back to article No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

I don't like to do it sideways. I won't do it at any fancy angle. Call me conventional but what can I say? I'm a straight-talking kind of guy. How hard does it have to be to get a firm grip on it… and hold it against the side of your face? Oh right. Put that yoga manual down, you might have misunderstood my meaning. I was …

Silver badge

/blows raspberries

13
1

Or Chinese

Voice messaging is hugely popular in apps like WecChat. Typing in Chinese and such character sets isn't that quick so instead of SMS text based style messaging, people now send voice recordings, sometimes just seconds long.

4
0
Silver badge

"No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?"

Perfectly normal when you want to send a cleavage shot via Skype.

6
0

Talk like an Egyptian

I noticed on a recent trip to Egypt that whenever anyone answered a call on their Nokia feature phone, they invariably listened and spoke with the buttons outwards. Having experienced more than one dropped call or embarrassing mid-conversation tone from face-pressing, I though that was actually a pretty good idea.

45
0
LDS
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Maybe a problem for people with thick beards?

(although AFAIK many Egyptians are - were? - shaved...)

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Upvote for the title on its own.

50
0

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Most smart phones have proximity sensors that disable the screen when it's held close to your head.

It's the people who are left-handed but right-eared, or vice versa, that I feel sorry for - having to hold your phone awkwardly with your arm across your body looks most uncomfortable!

5
3
Stop

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

They hold them like that because that's how the promotional pictures in the adverts show people holding them when selling those stupid edge to edge displays that look all star trek but are utterly useless in real world use...

I'm glad to see some manufacturers aren't so stupid as to just try and follow the edge to edge notch dad and still actually bother to test real world usability.

12
2
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

@getHandle - Most smart phones have proximity sensors that disable the screen when it's held close to your head.

Unfortunately some people seem to have proximity sensors which disable their brain when the phone's held close to their heads...

73
0
Thumb Down

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Ah yes, the edge-to-edge displays. I'm convinced that they're intended to cause accidental clicks on adverts which convienently happen to be right at the edge of the display.

(Well, I say adverts. Could be anything.)

19
0

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

It's the people who are left-handed but right-eared, or vice versa, that I feel sorry for - having to hold your phone awkwardly with your arm across your body looks most uncomfortable!

Neurologically, men generally have a preference for their left ear, whichever hand they favour.

I certainly do and although I'm (principally, I'm mildly 'ambidextrous') right-handed, I hold my phone to my left ear with my left hand as a result. I do this because, not only is it easier but, if I want to use my right hand to operate my phone (which I do, because I'm principally right handed), it makes more sense to hold it with my left hand, freeing up my right hand for the necessary fine control required to ensure I don't hit the wrong things with my (relatively clumsy) left hand. What kind of simpleton does it the other way?

Besides, actually I don't even do that but wear an earpiece. Anyone not using a headset/earpiece with a smartphone should just get a phone as dumb as themselves. Seriously, what kind of idiot spends their time trying to copy information on their phone whilst saying "Hang on, I've go to take my phone away from my ear and can't hear you. What? No, I said hang on I can't hear you while I do this. What? No, I didn't hear that bit, you'll have to repeat it. No, wait, not so fast, I can't type that quickly. What?"

As for those who do it all on speakerphone, well, it's up to them whether they want me to hear the details of their STD/STI test results, isn't it?

4
11
Meh

Back in the day..

before all this automation and on-board processing malarkey, mine surveying used to involve a person at a fixed point throwing a laser beam at a person at the work location - who would bounce it back, and by various arcane mathematic and mechanical rituals, useful information would be derived. As the fixed point and work location could be up to a kilometer or even more apart, a 2-way radio ("walky-talky" for people who like to talk like children) was an essential part of the kit.

All the 'laser' controls were set up for right handed control, on the other end the laser-bouncy stuff pretty much required being managed by your dominant hand - so the 2-way was held in the left.

Which is why I talk left-handed.

....I want a derail/off-topic icon...

......is it even possible to go off-topic from Dabbsy comments ?

11
1

Re: Back in the day..

Going off topic is mandatory in El Reg, the sooner the better.

