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It's final... I give up!

Read below to see why...

Hope everyone has a great Valentines Day!

Josh

__________________

The Coolest Internet Appliance
                     Leander Kahney 

                     3:00 a.m.  12.Feb.99.PST
                     Running low on ice cream? No problem.
                     Just swipe the near-empty bucket across
                     your freezer's bar-code reader and a
                     fresh supply will be on its way. 

                     It sounds like the stuff of 1950s Popular
                     Science features, but a British company
                     on Wednesday unveiled what it is calling
                     the first Internet-connected fridge. The
                     ultimate information appliance can be
                     used to order groceries over the Web,
                     read email, play games, or watch TV. 

                     Due on the market in early 2000, the
                     Electrolux Screenfridge is a standard
                     Electrolux Bluprint fridge with a 13-inch
                     LCD touch-screen and bar-code scanner
                     built into one of its doors. 

                     The device invites appliance owners to
                     scan near-empty jars and milk cartons
                     that are running low, and add them to a
                     digital shopping list. The list would then
                     be beamed over the Internet to a grocer
                     selected by the consumer. 

                     Depending on the shopper's preferences,
                     the groceries can then be delivered, or
                     picked up. The list could also be held at
                     the store with pointers to appropriate
                     aisles for those who still want to
                     experience real-life aisle surfing. 

                     Electrolux previewed the prototype of
                     Screenfridge at the ICL Future Focus
                     Centre in Reading. ICL, a software and
                     services firm, will provide software and
                     network support for the fridge. 

                     Roberts said that pricing had not been
                     set and that the company in the next six
                     months will launch a large-scale trial. 

                     "We're in discussions with a number of
                     English grocers and retailers," Roberts
                     said. "We haven't quite worked out the
                     proposition of whether it's sold only in
                     shops, in specialty shops, or as part of a
                     customer loyalty package from a retailer."

                     Although grocery shopping via the
                     Internet is nothing new -- companies like
                     Peapod and NetGrocer have offered it for
                     years -- Roberts said that ICL is the first
                     company with a serious plan to bring an
                     Internet-connected home appliance to
                     market. 

                     The device will be launched initially in the
                     United Kingdom, although European
                     retailers have also shown interest,
                     Roberts said. ICL also has a prototype
                     Internet fridge based on a standard US
                     model. 

                     Initially the fridge will feature a standard
                     modem, Roberts said, although future
                     models may have built-in ethernet or
                     wireless data capabilities. 

                     "We need to be realistic about what will
                     be out there in 2000," he said. "It looks
                     like phones, of course, but it could be
                     mobile, wireless, cable TV networks,
                     whatever. We're leaving it open."