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Jan 16, 2021 - 6:56 AM
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DC5

USA

16831 posts since 6/30/2015
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I do not own a smart phone, and I do not want one. I do not want any smart appliances, though I do own a smart washing machine, but have not enabled the smart features. I don't see why I would ever want a smart television, or heaven forbid, a smart refrigerator. Smart means it is spying on you. I was going to get one of the Ring doorbells as I thought the idea of being able to see whose at the door was good, until I found out that it is not only Smart, but blasted over the internet where any hacker could gain access. My wife got a smart phone last year, and it has been nothing but trouble - though she has now become dependent on it. She has not enabled any of the voice features, but every now and then we will be having a discussion about something and a related web page pops up on her screen. I don't want my appliances listening to me, deciding for me, or telling me that the laundry is done. I've been able to figure out when the machine is off for a long time now. I don't want my TV watching me. I have a tape covering the camera on my computer, and on my last computer I disabled the microphone. Haven't figured out how to do that on the new PC yet.

But here's my rant. You can't install anything anymore without a smart phone. We were having intermittent network problems, so the cable company sent us a new modem as ours was quite outdated. To install it you have to go online, but you can't go online without the modem installed, so the only way to do is is through a smart phone. This fixed some, but not all problems so we upgraded the WiFi router. I plan to install it today, but the ONLY way to do it is by downloading the app to a smart phone. There are no printed instructions to be had. A year ago I had to get some parts for a piece of farm equipment, and the only way to find a diagram of the equipment was to scan one of those stupid codes with a smart phone. I'm very tempted to get a burner phone just for installing stuff and never use it for anything else. Not only do I find this "smart" stuff annoying, but it is further creating a chasm between the rich and the poor. I can afford a smart phone, and I chose not to own one, but what about those who cannot? The "smart" phone is rapidly becoming our only interface with the world, and this should scare everyone.

Jan 16, 2021 - 7:56:33 AM

6419 posts since 9/5/2006

i am still a flip phone guy,,, went back to verizon to get a new one,,, they had 1. it has internet capabilities but i don''t use it..... call and text,,thats enough technology for me.

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:15:07 AM

figmo59

USA

32581 posts since 3/5/2008

Well...
There thos that consider me.....

An..Anal-log kinda guy.... :0/

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:22:45 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25486 posts since 8/3/2003
Online Now

I tend to agree with you about smart appliances/items.

My kids are permanently attached to their smart phones. I have actually seen them text one another when they are in the same room, not 10 feet apart. Now, to me, that's dumb. Not to them. They do everything on their cell phone from ordering groceries to paying bills to ordering items. I don't think they could do anything without those phones attached at the hip.

I have a smart phone, but don't use it as one and it doesn't own me, I own it. The only time I use it is when I want to. Mostly, it stays turned off unless I'm traveling or maybe shopping. I don't have a dozen apps on the phone, only what came on it when I got it. I don't do texts and I don't get on the internet with it. It's for making and receiving phone calls (when I want to answer them).

I have a smart TV because that's about all you can buy now, but the only thing I've added to it is Roku and that's just because my satellite provider has cut off several of the channels that I want to watch.

My car is a smart car, it has wifi, hands off phone and a menu that is so difficult it overwhelms me. Only thing I use is wifi for Sirius.

I may have to go to banking online because my bank has been closed except for the drive up window since last March. As an aside, I have now signed on with a different bank that's open and am trying to figure out how to close my account. Online banking is the last thing I want to do. I like to go inside a bank and do business.

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:47:42 AM

278 posts since 4/10/2018

My grandfather plowed his fields with oxen. He never bought a tractor because he couldn’t talk to a tractor or so he claimed. Drove my Dad completely nuts so he quit the farm and went to work in a tire factory so he could buy a Ford Model A. I have a smart phone and love it. Maps in the city where I live. YouTube banjo videos wherever I am waiting around. BHO right now. Hardly ever need a computer! Technology has helped my family get through the pandemic—zoom has allowed for banjo and music festivals. Just like to keep my banjos analog!

