Re: But I love having a (partial) QWERTY keyboard.

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I just switched from a RAZR to a Blackberry Pearl flip lately, and I also miss the constant reminder if I missed anything. When I kept the old phone on vibrate, it would just buzz once every 5 minutes if I missed anything (with a different vibration pattern than for phone calls or text messages), so I would be able to catch it quickly in case I was really busy or had the phone out of my pocket when I got the call.

The Blackberry just vibrates once when the message is received, then starts blinking a red light every now and again. Much less helpful.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:36 AM
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People who don't use T9 boggle my mind (apostropher excused from this whole conversation, of course).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:56 AM
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T9 sucks, man. Yeesh. But then, like Apo, I write complete sentences in text messages. And I too, like Heebie, have been enraged by not being able to turn off T9.

max
['I should just get an iPhone and someday I will.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 10:12 AM
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I was converted to T9 forever when I discovered that -- when you're one letter off spelling "tongue" -- it gives you "vomit".


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 10:20 AM
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"When you're buying a phone, there's really no way to check for the tiny details that make a really big difference, because they're so uniquely specific to you, but you might not even recognize their importance until your new phone lacks them."

Um, what about the internet? OK, if you really don't know what they are until you miss them, it's going to be tricky, but there are plenty of mobile phone websites and message boards where you can ask about specific features, or read up on other people's likes and dislikes.

I don't get the T9 hate either. Surely writing in full sentences makes T9 even more useful. The only things I don't really like about it are a) the way it prioritises new words even if you only use them once, and they may not even be real words, and b) the awkwardness of writing combinations of letters and numbers, like postcodes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 10:35 AM
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I like T9 too, though it took me a while to come to that conclusion. I had an LG a couple of phones ago that had the most incompetent T9 ever - e.g. when I first tried to input my second daughter's (shortened) name, it produced "vileb", which as far as I am aware is NOT the start of any word, and didn't offer any sort of spell/add word option. In fact it would come up with all sorts of crazy non-words and not offer me a chance to change them - like "lazal" for "kayak". Hated it.

Last one I had was a Samsung, which I liked except it had a non-turn-offable fanfare every time a text message was sent. So I could only text surreptitiously if I remembered to put the phone onto silent first. Which is not foolproof.

Now I have a Nokia E66 and I am in love. We're very compatible.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 10:53 AM
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Um, what about the internet?

Oh come on. I researched this phone plenty. Most everything on the message boards is very general, like ease of using the keyboard, speed of internet connections, whether it feels big or small in your hand and whether the reception sucks. There's nothing like "Lack of indicator to tell you if you got a call without waking up the screen".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 10:54 AM
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OK, I can understand not liking T9 if you can't change the spelling or add words, but I've never seen a phone like that. Then again, I've only used Nokias, apart from temporary replacement phones.

7: Nothing stopping you asking the question. Except not knowing to ask it in the first place. Also, have you searched for an application that does what you want? I don't know what operating system your phone has, but here's one for S60 3rd edition.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:08 AM
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4: My "Oh yes, you're staying on forever" experience was when T9 auto-completed "salubrious" for me. Definitely helpful for full sentences.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:09 AM
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A phone that doesn't suck.
Is that too much to ask?
It seems to be.


Posted by: phony poet | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:09 AM
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Adding words is fun, especially if you added them when drunk and have no memory of adding them or why you could possibly have wanted them and who you sent them to.

Other excellent T9 alternates: "Wobs" for Xmas.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:12 AM
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You know, heebie, if you were really dedicated to your prior-to-purchase product research, you'd find someone with the phone you'd settled on, offer to be his or her personal assistant for the week, screening their calls and what not. Doing so would give you the kind of hands-on heebieexperience to assess whether the phone in question really, truly, deeply meets your personal-snowflake needs.

But did you do that? You did not.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:12 AM
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The one that bugs me is riot/shot/pint. Where on earth is a riot more common than a pint? Oh yeah - Australia.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:13 AM
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12: I was severely hampered by my desire for a free phone and lazy unwillingness to spend more than a few minutes researching it.

