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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Like many folks out there, I love my iPhone.  And like many of those folks who currently have iPhones, I’m wondering if I’m going to get an iPhone 4S. 

So I reflected.  I pondered.  I daydreamed.  I checked available funds.  I went back to daydreaming.  I checked available funds again.  I quickly learned that daydreaming, while completely lacking in material gain, was actually quite inexpensive on the whole and could sustain me for a good while.  But, just in case, I checked available funds again in case anything had changed in that last 45 seconds I spent daydreaming.  I then went back to daydreaming, but this time, I was daydreaming about both the iPhone 4S and a lot more available funds. 

Mmmmm…..  Available funds….

I also noticed there were a lot of complainers online.  TONS of people twittering, blogging, facebooking that Apple dropped the ball.  THEY HAVE SOME NERVE, not giving us the iPhone 5 they never once mentioned or promised.  HOW DARE THEY reuse a winning design and make millions of accessories useful for yet another year?  I CANNOT BELIEVE they will only double my total internet download speed on the AT&T Network.    I believe OMGFAILLOL was typed very near the sacred words “Apple” and “iPhone,” which amazingly isn’t against United States law yet.

Me? As a proud iPhone 4 user, I’m actually kind of glad that the iPhone 4S would probably let me re-use my expensive Otter case.  I’m just fine with the 8MP camera upgrade and the CPU speed boost.  I’d be looking forward to the supposed extended battery life.  I’d be thrilled with the revamped dual-antenna and better call connection.  I’ve not used Siri, so I don’t know yet how much I’d care that it’s an exclusive.  All of the IOS 5 and iCloud features are pretty much the same on the iPhone 4 vs 4S as far as I know, so there’s not much to discuss there. 

So there I was, convinced that I needed to convince myself to upgrade to the iPhone 4S.  I just needed to convince myself to do it. 

But I paused. 

I had to ask myself — did I have enough experience to do an upgrade?  I know that for some, experience is an over-rated characteristic, but for me, I needed to make sure I knew enough to go through with it.

Interestingly enough, it didn’t take me very long to determine that I indeed had some history upgrading phones and music devices.

Lessee… That’s one iPhone 3G, 3 iPhone 3GS’s, 2 iPhone 4’s, a Windows 7 Samsung Focus and two portable music players.  Not shown: the Cingular 8525, the 4 or 5 Blackberry 8700C’s, or the dozen or so phones and gadgets from before I started keeping my boxes.

I needed more than just experience, however.  I needed to be able to rationalize the purchase.  I needed some sort of “hook” to make the purchase a necessity, not just a luxuy.

The wife’s 3GS is acting up.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Her phone is a piece of crap!  “3gs,” I said mockingly, in my head.  Over and over again, I bullied that phone in my mind.  I can’t believe my own wife has a prehistoric bundle of copper wires and duct tape that calls itself a smartphone.  The battery dies after just 30 minutes!  The docking port doesn’t always accept every cable!  Calls disconnect all the time!  IT’S A 3GS AFTER ALL. 

But, I quickly reminded myself, if *I* were to upgrade to the iPhone 4S, then I could give my iPhone 4 to her!  I could even make it sound really really good, like so good it would be on par as a 20th wedding anniversary present or something.  Boy am I smart!

Giddy from how smart I realized I was, I re-checked available funds again and my spirit sunk like the stock market after a jobs speech.  To add insult to injury, my brain decided to remind me that with one of the three phone upgrades available on my AT&T Family Plan, I can get a FREE 3GS replacement from the Apple Store to fix my wife’s phone woes.

Oh well, back to waiting for available funds.

There are three iPhone 4S’s available, and with the upgrade, they are $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB.  I have the 16GB iPhone 4 now and am always bumping against the limit, so I already know I need to budget for at least the 32GB.  And with a bigger camera, I might be taking more pictures so the 64GB might be the thing to get, but with iCloud, I can store more things off-the-phone.

