back to article Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

I will be annoying when I am dead. In fact, I plan to be much more of an irritant after passing away than I am at the moment as the once-dicky ticker continues to clock up the artery miles. How will I inflict annoyance from the grave? Well, I have an app for that. Or at least I will have once it's available on Android: …

  1. Esme

    Nice one, Dabbsy!

    Howsbout a message from the hereafter saying that the results have just come back and everyone that's been in contact with you should see their GP to get the jabs, pronto?

    1. dav0id

      What About...

      ... some messages like:

      "I'm not dead yet"

      "I'm getting better"

      "I feel happy"

      "I think I'll just go for a little walk"

      ... etc. ad nauseum....

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What About...

        With respect to Spike Milligan...

        "I told you I was ill!"

        1. frustin

          Re: What About...

          yep, just like when I was ill one morning i couldnt get out of bed.

          Me: i think we need to call the doctor

          wife: you've probably just got the flu

          me: really, i cant move nor hardly talk

          wife: <tut> ok

          one call to NHS direct later

          NHS direct to wife: put him on the phone

          Me: hi

          NHS direct back to wife: call and ambulance

          wife: oh shit!

          me in my mind because i cant talk: yeah that's right, i'm ill!!!! hahahaha

    2. PK

      or...

      Alexa: play Tubular Bells

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Better still "Help! It's all dark let me out!"

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge

        Or...

        Jeeze it's hot down here :)

    4. Korev Silver badge
      Pint

      Top BOFHery Ma'am. Have a pint ->

  2. Terry 6 Silver badge

    You surely must have forgotten

    The on-hold messages that say they're unusually busy at the moment - whatever time or day you call them. Especially annoying because it obviously translates to being "we don't employ enough staff to manage our call load"

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: You surely must have forgotten

      This. Be right back, just going to rent a botnet to upvote Terry 6 a few million times.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: You surely must have forgotten

        The wonks who call you to sell you a better tech solution than you already have, but don't know either what you have or what they are selling.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: You surely must have forgotten

          "The wonks who call you to sell you a better tech solution than you already have, but don't know either what you have or what they are selling."

          Almost as bad as those SIP trunk providers who call you from a line that sounds like it's being fed over the deep space network in real-time, and someone is multiplexing it over "morse code in silence".

          They always try and claim that it's "at my end", but it's only EVER SIP trunk providers that I have the issue with, whether they come in over my otherwise perfectly-working analogue, ISDN or SIP lines.

      2. cosmogoblin

        Re: You surely must have forgotten

        Am I the only one who first thought this was a political reference to helping the Maybot win an election?

        "Terry 6", our Prime Minister in 2030 after this one's been to the repair shop a few times

  3. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Meh

    Copyright

    I strongly suspect that any attempted use of SwanSong would have prompted an immediate and vigorous haunting from one Jimmy Page Esq., formerly of this parish, or his zombie lawyers. In this case, I would approve.

    1. Sparkypatrick

      Re: Copyright

      I'm pretty sure you can't be haunted by the living - but you can certainly be sued.

      1. Ralph the Wonder Llama
        Joke

        Re: Copyright

        See icon...

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Copyright

        I'm pretty sure you can't be haunted by the living

        You can't have met my mother-in-law...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Copyright

        Did you know that Apple has got a lawyer called Sue? (Carroll)

  4. DailyLlama
    Facepalm

    Reminds me...

    "On equal footing is coding company WeKanCode, co-developer of such essential apps as Staller ("the Airbnb for horses"), whose inability to distinguish between the letters C and K really ought be a kause for koncern."

    Reminds me of the Python sketch where Eric Idle couldn't say the letter C, so he substitued it with the letter B. When asked why he didn't change it to K instead, he replied "I didn't think of that... Silly bunt"

    1. DJV Silver badge
  5. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

    Article:

    "So far, my public list includes all companies whose customer contact phone line answers with the declaration "We record calls for security and training purposes" but when you try to follow up a previous complaint they claim they have no record of it."

    Response:

    Well of course they have no record of it. They don't say that they record calls to better handle complaints, do they?

  6. Tom 38 Silver badge

    The website claims it doesn't matter whether the message activation delay is set to five years or 75 years

    Because they don't ever plan on delivering them at all?

