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By Shamus
on Friday Dec 14, 2007
Filed under:


Here is a post I wrote about my previous mobile phone, two years ago. It turned out to be more phone than I needed. I don’t commute, and I spend most of the day in front of a decent computer with broadband, so I have no use for all the web / messaging features it had. About the only feature that might have been useful to me (aside from, you know, making phone calls) was the camera. I tried it once, discovered that it sucked, and never bothered with it again.

There were many little features on the phone that I never used. I investigated them once, and found that almost everything web-related was broken, cost money to use, or both. This didn’t bother me, since all I wanted was a phone, but it did make me wonder why they bother.

Yesterday I got a new phone:


It’s nice, although I’m not an expert on the things and I’m probably not the best person to ask. This is the phone Sprint was giving away for free, which means it’s probably crap. It’s a… “Fusic”. No, I’m not making that up. Somebody really named a phone Fusic. It sounds like a blend of “F*** you” & “music”, which is actually pretty appropriate given the marketing focus they have. The big feature they’re trying to draw attention to is the built-in music store, where you can buy DRM-saddled music which only plays on the phone. For $2.50. Their offer is so outrageous and inept it actually made me giggle when I saw it. It’s like seeing a guy in the street selling betamax tapes of terrible movies for $100. You wonder, does he know what a complete tool he’s being?

On the other hand, the phone is a fine MP3 player, which is all that really matters. It’s been ages since I bought any digital music directly. I’ve found the most reliable way to get unencumbered digital music is to just buy physical media and rip it. It’s stupid, but it works.

The size of the phone – my big complaint with my previous phone two years ago – is much better. It’s more width and less depth, which means it fits in my hand when I hold it, fits on my face when I use it, and doesn’t leave a big lump when I put it in my pocket. Progress!

It has a thousand features I’ll never use, most of which I have turned off to save money. I can’t comprehend their pricing system, which would give even the most eager rules lawyer the heebie-jeebies. From what I can tell most features take a flat monthly fee to enable, and then they nickel-and-dime you when to make use of them. Again, I laugh at a company that will send me a new phone via overnight express shipping for free, and then try to haggle a nickel out of me over a text message. It’s amazing that after all this technological progress what the phone companies really want is to bring back the concept of the pay phone: Their vision is to give everyone their very own pay phone where the phone company can hit them up for loose change while the thing is in use. No matter how many gadgets they pack into the phone, aparently the part they miss the most is the one where the user inserts their coins.

Comments (37)

  1. william says:

    faust post!

    I live in a middle eastern country, and we aren’t advanced enough to have messed up phone companies. you just buy “charge cards” and thats that

  2. Tango says:

    Yeah. I’ve never understood the need for an integrated MP3 player and video player on my phone. Indeed, the camera in the phone would mean you can’t take it into a lot of places in my area (assuming you work at them or somehow got in as a visitor).

  3. Phlux says:

    I was in Japan for a month back in 2003. Our cell phone technology now has roughly caught up to where they were 4 years ago. They all had high-color, high density LCDs, broadband data service, email, text, etc… I can only imagine what it’s like NOW, but sadly I’ve not been back since then.

    In regards to the “insert coin” idea, the Japanese have gone the other direction. They actually have vending machines that are bluetooth enabled. So you can walk up to one, select the menu on your phone and buy a coke or something. Even vending machines are getting rid of coin slots and going with a “bill you later” scheme.

    The other crazy thing I saw, which has nothing to do with Shamus’ post, but nonetheless convinced me I was living in the future: This girl had a camera on her phone that could turn backwards to face the user, presumably for video messages or something. She was using it like a mirror while she curled her eyelashes with one of those eye-torture contraptions.

  4. ShadoStahker says:

    I think I need to check out Japan’s market, Phlux. I’m intrigued now.

    Oh, and Shamus, one of your wonderings from the first linked article was about the audio pickup pointing at your cheek. Actually, it’s meant to do that, because doing so reduces distortion.

    Essentially, your cheek acts the same as those poofy covers on microphones. The distortion and extra noise that come from breathing directly over the pickup are reduced.

    It does mean that sounds come through a bit quieter, but they’re also clearer, so it’s a tradeoff.

  5. Henebry says:

    I gather that there’s some way of putting your music (ripped from CDs) onto the phone? That’s often the first thing that the phone company breaks, so they have a way to force encourage you to make $2.50 purchases.

