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Worst of the Week: Flying my Dork Flag high

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 to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!
And without further ado:
Sure they make you look like you should be working on Cloud City, but to me the usefulness far outweighs the dork-factor.
Few things in life give me greater pleasure than annoying my colleague Mike Dano. You may also know Dano as RCR Wireless News’ all-to-capable online editor and, if you are reading this column, primary contributor to Worst of the Week. But, did you also know that Dano is a practicing devil worshiper and on weekends likes to fly to Alaska to club baby seals for fun? He claims that the blood of the innocent gives him greater powers, but I think he just likes a good seal clubbing. Sure, some of that might not be true, but I rarely let facts get in the way of a good Dano-slam.
(In all actuality, Dano is really like the most annoying boy scout you would ever meet. Somewhat a cross between Leopold “Butters” Stotch and Milhouse Van Houten.)
Anyway, a while back Dano wrote a missive on his disdain for Bluetooth headsets, noting, “Even worse than talking on a Bluetooth headset are those people who just wear them around town, like it’s normal. Yeah, real normal. You’ve probably seen these people at the mall or the grocery store-nonchalantly walking around with a giant silver Dork Flag attached to their ear.” (Of course, to really get a sense for how that quote sounds, imagine it coming from Dr. Nick Riviera and you can understand some of my “dislike” for Dano.)
On some level I agree with Dano that people wearing Bluetooth headsets do look a bit odd, and that some models make people look like they should be working on Cloud City, but I do not agree with him that it’s OK to slaughter baby seals. It’s just wrong.
Knowing Dano’s dislike for Bluetooth headsets makes it only too easy for me to thus wear a Bluetooth headset whenever possible. On occasion I have been known to wear two Bluetooth headsets just to add further fuel to the annoyance fire. “Childish” you may say? Sure it is. But if you were forced to deal with Dano on a daily basis you too would be reduced to such lowest-common-denominator behavior.
But, beyond the annoying of Dano aspect (which if you haven’t guessed is a great benefit), I am a big proponent of wireless headsets. First of all, as one of 18 people left in the country who still drives a car with a manual transmission-you know, the kind where you have to put the big gulp, cellphone and PSP down to actually shift gears-I find a Bluetooth headset a great way to continue in-depth and engaging conversations while driving. Also, Bluetooth headsets allow me to handle business calls when I’m at home killing Chimera on my “Resistance: Fall of Man” game.
(As a matter of fact I have recently re-classified the history of my life to events that happened prior to using a Bluetooth headset-now known as BB-and after using a Bluetooth headset-now known as AB.)
But, again the main reason is to annoy Dano, and really that is all the reason anyone needs to do anything.
OK! Enough of that. Thanks for checking out this Worst of the Week column. And now, some extras:
–Need further proof that wireless will someday rule the world? Google’s vice president and (I’m not making this up) chief Internet evangelist Vinton Cerf said that mobile phones, not personal computers, will fuel growth of the Internet in developing countries. Since this came from Google that pretty much makes it true, and since it came from Google’s VP and CIE, it has some sort of religious backing.
–Wireless management services provider mindWireless released a report earlier this week that claims Sprint Nextel’s CDMA network actually is the most reliable wireless network in the country. The much-beleaguered carrier nipped in ahead of Cingular’s legacy AT&T Wireless network and Verizon Wireless. While every carrier besides Sprint Nextel is sure to argue with the report’s methodology, you gotta admit it’s nice to see Sprint Nextel leading any positive report.
–Cingular? AT&T? All I can say is enough with the slow demise of the Cingular name. We all know AT&T is axing the well-established Cingular brand in favor of the AT&T moniker, but the in-between time is getting unbearable. The new tag line appears to be “Cingular, now the new AT&T,” though the experts on “American Idol” continue to call it Cingular. (A side note. Remember the first year AT&T Wireless sponsored “American Idol’s” text messaging vote, and that half-wit host Ryan Seacrest held the AT&T Wireless phone upside down? That was hilarious.) I have a better name: “Cingular, the new AT&T, not to be confused with the old AT&T Wireless that was bought by Cingular before AT&T, which was bought by SBC Communications that also bought BellSouth before buying AT&T that then gave the new AT&T control of Cingular, if you remember from before had bought AT&T Wireless and changed AT&T Wireless to Cingular.” Kinda rolls off the tongue.
–Madrid, Spain-based “social router” company Fon announced plans to give away free wireless routers to anyone living next to a Starbucks, which I believe would be around 83 percent of the U.S. population. Fon said the plan is to allow people to charge $2 for Wi-Fi access and undercut Starbucks’ current $10 access fee for Wi-Fi service. As Fon says on its Web site, “A savvy patron of your Starbucks need only pay $2 a day for your Wi-Fi. They’d have to be a grande drip to pay the $10 Starbucks charges. Each customer who chooses you puts $1 into your latte fund. Cha-ching.” All I can say is: Brilliant! Now the next step is to pass out free base stations to everyone who lives next to a cellphone tower.
–Not sure of the wireless angle on this, but a Reuters story yesterday had the weirdest headline I have seen for some time: “Gunman kills 2 clowns in Colombian circus.” Not one word of that headline is not awesome, except for maybe “in.” Hopefully someone caught it on a cameraphone and thus it’s inclusion in here could be justified.


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