Surfing quietly is fine.
It's all the interactive shouty Facetimers and people who insist on giving their offspawn games and videos to watch at full volume who are the real menace to society.
My nuts are freezing. So are my toes and fingertips. It's chilly here on my remote Tibetan mountaintop. Being removed from the hurly burly of everyday modern existence gives me a chance to contemplate the truly important things in life. I exercise mindfulness as my exhalations produce swirling clouds before me. I consider the …
Absolutely! Those idiots look they are going to take a bite out of their phone as if it is a sandwich
I once asked a young lady who was holding her phone horizontally in front of her mouth during a conversation (on speaker mode of course), why she held it that way (after she had finished). The answer was that in that way the radiation from the antenna wasn't as close to her brain.
I didn't suggest the radiation from the antenna:
a) might have hard time finding her brain, and
b) could probably do no worse damage than had apparently already been done.
I was sorely tempted, I will admit
They do it so the phone doesn't screen their faces from the TV cameras.
The last time I checked, my ears were on the side of my face*, so I don't have this problem.
*This applies to most people I am aware of, with the possible exception of Mr Spock, with Space: The Final Front Ear, and Davy Crocket - King of the Wild Front Ear. These jokes have been brought to you by Christmas crackers from the year 1983.
"^This! More so when they hold it horizontally like the vapid, fame-seeking, bollocks-spouting idots on The Apprentice."
I think calls made that way originated on TV as a way for the audience to hear both sides of the conversation, ie a plot device. But people can be dumb, not realise this and copy it because "looks cool". Or something. A bit like the idiots who think holding a gun sideways is a good way to shoot.
Exactly, because Producers forbid that reality TV audiences should be forced^H^H^H^H^H^H allowed to draw inferences from partial information. If that happened, why, you might see them start to form their own opinions, to realise how inane the "judges" are, or even - worst case - how many more interesting things they could be watching. Like reruns of Columbo, for instance.
A month back I was on a bus in S E Asia... It seems Facetime or similar is the default way people talk on their phones there. They've all talk looking at their phone which they hold 10" from their face.
That's just an observation, and I offer no possible explanation other than another observation: it's bloody noisy there, from horns on mopeds to music being blasted out of cafes.
Oh gawd, remember those asinine push-to-talk devices (with their shrill and annoying roger beep) and the asinine people who used them (with their shrill and annoying screamy-voice?)
Volume up to 11 so it's so loud you have to hold it at arm's length: check.
Now have to scream to be heard through naff little mic on the device: check
I used to have one twat from the network group who walked around our cube farm doing the push-to-scream thing. I would disrupt whatever he was trying to scream by yelling BREAKER ONE-NINE! BREAKER ONE-NINE! WHISKY ALPHA LIMA LIMA YANKEE ON DECK! ANYONE GOT THEIR EARS ON? LOOKS LIKE WE GOT OURSELVES A CONVOY! and so on until he went away.
One day he stormed up to my desk and shouted that he was trying to do his job. I yelled back that by an odd coincidence so were the seventy or so people surrounding him and could he please take his idiotic beepy-box into the elevator foyer to do his yodelling and hog-calling.
Scattered applause from hidden colleagues and that was the last we heard from him.
"live experiences "such as music concerts and theatre"."
Every time I go to one of these I get stuck behind some toolbag who watches the whole thing through the screen of their smartphone anyway.
I definitely don't want to go back to the days of non-smartphones though, because then at every station you have people calling their other halves to inform them that the train is entering the station (Insert sex pun here, after all this is SFTWS) as if the trains are quiet and hard to spot. The greatest invention of the smartphone was killing the "I'm almost home" call.
I am working on a design for a glink pistol - a small water pistol embedded in my glasses that identifies phone screens held between me and a stage so it can fire some incredibly sticky black glink onto the screen so that I can actually watch what I came to see and not some twats bingo wings.
I may look for public funding on Inkygogofuckoff with your money for this.
Every time I go to one of these I get stuck behind some toolbag who watches the whole thing through the screen of their smartphone anyway
Fortunately, this is pretty rare at Prog gigs. Sadly, the moth-breathing muppets who come along and spend the entire gig talking/shouting to their friends are not.
At times I wonder about smuggling in a BOFH-spec cattle prod. But since using it would probably get me kicked out of the gig (even though I'm performing a valuable public service) I've managed to resist so far.