19
0
Silver badge

Re: Back in the day..

i have used the button up method ONLY when im navigating call center stuff. As soon as i hold the phone vertically my phone goes into screen off and ill be damned if i can get the keypad back without terminating the call. I seem to find that the phone decides to bring the screen back wholey dependent on length of time in the queue. 5 mins? yup, screen keypad will return. 40 mins? nope, phone needs just ANY excuse to drop the call.

to be safe i use phone flat method and it seems to keep the bugger at bay.

3
1

Re: Back in the day..

Speaking of off topic, do they still make those topic chocolate bars?

15
1

Re: Back in the day..

Yes, you can still get Topic chocolate bars, but they don’t seem to be anywhere near as widely stocked as the other Mars confections, sadly (which is a real shame as I like them much better than Mars or Marath\\\\\\Snickers).

8
0

Re: Back in the day..

Topic = Bill Oddie's last hurrah before turning into a grump.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Back in the day..

"surveying used to involve a person at a fixed point throwing a laser beam at a person at the work location"

Luxury! Dumpy level and staff calibrated in decimal feet.

But in answer to your question at the end: it's mandatory.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Back in the day..

Bill Oddie was always a Flump

There was Goodie episode in which he shaved the beard off.

1
0

Re: Back in the day..

"walky-talky" for people who like to talk like children - For those of us of a certain generation who used to watch Forest Rangers in the early sixties, they will forever be "Walky Talkies". "XNY556 A for Apple calling B for Bob"

2
0

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Nokia 9x10 anyone?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Most smart phones have proximity sensors that disable the screen when it's held close to your head.

I think all the smartphones I've owned have claimed to do this, but none were particularly successful at it.

0
0

Re: Talk like an Egyptian

And clearly the author never had to look at the dialer to navigate a multi layer auto attendant menu while still listening to the phone on speakerphone.

0
0
Bronze badge

Damn

I was very anti-Brexit until now, but I think you just swayed me.

*puts match to EU flag*...damn.

32
3

Re: Damn

I thought Brexit was dumb until now, but making fun of privacy concerns in such a stupid way just swayed me.

Go kiss your Big Brother's arse.

7
54
Anonymous Coward

Re: Damn

1. That was clearly a funny joke, ya know intended and succeeding at humour.

2. The article was about phones, it mentioned smart meters but it was not the point of the article or the joke.

3. Smart meters are simply not the same thing as Facebook, Google, apple, Microsoft and all the other data slurping services you use without a second thought. Smart meters are actually needed to support new technology such and electric cars, energy storage and micro generation to ensure secure uninterrupted supply in the future. People who think their energy supplier can only want to known about their energy usage for marketing purposes demonstrate massive technological illiteracy. It's ok if you don't understand the challenges to modern national energy infrastructure but don't pretend you own weird paranoia is an informed opinion.

BTW I work in the UK energy sector and a big part of my job for the last couple of years was testing the security of the meters to ensure only authorised users could access the specific data they are allowed, infact legislation was passed to define all this and protect consumers. No matter how highly all the smart meter skeptics think of themselves they are not the first people to think 'hey maybe this new system needs to be secure and protect customer's private data'.

If you're now thinking 'fine we need it but why do I have to have one' then imagine what ancient tribes used to do the caveman who said 'fine we need firewood but why do I have to get it', it probably involved a flaming pointy stick... do you get why they were mandatory in France now? Literally no one else thinks you should get special treatment, you want to use the national grid then you got to follow the rules, or build you own generator, up to you...

8
24
Silver badge

Re: Damn

"testing the security of the meters to ensure only authorised users could access the specific data they are allowed, infact legislation was passed to define all this and protect consumers"

I suspect it isn't merely ignorance that drives the scepticism, but many years of experience of other "secure" systems. If this is truly secure it would be a first.

27
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

"many years of experience of other "secure" systems. If this is truly secure it would be a first."

The first immutable law of security is that perfect security is impossible. The corollary to that is that you are at the most risk the moment you think that you are secure.

23
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

I'm sure the smart meters can be hacked, if someone with sufficient resources gets sufficient motivation to do it.

But the resources would need to be high, because the security is pretty good. And it's not clear what the motivation would be, because the information or other benefits they could gain are just not very interesting. Seriously, who do you imagine is willing to spend weeks of their time on finding out whether you get up at 6:00 or 6:30?

Bad actors have many more tempting targets, that are both less secure and more profitable.

4
5

Re: Damn

People who think their energy supplier can only want to known about their energy usage for marketing purposes demonstrate massive technological illiteracy.

