Tag Archives: iphone

Resigns of the Times

We’re used to typos. We’re also used to typos our phones make for us. But real life persists, and we mustn’t blithely assume that just because we don’t want to hear it means it’s not the truth.

Sometimes our brothers really are fucking dudes in the supply closet.

[Thanks, LAA]

Best Intextions: Outside Sources

A couple of sites are chock full of hilarious auto-correct text mishaps like the one above from iPhuckups. Another, Damn You Auto Correct, launched a little after, takes contributions. Most come from iPhones. Freaking iPhones.


Google Game: Why won’t my…?

Am I tempted to take this set of results as an opportunity to soliloquize smugly on the fallibility of Apple? To point out the difference between omnipresence and omnipotence? You bet I am. But I won’t. Much.

Considering that people are apparently inclined to turn to Google while sitting in a car that won’t turn over (presumably on their iPhones — and indeed I did watch my traveling companion a couple weeks ago google “why won’t my Ford van start”; it did not return what we soon figured out was the answer: hold the shifter a half-inch above “P” with your left hand while turning the key with the right), it seems fair to conclude that the search engine fields myriad queries about glitches in our most prized and important machines.

And so isn’t it curious that just one of the top ten Google searches aimed to elucidate the causes of malfunctioning electronics regards anything other than an iPod,  iPhone or iTunes? I wonder.

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Google Game: What’s so great about…

Every era has its fascinations, zeigeists that intrigue and often confuse. The most complex or enigmatic of these will persist in popular interest as the ages progress, placing time’s most enduring allurements in fraternity with today’s spurious obsessions.

And therefore we see our fellow man searching for an explanation for the defining strengths of our great nation (or is it?), da Vinci’s beguiling brunette and the whole of Christianity, while also probing the cloud for explanations of the buzziest of current concerns: Facebook, Twitter and Twilight, for instance.

Will Avatar be our generation’s Mona Lisa? When time obscures the context in which the movie represents a monumental step forward for technology and industry, will Googlers of Christmas Future wonder what so ensnared the collective imagination? Will James Cameron’s perplexing smirk make the coming generations wonder what he knows that they don’t? Or will they be too busy downloading pictures of Robert Pattinson to care?

I’m willing to wager, in any event, that Windows 7 will be long-replaced, BluRay gone the way of the laser disc, Twitter and Faceboook reduced to prominent points on an internet time line. And the iPhone will probably be made in America — a great place for cheap labor and manufacturing outsourcing — and shipped to China.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Would Probably Call You a Pussy

Logic leads to advancements, which in turn dictate logic. Why call someone when you can Facebook them? Why scan the street for an address when you can check the location on your iPhone? You could pick up a book on a subject of interest, but instead you’ll search for a few sufficient snippets online. Could you plan a trip without Orbitz or Kayak or Google Maps?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Self-Reliance” in 1841, praising the strength of the individual, the value of unadulterated opinion, and revealing the folly of blind following. In it Emerson provides a poignant vision of technology’s subtle and subversive shifting of priorities and perceptions. More than a century and a half later it is still a vital reminder that whatever our tools and acquired facilities, we must rely, ultimately, on ourselves.

This passage may as well have been written today, about the Internet and cell phones. The message hasn’t lost a bit of relevance — OK, maybe a bit; Kiwis are, today, largely clothed, I reckon:

Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given something is taken. Society acquires new arts and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad-axe and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave.

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber whether we have not lost by refinements some energy, by a Christianity, entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue.

We kneel at the altar of information on atrophied legs. Occasionally it would behoove us to get up and walk around.

AT&T to iPhone Users: Poor Service is All Your Fault

Last week AT&T wireless head Ralph de la Vega revealed that dropped calls and spotty service on AT&T’s 3G network isn’t really the company’s fault: It’s yours. For using your phone in the first place.

Betraying a sinister Obamarxist agenda, de la Vega told the Telegraph that 3% of users account for 40% of the network’s data capacity, and that the only way to relieve the crunch is to dissuade the bandwidth bourgeoisie from using their phones so much:

We’re going to try to focus on making sure we give incentives to those small percentages to either reduce or modify their usage so they don’t crowd out the other customers in those same cell sites….What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock. And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognise that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.

Hear that, paying customers? Quit using all those apps the iPhone is specifically designed to provide you. (Ahem, please continue buying them, just don’t, you know, like use them.) Or else.

Or else what? Well, or else you’ll probably have to pay more — in a structured data plan, say — for service that will inevitably stay the same, or get worse. Or you can switch to Verizon, should they ink a deal to sell iPhones when AT&T’s exclusivity agreement ends. Then you can wait until the current self-proclaimed leader in 3G service nationwide finds itself overwhelmed with app-happy screen-touchers and turns the finger back on you.

