EDitorial ± 20-Nov-2000

Moby: Play

Quick and predictable rant: mobile phone ring tunes. Don't they drive you MAD! You may have noticed I wrote "tunes", not "tones". I'm all for those that sound, well, like telephones used to. But when it's some tacky digitised Bach fugue, or Nokia's trademark Grande Valse (kill!), or a rather cleverly downloaded "humourous" TV theme tune, isn't it time to act? And why do they generally seem to be played at maximum volume? Inadequate car, methinks.

Having eliminated the negative, let's accentuate the positive. Oddly enough, Gordon Sumner predicted things as early as September 1979:

I'll send an SMS to the world
— Message In A Bottle, The Police
Yep, I'm enthusing about "a bidirectional service for short alphanumeric (up to 160 bytes) messages", one of the features of the Global System for Mobile Communications, doncha know. You may know it better as text messaging, or simply SMS, the short message service. I think it's fab. Couple of examples:
  1. Round at the in-laws they've got a bizarre clock that makes bird noises on the hour. Nobody could identify the 6 o'clock bird, either from the picture or its Latin name. Sent this name to Bill, my twitcher-mate, and within the hour we've got an answer. Hardly a life-saver, I realise, but I was impressed.
  2. I'm not great at keeping track of my finances. Now, once a week, I get a mini-statement from my bank, first direct, in a text message! If that isn't progress, my middle name isn't Freston. Which it is.
Happy News
Oh, and thanks to GiveUsTheScore, I get the final result from any Ipswich Town game sent to me. Marvellous. Particularly when it's an away win.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Ring ring:

  1. use all those 160 characters - it costs the same
  2. there ain't nothing like that beep-beep when a new message arrives, so send one today
Be seeing you!