I did once ask a twat chatting loudly with his fellow MBMs at the back of a venue if he'd like me to ask the band (The Stranglers, ffs!) to play more quietly. I pointed out that the loud music was clearly causing him all sorts of inconvenience, as he had to shout to be heard over them. I think my eyes might have been glowing a bit red around the edges, because instead of giving me back a few choice expletives, he just shut up and edged away. Public service, indeed . . . pxd
I followed the Strangs around for a couple months (or so) after seeing them open for The Ramones in 1976 ... I'm surprised Burnel didn't politely ask the boor to shut up. Virtual beer's on me; I'd have bought you a real one if I'd noticed your public service.
 Yes, politely. Amazing what a good education will do ...
"[...] the train is entering the station [...]"
IIRC Monty Python that was considered rather risque for a late night sketch involving a train entering a tunnel - and finally a factory chimney stack collapsing as it was demolished? There were probably more visual innuendoes that I have forgotten in the best part of 50 years.
I am the type of person who would rather watch live stuff through my eyes than the phone screen, but I have to ask, should we force our way of life onto others. Should we prevent them from being able to watch their videos in the future and reminiscing about something they attended, provided it doesnt affect others?
... "prevent them from being able to watch their videos in the future ". More power to them. Record away, if that's your thing.
However, "provided it doesnt affect others" is key. In other words, keep your bloody iFad the fuck out of my line of sight, dammit! I came to see a gig, not your device's display.
You pretty much covered what I wanted to say Jake.
If you want to watch a gig through your phone, fine. However don't do it at the expense of other people who want to enjoy the show.
In ye olden days certain bands (The Grateful Dead and Metallica are 2 I can think of) had a dedicated "tapers" ticket and area for people who wanted to record the shows. Metallica (and no doubt others) also sell MP3s of their gigs recorded from the desk so of a much higher quality than you could get from a phone.
Bizzarely enough, Shambala (without the H) is a music festival in the UK where mobile phones see little use. Partly it's that the organisers don't bother sticking in Pico-cells (so that a 2G SMS might take up to 5 minutes to send, given there's an extra 15,000 handsets in what is normally an unpopulated field), partly it's because the general culture there is about getting dressed up and being lovely to everyone. People there just don't bother taking photos on their phones.
The scale of the festival is such that if you wander around for an hour or two - or just sit outside the pub tent - you'll find your friends without needing a phone to arrange a rendezvous.
A choir that performs rarely in their home UK - but travels the world extensively - asks people not to use their cameras during a performance. Live indoor videos that escape onto YouTube always seem to come from Far East fans. I believe Japanese copyright law is somewhat different from UK law.
Earl bloody Grey should have kept that muck to himself. I've had un-rinsed mugs that made tea taste better and Tesco's everyday basic floor-sweepings bags taste exactly like it: Slightly floral with a hint of Toilet Duck. Sir Patrick has a lot to answer for, making that gunk Picard's favourite brew.
“No,” he said, “look, it’s very, very simple ... all I want ... is a cup of tea. You are going to make one for me. Keep quiet and listen.”
And he sat. He told the Nutri-Matic about India, he told it about China, told it about Ceylon. He told it about broad leaves drying in the sun. He toit about silver teapots. He told it about summer afternoons on the lawn. Htold it about putting in the milk before the tea so it wouldn’t get scalded. Heven told it (briefly) about the history of the East India Company.
“So that’s it, is it?” said the Nutri-Matic when he had finished.
“Yes,” said Arthur, “that is what I want.”
“You want the taste of dried leaves boiled in water?”
“Er, yes. With milk.”
“Squirted out of a cow?”
“Well, in a manner of speaking I suppose ...”
Anything is fine as long as it's not Redbush. Ever tasted that? It's a bit like what you'd get if you found a thirty year old PG tips box in a long abandoned mildewy caravan, took a bag out and mopped the floor with it before dropping it into hot water. I've fallen face first in the muck heap more than once and would take that over another cup of redbush in a heartbeat.
Tea should be made in a teapot. With loose leaves. Then strained - unless you've got one of those lift-out baskety things. And you need a tea cosy, because the second cup from the pot is usually the nicest.
Earl Grey is nice for a change. But it does get a bit soapy if you over-brew it. I think it wants no more than a minute or two to brew.
I think there is value in managing the 'smartphone' element of life. For example I have very carefully curated my notification settings so that only SMS, phone calls and apps I explicitly want a notification from (authenticator tokens etc) have free rein; everything else is disabled. I couldn't care less if an app needs updating, or how many unread emails I have, or for any "you havn't checked into our app today" messages.
I have absolutely no message counters visible; as soon as I see one I have a desire/need to check it which ruins productivity, and otherwise its unsigntly, so they all are hidden. I'll check when I am good and ready thank you.
