Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Bad news if you live your life on the assumption that the old “Killer in the Backseat” fable is true: Automaker Volvo is scrapping its seldom-used “intruder heartbeat detector system” from 2011 models.

The system, part of a $550 option package, allows drivers to use their key fob to remotely check for anyone lurking in the rear seat. The intruder in hiding is detected by their heartbeat…

Reviewers scoffed about the likelihood of ax murderers hanging out in unsuspecting motorists’ back seats from the start. “Has someone at Volvo been renting slasher thrillers from Netflix?” Motor Trend asked in July 2006. Reviewer Mark Phelan, writing in the Detroit Free Press, called the feature “spooky” and suggested Volvo should have called it the “Urban Myth Detector.”

In related news, phone companies throughout the land have canceled plans to roll out a “Line Extension Security Check” feature. Therefore, when a stranger calls from upstairs, the babysitter is on her own…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/22/2010 11:21pm
Category: Pop Culture, Society, Tech
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Online dating gains some offline hard-copy tactics in Cheek’d, a service that kicks off connections via hand-delivered notes:

Users receive calling cards to dole out to alluring strangers they encounter in their everyday lives, be it in a club or in a subway on their morning commute. Recipients of the cards can use the identification code printed on them to log onto Cheekd.com and send a message to their admirer. A pack of 50 cards and a month’s subscription to Cheek’d, where users can receive messages and post information about themselves, is $25. There is no fee for those who receive cards to communicate with an admirer through the site.

Each Cheek’d card has a sassy phrase like “I am totally cooler than your date,” or, for those with no regard for subtlety: “I’m hitting on you.” [Site founder Lori] Cheek is dreaming up specialized card sets, too. One for New York City singles will have lines like “I live below 14th Street” and “I hope my five-story walkup won’t be a problem.”

This definitely restores something to the Web-dating dynamic. While the stigma of online dating has largely faded, there’s still something antiseptic and chore-like in scanning through Match.com profiles. At least this way, you get out from in front of the screen and encounter real flesh-and-blood prospects; the awkwardness of face-to-face communication is alleviated by the hand-held written word.

I’m looking forward to some cute brunette slipping me one of these cards while I’m zoning out on the subway, or some other anonymously-crowded venue. Although I’ll point out that the ladies are late to the game with this technique, as guys have been using their business cards as pickup tools for years.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/22/2010 10:40pm
Category: New Yorkin', Society, Women
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