So Long, and Thanks For All the Laughs -- Don't panic! Noted British humorist and Macintosh proponent Douglas Adams died unexpectedly from a heart attack at a gym near his California home last Friday. He was 49 years old. Among his many proclivities (he had built barns, worked as a bodyguard, and played guitar with the rock band Pink Floyd), Adams wrote the classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, which began as a BBC radio serial and also spawned graphic novels, record albums, a play, a computer game, and a television series. Adams had been recently working on a feature film adaptation of Hitchhiker's for Disney. Although Adams didn't try to write predictive science fiction, his works engendered a surprising collection of Internet and pop culture terminology (such as the name of AltaVista's BabelFish translation service), and his fictional Guide - envisioned long before the Web - could be described as a galaxy-wide online collaboration system. Tributes from friends and fans are being collected at Adams' Web site. [GD]
Type an em-dash on an iPhone
Typography and punctuation geeks rejoice! It's easy to type an em-dash on the iPhone's or iPod touch's virtual keyboard. To do so, tap the .?123 key to switch to the numeric keypad. Then touch and hold on the Hyphen key to reveal a pop-up strip showing an em-dash. Slide to the em-dash and release your finger.
Note that this basic trick works with many other keys on the virtual keyboard.