Forgot lunch reservations? Your cell phone already made them

By Jim Rendon, News Writer

Ever feel like someone else is spending your money? 

Well, soon someone -- or more like something -- else will be. Just as Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers flicks had his half-pint sized helper, Mini Me, you may soon have a miniature helper that will reside in your cell phone. (Now, just imagine Dr. Evil trying to scrunch Mini Me in his pocket).

The mobile-based minion won't help you be more evil, but it will make restaurant reservations and conduct online research for you. It will even learn your schedule and book plane tickets for you.

The technology is being developed by a consortium of wireless heavyweights: Nokia, Vodafone, Sony and the BBC. The agent, which will appear on third-generation wireless phones as soon as 18 months from now, learns behavior patterns and over time is able to anticipate a user's needs. At first, it may ask whether you want to buy plane tickets when a trip appears in your calendar; in a month, it may be booking you a table at your regular Friday night restaurant.

One day, perhaps it'll prompt you to take over the world.

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