• Fri
  • Apr 18, 2014
  • Updated: 9:13am

Geek chic back in the closet as old ties bind

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 12:00am

These are uncertain times. The gloating supremacy of the Specky Techie is under threat.


Where will it all end? To find out, Lai See sent one of her myriad secret agents on a mission to New York.


Those Yanks have always been a step ahead of us on the e-tail front, so we reckon we can make out the shape of things by seeing what's up over there.


One debriefed spy later, the future looked bleak.


It seems all that 'geek chic' business is no more.


Their time ended when the high speed tech drive finally went that few clicks over the limit and hit a wall of bricks.


Good bye, 'cool' names. Hello, cruel ones. In the Big Apple these days, net nerd jokes are flavour-of-the-month on late-night talk shows and stand up comedy stages.


We suspect it's only a matter of time before Hong Kong follows suit. So if you've recreated yourself in the image of Richard Li, you might want to regrow that hair, ditch the back pack and fish your ties out of the trash.


We're also told New York is seeing a lot of reverse migration as cyber space nomads return to earth.


Forrester Research is predicting that 25,000 out of 30,000 e-tailers will be going bust over the next year. So it's no surprise that droves of ship-jumpers are slinking sheepishly back to their old economy jobs.


New Yorkers even have a special term for these people. They're known as 'The Boomerang Gang'.


Wonder what they'll call the phenomenon when it hits Hong Kong? Maybe something like: 'CloudEVision', 'Tom.Coming and Going' or the 'Li-volving door'.


Funny to think that Motorola is in the communications business.


One journo trying to establish communication with the communications firm failed to rouse any human beings at the end of Motorola's press inquiries line.


Deadlined and desperate, he rang the 'Motorola Personal Communications Services Centre'.


A live voice answered. Saved! Please put me through to the marketing department, said he.


No can do, said the voice. But it did offer to take down his details and pass them along to the unconnectable department.


Unsatisfied, he instead asked for the marketing clan's number.


Said the voice: 'Sorry I don't know what that is.' Fine, said the journo. Just give me the number of your main switchboard.


But it turns out Motorola's main switchboard number is some sort of company secret: 'I'm not able to give out that information.' Our hero then hung up and applied his talents to a few minutes of intense investigative journalism.


Success! He managed to track down the oh-so-confidential number of Motorola's switchboard.


Big with triumph, he dialled. A machine answered.


'All lines are busy. Please hold or call back later.' He held.


When the machine reached it's second cycle, his options had narrowed: 'Please call back later.' He held anyway.


With the third cycle came: 'Goodbye.' There was a click. Then the lines of the communications firm went dead.


Kind of makes you hanker after the golden days of smoke signals and the tom tom.


We've been following with concern the Malaysian kidnap saga.


Lai See is a keen diver, so it worries her to discover that a day of innocent fish spotting can end in a hostage taking featuring mystery gangsters.


But a Sipadan tour operator assures us there's really nothing to worry about.


He washed up on TVB last night, informing viewers that everything is quite safe. This was merely an isolated incident, he soothes. It's safe to go back in the water. Trust me.


Given the speaker's name, Lai See has trouble taking his those-mauraders-are-gone-and-everything's-under-control assurances all that seriously.


He's called 'Mr Lawless'.


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