Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Techno-Loafing: The Reluctant Consumer

{cackle!} Today I managed to LOAF through all the hours in which I could have been addressing the latest technological grouse: installing a new land-line phone and its five handsets.

The beloved Uniden finally croaked over. Its answering machine function crashed, and Uniden has quit offering support for its cordless phones. One Amazon reviewer claims to have been told by a Uniden CSR that the company has quit making phones. Unclear whether this is the case, given the number of their phones still available at Amazon…but those could be counterfeits, I suppose. Or unsold stock.

That phone has run for something over 15 years — not bad in the Age of Planned Obsolescence. Whether or not Uniden has quit making it, Costco doesn’t carry it. Costco carries a Panasonic cordless phone with five handsets, which is very much like The Deceased.

Well…on steroids. It looks incredibly complicated to set up. Yesterday I got through the task charging the handsets. Since the batteries require 7 hours of charge-up time and it was after noon before I got around to this trick and I had to go out to dinner with friends, plugging the chargers in was about as far as I got.

Today, going back to choir for the first time in over two months (thanks to the bronchitis and then the cold and then braining myself by falling flat on my face) was about as much as I felt like coping with. Well. That and finishing the client’s math paper: predicting bitcoin prices through the miracle of partial differential equations….did you there’s also something called a difference equation? And yes, they’re different.

The Panasonic does a whole lot of similarly amazing things. Some of them are amazingly neat. Some of them…well, they extend beyond category of “don’t care about it” to “no, thanks, I don’t want that.”

Naturally, like most such phone sets, it comes with a call blocking feature. Thanks. I have my own — the CPr 5000 Call Blocker — and on review I believe it to be better.

You can answer a call with a voice command. How Star Trekkie can you get? Phone ringie-dings at you and you can holler across the room, “Answer the phone!” It hears, it understands, it opens the squawk box.

Right. It hears. What else does it hear? And who else hears it? And who can hack into it?

Speaking of voices, it will nag you when a battery is low. I deeply, truly hate being nagged by machines.

And speaking of privacy issues, it will spy on the nursery for you: it has a built-in baby monitor.

LOL! Get’em used to Big Brother early, eh?

The talking caller ID? Well, that’s cool, I guess, if you can’t bring yourself to glance at the screen on the desk or trudge across the room to look at one of the handsets. But annoying. Again: I do not care to converse with a machine.

Like the old Uniden, it has an intercom function. Since there’s no one else here at the Funny Farm, I’ve found that to be a feature that annoyingly gets turned on at the slip of a finger. And it’s hard to figure out how to escape.

Here’s something cool, though: it will attach to your cell phone!

No joke: it has Bluetooth, and so not only will it engross your cell phone, it will even let you send and receive text messages! How kewl is that?

It has an alarm clock. Just what I’ve always needed.

No doubt it can do any number of other tricks, too. All very neat. But…but…the question is…


Seriously. Why? All I need to do with a phone is make phone calls and receive phone calls. I really don’t need or want all these bells and whistles. Neat as they are.

All I want is a phone. Just a phone.

Author: funny

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  1. WOW! I did not know that landlines could do all that. But like you, I also ask why? The mind boggles.

  2. I personally would find the audible caller ID useful, as might someone else whose eyesight was less than stellar — or who had limited mobility to jump up and check the display. But I can see how it could become annoying if you didn’t want the feature. Surely there’s a way to turn it off?

    Likewise, I can see the utility of smart devices that listen and await your command. Several of my blind friends sing their praises. But I don’t want one. As you say, who else is listening? And even if there’s nothing to hear, that doesn’t mean I want everybody to hear it.

    Good luck with the new phone!

    • Yes! As a person who doesn’t have to deal with various fine hindrances, I fail to think about the possibility that these features would be truly wonderful if you were blind or if it were painful to pick up the phone or a struggle to hustle across the room to answer a call.

      Well, we’ll find out if they can be turned off, or if I even care enough to try to turn them off. So far I haven’t been able to work up the nerve and the energy to plug the thing in and figure out how to work it. Half the day today will be consumed at the Mayo, after which I no doubt will be too medico-annoyed to deal with a techno-annoyance. 😀 Sooner or later, though, we shall see…