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I just got this great new phone and I had to share it with you! It's the very latest thing in dis-integration.

The features list is beautifully thin. NO email! Nearly no web browsing! No Facebook app, no games, no apps at all unless you really want to mess with it. NO touch screen! Actual physical BUTTONS for anything you can make the phone do.

NO data charges!!! NO blinking light in the middle of the night telling you someone updated their Facebook status. Isn't the modern world wonderful? I can hardly keep up any more.

It's tiny. It weighs less than half what my old Droid and my old IPhone weighed and is about half the surface area.

What does it DO? It's a PHONE. It makes phone calls.

Oh, and texting and Bluetooth and a camera and play mp3's from your microSD card, if you're into those kinky sorts of things.

You'd expect to pay hundreds of dollars for something this advanced, right? Even on contract?  Something that just simply and quietly did its job without feeling like a brick in your pocket?

No way! It was like twenty bucks. No contract, on a pay as you go phone, and it's going to run me about $20 a month.

Science is wonderful!

------------------------

I hope everyone recognizes the snark above, but it's all true. No brand names because you can find this deal or similar ones all over the place.

The point is this. Verizon, for example, just instituted a data plan for phones that STARTS at $30 a month. Yes, it's cool to do all the stuff a smartphone does... but are they really WORTH it? Have you been sold on another gadget - another whole FIELD of gadgets - just because it's cool? No one really NEEDS to be able to surf on their phones... it's just (admittedly) really really cool.

Some will say yes, because they actually use the capabilities in their work or play, and that's legitimate. But I'm a DEVELOPER for these things and even I can't really justify paying for a data plan when I'm already paying for Internet access at home. Maybe some can, but I can't. (But please keep buying my apps.)

We love gadgets. But we've become far too eager to simply gobble the latest ones up. No one actually NEEDS an IPad or a Xoom... it's just (admittedly) really really cool.

You pay a lot for that cell phone in your pocket. Do you really get your money's worth?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I must admit, I'd like a toy to play with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, Lujane, Larsstephens

    especially when I'm not at home.  I likes my intertubz.

    Perhaps a tablet would be for me then?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:21:24 PM PDT

    •  It's all in what you want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, Lujane

      If you like it, it's great that it's available. I just gradually became aware that I wasn't using it that much.

      Tablets ARE a lot of fun, I admit.

      •  Eh, I'm not too sold on tablets (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, darthstar

        though. I have an iPad, was admittedly an impuluse buy. It's too big to schlep around with me everywhere I go. So it sits on the table in front of my TV so I can surf the web while sitting on my lazy ass while watching TV. My iPad is basically a $500 toy to browse the web and play Angry Birds.

        Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

        by yg17 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:41:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I get a tablet, it will be a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BachFan, Larsstephens

          "knock-off" type that lets me surf and tweet and play with apps and what not.

          I don't need a lot of bells and whistles.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

          by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:43:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've considered getting one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          several times, but I always come to the conclusion that it simply fills no particular niche between my iPod Touch and laptop.  But damn, they're so fun to play with (in addition to the larger gaming surface, I envy the possibilities with the synthesizer apps.  They just don't work on iPods).

          You've been fooled by April, and she's gone. . .

          by cardinal on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:00:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm in the same place (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cardinal

            I think Ipads seem really cool, but see no earthly reason to fork over the money for one.  My Ipod is great, my laptop is adequate, I don't need it and would probably not use it much.  So why do I want one so badly?

            The party of No is well on their way to becoming the party of nobody. Alan Grayson

            by Leftleaner on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 03:32:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have a purse that has two straps (think mini- (0+ / 0-)

          backpack - very mini) that is big enough to hold my iPad - which goes everywhere with me. Can't begin to list all I use it for ---

          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:47:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to have an iPad (0+ / 0-)

        But I can only wish right now.

      •  I don't have a phone (6+ / 0-)

        I have a computer that fits in my pocket and it can make and receive phone calls (poorly, I should add).