  6. Deoxy says:

    There are several reasons Japan always seems ahead on this stuff. Superior technology isn’t on it. Less inept workers is on it, but near the bottom.

    The two primary reasons are
    1. The TINY freaking size they have to deal with (Japan would fit Texas multiple times, much less the rest of the country)
    2. Cultural uniformity (and that culture includes the desire for the newest thing)

    These are advantageous for quick adoption of new technologies, but I’ll wait 3-4 years rather than take all the DISadvantages that come along with it, thanks.

    As to the original post: I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with one of your posts, in entirely, as much as this one. It’s exactly my experience, and you say it so much better than I do.

  7. Chris Arndt says:

    you have a more profane brain than me.

    I saw “Fusic” and though “Fuse” not F-u-carnal kick

    combined with “music”

    Also: I own a primitive RAZR V3 that T-Mobile does. I tell you what. When I bought it it was still the point where idiot kids would say to me “cool. you got a RAZR”. It was only ten dollars and now everyone has one, and most do more.

    The point is that the camera takes great pictures. BUT I can’t get them off my camera without purchasing computer software from Motorola or T-Mobile for forty dolllars. I am broke.

    Or I can message them off for 25 cents each. Or for a 5 buck plan.

    Why the fruiting heck should I pay T-Mobile to do WHAT i WANT with MY photos THAT i TOOK with MY phone!?

    It’s MY photos on MY phone. and they expect me to pay more.

    no way.

  8. Nyxia says:

    I got a laugh out of this.
    Honestly, I can’t wait until the day when we all get cell phone chips that can be inserted into our palm and little speakers in our pinky and thumb, like the gadget phone Inspector Gadget had. How awesome would that be, eh?
    Also, on a side note: WHY do phones keep getting smaller and smaller? Is there any purpose for having a phone half the size of your palm?

  9. Shamus says:

    Henebry: It uses a nice little memory card thing that lets you move MP3’s and photographs from phone to PC with no hassle. I really like that part.

  10. Richard says:

    Curses! I tried to post without putting in the anti-spam word and it wiped out my post.

    To re-post:

    They do like to nickel and dime you. When switching phones, we couldn’t even copy my wife’s games from one phone to another, or have T-Mobile load them on the new phone, or get a credit. It’s “get a new phone, re-buy everything”. I’m assuming that includes lame ringtones too. My wife, for some reason, thinks that not being able to re-load what we had already paid for is perfectly natural and the natural order of things. Thus, the phone companies make money hand over fist.

    My cellphone bill is $130 – $150. My landline costs $50 with taxes, and can call anywhere in the US, for unlimited time. The only reason landlines don’t keep track and bill you by the minute like cellphones do if social inertia. People would throw a fit if their landlines were charged the way cellphones are, because cellphone pricing is outrageous.

    The general trend is, let’s make it really hard to see how much money you’re spending. Stores would love it if they could remove price labels from everything in the store. People would pick up things based on their looks and the like, and then get a shock at the register, where they’re mentally committed to paying.

  11. nilus says:

    You know everyone is talking about nickle and dimeing but those numbers add up. Talk to people who give there teenagers phones and get $1000 phone bills solely because of text messaging.

    Anyways when ever I talk phone service with people from other countries that can’t believe that in the US we lose minutes when people call our phones. Everywhere else in the world incoming calls are free, not here in the states. You call someone and you are both running down your minutes.

  12. Stephen says:

    If you’re not paying for the data plan, be sure to call in and have them block data from your phone. I have the same phone, with a text message package but no data plan. The first month, they wanted to charge me an exorbitant amount for data, even though I hadn’t been using it. It turned out, when Google calendar sent me a text message, they were also dinging me for data (and 3 cents per KB adds up really fast).

    With data blocked, I still get the exact same text messages, so I have no idea why it was thinking there was Internet involved.

    The phone has done really well, and the memory card feature is awesome. It also has a built-in FM transmitter that’s better than the attachment I have for my mp3 player, so I use the phone to listen to mp3s on long car rides. I can’t figure out if there’s anyway to use mp3s as ringtones, though; I think they want to make you download their DRMed tones.

    It also has a built in voice recognition call selector that seems to work pretty well when using the headset.

  13. Phlux says:

    Deoxy: I agree that Japan’s size is the number one reason they’re able to keep ahead on this stuff. They have roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of our population, crammed into an island with about the same landmass as California. And 75% of it is uninhabitable mountains.

