When the Morotola Razr V3 cell phone came out almost three years ago, it was hailed as THE compact and slick cell phone for power users. If you had a Razr, you were cool. That's no longer true as the company has cut prices on the Razr to as low as $30. Indeed, more than 50 million had been sold as of mid-2006. Everybody can afford one now.
I've never heard much good about them. Nothing terribly bad, either. My teenage daughter and I both have had one for 18 months and we both agree, the Razr is neither a bad nor a great phone. That we paid $200 each and committed to two years of mediocre Cingular service feels like a ripoff, now. There's nothing special about this phone. The display on hers is kaput and to replace it would have cost about $150 for the smattering of places that would repair the ribbon connecting it to the main body of the phone. That's the end of her Razr. She now uses a low end Motorola C139 that I picked up the $60 and is just as happy without the cool flip phone form factor, the camera that took grainy pictures and bluetooth. The Razr's menuing interface was never easy to use, either. The sleek ultra-thin Razr was plagued by a defect and temporarily pulled off the market in early 2006.
I'm transitioning off my Razr because the battery barely holds a charge anymore. And I am loathe to pay $20-$45 for a new battery. I am using my Blackberry 8700C, whose phone is greatly improved over its predecessors. For Motorola, the Razr has been a great success. The hardware design is nice, but functionally and in terms of durability, the Razr never came close to living up to the hype.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.