    1. matchbx
      Facepalm

      That reminds of a Dilbert Cartoon......

      Dilbert drops off some Documents to Record Retention and informs the guy working there to to keep them on file for 5 years..

      After he leaves, they guy promptly throws all of the documents in the trash.....

      thought bubble: "This job got so much easier when I realized that nobody ever asks for anything back"

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: matchbx "That reminds of a Dilbert Cartoon......"

        This is the Dilbert cartoon you're looking for.

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Great for delivering a most scathingly ad hominem attack on some deserving public figure (which'll get you into jail normally)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Double points if you can get your ghost into an argument on Trumps twitter feed

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Double points if you can get your ghost into an argument on Trumps twitter feed

        A ghost must be the only thing which has a thinner skin than Trump.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Great for delivering a most scathingly ad hominem attack on some deserving public figure (which'll get you into jail normally)?

      Why wait?

      The immediate thought that occurs is "how will they know you're dead?". Obvious: someone has to tell them. Next thought: "how do they know who you are?". Obvious: you have to tell them.

      So set up the app with an entirely fictitious person and then report their death. All the company can do is point to an apparently dead customer. (Point of order - should this be an ex-customer?)

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        "The immediate thought that occurs is "how will they know you're dead?""

        No, the obvious way to do that tends to be "no logins for X amount of time", ie. a "dead man's keyboard". The obvious problem being that any failure to remember the need to log in periodically would likely result in the deluge of nasty pranks you planned being unleashed while you're still alive, and the fact that even if the real likelihood of that would be low, simply living under the threat that it might happen accidentally would probably put you in an early grave, all by itself.

        1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

          Alexa, buy local newspaper.

          Alexa, look in obit section.

          Alexa, am I there?

          If yes, trigger [doomsday machine]

          Else, make coffee;

          Repeat daily 7 am until [doomsday machine].

          Just sayin', another way to get away with stuff is to become terminally ill with an expiry date. If you commit a messy crime but have only two months to live, will they even bother to try you?

          Also, it seems in the interest of the company to deliver none of the messages. If a message is damaging, they might get caught up in messy legal muck. "We just did what we were told" may not cut it. Contrariwise, the person to sue them for non-delivery is a dead hand. And foot. IANALBIPADOOOTI

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Who should I entrust those important post-death messages to?

    I know, a start up which will be gone this time next year and will have sold the contact data on to all and sundry as part of the winding up process. Oh how they're going to remember you when they receive that spam.

  9. Franco Silver badge

    Can I add to the list any company whose website pops up a customer satisfaction survey as soon as you arrive and before you have done what you went to the website for in the first place? This is (IME) a sure fire guarantee that their website is so shite that they know it and so will not ask for feedback after you have visited any page whatsoever.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Perfect observation

      I have replied to a couple of these satisfaction surveys that appear as soon as you visit a site with a huge rant but deleted it before I sent it. Perhaps I won't in future. They are intensly irritating.

      IMHO, it is like asking for the tip before you sit down to a meal.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    " SwonSong ceased posting to its own blog ten months ago."

    They don't seem to have had any faith in their own product if they couldn't set up a few decades' worth of posts in advance.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Maybe there was a failure in the delivery method?

      Or perhaps, the Blogger died, and no ones's got around to telling the Company to post their Messages yet...

  11. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Like those Chryogenic companies

    If they can't revive you in 100 years time you can't sue 'em. Yer dead.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

      Well at least you can get your own back by defrosting all over their carpets.

      Or go one better, do a Henry VIII, and explode.

    2. D@v3

      Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

      I once had a long conversation with a friend who didn't understand the futility of freezing dead people. They couldn't understand that even if you can be defrosted (which as far as i know, no one has cracked yet) you're still a corpse.

      You would of course need to freeze 'nearly' dead people, and hope that by the time you have a cure for what ails them you have also worked out how to defrost them.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

        Do we know that for sure? Is it possible that our personalities are coded into the connections in our brain, so that some future tech could sort of rebuild us from that info? Seems rather unlikely. Also, I'm not sure being frozen just as your hear is giving up the ghost is going to be all that much help either. Surely you need to be frozen with a couple of days left of life, so that future medical tech has a decent run at saving you.

