Category: Telecom

Some Early Observations About The iPhone, Part 1

The iPhone has been out for a little over a week, and I broke down and purchased one while I was on vacation. And while this is hardly a scientific breakdown of the iPhone — there are zillions of those out there — here are some things I’ve noticed about it in the first week or so of actual everyday use.

  • The widely anticipated shortage has not materialized. It looks like if you want an iPhone, you can get one. Check eBay, and you can tell how the people who thought that they would make a Playstation-like killing aren’t doing so hot. Nobody is biting at their “Buy it Now” prices of $900 and above.

    This seems to indicate two things: the demand is not as intense as people though and/or Apple has done a pretty good job in keeping the pipeline open. It’s probably a combination of the two, as illustrated by the story of how I stumbled into purchasing mine in the first place . . .


Your Pocket Vibrator and You

Cheating! That’s what I like, and it’s what I’m going to do right now. Three months back when I was still writing about Second Life, I tangented on the subject of text-messaging:

Hell, when I first heard about text-messaging, I scoffed. Scoffed, I tell you! I even remember whennish and whereabouts I was: walking down the Embarcadero in 2000 with my supervisor at CNET, a fellow who was much more on top of cutting-edge technology than myself. He was telling me about something called text-messaging, which was either just introduced in American or was about to be, but was all the rage overseas. I was five stubborn years away from even considering a cell phone, and text-messaging sounded like the most impractical thing ever. Words on a cell phone screen? And typing them via the number pad? Puh-leeze. As if.

The obvious punchline is that I’m now a text-messaging addict. A junkie. A filthy carpal-thumbed 160-character whore, I am. I got my first cell phone in October 2005 for use during a well-intended if poorly-attended book tour. (If you ever want to read to six rows of empty folding chairs near the Canadian border, drive to Bellingham, Washington. Builds character.) Empirically speaking I would still be alive right now, but emotionally I suspect the trip would have killed me if not for text-messaging. Waking up to messages from my girlfriend Vash made waking up seem worth the effort at all, and furiously thumbtyping back and forth with a friend during a particularly rough patch somewhere between Portland and Seattle was an excellent outlet.

Damn, quoting myself like that was all meta ‘n shit, wasn’t it? And certainly not narcissistic. It’s all true, though, and the ensuing quarter of a year has done nothing to diminish my love of the textiness.

my window.A lot of people call it impersonal. I think it’s like any other form of communication: it’s as personal as you care to make it. Some of the coldest, most meaningless conversations I’ve ever had have been face to face, and I’ve been known to get teary standing on a streetcorner clutching my vaguely communicator-esque phone, SMSing away. (Last Saturday night around half past ten at Church and Market in San Francisco, dressed in black, long blonde pigtails, smeary eyeliner? That was me.) Language is too powerful to be entirely stymied just because it’s on a screen 1.25″ wide and 1.5″ tall. If they have a personal context, the word no can be devastating or yes uplifting or vice versa no matter how they’re conveyed.

Better Than The iPhone: The Lightning Phone!

OK, sure, everybody is all anticipatory for Apple’s upcoming iPhone, which is set to conquer the world in a few short weeks. And why not? It’s essentially got everything: web, email, text, music, and it runs fracking OS X, to boot. And yet, it’s not even out yet and Nokia has gone and potentially trumped it.

Because Nokia is adding a true killer app to one of their upcoming phones: the Lightning Detector!


My Problem With The Pew High-Tech Survey

A lot of hay was made yesterday about a wide-reaching survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For example, one of the things that got serious play was that about half of the people out there still don’t live their lives around high-tech products.

Instead, I guess, they are living their lives around such mundane things as their jobs, their churches, their families and so forth. Then the survey broke down the actual users into sub-groups, and explained various things about the sub-groups. It was all very interesting and informative, and then I got to the very end . . .


An iPhony Controversy

Please don't sue me for posting this picture! In what seems like just seconds after the announcement of Apple’s iPhone and its pretty icon-filled UI, clones of that UI have already appeared as skins for devices which — unlike the iPhone — have the advantage of actually currently existing.

Skins appeared for Windows Mobile devices and the Palm Treo, and one of the skins is called the “iPhony,” about which, ha! Apple, of course, has no stomach for jokes — even good ones like “iPhony,” hee! — and has wasted no time sending out cease-and-desist letters..

Am I the only person who enjoys the irony of Apple instigating legal action over people instacloning the look of a product when it currently doesn’t even own the name of that particular product?? After all, Cisco could come out with their iPhone tomorrow, you never know!