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:05:01 AM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

17741 posts since 6/5/2008
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I asked my D1 & SIL if it would be a good idea for me to have some sort of a smart phone.
They both said :" Dad, you will never figure out what to do with it."
Now I consider those kids to be functional experts in computer applications.
Here I sit with a plug-in land line (cordless phone, even). Digital cameras gathering dust.

We have lots of power failures = the cordless phone is mains powered = dead.
I actually have a push-button, plug-in phone as the phone line is not the same power grid.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:31:04 AM

4043 posts since 11/29/2005

Land line telephones are powered by the 48v batteries in the central office. These batteries are used to smooth out the power to keep it a consistant 48v (DC, incidentally). If the commercial power goes off, the C.O. has an auto-start diesel generator that kicks in and maintains the batteries on float.

The present problem of people losing LL telephones during power outages is due to the new digital technology that has crept into the industry. Digital requires that longer distances from the C.O. demands that amplifiers be inserted, and these are usually powered via the commercial power provider. The cordless phones, answering machines, and other office-type instruments that require AC don't work without AC, so I have at least one on my "almost antique" landline telephones plugged in at all times. Usually it also goes out because of the aforementioned amplifiers.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:55:52 AM

kww

USA

938 posts since 6/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

 I can afford a smart phone, and I chose not to own one, but what about those who cannot? The "smart" phone is rapidly becoming our only interface with the world, and this should scare everyone.


One of the reasons that I snort when people say something that can be roughly summarised as "people who make enough money to own a smart phone don't need welfare" or the like. Today's world, if you don't have a smart phone, you can't apply for jobs. When I was in the industry, the focus of federal subsidies for phones was rural: the Rural Electrification Administration subsidised the cost of providing phone service across America, and my employer, GTE, specialised in building systems that met the subsidy guidelines. These days, those same subsidies are used to make certain cell service is available in rural areas that are too sparse to make money serving and to make certain that everyone can afford a phone.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:59:40 AM

kww

USA

938 posts since 6/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjo_brad

Land line telephones are powered by the 48v batteries in the central office. These batteries are used to smooth out the power to keep it a consistant 48v (DC, incidentally). If the commercial power goes off, the C.O. has an auto-start diesel generator that kicks in and maintains the batteries on float.

The present problem of people losing LL telephones during power outages is due to the new digital technology that has crept into the industry. Digital requires that longer distances from the C.O. demands that amplifiers be inserted, and these are usually powered via the commercial power provider. The cordless phones, answering machines, and other office-type instruments that require AC don't work without AC, so I have at least one on my "almost antique" landline telephones plugged in at all times. Usually it also goes out because of the aforementioned amplifiers.


Got details on those, Brad? Admittedly, it's been 20 years since I worked on landlines, but when I did, an AC powered amplifier on a phone line wouldn't have been legal.

Jan 16, 2021 - 11:15:44 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

16831 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by kww
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

 I can afford a smart phone, and I chose not to own one, but what about those who cannot? The "smart" phone is rapidly becoming our only interface with the world, and this should scare everyone.


One of the reasons that I snort when people say something that can be roughly summarised as "people who make enough money to own a smart phone don't need welfare" or the like. Today's world, if you don't have a smart phone, you can't apply for jobs. When I was in the industry, the focus of federal subsidies for phones was rural: the Rural Electrification Administration subsidised the cost of providing phone service across America, and my employer, GTE, specialised in building systems that met the subsidy guidelines. These days, those same subsidies are used to make certain cell service is available in rural areas that are too sparse to make money serving and to make certain that everyone can afford a phone.


