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January 7, 2014 10:52 PM   Subscribe


 
From the second link:
Upgrade your home phone from utilitarian to unique

This is satire, right? I don't even know. I must be getting old.
posted by GrumpyDan at 11:10 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I am uncomfortable with the way they pronounce "electronic".
posted by ColdChef at 11:22 PM on January 7


I was just going to comment that I love the way he pronounces "electronic"! So melodious.
posted by Mizu at 11:22 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Will this synchronize with my Tandy TRS 80 Model 100 over XMODEM-CRC? Because if not, I'm just going to wait another decade for the upgrade.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Pshaw, all the cool kids are using zmodem these days.
posted by drklahn at 11:30 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


TALK WHILE DRIVING
DON'T GIVE A FUCK
420 BLAZE IT
SLINGIN' COMMODITIES FUTURES ERRYDAY
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:31 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


As one of the very people I know who does not have or use a cell phone, I think I just found the model should I ever go mobile.
Remember when it was considered somewhat obnoxious to use one of these in public? For that alone a worthy purchase.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:34 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]



As one of the very people I know who does not have or use a cell phone, I think I just found the model should I ever go mobile.
Remember when it was considered somewhat obnoxious to use one of these in public? For that alone a worthy purchase.


Know thyself phlegmco, know thyself
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:42 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


IMO, Kermit deals better with noisy cellular connections.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:50 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


People talking on a brick always look like they're calling in an air strike. To make the funny, you would just need to dub in some coordinates and make the buildings in the background blow up.
posted by pracowity at 12:20 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Know thyself phlegmco, know thyself

A designer cafe, a sea of touch screens, and one rugged sentinel alone in its intransigence.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:32 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Big is the new small. Cammie Diaz has a phone twice that big.
posted by The Tensor at 12:40 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I used one of these for a little while, long after they had been replaced by those ones that were popular a generation or so before the ubiquitous Nokias (back when SMS was still largely unknown, and people would clip their phones to their belts, as was the style at the time), back when using a mobile in public was not uncommon, but you'd still get laughed at.

I got laughed at.
posted by Mezentian at 12:48 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, this video predicts the future accurately.
posted by Mezentian at 12:50 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Battery Capacity 1000mah
This could have been interesting with a 10000mAh battery. The current battery is half that of a smartphone. Make it bigger.
posted by Akeem at 1:08 AM on January 8


I'd prefer to go the other way, actually. I want a phone that does everything a smart phone does, expect make phone calls. I kind of have that now, by just refusing to answer it, but it would be even better if I had an excuse for not being able to speak to people on it at all.
posted by dg at 1:14 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I thought it was funny when the announcer mentioned that a cell phone could be as ubiquitous as using an electronic watch, calculator, or programming on a computer. You can now do all of those things with your phone!*

*At least, I'm assuming that you can write code on your phone -- I haven't tried coding since C++ class in 11th grade back in the 90s -- not that one would necessarily want to.
posted by dhens at 1:30 AM on January 8


Re: The Brick: See also.
posted by dhens at 1:34 AM on January 8


"HELLO?"
posted by Punkey at 1:56 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The cellular concept was described in the Bell System Technical Journal in January 1979, but it was the the break-up of the Bell System during the Reagan Administration in 1984 that liberalised the communications market in the United States inviting investment - a lot of which went into cellular - that really gave impetus to the technology.

You think those bricks and car phones look like old technology? Just a few short years before that there was only one telephone company in America and everyone rented a fixed line telephone from the monopolistic Bell System.

Without the break-up of the Bell System in America (and simultaneously a wave of deregulation and privatisation across much of Europe as a result of the EU treaties) neither the cellular industry (nor the internet) would exist as they do today, but at the same time it was a nice coincidence of history that this technology was being rolled out just as deregulation and privatisation were taking place.
posted by three blind mice at 2:01 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


And now I have Lionel Richie in my head.
Damnit.
posted by Mezentian at 2:20 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I was curious how much those early cell phone plans were, so I found this after a little googling:
My first cellphone was a $3500 car mounted unit with a shoebox size unit in the trunk and the control head bolted to the center console. [...] Back then, in Los Angeles, the per minute price was 45 cents/min PLUS long distance of 25 cents/min for LD calls on top of a monthly fee of $45 which included NO minutes. If you were roaming, which usually meant anywhere outside of the metro area, the price was either 95 cents/min for a different carrier or "only" 69 cents/min if it was your same carrier PLUS 25 cents/min long distance for both incoming and outgoing calls.
Later in the comment the author mentions inflation, and so I checked using an inflation calculator, and 45 cents in 1985 would be equivalent to 97 cents in 2013, according to the BLS.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:59 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


> This could have been interesting with a 10000mAh battery. The current battery is half that of a smartphone. Make it bigger.