    It will always cost them less to maintain their infrastructure because they have 90% less of it.

    As for point number 2: that’s pretty much the “tokyo culture”. There is a lot of regional and cultural diversity in Japan. There are backwaters there just like there are here. Get 100km outside of Tokyo and you’ll think you must have driven through some sort of anime time portal into nega-Japan circa 1925.

  14. roxysteve says:

    [shamus] What I love (ie hate) is the way the phone GUI designers often lose sight of the fact that IT’S A ******* PHONE.

    My Nokia has great reception. It comes at a cost though. You have to use the Nokia-supplied GUI to access the features, and it sux bigtime. I can operate the (sucky) camera with a one (dedicated) button click, but it takes no less than SEVEN menu drilldown operations to change from one built-in ringtone to another, and on number four it is imperative that you select “My Stuff” rather than the default “Tones” if you don’t want carrying off to the internet for a pay as you go download experience. This is so intuitive that I spent an hour in a diner the day I got the phone trying to figure it out. On my old Motorola it was a one-click operation to change the ringtone so you knew which phone was yours on a crowded train, or to identify certain callers with a special tone so you didn’t get stuck talking to Sid and run your battery flat on trivial nonsense. If only I had been able to get a signal on the bloody thing.

    Want your own phone number? I’ve won money from people who foolishly refuse to believe that there is no way to retrieve that information, usually a couple of clicks away on competing manufacturer’s phones, from my Nokia. I hand ’em the phone and lay a crisp five dollar bill on the table and say “cover the bet and go for it, champ”.

    But if you want to use the phone to play compressed to crap music through teeny tiny tinny earphones, it’s dead easy. One click.



  15. Richard says:

    What strikes me about this conversation is everyone saying:

    ‘I hate my cellphone company and their policies. However, none of the others is much better, and I need my cellphone.’


    Someone who needs his cellphone

  16. Davesnot says:

    #7.. Chris.. you say it’s your phone and your photos.. are you sure?? Did you have a liscensing agreement with them?? You’re right.. It probably is your phone.. but is the software yours?? They probably have a way to lay claim to anything the phone does.. call me paranoid.. but there is a reason the agreements take a platoon to write and an army to discipher.

  17. Fuloydo says:

    I’m gonna buck the trend and say I actually don’t have a problem with my cell phone.

    It’s the cheapest one Nokia sells, isn’t a camera, isn’t a mp3 player, doesn’t do text. It’s just a phone.

    I pay $10 a month for it cause I had my mother bundle it onto her plan as an extra line rather than pay for a whole new plan.

    I use it once or twice a week, tops.

    The fun part is my mom’s phone. Her bill runs ten pages or more every month because she has a sister who is addicted to the telephone and who calls her as many as 25 times a day. It might only be for a minute, might be for a half hour.

    Aside from me, that’s the only person who calls her or she calls on her cell. Since we all have the same provider, I’m the only one who ever uses minutes off the plan since I do occasionally call someone who has a different provider.

    One of these days ATT is going to notice her phone bill and make up a reason to revoke her account.

  18. Davesnot says:

    Great thought about the pay phone… it’s kinda a combination of coupon logic (give ’em something and they’ll give you back more) and a small Star Trek-like technology hit for the masses (neato! this gadget lets me send a little note to someones communicator!).. and the phone company (all hail Ma Bell!! she lives!! Long live the Queen!!) the phone company is more than happy to make money on it.

    Communication??? maybe 10% of the people really use the tool to help them.. mostly it’s just people that can’t stand silence of being alone.. so if they find themselves confronted with either.. or (gasp) both! they reach in and grab their security blanket.

    I have a Boost Mobile.. I pay for what I use.. I keep it off.. there are times that (oh my!!) I don’t answer phones and am unreachable by others… I have no idea what I’d do if Brittney Spears did something horrendous.. It would be hours before I found out!!??!! Oh the sacrifices we make in modern society.

  19. wumpus says:


    I finally broke down and got a cell last spring. I resisted an electronic leash that long, but finally decided it would be useful for (gasp) mobile communication, like on weekends when both my wife and I are off doing things and would like to coordinate.

    I was astounded to find that there seemed to be no way to get subscription service for less than $30 a month, which is just plain silly for something I plan to use maybe ten minutes in an average month. So I ended up with a prepaid ‘Go’ phone from Cingatumadrelar (which happens to be my wife’s provider as well, for bonus points). I got a low end Motorola phone that has no camera or silly stuff, and a battery that lasts for ever. And for $100 a year my minutes should be plentiful and never expire.

