Texting tests patience

A week of IT

Texting tests patience

Telecom's rock, paper, scissors texting promotion didn't do much for an unwilling participant we know. On receiving the promotional message, she texted back 'stop' as instructed by the text, which read '2 stop any txt contacts from us, reply 'stop'." However, the texts didn't stop, with one excuse for not stopping being that the second 'stop' text was more than 12 characters long. Admittedly, the text contained the word Telescum, but then again, the first request to 'stop' had been ignored. Finally, our forced rock, paper, scissors player - who says she never signed up for the promotion and is sure no-one she knows would have signed her up - had to phone telecom, using old-fashioned voice and ask that the texts stop.

Sleep texting

Speaking of texting, a Welsh man has taken sleepwalking into the digital age - he sends text messages in his sleep. Richard Griffiths claims to have texted his Mum at 2am and also to have sent a text to a friend saying someone was chasing him. The friend, concerned, phoned back and woke Richard, who said he had been dreaming of being chased when he sent the text. Professor Chris Idzikowski, an expert on sleep disorders, told The Sun "I haven't heard of this before, but it's entirely plausible and possibly a sign of the modern age."

Sex and IP Telephony

Warning to anyone visiting the Voice over IP Security Alliance's website, www.voipsa.org. If you leave out the voip, you go to www.sa.org - the sexaholics anonymous site, as an eTale staffer found out recently, when hurriedly attempting to access voipsa.org and leaving out the voip.

It's a feature, not a bug

E-tales staff were delighted to receive a new cellphone to play with — we like new toys here at E-tales Central. They give us a sense of accomplishment, particularly when we manage to get rid of that annoying little icon that says we have messages waiting when we don't.

Imagine our joy, then, to discover this new phone came pre-loaded with said evil icon, and resisted all attempts to eradicate it. No messages were waiting, no calls had been missed, no appointments had been scheduled, yet the happy little icon sat there declaring one message pending. Just to be on the safe side, eTales staff checked for emails (always a danger on these new-fangled phones) photo messages, voicemail messages and even the browser messages (what on earth are they? — Ed) to no avail. In the end a hammer did the trick. No message but the voice quality has deteriorated somewhat.


There have been plenty of instances of online romances leading to divorce, but in Jordan recently, there was an unusual twist on the usual scenario. The Ananova website reports that Jordanian man, Bakr Melhem, had been having an internet romance with a woman, but when they arranged to meet, she turned out to be his wife, who had also gone online under a diffferent identity. When the two met at the agreed rendezvous and Melhem realised his online girlfriend was actually his wife, he divorced her on the spot. His (now ex-) wife called him a liar, then fainted. So be warned - online dating while you're married isn't for the faint-hearted.

Spam by any name

Looking at the spam that gets through ISP and company filters, a particular feature strikes us – the increasing percentage of unbelievable names, such as “Jubilation T Cornpone” attributed to alleged senders. Vowelless surnames are also common.

The developer who comes up with a filter capable of discriminating between the ridiculous and the likely in names could make a mint hooking it onto more conventional subject-matter filters - one of our staffers recently received a mail allegedly from one “Garri Potter”, written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Fortunately, he was aware of the Russian practice of substituting G for H in transliteration of Western names (Cyrillic has no H).

But this set him wondering, how many Russian Garris are really homely Harrys? Probably not many, as “Chess grandmaster Harry Kasparov” doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Email etales@idg.co.nz with your stories of wit and woe

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