to Firefox or Safari. The Microsoft browser is the No. 1 target of online evil-doers and the other browsers are not only more secure, but also easier to use.
• How about accelerating the mobile industry in the United States? According to industry insiders, we're about two years behind Europe and as many as six years behind Asia. It's true that many teens, and even preteens, are using their mobile phones as a lifeline to the information they need and want, but their parents need to get with it, too.
Mobile commerce is in its infancy here, and will soon reach toddler status. Carriers such as Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are doing their part to introduce new mobile features like shopping, video and Web browsing, but the adoption rate needs to be put into overdrive.
The Apple iPhone and all its surrounding hype has helped move the needle a bit, so how about making it even better, cheaper and easier to use with any carrier?
• Finally, I'd like to see ink-jet printer cartridges become cheaper than buying a brand-new printer. There are alternatives to paying full-price for refills, but something is wrong when printers are disposable.
Thanks in advance, Al.
Share your Internet story with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.