The scope of some permissions and notifications is quite extensive, requiring dilligent hunting in all settings screens both in the app, the app store, the phone, and hidden areas of the phone settings.
I really rely on my smart phone for organisation and managing my life and its utility (I have a metronome) is unequalled.
Everyone has different use cases, mine is more practical. I'm not in constant contact with anyone except my girlfriend and even then I prefer to just hang out and chat. I'm not really popular enough that the fear of missing out requires me to be plugged in; nobody I know is going to require me to respond instantly!
Managing head space is important to me and it doesn't have to be done in Tibet or with chanting.
"The scope of some permissions and notifications is quite extensive, requiring dilligent hunting in all settings screens both in the app, the app store, the phone, and hidden areas of the phone settings."
My gmail really, really wants access to my body sensors for some reason.
"I have absolutely no message counters visible; as soon as I see one I have a desire/need to check it which ruins productivity, and otherwise its unsigntly, so they all are hidden. I'll check when I am good and ready thank you."
And have you noticed how some people send a message/email/whatever then follow up 5 minutes later with "did you get my message?". And again 5 minutes later. Then a "are you ignoring me?". No, just fuck off. If it's really so important, phone you you twonk! I'm busy with actual real life or work.
I spent a year wandering around Asia just before the web became mainstream and certainly before the iPhone appeared. I kept in touch with back home by mail, yup mail that used pen, paper and envelopes. I used the Amex post restante service which was great, but needed pre planning to advise people which Amex office to use in advance.
Probably the best thing that happened to me was ironically when my camera, which used film that needed processing and printing, self destructed. From then on I was free to enjoy things with my human eyes and not through the lens of a camera.
I remember reading an article in the Bangkok Post about the web and thinking wow!! this is going to change the way humanity interacts with each other and the world, and it certainly has.
Nostalgia is nice, but I can no longer imagine the world without the web which I think it is great, but so is clean water and food - the scarcity of which was why I spent more time on the khazi that one would hope for. An iPhone would certainly have helped me pass away the time spent on the shitty, shit holes that often are the only khazis available in that neck of the woods.
... The electronics stay at home. She's far more important to me than the rest of the world, and vice versa. We actually communicate with each other verbally, imagine that!
 Although I'll admit to occasionally throwing in a bit of Morse code ... The wife & I use it for short messages when we don't want to be "overheard". If we're in contact physically, nobody knows we're talking ... and even across a crowded room it's easy to get a message across without notice. Granted, it's usually along the lines of:
--. . - -- . - .... . .... . .-.. .-.. --- ..- - --- ..-. .... . .-. .
Archaic maybe, but it works without embarrassing anybody. Including ourselves.
Yes, SOS is shorter. But it's also somewhat ambiguous. Does it mean "Help, I just split my pants!" or "Somebody should tell Great Aunt Lola that toothpaste is no longer rationed!" or "Holy Fartin' Mary, this plonk is awful!" or "Am I allowed to tell your Cousin he's an ignorant fool?". And in all reality, GMTHOOH is usually shortened to .- .- .- .- .- etc.
We actually communicate with each other verbally, imagine that!
So when you need to meet up after heading your separate ways for shopping, you each stand in the middle of the street YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN in the hope that one of you hears the other across town?
No YELLING needed. On the rare occasion we go our separate ways in such a scenario (the bog comes to mind in these here prude-ridden United States), we agree where and when to meet up again. In advance. You know, like we did before the DynaTAC set society on the road to electronic leash addiction?
This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it, and you didn't know they knew. Then it can get embarrassing.
.- -. -.. -- .- -. -.-- .--. . --- .--. .-.. -.- -. --- -- --- .-. ... .
To our knowledge, Maty, we've never been subject to a man in the middle attack. Tapping a foot or finger, or blinking is rarely noticed by hoi poloi, and they never associate it with Morse. We also use ASL occasionally, when longer messages are needed. That gets intercepted occasionally, but the observer usually just comments "cool, more people should be able to sign ...".
 Exception that proves the rule: The Uncle who taught me Morse used the same method with his wife. He "caught" us at a family function once, and met us in the Pub down the street. Win-win ;-)
@jake - 'to your knowledge' I think you will find if someone learns a language its amazing how the brain can pick it up amongst background noise. My uncle learned morse during WWII and was forever hearing bits of morsey things. You'll find being close to someone a low voice is far less likely to be intercepted as it is too similar to the general mele to be discriminated.
"This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it [...]"
