SMS Autoresponder Interface for Cell Phones

It would be neat if there was a programmable interface whereby cell phones could automatically reply to SMS messages.

This might have practical applications — a cell phone could give out information about its physical location in response to a properly-passworded query, to aid in figuring out where you left it or whether your kid is skipping school — and expressive ones, the equivalent of custom auto-away messages in Instant Messenger programs: “I’m in class now, my phone is set to silent. I’ll be checking messages at 2:30,” or “Currently, I am listening to ‘Swipe My Magstrip,’ by Deloused.” (The latter would of course be more useful in a world where people actually listen to music on their cell phones, but convergence is real and approaching.)

It’s true that this might provide a vector for worms and other malware, in the same way that badly-written CGI scripts can compromise Web servers. But I wonder if the power isn’t worth the risk.

On The Road Coffee Set

In Seattle, we take our coffee seriously, if you didn’t know. Unfortunately, not everyone outside of Seattle does. And so: us coffee connoisseurs would like it if someone sold a French Press sized for one drinker, packaged in a break-proof container of some sort, with a teensy coffee grinder that fits inside the pot for compact storage. It would be great if there was a small airtight storage box for coffee beans that also fit into the press.

Because of the plunger, it would make sense if the grinder and the bean storage were each semicircular, with divots for plunger-space between them.

A Better Shower Radio

I’ve had a number of shower radios over the years, and they’ve always had the same problem: poor reception. Due to whatever confluence of causes including construction materials, room locations, and what-have-you, the antennae of shower radios always seem inadequate. Reception tends to be poor or nonexistent.

Why not build a shower radio into a shower curtain, and weave an antenna through the shower curtain, so that a much larger antenna would be possible? That should dramatically improve reception, at least in showers with curtains instead of glass doors.