Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Common or garden texts

There are a couple of ads on South West Trains at the moment that are testament to the sheer power of the humble SMS.

'Birds need gardens,' reads one. 'Invite them to yours with a text.'

This bewildering appeal from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds conjures up images of our feathered friends tapping their beaks on a Galaxy S4. When I want to get in touch with a sparrow or blackbird, I always tweet.

Sightsavers take the idea a stage further. 'This eye infection could blind him. Text the antibiotics that could save his sight.'

My phone is now seemingly linked to a 3D printer. We've certainly come a long way from wuu2 lolz.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How long must we wait?

Here are two great ideas I can guarantee won't be taken up by the authorities any time soon.

First, a solution to the labelling of unhealthy foods, which we know to contribute to premature deaths from heart disease and cancer. Forget traffic lights. Why not show the number of cigarettes a food product is equivalent to?

I don't know the facts, obviously. Leave that to a boffin in a research institute. But a cheap, own-brand lasagne, packed full of salt, saturated fat and horse, would be, say, 10 ciggies. A couple of deep-fried Mars bars would be 20. Instantly, we'd see what we were doing to ourselves at a glance.

Here's my other idea, drawing from innovations we've seen online.

You know how when you go on Google Street View now, they show the names of the roads as if they've been painted in large letters by a gang of virtual municipal workers? Why not ACTUALLY paint the names on roads in real life? Then we'd always know where we were.