Google's Nexus One handset is dialling 999 when the user tries to pick up voicemail or call a freephone number, thanks to an over-enthusiastic update. The update, which was put out at the end of January, is supposed to recognise any number that might be an emergency call and connect it to the local services. But the numbers …
It might be worth pointing out that 118
is the prefix for enquiry services (as an endless stream of irritating ads informed us), maybe some people are actually calling them when they require the emergency services
....people are calling up directory enquiries and asking 'What's the number for 999?"
Sadly, I can see this happening.
Got Your Number ?
Interesting one on the list, 118, that's the directory enquiry services code.
I can see it now, call the moustachioed guys to find out the closest takeaway, and have to explain that finding the nearest kebab shop to soak up the booze is an emergency.
What about 0118 999 881 999 119 725 ...... 3, eh?
I was planning on making that exact same joke, only I couldn't remember the number.
We are sad both of us arnt we!
surely 0800 is triggered by 08
or am I missing something?
118? Years of seriously annoying TV adverts with equally soul destroying jingles have led me to believe that 118 is for directory enquiries nowadays?
"Hi I'd like the number for the curryhouse please?"
"Then why the hell are you calling the emergency services?!"
"errr, wtf, I dialled 118"
Q. Which service do you require. A. Can I have the number for...
How about all the people going through to the emergency services when they call one of the 118 directory services?
The designated directory enquiries prefix for much of Europe? If I'm ringing for a pizza or a taxi I'm normally in a hurry, but I wouldn't exactly call it an emergency.
Assuming this to be true... well done Google.
Consider this my first and only use of the otherwise-hated FAIL avatar.
No need to worry...
Give it 6 months and the redirect will be changed to Google's own Emergency Services Service where a giant Google deathbot will come and rescue you, whilst peppering you with irrelevant advertising and telling you how wonderful they are.
The designer who dreamt that up, is not thinking coherently and should be removed.
as a point of information dialling 999 or 112 or 911 in the UK does not connect you directly to the emergency services - it connects you to a BT or Cable & Wireless call taker who ask which service you require. they then put you through to the one you ask for.
If Joe Public calls 999 without due cause, they would expect to be fined.
We're paying for emergency services; they save lives. If it's too much of a hassle for Google to change this 'easily', then make them pay for wasting Emergency Service time.
You would think so but....
I actually work for one of the BT 999 and Operator centres and sadly I would estimate less than half of the 999 calls we get are actual emergencies. Vast numbers of them are kids acting it up in payphones, mobiles dialed in pockets, elderly people asking bizarre questions and regular time wasters who call the police every 5minutes to shout nonsense at them :(
The number of Nexus Ones in the UK is so small at this point I doubt we'll even get a breifing about the issue in the next 3months before Google fix it.
Wow, epic fail of the highest order.
I have customers in Bristol with the phone numbers: 0117 911 xxxx
Yes, I'm pretty sure this only applies from mobiles (where you always include the area code), for exactly that reason.
Google is shipping a lot of fail these days, first "Buzz" and now this? Do they do any testing outside of Mountain View?
Perhaps as some contrition, Google might actually make Google Voice available in the UK, so that advice to use it instead for voicemail didn't make them look like a load of pillocks
Thats the trouble when someone tries to make it too smart
I have fought with the odd gadget because the designer has implemented a feature like this. For example my predictive text on my mobile now thinks I want to type 'un' when I type 'to' every single time.
We've all had them at some time or another. Like the TV that powers up at full volume or the indicators on a newer Ford that don't let you flash a direction just once or twice.
Sometimes they let us disable the 'do what I think you mean' options.
Isn't this sort of cockup...
Why they wont let hackers muck around with the code.
Oh it was Google that did it :-)
Were there no police before we had mobiles...
...or no emergencies?
Even non google phones allow you to call emergency services from your pocket or handbag without realising it because, apparently, because a mobile phone can be used to dial the emergency services it should do that automatically. Google are just extending this to its obvious conclusion.
I've never understood why it's perfectly acceptable for me to be in an area with no public phones (that are working at least) and for my home phone to require me to actually pick it up and dial to get emergency services yet, when I have my mobile, I apparently need to be able to dial the emergency services from my desk without knowing it?
Older Nokia phones...
had an annoying feature of dialling 999 even why the keypad was locked if the 9 key was held down for a few seconds. Apparently this was a well known (to the emergency services) feature...
"Hello, this is the emergency services. We have recieved a call from your number, have you tried calling us?"
"Err, no, I haven't touched my phone. It was in my pocket"
"Do you have a Nokia?"
"Ahh. Nokia phones dial 999 even with the keypad locked if 9 is held down for a few seconds"
"Oh right, sorry!"
"No problem, we get this *a lot*"
Actually there's a bit more...
I submitted this to El Reg on Monday (it's my google support they link to). Since submitting to El Reg, google have confirmed this is corrected in a later build (no release date).
The problem is quite specific, it links to the listed numbers and ONLY the listed numbers. This means that 118 118 != 118
Hope this clarifies a little!
How many times do you dial for the police?
How many times do you dial for the police? vs How many times do you dial for a pizza?
So do you make it dial for a pizza easier? or make it dial the police easier?
Do you make the phone for *MY* needs or the imagined needs of a safety gnome with an over-active imagination?
..well, in a way.
I used to have an old Motorola L6, and it had the spectacularly stupid "feature" of being able to unlock the keypad by holding one of the side-mounted buttons down. Pulled it out of my pocket more than once with "99" and "999" on the display, just waiting for the call button to be depressed.
So, how about a nice new standard feature for mobile phones? If the operator can determine with certainty that the call is coming from a pocketed phone (say, normal background hubbub from a pub or workplace), they hit a button and the target phone starts with an ear-piercing din and something on the display along the lines of "you're a twit". Keep the call connected on the off-chance that the operator has got it wrong.
Well, maybe the idea can be refined a bit, but something like it might help to tackle the problem of badly-designed mobile phones calling emergency services by themselves.
Re: How many times do you dial for the police?
Arguably, you could say that people are more likely to be stressed/confused when calling the emergency services, so you should make that process as easy as possible for them.
Of course there's always the option of making it *too* easy; which is what's happening here ;)
Please adjust your reality
In this case I think you'll find it's Google who are RIGHT and reality has got it WRONG.
Please adjust your own reality to match Google's. Thank you, mortal.
Dodgy use of numbers
Google need a little revision on their list of numbers. However 111 and the international 112 are used in New Zealand to contact the emergency services. Why would any phone operator use an emergency number of another country to access voice mail. Many people travel for work and leisure these days. Of all companies the phone operator should be aware on these international emergency numbers especially given how much international travel is done these days. Imagine trying to get your voice mail from GaffGaff whilst on a business trip to NZ!! Gaff says it all really doesn't it.
Violation of 3GPP specifications
The 3GPP specs say that the numbers considered as Emergency Calling numbers should be those loaded on the SIM card by the operator and optionally, 112 and 911.
The whole list of Emergency numbers should ONLY be recognised as Emergency numbers if there is no SIM present (whether an Emergency Call is allowed without SIM is up to the operator to enforce).
The phone is in violation of the specs. This is the kind of test case that operators tend to run and highlights risks involved in selling phones directly without operators involved.
Google and/or HTC need to get their test teams in order.