Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ring tone pollution...

On my current assignment, I spend much of my time sitting in a cube. The cubes are open plan. I'm not sure where the term “open plan” comes from, but if it's supposed to suggest that in the absence of walls “the plan” is known openly and not concealed in a manager's office, it was obviously coined with a huge tongue in the cheek. If there’s one thing that sitting in a sea of cubes does, it’s to dislocate one’s sense of belonging to anything, never mind a plan.

I thank an associate from Ubiquity for bringing to my attention the use of the word "polluted". In a lament to him about the death of meaning in a sea of new terms being used to describe a particular area of software just now (IMS related), he replied that the space was becoming polluted. I'd never thought of words as being pollutants before, but it's a nice metaphor. A pollutant is really something in the wrong place at the wrong time, so words can easily fall into that category, but not as easily as ring tones!

Apart from the background hum here, ring tones are a major pollutant – and irritant. Thank God that I have been assigned to a new cube away from the guy with the Ibiza-style rave tone, but only to be flanked with a really bad version of the “24 CTU-phone” tone – the tempo’s all wrong! Please! Fix it.

In certain shared spaces, ring tones should be made mutable by some giant hand in the sky that switches them all off. This has been discussed before in the context of sacred buildings where ring tones are a nuisance to devotees. Of course, with proximity sensing, this type of application is possible and long overdue. The question is whether or not an owner of a building has a right to mute phones in its corral. Let’s hope so. My tinnitus is beginning to take on a melodic colour - and it's not Beethoven's fifth.

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