        I rarely use my desktop for internet anymore. I'm a huge consumer of "news" and read for hours a day. My "smart phone", which is actually quite an idiot, allows me to do this anywhere. This is extremely cool for me. I no longer dread having to wait at the Dr's office, for example. No more shitty magazines.

        I was a passenger on a long trip yesterday. I spent it reading instead of staring out the window at the interstate "scenery".

        I have a lot of my favorite blogs set up on news feeds. Even if I'm going out of range, I can download all of my feeds and read them offline.

        Having said all that, I am really starting to appreciate how valuable down time is. Time to just sit and think, without interference or distraction. All this information is messing with my brain - attention span and short term memory.

        So as much as I enjoy my pocket computer that makes phone calls poorly, I'm seriously thinking about dropping it into the garbage disposal.

        •  I can relate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          When I got my first IPhone, and my Droid too, I used it CONSTANTLY.

          For about a month.

        •  solution: landline and 2500 set. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          Get a real landline from your local carrier (not "bundled" service that includes cable TV).  

          Get one of these:  http://cortelco.com/...

          Cortelco still makes them in the US, though some of the components come from overseas (e.g. transmitters & receivers are all made in Asia now).  

          Sounds better than anything you can carry in your pocket.

          Costs $30 - $50 depending on where you buy (search Amazon for "Cortelco 2500").  

          Designed to last 40 years.  

          Works in power failures too.  

  •  You'd probably like my phone. (25+ / 0-)

    PS  I'm with you. It's called a phone because it's supposed to make phone calls.

    Hell, if you're bored enough to hang out here, might as well check out my site.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:27:03 PM PDT

    •  Neat classic, what make and model is it? (5+ / 0-)

      I kind of collect old phone memorabilia, don't remember seeing any like that one.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:16:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Swiss PTT wall set, 1950s - 1970s. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Crashing Vor

        There were four or five different manufacturers with obscure names such as Gfeller, who I think made that wall set.

        I have a few Swiss desk sets from three different manufacturers.   Typical example here (first one is Italian, second one is Swiss):

        http://televideo.ws/...

        These things used to be cheap "surplus."  They've since become expensive "collector's items."  However they'll last for decades in normal use, so divide cost by e.g. 20 years and that's your cost per year.

         

        •  Figured it was 'Euro' with that hangup bail on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor, G2geek

          the side, you're right about the astronomical prices.
          I've been wanting to get a working Bell/WECo 102 or 202 like grandmoms, a good one costs about the same as a laptop comp.

          "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

          by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:29:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what to do about that: (0+ / 0-)

            Technically what most people think of as 102 and 202 are actually "B handset-mounting" and "D handset-mounting" respectively, each of which uses an E1 handset, though the latter is often found with an F1 handset (same as on a 302).  "102" refers to "sidetone induction coil circuit" and "202" refers to "anti-sidetone induction coil circuit."   You can find either type of handset mountings wired for either type of circuit, assuming they're wired to a ringer box with proper internal components.

            Anyway, the simple answer is: look for a "202" or "D handset mounting" in "as-is" condition, typically with dial blank.  Then find a 5H dial.  Then look for a ringer box with induction coil.  Get a proper 4-conductor cord between the handset mounting and the ringer box, and a 3-conductor cord between the handset and the handset mounting.  You can have the handset mounting repainted in any auto body shop or powder-coated, though you'll need to disassemble and remove the hookswitch contacts and suchlike and the plunger in the cradle and the spring under it.  

            Note: do Not wire the handset straight to the phone line without a network circuit of some kind.  Putting DC through those receivers will slowly degrade the fixed magnet in them and cause them to decrease in volume until they're useless.  At minimum you need a dropping resistor in front of the transmitter, a blocking capacitor in front of the receiver, and another small spark quench capacitor across the dial impulse contacts.  

            Or you can look around for one that's in acceptably good condition and known working, price range is typically $200 - $400, a luxury item to be sure, but one that'll last the rest of your life.  