    There are some ‘features’ on the phone, but luckily I can still use it to make calls without too much difficulty. I hear ya, though, Steve, on the ‘what the heck’s my own phone number’ issue. My personal least favorite feature is the screen dimming, which apparently cannot be set longer than, like, 10 seconds, and which renders the screen unreadable in all except the brightest external lighting. Of course, this is probably part of why the battery lasts forever. Still, it makes calls. Haven’t actually received any yet, but it probably does that too.


  20. Davesnot says:


    I pay $10 a month for it cause I had my mother bundle it onto her plan as an extra line rather than pay for a whole new plan.

    I use it once or twice a week, tops.

    Ok.. so let’s say you talk .. oh.. 5 minutes per call (kind of a talkative person, eh?) .. once or twice a week.. let’s say 3 times a week.. there’s 4 weeks in a month .. that makes 4*3 = 12 calls a month.. time 5minutes a call.. 12*5=60minutes… so.. 1 hour of calls.. at $10 and hour .. divide that out into minutes .. $0.17 a minute… hmm… sounds like a great deal for you.. but your mom is getting hosed.

    If you’re paying $10 a month.. ya might as well us it.. if you’re paying be the minute.. shut it off… here’s an idea your mom may like.. shut it off, take you out of the bundled bill.. and get a pay-as-you-go plan that is like .10 a minute…

    That gets you to $6 a month.. saving $4 a month.. 4*12=$48.. and have her give you the $48 bucks.

  21. Davesnot says:

    Here’s a phone tip for those of us that turn off the damn thing and can’t (don’t wanna) remember the number…

    Blue Painter’s tape.. basically masking tape that sticks.. but not so well that it won’t come off.. and a Sharpie .. tape goes on the back.. number goes on the tape…

    It also works while you’re talking on it.. you just turn it over and tell the person (that obviously doesn’t have a cell or they’d have your number already) the number.

    Ok.. sorry for the comment hijacking.. I’ll slink back into the real world… but my wife took my cell.

  22. Fuloydo says:

    Oh, I don’t think Mom’s getting hosed. I’m reimbursing her for the additional costs associated with my handset for my part of it. For her part, she pays for the smallest number of minutes (rollover) that Cingular, err, ATT sells and never uses them. I do use a few but nowhere near what she pays for. She has something like 4000 minutes built up at the moment because all of her conversations are with people from the same provider and don’t count against her minutes. It let’s her keep in touch with her sister in Texas (really in touch, like nearly constantly) for around $30/month. If she were paying for those calls……she’d be filing bankruptcy when the first bill came due.

  23. roxysteve says:

    December 14th, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Here's a phone tip for those of us that turn off the damn thing and can't (don't wanna) remember the number…

    Blue Painter's tape.. basically masking tape that sticks.. but not so well that it won't come off.. and a Sharpie .. tape goes on the back.. number goes on the tape…

    It also works while you're talking on it.. you just turn it over and tell the person (that obviously doesn't have a cell or they'd have your number already) the number.

    A brilliant plan that works if you actually know what your number is. Alternatively, the effing bog-useless, blinded by their own cleverness phone GUI designers could just get a grip, remember why people buy a bleeding phone and, oh, I dunno, *put the functions phone users actually might want to use in easy to get to locations that are clearly labelled*.

    But what do I know? I only cut my tyeeth designing non-gui data entry screens for a department headed up by a lady named Geraldine who knew where a programmer’s hurty bits were located and wasn’t afraid to kick them hard in the event they insisted in being dense in the face of real requirements her staff had submitted.

    Functions I suggest to be found at top level of menu and/or have dedicated button allocated for them on the body of the phone:
    1) Swap internal ring tone for another internal ring tone
    2) Display own phone number
    3) Enable scratchpad for taking other people’s number
    4) Mute/Hold
    5) Speaker

    Features that should not have a button on the outside of the case so it can be activated by bumping it against other pocket contents like a bunch of keys or a wallet:
    1) Sucky lo-res camera. I am sick of charging my phone overnight only to hear the “low battery” beep the next afternoon and discovering upon opening the damn thing the “camera on standby” message that means the effing thing has been displaying real-time video of my pocket all bloody day. I carry an excellent Kodak point and shoot digital camera for those times I need to record something for posterity.
    2) mp3 Player. I hate pancaked music anyway, but if I am going to play music on my phone I can spare a few seconds to find and activate the controls. I want a phone, not an mp3 player that has a phone built in, dammit! While I’m at it, all bleeding phone mp3 players should reject the speaker option. I’m sick of having to tell idiots to turn off their tinny crap on the train (where playing radios is illegal by State law). It’s time the phone companies realized that they have a responsibility for this crap if they are going to allow their products to be sold to people with a lower IQ than the damn phones they make.