An English colleague had a Welsh wife. One day they were visiting her family and he went to a local pub with an English friend. A group of Welshmen then proceeded to make derogatory comments about the English - in Welsh. As he left the pub he thanked them for their attention - in perfect Welsh.
An IT salesman colleague in South Africa had emigrated there from Wales many years ago. It was a standing joke amongst his government department customers - that he had only ever learned a few stock phrases of Afrikaans. In reality he found it very useful in sales meetings to understand their private discussions - for which they switched from English to Afrikaans.
Err.. Saxons were not Scandinavian.. I think Hengest and/or Horsa would have been very offended to have been equated to those boors from the north..
 Yes, yes, I know they were Angles and not Saxons. Why let the truth get in the way of regurgitating a meme from "1066 and All That"? It's clearly a Good Thing.
"you show up, trade your smartphone for a dumbphone, and spend a full week disconnected from the internet."
Or you could go to Wales..
(Before I get shouted at by all my Welsh relatives, I mean one very specific bit in the Snowdonia National Park. In a nice valley with *absolutely* no mobile signal, on any network. And the nearest phone is a payphone a mile down the vally that's been vandalised and can't be used.. That was a good holiday - me, t'missus, several crates of good wine and my ebook reader stuffed with good books.)
That's not just Western Colorado - anywhere between the Cal central valley and the Mississippi once you're 5 miles out of town and more than a couple of miles from the interstate or other major road you're pretty much hosed. Even then it can be iffy. I76 north out of Denver is a phone dead zone for freaking miles.
"You're just substituting digital interactivity with real-time passivity. "
I'm sure many of the fans at the Libera boychoir's concerts are singing along in their heads. You just have to check occasionally that you aren't actually singing audibly.
Fans of orchestras similarly may have to restrain the urge to stand up and conduct their favourite works.
My Tibetan experience is a bit out of date, but even in the late 90's there was internet access there. Admittedly, you would have been very silly to avail yourself of it, but if you don't mind the Chinese "services" trawling your inbox, I'm sure there's 3/4G and wifi all over the place.
You could always pay for Mme. D and her friends to go to on Spa retreat...
"Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"
Other Spas are available
"Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"
Luxury vendor commissions survey which discovers that people prefer consuming their product to alternative activities. It must have been a relief to marketing when the result went the way they were hoping
I think you've got it wrong on the dumbphones as they apply to quality of life.
If the phone can't run "apps" then it can't bother you with attention-seeking idiocy like flashing notifications for unimportant tasks whose soul purpose is to ensnare you into zombie gazing at your phone.
If it's got no front facing camera then it can't be easily used for the lip pouting, Hollywood posing, cockwomble selfie crowd of idiots that imperil everyone around them when they go to take a picture in the middle of a situation that requires situational awareness, like driving, walking, or breathing.
A dumbphone that can't access the internet means it won't be used by unattentive zombies shuffling down the street, or across the street, or into walls, or other obstacles that the situationally aware are paying attention to & can avoid like the intelligent people they obviously are; if only the phone absorbed zombies could Darwin themselves into an open manhole, access pit, or live high voltage access panel.
Sure a smartphone can be useful at times, but I think the "dumb" phone is even moreso; while others are yelling into their smartphones, eyes glued to the screen watching the latest Youtube stupidity, or mashing the screen playing the latest game craze, the rest of us enjoy a phone that only ever makes noise if it's ringing from a call, chirping about a text message, or whining that we forgot to charge it for over a week.
Please don't badmouth the feature phone, not everyone needs nor wants nor can productively use a "smartphone" that often can't be arsed to include the Accessibility bits needed to make the device useable by someone with fat/arthritic fingers, bad/no eyesight, etc.
Otherwise nice rant! I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!
I will grant you that feature phones have their place, and for me that place is in the pocket of everyone who prefers them. However, those people who come to the conclusion that feature phones are the best because they don't like what other people do with their smartphones, so I shouldn't have my smartphone on me most of the time are the problem. A smartphone provides me with tools I may require that a feature phone doesn't; for example, I can find my way if I get lost using my GPS package on my smartphone, but a feature phone won't help. If I can ask directions, then I'm fine, but if I am out late and still need to go somewhere, the GPS app is, in my experience, the better way to get that done.
Incidentally, although I'm sure the arthritic would experience many accessibility benefits from a feature phone, the blind and visually impaired have almost entirely moved to smartphones, primarily the iPhone (as android's accessibility has been pretty terrible for a while). The smartphones allow them to do things that a feature phone does not make accessible. For example, dialing a call is simple on one but just try to find a good way to scroll down a contact list, as pretty much no feature phone will read the item you've focused on. The same applies to reading SMS messages, not to mention that many of them also find the other features helpful as well.
