NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Gen X style, Gates on trial

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Gen X style, Gates on trial

It appears corporate America is struggling to keep Generation X workers happy. According to a recent survey, Gen Xers change jobs every 1.1 years and are junkies for increased intellectual stimulation, telecommuting and bosses they can talk to. As boomers burn out, companies will be forced to offer lunch break tattoo sessions and encounter sessions with their supervisors to keep employees interested. In the old days we called that abuse; now it's considered a perk.

Bidder suite? Apparently dominating search, email, blogging and parts of NASA aren't enough; now Google plans to take on eBay, Craigslist and possibly the Human Genome Project. Such rumours are fuelled by the brief but tantalising appearance of Google Base, an online database that urged users to create entries on items such as 'used car for sale' or 'a database of protein structures'.

Google isn't saying what it plans to do with the now-inaccessible Base, but when you're trading at more than $US370 per share you can do whatever you please. Let's skip the preliminaries and just rename the planet Google.

The debasement tapes: Video connoisseur David M has offered on eBay an 11-DVD set containing Bill Gates' 17-hour deposition in the US Department of Justice's 1998 antitrust suit. (I understand things get really exciting around hour 13, when Gates shifts uncomfortably in the witness chair and adjusts his clip-on tie.) In news reports, Dave describes himself as 34-year-old guy who still lives with his parents and is selling the DVDs (at $US65 per set) so he can fund a technology company that will one day topple Microsoft. I have a lot of readers like that.

Breast practices: Cringe fans have warmed to the notion of implanting silicon in silicone, as reported here last month. Besides MP3 players, readers Gus Z and Paul S suggest artificial mammaries could be used to house video screens or biometric retinal scanners, since men's eyes are usually glued there anyway. (Not mine, of course.)

Tattoo U: Speaking of tats, I'm getting releases for Tap Tat Daddio's Neo Tat, a tattoo machine that allegedly operates without producing that unpleasant dental drill sound. Personally, I thought the unpleasant part was having some sweaty guy named Olaf jabbing you with a burning hot needle, but what do I know? Hey, whatever keeps the Gen Xers happy.

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