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June 12, 2009

Things you never knew your cellphone could do

Sorry, Wrong Number 112

Emergency. The worldwide emergency number for mobiles is 112. If you find yourself out of your mobile network's coverage area, dial 112 and the phone will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you. Interestingly, this number (112) can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.

Locked your keys in the car? Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cellphone from your cellphone. Hold your phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at home press the unlock button on your spare key while holding it near their phone. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has another "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Hidden battery power. Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# — your cellphone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery strength. This reserve will get recharged the next time you charge your phone.

How to enable quick disabling of a stolen phone. To find your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits: *#06# — a 15-digit number will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your phone is stolen (or lost), phone your service provider and give them the serial number. They will then be able to block your phone so that even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless.

If even one of the above tips is valid, it's well worth what you paid for it.

Wait a minute....

[via Kayla Falconer]


Addendum at 6:52 p.m. today: Most of the above is bogus, according to snopes.com.

Thanks to Joe Peach and Rocketboy for pointing out my gullibility (I'm being kind to myself today).

June 12, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Sound Effects Flashlight


That's different.

From the website:


Great Outdoors Flashlight

This flashlight has eight sound effects that provide the ambience of Mother Nature, including an owl, cricket, coyote, bear and rattlesnake, plus a crackling campfire and babbling creek.

Requires 3AA batteries (not included).

Ages 3 and up.


For once, everyone reading is old enough.


June 12, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Not your granny's macramé


By designers Alexa Adams and Flora Gill for Ohne Titel; $685 at Cesare Paciotti.

[via Karin Nelson's story in yesterday's New York Times]

June 12, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beer Bags



You will be.

Immerse one of these little devils in cold water for six minutes, give it a quick stir and, voilà, a pint of foaming beer (3.8% ABV).

The sachets contain freeze-dried triple-fermented hop concentrate, gypsum and a CO2/nitrogen-based foaming agent.

Also available: German Lager, Irish Stout, Old North Country Ale and Middle Earth Mead.


[via James Ferguson's "Pat Pending" feature in today's Financial Times "How To Spend It" magazine]

June 12, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Free organic fruits and vegetables




Long story short: visit


fallenfruit.org, veggietrader.com


and neighborhoodfruit.com and see for yourself.

June 12, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

AirNav Radar Box — AWACS for your laptop


From Jonathan Margolis's review in his "technopolis" column in today's Financial Times "How To Spend It" magazine: "Hook the AirNav Radar Box up to a PC (sorry, no Macs), place the antenna close to an office window, and you can turn your computer screen into the same live view of the aviation around you as an air traffic controller. It is unbelievably diverting. Watch in real time every aircraft for hundreds of miles, each identified by flight number, aircraft type, altitude, heading and speed, each updated every second. You can even click on the blip to see the actual aeroplane or one like it. Quite amazing."

Whip this puppy out on your next WiFi-enabled plane flight and take it to the next level.

Of course, once you get on the ground, all bets are off.

Considering that an AWACS plane costs $270 million, a snip at £389.95 ($642).

June 12, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My next computer: So near — and yet, so far...


Announced Monday at a new price of $1,699, the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Available now.

That's the near part.

I'm so excited: I'm still using 10.3.9 on a 2005 PowerBook, and getting more and more tired of spinning beach balls and 10-15 second lags between entering commands and having them happen.

Q. What's the holdup, then, joe?

A. The current MacBook Pro comes with OS 10.5 installed.

Snow Leopard, aka 10.6, arrives in September.

As a card-carrying TechnoDolt™ there's no way I'm getting a machine now, then upgrading.

If you don't understand why this behavior makes perfect sense to me, well then, you haven't a clue about what it takes to be a TechnoDolt™.

Go back to Ruby on Rails and leave me alone.

June 12, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ice Cream 2 Go


"No more meltdowns. Keep ice cream cold on the way home from the store or to the picnic. Tuck a pint of ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt inside this insulated plastic container and go."

"Freezable gel lid and foam-insulated tub keep contents chilled up to 1½ hours."

Orange or Green.

$12.95 (ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt not included).

June 12, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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