Seriously, it must be mostly air inside the shell. Unless they're selling these because they won a warehouse auction of unused Nokia 5110 circuit boards, the electronics necessary for a feature phone like this is tiny.

It must be mostly air inside the shell. They could pack a hell of a lot of charge time in that sucker. Or give it a crazy powerful transceiver for use when mountain climbing. You could combine both and still get a few months of standby out of a charge. But then they would have to ask more than $70 for it, I guess.
posted by ardgedee at 3:58 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


And now I have Lionel Richie in my head.

It's mutual: "I've been alone with you inside my mind..."
posted by pracowity at 4:41 AM on January 8


Okay, I may be the only person who is actually thinking of buying one of these. My mom lives in a nursing home in another city and her phone is pretty much our only line of communication; her MS is effecting her hands, so it's very hard for her to open and close the clamshell phone. I've been looking for a large-format speakerphone brick set.

I may try this for her.
posted by jrochest at 4:43 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The FM radio is what sells it. Add a mustard pump and there'd be no stopping this product.
posted by petebest at 5:00 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I want a phone in the form of an animatronic lizard that rides around on your shoulder and has a voice interface so you just talk to it - "Text Bob I'll be a half hour late" or "Get me a table for 2 at Figaro Saturday at 7:30" or "what's the population of Canberra?" Or it speaks to you when it's got something to report. "Bob just texted you're a douchebag, hurry up." And on a voice call it just speaks in the caller's voice. So you basically just talk to your phone like it's a really smart, well-trained pet while it wanders around on your shoulder or takes naps and blinks at you and stuff.

I've been saying this since the late 90s, and now we have Siri. That strikes me as the hard part. If I were one of the global one percent and didn't give a damn what it cost, I could literally have someone make me one of these today. The hardest part now would be making a convincing robot lizard.

Or I could just get one of these. Say, do they have one that comes in a bag with a handset so I can just carry it over my shoulder?
posted by Naberius at 5:43 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Add a mustard pump and there'd be no stopping this product.

Add a pill organizer that dispenses medication like Pez at the appropriate times. Grandma is talking on the phone and suddenly that morning's pills pop out of the mouthpiece and into her mouth. Voila!
posted by pracowity at 5:52 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The FM radio is what sells it.

Needs more AM.
AM is where it's at.
posted by Mezentian at 6:02 AM on January 8


As one of the very people I know who does not have or use a cell phone, I think I just found the model should I ever go mobile.

Is this something I'd need a television cell phone to understand?

Nah, nah, I'm just kidding. But seriously: you can't use my phone.
posted by box at 6:14 AM on January 8


So you basically just talk to your phone like it's a really smart, well-trained pet while it wanders around on your shoulder or takes naps and blinks at you and stuff.

How about one that looks and acts like a trained falcon? When it's not teleconferencing or running personal queries for me, I could send it after small game. Like food-truck burritos.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:15 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


The Nokia 1100 is the best cellphone that has ever been made. Most popular in the world, too.

I'd prefer to go the other way, actually. I want a phone that does everything a smart phone does, expect make phone calls. I kind of have that now, by just refusing to answer it, but it would be even better if I had an excuse for not being able to speak to people on it at all.

It's called an iPod touch, and I'm typing on one right now. Does everything an iPhone does, except make phone calls (or have GPS).
posted by jb at 6:30 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


How about one that looks and acts like a trained falcon? When it's not teleconferencing or running personal queries for me, I could send it after small game. Like food-truck burritos.

Or other people's smaller, weaker cell phones.

