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All this technology and still a morning commute

Charles Bierbauer

By Charles Bierbauer
CNN Senior Washington Correspondent

December 13, 1999
Web posted at: 10:33 a.m. EST (1533 GMT)

This news analysis was written for CNN Interactive.

musings at the millennium

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Note to editor: I'm writing this from home on a Sunday night.

Note to self: Is that a good thing? Or bad?

I may just spend the next millennium at home. I've got faxes and phones and the Internet. I've got e-mail, e-commerce, e-this and e-that.

I can reach all the dot-coms, dot-orgs and dot-govs I pretty much need to do most of my work. And of course, I've got The New York Times and The Washington Post delivered to my driveway -- except on rainy days when the papers are always soaking in the grass. (Editor's note to writer: You'll remember these papers are online, too.)

I can save commuting time, shaving time, dressing time. I can work in jeans, sweats, shorts or pajamas, and just slip on a coat and tie to sit in front of the computer's mini-camera for 15 seconds of face time for my TV reports.

I can use that time to increase my productivity. Or to rake leaves, coach my son's baseball team and play video solitaire.

Of course, all this strikes me at times as a virtual house of cards. As technologically wonderful as this new age of computers and communications is (most of the time), it is also a conundrum.

more musings

Congress and the courts have scratched their heads, but barely scratched the surface of confronting the need, or desirability, for regulating the Internet.

For example, would Congress and the states, if they try, be regulating commerce or information? And can the courts or Congress extend their traditional geographic jurisdiction to global communication? Who decides?

The justices of the Supreme Court, where I hang out, may be the last best Luddites in the land. They're not going to e-mail me their answers. I'm going to have to go in to work in the morning. I'll be there about 9:30 if traffic's not bad.



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