In Response to AT&T Lawsuit Verizon Employs Classic You’re-Just-Jealous Defense

Verizon did a bang up job with its There’s a Map for That commercials, lambasting AT&T’s shitty nationwide 3G coverage. So the latter, naturally, sued to get the ads off the air, on the grounds that they mislead the viewer into thinking that if you’re not in a 3G zone you can’t get any service at all. Nice try, but no cigar. Engadget this week commented on Verizon legal’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo rejoinder:

Sure, Verizon’s doubled down on the 3G map ads in response to AT&T’s false advertising lawsuit, but eventually the company’s lawyers had to file a response and, well, ain’t nobody backing down in this one. Here’s the freaking introduction:

AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s “There’s A Map For That” advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.

Yeah. It’s gonna be like that. Verizon goes on to argue that even AT&T concedes the maps are accurate, and that pulling any of the ads off the air without proof that they’re misleading consumers would be unfair, and that at the very least both parties need time to investigate further. Honestly? We’ve read it over a couple times now and while the legal arguments are certainly interesting, it’s hard not to get the impression that Verizon drafted this response with publication in mind — check out this quote:

In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly.

See what we mean?

Booya. Pretty entertaining stuff. Maybe they should put their lawyers on their next ad campaign. Of course, their money might be better spent making phones that can utilize Verizon’s extensive 3G coverage, without sucking. Cue the Droid.


In case you felt people weren’t paying quite enough attention to your weight-loss efforts, now you can auto-Tweet the progress you’re making on those jelly rolls and muffin tops. Withings, maker of a sleek iPhone-adapted body mass indexing scale have now built Twitter functionality right into their app. From a press release yesterday:

Withings is announcing Twitter integration into its first-of-its-kind WiFi Body Scale. As the world’s first WiFi connected personal weight scale, it automatically records the user’s body weight, lean & fat mass, and calculated body mass index (BMI) to their secure webpage and/or free Withings iPhone application, WiScale. Now, with this new added feature, users can set up alerts to automatically post their updates to Twitter accounts, further motivating them by sharing their progress with followers.

“This social media feature was the next logical step in the evolution of the WiFi scale for our customers,” said Cedric Hutchings, Withings General Manager. “Here at Withings we are committed to roll out new features and services on the field thanks to automatic updates. Adding this social functionality makes the WiFi scale by Withings the first true flagship of the Internet of Objects.”

I don’t know what the hell the Internet of Objects is, but apparently it includes your fat ass. Personally, if I’m going to have anyone following the state of my posterior, I’ll stick with black guys I pass on the sidewalk. They say I’m fine the way I am. No WiFi required.

Do You Take Your Gadgets for Granted?

In 1961 two programmers taught the IBM 7094 how to sing.

Kennedy was president, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was a hit, the Germans were building a wall, and in a laboratory at IBM a room-sized 7094 Data Processing System, built for large-scale scientific computing, was haltingly half-crazy over the love of you.

In this photo from the IBM archives, the operator in the foreground is using the IBM 7151 Console Control Unit to monitor the system's performance, while the one in the background is checking on the 1301 Disk Storage Unit.

Later today, while you’re taking new music suggestions from Pandora or your personal iTunes Genius, give a think to how downright cool it is to be able to do so. We get so used to the technology that suffuses every facet of our daily lives, that it’s easy to lose perspective on the rapid evolution that’s taken place over the last four decades or so. Remember, not so long ago Sony’s Discman was cutting edge.

I was watching my friend look up something on his iPhone the other day. And I’m thinking, holy shit, it’s this flat little thing in the palm of your hand, and you can use it to talk to anyone anywhere in the world and you can just poke the screen to look up information on and photos of anything you want whenever you feel like it. (If you have signal, naturally.) It’s about 10,000 times radder than the communicators on Star Trek, and those were fictional. If the original Kirk were here right now, it’d blow his freaking mind.

Forty years from now people are going to look back at us and our cell phones and netbooks and think it’s all terribly quaint.

Google Game: Problem(s)

A wise woman of the cloth once asked, how do you solve a problem like Maria?  And as the story goes, there were in fact many problems, including, but not limited to:

  • Climbs a tree, scrapes knee
  • Underneath her wimple she has curlers in her hair
  • Always late for everything, except every meal
  • Could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
  • Is a riddle, a child, a flibbertigibbet

While my understanding is that the convention of WWII Austria was to express your cares through song, the mother of a modern abbey might kneel at the altar of information and query Google, “Problems with uppity nun.” Because that’s what we do now. We consult the higher power that is The Net.

Today the Unhappy Mediator wonders, just what is our problem? That, as it turns out, is a rather different question from, what are our problems?
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