        Of course the this is all covered in Larry Niven's Known Space stories. He assumes rather more people froze themselves in the 20th Century than actually did. When the technology comes to revive them, the corpsicles as they're known, their bodies are still destroyed by formation of ice crystals. I can't now remember if it's brain transplant or some sort of hand-wavey personality transplant. But anyway they get revived, but into the bodies of executed criminals who've been mind-wiped and then enslaved until they've paid off the hideous cost of their medical bills. I didn't say it was a cheeful future, as it also involves forced organ harvesting for parking offenses...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

          "Of course the this is all covered in Larry Niven's Known Space stories. "

          Also the basic premise of "The Joy Makers" by James Gunn. In that story a person is only frozen if there is a substantial cash endowment invested for them. They are defrosted when the account has increased to a sufficiently large amount to pay for the restoration process. The central character happily enters into the future hedonistic culture without realising that he is then rapidly exhausting his residual funds.

          Do the current billionaires who elect to be frozen also set up a trust fund for when they are defrosted?

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

            "The central character happily enters into the future hedonistic culture without realising that he is then rapidly exhausting his residual funds."

            That bit sounds a lot like Age of the Pussyfoot by Frederick Pohl.

          2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

            "Do the current billionaires who elect to be frozen also set up a trust fund for when they are defrosted?"

            I'm pretty sure they do. It would be a logical thing to do, and after all, we're talking "crazy - but not stupid" here.

            Set up a couple of shell corporations and trusts spread around various tax havens in a way that they are well funded and safe against widows, ex-wifes, heirs, the IRS, what have you, and also in a way that they can only be liquidated by you personally.

            Make sure that all that money isn't just stashed away in order to provide you with an adequate lifestyle when they peel you out of the aluminium foil1), but that some part goes 1) into cryogenic research to make sure that they can revive you and 2) secure the storage facility so that there will be something to revive.

            1) If Woody Allen's Sleeper is anything to go by.

          3. Donchik

            Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

            Favourite term from Larry Niven's chryogenic tales was "Corpsical"

            Mmm Tasty...

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

          World Out of Time. Something about processing the brain for the RNA and using that to transfer the memories, IIRC. He ends up even farther into the future and a completely different dystopia.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

            Oh and AFAIK it's technically not part of Known Space, though one could be forgiven for thinking it was.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

          Of course the this is all covered in Larry Niven's Known Space stories. He assumes rather more people froze themselves in the 20th Century than actually did

          He also assumes that we overcome tissue rejection so that people have a ready source of replacement organs from criminals, and then pretends that adults are the only ones who will ever need organ transplants

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

        "You would of course need to freeze 'nearly' dead people, [..]"

        A recent report said that brain activity continues longer then expected after someone is pronounced dead. It raises some debate about when exactly someone should be declared dead.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Like those Chryogenic companies

      "If they can't revive you in 100 years time you can't sue 'em. Yer dead."

      It seems like a sort of reverse version of Pascal's wager.

  12. sebt
    Pint

    DreK

    "SwonSong is not a pun nor is it an acronym, and its misspelling serves no marketing purpose whatsoever unless that purpose is to be fucking infantile."

    There is a special place in Hell reserved for the twatmeisters who come up with these names.

    They are useful in a way though, as a clear signal that whatever it is a bunch of interestingly behaired and bebearded dickwipes are trying to sell under them is guaranteed to be a piece of opportunistic crap of no use to anybody.

    I'm just waiting for "apps" called Mynge, SmgMa and KrudFerrit to come along.

    On the main subject: there's no need for [[[[[Swonsong]]]]] (brackets for the purposes of hygiene). Just read the comments boards on any UK newspaper, and it's clear that 98% of comments were written by dead people. Or brain-dead, at least.

    Icon because I like Beer. No, not BiR. No, not BérR. ByR? ..... hold on, I'm just starting the ThysBotlOverYorHedVeryHard app, it's a bit slow to get going sometimes.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: DreK

      "There is a special place in Hell reserved for the twatmeisters who come up with these names."

      Is that the level above or below the one reserved for people who bastardise words with misused German, such as ---meister or uber----

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: DreK

        Never mind meister & or uber ... How about a hefty portion of the English language?