I wanted to serve as Phone Igor for you, Stanster, but that desire battled my laziness, and the laziness won.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:14 AM
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13 -- Belgium. Denmark. For just two.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:15 AM
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13: I'd imagine it's more of a one-to-one ratio with those, no?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:16 AM
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Apparently I have the kind of selective memory that'll assert one moment that I labored for days, researching this phone, and the next moment that I barely flicked my eyes internetward. Selective memory rocks!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:16 AM
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I hooped CC was pointing out that Belgium and Denmark were T9 alternates. Sadly they are not.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:19 AM
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I wanted to serve as Phone Igor for you, Stanster

Aw, shucks.

Hey, if it helps, I can periodically comment here to remind you to check your phone for new calls/texts:

"Check your phone lately, Heebie?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:19 AM
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It's my new phone and I'll kvetch if I want to ... kvetch if I want to ... kvetch if I want to.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:26 AM
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Speaking of notifications, is there a nice, non-confrontational way to tell one's (not emotionally close) brother that one doesn't want to friend him on FB because he's a snitch and most certainly call one's mother and say, "Oh, so it sounds like AWB had a great time last night! She got home at 7am!" Etc.?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:33 AM
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21: Can you not just say you have a no-family-on-Facebook rule? Or, alternatively, actually have such a rule, like I do.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:40 AM
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AWB, I don't use FB but I'm pretty sure from a recent conversation you can customize this if you'd like. Make a "Family" group/list/whatevertheycallit (sounds nice, right?) and disable updates to it.

Might be a way around it, anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:40 AM
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I just ignore Facebook friend requests from family. Months later, when I run into them and they mention it, I say "oh, Facebook? I never really log on to that anymore."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:43 AM
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I suspect 24 is probably the best approach if you can work it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:44 AM
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13 - or a nun more likely than your mum?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:45 AM
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My phone has survived 4-1/2 years of extremely hard use, but I know at some point it will give up the ghost, and I'm dreading the day. The only feature I don't like is that the way you lock and unlock the keys is just to hold down the pound key. It is way, WAY too easy to do that by accident when it's in your pocket or backpack. Who designed that?!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:51 AM
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Nun is less likely than mum, but (possibly)* "nu" is more likely than "mu" as a word-start: so it gets you to the less likely three-letter word via the more likely first-two-letters (excluding letter-clusters you've added yourself)

(This is a guess, and it doesn't explain riot/pint/shot, which on my phone goes through "pg" and "sin" first: I'm guessing "pg" is programmed by me when merry and digitally disenhanced)



Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 11:54 AM
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These things make sense in response to 21. I feel like anything I communicate with him will then give him a reason to spy on me through other means, which he has done quite a lot. He got married at 20 and doesn't really understand that not everyone spends their young adulthood soberly watching soap operas on a six-foot TV screen.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:00 PM
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Far better to drunkenly watch soap operas on a six-foot TV screen.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:03 PM
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My youngest sister (then 14) sent me a friend request a year ago and I eventually accepted. A big problem in our family is that we don't talk about anything important that could possibly be a source of confrontation, so I figured it couldn't hurt my sister to read the occasional status update about a hangover from her gay, atheist older brother. I think I'd accept friend requests from my parents, even.

In AWB's case, I'd definitely lean toward a "no family on FB" rule.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:08 PM
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14 s/b iGor, I think.


