Wired is as wired does

    Consumer Reports News: March 15, 2008 09:08 AM

    It should come as no surprise that people attending a conference called GPS Wireless 2008 are a pretty connected bunch. After all, they make their living at this stuff.

    Attendees spent an inordinate amount of time messing around with their BlackBerries and laptops during presentations, and one piece of the canned welcoming speech from our host seemed hopelessly out of date – especially with this crowd.

    "Please turn off your cell phones and pagers" can probably be struck from the script, now that it's been 12 years since the first of these conferences was held. Even the event organizer had to pause for a moment after uttering that line.

    "Does anybody even have a pager anymore?" he asked.

    Nobody answered. They were all hunkered over, tapping away at their smart phones.

    The point was driven home by the moderator of the opening panel discussion, who began by inviting attendees to text message him with questions for the panel. His number was prominently displayed on two giant screens for everyone's convenience.

    OK, kids, fire those phones back up. At least he didn't ask anybody to page him.

    For me, it is now time to unplug, at least until I head off with the CR Cars team this Wednesday to provide continuous coverage of the New York auto show. (Not to worry, we do have more GPS news coming to the blog soon.)

    How did we get by in an analog world?

    Jim Travers

    For more information on portable GPS navigation systems, see our Ratings and buying advice and watch our video guide. Discuss GPS devices in the forums. 

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