            When I picked most of this stuff up it was all cheep cheep cheep and often free.  "There's a scroungy old phone in the room above the garage, can you remove it and replace it with a decent new one?"   (That one was a D-mounting with E1 handset attached to a wooden ringer box with magneto.) Etc.  

        •  Dead on. Bought from former USSR but mfr in Switz. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Hell, if you're bored enough to hang out here, might as well check out my site.

          by Crashing Vor on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:25:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  cool. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crashing Vor

            That's a very smart design for a wall set, and depending on when it was last reconditioned by Swiss PTT, it may have a newish transmitter in the handset that provides perfect outgoing audio.  Overall quality of manufacturing on those is about as good as it gets, and the Swiss dial mechanisms remind one of Swiss watches in terms of mechanical precision.

            The Eastern European stuff that you'd find in the former Soviet countries is usually in pretty rough condition because it's been in hard use over a period of decades.  The best of the Soviet Bloc manufacturers were Iskra (Yugoslavia) and RWT/Elektrim (Poland), both easily as good as anything made in West Germany.  Funnily enough, in my "in-box" right now are a handful of RWTs and a Tesla (Czech) awaiting restoration, along with three early-production WE 500s: both sides of the cold war on my workbench:-)  

            What country are you living in right now?  

            •  This batch was never reconditioned. (0+ / 0-)

              Got from a company named Sovietski (now OOB, sadly) that specialized in reselling old soviet era surplus. They found a load of these in a warehouse (Minsk, I think) mint in box. Even has a tiny paper in the housing with the schematic.

              Hell, if you're bored enough to hang out here, might as well check out my site.

              by Crashing Vor on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 03:51:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  lucky find, that. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crashing Vor

                A warehouse full of those, MIB.  Now that explains why there appeared to be a sudden large quantity of those around a couple of years ago while the desk sets remained scarce.  

                Most foreign phones (not only European but everywhere else outside of the US) have the schematics pasted on the inside of the housings or folded up and tucked under a bracket somewhere inside.  British GPO sets from the 1960s forward being the exceptions, for some reason most of them don't have schematics inside.

                Most US ones don't, Stromberg-Carlson 1543 being the exception.  

                I think it had something to do with standardization: when a telco or PTT administration has a lot of different makes and generations of equipment in the field, it's expedient to have the schematics inside each one so the field techs know what they're dealing with each time.  In the US with wider degrees of standardization, this isn't particularly necessary.  In the UK you'd find 232 sets in service into the early 1980s but all UK phones were standardized within type e.g. 2xx, 3xx, 70x, 74x, regardless of manufacturer (GEC, Plessey, Ericsson, British Siemens, etc.).  

                All of these can be made to work in the US.  If you have multiple rotary dial sets on the same line, foreign ones will typically jingle when dialing from another extension.  The cure for which is a pair of 70-volt Zener diodes, back-to-back, in series with the ringer (replace the connecting link or strap on the terminal strip with the Zener diode assembly).  

                There's one exception to the "can work in the US" rule, which is relatively rare: some Danish and similar northern European sets have dial impulse cams in which the last impulse is long enough to be out of spec for any types of switches other than the ones they were designed for.  These typically are "slipping cam dials" equivalent to UK GPO #10 dials and it takes a trained eye to recognize the nonstandard impulse cam.  There are a couple of other exceptions like that but the chances are minimal of anyone who's a non-specialist running across them.

                Only other exception are "DC Code" sets that look like touchtone phones but aren't: not the ones that produce rotary dial impulses, but the ones that use rectified AC to signal a PBX.  These are also rare but the way you can tell you have one is if the circuit board associated with the dial keypad has very little circuitry on it, limited to a few diodes and resistors.  

                Yeah I'm at work right now waiting for a voicemail system backup file to load (98% complete, gotta go).

    •  I bet if I made (4+ / 0-)

      a rotary dial app for iPhones, it would sell...  although what that says about people, I don't care to say.

