And the Iphone is as good as I thought.

3 hours waiting in line, but am now going through all the wonderful things it can do.

Full write up later.

I’m holding off on the iPhone now, but I will definitely buy one later on.

I followed much of the hype during the week and the many videos and reports of actual purchase last night. One thing stands above all other impressions. I was totally taken by Apple’s policy to have all store employees—200 strong at the main Apple store in NYC, for example—applaud as customers quick-marched into the store, typically 20 at a time, after standing in line for hours, in some cases days. What a superb little P.R. touch to acknowledge the value of the Apple customer and to etch in his or her memory forever the magic of the moment, the ecstatic thrill of clutching the “designer’sâ€

But I wish every single cellular tower in the entire world were to somehow, irreversibly contract a fungus which causes them all to disintegrate into a fine powder. Attempts to ever reconstruct the cellular network would find this rampant fungus ready to bombard further constructions.

I think the mobile phone might possibly be the most damaging invention ever unleashed upon the public. Yes, even worse than cigarettes, fast food, and fundamentalist christianity.

Devices like this iPhone, meant to sex up the concept… well, I like Apple, but I hope this whole cellular phone thing of theirs ultimately falls just flat enough to make them refocus on the important Apple things, rather than all of these oxymoronic “lifestyle” things they have been wasting their time on.


SourGrumpyLudditeAmber, signing off.

arashi, I can understand your being taken with the store employees’ applause if you enjoy it as a form of theatre. As someone who used to be involved in the production of theatre, I find it hard to forget that the store employees are being paid to simulate spontaneous enthusiasm.

wmarcy,

I’ll look forward to your review. Mine’s on order (through the Apple Store) but I won’t get it for a couple of weeks, apparently. :cry:

3 reasons NOT to buy an iPhone, with AT&T service

  1. AT&T is the USA’s second largest political donor. Since 1990, they have donated 56% of their funds to Republicans and 44% to Democrats.

  2. In 2006, they allowed the NSA to monitor all of their customer phone/internet records without warrants.

  3. On June 21, 2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that AT&T had rewritten rules on their privacy policy. The policy, to take effect June 23, 2006, says that “AT&T — not customers — owns customers’ confidential info and can use it 'to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process.”

So, if you use AT&T, be prepared to sacrifice your privacy and to support right-wing candidates.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T

I’m not clear how cellular towers are a fungus. Visual blight?

arashi

I agree, the applause is theatre. And yes, these are paid employees following instructions from management on top, maybe even Steve Jobs himself.

Here are two points:

  1. Has anybody in this forum ever been applauded as they walked into a store to make a significant purchase? Applauded by 60 to 200 staff? From the standpoint of sales promotion, pure genius.

  2. So what if the paid staff is acting as if they care? Does motive really make a difference? I’ve applauded at birthday parties for people I didn’t know, didn’t care about. I’ve said nice things at weddings to people I didn’t know, didn’t care about. I’ve thanked people as a courtesy for giving a speech that threatened to put me to sleep. I thanked them for their effort. I’ve complimented a friend when he showed me a new car I would never chose to own. The key thing is the act, the moment of acknowledgment, the moment of showing respect. It is the human touch, which in the flash of a moment, adds to the enjoyment of walking in to buy an iPhone. Assessing whether the applause is genuine or insincere misses the mark. I’m sure that the iPhone customers would admit the applause was part of a planned retail strategy. But the moment they walked into store, the applause was very real and powerful. The emotional effect lingers even though the head says it was simply PR. That’s called good human relations.

arashi

Lol. I have to agree. I have to say that the iPhone is a product for which I have had next-to-zero enthusiasm and anticipation. I hate mobile phones. (Caveat: I do, somewhat reluctantly, own one: my better half’s cast-off with a pay-as-you-go Virgin SIM. It is, however, rarely switched on and its main purpose is to ensure that if there are any emergencies or problems with my children I have a way of finding out quickly.)

I hate the way when I go into a newsagent’s shop to buy the paper or a snack, the guy behind the counter doesn’t even acknowledge me or even both to say thanks because he is to busy chatting away on his mobile phone. (He just points to the price on the till and hands out his hand.)

I hate the way I can’t sit on a train any more and just read a book without being forced to hear the bellowed halves of asinine and tedious conversations that would have been better off never uttered.

I hate the way I can’t sit and read on a bus any more because chavs use their mobile phones to blast out tinny rap music.

