Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Lately I have been driving up and down Northern California. A lot. Naturally, as I do this, I occasionally talk on the phone…if for no other reason than to keep me entertained as I log mile after mile. Interesting thing about today’s “modern digital technology” is this: it’s shit. Apparently, driving by a foothill 13ft above sea level is enough to kill a phone call. Hell, I think a blade of grass just a wee bit too close to the roadway can make a call drop…or two mosquito’s screwing mid-air and flying through the signal path would do it as well. Why is it we can control a robot on the face of fucking Mars 50,000,000 miles away without much trouble at all, but a consistent cell phone call from I-5 near Tracy is like getting a woman to admit she’s wrong (i.e. damned near impossible). Why don’t the cell carriers just piggyback their signal onto a Mexican language radio station? Because God knows those evil bastions of drunken polka music come in clear as a bell even if your car was driving behind Mt.-fucking- Everest.

Anyway, I have a theory, and it’s predicated on the typical human being a complete and total gullible dumbass…so I have a hunch it’s probably correct. It goes something like this: the new ”digital” mobile phone technology is a scam. It doesn’t exist. If I understand things right, the theoretical beauty of a digital signal is that its signal strength shouldn’t matter…unlike the old cell technology. In other words, since digital is just a binary language that’s interpreted by a microchip, how strong the signal is shouldn’t matter. Either the information is there to be understood and relayed, or it’s not, no matter how strong or weak. So, a signal at 1 percent should work just like a signal at 100 percent, since either way the information is there to be interpreted. Now, the old “cell” technology very much depended on signal strength and that’s why calls would fade in and out, and be staticky, and all that nonsense. But you know what? I get a lot of that with the new technology. In fact, a lot of my calls go like this:“Can you hear me? No? How about now? I can hear you just fine…can you hear me? Wait…ok, now I can’t hear you…do you hear me? Ok, you can’t hear me now? I still hear you. Hello? Hello? Ok, there you are…wait…you’re staticky…no, I don’t take fish oil. Oh…you ditched the foil! Got it. Yeah…that self sealing plastic wrap is pretty cool. Hello? Hello?”

Anyway, most of my conversations contain a version of this dialogue about 75 percent of the time…and yes, I have discussed plastic wrap on the phone f.y.i. In fact, I think that's why new "smart" phones have so many features on them now (and yes, I have one too), because they want to distract you with bright lights and gimmicky bullshit to get you to forget the fact that the phone call quality STILL SUCKS ASS. But I digress. I think our new phone technology is just the same old technology we’ve always had, it’s just that the corporate robber barons renamed and repackaged it as a ruse to charge us more for the same old crapola service we’ve always had. And because it’s labeled “digital”, which sounds hella sexy, we practically come in our pants to cut them that check…because we’re stupid. This renaming the same turd sandwich we’re always forced to eat by marketing fuckwads is nothing new, and it’s been around for, well, forever. Snake oil salesman for lack of a better explanation. As a matter of fact, if you ever see the words “New”, “Premium”, “New and Improved”, “Exclusive”, “Ultra”, and yes,”Digital”, you can be pretty sure you’re getting screwed…and just like getting screwed, it’s always gonna cost ‘ya eventually…BIG TIME (you know…either financially, or in another little piece of your soul being destroyed). Can you hear me now?

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