New Yorkers may be intrigued by Nike's new iPod-enabled sneakers, but there's plenty of snickering in Paducah.

Conventional wisdom holds that high-tech haves and have-nots are separated by disposable income, but the chasm is yawning ever-wider between people living in metropolitan areas and those in micropolitan areas -- the federal government's name for what used to be called "small towns." Even as broadband penetration narrows the much-discussed digital divide of Internet access in cities vs. rural areas, it's being replaced by a broadening technology product gap.

Visit any big city to witness white wires dangling from ears and hordes of BlackBerry-thumbing executives in restaurants at midday. But don't expect a similar scenario when strolling by the Main Street lunch counter -- even though those diners may well afford those same devices.

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