In a story on this week’s On The Media, the guest pointed out that Apple’s Newton was a flop due to its poor handwriting recognition. It would have been easy enough to let the point pass, but it got me thinking. With all of the energy put into handwriting recognition over the various generations of products — from the Newton, to Palm OS with its “graffiti”, to the Microsoft tablet PC — today’s premier hand-held devices don’t even bother. Instead of a stylus, we use touchscreens and on-screen keyboards or miniaturized keys. Has handwriting recognition ever become a significant or valued feature in consumer electronics? Perhaps it was just not a worthy idea in the first place.