But it’s still 300 or 400 dollars, and that’s a lot of do-re-mi, Fasola Tea.

Here’s where you come in.

If I missed any good rationale or factors that would help convince me that this purchase is a necessity rather than a luxury, please comment below. 

If you have words of encouragement for me during these difficult times, please comment below.

If you have tips on how to deal with the time between now and when I get the funds to upgrade, please comment below.

If you happen to have any extra available funds or Apple gift cards, please comment below.

 

 

I will now give all of you a Sneak Peek at what *I* think the next generation of iPhone OS, 4.0 should support.*

If you didn’t know, Apple is showing off tidbits of it later today, and if I know Apple, I know they’ll listen to me and maybe fit in my wishlist before they actually release the software.**

iphone-4

Ring/Alert Profiles

This is a biggie for me.  I’m a Blackberry convert, and while there are many touchy-feely things the iPhone is superior with, Ring Profiles is something it’s completely horrible at. ***

I depend on my iPhone to serve the following functions:

  1. Mobile Phone
  2. Calendar
  3. Text message sender/receiver
  4. Alarm clock
  5. Reminders
  6. Notifier of urgent things happening
  7. Silent companion for those “special times” when sound is an enemy

Like most humans, I have a schedule.  When I go to bed, I want to be able to turn off all the sounds the iPhone makes except for text messages, phone calls and the wake up alarm.  When I’m in a meeting, I want everything to be silent, and only buzz me on text messages, phone calls, and urgent email messages.  When I’m out working in the yard, I might want everything to be extra loud because it’s harder to hear.

The point? I want to be able to name my own profiles, then customize what that profile does.  The blackberry is vastly superior for this function, as one can perform all of these actions and more.  And even better is that there’s a convenience key or two on the outside of the case that you can program to bring up whatever you want – I had mine set to “Select Ring Profile”.

This seems soooo incredibly doable.

Convenience Button Support

I want extra hardware buttons on the front, back sides, top… wherever I want, so I can assign programs or functions to them.  I want to be able to select different profiles without having to navigate here, there, then there.  I want to be able to turn wifi on/off more easily.  I want to bring up favorite apps more quickly.  I want a quick-dial button that I can assign to either immediately call a specific number or bring up my “Favorites”.

I mention this as an iPhone OS 4.0 wish-list item because I want manufacturers like Mophie to be able to come out with a hardware plug-in battery case that also has extra things on it, like programmable buttons.  Maybe a LED light on the top, or possibly a flash that “knows” when the camera is about to snap a picture, and does the flash for the iPhone.

I’m guessing that Apple’s API for docks and such only work with the iPod-type of controls, such as Volume Up/Down, Stop/Pause, Next/Previous, etc.  If Apple does indeed support this functionality such as being able to launch an app via an API command through the dock port, then maybe it’s just vendors who are not coming up with good ideas such as these.

I expect royalties if so.

GPS-aware apps and settings

The phone knows where I am, most of the time, right?

The iPhone (and iPhone Apps) should therefore let me make settings based on location.

Example: when I’m at home or work, I want wifi to be turned on by default.  I want to have to turn it off manually.  Conversely, when I’m traveling in a car, I want wifi to be turned off by default, and I should have to turn it on manually.  I don’t want battery life to be used up trying to search for wifi networks when it doesn’t make sense to me (defined by my settings).

Maybe there’d even be a GPS coordinate stored with each “Favorite hotspot” so that when the phone was near the hotspot, it knew to look for them.

I can think of soooo many applications for GPS-aware settings.

  • Reminder to stop by grocery store on way home
  • Food deals to be aware of on way home
  • Gas tracking / mileage, and pointing out where mass transit options are, if close by
  • Carpooling options for those who want to share rides (can you imagine? instead of calling a Taxi, you load iShare or something, and anyone who’s driving and also willing to provide a ride, and also going your way, would stop and pick you up… you’d do the same thing if you have a car/van)

Transcription 24×7

The government’s doing it to us already.  We should also have the benefits.