    A good general rule of thumb for these demented twerps Nokia employs to write their gui software: if it is really, really cool, stick it somewhere deep in the gui. If it is boring, allocate an actual button to it.

    Angry Steve.

  24. Ian says:

    Woo, a lot of this talk about cell phones makes me glad that I bought mine retail.

    That’s the one thing that I like about GSM services (T-Mobile, here) — the coverage might not be quite as good as the CDMA phones are but you have a lot more freedom. You can buy a phone from anywhere (TigerDirect, in my case), plug your SIM card into it, and as long as it supports the frequency bands in your region it’ll just work, and nine times out of ten you wind up getting a better phones. For example, I had a Motorola RAZR V3i long before Cingular (now AT&T) started offering them in the US.

    Buying phones retail also gives you a number of advantages that you otherwise wouldn’t get. For example, all three of the Motorola phones that I bought included data cables and link software, and the latter two (a RAZR V3i and a RAZR V3x) also included decent quality, comfortable stereo ear buds.

    @Chris Arndt: You don’t technically need Motorola software to pull photos off of your phone. My mom has one of T-Mobile’s V3 RAZRs and the Bluetooth functionality works fine should you have access to a tranceiver.

    If you don’t have access to a Bluetooth device, check out sites like MotoModding.us. There are a bunch of free utilities that you can use to get data off of your phone that are much more powerful and versatile (and stable) than Motorola’s tools. I’ve had good luck with P2KCommander for my phones. For the record, I think you might have to be a member to download from there. With that, all you need is a fairly standard mini-USB to USB cable to do your data transfer, pretty basic stuff. Just be warned that the VGA camera that Motorola uses doesn’t exactly lead to stunning pictures. ;)

  25. Gahaz says:

    Not to sound like a freak here but,

    “Their vision is to give everyone their own very pay phone where the phone company can hit them up for loose change while the thing is in use. Now matter how many gadgets they pack into the phone, aparently the part they miss the most is the one where the user inserts their coins.”

    Should the segment actually read (caps are for emphasis)

    Their vision is to give everyone their VERY OWN pay phone where the phone company can hit them up for loose change while the thing is in use. NO (not Now) matter how many gadgets they pack into the phone, aparently the part they miss the most is the one where the user inserts their coins.

    Sorry, I may be wrong but it just wasn’t jivein right for me.

  26. Shamus says:

    Gahaz: Fixed.

    Roxysteve: I ALWAYS use headphones when listening to MP3’s. I can’t imagine the mindset of the person who just puts the music on speaker for everyone else to “enjoy”. (Not to imply that I leave the house.)

  27. Fuloydo says:

    On a seperate, but semi related, note.

    I have a GPS unit for my truck that also plays mp3’s. I really have no clue why the manufacturer felt the need to enable mp3 playback through the things internal speaker. Said speaker is adequate for the turn-by-turn instructions as you drive but completely sucks for music playback.

    I went with an FM transmitter option and listen to my tunes through my truck stereo. If I ever used it as a portable mp3 player, I don’t but IF, I’d get a decent set of ear buds. Listening to crappy music hurts.

  28. Mazlak says:

    How about this for a real genius:
    Man racks up an $85,000 cell phone bill by using his cell phone as a modem. Why on earth he couldn’t figure out how to get a real connection is beyond me. It’s not as if we have a brilliant cellular data transmission rate up here in Canada, but we do have decent inexpensive DSL/Cable access.

  29. Fuloydo says:

    Well, it said he was an oil field worker. I always take that to mean someone out away from the big cities where broad band access is available. It may be different up north.

    Still stupid for not reading his contract though. First thing I did was have data access removed from my account to prevent me from accidentally incurring any of those obscene data transfer fees. Which is easy to do just browsing the menu on your phone. There’s no warning to tell you which menu choice might not be local to your phone but go to the internet instead.

