Tag Archives: cell phones

Phone troubles? Call now!

I tried to email Verizon through the wireless website about a problem with my LG POS. I selected my topic from the drop down menu…

Topic: Phones and Accessories
Subtopic: Phone is Not Working [sic creative capitalization]

…and was presented with this:

While there’s little I can tolerate less than bad customer service—perhaps the most valuable business tool there is and the easiest to way to get and maintain customer loyalty—I find the meta-irony of these instructions endlessly amusing.

Thank you, Verizon, the aloof, elusive hipster of wireless communication.

Best Intextions: That’s Not My Name Edition

More strange and awkward misapprehensions from the world of text messaging. This time we take a look at some common misnomers…

Do you have a friend name Brian? I do. And when I text him my phone makes an ethnic assumption. I type 27426 and it gives me Asian. Well, I guess there  are probably way more Asians in the world than Brians.

If I want to write to or about my friend Andy, before I can get to his name my phone offers me Body. There’s something creepy about it that I’ve never been able to put my finger on. Speaking of body parts, when I check in on my little bro I get arm.

My buddy Robbie tells me that when he tries to write to a girl named Karen, by the time he punches in the “e” his phone assumes he’s writing Lard. Here’s hoping you don’t have a fat friend named Karen.

And nine times out of ten, when I try to write the name Kev it comes out Jew. It’s just a typo, but I got this mad jewy friend named Kevin and it cracks me up every time. Ha. Jew.

Best Intextions: A First Look

Long before Google Suggest and the Google Game your cell phone was trying to read your mind. Predictive Text, or T9, employs algorithms of spelling and common usage to help you skip all the button-pushing of old school 1-for-A, 2-for-B texting by suggesting words as you type. It creates a suggestion hierarchy — most likely candidates are listed first. For instance, hit 4-6-6-3 and your phone will suggest “good” followed by “home,” “gone,” “hood,” and so on.

Developers for the various manufacturers and carriers use different algorithms to predict what you want to say and the order in which words appear. Sometimes the sequence of suggestions makes you wonder what the hell they’re basing their math on.

Here’s a first look at some of the more entertaining and questionable predictive text suggestion progressions in a new series called “Best Intextions.”

Best Intextions: Howl it Know?

#1: Wolf
#2: Woke

Really, what are the chances more people are texting about wolves than about waking up?

Email  your favorite T9 text missteps to UnhappyMediator@gmail.com.

Once Upon the Cutting Edge

Last month Wired started a new blog, Wired Reread, wherein they look back at ads and articles in old issues. Some, like the beauty above, are pure gold. Ah, MiniDisc. I remember my friend’s older brother had a MiniDisc player. I thought he was so hip to the new technologies.

And there’s the AT&T ad from March of 1995, which includes this prescient copy:

In the future no matter where you are, the nearest phone will be close at hand. Miniature. Wireless. Small enough to wear on your wrist. Yet powerful enough to reach anyone. Anywhere in the world. The strap-on telephone. The company that will bring it to you is AT&T.

Got most of that right. I’m a little uncomfortable with the “strap-on” part, though.

And will we ever be able to thank Motorola enough for loosing us from the shackles of fax stacks? Imagine, you would be swimming in those half-glossy curled sheets right now. The horror.

[Via Gizmodo]

It separates us from the animals — by 160 characters

While we’re on the subject of kids… Dispatch from a 4th grade science class at the elite Ramaz School in New York City.

Teacher: What are some important things we couldn’t do without opposable thumbs?

Student: Texting!

The ortho Jewish school is tentative on the subject of evolution, but surely regardless of how we got these useful digits it was all part of Hashem’s master plan. And God said unto Abraham, “Text me after sundown.”

Related: Chatspeak Shows No Effect on Spelling, May Improve Haikus.

The Reluctant Technologist on the LG enV3

For all its pros, the enV2’s slicker younger sibling has got plenty of cons. Read on for the good, the bad and the just plain weird.

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Over-diversification: There’s a Zagat for that

Dear Zagat,

Please stick to what you’re good at….

zagat cell

I really don’t need to read about cellphone carriers with “spotty service,” customer reps who “can’t tell incoming from outgoing” and don’t “speak English,” and “lame apps” that “don’t stand up” to the “iPhone.”