  13. THMONSTER

    Anyone else read the software company name as WanKeCode?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Went to a wedding recently. At the reception there were the traditional speeches. For the first speech a large screen was rolled out - and the bride's deceased father gave a remarkably upbeat and humorous speech.

    When the wedding date had been set he had known that his chances of surviving his terminal illness were not assured - so had taken the precaution of recording a video. Not a dry eye in the house.

    1. G.Y.

      Chap.12 "the wheel of life" in "when the air hits your brain" https://www.amazon.com/When-Air-Hits-Your-Brain/dp/0393330494 has a similar story

    2. Queasy Rider

      I just watched a video where a terminal father bought an electric guitar for his son's 16th birthday, and filled out a card. The video showed the son being surprised by the posthumous gift and card.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I just watched a video where a terminal father bought an electric guitar for his son's 16th birthday, and filled out a card. The video showed the son being surprised by the posthumous gift and card.

        Oh yes, it was on one of those sickly mushy, "Hurray for Everything!" -type sites.

  15. Just Enough

    twitter feed

    "Just woke up after lovely long nap. But it's dark, musty and I can't move. lol You can let me out now. #bestprankever"

    1. Just Enough

      Re: twitter feed

      "seriously guys. #notfunnyanymore"

  16. cosmogoblin

    Yet another Black Mirror episode coming true!

    1. John Gamble
      Alien

      Or, with a different twist, a Ray Bradbury story (I know it's set on Mars, but I can't remember if it's an actual Martian Chronicles story). Hmm, time to re-read...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely the best way of achieving this (if you wanted to) would be to rent some shared web hosting at £5 per month with a place like 1&1 and stick £200 on account. That gets you 40 months (3.3 years) of a known working service. Then simply cronjob a set of scripts to run in 39 months that generate emails to the desired target addresses. Like wide scale distribution lists at the company. Make a point of topping up the account balance every year and moving the dates in the cronjob backwards and it should be all good.

    And then at the given hour...

    --

    Dear all,

    I understand that you might be surprised to hear from me after you cremated me, but I always said I'd come back to haunt those of you who didn't attend my funeral so I felt obliged to honour the promise. btw, heaven is a bit overrated as a holiday destination, like any nice place you get bored with it after a while and hell's not much fun either but you can get out of both occasionally on day release passes.

    So yeah, how's life been going for you lot? Most of you look like your doing pretty well.

    Yours,

    AC ghost.

    <autoreply via rule on 1&1's email system for RE: $subject sent only once.

    "It's good to hear from you mate, nice to know a few people still care. I'm a bit pissed at how few people actually responded tbh now people think I can safely be ignored, some friends those guys were! They might be surprised about that though, visitations are tiring but I can affect dreams rather more easily!"

    <+ 2 days, allowing for a few replies and a lot of people freaking and WTF?>

    Thank you to the people that replied, it's nice seeing that some of you still care.

    It's a lot of work doing the whole disembodied spirit malarkey as you can only appear once in a while and it's bloody tiring, but emails are a lot easier and tbh half of you communicated that way in life anyway, so you can't expect more in death. As I say visitations are pretty tiring, but i'll try and drop in on each of you too busy to message me at some point in person. (or in spirit?)

    <message via SMS gateway forging your old number + 3 days to a few disliked colleauges>

    Really disappointed I didn't see you at my funeral, and haven't seen any reply to my email so will drop round in person, or disembodied spirit, whatever the right tense is there. Dropped around your house recently, but being a disembodied spirit couldn't knock on the door and I don't think you noticed me with the colour contrast in your house (and nice place btw). I'll drop in on you at some point in the evening, getting more requests from psyhic mediums in death at the moment than I got from salesmen in life, and that's saying something! Don't want to creep you out, so if I start materialising or walking around and you start freaking then i'll just go again and come back at a later point.

    See you soon!

    --

    Oh, if you have a really bad sense of humour then you could have such a lot of fun with this. You could probably even do VOIP calls that play a .wav file the same way advertisers do with some effort.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some people find the death of a loved one so traumatic that they want to keep up the illusion of being in contact.

      That doesn't necessarily mean mediums and seances.

      There have been instances of people posting a letter in a mail box every day to their dead mother.

