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trapping people into spending... a cel phone ringer rant

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  • trapping people into spending... a cel phone ringer rant

    i imagine that there's no way i'm alone in feeling this way...

    what's up with the default ringers on all new cel phones totally sucking rhinoceros balls? it's as if all the major vendors of phones that you see in wireless stores got together in a meeting and just agreed, "from this point forward, all phones will ship with ringers that sound nothing like normal phones ringing... we'll include awful, bleating tones and gut wrenching adaptations of overused midi files that play at uncontrollable volumes, and also one or two super-soft beep noises which sound like a travel alarm clock packed inside of a wadded up jock strap in the bottom of a dresser drawer... but absolutely under no circumstances will our phones ring like proper phones."

    the thing is, humor aside, i believe that this is exactly what the phone vendors have decided... and that immediately following this statement in the executive meeting, the marketing people spoke up saying, "yeah, they'll totally be forced into downloading new ring tones, and that will get them exploring our online store right from the start." then the biz-dev guys chimed in, "we could contract with Jamster and all the other horseshit companies whose revenue model is based on fleecing every last cent out of poor and ignorant people in order to provide ring tones that idiots pay for every single month! it will be great!"

    anyone with inside information on the cellular industry want to confirm or deny my aggravated rantings?
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    All phones should be on vibrate only anyway. I can't count the number of times I've let my phone "ring" in my pocket during a meeting without interrupting anything vs the number of times some idiot has the latest crappy song interrupt everthing (and then answer it in the room).
    --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kallahar
      All phones should be on vibrate only anyway.
      my phone is on vibrate almost all the time, except for when i get home and change into comfy clothes... at which point it's typically tossed next to me on a chair or a desk or the floor. then, vibrate mode only works if its on a hard surface and i hear it rattling around. personally, i'd love to see a phone that does the following: vibrate for all alerts when you're carrying it around, but ring audibly with whatever sounds you've selected while it's attached to a charger (and hence the phone realizes that it's not likely in your pocket at that particular moment).

      do any vendors put a feature like that into their equipment?
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

      Comment


      • #4
        I know that your ststements have accuracy because of the mp3 functionallity of my new phone. my old palm kyocera phone came with a program that would allow you to clip your own mp3's and other sound media and upload to your phone as a ringer. By the time my treo 600 came out, the cell phone industry had established such a big buisness in selling these mp3 ringtones that the "make your own" feature had been completely removed. its not like the technology dissapeared... or they decided that toooo many features was a bad thing... they couldnt make money off you if you could do it yourself.
        the fresh prince of 1337

        To learn how to hack; submit your request

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
          personally, i'd love to see a phone that does the following: vibrate for all alerts when you're carrying it around, but ring audibly with whatever sounds you've selected while it's attached to a charger (and hence the phone realizes that it's not likely in your pocket at that particular moment).
          Yes! In fact, I have both a crap LG phone and old Motorola (T721) that do just that. Unfortunately, the Motorola I have doesn't seem to have a feature for disabling the power-up/power-down sounds which pretty much ensures that I can't turn off my phone without making a spectacle of myself. *sigh*

          The other great Motorola moment is the single button press between silent and ring (i.e., hold down a button and it toggles) which makes a noise to switch to silent and is silent when switching to noise. At least the signal strength is good.

          Unfortunately, no solution works for most women I know. They insist on putting their phone in their purse, ensuring that they must use ring and maximizing the amount of time it takes to retrieve the device.

          As for KeLviN's complaint, are there any manufacturers that still include USB interfaces? Perhaps out-of-country models?

          And don't get me started on how the insistence on locking phones in this country has killed the market for cool, new phones...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
            i'd love to see a phone that does the following: vibrate for all alerts when you're carrying it around, but ring audibly with whatever sounds you've selected while it's attached to a charger (and hence the phone realizes that it's not likely in your pocket at that particular moment).
            to continue along this sort of theme, what about this as a different but also good option...

            a ringer mode called "delayed audible" or something like that. in this mode, the phone would vibrate for the first four or five seconds. during that period of time, the user would have the ability to either excuse themselves and answer it surreptitiously* or they could press a button to stop the alert**. if they failed to do either of these things, the phone would assume that it wasn't directly on the owner's person and would then alert with noise at a pre-determined volume. you could even have two such modes... "delayed ringer" and "delayed single beep" (self-explanatory)