Posted by: adamhenn | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:27 PM
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The issue with little details of phones is a big one. My SO got an iPhone, which has the same problem; if you aren't there to see or hear it when a call or text comes in, you won't know about it until the next time you wake it up. This means that my chances of getting a message to her on any given occasion are about 1 in 3, and half of those are the times that she actually picks up.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:36 PM
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Heebie, when you got your new phone, did you order the lobster? Then what did you expect?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:40 PM
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33: Again, there is an app that will provide this functionality (warning - link will open iTunes).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:40 PM
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Although it seems that it would be somewhat less useful on the iPhone than on S60 phones given Apple's moronic decision not to allow applications to run in the background.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 12:42 PM
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Needing to remember to run that before putting it down makes it sadly pointless. As an engineering decision, I think the no-background decision is defensible, but it needs some kind of generic async switch-to-app functionality (alarms, calls, searches. whatever). Another thing that Palm got right 12 years ago and they're still behind on.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:10 PM
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Am I an old fuddy-duddy for thinking that spending any time whatsoever on training my phone to predict my typing so that I can more efficiently send text messages at $.25 per is a pernicious waste?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:22 PM
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Not as much as spending 25c on a text message. Do they not have inclusive text packages over there?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:26 PM
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I went for the free weekend calls, but I'm sure I could switch over to some sort of texting package if it were really useful to me, which it isn't.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:34 PM
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Am I an old fuddy-duddy for thinking that spending any time whatsoever on training my phone to predict my typing so that I can more efficiently send text messages at $.25 per is are a pernicious waste?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:36 PM
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re: 38

Depends how many messages you send, I suppose. I used to send a lot, without T9 that'd have been tedious.

I don't pay for text messages any more, or rather, the price of them is bundled in, so the cost of sending them is a non-issue.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:36 PM
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41: yes.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:40 PM
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41/42/43: I am sufficiently neurotic that I would far, far, far rather communicate with someone via text than conversation. As in: "Here now. You?" "10 mins." Etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:52 PM
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43 gets it right. 44, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:55 PM
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41: I don't even have a cell phone so I think I have you beat on the fuddy-duddy scale.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 1:56 PM
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I only occasionally have a problem noticing a text or call on my iPhone because I'm fiddling with it all the damn time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:00 PM
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||

This TED talk by Mary Roach finally answers some of my questions.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:02 PM
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If I want to send a message in the form of written words using my phone, I send email*. I just don't really see the niche that is filled by text messages.

* or blog comments.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:04 PM
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50: Sending messages to people who don't have internet access on their phone, or don't have push email. Or people who don't have voicemail but are on the underground.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:07 PM
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Ermm, 50 to 49.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:08 PM
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49: e-mail requires an internet connection. Phones which don't have e-mail always have text messaging. Stop living in the past! Or, alternately, the future!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:08 PM
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people who don't have internet access on their phone

What is this, 2007?

(I was a really late adopter for cell phones, but a relatively early adopter for cell phones with internet access. I tend to assume everyone else got there first.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:13 PM
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53: Yeah, I know. I find it so useful that I can't believe people don't have it, but most people don't. Or don't use it because they haven't signed up to a flat rate data package. Nutters, the lot of them.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:16 PM
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I would estimate that 5% of people I know with cell phones have internet on their cell phones. I can name three such people for sure.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:18 PM
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44 is so me, too. Except not because I'm neurotic like oudie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:22 PM
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Whereas significantly more than 5% of the people I know with cell phones have iPhones. (I probably have to construe "know" in some relatively narrow sense for that to be true, I guess.)

44's I am sufficiently neurotic that I would far, far, far rather communicate with someone via text than conversation. As in: "Here now. You?" "10 mins." Etc. intrigues me. I'm pretty neurotic about phone use -- I go out of my way to handle transactions with strangers either in person or by email rather than making a phone call -- but if I'm messaging the sort of person I would be having a "here now. you?" conversation with, I wouldn't be at all uncomfortable about making a phone call. Interesting how many varieties of neuroticism there are.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:22 PM
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I am still struggling with some iPhone quirks. Latest was being caught by the fact that hitting the big red hangup button does *not* hang-up if there is a Calendar reminder up on the screen that you have not dismissed (maybe there's a setting to change that). I was alerted to this by one of the people on the teleconference I had been on IMing me that they could hear the face-to-face meeting I had gone into. Harmless in this case, but there is certainly potential for wacky sitcom embarrassment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:25 PM
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57: Well, neurotic isn't perhaps quite right. It's more like it takes way longer to make an actual call and is, just, like, a big drag, man.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:28 PM
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44, 57.2: I will confess that I've caught myself slowing down so that I could finish typing a text message before meeting a friend of mine on the train platform. "Be there in two minutes." I have no explanation at all for that.

