The Next New Thing


Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 26, 2004 at 11:17 p.m.

Get the news from a watch

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Suunto's new n3 wristwatch is among the first wristwatches to receive a steady stream of news, weather and other info via Microsoft's new MSN Direct subscription service.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Suunto's new n3 wristwatch is among the first to receive a steady stream of news, weather and other info via Microsoft's new MSN Direct subscription service.

Despite its 2.2 ounce heft and $300 price, the n3 appears to be a first-generation product that really works.

Before you strap it on your wrist, you'll have to charge the n3's lithium-ion battery, for about five hours. and the watch won't do anything but tell time until you register at direct.msn.com. From there, you can sign up for stories on breaking news, business, entertainment, sports, health, science and technology from The Associated Press, Reuters, MSNBC and Space.com.

Provided you use an Outlook-equipped Windows computer to manage your schedule, you can send appointment reminders to the watch.

From the Weather Channel, you get current temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, a three day forecast, sunrise and sunset, wind speed and direction.

Park hands-free

Parallel parking is designed to be a breeze with the Intelligent Parking Assist system, part of a new $2,200 option package for Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius gas-electric hybrid in Japan.

Some 80 percent of Prius buyers in Japan have opted for Intelligent Parking Assist. Then again, Japan is famous for narrow streets and cramped lots where squeezing into spaces can be a blood pressure-raising exercise.

In the United States, by contrast, there's generally plenty of room for no-sweat parking and so it's unlikely Toyota will offer the feature in the U.S.

Do you know the news?

How up are you on current events? How much do you know about headlines in history? Find out with a news game at the Newseum's Web site, www.newseum.org/newsmania, there also are categories in sports and entertainment.

The "game show" is hosted by Rita Laboutit, and you can pick levels of difficulty. from "intern" to "editor." You have to answer the questions in just a few seconds; otherwise, the game will tell you, somewhat obnoxiously, that time's up. But when you get answers right, you get 10 points plus bonus trivia. Get 70 points and you can print out a personalized "press pass."

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