Winter is coming.
posted by The Bellman at 6:39 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Okay, I may be the only person who is actually thinking of buying one of these. My mom lives in a nursing home in another city and her phone is pretty much our only line of communication; her MS is effecting her hands, so it's very hard for her to open and close the clamshell phone. I've been looking for a large-format speakerphone brick set.

Have you considered a desktop cellphone?
posted by zamboni at 6:49 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


How about one that looks and acts like a trained falcon?

Have you seen Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet?
Cybernetic parrots are where it's at.
posted by Mezentian at 6:55 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Scrolling through the specs, it says it's a combo Bluetooth handset and old-school GSM phone rocking the 900/1800 bands. It amuses me to think that its awesome standby time could be crippled by my smartphones paltry standby time.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:09 AM on January 8


We had one of the first cellular telephones in the area during my family's brief flirtation with crossing a class boundary, thanks to a flush of huge corporate lawsuits that boosted our family business of mostly litigation support microfilming, and in the same way one remembers where one was at the moment of an assassination, natural disaster, or sports victory, I remember my very first call on a mobile phone with great clarity.

I'd been walking around with my underpants hanging out all day at my high school, though it wasn't as much a conscious fashion statement as a reflection of a structural flaw of corduroy that would have me declare a one man moratorium on such trousers for a good twenty-five years from that day. I'd apparently had some sort of little flaw in the fabric of the seat of my pants, mostly concealed under my v-neck velour pullover with gold piping and asymmetrical accents when I'd gone running for the bus that morning, and the little flaw worked along the fault line of the groove between ribs in the material and made its ravaging way downward throughout the day.

"Nice ass, spaceman!" yelled the bullies, and the tittering in the hallways was distinctly louder that day, though I was sufficiently studied in the practice of just passing it by while gathering the mockery into a tiny leaden ball of HA! that I kept buried in the layers of burnt muscle in my heart, so I just shrugged, wondering what new fad of cruelty was making the rounds. Had I been a little more sensitive to the issues of the physical world, I might have noticed a dramatic increase in the ventilation of my left leg, but I was lost in daydreams in those days, most of which revolved around the day when my real parents would come for me from outer space and we would collectively evaporate the bullies and the collaborators in the student body with ray guns before heading for our home planet.

In the last class of the day, my miserable art class with my wisecracking jerk of an art teacher, Mr. Perrine, I had to get some supplies at his desk, and as I walked up there, my pants torn open from the beltline to the crook of my knee, the vulva of ribbed velvet rippling as I walked, revealing my baggy white Y-fronts from Sears Surplus, the tittering erupted into guffaws.

"Nice drawers, dick!" giggled the school's official acid casualty, his ratlike face briefly turned from bovine idiot calm to craggy bemusement.

"I don't know why you think you're so funny with that," I snapped back, carrying a small tray of colored pencils back to my desk, and as I turned around, my wisecracking jerk of an art teacher, Mr. Perrine, spoke.

"I think it's because your pants are ripped and your backside is hanging out, cowboy," he said, and I stopped, my blood fully curdled by an adult weighing in on the matter, reached around to my leg and felt…leg. Oh my god, my pants are ripped open. They've probably been ripped open all day. People have been looking at my baggy white Y-fronts from Sears Surplus all day. This is probably the worst thing that will happen to me in my whole life.

I almost certainly should have burst into tears, flung the tray into the air behind me like a colorful pencil rain, and fled, but I have composure beyond most human tolerance, so I just raised my chin, strolled back to my desk with as much of an air of stylish indifference as I could muster, and sat.

"They're not ripped," I declared. "It's an accent." This nearly caused rioting, but the class calmed down, at least to a slightly elevated level of hilarity. When the period wound down, the last class of the day, I sat, listening to the bell ringing out, pretending to be carefully arranging my knapsack, until everyone had gone but the teacher.

"You better go, Joe—you're going to miss your bus," he said. When I got up, I heard a snort, but I did not turn back, lest I turn into a pillar of salt. I did not go to my bus, either, because the bus was the worst scene of mockery of all, and I wasn't going willingly into that industrial blender of social stratification. Instead, I darted through the halls to my refuge in the library, where the lovely library secretary, Mrs. Shaw, greeted me with a smile.

