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A Redhead Emoji May Be on the Way

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To paraphrase one famous and fish-tailed redhead: We’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. We’ve got smileys and whatsits galore. You want pictures of trains? We’ve got like 20. But who cares? No big deal. We want more.

Little Mermaid (1989) parodies aside, the sentiment is very real: The redheads of the world are clamoring for emojis that look like them. As Emojipedia editor Jeremy Burge writes on his blog, the lack of redhead options has been a top complaint for the last few months. In response, Burge and the Emoji Subcommittee have drafted a proposal [PDF], which they’ll present next week during a meeting with the Unicode Technical Committee.

The proposal lays out two possible ways of rectifying this grievous problem. Unicode could create an emoji of a person with red hair. That emoji would work just like the blonde emoji, allowing users to customize for skin tone and gender.

It’s a simple solution that would be easy to implement, but there are some downsides. First, it keeps redheads as faces only and does not permit them to participate in any emoji activities like sports, cooking, or facepalming. Secondly, the subcommittee notes, "Creating a new human emoji for a single trait may not be desirable precedent."

The second option is adding a pale skin/red hair option to skin color options, which would allow for redheaded facepalming but also incorrectly assumes that all redheads have pale skin.

Burge notes that the work to create the emoji might not be worth it, and that even an uproarious mob of redhead emoji users is still a pretty small group of people. He might be underestimating redheads’ natural gift for clamoring.

If the concept moves forward, we may be seeing redhead emojis by 2018.

[h/t Mashable]

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Getting Calls From Your Own Phone Number? Don't Answer!
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There’s a new phone scam that could affect you, according to Washington’s KIRO 7 News. In addition to keeping your eyes open for calls that come from area codes like 473 or involve people claiming to be Equifax representatives, you now have to watch out for your own phone number.

Scammers are manipulating your phone’s caller ID to make it look like you’re getting a call from your own phone number, then posing as someone from a wireless carrier like AT&T or Verizon. They tell whoever answers the phone that their account has been flagged for security reasons, then ask for the last four digits of that person’s Social Security number. The FCC has been aware of these scams for at least two years, but they seem to be ramping up once again.

In general, you shouldn’t give out any part of your Social Security number over the phone on an incoming call. If you’re suspicious, you can always call your carrier back using the official customer service phone number on their website or on your bill. But it’s best not to pick up at all. If you receive a call from your own number, don’t answer or press any buttons. Instead, file a complaint with the FCC.

[h/t KIRO 7 News]

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Samsung’s Star Wars Vacuums Offer Everything You Want in a Droid
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Hate housecleaning but love Star Wars? Samsung’s got the solution. In anticipation of December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest film in the Star Wars saga, Samsung has transformed a limited number of its VR7000 POWERbot robot vacuum cleaners into two familiar faces from George Lucas’s legendary space opera: a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader (which comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a remote control).

In order to create a unique device that would truly thrill Star Wars aficionados, Samsung consulted with fans of the film throughout each stage of the process. The result is a pair of custom-crafted robo-vacuums that fill your home with the sounds of a galaxy far, far away as they clean (when you turn Darth Vader on, for example, you'll hear his iconic breathing).

“We are very pleased to be part of the excitement leading up to the release of The Last Jedi and to be launching our limited edition POWERbot in partnership with Star Wars fans,” B.S. Suh, Samsung’s executive vice president, said in a press statement. “From its industry-leading suction power, slim design, and smart features, to the wonderful character-themed voice feedback and sound effects, we are confident the Star Wars limited edition of the VR7000 will be a big hit.”

Be warned that this kind of power suction doesn’t come cheap: while the Stormtrooper POWERbot will set you back $696, the Darth Vader vacuum retails for $798. Who knew the Dark Side was so sparkling clean?


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