One of the reasons I snort when people put words into my mouth is that they misinterpret the world into their narrow focus.  My comment had nothing to do with welfare.  It had to do with choice.  I can afford a much better phone than my flip phone, but I CHOOSE not to own one.  It is a personal choice of mine, and it has no bearing on others.  In fact, as was proven when I was a teacher, much like lawyers, if you cannot afford a smart phone, one will be provided for you.  This has no bearing on my comments.  The rest of your message is exactly pertinent to my point.  We are totally dependent on smart phones and social media.  If you don't have an active social media presence it is unlikely you will be hired.  If you do not have a smart phone you cannot apply for a job.  This is what I have a problem with.  I would not have the issue if your phone was not spying on you, keeping every piece of data, everything you search, type, or say and making assumptions based on that.  The fact that I purchased an item and cannot install it without a smart phone is the point of my comments.  I fortunately do not have to look for work, but I would be in trouble if I did.  As my wife pointed out several years ago, where Orwell got it wrong was that the people would demand this technology, not that the government would force it upon us.  Or, to quote the great philosopher Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." We have been forced into a world, partially of our own making, where we are dependent on this technology.  When I left high tech 20 years ago I said I was going to become a Luddite.  I don't regret that I have remained on the trailing edge of technology.  I don't like it that it is being forced on me, that I cannot get a simple printout of installation instructions. 

Jan 16, 2021 - 11:40:43 AM
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Brian T

Canada

17741 posts since 6/5/2008
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. . . ."the trailing edge of technology." When was the last time you used a typewriter?

Thank you for such a magnificent summative statement.
I think that retirement evens the odds. I allow myself to be as indulgent as I wish.

Jan 16, 2021 - 12:11:52 PM
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421 posts since 10/4/2018

Smart devices create dumb people who can't function without them. Don't worry, the zombie apocalypse will get rid of all the people who can't figure out how to run without their smartphones.

Jan 16, 2021 - 12:18:06 PM
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kww

USA

938 posts since 6/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
quote:
Originally posted by kww
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

 I can afford a smart phone, and I chose not to own one, but what about those who cannot? The "smart" phone is rapidly becoming our only interface with the world, and this should scare everyone.


One of the reasons that I snort when people say something that can be roughly summarised as "people who make enough money to own a smart phone don't need welfare" or the like. Today's world, if you don't have a smart phone, you can't apply for jobs. When I was in the industry, the focus of federal subsidies for phones was rural: the Rural Electrification Administration subsidised the cost of providing phone service across America, and my employer, GTE, specialised in building systems that met the subsidy guidelines. These days, those same subsidies are used to make certain cell service is available in rural areas that are too sparse to make money serving and to make certain that everyone can afford a phone.


One of the reasons I snort when people put words into my mouth is that they misinterpret the world into their narrow focus.  My comment had nothing to do with welfare.


I'm sorry you interpreted my comment as negatively directed at you. I was making parallel comments on the topic. Nowhere did you make an "antiwelfare" comment, and I wasn't arguing with you.

Jan 16, 2021 - 1:04:46 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

17741 posts since 6/5/2008
Online Now

There's an inheritance pattern in telephone equipment which is finally being addressed.
We get and got the old stuff in our village that wouldn't be tolerated in a city.

If anything, the internet has revealed what everybody else has been using, modern and up to date.
In the past 10 years, it's helped to focus some demand for better connectivity.

The TelCos are still paying for the copper wire that they put up decades ago.
So they want to wring as much money out of it as they can.

The brave management in some Italian city took down all the wire.

Jan 16, 2021 - 11:40:31 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24395 posts since 6/25/2005

Well, I like landlines—at least as they used to be. That said, I got a smart phone when my wife died, and it has been handy, though I don’t use it for nearly everything it could do. I use it, obviously, for phone calls; i also text I have not and will not install any apps on it, beyond what it came with. I use the weather app. I take pictures (because it’s convenient; I have cameras for use when I plan to take photos. It’s my alarm clock. It had a software problem a few months ago, and I found I can live without it, though the phone does make things easier. It’s useful to read the news when I’m waiting at the Dr.’s or the vet’s. Makes living alone much easier.

Jan 17, 2021 - 3:34:50 AM

1540 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I don't see why I would ever want a smart television............Smart means it is spying on you.