I want to be able to have everything I say recorded and transcribed in real-time.  The iPhone has a microphone; it has network connectivity.  Dragon Dictation has this as an iPhone App, but I’m thinking more along the lines of integrated with the OS.

Sound that iPhone hears is streamed to a server in real-time, which analyzes it, transcribes it, and sends it back to the iPhone.  Most text is just stored as a daily journal (and the phone recognizes some voices, and for those that it doesn’t, I should be able to tag it as “Mary” or “John” and it remembers.)

Recently spoken audio is also analyzed and used by the Google Search App, so that if I’m talking about restaurants in the area, when I pick up the iPhone, it already has contextual information based on the conversation thus far.  It might key on words such as “I wonder if…<something>” and it takes the “something” and Googles it for you.

This would work with the GPS-aware app functionality I mentioned above. I’ll give an example: During the day, I tell my wife “ok, I’ll pick up bell peppers and cilantro on the way home”.  See, the servers this stuff is uploaded to are VERY smart.  VERY high performance.  It can tell that this text is my way of adding to my own to-do list.  It might even send me a request or notify tone indicating that it picked something up as a to-do item.  Or a promise I made.

I can’t wait for the first elected official to commit to using an iPhone in this way.

Screen brightness control by an iPhone App

I like my Flashlight app.  However, to save battery, my screen brightness is usually very low, and works well for me 98% of the time.  However, when I DO need a flashlight, the flashlight app can’t change the brightness of the iPhone itself.  So it’s a crappy flashlight unless I go to Settings –> Brightness blahblahblah.

When I need a flashlight, I’m usually in a hurry.

This also underscores the ability to have a case with a built-in LED flashlight that can come on with a button.

“Smart” VPN

Another are where BlackBerry still has dominance over iPhone is in the concept of VPN and back-office connectivity for mobile devices.  In the corporate world, I want to be able to connect to work resources automatically. I don’t want to go to Settings and connect the VPN, click, find, click, whatever blahblahblah.  I just want to be able to set the iPhone so that when it tries to go to corporate resources, it. just. works.

I would think that the Exchange ActiveSync platform might be a solution to this – it’s already connecting over secure ports to do email fetch/send/sync… why not modify it to do web page fetch/sync as well?  I would think the CPU overhead of using Exchange client on the iPhone would be less than an actual VPN client, and it could be brainlessly easy to set up if the Exchange setup just allowed it by default, depending on IT/Sysadmin’s policies.

Better support for multiple email accounts/inboxes

When you have work email and personal email requiring the same entrance point (the envelope icon App), and you have to back –> back –> back –> back –> email account –> inbox to go back and forth, it gets to be a pain.

I should be able to specify certain folders/mailboxes as “favorites”, such as Email Account #1 Inbox and Email Account #2 Inbox.  Then at the top, I just hold down the favorite list, a drop-down box comes up and I can hop between them without the tap, tap, tap, tap crap.

Other miscellaneous wishes:

  • I want to see phone calls, text messages and emails all in one view
  • I want to be able to update my Exchange “Out Of Office” alerts from the iPhone
  • When typing in an email address, it should be smarter about entry.  I should be able to hit “space” and the first time, it’s an “@” sign and the second and subsequent times, it’s a period.
  • It should learn how fat or thin my thumbs are.  Make me type in a few words so it can learn where I think the “S” key is and where “L” is.  I SAID “L”, NOT BACKSPACE!!!!

And the number one item on my wishlist?

BE SILENT WHEN I SAY TO BE SILENT!!!!

Recently, I went to my daughter’s Young Artists Recital, where she and a few other top flute/piccolo players did a formal presentation of their talents.  All the winners of the 2010 Young Artists Competition were invited.  It was awesome.  She sure is good.

So.

It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

We all put our phones on stun/vibrate.