      •  people time-distort on this constantly: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Crashing Vor

        How long does it take to dial a 7-digit phone number on a rotary phone?

        How long does it take to dial it on a touchtone phone?

        Answers below.  

        What I constantly find when I ask people these questions, is that they always overestimate the time by about a factor of three.  

        What that says is that people have become so used to what unions used to call "speedup" that their time sense has gotten screwed-around-with.  

        The actual times:  Rotary, 7 - 10 seconds.  Touchtone: 2.5 to 5 seconds.  

        •  10-digit is the norm now in many places (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor, G2geek

          7-digit dialing only exists in parts of the US that don't have overlays.  If there's an overlay area code, then 10-digit dialing is the rule.  That's a lot of places.  And it sure beats having area codes divide and divide into little areas, each time making you change your number.

          By the same token, the original area codes were assigned so that the lowest number of dial-pulls went to the biggest ones. So 212 to NYC, 213 to LA, 312 to Chicago.  A 909 number in the Inland Empire would be a special pain on a rotary phone.

          Yet Verizon only stopped surcharging for Touch-Tone in 2002 up here in Mass., when we were already on 10-digit local dialing.

          •  yeah, area codes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crashing Vor

            Personally I don't like overlays because they destroy the last vestige of "locality" associated with phone numbers.  

            When I moved to California, 415 was everything from San Francisco to the East Bay to Walnut Creek.  Now those are 415, 510, and 925 respectively.

            But anyway, dialing a 10-digit number on a rotary phone is about 10 to 15 seconds, but many people estimate that it takes a whole minute.  Methinks if they were forced to sit still and do nothing for a minute they'd think it was more like five to ten minutes.  Humans need to slow down and take the time to live.  

    •  Dude! Score! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, Crashing Vor

      Swiss PTT wall set.  

      If you're not in Switzerland, that might have taken some serious effort to obtain.  I have a few Swiss desk sets, including one from the 50s that I don't see documented in any of the historic material on the Swiss PTT.  That particular model (and the desk sets) were made right up through the 70s: why change a good thing unnecessarily?

      Typical Swiss desk set (2nd one down, the first one is Italian): http://televideo.ws/...

    •  this one made Wired's "Greatest Gadget.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, Crashing Vor

      .... Hall of Fame."

      http://www.wired.com/...

      1949 was actually the prototype year, 1950 was the first year of mass production.  Western Electric stopped making them in the 90s but Cortelco (Missouri) kept making them until 2006.

      I have an example from 1951 (2nd year of mass production) and a couple from the very last batch ever made (March 2006), and every major component is fully interchangeable between them.  That's what we call eco-industrial design: the opposite of planned obsolescence.  

      It only runs one app: "Conversation," and does it better than anything you can carry in your pocket.  

  •  Indispensable (6+ / 0-)

    For my work, my iPhone is indispensable.  I can do e-mail while out of the office.  It helps me find where I'm meeting clients.  Definitions of words are available from app or web.  Chemical structures are downloadable.  Flight schedules can be queried, tracked, updated.  Tickets can be changed.  Reservations made (without substantially diverting attention away from client as with a phone call).  And other things I use for work.

    •  did you get along without it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      darthstar, Larsstephens

      before it was invented?

      "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:38:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We got along without smartphones (3+ / 0-)

        before they invented, but now that we have them, we don't want to give them up.

        Humans got along for millenniums without electricity, running water and flush toilets, but now that we have them, would you give any of those up?

        Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

        by yg17 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:45:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about the above commenter... (5+ / 0-)

        ...but I was tethered to my desk before I got my iPhone.

        The clients needed their emails replied to within an hour or so before I got the phone, just as they do now.

        Only now, I have the freedom to sit in a coffee shop for an afternoon or go out somewhere without worrying that my clients are having an emergency and frantically trying to reach me.

