Today though I found something that not only managed to impress me, but make me actually want the technolog. Via the Joel Reddit, here's "Creative Mess on your Desktop".
I actually laughed out loud a couple of times during the video segment - it's that cool. It's pretty much precisely how I envision my dream-desktop working; in boring old real life, I "stack" icons into little piles all over the place and generally make a lot of marginally organized chaos - just like my real desk. This tech takes physics simulation and abstract UI tools to bring the metaphor one step closer to life - hell, it's even better than life: when was the last time you pointed at a pile of documents on your desk, said "sort by type," and had them all break into neat little piles aligned on a regular grid? Didn't think so.
For all the hype around "radical" and "innovative" UI technology, I personally usually find it a waste of time; the tried-and-true stuff is good enough to keep using, and often the benefits of the "new" tech are marginal at best. This, though, looks like it has some genuine potential to enhance the way we use our computers - and you don't have to be Tom Cruise in the year 2649 to use it, either.