            * we could probably let this rant-based thread evolve into a discussion of dickhead things that cell phone users do. for me, high on this list is when people just whip it out and answer wherever they're sitting, particularly if they are in a restaraunt. i don't give a damn if you're in a shit-ass denny's at 2:00 AM or if you're in a dive bar or what... you stand up and walk a minimum of five paces away from your party (preferably you retire to a rest room or a lobby or vestibule) before talking on the phone. at least that's what i do. yeah, the technology is wonderful and it's become so portable that your phone can always be on your person whenever you wish... but that doesn't mean i feel like hearing one side of a conversation about your aunt bessie's toe surgery or the fact that cousin johnny hit two home runs at little league that afternoon.

            ** also really really high on my list of stupid asshole things people do with cel phones is the totally inexplicable and ridiculous inability that some induhviduals have when it comes to making a ringing phone shut the fuck up. look people, you don't have to flip it open and fuss and fidget with it trying to press down squarely on the "END" button to make the loud, scary noises stop. as far as i can tell, the following rule applies to every handset on the market today: when a phone is ringing, pressing any goddamn button except for "TALK" will shut it up. that includes side buttons, too. most of the time when my phone vibrates i don't even need to take it out of my pocket, i just reach down and squeeze it through the fabric and can manage to hit a side button or two.

            heh, i've come this far with a description of things that piss me off about cel phone technology and the people who use it irresponsibly... i think my next post will further develop this theme. feel free to join in, it would be very cathartic for all involved.
            Last edited by Deviant Ollam; March 27, 2006, 16:23.
            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
            - Trent Reznor

            Comment


            • #7
              Sure. I'll join in this rant.

              They should sell/provide a ringtone of a 14.4kbps modem performing initial speed negotiation and handshake, or perhaps a FAX machine. Then you can take sweet revenge on people who also have annoying ringtones-- set a timer for its play, and let it play.

              Maybe a ringtone of a circuit busy signal, or the, "If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again. if you need help, dial your operator."

              Maybe a ringtone of $0.25 being dropped into a payphone, or a simple 2600 Hz tone. (I am sure these have been done.)

              I like the concept of devices that create DoS to cell/digital phones in theaters, and certain meeting rooms, I'd like to see cars come equipped with them as a standard feature that is always enabled when the parking brake is not set.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Voltage Spike

                As for KeLviN's complaint, are there any manufacturers that still include USB interfaces? Perhaps out-of-country models?

                And don't get me started on how the insistence on locking phones in this country has killed the market for cool, new phones...
                For USB you are limited, as far as i know now, to palm and winCE OS phones...
                the fresh prince of 1337

                To learn how to hack; submit your request

                Comment


                • #9
                  mobile phone jerks

                  ok, here's the beginnings of my master list of dickhead things that moronic, inconsiderate, and selfish people do with their wireless phones. which ones do you agree with and also find irritating? which ones make the top of your personal hate list? are there any instances i'm listing here where i should be giving people more slack?

                  inappropriate ringing - we can debate and discuss whether it's ever proper to have an audible ring as opposed to vibrate mode, but i think that we can all get on board with the notion that any environment where quiet is appreciated (read: anyplace where you wouldn't be encouraged to speak in a normal voice to the person next to you, i.e. - theaters, libraries, courtrooms) vibrate mode should be instinctual. those who "forget" to silence their phones rarely slip up just once... they tend to be habitual idiots.

                  ringer uneccessarily loud - in situations where an audible alert could be considered tolerable, i don't know how many times i've rolled my eyes or even given the "head turn and angry stare" move to some jerk who has their volume set at Max for no aparent reason. look douchebag, you aren't a construction worker on a job site surrounded by jackhammers and earthmovers... you're an accountant riding the next to me on a SEPTA train. volume level one or two would suffice. the conductor doesn't need to hear your phone ringing when you're all the way at the other end of the train and sitting in the john. so very often, this asshole move is combined with the next one on my list...