      •  Well, some of us got along on horseback or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nightsweat

        with a buggy, without a microwave oven, flush commodes, running water (even the Romans liked that) etc. But things change, progress advances, it's pretty hard not to go along with most of it.
        Not too sure I'd want to be living in a cave looking out for saber-toothed tigers.

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

        by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:22:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  because an iphone is just (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chipmo

          as significant an advance as the automobile, and as meaningful to human quality of life as running water, sure.

          "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:29:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know that the iPhone is... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bluefin, Larsstephens

            ...but the cellphone I'd put up there with the automobile in terms of things that changed the way we live our everyday lives.

            Thinking back to how we did things before we simply assumed that anyone we wanted to talk to could be reached wherever they were by the push of a button, I can't imagine that kind of world anymore.

          •  Not the damned Apple iphone, but like (0+ / 0-)

            JamesGG says, the cell phone was definitely a game changer.
            And by 'cellphone', I mean all the other recent huge changes in communications and their uses and ramifications.
            And I even lean Luddite (sometimes).

            "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

            by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:48:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  then why did you argue with me (0+ / 0-)

              if I was asking about iphones?

              "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

              by James Allen on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:11:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I meant the generic cell or smartphone, guess (0+ / 0-)

                Apple is losing the copyright battle, like Xerox.

                Specifically Apple I don't care for because of their closed cult-like and proprietary business scheme.
                They do have innovative ideas though, which is what all this is about I guess.
                I was a very early adopter, had a cell phone in the early '80's, saw its potential even then, enhancing and expanding the computer area (it helped to be working/training in the fields even then, IE: an industry insider). Even worked with the pre-cellphone radio mobile systems. Was in what is now known as 'IT'/comp/comm in the '60's and since, so I'm a bit biased (and it has been fun).
                So I'm across the fence from you I guess..

                "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

                by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:37:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Or your (0+ / 0-)

            neighbors, yeow.

            "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

            by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:10:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not the point at all (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Larsstephens

          The point is, yes the web is useful... do you need it EVERYWHERE? I found that no, I didn't.

          •  I don't know. I might be biased since (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WestTexasLiberal

            I was in the biz long before anybody (the public) even knew where it was going or its' potential.
             An extreme example: It's very useful for checking the NOAA internet weather fifty miles offshore via sat phone, not that the tried and true old methods of using your own senses are no longer useful, it is just a very useful enhancement.

            "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

            by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:43:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Fahrenheit 451. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            The scene with all the people in the subway wearing their Seashell Radios in their ears and singing along with the Denham's Dentrifice advertisement.  

        •  I'm a telephone systems engineer, and... (0+ / 0-)

          ... I don't "go along."

          Think selective adopter.

          I have a household PBX with some high-tech digital phones and some oldschool rotary phones.  I have three laptops on my desk (one Mac, one WinXP, one Win7, often all three are in use at once).  But I don't have the need for a device in my pocket.  

          •  I still use my (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            TI Avigo.
            It was a big help in my own field work at a time when laptops were bulky and needed an AC power source beyond an hour or so.
            Crossing such devices with the cell phone was just a natural evolution.
            I need to check ebay, I still have a brand new one in an unopened box (was supposed to be a spare jic), might be worth $, heh.

            A good sized touch screen that you could write and sketch on, RS232 port that you could control anything with, IR or wired PC interface, lots of PDA apps, etc., it was damned useful.
            And used some other simpler PDA's long before that (still working too), which is basically what smartphones, et al have evolved from.

            Now something like my kids Mac Airbooks and iphones I find just FM and amazing, not to mention tablets and netbooks.

            "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

            by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:08:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah, back in the day when they had... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluefin

              .... physical buttons on them that were big enough to press with your fingers:-)

              I knew someone who had an Apple Newton.  All of those devices have many legitimate uses, everything from stock-keeping in warehouses, to doing engineering drawings in the field, to portable artist's portfolio.  

              What grates on me is when they're mass marketed as entertainment devices so "everyone has to have one" just to stay plugged-in all the time, as if terrified of silences, or terrified of seeming "too poor to own one."  And from an ecological point of view, the proliferation of those things as entertainment devices has a heavy impact.

