Monthly Archives: October 2008

Dear Cell Phone Companies: Why Haven’t You Thought of This Yet?

There needs to be a “text phone number” option from your phone book’s main screen. I can’t count how many times now somebody has said “can you text me his number,” and I groan as I end the phone call, scroll to the number in my phone, grab a pen and paper, write down the number, scroll to the other person I have to text it to and and then retype the number into a text. It’s ridiculous that there is no better way to do this.

Also there should be the option of having a tabbed phone book (moving tab to tab with the left and right arrows) for categories of numbers like “Work” “Boston Friends” “Home Friends” since the set of numbers you are likely to use at one point in time (i.e. on a trip home) is far fewer than the total set of phone numbers. This would make phone book browsing much more efficient, both enabling you to visually represent the set of people you are likely to call and reducing the possibility that you’ll accidentally dial a coworker on a Saturday night. I know someone will comment and say that most phones already have a “groups” feature but have you ever seen a functional one that anyone has used to effectively browse and manage contacts? No, because even if you categorize every number your phone book is still sorted on one master list.

Just my contribution to humanity, using my pulpit here at the influential third most influential blog in North America for the good of all mankind. I don’t even mind not getting credit, just so long as the next OS on my phone has this stuff. You’re welcome Verizon.

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Politainment

Have you been watching TV this fall? Best television fall in a long time. Any good new shows? Nope. (Although Kath & Kim isn’t bad…) TV execs are still just as out of ideas as they were last fall. So why are more people than ever* tuned in this fall? Here comes another unsupported Culture Wharf original idea-theory (TM, patent pending, copyright licensed under Creative Commons). Here we go.

A Brief History Of Television:

The age of the sit-com ended in the late 90’s (the final episode of Seinfeld being for all intents and purposes the “let’s-point-to-some-visible-memorable-soon-to-be-agreed-upon- Berlin-Wall-end-of-an-epoch-symbol” end. And of all the fabulous things people used to dream the year 2000 would bring us (instant food pills, flying cars, sex robots), the new millennium delivered only Survivor, a nonetheless historic moment in that it spawned the revolution in entertainment that we’ve spent the past 8 years living in called reality TV.

Speaking of which does anybody remember the last time they heard the word “millennium” – it was so cool when we first had a reason to use it in the 90’s that we collectively went all Janis Joplin on it.

Reality TV was good – but after a few scandals about producers fixing the outcomes of shows and a few million episodes of people vying to become the next big chef, designer, pop-star, porn star, accountant or Paris Hilton’s “BFF” the novelty wore off. A little. And so ratings have been steadily declining (possible actual statistic).

Reality itself is the only thing that could replace reality TV. Reality TV has always looked weak next to a really exciting reality. I mean the biggest thing at stake in reality TV is a recording contract or maybe a bunch of money. Nothing that’s going to change the world. Nothing that’s going to affect your life.

Old TV exec: “Now hold on a minute… we’ve got drama, we’ve got great stories, sexy intrigue, ups and downs and happy endings, what’s missing?

Young TV exec: “The missing piece is INVESTMENT in the outcome. The first Idol cashed in on the delusional self-importance afforded by the participatory notion. You pick the next idol! Voting for stuff works, people seem to like it, we just need to up the stakes. What could we have everyone “vote” for? It’s gotta be something big and awesome that everyone is interested it. Something that could potentially affect everyone’s lives significantly for the next four years… Anyone got any ideas?”

*possible made up statistic

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