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Weekly Wide Web

Wi-Fi and Your Washing Machine



There's much about technology that's truly amazing. This weekend, I was traveling back from California while playing videos on YouTube over a cell-phone connection in an attempt to entertain my kids for a few minutes—an idea that would have melted my 10-year-old brain, when the only option to see music videos on demand was to dial a 900 number and request something from The Box TV service via UHF.

Still, technology will never be fully satisfying until we're living like The Jetsons. (And even then, who knows?) The space-age family had flying cars that folded up into briefcases; everything was automated; and the troubles of our previous Industrial Revolution-based existence were washed away.

I don't know if they had a washer and dryer that were operated via an iPhone app. If they did, that aspect of their spectacular future has finally arrived ... but why?

I really do enjoy my phone and the world of possibilities it provides that I largely ignore while playing Tiny Tower, but I've never really felt the need to control the spin cycle of my washing machine with it. However, that's exactly what Samsung is offering on some of their front-loading washers. Thankfully, there's also some other technology involved that reduces the time it takes to wash things; otherwise, this would seem like just another attempt to tie everything to an app, whether it actually makes life better in some way or not.

I don't think I need to pause my washer via iPhone ... but maybe that's just because I didn't dream quite big enough before.

The week on The Range

We followed the news after the Tucson Unified School District board shut down the ethnic-studies program; introduced you to candidates participating in Project White House, including Al Perry, who attracted the attention of Rachel Maddow and Fox News; followed the latest salvos in the battle of Steve Kozachik vs. the Rio Nuevo Board; cringed at the latest attack on Arizona's poor by Republicans in the state Legislature; looked at some photos from the Fund for Civility concert at the Fox; were amazed that Jan Brewer lifted the block on medical-marijuana dispensaries (sort of); let you know that Jonathan Paton is eyeing a congressional seat again; watched with chagrin as the Jan. 8 shooting became a political football; let you know that Bob Barker has offered to help the Reid Park elephants; and talked about the State of the State with Paton and Rodd McLeod on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.

We drooled over a feast to be offered by Roma Imports; dedicated ourselves to the study of bourbon with David Chang; ate chicken-foot soup in Peru; sighed as a plant in Dublin, Texas, was forced to stop making Dr. Pepper; celebrated the opening of Playground; tried to figure out what Taco Bell was thinking by taking on Chipotle; planned to start drinking out of canning jars more often; and thanked People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for the nice bouquet of flowers.

We suggested you purchase tickets to see St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs at the Rialto; marveled at the video effects from a 1996 Bon Jovi cover; thought about what a car-free Congress Street would be like; watched a new video from Brian Lopez; posted another Michael Kiwanuka clip; talked to Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters; and asked AMC not to make a Goodfellas TV show.

Comment of the week

"Steve nails it ... again. Maybe if the million bucks were spent on 'professionals' instead of lawyers, some developmental progress would be noted by now". commenter "Cranky Cowboy" is frustrated with the Rio Nuevo Board ("Kozachik vs. Rio Nuevo, Round 37," The Range, Jan. 15).

Best of WWW

Our new set of college interns has started, so you'll start seeing new names in the paper itself and on The Range. As part of their assignments here at the Tucson Weekly, they're responsible for a multimedia piece every few weeks. Inevitably, the interns are generally looking for topics to cover in video form, so if your group, organization, band, store or whatever deserves a few moments of local YouTube-based fame, please let our Web producer know (—and we'll see if we can get an eager journalist of the future out there to capture whatever it is that you have going on.

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