Video Of Ted Stevens Wanting To Switch Between Phones "As I Ride My Motorcycle"

Here’s the video clip of Senator Ted Stevens being a crazy old man about wireless number portability.

In it, he says, “Is it coming? Why shouldn’t I be able to say, just by a little switch on my phone at home that’s wired, I’m going off on the wireless now, I want to use this as I ride my motorcycle…I’m bad. Pardon me.”

We feel bad because you know he’s really trying (and for once, completely right) but a guy who can’t understand the difference between carburetor and a router shouldn’t be on a committee overseeing the internets, but we guess that’s just part of our government’s interest in appointing the least competent people possible in oversight positions.

Ted Stevens Wants To Switch Between Phones “As I Ride My Motorcycle”
Liveblogging The Senate Commerce Committee Hearing On Number Portability


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  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    “Information Supertubeway” lol

  2. lawnmowerdeth says:

    It’s very sad we have such technologically inept people in charge of technology.

  3. ZapBranigan says:

    Hilarious. He’s so crazy.

  4. TVarmy says:

    Congress really needs a panel of experts to help make laws on certain subjects. The problem is that they just get the lobbyists. That’s why we end up with all the wrong people talking about liquid bombs and net neutrality.

  5. Xerloq says:

    Grand Central allows me to do this. I push a button, and all my other phones ring. I pick up the one I want and keep talking.

    It’s not a little switch, but it works.

  6. TVarmy says:

    @TVarmy: Neutral experts, I mean. Plus a few to present the opposite side of what the lobbyists are saying.

  7. nffcnnr says:

    Ben, no one should feel bad about Ted Stevens. He’s not trying to do anything but line his own pockets. Anyway, he’s toast. []
    And Alaska’s other Repugnican senator has some questions to answer her own self. []

  8. iamgibson says:

    Sad to Say that Senator Stevens is my State Senator, (ALASKA) in fact has an excellent Idea, actually of combining Land line Wireless Calling technology (recently introduced by T Mobile “hot spot” calling) and cell technology all sharing the same number, yes very similar to Grand Central, but slightly more advanced, as for talking and riding his motorcycle not very bright, as being a Motorcycle Rider almost guarantees that your a future organ donor.

  9. Yep says:

    He wants to know if it’s coming… so that he can propose legislation to roll it out in Alaska first, then award his son a consulting contract to help implement it.

  10. nequam says:

    This has been bothering me since the earlier Consumerist articles and headlines on this story: He wants to switch his phone before he gets on his motorcycle so he can use it while riding. Nothing in his statement suggests he wants to do the switching while riding.

    I’m sorry, it’s picky I know. I’ve said my peace; now my life is complete.

  11. mattbrown says:


  12. ChromeBro says:

    I propose legislation that prevents Ted Stevens from driving ANYTHING on public roads, for obvious public safety reasons, let alone a motorcycle while using a cell phone.

  13. lutton says:

    Does anyone else suspect that Sen. Stevens motorcycle has stone wheels, a la the Flintstones?

  14. jmuskratt says:

    Senator Stevens doesn’t want a pickle.

  15. Brian Gee says:

    @nequam: He doesn’t say he wants to do the switching while riding, but he does want to “use this thing as I ride my motorcycle” (emphasis mine). To me it sounds like he wants to be on the phone while riding.

    I don’t ride motorcycles, so I can’t speak from experience, but I know that talking on the phone when I’m driving a car is a huge distraction and I avoid it most of the time. I can’t imagine being on a bike, trying to dodge idiots in SUVs while having a conversation on a phone (and drinking a latte…).

    Clearly its not the dumbest thing Ted has said. At least he has good instincts on the technology this time. As said above, Grand Central already accomplishes most of what he “wants”, even if the T-Mobile rep/lobbyist answering his questions isn’t willing to admit it.

  16. Indecision says:

    @ChromeBro: At least he isn’t driving a big truck. If he hit someone with one of those, they might have to go to the hospital and be hooked up to a series of tubes.

