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Salvation for a Chronically Late Adopter

Two weeks ago, I blogged about my inability to recognize how new technologies would change my life for the better. I typically wait years to adopt things, then do so grudgingly, only to find within days that I don’t know how I ever lived without them.

I asked our readers to offer suggestions about my next life-changing technology. The enticement: a signed copy of Freakonomics, a Freakonomics yo-yo, or a Freakonomics fact-a-day calendar to the winner.

One thing I learned from this exercise is that I’m not so far behind. Among the great suggestions that I already own and love are satellite radio, noise reducing headphones, a fancy carpal tunnel-reducing keyboard, and a high-end laptop.

There were also some suggestions that I had tried and either abandoned or didn’t get excited about, like HDTV, text messaging, and the George Foreman grill.

This blog post, however, is brought to you courtesy of the winning suggestion from blog reader Joon: a wireless card for my computer that enables me to access broadband Internet service wherever there is cell phone service. (Actually, an assist goes to Dubner, since I wouldn’t have understood what Joon was talking about had Dubner not explained it to me.) Riding in a taxi at five o’clock in the morning on the way to the airport, here I am hooked up to the Internet, able to write this blog entry. If it weren’t for Joon’s suggestion, I’d be sleeping instead — perhaps happier and less car sick, but unquestionably less productive. Joon has changed my life. We will see whether it is for the better or the worse.

Honorable mention goes to Randy, who suggested It is a Web site that builds personal radio stations based on your music likes and dislikes. I’m not sure it will change my life, but it sure is a lot of fun to see what song will come on next. I turned it on just now, and the first song it played (even though I hadn’t specified on the site that I liked this particular song or band) was my single favorite song, “Dakota,” by Stereophonics. I was suitably impressed. A signed copy of Freakonomics (or one of the other prizes) for Randy also.

Thanks to everyone else for the great suggestions. I suspect it won’t be long before I have GPS, multiple computer monitors, an all-in-one washer dryer, and VoIP.