  •  Hey now... (4+ / 0-)

    isn't the eager ad-driven consumption of unnecessary gidgety-gadgets keeping our economy alive?

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:28:31 PM PDT

  •  I'll give you my iPhone... (3+ / 0-)

    when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. :-p

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    - George Orwell

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:29:17 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like my battered little Nokia... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, Wee Mama

    ...which has been getting a lot more use lately, due to family crises. Only no music...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:34:25 PM PDT

  •  A smart phone is one of those things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin, Wee Mama

    that I thought I would have no use for. Then I caved and got one about 5 years ago. Now I can't live without one.

    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

    by yg17 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:38:15 PM PDT

  •  Here's the thing: (13+ / 0-)

    I'm 50. My entire life I have been told I simply HAD TO HAVE a larger TV screen. First it was 20", then 32"...shoot, what are they now-like 50"?
    Now...at the same time, I'm supposed to buy--and watch--TV & movies on a one inch square?

    WTF?

    "The better I know people, the more I like my dog."

    by Thinking Fella on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:40:41 PM PDT

    •  What's sad is that they're telling you, the TV (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, marina, Thinking Fella, G2geek

      viewer, that you don't spend enough time watching stupid shit - or surfing the internet for stupid shit - and you should carry it around with you everywhere you go.  And people are buying it like nobody's business.

      I went to the library on Saturday because I promised my wife I'd check it out...we bought our house five months ago and hadn't been to our new library yet.  I ended up getting two books to read and took a big chunk out of one of them already...a couple of hours of internet time gone forever and not missed one bit.

      I like books.  I even like falling asleep with a book on my chest and waking up several hours later to see it's still on the same page and the batteries aren't dead...because there aren't any.

      Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:19:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh, just recently upgraded from a 19 inch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thinking Fella, G2geek

      CRT model to one about 26/28 inch (somebody gave me an old CRT type, moved the 19" to another room).

      But then again I had some renters who had lots of trouble paying the rent, did notice a big box for an around 48" fancy tivi and other goodies in the trash though (and they had satellite service too).
      Didn't take too long before they became a textbook eviction case. Priorities...

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:32:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Consume, consumers, consuming. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thinking Fella

      Meanwhile, Earth, atmosphere, warming.  

  •  My wife is the same... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia, BachFan

    One of her jobs gave her a latest model with all the whistles and bells..did everything but make coffee...she used it a week, brought it back, and bought herself a basic Nokia, which she loves and still has...

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:41:44 PM PDT

  •  just got one 6 months ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    for the first time ever.  an iphone 3GS.  never had anything but a land line before.  i was very against the idea for the longest time.  still concerned about bees, brain cancer, plastic waste, sweatshops, rare earth metals, and wasting time and money.  
    i really got it so i could be in better touch with my GF who lives 235 miles away.  but it is pretty amazing in all it can do.

  •  It's a good supplement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    If my kids are using the computer, I can use my phone to check email or surf the web. (I do find it a pain to try to 'recommend' comments on my phone though - I can never seem to hit that button correctly...) I also like the apps, they are fun and often not available on the computer.

  •  I've got a droid and a windows phone (0+ / 0-)

    Both are about the same size...if it wasn't for work emails, I'd get rid of the Windows phone.  If the Droid had a flip phone version that had a smaller screen and just allowed me to read gmail, I'd probably go for it...though my wife does like using the map feature when we're driving to look at traffic and plan alternate routes.

    But yes, a simple phone with buttons I can push without having to look a the screen would be nice.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:06:31 PM PDT

  •  I have an Android phone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WestTexasLiberal

    I'm pushing my mom to get one too.

    I travel for work, and being able to send e-mails quickly and easily, on site, in the middle of no-where is really useful. Good cameras and easy photo management is useful. If you travel, GPS nav on your phone is useful for being able to explore cities you visit without printing out pages of maps (or getting a map and trying to figure out if it has what you want on it). Real time traffic is a nice bonus that I actually use too.

