Maciej and the Secret Space Center

Had I mentioned that Maciej Ceglowski is in Beijing? The other day he accidentally wandered into one of the city’s most secret space travel facilities. He gets busted, and his feeble possessions investigated.

At some point the fat cop walked in again to make another attempt at the cell phone, guards springing back to attention around him. Having suffered the slings and arrows of the phone’s outrageous user interface for three months, it gave me a secret thrill to watch this battle. But as confident as I was of the outcome, I worried that the cop might accidentally squeeze the button on the side of the phone and thereby discover the phone’s built-in camera.

By my estimate the phone had about fifty photographs stored on it – two of my bewildered face squinting at the phone, one of my hand, and forty seven of the inside of my pocket. I had no way of verifying this, though, because the built-in photograph viewer was not navigable by mortal man. Only the pure of heart, to whom the user interface would open like a blushing rose, could activate the picture viewer.

Who knew that bad usability and international espionage go hand in hand?

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