Right in the middle of Caitlin’s performance, while I’m recording video from my iPhone, THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE that it’s reminding me to take my vitamins, which is an iPhone Alarm item I set for twice a day.

I’m completely embarrassed.  I fumble with it to acknowledge the alert, but I think, whew, at least it was my own daughter and I didn’t ruin someone ELSE’s day.  Also, the stupid alarm stopped my video recording, so I don’t a record of the event (and by “event,” I mean my daughter playing, not me interrupting it).

So.

It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

Next performer is on.  It’s Nine Minutes Later.

THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE AGAIN BECAUSE I ACCIDENTALLY PRESSED SNOOZE INSTEAD OF DISMISS.

I ended up turning the iPhone off and not recording anything else.  This underscores the need for multiple profiles — there should be a “Always Be Silent” mode, a “Mostly be Silent” mode for keeping phone/txt/alarms on, and other modes.

And there you have it.

What about you?  Do you have any items on your wishlist?

* kind-of misleading titles don’t bother me
** I’m not saying I know Apple.  I said “if”.
*** Besides, I wanted to be able to have  a sentence that had two fragments that ended with propositions, because a sentence is a horrible thing to end a preposition with.
January
11
2010
2:30 pm
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One of my favorite apps on the iPhone is Words With Friends – or “Scrabble” for the copyright-challenged.

IMG_0708

I’ve always been a word-game buff, be it Scramble, Wheel of Fortune, or generic word find puzzles in Highlights magazine.

I’m guessing newtoyinc gets around the “Scrabble” copyright issue by calling it “Words with Friends” – also, astute players will notice a different pattern of double-letter, triple-letter, double-word and triple-word tiles. 

However, during last week’s pool league, Ren and I started talking about modifications that should be pretty easy to code in the app that might make it more fun for people. 

We think that when you create a new game, you should be able to select the “type” of game:

Lowest Score Wins

Self-explanatory.  Now you have to avoid the tile score modifiers, and hope the OTHER guy gets the Q, Z, J or X.  (perhaps you already wish that?).  I think this option might get more people willing to play.

Word Length Bonus

Instead of just getting the points on the letters and whatever tile modifiers you place the word on, you get bonus points for the length of the word.  In standard rules, you only get a bonus for using all 7 tiles, but it would be an interesting dynamic to also get, say 5 extra points for a 5-letter word, 10 points for a 6 letter word, and an additional 5 points for every letter after that.

Another variation of this would to be to also count appended words instead of just use of tiles out of the tray.  Now “e” + “d” are a lot more valuable!

Speed Games

Another interesting type of play would be to actually play head to head and not allow turn-by-turn delays.  You get 1 minute to play, and that’s it.  If you don’t take your turn in the allotted time, you lose an extra turn (your opponent gets to play twice).

Can you think of some?

btw #1: if you want to play me, my username is in the picture above.  Warning: sometimes I play several times in a day, and there have been times when I went a week without playing my move.

btw #2: STROBING is *so* a word!  ARGH.  Two TL’s and a TW’s, not to mention using all my letters!!!

IMG_0721

(and no, there was NO place to play “storing” or “sorting”)

I bet you thought I meant DM as in “Direct Message” didn’t you?

direct-message

No.

I mean Demitri Martin.

I’ve really come to love more and more things on my iPhone and one of the most recent ones is the AOL Radio app.  AOL Radio is like XM or Sirius or a radio station but goes over this magical thing I like to call “the Internet.”  It streams in different stations, like Rock, Pop, All Beatles, Sports, Talk, Politics, Country, or whatever has a station.  There are millions of stations (sort of). 

There are a couple of stations in my AOL Radio “favorites” list that are Comedy specific – AOL Comedy Classics and AOL Comedy Attack!

aol-radio

Now, Faiqa, Avitable and you other liberals, please don’t get all freaked out about the AOL Progressive channel. It’s *not* what you think it is.

Here are some videos for your enjoy to see if Demitri is up your alley or not.  I’m giving you two options because you might be busy and want a shorter one.