"Help! I tore my pants and I can't get on the bus with my butt hangin' out!"

I did a little supermodel twirl, revealing the full horror of my situation. She smirked, but did not laugh, because, unlike my art teacher, Mr. Perrine, she had a human soul, and she dug around her purse for her little plastic sewing kit.

"That's a heck of a tear, Joe."

I hid out in the curtained space of our school TV studio, trying to thread a needle, with my pants off and inside-out so I could do a few quick basting stitches, but I was so jittery with that gonna-miss-the-bus panic that I couldn't get the thread through. I stuck my head out of the room and yelled for my secretary friend.

"Mrs. Shaw? Can you toss me a stapler?"

A stapler flew my way and I frantically stapled the ragged fabric together, then put my pants back on and walked a few stiff steps before they came undone. Pulled them off, stapled more, tried 'em on—nope. I ended up emptying the entire stapler in the task, handed it back to Mrs. Shaw, and stepped out like a robot with a jagged scar of randomly placed staples scraping up and down my thigh as I made a run for the front plaza of the school.

Naturally, the last of the buses was departing in a cloud of blue smoke.

I stood there for a moment, then stiffly staggered back to the library, the first trickles of blood already gathering in my sock.

"Can I use the phone? I missed the bus."

I sat and waited in the library for about fifteen minutes to wait for my ride, slouching sideways on one of the benches there like Mae West on a chaise in order to favor my bristling staple scar, enjoying some gossip time with my grown-up friend, then limped out to the plaza to wait.

I looked for my father's silver and purple Suburban, but it never showed. There was a sonorous beep, and I peered around, seeing nothing but a sleek grey sedan. I looked again, the window slid down, and my father hollered.

"Hey Joe!"

He had that grin he'd get when he was up to something, and man, that car was definitely up to something. What it was, in fact, was a brand new, freshly purchased charcoal grey 1983 Jaguar XJ-6 with gorgeous sweeping lines, a tasteful amount of chrome, and an interior like the kind of place where you'd wear a smoking jacket and stoke fine Cuban cigars as you'd sip a glass of Port.

I opened the door, and the seat was pure virgin leather. I hesitated.

"I can't sit on that," I said, and turned to show my father that crusty metal-spiked still-bleeding scab that my left trouser leg had become. "I'll tear up the leather!"

"Why are your—" my father started to ask, then stopped, sure that the answer would be long, breathless, and ultimately ridiculous. I had another idea, which was to just get into the passenger seat backwards, half-reclining it and sort of flopping forward with my butt in the air. "That's your solution?" he said, scowling at my lack of dignity, "Why don't you…oh, never mind. I'll drive slow."

From my awkward vantage point, I couldn't help but notice the shiny handset of a car phone, clipped neatly into a cradle bolted to the side of the transmission tunnel.

"Is that real? Do we have a cellular telephone in our car?"

"I have a cellular telephone in my car, yes."

"Ooh, I wanna call someone! Can I call someone?"

"You may, but it's seventy cents a minute, so make it quick."

I picked up the handset, dialed my best friend's number, paused for a moment before I figured out that I needed to press the CALL button, and listened for the ring.

"Hello?"

"Hi, is Vygis there?"

"Yes, he's here, Joe. Hold on a second."

"Hello?" my friend asked.

"VYGISVYGISVYGIS you will NOT believe where I'm calling from!" I shouted.

"The tailor shop?" he asked, as dry in affect as Jeeves.

"What?"

"I assume you're getting your pants fixed."

"No, wait, did you know my pants were ripped all day? Why didn't you tell me my pants were ripped all day? I've been a laughing stock!"

"I didn't see until the end of the day, and I thought it would make you self-conscious."

"What? I'd rather be self-conscious than have my underpants hanging out!"

My father looked over, scowled, and said "Seventy cents a minute. Out of your allowance."

"Never mind never mind, I'll kill you later—HEY GUESS WHERE I'M CALLING FROM?" I said, in a flurry of words.

"The kitchen?"

"Ha! I'm calling from the CAR. ON A CAR PHONE! I'm calling from a car phone!"

"Like James Bond?"

