Vintage rotary phone lamps

Theron of isn't letting old rotary phones go to waste. This Bay Area artist is repurposing them into cool lamps ($167+) whose headset is hovering in mid-air as its light source. The cord is flexible and can be repositioned as you like. Neat!

They write:

In the early 1970s herds of rotary phones spanned the countryside. Social by nature, the phones bred in most homes and soon every imaginable color was available. Hunting was easy! Firmly attached by a cord, trappers harvested their cases by the thousands. They were at the brink of extinction when a few cordless models got into the population. Today’s cellular phone is the result of careful breeding management. We celebrate the near extinction event, with the release of our popular recycled phone lamps in every imaginable color. Relive the 1980s or earlier and be the talk of the town. Like really, people talked on these and now they will talk about these. One customer said “Truly the coolest thing I’ve ever purchased.”

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(Princess and her regal consort both SOLD) Our expeditionary team returned with one of the last breeding pairs of turquoise blue phones known to exist.  Behold a princess phone lamp and her regal consort in their corded glory.  Several large and unnamed museums have made offers, but we just can’t see them locked in a glass case!  They belong in their natural habitat, the rumpus rooms of America.  Take one home today before they are forever extinct.

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Brave humorists take on the phonecase-industrial complex

Those of us who eschew a phone case take a lot of abuse in this cruel world. Finally, a send-up of all the things we endure from case freaks and their misguided fanaticism. Note: some spicy language that reflects what we have to deal with. Read the rest

New smartphone app lets museum visitors point at art, then see artists discuss the work

The Hirshhorn Eye (nicknamed "hi") is a new smartphone application that lets visitors to Smithsonian's Hishhorn Museum of Art point their phones at art and hear messages from the artists themselves. Read the rest

A simple cordless handset that sounds good and doesn't record voicemail

I needed a new cordless handset for my home POTS line. I wanted no-frills, just a phone. This works wonderfully.

Every decade or so I need a new phone for my landline. My former AT&T model's reception had degraded so badly, from drops of both the base and handset, that I couldn't move around the house while I talk. I like to pace. Pacing is how I can talk in the phone. I needed something new.

Most of the units I was seeing had VOICEMAIL built-in. I do not want VOICEMAIL built in. I hate VOCIEMAIL and rarely listen to recordings from even my best of friends. My cellphone and phone service both offer highly entertaining, and wildly inaccurate, transcription services! Why the hell would I want to listen to a message? Most messages offer me time-shares or other bullshit. Lately I've been receiving fake threats that the government will be placing me in physical custody. Voicemail is like spam from Internet forums. ANYWAYS... this unit has no recording service.

The handsets are light. The sound is great. The range is as far as I want to go inside my tri-level home, and I can walk around my deck and garden with no problems. I've even gone the 100 fairly obstructed yards or so to my car in the drive way and could hear my Mom the whole time. The rechargeable batteries are absolutely readily replaceable, but should hopefully last a year or two between swapping out.

The phone doesn't have the most awesome set of ring-tones ever, but who cares? Read the rest

Cold-calling phone company hit with record fine

Keurboom Communications was fined £400,000 by British regulators after making almost 100 million unwelcome phone calls to lines in the UK. The wheeze was to call people late at night and pitch accident compensation claims. The company went into liquidation before anything could be done about it, reports the BBC, but regulators say they plan to recover the fine all the same, and have their eye on company director Greg Rudd.

"The unprecedented scale of its campaign and Keurboom's failure to co-operate with our investigation has resulted in the largest fine issued by the Information Commissioner for nuisance calls," said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO.

Keurboom director Greg Rudd told the Mirror newspaper that he found cold-calling "annoying" but said it was "part of life".

"I don't enjoy receiving them but that doesn't make them illegal," he said. However the ICO said making automatic marketing calls without people's consent was illegal.

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Chart of every Nokia dumbphone from 1982-2006

Prepare to take a technological trip down memory lane with this enormous comprehensive chart of every Nokia dumbphone model starting 35 years ago. Extendable antennas, clamshells, you name it. Read the rest

Mobile phone use may worsen depression

PUMP, or Problematic Use of Mobile Phone, happens when users turn to their phones instead of in-person contact to alleviate depression, according to a new study in Computers in Human Behavior. Read the rest

Technology confuse lizard! Lizard no like!

Why ant no tasty? Lizard mind no grasp concept of menu selection! AAAAAAAARRRRGH! Lizard crush microprocessors!!

I also originally found this as a GIF. Thanks to theortolan for Submitterating the video! [Video Link] Read the rest

Blackberry maker RIM offers customers free apps after outage; RIM stock continues to drop anyway

Shares of beleaguered Blackberry maker Research In Motion dropped more than 5 percent today after the company tried to make up for a four-day BlackBerry outage by offering customers $100 worth of free apps and technical support. That outage was a quiet killer. But what should they have offered their loyal users? Other than an iPhone or an Android phone, I mean. Your suggestions welcomed in the comments. Read the rest

Smartphone wars: In US, iPhone is top device, while Android is top OS

Nielsen reports on market share for smartphones in the US, with an interesting split between domination for OS and domination by actual device. Google Android is currently the top operating system, at 39 percent, with Apple’s iOS at 28 percent, and the RIM Blackberry at 20 percent. "However, because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system, it is clearly the top smartphone manufacturer in the United States." iPhone has 28% of the market. All of this is based on June, 2011 data. Read the rest