When I was younger it was something you learned as a kid. Want to know
what time it is when you had a power outage or other calamity that
screwed up your clocks? Call the "Time Lady" or POPCORN on your
However, AT&T is about to shut it down in California.
"Call volumes have dropped
considerably," said AT&T spokesman John Britton. "It's a sign of
the changing times. Years ago this was innovative technology, but not
anymore. People get the exact time on the Internet or their cell
"This is a public service
that consumers have had for a long time," said Mindy Spatt of TURN.
"Even if call volumes are down, that doesn't mean no one is using it.
This is just another example of AT&T telling the public, 'We want
your money but we don't really care about you.' "
Of AT&T's claim that most people get the time signal online or
by looking at their cell phones, Spatt said, "I'm sure that's true for
wealthy people like phone company executives, but we're concerned with
less well-to-do people who rely on a landline for all sorts of things,
including a time signal."
Interestingly, they asked the Time Lady herself, Joanne Daniels, what she thought of the shutdown, and she had said "It's something a lot of people
depend on," she said. "Not everyone is able to check the Internet or a
cell phone. And a lot of blind people rely on it." She also said, as "time runs out" for her voice, "It's sad. I'm fading away."