Archives for the category: Public Phone Booths
March 26, 2013
The boothless pay phones of New York currently are serving as time portals--back to the year 1993 in a New Museum exhibit called NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star. FastCompany reports.
In order to promote the exhibit as a conduit to the recent past, agency Droga5 arranged for 5,000 of the city’s pay phones to be equipped with bits of location-specific history from some of the people who lived it.
Read full article.
March 7, 2013
The City of New York invited students, urban planners, designers, technologists and creators to build physical and virtual prototypes imagining the payphone of the future. Judges selected the top six designs, now you get to decide which design will receive the Popular Choice Award.
Check out the top six designs at CBSNew York.
Image below, an entry called Windchimes: An environmental sensor stations that talk through payphones. They can plug directly into existing technologies and communication infrastructure, making them low cost and immediately deployable. via nycdigital.tumblr
Vote on Facebook before March 15th at facebook.com/nycgov
December 14, 2012
Brazilian telecom company Oi sets up a phone line to the 'North Pole' for the holidays. PSFK reports.
In Rio de Janeiro, Oi set up a ‘magic’ pay phone that allows children to call and speak with Santa Claus. As the children were talking, retired actors on the other end of the line could see them on a video monitor, allowing for real-life conversations as opposed to an automated script.
June 5, 2012
This giant brain-shaped phone booth is by Brazilian artist Carla Pires de Carvalho Fernandes. It was installed as part of a phone booth redesign competition in São Paulo, sponsored by telecom company Vivo.
Image via Design You Trust.
August 26, 2010
Spotted on Mashable, a Google Phone booth.
In order to promote its new, cutting-edge calling technology, Google Voice integration with Gmail, Google is going retro with dozens of phone booths set to sweep the nation’s airports and colleges.
Related: - It's official, GMail now makes phone calls
April 9, 2010
As of today, reports WirelessWeek:
On an experimental basis and for an initial six-month period, Paris is welcoming new phone booths in four touristy areas, including near the Eiffel Tower.
September 20, 2006
The BBC reports on historic phone directories being put online. A wonderful read.
"The humble phone book, dating back to the Victorians, is providing a rich seam of social history. And as part of the boom in genealogy, back issues of phone directories have been scanned and published online in a venture between BT and a family history website.
-- The honour for appearing first in the very first phone book goes to John Adam & Co, 11 Pudding Lane in the City of London.
-- Other entries making their debut in the early phone books were Alexander Bell - yes, he who invented the phone - and Keith Prowse. Yep, selling tickets.
-- It also shows how quickly the telephone spread. By 1914, the phone book was the largest single printing contract in the country, running off 1.5 million copies.
--Phone books give a snapshot through the following decades of the 20th Century of where people were living.
-- The re-published phone books stop at 1984, before the arrival of mobile phones and the proliferation of numbers and communications.
September 12, 2006
Public use phones in Brazil exist since the 1920s, but the payphones known popularly as "orelhões" (literally, "big ears") were created in 1970 by Shanghai-born architect Chu Ming Silveira (1941-1997). Chu Ming was head engineer at CTB (Brasil Telephone Company) and created the first fiberglass design named CHU-1. These classic designs were first presented to the public in Rio and São Paulo in 1972.
Since then the design has remained vastly popular, but some touristic destinations in Brazil have created their own designs, some of which are presented on this page. The phones in this small gallery were photographed in: Porto Seguro (Bahia), Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul), Palmas (Tocantins), Aracaju (Sergipe), Fortaleza (Ceará), and other cities throughout Brazil.
September 4, 2006
As companies cut back on telephone booths, Amish and Mennonites are building their own, writes The Washington Post, in an insightful article on how these comunities are "cutting deals with new technology".
... "In the past several years, Amish and Mennonites - who still ride horse-drawn buggies - have quietly erected at least 12 hidden, private phone booths, posting them behind barns, in the woods and, in one case, inside a former chicken coop.
Called "community phones," they allow them to conduct business -- crucial to surviving amid the region's development pressures -- while holding on to prohibitions against home phone lines and cellphones.
Called "community phones," they are the latest example of how the groups in Maryland and elsewhere have been cutting deals with technology for the past century.
... The new phones hold advantages. The Amish and Mennonites don't have to carry around fistfuls of quarters or buy costly calling cards. Families divide monthly bills. Because the phones are hidden, locked and -- in the case of a metal chamber booth, which was fashioned out of a tank salvaged from a junkyard -- reinforced, the phones are less likely to attract vandals and drug dealers.
There are rules. Families can't post phones too close to homes, and they can't outfit them with amplified ringers that effectively would make them house phones. Some Amish don't cotton to voice mail, but Old Order Mennonites seem more accepting of the feature. For both groups, the idea is to limit forces they think will distract them from faith and family.
"The telephone, and the use of the telephone, is not something we're opposed to. We just don't want it to be the main part of our lives," said Ethan Brubacher, 31, a nephew of Elmer, who owns Quiet Valley Structures, a shed-building business in Loveville. "
August 31, 2006
Picture Above: Payphone on Lake Victoria in Uganda using GSM Technology and Solar Power. Photo sent in by Craig Wheeler, Remkor Technologies South Africa.
February 6, 2006
We've heard much about the demise of the phone booth all over the world due to the prevelence of mobile phones, but one US State has a good idea; Maine. The Boston Globe reports.
"A hearing on the proposal for public interest pay phones will be held Thursday before the Public Utilities Commission.
The growing popularity of cell phones has prompted companies to eliminate many public pay phones, particularly in rural areas. The companies say the phones get little use and it is costly to maintain and repair them.
But in some areas without good cell service, or in emergency situations, access to a public phone can be essential. Mobiles seem particularly vulnerable to crashing during crisis. The networks are also liable to be shut down to forestall the possibility of mobiles being used as bomb-triggering devices.
"A bill sponsored by Adams to authorize the rule change was enacted last session by the Legislature.
If the rule is adopted, municipal officials and the public could request public interest pay phones for certain locations, which might include bus stations, airports, highway rest areas, courthouses, post office lobbies, hospitals and medical clinics.
Callers could dial for free anywhere in the state, while out-of-state calls could be made using a calling card, credit card, prepaid calling card, or by making a collect call."
Picture from Payphones of the world
August 27, 2004
The news from BT that it plans to axe close to one-fifth of payphones in Scotland is the last phase of a rolling review that will eventually see around 10,000 payphones disappear across Britain in the coming 18 months, reports the BBC.
"In its heyday the red call box was a British icon as famous as the red double-decker bus, red postbox, or The Beatles.
However with the rise to prominence in recent years of the mobile phone, BT says there has been "a complete culture change in communication.
Over the last three years the use of public payphones has almost halved and revenue has dropped by 40%."
May 12, 2004
Belgian incumbent telco Belgacom has announced it is to scrap roughly 4,000 of the country's telephone booths because so few people are using them anymore, according to DMEurope.
-- Phone booths in England are fighting for their lives in what looks like a losing battle with the cell phones.
November 30, 2003
Rival public payphones in Australia may be given a last breath of life with the addition of text-messaging capabilities and email-capable payphones, reports The Age.
Telstra has blamed declining numbers of payphones - 1373 were removed last year - on the increasing use of mobile phones but other research shows that two-thirds of payphone callers who have a mobile phone with them, will use a payphone to save costs".