  30. kamagurka says:

    I have a Nokia e70. It came out in mid 06 and it’s still the best damn phone I ever saw. It’s ugly as hell, but it does internet (with wlan), it has a full qwertz keyboard, I have a putty client on it and a hotswappable minisd slot (yes, it can also function as a pretty decent mp3 player, if you buy the audio jack adapter for it).
    Other than that, I haven’t seen a phone yet where at least one of the key features sucked.

  31. kamagurka says:

    Damn. Of course I meant “didn’t suck”.

  32. Jeff says:

    Regarding a music player, that’s the only ‘additional’ function I want on my phone.

    Don’t need a camera, as I have one, and I certainly don’t need a tiny web browser.

    The only reason I want mp3 playing capabilities is because there’s no way in heck I’d buy an MP3 player. When looking at a cell phone and a MP3 player, the cell is a necessity and a music player extraneous. Thus I’d never buy an MP3 player, but if it’s built into a nice phone, there we go. If it’s not, I’ll just enjoy the sound of silence in this busy world.

    I like phones getting smaller. It’s not like I have big or fat hands, nor do I have the ineptitude some of the older generation have with electronics (in that they don’t seem to believe the bloody mic can pick up their voice unless they talk right in to it YES I CAN HERE YOU FINE OH DEAR GOD MY EARS). So there’s no downside to a smaller phone that takes up less room in my pocket – unless you’re a web addict who needs to surf at all hours, of course. I certainly wouldn’t pay for it.

    Regarding the RAZR, there are USB cables that plug into it, I had two from various cameras. One is for the camera now, and the other for my RAZR. The software you can download – MotoTools, and there are plenty of things you can fiddle with, like the menu, how backlight works, and other fiddly bits those of us who like to tinker and needlessly customize can play with.

  33. Smileyfax says:

    From that year-old entry about the phone’s camera:

    “What possible use could anyone have for 160 x 120 pictures?”

    Why, for screenshots of Duke Nukem Forever, of course!

  34. Lord_Lothar says:

    The thing I’ve never really liked is text messaging. Many of my friends are huge texters, but I just, in the words of messrs. Shatner and Rollins, “can’t get behind that.” I don’t even like getting e-mail on my phone. I tried out a Treo for awhile, just for kicks and giggles, and it the fact that I kept getting messages from my email inbox just annoyed the piss out of me. You can’t set it up so that there is no notification, so it is either beeping at you, or vibrating at you, either of which are annoying if you are trying to do something else. I have discovered that I actually LIKE being unreachable at times. If someone has something important to say to me, they can leave a message. But texting? God, it’s annoying, and has also led to a degradation of our language. I hate getting a message that says “il tlk 2 u l8r! kthxby!” It’s laziness of the highest order.

  35. Zack says:

    Mazlak : Oilfield workers are often on ocean rigs where they are limited to minutes of land line connectivity a week. My best friend described working on a rig near Perth, Australia as ‘Imagine living in a large metal shed with several truck drivers. You aren’t allowed to leave the shed for months at a time and you get a few minutes of phone access a week.’ I completely understand running up that bill.

    I currently hate phone companies. Verizon charges you for taking pictures off the phone. They also charge you extra to use their GPS service. This if on a phone that had built in GPS and USB both of which are disabled by verizon so they can charge you for the privelages. I buy my phones seperately paying full price from manufacturer and when I activate them they always try to turn everything off. *grumble* T-Mobile hasn’t been much better either. I think all providers pull this crap these days.

  36. Alex says:

    I replaced my last cel phone and MP3 player and PDA with….

    An iPhone.

    That thing actually does exactly what it says, and was put together by people who realized other people might actually want to, you know, use it. A bit pricey, but it’s actually GOOD at things, not just a list of features haphazardly piled into a crappy unusable menu system.

    Sure, you still have carrier annoyances, but I’m not sure how to get away from those and still have a cel phone.

  37. tussock says:

    The ex-head of New Zealand’s local telco monopoly got publicised saying the following gem.

    “Think about pricing; what has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion, as it’s chief marketing tool. And that’s fine, you could argue that that’s how all of us get calling prices up, and get those revenues, high margin businesses, keeping going for a lot longer than would’ve been the case.
    “But at some level, weather they consciously acknowledge it or not, customers know that that’s what the game has been, they know we’re not being strait up.”

    Every telco. That’s why most folk can’t understand the bill, they’re not supposed to understand the bill.

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I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>