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Back to the future


The latest advancement in scary Internet technology is a piece of paper and a pen! According to Wired magazine, the Swedish company Anoto has generated Internet paper and something called the Chatpen. Here’s how it works: Each piece of paper is digitally encoded with tiny dots. An optical sensor is implanted in the tip of a pen. As you write, the Chatpen’s sensor meets with the dots on the paper, and this sends the chicken-scratched message just about anywhere that receives communication service. All you’ll need to do is check a "send as e-mail" or "send as fax" box and off it goes — you’re connected to digital lines without touching a keypad or clicking a mouse once. In three years, the product is supposed to be sold to several name-brand paper and pen companies including Cambridge, Bic and Mont Blanc. The sheet of Internet paper might be a subscription card in a magazine, a loose-leaf from a college-ruled notepad or an itsy-bitsy yellow Post-It note. Paper and pen may return to rule the written word. And they all said we’d need computers. For more info, log on (at least, for now) to What grabs your attention? E-mail

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