stream of real news and breathe a deep wistful sigh. If only. That's our reaction to this Smart Finger "distance measuring device," which combines the natural human urge to measure things by eyeballing them with the ruthless precision of electronics. Data is obtained by beaming a signal from one of these thimble-shaped finger straddlers to the other and calculating how long it takes to traverse the gap between the two. Then you can get fancy by storing distances inside these silicone shells' built-in memory and using them to work out the volume of a given three-dimensional space. Top marks are also earned for the integrated design that means the two parts fit into one curvy little device. If only, indeed.