While some may comaplin a lot of this stuff is actually really useful. In the same way the internet is useful and TVs are useful. My 84 year old aunt finds here smart TV useful, not for streaming of TV programmes and films but for video talking to her children and grand children during this pandemic. My brother likes watching the cricket from Australia.

Smart phones don't need to be expensive. Apps can be very useful. You can turn off location and voice recognition. I don't want printed manuals clogging up my draws anymore. Or anything printed if it can be avoided.

You don't have to use smart functions in appliances. I see no use for them but in 20 years it might be different. The world moves on. People complained about trains and cars and movies and radio and TV and computers and the internet. But we did find these quite useful in the end.

Jan 17, 2021 - 4:08:26 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13038 posts since 5/24/2005

Sadly, kind of, I am abandoning my many old tube amps. Buying a "desktop" amp...with bluetooth. They be controlled with smart phone or pad, pipe in backing tracks, select many digitized tones to mimic certain guitars and amps, etc.
Smart phones, have made my life and job easier. Smart phones have made me less dumb. I am spending 1000.00 on a new one soon. I hate smart phones. Brad

Jan 17, 2021 - 5:34:55 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

16831 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I don't see why I would ever want a smart television............Smart means it is spying on you.


While some may comaplin a lot of this stuff is actually really useful. In the same way the internet is useful and TVs are useful. My 84 year old aunt finds here smart TV useful, not for streaming of TV programmes and films but for video talking to her children and grand children during this pandemic. My brother likes watching the cricket from Australia.

Smart phones don't need to be expensive. Apps can be very useful. You can turn off location and voice recognition. I don't want printed manuals clogging up my draws anymore. Or anything printed if it can be avoided.

You don't have to use smart functions in appliances. I see no use for them but in 20 years it might be different. The world moves on. People complained about trains and cars and movies and radio and TV and computers and the internet. But we did find these quite useful in the end.


I don't question the usefulness.  No doubt that the computer I'm on now is extremely useful, and I watch friends and families with their smart phones constantly looking things up, making reservations, plotting motorcycle rides.  My issue is with the dependence on the smart technology to where you cannot function without it.  This is the direction we are heading, and it frightens me, not because it is useful, but because it is abuseful.  An encyclopedia is very useful.  We had one in our house when I grew up, and I bought one when I built this house.  When Encarta first came out I paid a lot of money for it because I saw how extremely useful, and faster than an encyclopedia.  The difference between both the paper, and the CD version of an encyclopedia is that they are not looking at what I'm looking up.  The smart phone pays attention to everything you look up, records that information, makes judgments about you, and even steers advertisers to you and directs you where it wants you to go.  It also monitors your friends and links what they do to you.  Example, as my wife was looking for birthday gifts for me, I was getting pop-up ads for those, and other similar products.  Now this is all fine if you are willing to give up some privacy for useful convenience.  But now I'm forced to do that.  I could not install the router I purchased without a smart phone.  I'm choosing to not have a smart phone, but soon I will not be able to function without one to do simple installations of products. 

I was a science teacher.  When the Boston Marathon bombing happened, the first thing I wanted to do was lookup how they made a pressure cooker bomb.  I realized quickly what a mistake that would be.  When I got to work the next day my department head said he had the same inclination.  We were interested in the physics of the bomb, not building them - but that would not stop our searches from going into a massive database.  We are now in a world, of our own deciding, where we are constantly spied on, and those of us wishing to limit that spying, are being forced into the world.  That is the point of my rant.

Jan 17, 2021 - 7:38:14 AM

1540 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
The smart phone pays attention to everything you look up, records that information, makes judgments about you, and even steers advertisers to you and directs you where it wants you to go.  It also monitors your friends and links what they do to you.  Example, as my wife was looking for birthday gifts for me, I was getting pop-up ads for those, and other similar products.  Now this is all fine if you are willing to give up some privacy for useful convenience.  But now I'm forced to do that.