      When my sister died I was given her mobile phone as a memento as it was a model I had admired. I used it occasionally with her sim to use up the remaining PAYG credit and to keep the number open for a while. Obviously not used for texts to people who had been her contacts.

      Then one day someone left a voice message. It was a heartbreaking paean from one of her grandchildren expressing their sadness that there was no voicemail greeting to remind them of their Nan's voice.

      Luckily it was not switched on at the time they had called - so had redirected to voicemail. They probably never knew it was now my mobile and that I had heard their emotional message.

      I now use that mobile with my own sim - but have never removed the last pictures she took with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There have been instances of people posting a letter in a mail box every day to their dead mother.

        Or phoning them:

        http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/japanese-phone-booth-for-calling-dead-relatives

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Surely, as IT pros, our first tweet from beyond the grave should be something like:

      "Finally got the routing right! w00t! You have no idea how tricky IP over Angel Radio is, makes IPv6 seem like childs play!"

      or perhaps

      "You thought BT was bad? Took me !!6 MONTHS!! to get ADSL in Hell! And it's run by Verizon :("

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Surely, as IT pros, our first tweet from beyond the grave should be something like:

        Or mentioning the connection goes via hell, and the firewall there is ancient and keeps crashing due to the heat and nobody wants to go down there to have a look?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "See you soon!"

      Oh, you didn't know that, did you?

  18. jamesdanielkirk

    With your references to Slade song titles I'm not sure you're young enough to wait for the app to be on Android.

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    You think you are revenge proof after death Mr Dabbs, but my startup EcksKobulProgrummers is working on an app called DabbsDrubb (or maybe DrubbDabbs, we haven't decided on which though DabbsDrubb is obviously better Brian so suck it up) which will give lie to that belief.

    Anyone pestered by messsages from The Journalist Formerly Known As Dabbs can, with a few taps and a small transfer of funds, be directed to an archived article of yours open for rewrite. Key passages will be identified and suggestions offered as to how they might be "improved".

    After these insidious and slanderous changes have been committed, the user can use a companion app called "TwitFace" to conduct a social media linkenblitz so that the maximun number of people get to see, for example, that Mr Dabbs was earnestly promoting OS2 five years after the world said "meh", or that the said Mr Dabbs was a staunch believer that the numerous shortcomings of his Apple gear were all addressed by Windows XP - in 2017!

    Of course, none of this need come to pass. Were a suitably generous cheque made out to "Stevie Nest Egg Account" and left in a ziplock baggie in the cistern of the third stall in the Islington Dog & Bonio's men's room, this could all be simply like one of those NHS IT projects that never see the light of day.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Anyone pestered by messsages from The Journalist Formerly Known As Dabbs can, with a few taps and a small transfer of funds, be directed to an archived article of yours open for rewrite. Key passages will be identified and suggestions offered as to how they might be "improved".

      OhEmGee, you're building WikiDabbs? Lots Of Love.

  20. Thrud61

    Please add BT to your list

    Must be 25 years ago I was IT manager at a large US company and at that time we were supplying ISDN lines to "home workers". When we had a problem I tried to contact BT and ended up with an auto attendant, it wanted to know if it was business or residential, then various options about bills and installations, went through more options than I've ever had in an AA before or since, the final option was to complain about ISDN, selected the option and I got the number unobtainable tone. I tried again to make sure I hadn't made a mistake, exactly the same.

    So I would be grateful if you could dial BT customer support periodically and choose random options in the AA until it gets to a real person and then play them some hold music that repeats every 4 bars and then hang up.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Please add BT to your list

      Which is just a more efficient way of managing calls than those companies that route you through 5 levels of menus, most of the choices having no resemblance to what you really need, with hold music at every stage. Then when the phone arrives where you want to be the person at the other end picks up the phone and puts it straight down again. Click!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Please add BT to your list

      "I was IT manager"

      You were an IT manager and didn't know to prod keys at random until someone answers?

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Please add BT to your list

        Just remembered the top of my list for phone system hell. Barnet council. ( Or whatever part of Capita is running their phone system). It's a system designed to prevent you telling them about anything that they might need to know about. None of the phone options ever seem relevant to anything and which ever one you choose will still lead to another dead end. It's a Labyrinth determinedly designed to prevent access to the core.

