Stupid mobile tricks: 7 stories of smartphone horror

If the word "smartphone" has ever struck you as ironic, you aren't alone. Thank your lucky stars these horrors didn't happen to you

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Smartphone horror story No. 6: The sleeping smartphone
Let's face it: Corporate conference calls can be pretty damn dull. So maybe it shouldn't come as a total shock that even our smartphones sometimes fall asleep midsession.

As the president of Wireless Communications Alliance, David T. Witkowski relies on his wireless phone for all of his communication needs. He regularly uses his Motorola Droid's speakerphone to help an entire room take part in a conversation.

The problem: Occasionally, the Droid fails to wake up after its screen goes dark during a call. And because the phone doesn't have a hard-wired button to end a call, this leaves Witkowski with no easy way to hang up.

"Normally I just wait until the other person drops off, which terminates the call and clears the problem," he says.

One time, that work-around plan didn't work so well. Witkowski was in the room with some clients, chatting with their customers via his Droid. His end of the conversation concluded, and the customers asked him to disconnect so that they could continue speaking privately on their own. Unfortunately, Witkowski's phone had decided to take a little nap.

"So there I am, trying to hang up the call, and the customers are saying, 'Are you still on the line?'" he remembers. "Very embarrassing, especially given that I'm the president of a 4,000-member wireless industry alliance. Of all people, I shouldn't be struggling with my phone."

The moral: No piece of technology is 100 percent dependable. Sometimes, a good old-fashioned landline -- or, if all else fails, a call-ending sledgehammer -- can go a long way.

Smartphone horror story No. 7: When a smartphone makes a splash
Our final smartphone horror story gives a whole new meaning to the idea of a dropped call.

Robert Van Gool is one busy dude. His company, Gonzo Games, strives to create viral video games for a range of different electronic platforms. There's always work to be done, and Van Gool uses every minute he can to get ahead.

That means he's frequently multitasking, and not in the way you might be thinking: Van Gool, you see, sometimes takes care of business while -- er -- taking care of business. You know, a very personal kind of business.

One day, Van Gool was chatting with his lead game developer from his secondary office, so to speak, when something went terribly wrong. "The phone slipped out of my hand and plopped into the toilet, big splash and all," he confesses.

The porcelain gods were evidently watching out for Van Gool that day: His phone miraculously survived and even maintained its connection. His conversation, however, didn't fare quite so well.

"I gingerly pulled it out and realized my developer was still on the line, still talking!" Van Gool says. "I had to hang up on him, as there was no way I was going to put that phone to my ear."

The moral: Even in our culture of constant connection, some places should remain sacred from communication. Do the world a favor: When you enter the john, put down the damn phone. Your colleagues -- and your fellow restroom users -- will thank you.

More tech stupidity in action:

This article, "Stupid mobile tricks: 7 stories of smartphone horror," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com.

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