                  excessively slow answering - again, we can debate when (if ever) it's acceptable to have an audible ringer. however, in instances when that could be tolerated, people should have the decency to grab their phone the instant it starts to sound off and silence it. whether or not they choose to answer the call is up to them, but either press TALK or press END (or any other key) so that the goddamn noise stops. i want to punch people who choose to finish what they're saying to the person next to them or stare at the handset, bewildered, as they wonder out loud "who do i know from the 907 area code?" etc etc... all while the ringer is still going.

                  musical ringers - this may draw some disagreement, but i'm actually willing to label almost all individuals who have a musical ringtone as some degree of jerk. well, maybe "jerk" is the wrong term... but they still draw my ire most of the time. if you like a certain song, buy an MP3 player and listen to it with headphones. i don't give a shit about the music you like and i don't feel like hearing it when some bozo calls you to yak about nothing.

                  walkie-talkie communication - 99.9% of the walkie-talkie traffic on wireless networks is from assholes. nearly all vendors now offer a service which was (i think) originally the exclusive domain of Nextel. Chirp, Push-to-Talk, ReadyLink, etc etc etc... all of these offerings have resulted in one thing: me being forced to listen to some idiot blather with his homeboys even louder than he could on a normal phone call. i even get to hear a garbled, low-fi version of the other side of this loud conversation, interspersed with the chirping beep sounds which replaced the use of the word "over" in radio traffic. look, there is exactly one type of person who needs a walkie-talkie feature... a contractor. if you're not hanging drywall or replacing a broken toilet, chances are you can get by in life just fine with regular phone calls.

                  more definitions of phone jerks to come as i think of them.
                  Last edited by Deviant Ollam; March 27, 2006, 16:25.
                  "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                  - Trent Reznor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Voltage Spike
                    are there any manufacturers that still include USB interfaces? Perhaps out-of-country models?
                    all phones that i've bought in the past couple years have had USB support and appear as peripheral devices in Windows and Mac computers. i am a SprintPCS customer and tend to opt for Sanyo phones ever since Samsung started sucking fat, sweaty testicles around 2001. often, however, one must rely on eBay an obscure online stores based overseas in order to find the cable that goes with your phone.

                    what i thought was particularly interesting was a Kyocera K9 that i saw (prepaid Virgin Mobile, most people i know keep a few around as clean phones) which had a circular charger port with only two metal contacts (inside the ring and outside... it accepted a plug that looked like an RCA a/v male connector) but this port was also USB capable... a USB cable ordered from a 3rd party went in (also by means of only two metal contacts) and it showed up as a device on the computer right away. i didn't think that was possible.
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      more mobile phone jerks

                      here are some more asshole moves that come to mind...

                      unnecessary sound effects - look, i get it that phones are magical, shiny, electrically-powered toys much more than basic utilitarian communcation tools for many of their owners... but for fuck's sake, does the phone have to make a goddamn sound each and every moment you touch it? like a cat in heat that yowls, squeals, or purrs loudly every time you so much as brush across its fur, so many people's phone have "key press beep" enabled, "camera shutter sound" enabled, clock-related sounds, etc etc etc. hey, shitheads... you don't need the phone to audibly alert you over the fact that you just pressed a key; you can clearly see the little digit appear on the screen. you don't need a phone to instruct people to "say cheese!" when it takes their picture; your friends are all ugly anyway. and the only goddamn time pieces that should ever make noise at the top and bottom of the hour are grandfather clocks and bell towers.

                      power up / power down sounds - this one could be part of the above category, but it's such a horrid offense that it gets separate mention from me. what's worse than someone who forgets to silence their ringer and has a phone go off loudly in, say, a theater or a lecture hall? why, of course, it's a person who subsequently shuts their phone off, only to have it whistle a doodly tune for 15 seconds while powering down. either disable that shit or choose to not get upset at me when i rip out your battery and toss it in one direction and your phone in the other.

                      hmm... i'm having a lot of configuration setting rants here. how about a brief return to criticizing people's behavior while using phones...

                      the immediate return call without first checking a message - i cannot count the number of times i've had this happen to me...