Which reminds me of a former colleague who faces a £1000 bill because the smart meter kit is too big for his enclosure.

So now he is trying to push his doctor to diagnose him as sensitive to electricity and radio waves... As that is obviously cheaper than embiggening what needs to be expanded.

Smart meters are all fine and dandy until you look into the economics. Better to go all nukes and push down the price of energy.

16
0
Silver badge

Smart Meters are a tempting target

Because if you can get control, you can take down a country.

Imagine what would happen if an evil actor turned off all the power to 10,000 homes and businesses simultaneously.

Then back on a few minutes later.

And yes, this is one of the features of both SMETS1 and SMETS2.

Aside from that, I change energy supplier almost every year.

SMETS1 meters cannot change supplier, so if I had one of those it'd be useless the next year.

And none of the companies publish whether they would fit SMETS1 or SMETS2.

20
0

Re: Smart Meters are a tempting target

"SMETS1 meters cannot change supplier, so if I had one of those it'd be useless the next year.

And none of the companies publish whether they would fit SMETS1 or SMETS2."

So, is this why energy firms are SO keen to force smart meters onto UK consumers...because it actually locks you into a supplier?

What happens to the old meters? Landfill or do they get re-used elsewhere.

And what about changing suppliers? Can this only happen after the previous energy suppliers meter is removed?

I'm going to stay clear of these so called "useful" devices as I can gauge all my energy requirements already...as they are only switched ON when *I* decide I need to use an appliance!!

18
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

??? If the new meter is bigger than the old, then the power company should pay all things related to it's installation .

11
0
Silver badge

Re: Smart Meters are a tempting target

"SMETS1 meters cannot change supplier, so if I had one of those it'd be useless the next year."

Yes you can, it just turns into a dumb meter .

https://www.engerati.com/article/uk-energy-suppliers-smets1-smart-meters

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Damn(ed if I do & Damned if I don't)

Dear "I work in the UK energy sector",

Now that you have sorted out the security issues of your meters there is 1 more problem you need to solve !!!

The mobile network is not as ubiquitous as you & I need, therefore many people who would be more than happy to have a 'Smart Meter' cannot have this wonderful secure piece of tech, this includes me.

Maybe the Energy Companies could encourage the Mobile providers to install a few more cells where people live and their energy is used or we will end up reading the (not so) Smart Meters to send in the data the 'old fashioned' way !!!

6
0
Bronze badge

Re: Damn

Better to go all nukes and push down the price of energy.

Make up your mind. Do you want nukes or cheaper electricity? In all the western countries I know of, nuclear is more expensive than others. At least with the current price of CO2 emissions

6
5
Silver badge

Re: Smart Meters are a tempting target

Timbo

We took a Smart meter - because my wife didn't want to keep sending in meter readings. But the bastards fitted one that only read the electricity - said they couldn't supply one that read the gas meter. . So eventually they had to come around and replace that.

By which time we were looking at changing suppliers. The new suppliers can't read from it, So our shiny new meter has been turned into a dumb meter. Or at least the reading display no longer works. And apart from having to look in the-cupboard-under-the-stairs it makes not the blindest bit of difference.

The idea, was, I think, that we'd use less fuel. But it won't because it doesn't give an appliance by appliance, or even room reading. So we can't just look and see where we're using too much. - if we were.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

I suspect it isn't merely ignorance that drives the scepticism, but many years of experience of other "secure" systems.

And rather fewer, but still too many, years of other experience of other slurping systems which leads to the conviction that at the innocuous end of things it will lead to marketing. But that's just the innocuous aspect.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

"Seriously, who do you imagine is willing to spend weeks of their time on finding out whether you get up at 6:00 or 6:30?"

Who might be interested in knowing that a house is often unoccupied over the weekend and this weekend appears to be one of them?

9
0
Bronze badge

Re: Damn

Smart meters are necessary to achieve robust vendor lock-in.

5
0
Devil

(deliberately?) stupid meters

Apart from the reasons discussed already (1: being switched off remotely, either for "load-shaping" by your supplier, or "cyberattack" by anyone else.. 2: having my data slurped and sold to any and all interested parties 3: being locked into a particular supplier 4: being made to pay a variable rate depending on the suppliers's ability to supply...)

