Computing Columnist: Drunk dialing
You've heard of drunk dialing, right? That's the unfortunately not-so-uncommon phenomenon of calling someone, typically an ex, when you've had one (or seven) too many, and either a) professing undying love; b) ranting; c) starting an argument; d) hitting redial one-to-one-hundred times, or (possibly worst of all); e) leaving an incoherent and horribly embarrassing voice message. This has become all the more dangerous with cell phones, since we have such easy access to them, and redial is so simple.
Wouldn't you know, somebody has thought of that, and taken care of it. Actually, more than one somebody, and more than one way of protecting you from yourself-on-technology.
DON'T DIAL (for both Android and iPhone, just $.99) "lets you lock out those dangerous numbers (parents, exes, crushes, your boss) for up to 24 hours. Don't worry: As soon as you're sober, they'll re-appear in your phonebook.
You can also opt to make a friend into your "designated dialer," and let them set a password for the evening.
Hangovers are hard. Don't Dial is easy:
•Pick all of your usual suspects from your contact list.
•Choose a block: use the timer, or have a friend enter a password.
•Go out, knowing you're safe from embarrassing drunk dial incidents!
•The next morning, run the app again to unlock everyone.
BAD DECISION BLOCKER works in a similar way, and also protects you from texting while intoxicated, as does NIMBY (No Intoxicated Messaging By You).
"This app strives to prevent you from sending a regretful email or tweet. Once you write you message, the app prompts you to complete one of three tests within 30 seconds. The brain busters consist of a word search, completing basic algebra or navigating a mouse through a maze. If you can't finish in time, you can't send the message." -- www.nbcphiladelphia.com.
And in the final category of "protect-me-from-my-drunken-self," there are social media applications.
Chrome/Firefox: SOCIAL MEDIA SOBRIETY TEST is a simple extension for Google Chrome and Firefox that administers a set of sobriety tests to keep you from drunkenly leaving a post on your boss's wall or sharing your margarita-fueled musings via Twitter.
Similar to the "Mail Goggles" feature in Google Labs—which require you to solve math problems to deter late night drunken emails—SOCIAL MEDIA SOBRIETY TEST locks down your social networks including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Tumblr, as well as a custom URL.
"When you visit those sites between the hours specified in your settings you'll have to take a "field" sobriety test like following a finger drifting around the screen with your mouse or indicating which side of the screen is blinking in a "Simon Says" like puzzle. Fail to pass the test and you can't log in to the social network." -- lifehacker.com
So spare yourself a ticket and the humiliation of the morning after the night before, and lock your car keys in a combination box, and lock your social phone and computer access until you've had a chance to sleep it off!