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This week's buzz word is product design. OK, two words. We all know what product design means. It means Charles Eames, Alessi, Braun, Philippe Starck - that sort of stuff.

But did you know it also means the work of some computer geek charged with the task of 'ensuring bestpractice product development'? According to last week's Computer Weekly, a bloke who recently got a 'product design' job at Boots had previously been in charge of applications architecture and design. Where is the ARB? And, possibly, the Design Council? Old Sottsass would be turning in his grave were he not still alive.

Mac users - actually, everybody - can have a good laugh at http: //tinyurl.com/29mlxm or http: // tinyurl. com/3a23o2.

These are the winners of an Intel design competition for the sexiest small computer with an Intel chip. The cruel irony is that the winner got a million bucks to develop and market the thing. Aaargh.

Intel is running the competition again this year.

But since it's for an Intelbased computer, like the Mac Mini for example, couldn't they just give the prize to Jonathan Ives and spare us this year's horror?

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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