                      (i place a call to someone, it rings and rings and they're not there. their voicemail kicks in)
                      me: hey, tim, i guess you're not around. i just wanted to see what you're doing later. i'm heading out from a job site right now and if traffic isn't too bad i'll be back in town by about 4:30. feel like cooking outside by the lake? i've got a lot of ground sirloin. i'm pretty well stocked on beer and whiskey, but we're low on cheese. oh, and i'm totally out of rolls. can you bring some by? call me when you're back in town and near the store."
                      (i hang up. maybe thirty seconds later the phone rings, and i can see it's tim. i sigh, since i know what's coming next...)
                      me: hello.
                      tim: hey, man. i just saw that you called. i was in the garage, just missed you.
                      me: yeah... i left you a message.
                      tim: yeah, i noticed the little icon. i didn't check it, though, what's up?
                      me: *grumble* i'm thinking we could cook outside tonight since it's so nice. you up for that?
                      tim: yeah, totally! do we have any food at your place?
                      me: *whacking head into dash board* yes. we have meat but we're low on cheese and i'm out of hamburger rolls.
                      tim: i can get them. you need me to pick up anything to drink?
                      me: arg.
                      etc etc etc

                      nowadays, if i leave someone a long, detailed message and they call me back in a minute or two the first thing i say is, "i left you a message just now... did you get it?" if they say no i sometimes immediately say, "well, i'll hang up and give you a chance to listen to it first" <click>
                      Last edited by Deviant Ollam; March 27, 2006, 16:29.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheCotMan
                        They should sell/provide a ringtone of a 14.4kbps modem performing initial speed negotiation and handshake, or perhaps a FAX machine. Then you can take sweet revenge on people who also have annoying ringtones-- set a timer for its play, and let it play.
                        I have this ringtone. If you want it let me know and I'll ship it your way.
                        perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          ok, here's the beginnings of my master list of dickhead things
                          Bitchfest? Sounds like fun.

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          excessively slow answering
                          I think you should cut people some slack here. Sometimes it takes only a few seconds to wrap up the current conversation and then you can move on. If (and it's big if) there is a legitmate reason for having an audible ringer, though, perhaps the phone developers can provide a way to silence it without answering the call.

                          I should take a moment to complain about people who place telephone calls at a higher priority than in-person conversation merely because they are telephone calls. (Note that this isn't limited to just mobile phones.) Why must every call be an urgent one?

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          musical ringers
                          (I'll once again assume that you have some valid reason for an audible ringer...)

                          I don't think it's the music you have a problem with (or perhaps you do), but the sound quality of the music. I love music, and I don't mind listening to other's selections, but tinny, "polyphonic" sounds aren't exactly pleasant on the ear.

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          one must rely on eBay an obscure online stores based overseas in order to find the cable that goes with your phone.
                          I should have been more specific. Standard mini USB ports seemed to be rising in popularity before providers realized that it was better (financially) to charge for every bit transferred to and from the phone. It worked out well for the telephone companies, as well, because they no longer had to write and support synchronization software.

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          unnecessary sound effects
                          I'm all for feedback as an integral component of the end-user interface, but sounds aren't necessary if the hardware engineers could simply provide good tactile feedback from the start.

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                          power up / power down sounds
                          As I mentioned before, these aren't always configurable options ... probably because there is no reason for them to exist in the first place.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris
                            I have this ringtone. If you want it let me know and I'll ship it your way.
                            I hope you brought enough for everyone. That's worth loading onto my phone.

                            Though I do like the idea of a $0.25 red box tone as well (still works in Canada if you can find an old enough payphone)
                            Never drink anything larger than your head!





                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chris
                              I have this ringtone. If you want it let me know and I'll ship it your way.
                              Hey,thanks man, if I owned a cell phone, I'd take you up on that.

                              I'm a luddite; I don't own a cell phone or pager, and never have.

                              Ages ago, I realized a cell phone is designed to make it easier for people to contact me, and the burden of buying, carrying, upgrading, paying for, and dealing with the annoyance of a cell phone was for the benefit of other people. (When people call, they usually want something.) If I was into real estate, or some sort of sales-thing where availability was the number one priority, I'd own one, but I'm not.

                              Some day, I will be forced to have a cell phone, and when I do, I'll be wanting that ringtone.

                              I can see it now... Draining the battery on the first day of meetings with a timer on the phone to play that every rand()%600 +120 seconds.

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