This morning I am unable to decide whether I ought to be appreciative of Gauri Nanda, the graduate student at MIT who has given the world "Clocky." It is an alarm clock that resists the desire of its owner to remain in bed by running away. How it works:
"When the snooze alarm is pushed, Clocky rolls off the bedside table, tumbles to the floor and, thanks to shock-absorbing materials and rubber wheels, races away from the bed. It bumps into objects, repositions itself, and eventually comes to rest in a place far enough away from the bed that its owner will be forced to get up to find it when the alarm sounds a second time. A built-in microprocessor randomly programs the clock's speed, distance, and routes, so that it won't land in the same spot twice."
She has designed to be covered with artificial fur, she says, so that it ''is supposed to remind you of a troubled pet that you love anyway." But her thesis project is more ambitious: sensors in people's handbags to tell them what they forgot.