I generally prefer text to phone because it feels less intrusive. If you're busy, you can read my text later. You can listen to my message on voicemail later, too, I suppose. But I don't sound like a babbling idiot in a text.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:31 PM
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I have had an aversion to talking to people on the phone since my youth. I was brought up to expect that if my mom, grandmother, aunt, or girlfriend called me or was called by me (and few other people did), the expectation would be that even though there was nothing in particular to talk about, I would then be talking to them for maybe 30 minutes, maybe 60 minutes, maybe 90 minutes, who knows? Since I rarely want to admit to myself that I have that much free time, I hardly ever call anyone.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:31 PM
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"even though" s/b "even if"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:32 PM
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49: $5 for 400 text/picture messages a month

I just don't see the internet on my phone as potentially being that helpful, even if I know I'd never want to give it up after having it. I know the streets of Chicago quite well, and don't tend to travel within the US that often, so the Google Maps capability would be of little use. I don't really want to sync it up to my work email/calendar, and I never get anything time-critical on my home email. All my friends just send text messages or call for anything important that depends on quick reading...

Really, I'd be paying $20 a month for the chance to read while on the john at work, which is a very very difficult thing to justify.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:32 PM
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iPhones are significantly less common in the UK (and the rest of Europe) than the US. I know precisely one person with one.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:33 PM
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I think I'd accept friend requests from my parents, even.

My mom apparently signed up for Facebook a while back as an inadvertent result of a high school reunion she didn't go to. (Someone apparently got hold of her e-mail address and spread it around, so she started getting these friend requests and signed up.) She has not shown any interest in friending me, nor do I have any particular interest in friending her.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:34 PM
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Okay, I'm going to share a really gross iPhone problem with all of you, because we're close like that.

I'm a pretty sweaty dude, as I've mentioned. When I try to use the iPhone when I'm even mildly sweaty, the sweat from the side of my face gets all on the touchscreen. This renders the touchscreen totally inoperable -- like, I can't hang up calls, can't navigate to the number field, literally can't hit any button. To fix it, I have to really thoroughly wipe down the entire face of the phone with a dry cloth. It's pretty annoying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:36 PM
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I generally prefer text to phone because it feels less intrusive.

Exactly. Getting a text isn't a problem at work, when out with friends, or at a loud club/bar. It also allows for slightly asynchronous communication, which is super helpful if one of the parties is in a place with poor reception. These situations are all common enough that I generally use texts as the preferred method of communication unless somewhat involved discussion is necessary and I have some idea of where my friend is.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:37 PM
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63: 1. Shazam, 2. mobile Yelp, 3. Taxi. Those three apps -- even without the browser, which rules -- pretty much make it worth it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:37 PM
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It also allows for slightly asynchronous communication

This is key.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:38 PM
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I know the streets of Chicago quite well, and don't tend to travel within the US that often, so the Google Maps capability would be of little use.

Google Maps has international coverage. I used it a fair bit in Europe last year (it helped quite a lot when I got lost in a residential neighborhood in Florence). Can't speak for what coverage is like outside of Europe, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:40 PM
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What's Taxi?

Also, with the sort of people I tend to hang out with, I'm afraid Shazam would be of limited use. They're a pretty remarkably resourceful crowd when it comes to recognizing music. But how deep of a library does it have? That always looked like an interesting app to play with and see about how far we would have to dig into our music collections to stump it.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:40 PM
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70: How much extra did it cost to get coverage out there? Or were you able to get your iPhone (I'm assuming) unlocked so you could pop in a local provider's sim card? I suppose I could do the latter when I go to bigger cities outside the country, since I've got a blackberry now.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:42 PM
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71: I can very rarely stump it, ever.

