A Limit to Good Manners

DH’s new iPhone4 arrived yesterday and he was as excited as a child. He may not have a handy bone in his body, but he adores gadgets and technology. Luckily for him, because he is on the road almost every week of the year and must be able to work in trains and airplanes, his job keeps him well-supplied with the latest upgrades.

Last night he asked me to edit some writing for him. Normally DH is reserved and quiet, even phlegmatic, and he couldn’t very well ask me to work and then constantly interrupt my efforts, but as I cut and slashed I could hear him in the next room chortling with glee. “Wow! Look at this!”

At last Lucy wandered out of her bedroom and he had a devoted audience.

The software that had captured his heart was Siri, the “personal assistant” that recognizes voice commands and can schedule appointments, set reminder alarms, send texts, place telephone calls, look things up on Google, even recommend the nearest restaurants — just by talking to it. Gosh!

I could hear the excited chatter in the living room as DH and Lucy experimented happily.

“Siri, please send this photo to Susan.”

There was a pause. The iPhone was obviously stumped.

“Please send this photo to Susan.”

Another long pause. Finally the telephone voice: “I do not understand this word, plaze.”

I burst out laughing, and called across to them, “I always get after D and tell him normal people say Please and Thank you but I guess you have to draw the line when you’re talking to robots!”

DH and Lucy experimented right up until I served supper. “Siri, I want to send my wife flowers. Where shall I buy them?” (“No!” I cried, but they were just having fun.) The only stumbling block was DH’s reflexive politeness, which kept baffling the phone. Every few minutes I’d hear Lucy remind him, “It’s the please thing, Dad.”

DH left early this morning on another business trip. I’m guessing the new iPhone4 will keep us in touch. Thanks, Siri!

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3 Responses to A Limit to Good Manners

  1. Jody says:

    I’m so excited for him! I can’t wait to get mine but I’m not due for my upgrade till February – must run in the family!

  2. Missy says:

    lol, so funny. I am waiting (impatiently) for ‘just’ an ipod touch. Then I’ll be gadget happy too. How amazing that people all over the world can enjoy the same things so much.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks, Jody and Missy. I find all the bells and whistles (except for the librarian-type ones, Google searching and reading plus writing) a little strange and unnerving. A robot personal assistant is too much for me. I can’t even have a border collie! 🙂 But DH loves it all and it’s wonderful to see him so excited and happy.

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