The Alarm Clock is Dead, Long Live the Cellphone

Gadgets, like software and services, often end up being used in ways the creator didn’t intend. But how many companies make the most of this opportunity? Take the cellphone. More than a third of Brits use their mobile phone as an alarm clock, according to a survey by British hotel chain Travelodge (thanks textually.org): Budget …

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Clock Shock

For those of you who can’t get out of bed in the morning, the alarm clock that outwits you is finally here. I mentioned Clocky in a WSJ column more than a year ago in talking about the problems of ignored alarms: Efforts to overcome this problem have been inventive, but rarely successful, says Gauri …

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Gadgets That Are Stupid, #2

In the second of my series on gizmos “that seem to do things right but suffer a design flaw that renders them hazardous to one’s health, or peace of mind, or that of one’s partner” I present the bedside console of The Wharney Hotel in Hong Kong. These kind of things are popular in hotels …

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Gadgets That Are Stupid, #1

I thought I would start a fresh series of Gadgets That Are Stupid: gizmos that seem to do things right but suffer a design flaw that renders them hazardous to one’s health, or peace of mind, or that of one’s partner. Here’s the first entry: An alarm clock. On the surface an excellent purchase: It even …

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Valentine’s Day – A Humbug Approach

It’s that time of year, and the marketing folk are back with lame Valentine’s promotions. My first is from Audible.com, where I must have registered at some point, because I got an email with the subject field ‘Someone has sent you a Valentine!’ along with the following message: ‘Get a special Valentine’s day wish (and …

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