I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!
Is there a gap in the market for proper "nut warmers"? Perhaps Mme. D could knit some (a pair) and Dabsy can report back on their effectiveness
Well I never! That would make a change from socks at Christmas.
"willy warmer"/not water bottle just reminded me of "Carry On Up the Khyber". Private Widdle using one to keep his "dangler warm"
"If I pulled a heap of tourist brochures and an Ordnance Survey map from my backpack, no one would bat an eyelid."
No, but you can bet your life some berk would start addressing the air anywhere but in your direction as to the thoughtlessness of bringing backpacks into such a place, and you'd have at least one person "accidentally" kick it or trip over it to illustrate how ignorant you were being, even if you tucked it under your recently claimed table.
Bring back the store! We need more cool ElReg tat to flaunt at the office!
*Chanting & pounding the desk in time*
Bring. Back. the Store!
Bring. Back. the Store!
Bring! Back! The Store!
Damn it, how are we supposed to help support our favorite rag of twisted journo's & illigitemite... illiterminate... investment... loveable editors if you don't bring back the store?
I went to the Symphony once.
The music was nice....at first. Then, after perhaps ten minutes, the Brass section starting draining spittle out of their instruments, onto the polished stage floor. Every few minutes, with an invisible cue. the several French Horns turned and turned and turned in synchronized phase-locked rotation, until streams of spittle dribbled out and splashed into the growing pond. The Tuba maintenance was less frequently, but simply revolting with vast buckets of goop being dumped out. The great pool of human saliva glistened under the lights, stage and seating precisely aligned, with bubbles randomly forming and bursting. When the great Bass Drum was pounded, the ocean of drool oscillated in symphonic sympathy. The orchestral players adjusted their feet upwards, safely positioning their expensive shoes on the cross rails of their chair legs. I may have had hallucinations, but I'm sure that I saw the rapidly moving dorsal fin of something swimming across, presumably chasing its prey. There were subtle interference effects as the lights interacted with the thin-film surface of the larger saliva bubbles; I felt sadness when one particularly colourful bubble popped.
Concert? If they were playing any music, then sorry....I missed it.
Shirley not! Wasn't Twitter invented to use SMS because smartphones weren't invented yet? Isn't that the reason for the message length? Or are the "detox" holidays aimed at people so young they can't understand that there was life before smartphones?
Actually, now that I think of it, can you still use Twitter via SMS?
'observe due measure; moderation is best in all things' - Hesiod, 700bc
The problem is that we haev so much around us, so much food, so many distractions, so much free time, so many causes, so many things on our bucket list, the list of "stuff to we want" goes on an on and on. We spend all our time constantly flitting from one thing to another that we very rarely ever finish anything properly.
One thing I learned as i turned the corner into my middle age at 40 was to try to limit the things i want and the things I can reasonably do. So I make sure I go out an take walks, I have a phone and a camera with me. I make sure to spend time with my family. I don't eat as much crap junk food as I used to, I don't try to do too much at once. Sometimes I just veg out on the sofa watching shite cartoons on the TV on a Saturday afternoon. Some days I get up at the crack of dawn and spend the morning out walking. One thing I do is I try to do one thing at a time and enjoy what I'm doing there and then. I don't go out walking and constantly scan my Facebook. Twitter or whatever. I have the phone in my pocket so I know I can if I want to but I don't. I walk and I watch life around me. Other days I get up at 4am and I studying some new tech until breakfast time with my family. I enjoy what I'm doing for the there and then, make sure I want to do that one thing and then have no regrets. The worst thing is to pick an activity and then spend that time wishing you'd picked something else, never being satisfied.
As I reach the middle years I know I'm half way to my grave, so I try to use the time wisely and carefully enjoying what I'm doing else if you spend all your time planning what you'll do, you'll never have time to do it. Or worse still you'll spend all your time flitting between things and never really enjoy them. Using tech is not a problem, eating crap is not a problem, vegging in front of the TV is not a problem, running up mountains, rock climbing, travelling, none of these are good or bad, just don't do the same thing over and over, enjoy each one in moderation and when you get to meet your chosen maker, you'll know you'll have at least enjoyed your little slice of life not spend eternity thinking, "Oh bollocks, I wished I'd done XYZ!".
Is anyone actually interested in what Dabbs writes? Or just in up-ing their comment count? Or are replies to him just the only way they can register a smidgen of significance of a life before dementia means they and no-one else will be interested? Who cares about the details any of you have told us - guess 1 - and even you are probably bored by them.
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