"Oh yeah. Hey, I gotta go, this is costing seventy cents a minute."

"Call me later."

"Yep," I said, and pressed the red END button on the phone.

I'm living in the world of the future.

"What do you think of the engine note," my father asked. "Smooth, huh?"

"Yeah!"

It would be a decade before he would tell me why he loved Jaguars, which went back to when we was working as a part-time tympanist and theremin player for an orchestra in Alabama, doing handyman work in-between, living in a run-down trailer outside Birmingham, and being a sort of ambiguous gigolo to a wealthy older woman with a white XK140. As Laurie Anderson said of her father, when he died, it was like a whole library burned down.

For the next few months, virtually every phone call we placed from the phone in our his car was prefaced with "Guess where we're calling from?" and we'd wave to any other car that had the little pair of helical antennas on each side of the car. They were halcyon days of what seemed like unimaginable wealth, and it wasn't long before my father showed up with the brick phone, and triggered a new flurry of "Guess where we are?" calls.

Later, sitting on the beach with my family, with my father lightly sunburned in his swim trunks, my mother read a book in her sun-blocking mummy outfit while Dad worked on a project on his preposterously large and heavy Macintosh Portable in the shade of our fringed beach umbrella, making calls on the MicroTAC that had replaced his bricklike DynaTAC, and it all seemed very futuristic and magical.

"Dad, are you going to bodysurf with us?" my brother asked. Dad looked up, held up a wait-a-minute finger, then folded the screen on the computer, and walked his bandylegged walk to the sea, where we all caught the waves and got ground into the rocky bottom of the Delaware beach time and time again.

"Cleve, your phone's ringing!" my mother hollered, holding up the little phone, then answered it as my father lumbered up the beach. "It's Jim Summerfield!"

"Oh crap, gotta 'tend to this." He talked briefly, gathered up his preposterous computer, tiny phone, and briefcase, and padded his way back to our hotel room, where he would disappear into the business world for most of the rest of the weekend, and that, as it happened, would be a harbinger of the world of the future, right till the day he died on the job, on the floor with his morning paper and a cup of coffee thrown in the fall.

In the future, we will be connected to each other all the time.

When I did my exit interview at the end of my last job, six months ago, I reluctantly handed back my employer-provided iPhone, suddenly panicked at the prospect of no longer having that constant connection to the rest of the world, and had a rough month of not being able to look things up, or to access a constantly updated map, or to fill everyone I've ever met in on what I'm eating at any given moment, but it faded, and a calm returned that I hadn't known in a while.

I've got the phone I came in with, an ancient pay-as-you-go flip phone that's not smart, internet savvy, or filled with games, and it's a relationship I find altogether more manageable. I've got a little wifi tablet that works perfectly as a relatively well-connected internet terminal (I can check my email by pulling my motorcycle into the spot right by the door at any McDonalds and getting on their wifi), and ultimately, I am as close to the future as I plan to get.

Sitting in the moldy splendor of my relatively remote cabin in West Virginia, I can look out the window at the spot where my phone sits in an old plastic milk bottle that's cut open on the side and nailed to a post in the hotspot where the signal gets through the gaps in the mountain ridges, and I can just hear it if a call comes in, the little tweedly sound magnified by the milk bottle like an old fashioned bullhorn. I can usually run down the hillside to catch it in time if I want, but I usually don't want to. If I have a chainsaw accident up there, I can probably call for help, which is futuristic in the best way, but the luster of the rest of it isn't what it used to be for me.

Flopping like a fish in that brand new Jaguar thirty-one years ago, I was on the cusp of a whole new world, and what's done is done. About the internet, on the other hand, I have no such reservations, but the internet does not have the same hold on us in the way a phone does. A cell phone seemed like a miracle in my youth, but these days, I'm not so sure.

Continents once worlds apart are now a day away,
The world is made a smaller place in which we have no say,
So should care about that day—if calm, if storm, if come what may?


In the grocery store, a man is loudly talking to his phone in the frozen food section, clearly in a frustrating discussion over frozen peas.

"Do you want the petite peas or the regular peas? What? No, they don't have those."

