10 Feb. 2011
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Action Plan

One of my favorite oxymorons.

Verizon's Plan

Well, my plan actually, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.  In a previous blog about a very previous cellphone, I suggested that Verizon could provide much better voice quality.  In an article I just read, it seems that Verizon is planning to provide much better voice quality in the manner I suggested.

Basking Ridge, New Jersey (CNN) -- Verizon Wireless is readying a new cellular calling service that offers better sound quality than its current network and is capable of doing video chat. The new voice and video protocol will route calls over the fourth-generation wireless data network that Verizon started rolling out in December.

The internet-calling function is tentatively named VoLTE, for Voice Over LTE. (Long-Term Evolution is the name of Verizon's 4G network technology.)
Calls between VoLTE-equipped smart phones will sound better, but ones made to phones using the legacy methods will sound the same as they do now.
Whether the VoLTE name will change or how extensively it will be marketed hasn't been decided, Higgins said. The "high-definition" audio fidelity will be a major selling point, he said.

I'll say.  It may be the last short in the loading coils for landlines.  Half the time I can barely understand cellphone speech.  Wouldn't it be nice to have one that was useful for telephony in addition to photography, bar code scanning/price comparison, and music.

Lindt's Plan

Presumably had nothing to do with installing insect larvae in their otherwise yummy chocolate.  At least I'm inclined to believe that.  If they wanted to play pranks on their customers, I can think of more effective ones.  (Their truffles are of a size and shape similar to cherry bombs, for example.)  Nonetheless, I was distressed to find that some of their especially yummy, and even more especially hard-to-find chocolates were so infested.  I recounted the tale, gruesome photos and all.

Lindt & Sprüngli is a Swiss company.  Nonetheless, they have a United States branch in New Hampshire, and surely their employees read the news.  News in this country often contains stories of ridiculous law suitscongressmen suing the congressional cafeteria for broken teeth, women spilling hot coffee in their laps, frogs found in swimming pools.  It's not too much of a stretch, I should think, for them to imagine that someone who ate insect-infested chocolate might be cranky enough to demand greater satisfaction than simple replacement of the chocolate in a moth-free condition.  And yet that inoffensive remedy initially seemed to be beyond their ability, or at least their policy.  This was their penultimate response:

Please accept my apology for your dissatisfaction with our offer of resolution for your damaged product.  In accordance with our guidelines we are unable to offer product for compensation. 

I ended up with a few gift certificates worth a fraction of the cost of the chocolate.  Of course "ended up" isn't exactly correct.  Did you know that even though the venerable Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner und Zürcher Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli can trace its roots to 1845, there's still a Sprüngli on the board of directors?  I didn't until recently.  Oddly enough, after I discovered this and the names of the other board members, I sustained a telephone call from Meggan in New Hampshire, their quality control department and a gracious correspondent.  It turns out that this "policy" of not replacing chocolate can sometimes, for the greater good, be modified.  Several days after our discussion, I have living (or, much better, non-living proof) that the Biancotto and Giandujotti are available in the appropriate conformation.

Lindt Giandujotti and Biancotto, still wrapped.  What will I find inside? Lindt Giandujotti and Biancotto chocolate, 100% moth free

Meggan sent a nice (handwritten!) note and indicated that the Biancotto is one of her personal favorites.  Clearly a quality control department of refined taste and sensibility.  I've tested a number of specimens of both to confirm that they are free of protoplasmic substances and appear salubrious.  All is well again in the Land of Lindt, and despite the minor unpleasantness required to conclude this episode, I suspect them of no further pranks.  Fortunately nobody makes cherry bombs shaped like Giandujotti.

"Cherry Cherry"
Neil Diamond




To a New York Metro radio fan of a certain age, 102.7 will always mean WNEW-FM.  Now that frequencies are abbreviated, call letters are on their way out, and the phrase "on your dial" is meaningless, this shirt is somehow dissonant and reassuring at the same time.

KIIS 102.7 Rick Dees T-shirt
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Richard Factor

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