I hate the way I think the man sitting opposite me is trying to talk to me only to realise he is using a hands-free device whilst staring me out.

I hate the way the children in my class can’t spell because they are used to contractions from text messages (ok m8?).

Grammatically speaking, the only good thing to have emerged from mobile phone use is the wider use of present tense. As in: “I am standing in a shop.” “I am sitting on the bus.” “I am walking down the street.” In a quieter time, such utterances would only have emanated from the mouth of a village idiot who felt compelled to announce his every action. Nowadays, such phrases can commonly be heard emanating from the widening mouth-holes of those with mobile phones glued to their ears. Which only goes to show that mobile phones are making village idiots of us all…

Best,
Keith

Ditto. Though mobile web access via the iPhone is appealing to me. Phone off — web on.

Tim

Ha! An excellent rant Keith; appreciate the anaphora. I’ll warrant (note the contraction and tense) that your invitation to appear alongside the likes of Arthur Smith, Alan Coren and Rick Wakeman is already in the post. The next series of “Grumpy Old Menâ€

Back in the 80s my teacher thought the same of me when I wrote something in C=64 Basic … :smiley:

I can only say, I’m the perfect customer for this thingy. Really, I could travel much lighter, because iPhone would be carried instead of my mobile phone, mobile internet device, Palm, iPod and PSP. Yes, I like gadgets. :slight_smile:

And don’t forget - it will be the best eBook reader that’s out there …

I love the way people reveal themselves on trains, as if they don’t know or don’t care that their voices can travel the width of an aisle. I’ve heard businessmen reveal takeover plans and who’s going to go. I’ve heard schoolboys talk about leaving home and schoolgirls talk about what doofuses their boyfriends are. I’ve heard twenty-six-year-olds hitting on fourteen-year-olds who chat about how much their foster mother drinks. I couldn’t imagine some of the things I’ve overheard on trains. I don’t need to invent characters; I just need to open my ears.

Cheers!

My Lord Keith, My Lady AmberV
I hope the village idiot my Lord refers to in his post, isnt yours truly`, after my post to Lady Alexandria, referring to my penchant for walking around the village, whilst talking into my homemade cardboard iPhone. I know in my heart, that my Lord would not be so cruel…would he?

Unfortunately for You, my Lord and Lady (I am blessed You are cursed), we would appear to be inextricably linked in our apparent dislike of all things mobile phone-ish. Possibly on a collective unconscious level (Ill have to Wickie Carl Jung and check that out), but fear not, for I have at my disposal a means of severing that link should it prove distasteful to You both. I should warn You, my Lord and Lady, that the meansinvolves the incantation of ancient Druid chants, whilst engaged inTantric Levitational Sex with a partner(s) of your choice.

I for my part, I can only say, that, When My Lady AmberV, Princess of Code, abandons her lofty ethereal perch, and gets down and dirty; picking up the broad sword of St Jeanne dArc, Im inclined twards replacing Posy Simmonds and Margret as my nominations for Patron Saint with just one: Hers.

St AmberV, thats got a very very sexy ring to it.

Your Servant
Vic

It isn’t the device that’s evil, but the way it’s used.

I work from home, and without my mobile phone many times I’d have to stay in the house, yakking on the phone about this or that thing that can’t be handled by email, or enduring a conference with HQ, or rattling the cages of sub-eds in the main office 1600 miles away who imagine their social lives more important than their jobs, or fielding calls from prospective authors or would-be prospective authors. Instead, I can do these things while weeding the garden, or fishing, or hiking the back 40. It doesn’t even matter what state I’m in (geographically speaking–or biologically, as far as that goes); my office is in my pocket, so to speak, and incoming calls, on my plan, are free.

But when I don’t wish to be at home to callers, which is anytime I’m driving, or in a public place such as a train or a doctor’s office or the cheese aisle at Fred Myers or Tesco, or anytime other than weekdays 9am to 4pm, I can turn the bloody thing off and let it gather messages, which I can return or not at my convenience, when I get someplace quiet and private and when I’ve got nothing more important to do, like fish or work on a book.

I’m not so keen on the iPhone, in part because AT&T doesn’t serve my rural area and majorly sucks, by all reports; and in part because I’ve no use for all its whizz-bang features. An address book, a calendar, and a bluetooth headset are enough for me. All the rest seems technology in search of a use.

