Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I'm a farm boy. It's very interesting; you can detect self-starting characteristics in this society and they are strongest among people who have had some kind of rural upbringing and a very impressionable stage."
- Frank Herbert

Free Telephone Call  
  All telephone calls are free - in exchange for short commercials.  

In the frenetic future envisioned forty years ago by Ballard, nobody paid for phone service. That's because it was already paid for - by advertisers.

Before Judith could reply the telephone rang. Franklin lifted the kitchen receiver, listened to the gabble of noise that poured from it. At first he wondered whether this was some offbeat prestige commercial, then realized it was Hathaway in a manic swing.

"Hathaway!" he shouted back. "Relax, man! What's the matter now?"

"--Doctor, -you'll have to believe me this time. I tell you I got on to one of the islands with a stroboscope, they've got hundreds of high speed shutters blasting away like machine guns straight into people's faces and they can't see a thing, it's fantastic! The next big campaign's going to be cars and TV sets; they're trying to swing a two month model change--can you imagine it, Doctor, a new car every two months? God Almighty, it's just-"

Franklin waited impatiently as the five-second commercial break cut in (all telephone calls were free, the length of the commercial extending with range-for long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10: 1, the participants desperately trying to get a word in edgeways to the interminable interruptions), but just before it ended he abruptly put the telephone down, then removed the receiver from the cradle.

From The Subliminal Man, by J.G. Ballard.
Published by Not Known in 1963
Additional resources -

Some readers may recall the attempt to provide free computers and internet service, in exchange for a advertisements that were constantly shown on the screen.

In 2006, Virgin Mobile USA customers were able to earn up to seventy-five minutes of free airtime in exchange for reading text message ads on their phones. (See Would you watch ads just to talk for free? for details.)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Subliminal Man
  More Ideas and Technology by J.G. Ballard
  Tech news articles related to The Subliminal Man
  Tech news articles related to works by J.G. Ballard

Free Telephone Call-related news articles:
  - Advertising-Funded Cellphone Content
  - Nexus One Not Ballardian Free Ad Phone
  - Targeted Audio Ads On Your Cell Phone
  - Ad-Supported Free Telephone Calls
  - Google Patents 'Spy In Your Pocket' Smartphone
  - Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service

Articles related to Communication
Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
5G Will Be Crucial Backup For Self-Driving Cars

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.'

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
'As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted...'

Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
'...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away.'

Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
'No earth-hatched bird can learn to fly in that fashion...'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.