  17. weatherman says:

    “our government’s interest in appointing the least competent people possible in oversight positions.”

    Actually, isn’t this a democracy? Well almost anyway? It’s not our government, it’s the people. Specifically the people in Alaska. Blame IAMGIBSON! And me!

    I agree with NEQUAM: the ‘nets have it in for Stevens ever since the “tubes” video, never mind that geeks often refer to the internet as “fat pipes” and the like. As much of a nut as he is, there’s really no story here.

    BrianGee: you’re right that riding a motorcycle while talking on a cellphone would be just as dangerous as someone in a car. But no more so, I’d wager, except for the consequences. Why he chose a motorcycle as an example is beyond me but either way, it’s perfectly legal in all 50 states including the 49th to talk on a cell phone while driving/riding, so you really can’t blame him.

  18. Crackmonk says:

    @TVarmy: That is exactly what Congress needs… More committees on deciding on What committees need to exist.

  19. DemonOfTheFall says:

    Is it coming? I work for a Business class VOIP provider and I have been using this for a l-o-n-g time. I pick up my cell enter a short code and my home phone simultaneous rings my cell. Enter a different string and my office phone now simultaneous rings to my cell. In fact I can pick up any phone anywhere in the world and make my home or work phone number ring that phone…

    I’d love to discuss it further but its time for me and my phone from the future to go to lunch.

  20. LionelEHutz says:

    Ted Stevens needs to retire.

  21. @weatherman: I agree with you that the internet has it in for him ever since the “tubes” video, but I take it in a very much different way. Rather than scoff and ridicule I tend to just cringe, like when my grandma insisted that she bought me a “Sony Playskool” for Christmas when I was a teenager.

    I love my grandmother, but I wouldn’t arbitrarily put her at the head of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee, no matter what connections she had. God forbid we have someone with a modicum of understanding about how the technology in question works. You could argue that he was referring to “GrandCentral” in concept, but he’s not (in a way he is, but not really)– What he’s trying to refer to is eradicating potential number portability issues between landline and mobile phones by assigning one number to a customer and letting that customer just choose where he wants the number to go, landline or mobile– essentially removing portability as an obstacle. Somewhere we know in the back of our mind that the idea isn’t totally ridiculous, and is actually kind of cool, but it’s just Senator Stevens and his grandpa like understanding of these newfangled devices that makes it funny. It’s kind of like a good comedian, it’s all about the delivery that makes it funny.

    What scares people isn’t that he’s dumb, it’s that he’s our government reflection of how much accountability these companies have when they’re witnesses on the floor: None.

  22. weatherman says:

    @something_amazing: well put.

  23. gticlutchburn says:

    I know you all get a good laugh out of his “the internet is tubes” quote. But honestly, the guy isn’t stupid. Ever heard anyone use the term “data pipe” or “pipeline” when referring to bandwidth? IS the difference between “pipe” and “tube” that big? It was a completely apt analogy. Just because Jon Stewart decided to make fun of the guy, everyone goes around calling him an idiot.

  24. badhatharry says:

    Am I the only one amazed at the fact that this fossil rides a motorcycle?

    And gticlutchburn, the tubes comment was stupid before Jon Stewart got a hold of it. I understand fiber optic is also called “light pipe,” but anyone who understands how the internet works would never equate it to a series of tubes. Or talk about how it is unlike a dumptruck. This guy did, and he’s in charge of it.

  25. badhatharry says:

    Also, I’m pretty sure they have call-forwarding technology. Unless I am completely misunderstanding what this guy wants.

  26. Xkeeper says:

    @gticlutchburn: You must’ve missed the part where he mentioned how his coworkers sent him an “internet” (e-mail) and it was delayed due to tube clogging. Oops.

    @something_amazing: that was… something amazing :)

  27. crankymediaguy says:

    Ted Stevens is SO incompetant he should be receiving the Medal of Freedom any day now.

  28. 7livesleft says:

    Putz! ‘Nuff said.

  29. rdldr1 says:

    … and this is another reason why I HATE OLD PEOPLE.