I agree with every word and sentence. I hope we will come closer to that day here in Japan, and then that fungus will spread through the world. Working on that,

Maria

While I detest some of the incredibly stupid and rude behavior of some cell phone users, I LOVE having one of my own. Of course I am never rude or stupid with mine. Really, I’m not. Well, except for the few times I’ve forgotten to turn it off in yoga class!

But they are a god-send when you need one. Case in point, having my car break down in the middle of the night and being able to call my husband (on HIS cell phone) from an area where there is no phone anywhere for miles around. I would have been in real trouble with no cell towers around, and no cell phone. And with all the traveling I do, it is a wonderful convenience.

So, it’s a mixed bag, like everything else, I suppose. It’s annoying as hell to be sitting at our favorite cafe (Grand Central on NE Broadway, for Portlanders) and have some (moron!) yelling into his or her cell phone nearby. And to almost get creamed by someone driving with a cell phone glued to their ear (when the heck are they going to pass laws in every state about this!). And cell towers are certainly ugly and I’m sure too that the we are being bombarded on a cellular (cells of body) level with all the wireless signals coming from them and all the other waves being sent out, etc., etc. This is definitely the down side of cellular phones.

But I value having one immensely for the security and convenience they provide me. We no longer have a home phone and I have never missed it once, nor the answering machine I used to have set up and the difficulties in retrieving my messages, nor the difficulty in trying to reach some one when I really need them, nor the ugly drop wire I used to have attached to my house, etc. I even have our home alarm systems set up on a cellular network.

One thing is for sure. I doubt they are going away, so it’s a moot point, really. And I for one will love it when I can simplify and reduce the gadgets I carry around. I love my iPod too–music while I work, audiobooks I transcribe from, videos when I want to take a break from work. LOVE it. So, yay for the iPhone.

Just my two cents! :slight_smile:

Alexandria

Until the day someone with enough clout and influence comes along, and is able to take progress by the scruff of the neck, and shake it violently to a standstill, before screaming in its ear (LH/RH or both), “Now walk! Stop feckin` running!”, we are always going to be cursed by the negative and hurtful consequential fallout, from the unrestrained game of global corporate leapfrogging, thats taking place at present.

Progress has assumed control of itself; a savant like me can see that. Progress has become the dynamic upon which it feeds and sustains itself. Its inbuilt element of exponentiality guarantees the creation of a monster, ultimately big enough to snuff out the the light, of what is arguable, the most beautiful planet in our solar system. If not the known Universe

Innovator or imitator. One intent on staying ahead of the game, the other desperate to catch up and surpass; greed,profit, vested interest, feck it, I won`t be here when it happens attitude: Global Corporate Leapfrogging.

Where would we be today, if at its genesis, The Industrial Revolution spawned a UN like body whos remit was Reconcile the fruits of the Revolution to our needs and not to our wants and desires.
Ill wager it would be a much more Mankind friendly` place to live.

Dont get me wrong! If my daughter came in and said to me,"Dad Ive got you an iPhone because you dont have a mobile", I wouldnt be shouting, "Get thee hence Jezebel!’ but neither would I be stood in the middle of the village zebra crossing shouting ,“I`m on the zebra with my iPhone!”

With hand on heart, I can say it wouldn`t move of the desk next to my other, ultimately un- necessary life style enhancement. my iMac.

Sorry about that! I think I was talking to myself there.
Ill post it anyway and you can slag me off for it .No prob.

I think Ill just flick through my copy of Rude and Politically Incorrect Jokes` to restore my equilibrium.

Of Course Ahab is dead right. Like that grand old thespian Broderick Crawford used to say at the end of the old TV series Highway Patrol
It isnt the car that kills, its the driver!

Vic

Saturn used to do that for new car deliveries. Got the whole dealership together to applaud, took your picture and stuck it on their owner’s board. For all I know, they still do.

I thought it was pretty corny at the time, but yeah, it did leave the desired “we care about the customer” impression.

Katherine

Actually that doesn’t really appeal to me at all. When I’m out and about riding on trains or walking through the city, that is when I get my biggest and best inspirations. If I’m strapped to the Internet wherever I go, I fear that I wouldn’t have enough mental self-control to put the thing down. Rather than look out the window and see the glorious intricate detail of the world around me, I’d be slack-jawed and staring at several hundred pixels, like I see all of these other people around me who are either staring or braying out what train station we just passed to some poor person that no doubt doesn’t care.

