There’s A Friggin’ Cellphone In The Most Recent Entertainment Weekly

Hackaday readers were stumbling over each other to send in a link about this Android cellphone inside of an Entertainment Weekly magazine. Thanks to all who sent it in, and keep them coming. We’d rather get too many tips than none at all!

The first thing we should address is the discomfort you will feel while watching the video after the break. If you’ve got any experience tearing open electronics to see what’s inside you will be physically uncomfortable watching this pair bumble through it. It makes us want to do some MST3K-style overdubbing of the video, but their content ownership claim in the description makes us sure we’d get an immediate take-down notice if we did so.

At any rate, what we have here is some really cool tech you almost certainly will not be able to get your hands on. In the image above you can see the small LCD screen to the right. It comes to life when the page is opened thanks to the sliding switch being pointed to in the image. A few television show promos will play before the device starts scrolling items from the CW Twitter feed. When the hardware is pulled out of the pages there’s some interesting tinkering to be done. Shorting the contacts on the keyboard overlay (about 8 minutes into the video) brings up an Asian-language menu which is pretty obviously Android.

This is not the first time the magazine has done something like this. CBS embedded video a few years back but we’re pretty sure that one didn’t use the full guts of a cellphone. It’s just too bad these issues are so rare (only 1000 are available in two cities) as we had a lot of fun hacking that Esquire issue with the epaper in it.

131 thoughts on “There’s A Friggin’ Cellphone In The Most Recent Entertainment Weekly

  1. Most of your comments made me feel nausea. Sure, they were excited and possibly not the geekiest of them all but I enjoyed watching this.

    After reading thru your comments I think I won’t be submitting any teardowns or projects here.
    The shitstorm you guys provide is enough to scare a newbie hacker away…

      1. Nope! Chuck Testa
        Seriously though, I think all this elitism kills the spark of young innovators. If a Senior Technical Analyst is criticized this badly over something I enjoy viewing, what chance do I have for a positive feedback for my projects…

    1. C’mon, its not about their shitty narration but She supposed to be a “Senior Tech Analyst” (Analyst is not what some of you can imagine), so as per “Tech Republic”:

      “The person in this position is accountable for ensuring continuity of computer services for computer users by providing the planning, technical leadership, and project coordination necessary to implement computer software products and resolve technical problems.”

      do you think competent person that needs to do this Job would be so ignorant? well unless she slept for her job, not my business though.

  2. Yes!, it’s a painful breakdown by some self acclaimed experts… And yes it’s a fricken phone glued in a magazine.. Has anyone though of Advertisers listing in to you while flicking through the pages?…

  3. I’m already surprised that previous magazines had e-paper on it. But a full-blown phone that’s not even customized to run an OS that would simply present their ad is awesome.

  4. A lot of hate on this page, it’s easy to sneer and scoff at the surprise of people discovering something that you know already from reading the title.

    I think it’s batshit insane that an advertising company would consider putting a fully working cellfone with simcard into a throw away, celeb gossip rag magazine.

    I also don’t get the comments about the lady, she identified most of the stuff first, only for the guy to repeat what she says 10 times after, as if he saw it first.

    Overall they are excited to discover the bazaar truth behind the mystery of the Internet connected magazine page.

    1. As people have said, these 2 people are “experts” who work in the media writing about technology. It’s reasonable to expect them to know what they’re talking about, to have knowledge well above the “whoa! Old-skool usb port!” level.

      There’s nothing wrong with people like my mother knowing nothing about technology. She hasn’t, somehow, astoundingly, managed to drift her way into a well-paid job as an “expert”.

      I like it when things like this happen, and the media are exposed as a bunch of ignorant hacks and bullshitters. Now next time you see a journalist prattling on about politics, people, or science, consider how well they know what they’re talking about. If you’re intelligent, there’s a good chance the “expert” on TV knows less than you do.

  5. Holy fuck these people are downright retarded, seriously. I’m not even going to go over the obious points where they didnt notice something till later because its jsut not worth it, god damn.

  6. I had planned a longer exasperated rant. Slaying the Teal Deer:

    We’ve used more column inches poo flinging than anything else.

    Rant over..On to the implications of this experiment that the e ink publicity stunt did not even approach. Publishers rarely do such things absent a return on investment.

    We’ve also overlooked that there’s proof now of a media corp’s belief that those devices and associated expensing was “worth it” as an investment.

    But we’ve NOT asked the journalistic W’s.

    Look at it this way- We’re HACKERS. We’re supposedly motivated to drill down to the bedrocks of whatever’s hidden.

    Here’s my targeted “personal” point of closure for a while.

    What could such a device cost if oh- 2600 or MAKE etc? Or a larger Hackerdom publisher decided to saturate it’s subscriber base with one each as a durable?

    1. They decided it was worth it to put 1,000 in magazines. At retail, they’re $40, so maybe $20 or $30 wholesale (margins are pretty tight on cheap large-quantity consumer electronics). So the company spent $30K of their advertising budget, which isn’t much for something like TV Guide, whose ad budget I’m sure is massive.

      The aim was, one assumes, to get people talking about it. They’ve achieved that here, and probably in a lot of other media. They could have spent the money on billboard or TV adverts, they spent it on cheap mobile phones. It’s up to their publicity staff to add up the numbers and see if it was worth it.

      But that’s all this was, a publicity stunt on a very limited budget. You’d be insane to put that much stuff into every copy! The few shops burn down by a mag being shipped with a live battery that shorts out, would cost way more than the phones would. Subscription copies are, obviously, delivered differently.

      The days of free phones, TVs, and computers, in boxes of cereal, are not here yet. Not quite yet.

  7. Only 1000 available in two cities? Hacker hardon just went limp.

    But clearly its got an active data and voice plan. I imagine the batch of 1000 had a block of numbers assigned to it. So if any one of us can get our mitts on one and get the # off it, we could probably get them all. Then we see how many magazines we can make ring!

  8. Ahahahaha! Thats nasty! :-)

    Am liking this idea, sign me up!

    On the flip side, does anyone know which asshat keeps ringing once then stopping? Tried doing 1471 and NO FRELLING NUMBER!!!! FFS.
    Cold callers who ring poor Jeri up at 3am should be dipped in bees.

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