Taxi answers the requests "can you call a cab that will actually show up here?" for any values of "here".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:42 PM
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72: I have a Nokia E61i (unlocked). Since we were travelling to multiple countries, I got a BrightRoam "World SIM", which was good for cheap-ish voice calls. For data, AT&T has an iPhone international data roaming plan, which was $25/month for 20MB. I didn't come close to using the full 20MB, and we were gone for over three weeks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:46 PM
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To back up 70, I suppose I can understand living without Google Maps in a grid based city, but it's invaluable in Europe. Also, $20? I only pay a tenner.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:46 PM
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I know the streets of Chicago quite well, and don't tend to travel within the US that often, so the Google Maps capability would be of little use.

Yeah, for me the extra $20/month was easily justified by travel. I was probably paying roughly that much per month, on average, for wifi access in airports or hotels just to check email. And Google Maps is priceless; I've had to use it so many times to tell taxi drivers how to get to where I need to go that I'm a little puzzled by how they ever got me anywhere in the past.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:49 PM
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Yeah, for me the extra $20/month was easily justified by travel.

I suppose $20/month for the pleasure of reading Unfogged while walking to the train sounds kind of foolish, huh?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 2:59 PM
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77: hell no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:00 PM
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73.1: Huh, that's pretty impressive. On the taxi front, I've mostly been saved because I got into the habit very early of grabbing taxi numbers off the side of the first taxi I see in a new city and saving it for when I end up in the middle of nowhere in need of a ride.

Google Maps seems to have added a lot of places I don't remember them having before (correctly marked one-way streets in Old Hanoi! It's the future!). I was thinking that even if Google Maps had a map available, what were the odds that I'd have data access in Malaysia or something, but it looks like that might be easier now... Hmm...

You people might talk me into this. Dammit!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:02 PM
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Josh, how'd lunch turn out? (Our debate about whether or not to go wound up getting resolved by the discovery that my faucet was leaking all over under the kitchen sink. Fixed, but I suspect in retrospect Rory would have preferred hanging with you guys after all.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:03 PM
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Also, $20? I only pay a tenner.

Only $16, that is.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:03 PM
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I'm pretty sure I'm paying more than $20. Where are you guys getting these deals?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:05 PM
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80: We had fun! The consensus was that you should have dragged Rory along so I could grill her about Alinea. Also, in contrast to everyone else the extent of my travel resume seems very small and tame.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:07 PM
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Yeah, we needed Rory to tell us about Alinea, and I needed her backup as the only other person who didn't go on usenet back in the day. Quite a good meal though, and really nice folks!

(Josh: The weather channel claims it will stop raining here by 7 and not risk starting up again until 10ish. Think you two are going to make the game?)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:15 PM
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We shoulda been there, definitely. In fact, I don't even know what usenet is, really.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:22 PM
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Think you two are going to make the game?

Fingers crossed. I've been checking Wunderground's radar, and it looks like the rain has passed.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:25 PM
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Wunderground radar: also awesome on the iPhone!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:27 PM
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87: And on Symbian, too!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:31 PM
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85: Think of it like a blog comments thread, only less organized and with more libertarians.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:32 PM
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76: Seconded.

To a Brit used to taxi drivers who have to take an exam in the Knowledge before they can get a license, it's absolutely scary to get off a transAtlantic flight and into an airport taxi, tell the cab driver the name of your hotel, and have him ask "So where would that be?" tell him the address, and have respond "Do you know how to get there from here?"

The first time this happened to me I had printed out the location of the hotel on Google Maps just in case I had time in the morning to go for a walk. It hadn't occurred to me that I'd need it in order to give a cab driver directions.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 3:58 PM
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re: 90

Yeah, although I've been asked (here in Oxford) a few times which route I want to take: where it's pretty clear that they aren't asking because they really want to know, they are asking as a way to work out how well I know the city, and whether I'll notice the route they are taking isn't strictly the cheapest.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 4:04 PM
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92

I once had a cab driver who had to drive around the town looking for someone to ask for directions to the address I had given him. (I was unfamiliar with the area and didn't know where the place was either.) I think he eventually found a cop who told him where to go.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 4:08 PM
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93

It's only London cabbies that do the Knowledge though - I'm sure there are plenty of others around the country that have no idea where they're going ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 4:10 PM
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94

Yeah, although I've been asked (here in Oxford) a few times which route I want to take: where it's pretty clear that they aren't asking because they really want to know, they are asking as a way to work out how well I know the city, and whether I'll notice the route they are taking isn't strictly the cheapest.