I’m also not sure what it is that would make it the best eBook reader on the market? My cheap, old PDA, which I don’t care if it gets dropped and smashed by the train, can offer me up words for several days before the batteries need to be warmed up. I can also read books from nearly any e-text publisher. Why would I trade that for something that is going to cost me nearly $3,000 USD; has a significant quantity of features that I will never, ever use and indeed detest, has barely enough battery to get through the commute if I read the whole way; and can only read public domain, until and if any ebook distribution site decides to code a web browser based book reader that can read encrypted books. Would you use your iPhone while taking a long bubble bath?

Yesterday, I was hiking about and about and came across this lost tourist, who was looking for the rose garden. So I told her I was headed that way. We had a nice walk and talk up to the garden, only about a 1.5km away. Nothing deep or terribly interesting, just friendly human banter for a few minutes.

I’ll take things like that over the trillions of stolen half-conversations I’ve heard on trains, walkways, in waiting rooms, libraries, restaurants, movie theatres, coffee/tea shoppes, airport terminals, nature reserves, book stores, while trying to listen to Rachmaninoff being played by someone on a demo piano, in an art gallery, being woken up by some braying inconsiderate five hundred pound beast who has Just Called To Say She’ll Be Home In Five Minutes, being fooled a million times into non-conversations with people on hands free, at breakfast, as I’m falling asleep…

It’s having a chat with a random stranger in the park that I miss. It bothers me that this has become such a rare event.

I don’t think anyone here is saying that the piece of plastic and metal itself is evil (whatever that word even means). But you would have to be out of your mind to submit that some objects do not entice humanity to debase themselves more frequently than other objects. Even the seemingly benign microwave oven encourages people to increase the rush in their lives, and lose their appreciation of the finely cooked dinner. Oh, they’ll like it if its served up to them, but make them chop onions and veggies for a couple hours? Nevah.

Some of the things that makes the cellular life so intoxicating (and creating a blind spot), are precisely the things you mentioned in its favour. You might be perfect capable of handling it, I’m not judging you. But your ability or lack of ability to handle the full implications of the technology does not negate the hundreds of millions who cannot. Some people can safely drive well over the speed limit; most cannot. Hardly anyone can drive and talk on a phone at the same time. The few that can do not make it a good idea for the rest. You might be perfectly unusual and capable of blurring the line between life and work, but most people are not. A device that entices one to work wherever they go–for most people–is causing them to lose focus on what life is really about! They no longer see anything that is going on around them; let alone experience it, because they are constantly working. Laptops out, spreadsheets and PowerPoints open, mashing out mealy smarm on a hands-free, with deep scores under their eyes and coffee stuttered thoughts.

Vic’s right on about “progress”. It all comes back to that blind spot I mentioned. So many of these convenience items cause us to forget what it was like before they came along. They are seductive! They replace innate human desires with a cheapened substitute that squashes the need/desire for the really enriching versions of these desires. Text messages to a friend do not replace a two hour dinner and discussion, but the text messages drastically reduce the frequency of these real exchanges of friendship. It’s like eating a bag of snacks instead of having dinner. Both make you feel full, but only one sustains life.

The convenience people say: But it’s so much nicer to be able to web-research something when you think of it. Writing in a cafe and think of an angle to pursue? Look it up! It’s wonderful! – Blind Spot. How is that any better, in the grand scheme of things, than writing down your idea on an index card and stopping by the library later in the day with your list? It’s not, but it certainly does trick the mind into thinking it is just as good, for most things.

The only compelling argument I have ever seen for owning a cellular phone is the emergency factor that Alex brought up. For that reason, I have a pay-per-use Virgin phone that I never use (just call the local time service or something periodically to keep the account active). But some day I’m sure it will save my life in one way or another. I’ve been in a situation or two where I was tempted to use it for convenience, but resisted and walked the distance instead, and in the end I was glad that I took the long route; because I saw so much more. Sure, I could have been home far earlier, but I had an experience that I’ll never forget because I took the inconvenient option.

To get back on topic (ha): I think the iPhone itself is particularly vile because it folds many of the most easily abused modern vices into one device, and makes it dramatically easier and sexier to use than previous alternatives. Portable YouTube; portable television; for the masses shudder.

And incidentally, I found the cardboard iPhone gag a great laugh on many multiple levels.