        1. ridley

          Re: Please add BT to your list

          Can't remember which distributor it was but I remember calling them one day and being put through several levels of hell before being put into a queue.

          You are number 19 in the queue please hold, your call is important to us.

          Musak

          You are number 18 in the queue please hold, your call is important to us.

          Musak

          "

          "

          "

          "

          "

          "

          Many minutes later.

          You are number 1 in the queue please hold, your call is important to us.

          Musak

          Thankyou for calling X, our offices are now closed, our opening times are xxx - xxx

          With the opening times plainly showing that all of the people in the queue had been holding to hear that the offices were closed.

          I wouldn't be surprised if it was a premium number..

        2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
          Meh

          Council phone systems

          "Just remembered the top of my list for phone system hell. Barnet council. ...

          None of the phone options ever seem relevant to anything and which ever one you choose will still lead to another dead end."

          Memories of a different Council back in the 1970s. This was an operator controlled telephone exchange. Even if you entered the system armed with an extension number, you'd get transferred around several extension before finding the person you wanted. The amazing thing was that you'd get transferred back to the first extension you reached and have to start again at least once in the process.

          It was my theory that when an automated system came along, they did a full time and motion study of the manual system and sought to replicate that.

          That seemed the most probable explanation at the time.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mis-spelled Names

    "its misspelling serves no marketing purpose whatsoever unless that purpose is to be fucking infantile"

    The purpose it that it can then be trademarked, as it is no longer the descriptive English term 'swan song', which cannot be trademarked for that very reason.

    This is also why other descriptive company names are misspelled, such as KwikFit.

    / IAL.

    1. mrslappy

      Re: Mis-spelled Names

      That's my understanding too, except that it only applies when you are trying to trademark a word that relates to the thing you are selling.

      That's how Apple were allowed to trademark their name for computers, but would not be allowed to trademark it for selling fruit.

      IANAL also...

    2. Chris Evans

      Re: Mis-spelled Names

      Trademarking is only part of the reason, I suspect search engine results are even more important.

      swonsong comes top in a google search. Unless it caught on massively swansong probably wouldn't be on the first page.

      n.b. Apparentlly Google is an inadvertent misspelling of googol (10 to the power of 100)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Mis-spelled Names

        No. google is an advertent contraction of "go" and "ogle".

        They told the rubes straight to their face, and still they got suckered in ... P.T.Barnum would be very impressed. (Yes, I'm aware of David Hannum, but I'm talking generalities here, not a specific quote. Thank you for your concern.)

  22. sebt
    Mushroom

    Agents...

    Who call you saying "I've got my CV in front of you...", and then try to interest you in a D#/Z++/EbMinor/SumatraScript permanent position in Hartlepool.

    When I know none of these technologies from nothing, and my CV clearly says I'm looking for contract positions in datawarehousing in the Southwest.

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Live fast and die punk

    Swonsong's business plan is brilliant: they won't get any complain from unsatisfied customer ever! The dream for an IT firm comes true.

    I asked my family to put a way to communicate between my grave and the world six feet upper. Just in case. A physical device with no electronics involved is required, there will be enough bugs involved already.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Live fast and die punk

      Ask and ye shall receive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_coffin

  24. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Facebook...

    ...suggested the other day that I send a birthday greeting to someone I knew who died 6 months ago.

    That felt weird.

    1. Toltec

      Re: Facebook...

      It has been doing that for one of mine for several years now.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Facebook...

      I still have several late friends on FB so get this occasionally. Can't bring myself to delete them though.

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Facebook...

      Tell me about it. Facebook's constant nagging about Father's Day made me feel guilty for not taking the train up to Leeds and shoving a greeting card in the stream where I scattered his ashes earlier this year.

    4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Facebook...

      Relevant XKCD: https://what-if.xkcd.com/69/

  25. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, cron with a deadman's switch and a virtual email server with the rent paid up for a few years should work. You don't need to re-invent the wheel Dabsy.

    1. stephanh Silver badge

      What about just setting Outlook's "delayed delivery" to 200 years? Should be ample time to properly snuff it.

      At last, a useful application for delayed delivery!