The other reason I hate smart meters, and would never consensually have one installed, is that I don't trust them to read accurately.

The old electromagnetic meters read "true RMS" by virtue of a magnetic force acting on a spinning disc -the moment of inertia of the disc will ultimately average out any transients.

Smart Meters on the other hand, are purely electronic, and don't necessarily read True RMS (because they employ discrete sampling).

There was a huge fiasco last year with Smart Meters over-reading. I don't know how much of it has been fixed now, and which meters are OK..

They would sample only at the peak of the mains voltage sine-wave. This is a problem for any device whose front-end component is a bridge rectifier (this includes most LED lights, most laptop power supplies, and cheaper desktop power supplies without PFC).

Current only flows through the diode bridge when the mains voltage is higher than the DC capacitor voltage, and that only happens at the peak of the mains waveform. But the "smart" meter would sample the peak current, and assume that it was sinusoidal and in-phase with the voltage. But in reality, the current at everywhere else but the sampling point, is near zero.

Thus, smart meters would over-read by several times for LED lighting in particular.

see: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/06/smart_meters_prove_dim/

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

> was testing the security of the meters to ensure only authorised users could access the specific data they are allowed, infact legislation was passed to define all this and protect consumers.

And that legislation is merely so much toilet paper to the security services and local councils trying to find out who it is not cleaning up their dogs poop when they take them for a walk. As they are all authorised users. Most 'authorised users' system authorise users, not uses of systems, therefore the cop who's authorised to use the system could look up info on their sisters best friends 3rd cousin's turd boyfriend to see what he's up to.

Oh, and when was the last time a hacker actually bothered to read the legislation, let alone get authorisation, first?

6
0
Silver badge

@kanpreacher

Yes, that's what I said.

Next year the "smart" meter will be useless, as it'll be worse than the existing dumb meters.

The effect of having one installed would be:

1) Increase my actual energy consumption by a mean of 5 Watts - 35kWh/year, or £5.60

(1W for gas, 4W for electric)

2) Make it much harder for me to take readings, as the UI on "smart" meters is universally horrific.

3) Overcharge me for the energy I'm using, as these meters are far less accurate for discontinuous loads like SMPS, VFDs and LED lighting - about 70% of my electric load.

4) More landfill, as the SMETS1 meters will "probably" need to be replaced before the end of their lifetime.

5) More landfill, as these meters do not physically last as long.

That's all assuming they actually work to spec.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Damn(ed if I do & Damned if I don't)

"there is 1 more problem you need to solve !!! The mobile network is not as ubiquitous as you & I need"

A friend had a smart meter fitted "in" their flat last year. The meter enclosure is in an "out-house" style brick enclosure attached to the ground floor of the building, with a separate full-size wooden access door. Their flat is on the first floor (i.e. 1 storey up), directly above the meter enclosure. The wireless receiver they were given, which tells you how much electricity you're using, doesn't work. Reason, according to the supplier? It's too far away from the meter!

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Smart Meters are a tempting target

"The idea, was, I think, that we'd use less fuel. But it won't because it doesn't give an appliance by appliance, or even room reading"

How would it be able to do that? its not magic.

if you want to know how much an appliance uses look at the reading - turn the appliance on - look at the reading again

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Damn

'm sure the smart meters can be hacked, if someone with sufficient resources gets sufficient motivation to do it.

But the resources would need to be high, because the security is pretty good.

In a word: bullshit. Or see here. Or here.

Bad actors have many more tempting targets, that are both less secure and more profitable.

Dubious.

Smart meter security has historically been pretty poor, and there are strong incentives to attack them, which only get stronger the more they're deployed.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

I think the idea is it somehow reduces the amount of radiation exposure to the user

2
21
Silver badge

They're using it to block UVA?

36
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

They're using it to block UVA?

It would probably work better for that than radiation from.. say an a-bomb going off. Or maybe not.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

I have had many phones - I find the iPhone 6 (and presumably 6s) to be hopeless for making calls - can't get the ear piece loud enough without holding the phone in the dumb manner shown. As far as I remember it's the only phone I've had to do this with - never had an iPhone 7, 8 or X so dunno about them.

My Sonys, Samsung, HTC, one+, Moto and iPhone 3 never had this issue. Does this weird habit date back to some unfathomable design choice from Cupertino some years back?

14
4

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018