'Did you hear...'

Don't Bogart that Blackberry. Researchers at the University of London Institute of Psychiatry say a recent study found that constant interruptions from e-mail, text messaging and phone calls lead to a temporary 10-point drop in IQ. That's twice the IQ fall-off found in people smoking cannabis, they said. Researchers tested 1,100, ah, users for the study, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Co., and determined that such distractions make the brain more tired and less focused. Based on observations around the office, they also seem to give people the munchies.

Text-to-bark. A mobile-phone operator in South Korea has come up with the latest Internet Service You Don't Need'in this case, an electronic service that will interpret your dog's bark for you. Just sign up for the service with KTF Corp. via cell phone, enter data such as your dog's breed and age, and then let the service record the dog's bark. You'll get text messages informing you that your dog is happy or sad or whatever. And when your Web connection's down, you can just revert to using your Magic Eight Ball.

But can you read their writing? A London hospital took the next step in distance medicine last week with the debut of two 'robot doctors.' The five-foot robots, controlled by a joystick, can consult with patients in their rooms, regardless of where the doctor is. A camera-LCD screen combo lets doctor and patient see each other, and the system can retrieve and display medical records. Give us the cure at buzz@postnewsweektech.com.

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