Networking

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Toilet talk

Some people never switch off

Written at a cafe in Woodbridge, Suffolk and dispatched to silicon.com from Lower Ufford via a newly installed wi-fi system

As far back as I can remember I have always found people interesting because they do such strange things.

One of the most interesting manifestations which can be witnessed anywhere and anytime concerns mobile phones.

An example: at a recent conference in a London hotel, I visited the men's room where I saw a cluster of men stood around one of the cubicles. My first impression was that they were waiting in line. But no - all soon became clear!

The gentleman occupying the cubicle was sitting there answering a phone call. In a big loud voice that was hard to ignore, he discussed some business arrangement with a customer - and with an unseen audience right outside his door.

It seems remarkable anyone would allow a mobile call to interrupt any vital bodily function and then compound this with the potential for commercial indiscretion!

So what of the audience hanging around the cubicle? I made it my business to spot them and their conference name badges, and that of the cubicle occupant. Guess what? They were from two different conferences in the same hotel and of course they were from competing companies. Priceless!

Back home I bet this guy has an IT and security department intent on locking down all the company secrets and deals - but apparently they forgot to firewall the toilet. I'm sorely tempted to start the Mobile Phone Darwin Award Academy.

About Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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