If you thought that emoticons were the same in all languages, you’d be dead wrong. Just check out the differences between English emoticons and their Japanese equivalents courtesy of Wired’s handy English-to-Japanese emoticon cheat sheet.
I guess this makes sense, since in sign language, American English is pretty different from British English.
Telepresence is going to be huge someday. It looks like MIT’s MeBot is the latest in telepresence robotics, which allows you to feel more like the person you are talking to is in the same room as you – assuming the person on the other end of the line looks like a robot.