Saved from smart technology by antiquated technology

In order to test something for a contractor, I needed to make a successful call from my Droid to a contact whose name was in Unicode in my contact list.  


I installed a multilingual keyboard and added Cyrillic, then added a new contact.  My housemate was standing right there, so I filled in his number and hit the “call” button.  And of course, my phone immediately displayed his real latin-character name and his photo, because I have 7 entries for him in my contact list (!), several of which are linked to that number.  For a user, this is a great feature.  For a developer, it was a little distressing as I tried to think of someone whose number I had who didn’t have social network entries automatically syncing their contact data to my phone, thus ruining my test plan.


Suddenly, I remembered an antiquated technology that could help: automated services that you can call for free, very popular during the era when even dumbphones were rare, but verging on useless as smartphones dominate.  I just plugged in the number of a regional weather service and was able to place a successful call.  Yay!

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