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Worst of the Week: Rantings of a madman

And welcome to our Thursday column, Worst of the Week. There’s a lot of nutty stuff that goes on in this industry, so this column is a chance for us at RCR Wireless News the chance to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!
And without further ado:
First off, I’m a pretty big music fan. I have an un-told number of gigabytes of music clogging my home computer, attend a number of concerts, rarely go anywhere without my iPod and on occasion stick some headphones in my hear while at work in an attempt to drown out the constant yapping of RCR Wireless News reporters and Mike Dano’s all-to-audible breathing. (I mean, it’s so repetitive. In, out, in, out. Let’s mix it up a little.)
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that in general I like music.
But I can’t stand musical ringtones! I loathe them almost as much as the Evil One himself . Mike Dano.
The basic phone ringing or beeping tones are fine, and in fact I kinda have a soft spot for the ones that mimic the old fashioned telephone ring, but the lame monotone numbers that come standard on handsets trying to imitate some Wagner symphony using the most basic beeps make me Eleanor Abernathy crazy.
Even more maddening are the tones that people download that are either snippets of real songs or the even more painful beeping imitations that make me want to rip my ears off. I don’t get them. I don’t understand why people use them. And, unless you are a 13-year-old girl, I can’t fathom paying money to download them.
There is nothing more annoying than a way-too-loud ringtone blaring in any public place at Radio Raheem decibels that shows not only the person’s horrible musical taste, but also their inability to answer their phone.
Adding insult to my bleeding ears is that most ringtones play in a loop. So if a phone is not answered within the first 20 seconds, I get to hear the same chopped chorus again. And if it’s just the first few lines of “Come Sail Away” by Styx, I can’t continue my day without finishing the song in my head.
What’s wrong with the vibrate option? There is nothing wrong with a phone vibrating.
Speaking of vibrate, did anyone else happen to watch the Super Bowl last week? Apparently only one-third of every man, woman and child in the country managed to catch it. What could the other two-thirds possibly have been doing that was more important?
Besides the actual game of football being played, the Super Bowl has become the biggest advertising pageant of the year. This is the side show to the game in which every year news organizations bend over backwards reporting on how much companies spend for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl, and in turn give these companies, which apparently are flush with cash, free publicity.
Despite the billions spent per year by wireless carriers on advertising, I was a bit disappointed that there were only a pair of wireless carrier commercials. The T-Mobile USA ad with Charles Barkley-not to be confused with Gnarls Barkley-and Dwayne Wade-not to be confused with Dwayne Nelson, and Sprint Nextel’s horrible embarrassing Connectile Dysfunction ad. Both fell well short of the Cheesy Poof or Mr. Sparkle quality.
Hard to believe the two biggest carriers, Cingular and Verizon Wireless, passed on such an opportunity, but then again Mobile ESPN-then called ESPN Mobile-was the big wireless advertiser during the 2006 Super Bowl, and we all know how well that worked.

OK! Enough of that. Thanks for checking out this Worst of the Week column. And now, some extras:

–Verizon sent out a press release earlier this week warning customers in West Virginia about “an increasing number of criminal acts that have caused major telephone service outages, creating risks to public safety for thousands of customers across the state.” The “acts?” People stealing copper telephone cables and electronic equipment. The counties hardest hit include Boone, Logan and Kanawha counties, with a recent incident of a 20-foot section of cable that housed 600 telephone lines stolen in the Weirton area. Verizon claimed that last year alone more than 26,000 feet of copper cables were stolen. I hate to put a blanket label on people from certain states, but this is not making that easy.

–This is from last week, but LG Mobile’s press release touting its agreement with David Blaine refers to the smoke and mirrors man as an “endurance artist.” From now on, I am a keyboard artist.

–This just in from Texas Instruments: the chip superpower noted in a press release last week that “Global consumers to access voice and data services independent of device or connection, enabling ubiquitous connectivity and mobility.” Sounds like TI is touting plans for human chip implants. Hey TI, how about backing the rhetoric volume down from 11?

–As if pink phones were not heinous enough, Verizon Wireless unveiled its new Orchid Pink Razr just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big fan of the whole pink-phone craze to begin with, but shouldn’t we just keep shades of pink to pink and hot pink?

–A handful of mobile-phone operators reportedly have plans to take on Google in the mobile-phone search arena. Is this something wireless carriers need to be worrying themselves about? I know they want to control all aspects of the mobile experience, but Google makes a product that people like and use, so why not let them continue to use it? Also, Google has all the money in the world and from what I hear an army of robotic monkeys programmed to subjugate all humans should anyone question Google’s superiority.


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