Things that make me sad

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Do babies call a cab for you?

I remember reading the story about how Woz finally got a phone number he wanted: 7 matching digits (888-8888).

The number proved unusable. It received more than a hundred wrong numbers a day. Given that the number is virtually impossible to misdial, this traffic was baffling. More strange still, there was never anybody talking on the other end of the line. Just silence. Or, not silence really, but dead air, sometimes with the sound of a television in the background, or somebody talking softly in English or Spanish, or bizarre gurgling noises. Woz listened intently.

Then, one day, with the phone pressed to his ear, Woz heard a woman say, at a distance, “Hey, what are you doing with that?” The receiver was snatched up and slammed down.

Suddenly, it all made sense: the hundreds of calls, the dead air, the gurgling sounds. Babies. They were picking up the receiver and pressing a button at the bottom of the handset. Again and again. It made a noise: “Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.”

The children of America were making their first prank call.

And the person who answered the phone was Woz.

After we had flown into the Ft. Lauderdale airport for our cruise and were walking over to pick up our shuttle to the ship, I noticed cabs that had the same number on them.

Broward Taxi

954-888-8888

Now I wonder how many bad phone calls they get a day.  I’d imagine at times it can be tough to tell a falling-down drunk from a randomly babbling baby 🙂

prototype.js broke my hashes!

As of this morning, I finally tracked down a bug that was biting me for the last 2 weeks and preventing progress on a personal project.

The long version is too long to bother to post, but the short version is that this article knows what it’s talking about 🙂  Prototype.js extends a bunch of built-ins, including Array, so some code I had iterating over the keys in an array broke.

http://ajaxian.com/archives/javascript-associative-arrays-considered-harmful

A nice side effect is I’m much better with javascript debugging in firebug and VWD now. 🙂  Another argument for doing your javascript code in Ruby (or whatever – Script# works well from what I hear, and I’d imagine GWT works well for the Java world) and letting the javascript get generated – at least for those of us that, as GWT’s page says, “don’t speak browser quirks as a second language”