    For my social life. Having my e-mail with me, and able to check details of plans or addresses without having to stop at home is nice.

    Most of the applications on top of that are silly, but the core functions are totally worth the extra.

    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

      a lot of it depends on the individual's level of social activity. I just don't use it for that very much. I hardly ever even text, for instance.

      •  I hardly ever text also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        and I agree that figuring out the usage patterns you have, and if you have moments where you say to yourself 'if only I had a $device that does $task with me'.

        At the same time, there are occasional small unexpected things. I always have a book in my pocket (currently reading Wealth of Nations and 20,000 leagues under the sea ) for when I don't have a book in a jacket pocket or in a backpack.

  •  I hear you (4+ / 0-)

    I held out with a standard "dumb phone" for a pretty long time, until about nine months ago. Then I got my Android though, and I can't see going back. If you are caught waiting somewhere for more than ten minutes without reading material even once a month, the data plan is worth it right there. I'm NEVER BORED. That's significant.

    Also, having my work email and calendar dropping into my phone constantly is super-useful. If it allows me to take care of business while doing something fun, or with the family, or whatever, once a month, again, the data plan's been paid for right there.

  •  You cannot haz my Trimline (6+ / 0-)

    Orange Trimline

    I'm about to replace the Samsung with an identical unit. It has a nice birds ringtone and the light on the front that blinks in code makes it easy to find in the dark.

  •  I use e-mail 50x more than the phone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    Literally today alone I've sent 41 and received 86 e-mails.

    And I can't count the IM's.

    I don't text as much as the real young uns.

    If we don't stop them here, then where? If not now, then when?

    by nightsweat on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:27:58 PM PDT

  •  I don't know (4+ / 0-)

    Smartphones can be extremely helpful. For work I am a lot more helpful if I can check my email wherever I am, especially since I travel a lot.

    Good example:

    I was visiting my friend in the morning and found out that the subway was not running to the regular stop I used to get off. So I got out in an area from which I had no idea how to get to my friend's. I pulled out my phone, opened Google Maps, put his address in and it showed me exactly how to walk over to his house.

    Wonders of technology!

  •  As someone who writes Android software... (3+ / 0-)

    ... in my spare time:

    YES! Smart phones and expensive data plans ARE worth it! Everyone in your family should have one, including pets!

    Give in to mindless consumerism, and make me rich!

    Regards,
    Corporate Dog

    -----
    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:43:38 PM PDT

    •  The capitalist in me... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Corporate Dog, buddabelly

      ... the part of me that checks my Google payout every few hours... agrees completely!  :)

      •  It's actually the main reason I bought my phone... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        ... so I could have a testbed for the apps I intended to write and sell.

        I will say that the Google model of capitalism (borrowed from the Apple model of capitalism) rather sucks:

        "Hi, lowly developer-person. Here's a software development kit you can use, to write content for our platform, thereby adding value to it!"

        "But listen: WE want people to buy your software, and YOU want people to buy your software, so why don't you let US set the fair market value for such things. A dollar sounds about right, doesn't it?"

        "I mean, we know you put some time into developing these things, so by all means feel free to flaunt user expectations by charging TWO dollars for your software if you see fit. Or REALLY let your freak flag fly, and charge THREE dollars."

        "Just know that no matter how much you decide to charge, we're going to take a thirty-percent cut of your sales, to cover the SDK we gave you, and the App Store you're using to sell your little software thing."

        "Good luck!"

        Regards,
        Corporate Dog

        -----
        We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

        by Corporate Dog on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:03:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, this basically isn't true... (0+ / 0-)

          As you probably know, Google does not take thirty percent of your sales, that goes to the carriers for the cost of the downloads. Google does not make a penny on the marketplace. You might want to re-read your contract.

          Not sure I understand your other point... they don't set app prices either. Mine sells for more than anything you quoted. Why do you claim Google marketplace sets ad prices? I don't understand this claim at all.

