Tall tale of a very large mobile phone

If you’re tired of rifling through your pockets in search of a tiny mobile phone, read on: A Chinese man is hoping to get in the record books after creating what he claims is the world’s largest working mobile phone.

According to news reports, Mr. Tan, an electronics enthusiast based in Songyuan city, crafted a three-foot-high phone that weighs 48 pounds. It is apparently an exact copy of his own phone — but a mere 620 times bigger.

It has all the functions of a normal phone, with a built-in camera and Web surfing capabilities, but has to be plugged into an electrical socket (as Tan has yet to build a big enough battery). There was no word on whether the “vibrate” setting would cause serious injury.

Trouble is, Tan’s cellphone is actually nowhere near the world’s largest. As ardent fans of really, really big cellphones already know, Sony/Ericsson’s scaled up W810i blows Tan’s model right out of the water. Measuring around eight feet by four feet, it was unveiled on Sept. 20 last year at the MTN Sciencentre in Cape Town, South Africa.

Next time: The race for the world’s largest microchip, the most massive microprocessor, and the bulkiest mouse. For more information, visit www.oxymoron-a-thon.com.

From big to very small

Moving from the world of mammoth gadgets to that of miniature ones, Shin Beth, Israel’s equivalent of the CIA, is allowing four of its sort-of-secret agents to write blogs about their daily routines.

According to news reports, the four agents, whose names are replaced by a single initial (a la James Bond), appear as silhouettes on Shin Beth’s home page (www.shin-tech.org.il, in Hebrew only).

The new project is part of an attempt by the organization to attract more high-tech workers to its ranks. In fact, the bloggers all work on the technological side of the Shin Beth’s operations, rather than in the field. This could be why there is a noticeable lack of high-speed-hovercraft-chase anecdotes. A blog entry attributed to a female agent calling herself “H” says that she “was looking for a place that offers interest and stability, while leaving time for me to spend with my family.”

Another blogger, Agent Y, wrote that the working hours in the Shin Beth are not too demanding: “You never work overtime, unless you really have to. I rarely get home after 6:30 p.m.”

Agent A, a software engineer, wrote: “I don’t wear a uniform, the office is not located underground. I don’t walk around with an earplug all day long, and although this is extremely unfair, I do not get to place lightbars [sirens] on the roof of my car.”

Short hours, casual attire and not a razor-blade bowler hat in sight: James Bond never had it so good.

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