E-tales: Bracing for NZ's iPhone frenzy

All the signs are there for the iPhone to be huge - when it finally hits these shores

IPhone frenzy on its way?

One of our e-talers was hanging out at the Classic comedy club, in Auckland, last Tuesday night, watching the filming of TVNZ7’s new Media 7 show. The show, which is hosted by former Computerworld writer and uber-blogger Russell Brown, was broadcast on the new digital Freeview platform last Wednesday.

Propping up the bar, happily using the beer tickets provided by TVNZ (how very 1970s!), our man overheard the bar-staff chatting — about their iPhone procurement plans.

The conversation was all about when the staff were going to go out and buy their first iPhones. That’s when, not if. Nor did they want those hacked ones. They seemed pretty confident the real deal was just around the corner. Our e-taler was torn between heading back to watch the filming and eavesdropping further. He reckons all the signs are there for the iPhone to be huge — when it finally hits these shores.

Very early adopters…

Eat your heart out, boys. We reckon our e-taler is right on the money about the iPhone’s appeal. A young (17) acquaintance of E-tales has just acquired one and was showing it off to the lads and lasses in his circle. The boys’ mouths were heading floor-wards; the girls were impressed too — but only up to a point. Girls do like gadgets, but not quite as much as boys.

Apparently, the fact that he can only do normal mobile phone things with it at the moment bothers the young man in question not at all. Nor is he interested in hacking it. It’s the cool factor, stupid!

Downtime drives us crazy

Some acronyms are creative: the word neatly re-expressing the idea behind the original phrase. Some are also undesirable too, for throwing an ironic light on the original word.

MAD, as in Mutually Assured Destruction — in relation to nuclear war — is probably the best example here.

Now, an e-taler has unearthed a new meaning for the MAD acronym which is strangely appropriate in a different way. It turned up in a recent NZ Ministry of Health tender as Maximum Allowable Downtime.

Apparently, according to the tender document, a “gold” class of service from an outsourcer will permit only “20 minutes MAD”, when a serious problem occurs. In contrast, “bronze class” service involves eight hours of MADness before, presumably, sanity is restored.

These public servants really should get out more — or maybe they’re exhibiting a very wry sense of humour.

Klingons go online

We don’t know if this is new or old, but E-tales was recently pointed in the direction of some Google pages that translate English into Klingon.

Being an avid Star Trek fan from way back, E-tales’ editor couldn’t resist checking out the first “Mr Klingon” entry, which turned out to be “The Universal Translator Assistant Project”. The first page handily has the word “chocolate” in the top box, ready to be translated into… select “phrasebook” and, hey presto, you get the Klingon translation — which is “yuch”. Surely not. But then E-tales’ editor is a chocolate fiend.

I did wonder why “chocolate” was listed as a Vulcan word though. Maybe for the same reason the Japanese word for “tomato” is “tomato” — new foreign food retains foreign spelling. No wonder the Vulcans are so dour, living as they do on a chocolate-less world.

I’m going to have to stop here. Now I know I really am a Star Trek nerd. For all you other trekkies out there, the link is: http://www.google.com/search?hl=xx-klingon&q=translate+english+klingon&btnG=GoogleDaq+yInej

There’s also a Klingon language edition of Google I’ve not had the pleasure of exploring properly yet. It’s available at: http://www.google.com/intl/xx-klingon/

Go Worf!

Really big toy

Now, we know some boys really like their toys big, but this chap’s big toy is kinda cute. Online news-site Ananova recently pictured electronics buff “Mr Tan”, from Songyuan in China, with his look-alike three-foot tall mobile phone.

It’s not actually very mobile — it weighs in at a hefty 48lbs (22kgs) — but it is an exact copy of his own phone, and it works too. The only design blip is he couldn’t build a big enough battery, so it has to charge off the mains.

The big question is: why? It’s simple. He wants to get into the records books as having created the world’s biggest working mobile phone. His big baby is 620 times bigger than its little brother.

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