(and yes, the 2nd one has a couple bad words in it, and has a couple repeat jokes from the first one.  I consider this the extent of my responsibility in warning you since my blog is PG-13 rated.)

I think I’m going to quit my day job and go on the Scramble Pro Tour.

scramble-3

As regular readers of ye old blog of whall know, I recent switched from Blackberry 8700C to iPhone 3GS.  There are some major drawbacks from that move (which I will explain in more detail with a dedicated post) but there are some awesome benefits.  One of the benefits is Scramble.

Scramble is a free iPhone app/game that I learned about at pool last Wednesday night.  I love word games, word finds and word play.  I can’t believe how addictive this game is. 

Equally unbelievable is how relatively bad I am.

When I first started this game, I think I earned 8 points.  On the next game, I doubled my score to 16.  I thought I was pretty good until I connected to facebook and saw some of my friends’ scores:

scramble-4
(I’ve blurred out the names to protect the awesome. 
However, some of you may recognize the avatars)

374 points?!??!?!  HOLY COW.  Congrats, my BFF BF.

So far, I’ve gotten a high score of 116 points, and that wasn’t until I figured out I can change the grid to 5×5 instead of 4×4.  This makes a lot more words available, even if it does make selecting the letters a little harder when the screen is rotated.

The simple idea behind this game is: you’re given a grid of letters, and you drag your finger across letters to make words.  The longer the word, the more score you get.  You keep getting as many words as you can in the 2- or 3-minute time limit.

scramble-5

As with most addictive things in life like golf or blogging, there are aspects that are frustrating.  The frustration adds to the allure, counter-intuitive as that may seem.  Four of these frustration factors are

  1. Seeing other people do better than me (aka, the “competitive factor“)
  2. Seeing simple words I missed (aka, the “embarassment factor“)
  3. Having the time run out before picking all the words I already see (aka, the “anxious factor“)
  4. Learning that the English language has some stupid made-up words, probably just for this stupid game wait let me play it again because I can get that word next time and what do you mean utui is a word?!?!?! (aka, the “sore loser factor“)

I’ve resorted to blindly trying words in the hopes that they are real words, and whaddyaknow – it works half the time.  Not only is TEA a word, but so is TAE!  I’m guessing possession and memorization of the Scrabble Dictionary would be a good thing for this game. Knowing the magic 3-letter list is probably a good thing as well, and when there’s an “S” nearby, you pretty much double all the words around it.

I think there should be levels of the game – one version where you just need to know that a word exists, but another where you need to know what a word means.   And then I’d win because this would be my board:

scramble-whall
(bonus points: what total score
could you get from above board?)

Then, I found out there’s an online Facebook version of Scramble, and you don’t even need the iPhone!  I played it a couple of times and it took a little getting used to dragging the mouse around the letters instead of my finger, but it gets easy enough soon enough.  I still prefer the iPhone version for now.

I also like how the game likes to point out the obvious

scramble-one

Do you scramble?

June
18
2009
5:30 pm
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As promised, here is a more detailed description of my journey into the choice of getting the iPhone 3GS over keeping my older Blackberry 8700C.

Summary: It’s a better phone + PDA + music + social media tool + web browser + gadget.

Details are in the extended entry.

(more…)

June
17
2009
5:30 pm
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Remember way back when?  Back when I was wondering if I should upgrade to the iPhone?

I’ve made my decision:

iphone
click to embiggify

WOOHOO!

I wanted to share some of the details that led to my decision to choose an upgrade to the iPhone 3GS over continuing with my Blackberry 8700C.  That will probably be tomorrow’s post, so I’ll start with these details:

Detail Area #1: The fine print

The subject of the message says “Your iPhone reservation.”  The first paragraph of the email starts with “Thanks for reserving your iPhone” and even says I can “come to the store [I] selected anytime on the day of my reservation.”

