Wednesday

Wednesday 16/10/2002Today's Private Eye magazine has a witty cartoon of a telephone box marked "Over 18s Only". For readers bemused by this, there is a London tradition whereby ladies and gentlemen of the night promote their wares through colourful cards stuffed into phone boxes in the centre of town.

Wednesday 16/10/2002
Today's Private Eye magazine has a witty cartoon of a telephone box marked "Over 18s Only". For readers bemused by this, there is a London tradition whereby ladies and gentlemen of the night promote their wares through colourful cards stuffed into phone boxes in the centre of town. BT keeps trying to ban them, schoolboys avidly collect them and everyone else has just learned to ignore them. Apart from side-splitting japes when large numbers are swiped and posted inside the lifts at work just prior to a visit from the Americans -- but let us not dwell on that puerile nonsense. Now, however, the same thrilling experience can be beamed to the comfort of your very own trousers courtesy of Private Media. This purveyor of pornography is setting up a service whereby for a mere six quid you can have a series of steamy SMSes sent to your phone, followed by the Web site address of the alleged creator of the sexy texts. Obviously, 3G is the natural home of such ideas. Every new technology is used for sex -- the very word pornography comes from the Greek for "writing about whores", vividly illustrating the uses of papyrus they don't tell you about on Discovery -- and just think about Alexander Graham Bell's first words on the newly invented telephone: "Mr Watson, come here, I want you." It's a commonplace in the consumer electronics industry that pornographic films were the kicker that pushed VHS ahead of Betamax, and the Internet has hardly been free of the odd off-colour picture. Watch out for the bundled phone deals, though. With mobile manufacturers desperate to explore new markets, there's room for more design innovation than just a ribbed and textured case...

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