Cyber culture: Can I borrow your Telepod?
Did you know the iPhone was almost called the Telepod and other tech-naming near misses...
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Wednesday 13 March 2013
Head Cheese is a pretty bizarre name for a film.
Director Tobe Hooper came to this realisation at some point in 1974 and decided to call it The Texas Chainsaw Massacre instead. George is a pretty ridiculous name for a planet , too – not that the discoverer of Uranus, Sir William Herschel, thought so; he was dead-set on naming the fourth largest planetary mass in the solar system after George III, and it was only down to some stubborn resistance from astronomers outside Britain that stopped "George" nestling between Saturn and Neptune. And now we hear from a former Apple creative director of advertising, Ken Segall, that the iPhone was almost called the Telepod – a name that suggests some kind of weighty remote control with chunky buttons, and certainly not an information utopia with a sleek retina display. This lucky escape brings to mind other technological near misses: the Compact Rack (CD), The Rainbow (ZX Spectrum), Status (Twitter), MacMan (iMac) and, gloriously, City Boy (Nintendo DS). I'm relieved that we don't have to salute the majesty of "The Information Mesh" (one suggestion on the shortlist for, yes, the World Wide Web).
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