Signals burst from the tiny phone, exchanged with a tower somewhere nearby, shooting through wired connections and computers and satellites and more concentrated wads of technology that anyone could have ever dreamed of when I was born, back in the sixties, and we still can't find peas.

My thigh twitches to a buzzing sensation, and I reach down, but it's just the usual vibratory mirage, the shadow of a phone that's sitting on my desk at home. Like phantom pain in a lost limb, we feel the twinges of anticipation when there's nothing there.

We live in the world of the future, though it's not quite what I was expecting.
posted by sonascope at 7:14 AM on January 8 [34 favorites]


I just saw that wall of text and knew sonascope would be at the end.
I was not disappointed.
posted by Mezentian at 7:17 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Mezentian: I just saw that wall of text and knew sonascope would be at the end.

You could make a game out of it. I had it pegged as sonascope by the second dependent clause.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:28 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Once you hit the 4th full roll of the scroll wheel there is no other possibility unless it is the Treaty of Westphalia, in which case you have traveled back in mefi time to 2007.
posted by elizardbits at 9:52 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Brevity is complicated.
posted by sonascope at 9:54 AM on January 8 [10 favorites]


I have that exact "electronic watch" that they show in the "cellular revolution" video. :-)
posted by Scientist at 10:34 AM on January 8


(I cheated and already knew it was a sonascope comment when I came to it, but I'd have known for sure by the end of the first paragraph. And what a story. Fantastic!)
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:08 AM on January 8


Okay, I may be the only person who is actually thinking of buying one of these. My mom lives in a nursing home in another city and her phone is pretty much our only line of communication; her MS is effecting her hands, so it's very hard for her to open and close the clamshell phone. I've been looking for a large-format speakerphone brick set.

Have you considered a desktop cellphone?

No, Zamboni: she has a land line with a portable handset, but she needs something that she can carry around on the table on her wheelchair. The land line only works in her room. Hence the cell, which is currently a Doro clamshell that the helpy dudes in 'modifications' have velcroed to the table so she can open it.
posted by jrochest at 11:42 AM on January 8


Brevity is boring.

I feel so underwhelming coming in after sonascope's comment. Long live the dependent clause.
posted by jrochest at 11:49 AM on January 8


I want a phone that does everything a smart phone does, expect make phone calls. I kind of have that now, by just refusing to answer it, but it would be even better if I had an excuse for not being able to speak to people on it at all.

It's called an iPod touch, and I'm typing on one right now. Does everything an iPhone does, except make phone calls (or have GPS).


Yeah, doesn't have GPS and needs a WiFi signal and doesn't do SMS. I want all the features of a smart phone except, well, the actual phone part.
posted by dg at 12:49 PM on January 8


Looks neat, but too bad it is only GSM 900/1800, so it can't be used in North America.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:29 PM on January 8


Could be a typo since they're calling it their USA Edition and are pricing it in US dollars.
posted by ardgedee at 2:28 PM on January 8


I had no idea that Binatone were still a going concern. They were the byword for crappy electronics of my youth.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:43 PM on January 8


Appears someone took Seth Godin's 2007 TED talk slightly too seriously.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:46 AM on January 9


dg: what do you mean by "phone part"?
posted by I-baLL at 8:41 AM on January 9


"I picked up the handset, dialed my best friend's number, paused for a moment before I figured out that I needed to press the CALL button, and listened for the ring."


This is why we're where we are today. Because of our innate ability to pick up and figure out these things.
posted by I-baLL at 8:46 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I-baLL, I meant the speaking to humans part. I hate using the phone (any phone) and my ideal mobile device would have all the capacity of a smart phone but not let people try and speak to me on it.
posted by dg at 12:36 PM on January 9


I'll just mention here that one of the more brilliant little touches in The X-Files, a show of many brilliant little touches, was that in the flashback episode where Mulder first meets the Lone Gunmen ("Unusual Suspects"), set in 1989, virtually nothing is noticeably different -- except Mulder carries a Motorola brick phone in the pocket of his trenchcoat (screenshot here). It was all that was needed to tell you it was all of eight years earlier. Most shows, of course, would go the easy route of showing you a calendar, a sign, or a headline. But they knew their audience.
posted by dhartung at 2:58 PM on January 9


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