I suppose I can understand putting one of those “If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 911” messages on a health insurance phone menu. But if you’re going to have one, shouldn’t you put it before the five-minute member identification/sign-in process, not after?

Admittedly, the process only took that long because their voice recognition system wasn’t getting along with my voice, but still, isn’t the point to route people to the fastest response in an emergency?

I’ve always wondered how the name of Japan’s currency ended up meaning “craving” or desire in English. It turns out to be coincidence, probably from the Chinese y├íhn or yin, “craving.” Word of the Day: yen.

TweetUp acquires Twidroid and changes its name to Twidroyd “to ensure minimal confusion with products from Lucas Films.” Fortunately no one will mistake Lucas Films for Lucasfilm

Last month, KTLA reported on a 3.3 earthquake in the Inland Empire. “Dozens of residents” in the region felt it. Dozens! Wow!

I have to agree with @rzazueta: Woot’s Amazon buyout report is an instant classic (via @boingboing)

Chart of the Day presents: What people are actually doing with their cellphones (aside from talking) based on a Pew survey on mobile internet use. (via @ThisIsTrue)

If you went out to the movies in the US during 2009, there’s a good chance you saw a turn-off-your-phone PSA in which a movie about “robots from space” tries to negotiate blowing up Mount Rushmore.

In a case of life imitating art, the National Park Service is currently battling Transformers 3 — a movie about robots from space — over just what they can and can’t do with a national monument!

Okay, you can’t blow up a national monument, but…

Bill Line, Park Service spokesman, said the producers “have asked to do some things that simply are not done on the National Mall,” among them staging a “car race” along the Mall’s gravel paths and flooding it with artificial light in order to shoot at night.

Apparently it’s not unique to Transformers 3, but a fairly frequent battle between the park service and film producers, which means Sprint’s video isn’t just a funny story, but a bit of an in-joke to those familiar with the industry.

Hmm, any chance the new movie will have a chorus singing “Robots from space!” in the background?

Android and Me is reporting that all Android phones in the U.S. will get Android 2.1 updates — even the G1 — but that they may be missing some features and some models will need to be wiped as part of the installation.

That makes sense, because it would allow developers to reassign some of the space set aside for over-the-air updates and use it for a larger system instead — and maybe more space for apps.

The possibility that the G1 was headed for obsolescence before my 2-year contract was up didn’t bother me much at first, but I’ve watched as even Google has released high-profile apps that required Android 2. Sure, I doubt the hardware can handle Google Earth, and Buzz turned out to be a dud, but they’re signs that Android 1.6 isn’t going to cut it for much longer.

If it does require a wipe and re-install, I can deal with that. A lot of the key data is either synced with the cloud or stored on the SD card. With luck, T-Mobile and HTC will build a decent backup and restore into the process and I won’t have to reinstall all my apps, bookmarks, etc.

Update August 2010: This is looking less and less likely as time goes on.

So, Google has announced the Nexus One phone. Let’s see how it stacks up against what I want in my next phone:

  • Mainstream Android (i.e., not overcustomized like Motoblur)? Check.
  • Faster than what I’ve got (a G1)? Check.
  • More memory & storage? Check.
  • Better camera? Check.
  • Longer battery life? Check.
  • Less clunky? Check.
  • Available on my current provider? Check.

Sounds great!

Only one problem: there’s no keyboard. Android’s on-screen keyboard is decent enough, but I’m not quite ready to give up that physical keyboard just yet. (OTOH, I don’t want the Droid. I played with the keyboard a little at Best Buy a couple of weeks ago, and really didn’t like it.)

I’ll have to practice with the virtual keyboard on the G1 some more. If I can get used to it, this might be worth the upgrade.