Telephones got their start in the late nineteenth century, connected through exchanges. In the early twentieth century, however, Bell introduced a new dial system, and needed to tell callers how to use it.
Reports say less than half of U.S. households are equipped with landlines. I remember when a landline was the best thing that ever happened to me. Do you still have one? What do you use it for?
Dial a phone number. Instead of the person you're trying to reach, a stranger picks up. After a moment of confusion, you blurt out "sorry, wrong number," and hang up. Was it your fault? In 1960s America, it might have been the phone company's error, but AT&T was happy to let you blame yourself.
Alexander Graham Bell may have invented the telephone in 1875, but the first phone installation didn't come about for another three years. And that's what makes these photos from 1887 so incredible; this tangled mass of telephone wires had already wound itself around New York City's streets just seven years after that…
Idiots, racists, and old-fashioned xenophobes took to social media this past weekend to express their disgust with Coca-Cola. The international beverage company had the audacity to run an ad during the Super Bowl that featured people singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages. This, of course, was…
Fifty years ago, the most revolutionary technology of the future was supposed to be the telephone — thanks to some high-tech upgrades just over the horizon, of course. At least that's what the phone companies kept telling us.
Speed-dialing! Electronic exchanges! Call forwarding! Okay, it's no gold iPhone, but back in 1965 (when Apple CEO Timmy Cook was just four years old), this was the future of phones!
The year was 1960, and phones were changing. It was the beginning of the end for rotary dialing, and buttons were the future. But engineers faced an important, looming question: what order do you put those buttons in?
Gigabit internet is fast and amazing. But that "Download entire movies in mere seconds!" line gets real old if you, like the vast majority of the country, don't have access to those lightning fast fiber lines. But thanks to a new approach from Alcatel-Lucent, your creaky old copper phone lines might be good enough.…
You've just sat down to a nice home-cooked meal with your family when the phone rings. Could be Grandma, you think. She still actually uses the phone for talking. But no, it's a robocall shilling for some debt relief scam, the fifth in as many days.
If you randomly asked people what their morning shower is missing most, there's a good chance they'll probably lament the fact that their showerheads don't look like retro phone handsets. A complaint that's now rendered moot thanks to this novelty showerhead.
By 1950 only about 60 percent of the homes in the United States had a telephone. And since one of the best ways to sell a product is by appealing to kids, AT&T created this 18-minute film called Adventure in Telezonia that somehow manages to teach, terrify, and sell, all at the same time.
Way back in the 20th century, when people talked on phones, the old AT&T Corporation produced instructional movies with a mission: to show telephone newbies how not to be assholes. The strategy? Show a lot of footage of male assholes.
Phone numbers are intangible, frivolous things. No one in their right mind would collect them, right? Wrong. Meet Dennis Mykytyn, the man who purchased 100 coveted phone numbers with 212 area codes for $30 a pop in 2007. Yes, this guy spent $3,000 on phone numbers.
Hey! For all five of you out there who use Sprint (just like me!!!), Google voice integration is now live. That means you can route all your ingoing/outgoing calls through Google's system without having to use special software.
When Google launched their Voice service a couple of years ago, people made a big deal about what their move into the telecom world meant. In a print-only interview with New Scientist Peter Norvig, Google's head of research, said the main reason they launched the service was so they could better learn how to…
135 years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded a patent for what would eventually become known as the telephone (one of his minor inventions among many others, NBD). This is one of the first sketches that led to his Eureka! moment, complete with a description of what it was:
No wonder those 1970s telephones are still working today. Watch Bell Performance, a rare glimpse on how handsets were made and tested in the 1970s. Can you imagine the iPhone 4 going through any of these tests? That'd be so funny.
As your frustrations with waiting in line mount this holiday season, it may be some comfort to know the scientific trappings of why, exactly, you're stuck for 20 minutes behind the lady who insists on a dozen price checks.