In the wake of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Paul Roberts had an insightful comment in IT World on all the electronic gadgets which promise to change our lives.

His basic messages is: Be sceptical of all the "smart" devices, and what information they record, how that information is used, and how your privacy is protected. Furthermore, he points out, that even though some of the products might give the initial "wow" reaction, both for yourself and friends, the day-to-day use might turn really annoying. Think "MS Office Clippy" of the 90s, or your "intelligent" refrigerator in the future.

Roberts concludes, "As is often the case with the headlong race of technological advancement, the true consequences of decision today to knit this technology into the fabric of our everyday lives will take years -if not decades - to understand".

So rather than running out to get the latest shiniest gadget, let somebody else be the early adopter, let them run into the initial bad design and bugs, and high prices. By all means, be curious, but be patient first, and, if it turns out that an "online" refrigerator really does do something useful, and is worth the investment, then consider it, maybe.