But theres another, darker reason for Microsofts Aura fantasy. And thats advertising. You know as soon as you enter the store, a little "helper" app will wake up on your scanning computer. And instead of getting Phreds opinion, youll get Charminsthinly veiled as Charmaine from Sheboygan, probably. And the last thing I need is some nasty spyware bot discovering that, in fact, I prefer Cottonelle. Once upon a time, the dream was to have an Internet-connected refrigerator that knew when the milk was going sour, or the eggs were low. That idea passed on about the same time WebVan did. But now Aura wants to resuscitate the dreamthis time at the point of purchase, and probably to benefit advertisers, not you and me.So Aura, let me introduce you to the Cue:Cat. Youll be getting to know each other quite well out there in the dead product-concept graveyard.
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Just as Im pretty good at figuring out when to buy more milk or bread, I know Im qualified enough to make my own decisions in the store tooespecially when it comes to low-value consumer products. If Im buying a computer or TV, I check in with PC Magazine or Consumer Reports before I go. Even better, like with my recent plasma TV purchase, Ill research and then buy it online.