Upon reading these constant reminders of my reservation, I was filled with a fulfilling sense of fulfillment.  This confirmation of my reservation was there in front of me, in black and white!  I completed my reservation at apple.com (Detail Area #2), tied it to one of the eligible phones on my AT&T contract (Detail Area #3), and got this email a few seconds afterwards.  Nice process.  Clean procedure.  Great result.

I. Am. Reserved.

I even reserved some time with my wife (who I’m taking care of at home while she heals from knee surgery) to make sure I can be gone for a few hours Friday morning and that she’ll be ok without me. 

I know. Saintly.

However, down at the bottom of the email, in small print (and light grey on dark grey instead of black and white), it says:

Pre-authorization does not guarantee iPhone availability at an Apple Retail Store. iPhone is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Say whaaah?

The pedantic side of me is noticing that it mentions “pre-authorization”, not “reservation,” so that makes me think “oh well, that disclaimer isn’t for me.”  But it still bothers me a little.

My Apple store opens at 10am, so I plan on getting there early just to be certain I’m seen and I score.

apple store

Detail Area #2: Reserving my phone

Right when I decided to go iPhone, a friend I was IM’ing with at the time told me he heard that pre-orders had sold out.

GAH!

Some quick googling confirmed that there was a June 12th cutoff that meant anyone ordering after that date would just get their phone shipped approximately “whenever” and it might be weeks before I got the phone.

Thank goodness I found an article online that dispelled the rumor, explained the June 12th mumbo-jumbo and told me how to increase my chances of pre-ordering.  I called AT&T and the person couldn’t help me (that took 45 minutes btw).  I went to wireless.att.com and they were having problems with the website.  Once I did get online, I couldn’t tie the iPhone to MY number, but I could upgrade one of the other lines on my family plan.  It bothered me to try to do this online, so I skipped that method.

So, I was able to go to the Apple Store online and reserve my phone.  Score one for the whallster.

Detail Area #3: Tying the iPhone to my cell

It took a long call w/AT&T to confirm this, but it did get confirmed.  I have four (4) lines on my AT&T family plan.  Two (2) of them are eligible for upgrades and two (2) aren’t. 

att family plan

Of course, MY line is one of the ones listed as not eligible, but AT&T allows you to use upgrades for one line and apply it to another.  They just can’t do it online.  So I actually tied the upgrade to my wife’s line and then I’ll have to call AT&T to swap them in their system once I have the iPhone in hand.

However, this probably means some weird service experiences are in my future on Friday when they try to do all this for me while they’re handling Black iFriday for everyone else in the US getting the new phone.  And if service sucks on Friday for AT&T customers, it might as well suck on an iPhone instead of a Blackberry.

My next post will detail some of the deciding factors for choosing the iPhone. 

I’m thinking of just making a graphic that says “It’s better” but since when do I use brevity?

June
15
2009
5:30 pm
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You may have seen some of my recent tweets that I’ve been trying to decide between keeping my Blackberry 8700C or upgrading to an iPhone 3GS.

Side note: I like how each of the manufacturers like to double up their graphics whenever showing off a phone.  It’s like you subconsciously get TWO phones.

I have my personal list of PROs and CONs about each phone/service.  What I’d like from you is not necessarily a vote for one of the other (because WHICH phone YOU would choose is less applicable than WHY), but instead, list your likes and dislikes of each.

Here are the facts first:

  • I’m currently with AT&T and I qualify for the upgrade discounts… so I’m pretty sure that means $99 for 8GB old iPhone, $199 for 16GB new iPhone and $299 for 32GB new iPhone.
  • I believe I’d save $15-20 a month on the iPhone all-inclusive plan over the Blackberry all inclusive plan.  I still have to confirm this, though.  (We already have unlimited texting on our family plan)
  • I’m an Enterprise user and my group administers the BES at work (some of you know what that means and why it’s a factor).
  • I’m an extremely fast typer and I rely heavily on email functionality, both work-related (Exchange) and personal (Gmail via IMAP).