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Or

      Small computer in a ceiling in a large company. suitably wired into their networking. Or maybe a box on a roof or hillside somewhere with solar panel charging, suitably hacked into a network.

      I can't see the point of an app.

  26. Maty
    Headmaster

    not just bad spelling

    The name is not only misspelled, it is inaccurate. These are messages to be delivered after death. A swan song should be delivered at the moment of death.

    So to use the app as the name says, Dabbsy should spend his last moments in this realm of tears frantically tapping at his keyboard. Otherwise, it's not a swan song but merely a pre-recorded message.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bonkers

    "Two: you will be so bonkers yourself that you won't remember where your feet are, let alone a list of enemies with whom you planned to get even one day."

    Oh no, I have a list of enemies and if I outlive them I shall publish true stories about them, since you can't libel the dead.

    Nurturing my list of enemies for suitable treatment is one of the things that keeps my mind going.

  28. DougS Silver badge

    Message activation delay?

    To be properly useful, it needs to somehow find out (obituaries?) that you've died so it can release your screed immediately. This serves the dual purpose of letting people know you've died in a funny/awful way (depending on whether you like them or not) and giving you a chance to give a last message of joy/bile to those who were already aware while your death is still very fresh in their minds.

    It would be embarrassing indeed to be given a year to live by the doctor, set an activation delay of two years just to be safe, only to unfortunately have a miracle cure and forget to reset the timer, and tell everyone you're dead when you're not. It would unnecessarily upset those who (hopefully) like you, and cause undeserved joy for others. Though if you later ran into them at the grocery store the look on their faces might be worth it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Message activation delay?

      "Though if you later ran into them at the grocery store the look on their faces might be worth it!"

      As Mark Twain said after an incorrect newspaper announcement "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Message activation delay?

      Probably best not to include your bank manager in the list of recipients.

  29. Queasy Rider

    Snopes: Hot Down Here

    http://www.snopes.com/humor/jokes/hot.asp

    1. harmjschoonhoven
      Joke

      Re: Snopes: Hot Down Here

      Two soccerfans ask themselves whether soccer is played in heaven. They make the promise that whoever goes first tries to phone home. One of them dies and his friends phone rings: "I have good news and bad news. Yes they play soccer in heaven. You are in the team playing next Friday".

  30. Andy Non
    Unhappy

    I still occasionally get emails from

    a colleague who died ten years ago, from his Yahoo email account. Usually asking me to click a link to what are either spam sites or possibly links to the afterlife.

    While I can appreciate the dark humour of this, I doubt his wife and kids would if they still receive such emails.

  31. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    I created a delayed email to myself when I had a CompuServe account. I think it was to congratulate myself on my 100th b'day. Sadly I no longer access that account and suspect that it's all gone anyway. But I did like that feature - I wonder how many other people used it?

  32. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Devil

    √ Yup, the fellow really was a dick. May he Rest In Hell.

    All this app does is provide an excellent excuse for speaking ill of the dead. May your ghost suffer for it.

  33. Lord-a-miytee

    Swonsong: not dead yet.

    According to Companies House SwonSong is alive and up to date with its filings. It's not done very well over the last year, though. Actually, it's never done very well, but over the last twelve months it's excelled itself at not doing well.

  34. grumpyoldeyore

    Swan Song....

    .. Not SwonSong

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqgPyqyh4X4

  35. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "Maybe I should crowdfund a startup project under the name WiKantSpel. The blurb: "You have the kash, I have the cnow-how"."

    I'm in.

    BTW, this reminds me of a cartoon I saw in Punch in the 1990ies (?); it shows a man walking down a high street past a row of shops with names like Kwiq Kleen for the launderette etc, and one of the shops is a Seks Shop.

  36. James Cullingham

    FTFY

    That'll be "Extreme Pedantry", not "Extreme Pedants"

  37. fpx
    Megaphone

    Intentional Spelling

    Of course the misspelling is intentional, for the sole purpose of having something both (somewhat) readable and, much more importantly, trademarkable.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A must-have for Mothers-in-Law.

  39. Frozit

    The Plan

    Set up a trust fund.

    Set up an AWS server paid from said trust fund.

    Set up a database, email, SMS, etc. (Possibly paid from said trust fund.)

    Die grinning.

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