That's a great story, Ratsky. iPads have become famous for their toddler-friendliness. We've all heard the stories of kids playing on the iPad before they know how to walk or talk. Buying stuff while the parents are not looking is a new one on me.
Yup! My grandson just turned 3. He got his first iPhone (enabled only for WiFi) at 15 months! It was his daddy's, and had been replaced by a newer model. In no time, he was quite adept at using it to watch videos, and knew all of the gestural motions. He had learned all this by watching his parents use it, and started to grab it just before the upgrade. After a few months of enjoying HIS phone, he decided his parents' phone were BETTER, and soon started the grab and flip routine again. Fortunately for him, a new iPhone came out, and Mommy and Daddy upgraded, etc. THEN they bought an iPad; within 3 weeks, it also was "his", although he did graciously allow M & D to use it sometimes. Now he has a Kindle too, and uses all 3 devices at his whim! He even bought a season series of kiddie videos with the Kindle (a parent had forgotten to log out of the Store after buying something) last week while we were visiting. Folks found out when the charges hit the credit card! Makes my wife and I feel REALLY old!
I agree, Ratsky. I have a BB for work. My personal phone is a dumbphone. I use it primarily to logistics (calling someone and saying, "Where did you say you lived" or that I'm stuck in traffic and running late. So I don't care about features. Life is much different from my 16-year-old daughter who lives for the features. My guess is this is a worldwide generational phenomenon.
My BB is provided by my employer, and it's a "hand-me-down" from someone else (who probably upgraded to an iPhone or Android). The LG is my own, and contract expired years ago; I changed the plan to prepaid (3rd-party provider) about 15 months ago. Costs me on average less than $10/month for mine, less than $3 for my wife's! You're right, of course about smartphones being amortized over the contract duration. You can beat this, though, by buying a slightly used one on-line (or refurbs from 3rd-party resellers like I use) for less than that battery replacement cost I mentioned, and going pre-paid. You'll never get the "latest and greatest", but if it does what you need it to do, who cares?
Good point, Ratsky. There seems to be an increasing velocity of products that are disposable after a short lifetime. Smartphones take the top spot for expensive products that become throw-aways quickly. The subsidies on the cost of smartphones hide the high cost of these devices (we pay for them in the monthly billing). New features make each generation obsolete in a year to 18 months.
Oh, BTW, my rule of thumb for when it's time to replace a cell phone has always been when the battery lasts less than 2 days... built-in feature! Unintentional, but effective, since cost of a new phone is less than a replacement battery! At least that's a lot longer life than the folks who buy a new printer when the ink cartridge(s) run out!
....and that's EXACTLY why I keep my old DUMB phone (4-year old LG) in my pants pocket, with the Blackberry in the shirt pocket. Also, I have "network redundancy": one's AT&T, the other Verizon. The BB UI is wretched, but beyond mere patching anyway.
The cell phone industry takes forced obsolescence to a new high. They've convinced us to accept a 2-year life on phones, trained us to salivate impatiently when the next generation arrives, without ever perfecting anything. The phone you have now will not be supported in a year, will not receive updates to fix known bugs.
Thanks for the report, Keith. In addition to lead, gold and silver also inhibit the growth of tin whiskers. But you can imagine the problem with using gold or silver. One of the big questions that remains is how effective nickel is. Some say it's great, some say it's not. Most of the electronics industry seems pretty comfy with non-leaded solder. Military and aerospace are still exempt from RoHS.
BobGroh: I concur. The only time I ever bought an expensive printer, it was no longer state-of-the-art after two years. I've had very good luck with inexpensive printers, and I plan to keep it that way.
By experimenting with the photovoltaic reaction in solar cells, researchers at MIT have made a breakthrough in energy efficiency that significantly pushes the boundaries of current commercial cells on the market.
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A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is