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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Sniggertrance  
  The state of a person receiving a call mediated by a Taprisiot; interiorized consciousness accompanied by spastic, jerking body movements.  

This item is really a side-effect of technology, not the device itself. You don't want to take a Taprisiot call just anytime. Taprisiots make real long-distance calls possible.

Furuneo was his name. Alichino Furuneo. He reminded himself of this as he rode into the city to make the long-distance call. It was wise to firm up the ego before such a call. He was sixty-seven years old and could remember many cases where people had lost their identity in the sniggertrance of communication between star systems.
From Whipping Star, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Galaxy Publishing in 1969
Additional resources -

A sniggertrance makes me think of the sort of state you get into when making extended telephone conference calls. Your eyes unfocus; your ears get moist (from being held against the phone) and your neck starts to hurt.

There was a lot of interest several years ago about people driving while yakking (DWY); it appears that we have moved on to other concerns. Most of the concern seems to center around the physical problem of handing a car and a phone at the same time (watching the road and dialing a phone, for example). However, it is a fact that you can verify for yourself the next time you are using your cell phone in your car: you are less aware of your surroundings when concentrating on a phone conversation regardless of whether you use a standard instrument or a hands-free arrangement. As Ellen DeGeneres says, "If you need both your hands free, don't you think your brain should be involved, too?"

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Whipping Star
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Whipping Star
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

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