I got that an awful lot when I was in Sydney. That said, they did often consult a map after asking.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 4:32 PM
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re: 93

Yeah, although a lot of cities are pretty small. London is pretty uniquely large. Someone in, say, Glasgow, who didn't know their way round all of the major landmarks, main hotels, and the bulk of the major streets within a very short space of time would have to be fairly incompetent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:10 PM
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96

Hack competency. Worst in DC was one who didn't know where the Lincoln Memorial was.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:18 PM
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97

Bangkok taxi drivers are notorious for 1. never knowing where they're going and 2. never admitting that fact, but instead purposefully driving off in some totally random direction.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:22 PM
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98

It's only London cabbies that do the Knowledge

And they have the brains to prove it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:38 PM
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97 has happened to me in NYC, which is really unnerving because usually, they're kind of bossy about which way they take you to your destination. So once I get into a cab and say, "I'm going to Brooklyn," and give the address, and the guy takes off. It takes about ten minutes or so before I figure out this guy doesn't even know where the bridges are. Very weird. I just got out. But if I hadn't had my wits about me, I could have ended up paying some absurd amount to get driven in circles for hours.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:45 PM
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100

My phone offers Load, Loaf, and Lobe when I type Kobe on T9.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 5:53 PM
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I had a weird experience with a very bossy cab driver on Long Island last week, but the fare was pre-arranged and I had plenty of time to kill, so it wasn't a big deal. It's disconcerting, though, to say "you should turn right here" and hear "yes, ok" while the driver is turning left. She also tried to give me career advice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:02 PM
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102

She also tried to give me career advice.

What did she advise you to do careerwise?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:07 PM
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What did she advise you to do careerwise?

Apparently I should be doing practical things that apply what I know, because that's what "they" look for. And I should move to the city, because that's the only place a young person can get a job these days.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:19 PM
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That sounds like pretty good advice, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:30 PM
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In general, that is. It may well be totally inappropriate to your specific situation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:30 PM
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Yeah, irrelevant for me, possibly good generic advice. But it was just weird, coming from a cab driver who was almost comically inept at doing what cab drivers are supposed to do.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:40 PM
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At least she didn't advise you to become a cab driver.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:47 PM
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108

||

Can I tell you? I am putting files ON A FLOPPY DISK to transfer to my laptop. Our work mail server is off for the weekend, I guess, and I don't have a jump drive. I could barely think of another way to transfer files so I can work at a lovely cafe on my holiday evening, except that a long buried memory returned to me. On a floppy disk!

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:49 PM
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It won't even work, of course, because as I look at my laptop, of course I don't have a drive for floppy disks. Maybe the universe doesn't want me to work on my warm holiday evening.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:52 PM
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You have two computers with floppy drives? Wow.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:52 PM
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Apparently not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:53 PM
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Can you upload the files somewhere, like to a blog post draft, and download them onto your computer?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:54 PM
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You could email them to yourself.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:54 PM
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114

Or even just set up a Gmail account quickly? I use Google docs for pretty much everything like that now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:55 PM
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115

You could just not work.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:55 PM
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116

Thus does the Mineshaft spring into action.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:56 PM
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No one has topped my suggestions for SK and M/tch, because they're basically untoppable.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 6:56 PM
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118

Web-based mail accounts are blocked at work. I usually email stuff back and forth between my work and home accounts.

They're Excel, so I'm hesitant to treat them like text, but it looks like Rhubarb Pie will work out as a place to put files temporarily. This is a ridiculous problem to have.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:01 PM
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You can buy jump drives for like three dollars at the drugstore. Or burn a CD.

