Posts tagged “cellphone”.

Take back the beep

July 30th, 2009

[An open letter to AT&T rep Mark Siegel in response to David Pogue's "Take Back the Beep" campaign. I sent this in an e-mail to Mr. Siegel at 6:57 p.m. today.]

takebackthebeep

Mr. Siegel,

As an iPhone user, I’m lucky. My voicemail greeting does not burden a caller with an inanely-long “after the beep” message. I realize I’m one of the lucky few, however, because I face this message every time I call someone else.

It has to stop. And not just because of the cost to consumers.

I realize that AT&T needs to make money, and while I wag my finger in shame at using a tactic like the beep message, I understand. I work at a financial institution, and we’re all about using little things, here and there, to draw in more income.

What’s annoying is that it wastes my time. And time, sir, is something I can’t get back.

Like Mr. Pogue mentioned in his article, the basics of leaving a voicemail – which have been with us since the dawn of the answering machine – are known to everyone but the Amish and the corrupt. In fact, many voicemail greetings created by users include the words “you know what to do after the beep” or “leave a message after the beep.” Adding extra instructions without a user’s consent is time wasted.

We’re not long for this Earth, Mr. Siegel. You, or me, or your communications professor from college could go at any time. We live in strange times, after all, and one never knows when the mortality clock could stop ticking. It could happen as I type this. Ever heard of ball lightning?

Anyway, the point is – please let us users decide how much of our friends’ and family’s time to waste. What do you say? Instead of sitting and listening to a laughably-didactic woman tell me I can “page” (is this 1996?) the person on the other end, I just want to leave a message without being accosted by the recorded message. Right?

Right.

Dave Lawrence
AT&T Customer
Jackson, MI

PS: Fix your service. Half my apartment gets a mediocre reception, while the other half has none at all.

To iPhone or not to iPhone?

January 17th, 2008

I was hoping that, after Tuesday’s Macworld keynote, I would be rushing to Ann Arbor’s Apple store to pick up my iPhone. But no such luck.

Why not? I’m one of those guys waiting for the 3G.

It didn’t come yesterday. What did come, however, were some pretty cool features: the where-the-heck-am-I feature, the new homescreen capabilities, the multiple-person text messaging. It all sounds great.

It just doesn’t sound great enough. iTWire.com feels me – saying that Apple isn’t listening to its fans like it should be. And if it wants to hit that magic 10 million number…:

According to Apple, the company has sold 4 million iPhones in its first 200 days. For any other company, this would be a phenomenal figure. However, at Macworld 2007 Jobs envisioned sales of 10 million units in the first year, so Apple has some work to do over the next 165 days. It is beginning to look as though Apple has to release a 3G iPhone very soon in order to move 10 million units [by the end of 2008].

Right. Even if Cupertino wants to sell just one, to me, it better make the speed bump.

I have a cellphone, and a good cellphone carrier, that I like. I have my Newton. I have plenty of Macs. In reality, I don’t need an iPhone. But boy… I’ve already been in situations where, standing in the grocery line or waiting for someone, I can imagine whipping out the Jesus Phone and wasting a bit of time.

At work, we had an annual goal, and I reached it, and got a hefty bonus. I was going to use that money toward the purchase of an iPhone, pending the 3G announcement. But no 3G came.

Salon.com’s Farhad at the Machinist says that past and current iPhones are all created equal because they keep getting updates via free iTunes software. The phone is evolving, and it doesn’t cost any extra. But the actual hardware I’m waiting for can’t be downloaded via Software Update. I need a whole new phone.

So the wait continues. I’m thinking of putting a time limit on the 3G iPhone announcement – say, this spring. Maybe April, or before I head out on my New England driving tour at the end of May.

So there you go, Apple. You’ve got $400 sitting in the credit union with your name on it. All you have to do is deliver.

Who needs an iPhone?

November 8th, 2007

There’s no telling what people will use a Newton for.

For instance, while checking Low End Mac yesterday, I discovered someone had found a way to make a MessagePad…

…a phone.

Over at the Unofficial Apple Weblog, a guy name Marcus turned a MessagePad 210 – with a little help from a SIM card – into a workable phone.

More opportunities – like, say, scribbling poetry into a Newton to see what comes spilling out – abound, which we’ll discover later.

But still. Need a weekend project that costs about $50?

Lots of luck.