Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best Gadget Ever?!?!? NOT!

What potential! What promise! What an utter disappointment!

Imagine my delight when I spotted this item in the 50% off aisle at Target. Just think of the possibilities!
This would be so cool--finally I would be able to communicate my innermost feelings with my fellow drivers.
What would I like to say to those wonderful people that share the 405 with me?
Hmmm......"hey asshole" comes to mind pretty quickly. "you idiot" would be useful.
"Hang up and drive" would work too, but I'm not sure if the targeted driver could talk, drive AND read at the same time.
Actually, I had an idea for this sort of thing over 20 years ago--one of our engineering interns and I had toyed with this idea, but of course never did anything with it.
Seriously though, I really wanted to use this in the house or at work as a sort of "digital sculpture" that I could have on my desk and display pithy comments. (I saw something like that in a museum once, and I'll give 10 bonus points to anyone that can tell me the artist's name.)
So I started reading the instructions and found out that the device has a "built-in PROFANITY FILTER"!!!! WTF?!?!? I guess the manufacturer wanted to cover his ass in case some idiot programmed in "HEY ASSHOLE, YOU DRIVE LIKE A DICK" and then got capped in some road-rage incident.
The device came with some really lame pre-programmed messages such as:
"If you can read this, I can hit my brakes and sue you."
"Out of my mind, back in ten minutes."
"I brake for no apparent reason."
You get the picture. I don't know about you but those are lame enough to make me want to run that driver off the road just for being such a doofus.
Another problem is that it only has a 12V plug like for a cigarette lighter, so I wouldn't be able to use it at home anyway. I'm going to get a second opinion on if I can modify it to work the way I want.

I wonder if I will see any of these signs in use on the road and what the genius messages will be.


goldenrail said...

Bypass the profanity filter, just use "vampire" ;)
You could use it in your house. Get a small car battery and then the alligator clips with the cigarette lighter on the other end from Radio Shack. That's how I ran my ipod in my hut in Zambia; only had to recharge the battery every 3 months.

MaryRuth said...

GR--that is a pretty ingenious way to run your iPod.
We've got some self-styled vampires around here (well, more like in Hollywood) so I don't want to be dropping the v-word, lest I get bit or something! =) Actually a spider DID bite my neck two weeks ago!

Miss Healthypants said...

No profanity? No fun! :)

MaryRuth said...

MHP--it's not so much the profanity as it is the censorship. That just rubbed me the wrong way.