Letter From Comdex: Cool Gadgets, Cold Industry

Comdex, the annual computer-related geekfest in Las Vegas, may be going the way of the dotcom bubble. Crowds are dwindling, and those who did show had to look harder to find the cool gadgets. But the gadgets were there. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates unveiled Smart Personal Object Technology, which allows refrigerator magnets, travel clocks and other tiny devices to update you on news, sports and weather via a wireless Internet chip. Gates is also pushing Smart Displays--thin, $1,000 computer screens you can take with you around the house and write notes on, as you would with a tablet-style PC.

Meanwhile, Fossil...

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