          •  Not so much SETTING prices... (0+ / 0-)

            ... as setting expectations about pricing among end-users (hence, my floating 'one dollar, two dollars, three dollars' comment). As I also suggested, that wasn't started by Google, so much as it was by Apple, and the developers who first wrote iPhone apps for their App Store.

            The pricing was SOMEWHAT understandable, back when phone software only lived on phones, and phones weren't quite as sophisticated as they are now. Despite the number of hours you might put into coding a piece of software for a phone, the end user wasn't going to fiddle with such a tiny little interface for more than a few minutes at a time.

            Now? The phone experience isn't really quite so painful. People actually DO spend a lot of time on their phones. And you can easily run the same software on a tablet, which is INFINITELY more comfortable to use.

            The platforms are approaching and surpassing laptop or PC usability. But software developers are still only getting phone-software "gimmick" prices for their work, since that seems to be all that the end-user market is willing to bear.

            As far as Google taking a cut out of sales, we're both somewhat wrong. This comes straight from their Google Checkout FAQ:

            When you use Google Checkout to process your sales, you'll be charged rates as low as 1.9% + $0.30 per transaction. With Google Checkout, there are no monthly, setup, or gateway service fees.

            I'm wrong on the 30% figure. It's 1.9% of sales + 30-cents PER MONTHLY PAYOUT (and not per sales transaction as I seemed to recall, which WOULD be 30% on a piece of software that only sells for a dollar).

            But you're wrong about the fact that this has something to do with the phone carriers. It doesn't.

            Regards,
            Corporate Dog

            -----
            We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

            by Corporate Dog on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:35:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not much for talking on the phone. (0+ / 0-)

    So the Virgin Mobile plan of $25 per month unlimited data/messaging/texting/web + 300 anytime minutes is PERFECT for me.

    The LG Optimus V phone was only $149 bucks so... overall pretty inexpensive. I lived with just 'a phone' until this March and now? Probably won't give up my Android ever. heh.

    "When it comes to fighting for what's right, New Yorkers wrote the book, and Marriage Equality is the next chapter of our civil rights story." - NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

    by cooper888 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:06:14 PM PDT

  •  I used to get along just fine without one, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    I'm a youngin' and was one of the few teenagers who didn't have a cell phone. But now that I'm out in the big, bad world, well, I'd die without it (not really, but I would complain a lot!) My favorite thing about it is there is a bus and subway tracker app that shows where all MBTA (Boston) buses and trains are in real time. No more waiting at the bus stop for a bus that'll never come and no more running for the packed bus/train when I know that there's another one right behind it! For me, that alone is worth the ridiculously overpriced bill I get each month.

    Boig, el món és boig, però és nostre, i és millor d'entre els possibles.

    by bozepravde15 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:23:22 PM PDT

  •  I'm very happy with my cheap phone too! (0+ / 0-)

    I have a camera if I want to take pictures.  I have 2 computers plus one at work if I need to do computer stuff.  My phone was free and I pay for minutes only....about $20 every 2-3 months.  I used to have AirTouch which was absorbed by Verizon and a $29 a month plan - which was never less than $40 due to extras and taxes. I don't have that with my TracFone service.  I'd like to support Credo - because they supposedly support liberal/progressive causes, but they're rather expensive too.  

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." A. Einstein

    by moose67 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 02:27:55 PM PDT

  •  I'm just out of luck (0+ / 0-)

    No cell reception at home, and half the time no reception in the places where I travel for work.  :-(

  •  What you need vs. what you want (0+ / 0-)

    If you need a smart phone for business, then you have to get it.  If you want a smart phone to play around with in your personal life, get it only if you can really afford the monthly bills.

    People spend $90 to $100 per month on their personal smart phones without thinking about it.  Look at the difference in cars $100 per month can buy.  It is the difference between a BMW and a Honda (perhaps a bad example, because the Honda is better made...but you get what I mean).

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