GIVE ME YOUR WIRED The Ellis Island Experience ($39.99) is a new CD-ROM that documents the immigrant experience of that famous portal to America, from the chalk marks put on the coats of those with health problems to the Austrian woman who thought the Statue of Liberty was a statue of Columbus. It's a story that deserves to be retold in every medium, and it's told well in this one.
WRITE AID Until now the worlds of paper and silicon have been irreconcilably separate. No longer, thanks to a clever doodad from Seiko called the SmartPad ($199). The SmartPad looks like a shmancy executive portfolio, with a seemingly ordinary pad of paper on one side and a port for your Palm PDA on the other. Whatever you write on the pad instantly appears on the screen of your Palm. You can even save your scribblings as an image and e-mail it. For bad handwriting, however, there's still no cure.
E-VESDROPPING The FBI is drawing fire from civil-liberties groups for snooping on e-mail. Agents have been using a device with the not-so-appealing code name Carnivore that monitors all Internet communications to and from a suspect in an investigation. The FBI uses Carnivore only with a court order, but the A.C.L.U. claims that its legal status is still murky. Attorney General Janet Reno has agreed to look into it. Maybe if they just renamed it "Herbivore"...
--By Lev Grossman