Friday, August 07, 2009

What every phone really needs: True Caller ID

I can't live without my Caller ID. It's been around since the late 80s, and I won't bore you with the patents, rollout or history. That's what wikipedia is for. But here's the thing it doesn't tell you: who is actually on the other line. It only tells you where the call is coming from.

No, a killer iPhone app will identify who's actually holding the phone: it's not Steve, it's Steve's mom, who's using Steve's phone because she forgot to charge hers, and Steve is driving and wanted to know what time the show starts. With this app you would know not to say something stupid, like:

"Douche! I told you she was gonna leave you with something after that party. How many times has your mother said, wrap that rascal? What do they treat gonorrhea with these days anyway, ass-wipe? OxiClean?"

"Hellllloooo. Steve?"

How many times have you answered the phone with false confidence, thinking it was who the Caller ID told you it was?

Honestly, after years of old-world-phone-usage conditioning, sometimes I still answer the phone with the anticipatory and upward inflecting "Hello?", where we both pretend I didn't know who was calling. Old habits really do die hard.

But I want this app to do more than use thumbprint analysis, retinal scans and DNA matching. I also want it to tell me if it's calling me with speakerphone on, and who else is in the room.

In fact, it shouldn't just be iPhones. It should be all phones. Especially the extensions at work, which don't tell you your boss, her boss, the VP of Marketing, the EVP of Finance, the CEO, two board members, and three potential clients are sitting next to Chris when she calls you with a question. And she still owes you $10 for the football pool. Then you won't say things like:

"Bitch! Where's my money?! I'm beginning to think you're cheaper than a three-dollar ho, or Jenkins. Man, you'd think a man who makes 400 large would spring for lunch just once. Damn, I even got to pay for his sodas in the cafeteria. Never has 'change'. Probably all tied up in lawyers after we dodged that last SEC investigation. Man, we did more shredding 'round here than Tony Hawk. So whatcha need?"

Come on, geek nation! Before you give us another GPS-potty plotter, hook us up with something we really need on our phones.


Cheryl Smith said...

That's funny! After watching an episode of Dharma & Greg, I once answered a co-worker's cell phone at the office "Craig's pants, he's not in 'em right now," - in pure fun. Only to find it was his mom. Ummm... awkward.

One Wink at a Time said...

This is hilarious and there are sooo many scenarios that could be addressed here. I don't rely on caller ID exclusively, one reason being that for some reason the in-laws always show up blocked. They wonder why we never take their calls...
Along the same lines... a guy I work with texted me the other day with what I thought was a reference to a private joke only he and I were privy to and I responded accordingly. Turned out to be the wife using his phone and a lengthy explanation became necessary... luckily it turned out fine but could have gone the other direction...
Wish you would post more often :-)

Mike said...

Thanks Cheryl and Linda! I could have gone on all day with scenarios, some less like a prepubescent teen. I do need to post more often. I hope the inspiration I felt from Alison's post about being penpals with John Hughes ( ) will sustain my writing flow. I want to post more! Cheers! :-)

Vyolet said...

OMG! I love when someone takes the thought in the back of your head from 10 months ago when you thought it was your sweetheart calling and answered "I'm only wearing bubblebath and I'm feeling frisk-eeeee", only to discover he had lent his phone to your chemo tech (who he used to work with) and popped in to say hello to before getting your perscription, and turns it into such a well written and funny post!
Whew! I think I need to lay down after such a loooonnggg arse sentence! :)
I never trust me caller ID. Not that many people have my number. These days I pretend its my long lost best friend. Yes, I fake "I was just thinking about you's". There I said it. It's out in the open.
I stumbled across your blog from a comment that you made on We'll Know When We Get There. I love a good find!

PS - I'll be back to lurk! :)
PPS - I over smiley when leaving first comments on new blogs! :) It's a condition and I'm working hard on it. ;)

Mike said...

Wow, Vyolet! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I too love the random find. There's no such thing as over-smiley-ing. OVERUSE OF CAPS often frightens me, though. But you don't do that. :-)

And it's not lurking! Peruse at your leisure. That's why the posts are here.

Cheers! Mike

Vyolet said...

omg. I hope my previous omg in caps wasn't to jarring. I too fear the caps. I don't like being yelled at in person let alone by the written word. :)
My blog was shrunk recently as I have gone public again (stalker issue.) Well not so much stalker as creepily over into my life. I am restoring some of the posts that most give a window into my little world but it's missing about 450 posts. I am nothing if not prolific. :)
Trying to figure out the quickest way to get people up to speed without boring them to death.

Mike said...

I look forward to reading whatever you wish to share. And I appreciate your sense of humor/humour! :) Mike

Vyolet said...

I was just wondering if you have ever visisted The Mind of Spaz.
Like yourself he makes me laugh out loud and continue to titter for ages.
I must warn you, poo features semi regularly. If you get a chance, check him out.
It's social commentary with a side of flatulence.
But enough pimping for Mike... wait... not you... the other Mike.

PS -

PPS - Seriously, I'll stop pimping now.


Mike said...

Of course I had to check out Mind of Spaz! Scatological humor not my fave, but I couldn't stop reading, and he was funny! Thanks for that!

JessieX said...

Direct. Thinking. Funny. As always. :-)

Mike said...

Thanks, Jessie! :-)

Order Soma Online said...

If you find any decent caller ID app, tell me okay? I have enough crappy experience with crappy caller IDs and one I will give my right leg for not to go through again.

My phone rang and seeing it's my bf's number I snatched it up and yelled (I was mad at him and PMSing)"No I am not having sex with you. Sex with you right now is just icky not happy!" Guess what? It's his mom, asking me over to dinner.