Never one to miss an obvious literal-minded publicity ploy, Intel has put a wireless-enabled Tablet PC in a surfboard. It's so you can (ho ho) surf the Net while waiting for the next wave, you see. And, to our everlasting pride, it is British.
This is the first time such a thing has been done (and we confidently predict, the last). It is also probably the least portable portable computer devised, putting even IBM's early efforts in the shade (if you know different, get on over to our forum and tell us).
The board has been launched (literally we assume) to coincide with this weekend's GoldCoast Oceanfest surfing and music festival in Croyde North Devon. Intel is sponsoring the festival, and providing hotspots on the beach. After this, we suppose the thing can only be used in hotspots at Starbucks or McDonalds, which should raise some eyebrows.
There are some obvious problems with the idea. How are you going to read the screen in direct sunlight? No wait a minute, the festival is this weekend, in Devon so that's all right (you have to go to Cornwall for the best sunshine as we all know). If there is any sunshine, the solar charger will power up the batteries, anyway.
As you would expect, such a wild and crazy (not) idea is being promoted by a wild and crazy guy. Step forward, international pro surfer Duncan Scott. "As a professional surfer, explorer, writer, film producer and world traveller," said the modest chap [surely he left out brain surgeon, diplomat and Buddhist Zen master? - Ed], "being able to communicate quickly and effectively is critical to my success." Scott is an "Intel Ambassador", meaning he uses the image of surfers as cool dudes to promote the use of Centrino technology (presumably for a fee) - thereby unfortunately utterly destroying the image of surfers as cool dudes.
The PC won't mess up the ride and feel of the board, says its builder, North Devon board shaper Jools Matthews of Gulfstream surfboards. And since it is a Tablet, waterproofing it wasn't a problem. Although we wonder how easy it is not to lose your stylus out in the ocean.
Intel launched a "Wi-Fi chair" last year, which used wires "liberated by the Wi-Fi revolution" to upholster a futuristic-but-ugly clear plastic chair. Not to be outdone, Microsoft last year announced an Internet toilet then tried to convince everyone it had all been a joke.
We on Techworld would never stoop to giving any publicity to such pointless stunts [You just did - Ed].
So, what WOULD you put Wi-Fi in? The sky's the limit. See if you can come up with a suggestion as daft as Intel's suirfboard... or maybe something compelling that no-one else has though of yet. Tell us in the Forum.