According to a Wired magazine article, UK vendors Vodaphone and Radio Shack both gave away netbooks to customer who sign up to wireless data accounts.

"... Computers are developing the same economics as mobile phones. Hardware is becoming a commodity. It is difficult to charge for."

It was hard to imagine a mere decade ago that tangible, real, physical, see touch smellable hardware could be so quickly reduced to a mere incidental giveaway.

"what people will pay through the nose for - is the ability to communicate."

It comes back to the soft stuff. The intangible but oh-so-desirable stuff. The relationship conversation social stuff.

Tangibles are easy to quantify. Social people stuff is now suddenly important to quantify.

Perhaps the tangible tools and technologies have never really been all that important. What mattered more was what they let us do socially. A mobile phone’s value as a fashion statement is probably more important than its technical specifications!