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SMALL, BUT NOT BEAUTIFUL

WEBWATCH

Microsoft should by now have launched the Origami computer, a cross between a tablet and a PDA. It doesn't fold and, boy, does it need a makeover by a designer like Apple's Jonathan Ive. But there is even smaller around.

Last week Apple boss Steve Jobs launched the beefed-up Mac Mini - that tiny bit of squared up quicksilver with a slot. Also last week Taiwanese firm AOpen, which last year launched an almost exact lookalike of the Mac Mini, came up with a design all of its own. Pity. It has all the design qualities of a bubble-pack toy, including two-tone translucent blue and silver plastic with silly flat bumps.

Jobs had whipped the computer press into a frenzy of speculation about last week's launch. The reality was the faster Mini and an iPod speaker. Was the media ever cross. But the gods have been watching and Jobs has just been bushwhacked by America's heritage guerillas.

According to Bloomberg's financial news feed, at www.bloomberg. com, Jobs wants to demolish a 30-room 'prized example of Spanish Colonial Revival style'. 'Nooo', say the busybody heritageers.

But they can't make him repair the now-uninhabitable house. And Jobs can afford to wait. And wait.

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