Or use sendspace.

Or! You could just not work.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:02 PM
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Of course I shouldn't be working. 'Cept that I won't actually mind if I'm doing it in a pleasant cafe, and I'd like some stuff to offer at a meeting tomorrow morning.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:02 PM
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I'm so rarely in a situation where an email variant doesn't work.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:03 PM
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Hah. Done. When next you hear from me, I will be at a pleasant cafe, pretending to work!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:03 PM
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No file-transfer-over-internet options are available? SCP? SFTP?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:04 PM
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Never mind, then.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:05 PM
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I don't know those methods, although I bet you guys could have told me how.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:23 PM
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Are you at the pleasant cafe?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 7:51 PM
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I am. The files opened fine! As soon as I finish reading the internet, I will start on my work.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:04 PM
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As soon as I finish reading the internet

How much of the internet do you have left to go?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:52 PM
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I keep running out. It's frustrating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:54 PM
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Here's some more, Tweety!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:55 PM
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Done!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:56 PM
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I use those moments to do laundry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:58 PM
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Maybe Megan got stuck at a really confusing part of the inernet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 8:59 PM
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Like the part with the missing t.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:00 PM
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The internet keeps expanding when the alternative is work.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:01 PM
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Speaking of weird parts of the Internet, I'm a bit bemused to find in an otherwise fairly straightforward NYT story, a mention of the famous Belgian statue of the little boy peeing that links to this.

I mean, not surprised it links to what appears to be the official site, just...bemused. The Times is generally so extremely conservative in its web links.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:03 PM
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Wow, giant glowing peeing robot baby.

You're back in my good graces, internet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:06 PM
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"We don't know the origins of the fountain: during the Middle Ages, there was a fountain with the same character, at the same place. On some days, it delivered good quality alcool. Its state became worse along the centuries."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:14 PM
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That is one weird website.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-25-09 9:15 PM
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It won't even work, of course, because as I look at my laptop, of course I don't have a drive for floppy disks.

I have an external floppy disk drive with a USB2 connection(!), and I can't remember for the life of me where it came from. I just noticed it in a pile of stuff one day. I'd lend it to you, but you're on the wrong continent.

95. They introduced a knowledge test in Sheffield (a lot smaller than Glasgow) a few years ago, and you can tell the difference if you get a younger cabbie. You name some obscure suburban street with about 50 addresses on it and they go right there.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 2:06 AM
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Canada has even higher cell phone rates than the U.S., but there was a revolt when some of the companies wanted to start charging for incoming texts.

I get kind of annoyed when people send me text messages, because I have to spend 20 cents each time. (A text plan on our Verizon Nationwide Plus Canada plan would cost an extra $10.00)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 4:48 AM
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Late to the thread, but my own thinking on texting has evolved noticeably. I had a friend who texted me a lot and at first it was really annoying. After a while, though, I figured out that the annoying thing was the frequent contact itself rather than the medium. So, given that that was the problem, texting is a less bothersome way to do it than by phone.

Also, is there a public transportation vs. car divide? In bus or metro or waiting at a stop for same, background noise would interfere with conversation. It's no problem for texting though. While in a car, you have more control over background noise, but you don't have the hands free to text. (I know, you aren't supposed to talk on your phone while driving either. I admit nothing, and yet still: hah.)

49: My text messages are three buttons away. Reading my e-mail on my phone, on the other hand, requires long waits and for some reason, it has recently started requiring me to re-enter my e-mail address and password for every little thing. Don't have four bars when I enter my login information, do it a second time. Go from the inbox to a specific e-mail, enter my login information again. Hit "more" to read the rest of a long e-mail, enter my login information again. So if you ever try to make plans with me, please text me rather than e-mailing me. I actually check my e-mail on my phone pretty regularly, but still.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 8:16 AM
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"Also, is there a public transportation vs. car divide?"

Could well be. I don't have a licence.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-26-09 10:35 AM
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