[linux-elitists] Silence! Re: google phones

Ruben Safir ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Wed Nov 7 00:17:04 PST 2007

On Tue, Nov 06, 2007 at 03:52:30PM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Mon, Nov 05, 2007 at 12:41:10AM -0500, Ruben Safir (ruben@mrbrklyn.com) wrote:
> > By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
> >     Breaking news E-mail alerts
> > NEW YORK  Google (GOOG) today plans to announce the formation of an
> > "open phone" coalition, with the goal of developing an operating
> > system for the so-called Google Phone.
> In a not-very-linux-or-elitist followup: a friend found themselves, once
> again, woken up last night at 1:30 and again at 4:30 am by an
> unidentified caller dialing an iPhone.  This has happened a few times.
> Let me clarify:  pretty damned near every night.  For a month.
> Apparently neither the joy-happy-fun-love folks at Apple, nor our
> Monopolistic Overlords at PacBell^W Cingular^W SBC^W AT&T have thought
> to implement a pretty bloody obvious feature for a phone, in a world of
> increasingly low-cost connectivity:  specified blocklisting (specified
> numbers or unidentified numbers), or specified whitelisting (specified
> numbers), in particular, one which might be enabled/disabled readily by
> the user at various times of the day.
> I might, for example, be willing to be awakened at 4 in the morning by
> my parents, girlfriend, or children, in the event of a dire emergency,
> but not by Joe (or Rajnish or Mei or Ivan) Random Fax Teledialer.  I
> might be willing to accept calls from known numbers much of the rest of
> the day, and even allow interruptions from unknown numbers for an hour
> or so.  Why isn't this functionality available?
> Calling AT&T it appears that there is no feature in place to block

With regard to this, I've had an interesting interaction this past week with
my kids.  I noticed a phone call to Tenesse for 3 hours at midnight.  So 
I do a search for the number and I'd found that nearly once a week for 
several months someone has been making such a call to such a number, sometimes
even at 2AM.  So I'm working the overnight and I call the number and I get
some kid without much information.  The next day my ex-wife calls and tries to
identify the person, calls them and asks who they are.

So the kids parents get all upset and leave me several ***interesting*** voice
mails which when I have a chance I'll let you listen to since they are wave 
files.  They are a textbook case of parental misinformation, distrust, 
discovery and what happens when you give your kids cell phones in the internet


> specific calls nor are their plans to implement one.  Calling 611 (after
> scanning the AT&T website for other ways to deal with this matter)
> elicited the suggestion that we visit the website to file a feature
> request.  I suggested that the CSR earn her pay by taking the request
> over the phone.  And that AT&T get off its fat ass and address this
> problem.  We've been dealing with spam in email contexts for nearly two
> decades, is it really so hard to realize it's going to hit phones, and
> badly, and soon?
> There are some other hacks:
>   - The iPhone supports "Airplane mode" which apparently disables all
>     wireless services, while allowing local phone functionality.
>     http://www.theapplepress.com/?p=258
>   - Some phones allow selection of custom ringtones for specific numbers
>     or classes of numbers (e.g.:  restricted/unidentified numbers).
>     Create a silent ringtone and set the "unidentified caller" ringtone
>     to this.  Or set the silent tone as your default and change known
>     numbers to something slightly more ... noticeable.
>     Apparently I'm not the first person to think of this, though the
>     referenced silent ringtone link no longer works:
>     http://www.textually.org/ringtonia/archives/2003/12/002461.htm
>     If your phone can handle MP3 ringtones, I offer the following 0.5
>     second (fair use) clip from John Cage's seminal work:
>     http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten/silent.mp3
>     It's sort of the anti-Steven Colbert of ringtones.
>     LMK if that works as I haven't actually tried this yet.
>     For details on creating your own ringtone (Linux and Audacity
>     elitism utilized):
>     http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/commentary/listeningpost/2006/02/70150:w
>   - Turn your phone off and buy an alarm clock.
> It would be very slick if a combination of open platform OS + system,
> and hardware devices, were made available which could address
> deficiencies such as this.  I've seen the iPhone (don't use it myself)
> and admire its UI advances (many must a matter of thinking about the
> user and usbility), but still can't help seeing the device as largely
> envisioned as a channel for cramming "content" and costs down the throat
> (or up another orifice) of "the user".
> Google phone might be part of that solution, anything else there that's
> a good base?  And what's the hardware side look like these days?  That
> slick handheld touch-screen thingie that got Best of Show at LWESF last
> summer looks like a good start.
> Peace.
> -- 
> Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
>     Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.

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