I think what I’ll do is this: I’ll let Dave2 make his very witty and comedic-yet-unrelated comment, and then I’ll sit and watch the PROs and CONs filter in from all you smart and helpful folk.  Later, when everyone’s had a chance, I’ll see if any of mine were missed and I’ll add them in.  I guess really what I’m saying is I may steal the thunder from a lot of comments if I list out all my factors, and I don’t want to pre-empt comments.  I love comments. 

Feel free to be as technical as you want.  Or as frilly, I don’t care.

January
8
2009
2:10 pm
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I don’t know if this is the coolest thing ever, or just an early April Fool’s joke.

Go to the Powermat site, and watch the quick little demo they have of the iPhone being set on top of the mat and it just charging.  Supposedly it will work with cameras, cell phones, laptops, bluetooth headsets, any enabled device.

Seems way too good to be true.  

What do you think?  Is it real?  Is it a hoax?  Is it proof that the government has been sitting on all the cool technology for years and just releasing what they feel like to keep people right on the edge, teetering between the massively stressful and the incredibly joyous aspects of life?  Kind of like velcro was?

They supposedly explain the whole gizmo on their Technology page, cleverly throwing out references to Tesla (what does 80’s rock have to do with this?  Oh wait, maybe it’s a power ballad thing?), magnetic induction (pulling babies out of pregnant mothers with magnets?  Sounds painful) and something called “optimized standby consumption” which evidently means I can efficiently eat while I sit and wait for my next flight.

How long until the first person dies from falling asleep on their desk, with their head rested on top of this ultra-thin mat?  

Or maybe we’ll be redefiningt the meaning of the “power nap.”

Note: This blog post is also available via audio.  It is read by the author on Utterli.

My 14yr-old daughter is a little spoiled.  She got an iPhone for Christmas.

Let me explain.  The iPhone was not given to her, as you might justifiably think after that first paragraph, and that’s not why she’s spoiled.

In order to get most of her gadgets or relatively expensive things, she saves up and buys them herself.   And she doesn’t get an allowance.  So how does she get these things?

Well, she babysits, for one.  She also does pet sitting.   But that’s not why she’s spoiled.

She also earns money for grades.  You might think she “gets money for grades” but it’s more complicated than that. 

I probably should explain that one also – it’s a “grade earning agreement” we have.  She earns a set dollar amount for A’s and has to pay a set dollar amount (1/2 of the amt for A’s) for B’s and below.  She gets a bonus (50%) for 100’s.  Now that’s incentive, right?  And she always makes money every report card.  She has 6 grades per grading period, so that means she has to make 2 A’s and 4 B’s and below just to break even.

We as parents provide necessary clothing, household items and things a kid “need” to be a kid.  However, anything extra she wants beyond that, like designer clothing/shoes, going to the movies with her friends, going to the mall and buying stuff from top*kopi or whatever it is, comes out of her money.  I got this idea from my parents (kudos to them).

The iPhone definately falls into the “extra” category.  This 16GB iPhone 3G was $299.  She was able to contribute $212 towards the purchase, but she really really really really really wanted it.  She already agreed to sell us her 8GB video iPod nano for $60 (part of the $212) because I wanted a good MP3 for my wife, and she was already familiar enough with the iPod.   That still left $70+ to pay.   I offered to pay for the difference if she gave me her existing phone, the Palm Centro, and then I’d take the risk of selling it on eBay but I get whatever money I make from it.   (btw, she also paid for the Centro herself when she got it earlier in the year)

She agreed, and she got the phone.

She loves that phone.

We all love that phone.

We have a win-win situation here.  Mom gets a like-new ipod nano for way under market value, daughter gets her new iPhone, and dad makes some money selling off a Centro.  There’s still 4hrs left in the auction and it’s already selling for $40 more than I “paid” for it.

And that’s why she’s spoiled. 

Wait, maybe *I’m* the one who’s spoiled.

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