Our new answering machine is a bit tempremental. It seems that sometimes it takes a while to tell us about new messages, and it doesn't always give us all of them. This could of course be us not using it properly (as if) rather then a fault. Either way, it got me to thinking.
Perhaps one day there will be a market for unreliable devices. Perhaps people will pay extra for a slightly duff model so that they can say "Oh, sorry, the machine must have lost that one, sorry I didn't get back to you".
With the guaranteed delivery of SMS and universal voicemail, maybe we will eventually welcome a little bit of uncertainty in our lives. Perhaps our machine isn't broken, just ahead of its time.