Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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public cellphone dummies

To reduce annoyance in public places, cellphone users can plug into an amplified speaker dummy, making their conversation look more like one between two present people.
 
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Like many folks, I tend to find others' public cellphone conversations more annoying than non-cellphone conversations around the same volume level. This puzzles me greatly, as the actual level of second-hand noise from the cellphone gabbing may be roughly half that of the 'fully present' conversation. My theory is that bystanders feel inherently excluded from others' phone conversations, but still feel some noise intrusion, and thus feel resentful.

To ease the public anti-cellphone backlash then, why not borrow a page from the carpool dummy playbook: install friendly looking, small human-sized dummies -- of sundry shapes/colors &c. -- on subway cars and in other public gathering spots. These dummies would have slots for inserting a 1/8" jack-equipped cellphone, thereby establishing an amplified speakerphone connection, so the conversation would be more accessible to bystanders. Courteous cellphoners could use the dummies and, in doing so, accrue small discounts on transit/phone service &c.

Enterprising pranksters, of course, could stash connected cellphones in disparate dummies, who would then appear to murmur schizophrenically to anyone present, eventually provoking a multi-car feedback of bystander wrath...

n-pearson, Jun 20 2003

Phone Calls for Dummies http://www.halfbake...lls_20for_20Dummies
shameless plug for similar solution [FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       you just want a blow-up doll, admit it!
po, Jun 20 2003
  

       Nice one, [n-pearson].
snarfyguy, Jun 20 2003
  

       rbl did ant technology once.
po, Jun 20 2003
  

       Shhh [TomBomb]...on the internet no one knows you're a luddite... And [po], thanks for the Freudian analysis of my 1/8" jack requirement.
n-pearson, Jun 20 2003
  

       thats OK, I am useful like that :)   

       its nice to meet a man who is realistic with his measuring abilities.
po, Jun 20 2003
  
      
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