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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by ziggy (25) on 2003.03.23 15:25 (#18226) Journal
    The applications of directional sound go quite a bit beyond messing with people at strip malls, important as this work may be. Norris is enthusiastic about all of the possibilities he can propose and the ones he can't. Imagine, he says, walking by a soda machine (say, one of the five million in Japan that will soon employ HSS), triggering a proximity detector, then hearing what you alone hear -- the plink of ice cubes and the invocation, ''Wouldn't a Coke taste great right about now?''
    Actually, I've been waiting for something like this for over a decade now.

    Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth wrote about this exact piece of technology in that marvelous piece of pulp fiction from the 1950s, «The Merchant's War.» In that book, Mokie Coke machines had these "hyptnotic advertisement zones" in front of them that projected an ad and a post-hypnotic suggestion to whomsoever happened into them. It was just enough of a suggestion to get you to want to drink a can of Mokie Coke. However, the vending machine only sold six packs. After you drank the first can, you had enough of a craving to finish the sixpack. After you finish the sixpack, you became a life-long addict.

    What was in Mokie Coke? Only the finest extracts (and most addictive) of cola, coca, cacao, opium, caffeine and other such sources of bodily goodness. :-)

    Even though it was a classic piece of Sci-Fi pulp from the golden age, I still remember parts of «The Space Merchants» and «The Merchants War» quite vividly. I'd bet dollars to donuts that Elwood G. Norris read these books as well.