E-tales: Theresa’s donkey daze

Is the once-upon-a-time Telecom CEO most like the world-weary Panza, or the fanciful, idealistic Quixote?

Evermore fun

What was going on at the Tech Ed after-session Evermore bash last week? E-tales hears that beers were consumed — too many, perhaps — and an altercation ensued. Did a rogue open-sourcer sneak into the Microsoft music bash, enraging the more computer-conventional? One jaded veteran attender of such events, who didn’t go, said they are usually populated by the older-somethings suffering from the dreaded hair challenge, so maybe the chaps were just re-living feistier days.

Do you think I’m smexty?

The smoking ban has been good news for mobile operators. An unexpected consequence has been an increase in text-messaging from bored smokers while standing outside on their own. The new name for smoking and texting: smexting, reports the UK Daily Mirror.

Theresa’s donkey daze

Learning that the Gattung, as our once-upon-a-time Telecom CEO is sometimes called, has been riding a donkey, Don Quixote-style, across Argentina, caused E-tales to speculate. We wondered: which of the novel’s two main characters is she most like? The world-weary Panza, or the fanciful, idealistic Quixote?

No question really, when one thinks back to our late Lady of Telecom’s ill-advised comments about confusion being a key marketing tool in the telco business, and that companies had made a killing by “not being straight up” with customers. A major theme of the novel is the nature of deception, as well as truth and veracity, and Panza is not fooled for a minute about anything — unlike his master, whom he deceives at times.

Afreaka — more than just dusty

Sometimes E-tales loses faith in the technology industry — all that porn. But every now and then, there comes a story of internet good. It seems real Africans — not just the African diaspora and 419ers — are blogging big-time. And, among other things, they’re revealing what’s going on in Darfur, which is particularly good news as many reporters can’t get in there. It’s just the kind of thing internet visionaries hoped the internet would do: provide a voice for the voiceless.

Marshmallow girl shoots for the stars

We love a girl who’s into music and tech. Mira Aroyo (pictured above), lead singer of Ladytron, the Liverpool electronic pop band, was interviewed recently by the UK Guardian and came up with a couple of truly idiosyncratic pieces of technology she’d like to own.

To quote her: “I’m torn between a SkyScout handheld instant star and constellation identifier — which identifies more than 6,000 celestial objects at the touch of a button — and a marshmallow shooter, a clever pump-action device that shoots sweet, edible, miniature marshmallows over 30 foot and has an LED sight that projects a safe beam of red light to help locate a target for pinpoint accuracy.”

E-tales’ editor didn’t believe in the existence of the latter, so E-tales googled it and, yup, there’s a veritable cornucopia of marshmallow shooters out there. The editor wants one for Xmas.


It’s well past April Fools Day but it fooled thousands of netizens — the tale of a fellow who, allegedly, whittled down his chunky thumbs the better to use his iPhone. The story, about a man who “surgically alters thumbs”, was actually a satirical take on the world of technology, courtesy of the US’s North Denver News. Most of the newspaper’s readers got the joke — unlike many online readers who picked up the story.

Who says the newspaper world is inhabited by dullards while all the brains have gone online? Actually, netizens missing the joke probably has more to do with the fact that net reading is often skim-reading, which means that sometimes the real meaning is not picked up.

Eye-watering tale

Now here’s a tale to make the average bloke’s eyes water — a British builder has given himself the chop in an attempt to become a woman, reports news site Ananova. He did the terrible deed after following how-to instructions on a DIY castration website.

Ouch! Even as a woman, E-tales’ editor can’t bring herself to check out the website. Amazingly, the builder is alive and well — if possibly slightly deranged — and now wants breasts and hips. Thankfully, these will come courtesy of a Thai operation which will, mercifully, be performed by a real surgeon.

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