Skip

Get a free phone!
October 5, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

The new issue of Entertainment weekly contains an ad with an LCD display showing live tweets from the CW network. A teardown of the ad reveals an entire functioning 3G phone running Android, complete with SIM card and QWERTY keyboard.
posted by jpdoane (35 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fascinating. I used to work in print advertising at a rival network, and I cannot imagine what an epic clusterfuck getting something like this produced must have been.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:28 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have zero interest in Entertainment Weekly or the CW network, but now I want a copy of that magazine, just so I can stare at that little LCD display with wonderment. And then hope that someone posts a beginner-friendly hack so I can make it tune into something else.
posted by Joh at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2012


They're only making (printing?) 1000 of these so if you want one to play with you'd better hurry.
posted by tommasz at 11:32 AM on October 5, 2012


It used to be annoying enough when you would go to the newsstand and have boatloads of blow-in cards waft to the floor whenever you flipped through a magazine. Now you'll have to deal with a deafening clatter as cell phones fall to the ground just because you wanted to read the latest celebrity gossip.
posted by perhapses at 11:34 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Commodity hardware and an interesting application for it .. Leaves me wondering how addressable the devices are (they said they could make a phone call from it ? So it has the right guts for telephony, not just data, implying you can call into the phone ? )

Makes me wonder what kind of glorious chicanery could go on with this device. (ie is it a fixed block of numbers, so one could guess or war-dial it ?) I'm guessing little attention was paid to security, and TFA notes a camera and speaker ...
posted by k5.user at 11:35 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


They should try using the T-mobile codes to do stuff like checking the account balance, displaying the phone number, plus try calling the handset from another phone.
posted by fings at 11:55 AM on October 5, 2012


I had a free-but-no-idea-where-it-came-from subscription to Entertainment Weekly, and I think, if I remember my threatening-envelopes-that-go-straight-in-the-trash correctly, it expired last week, meaning there's no chance that this will be in my mailbox this weekend now that it has something I want. Which pretty describes my relationship to the magazine in a nutshell.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:04 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is going to end up as a huge expensive disaster for TMobile or CW or the company who created this. They shipped a mostly working Andriod phone to thousands of people with a working number and a data plan. Epic lulz.
posted by humanfont at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2012


How many planes are going to explode in midair because of this slick stunt?
posted by Flashman at 12:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


k5.user: According to some extra stuff the article's author wrote in comments, it's not just a device with phone hardware, it's an actual consumer cellphone, albeit an obsolete one— probably stuff from a warehouse that was otherwise heading for the landfill.

I'd guess they're on some sort of prepaid plan.
posted by hattifattener at 12:58 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my god it's the future.
posted by spitefulcrow at 1:00 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


And as that was my first comment after October 1st, HOLY BALLS IT'S THE FUTURE I CAN EDIT COMMENTS ON MEFI
posted by spitefulcrow at 1:01 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or; Oh GOD, it’s the future. Pretend like you don’t see it.
posted by bongo_x at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


How many planes are going to explode in midair because of this slick stunt?

That explains why Al Qaeda recently bought a controlling share of Entertainment Weekly stock.
posted by perhapses at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2012


In a related story, the latest Life & Style comes with an actual Kardashian stuffed inside.
posted by mannequito at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hear next year's Car Issue of Consumer Reports will be etched onto the body panels of a Toyota Camry.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:49 PM on October 5, 2012


They shipped a mostly working Andriod phone to thousands of people with a working number and a data plan. Epic lulz.

I can think of zero reason to have these items on an open billing plan. You know what you are intending to send (tweets) and for how long you want to send them. I imagine a prepaid gig a peice would be more than sufficient for the advertisers needs and if someone repurposes the chip and blows through that in a week downloading porn no one paying the bills is going to care.
posted by Mitheral at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is crazy. I wonder who pays the bill?
posted by rebent at 2:04 PM on October 5, 2012


Yes, it really is the future.

suckers.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:22 PM on October 5, 2012


I remember when those National Geographic hologram covers just totally blew my mind.
posted by box at 2:26 PM on October 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


I didn't even know that this kind of technology even existed. I could use this in my ventriloquism act.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:29 PM on October 5, 2012


A few hobbiest computer mags used to distribute code on square floppy records. A topic seemingly impossible to search for.
posted by Mitheral at 2:41 PM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


something something "running out of rare earth metals" something [content goes here]
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:55 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


A few hobbiest computer mags used to distribute code on square floppy records. A topic seemingly impossible to search for.
posted by Mitheral at 2:41 PM on October 5 [1 favorite +] [!]


(Apologies for mild derail -- what Mitheral is referring to is the Kansas City or Byte standard, a way of storing and transmitting binary data using sound (specifically, audio frequency-shift keying). It was originally meant for data on cassette tapes, but of COURSE as soon as it was floating around people started fiddling with cutting records from the tapes, because once you did that you could release them as flexi discs -- in this case, Eva-tone soundsheets, the kind of junk that was so light you sometimes had to put a coin on the disc face so the stylus wouldn't stop it from turning -- which meant you could have them as magazine inserts! This was known as floppy ROM, and a side could actually store, say, Uiterwyk's 4K BASIC. I love it so much! Perhaps the all-time hippest form of computer data storage?

Of course now we have Android running on something you can just throw away without even noticing.)
posted by finnb at 3:10 PM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Mitheral: this?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:17 PM on October 5, 2012


Oops, totally glossed over finnb's comment.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:19 PM on October 5, 2012


Please dispose of your Entertainment Weekly responsibly. There's a battery in it now.
posted by tss at 3:33 PM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


"something something "running out of rare earth metals" something [content goes here]"

But there's only a thousand of them. That's a lot of free phones, but it's a tiny portion of the old phones that go to the landfill every week, batteries and all.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2012


I wouldn't be surprised if these phones actually were recycled, or made from a defective product line, or from a previous generation of technology, or something.
posted by rebent at 7:38 PM on October 5, 2012


This is a cool stunt and all, but they're saying that there is only one thousand special issues. So out of a 1.8 million total circulation the chances of you getting the digital ad is .056%. And that's not considering that the special ads are only distributed through New York and Los Angeles. Or the fact that they're probably all sent to bloggers/media groups.
posted by Mr Mister at 12:25 AM on October 6, 2012


I searched every Oct 5 EW at my airport and didn't find one. 1000 copies seems like a small enough number that I'm not likely to find one. Any chance this is a hoax?
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:50 AM on October 6, 2012


A few hobbiest computer mags used to distribute code on square floppy records. A topic seemingly impossible to search for.

They're called flexi discs.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:52 AM on October 6, 2012


Mashable reports that these are only being distributed to New York & Los Angeles.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:38 AM on October 6, 2012


So if each one has a SIM card, are they able to track where the magazines go? Create a geographical scattershot of realtime circulation?

I'm terrified.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:37 PM on October 6, 2012


That's awesome in a dystopian sort of way. Cripes I wonder how many other products are going to get lojacked in this way in the future.
posted by Mitheral at 2:13 PM on October 6, 2012


« Older .... .. -.. . -. .. .-- .- -.- .- (HI DE NIWAKA)   |   A tough-love scroll through... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post