Technology: (Mis)Adventures In Cyberspace

After donning headset and glove, one may discover that the promise of "virtual reality" is more virtual than real

I'm floating in the azure sky high above Seattle. Down below, amid orange skyscrapers and forest-green mountains, the city's Space Needle -- a relic of the 1962 World's Fair -- juts up like a metallic blue mushroom. A ferry is steaming across Puget Sound, while a playful killer whale spouts and dives below the vessel's bow.

I am the master of this brightly colored universe -- or at least I'm supposed to be. By pointing my index finger and cocking my thumb, I can swoop down among the skyscrapers. I can wheel by the Space Needle, close enough to hear the...

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