July 29, 2005 While there is more information readily available than at any other point in history, there is not much information that is really need-to-know-NOW. Sitcom TV, indeed 95% of the entertainment delivered by real-time wireless audio and video services (formerly known as television and radio) can be painlessly time-shifted, even archived , until a convenient slot in your schedule appears. In the grand scheme of information that is time-critical, there’s news, sport, weather and traffic reports with the latter two high on the list of things you don’t know that can hurt you. In 2003, 51 US urban areas experienced more than 20 hours of delay per rush-hour traveler – 20 hours of wasted existence. Traffic reports have traditionally been one of the stronger drawcards of morning television and rush-hour radio but as wireless information services become more sophisticated, we’ll be able to see exactly what the situation is on the roads between here and there on our handheld. Which is why Palm’s announcement of Traffic for Treo Smartphones is important – it’s a glimpse of the wireless connected future – and it’s available in ten cities now: Atlanta, Baltimore/DC, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
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