 


You're not forced to do that. You can switch off a lot of stuff. I switch off location. I have everything possible turned off in my Google account. Any recording of activity is turned off. History is not recorded. I don't get personalised ads. Same with the internet. I don't allow any trackers and even ads are prevented. Even if any ad gets through they are not personalised. Even in site tracking and history such as Amazon is turned off.

Jan 17, 2021 - 7:59:20 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

16831 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by DC5
The smart phone pays attention to everything you look up, records that information, makes judgments about you, and even steers advertisers to you and directs you where it wants you to go.  It also monitors your friends and links what they do to you.  Example, as my wife was looking for birthday gifts for me, I was getting pop-up ads for those, and other similar products.  Now this is all fine if you are willing to give up some privacy for useful convenience.  But now I'm forced to do that.

 


You're not forced to do that. You can switch off a lot of stuff. I switch off location. I have everything possible turned off in my Google account. Any recording of activity is turned off. History is not recorded. I don't get personalised ads. Same with the internet. I don't allow any trackers and even ads are prevented. Even if any ad gets through they are not personalised. Even in site tracking and history such as Amazon is turned off.


You think you can turn off stuff.  And besides, off should be the default, you should actively have to turn on stuff.  And is still does not address my point is it has become a dependency, even to those of us who don't want it, we are forced into needing it.

Jan 17, 2021 - 1:39:02 PM

4043 posts since 11/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by kww
quote:
Originally posted by banjo_brad

Land line telephones are powered by the 48v batteries in the central office. These batteries are used to smooth out the power to keep it a consistant 48v (DC, incidentally). If the commercial power goes off, the C.O. has an auto-start diesel generator that kicks in and maintains the batteries on float.

The present problem of people losing LL telephones during power outages is due to the new digital technology that has crept into the industry. Digital requires that longer distances from the C.O. demands that amplifiers be inserted, and these are usually powered via the commercial power provider. The cordless phones, answering machines, and other office-type instruments that require AC don't work without AC, so I have at least one on my "almost antique" landline telephones plugged in at all times. Usually it also goes out because of the aforementioned amplifiers.


Got details on those, Brad? Admittedly, it's been 20 years since I worked on landlines, but when I did, an AC powered amplifier on a phone line wouldn't have been legal.


Sorry, that info came to me from a local TelCo supervisor when I was having trouble with my DSL computer connections.  All of the amplifiers (or "repeaters") i worked with during my time in the industry were either located in the Central Office or in the T1 T-Carrier repeater lines and worked off of telco power.  I haven't been involved with the industry since February of 1984 when my wife and I left GTE in Santa Monica and opened an Office Supply store in Truckee.  At least I was involved in some of the new Electronic Switching offices when I worked in a #1 EAX office, finally ending up as a Tech Support Engineer, Electronic Switching.  Started as I&R in the 60's.

Jan 17, 2021 - 1:53:45 PM

4043 posts since 11/29/2005

"The TelCos are still paying for the copper wire that they put up decades ago.
So they want to wring as much money out of it as they can."

Brian, actually, the TelCo's are trying their damnedest to get rid of the copper stuff, overhead upkeep is expensive and man-power & time wise. Trying to find an actual "telephone repairman" now-a-days is nigh impossible, as the number of employees the companies want to maintain (as few as possible) have to cross trained in old, new, and developing technology. Many of the people I worked with before I bailed back in the 80's were force-realigned or took early outs to keep from being fired shortly after Judge Green completed his plan to destroy the communications industry.

Used to be, you paid as little as $5-$10 a month for a telephone, provided and maintained by the company, and paid for long-distance calls on a time & charges basis when you made a long distance call. An extension phone on the same number would be an additional $1/mo charge. The companies also had actual commitment times they were held to by the P.U.C. (Public Utilities Commission); Out of Service was a 2-hour commitment for businesses, 4-hour for residence. Other problems (static, noise, etc.) had a 4-hour for business, 12-hour for residence. Try to get an actual, same day commitment now-a-days, I was usually scheduled about a week out, and sometimes could get a 2-day credit, if I complained loud enough.

Jan 17, 2021 - 1:56:24 PM

kww

USA

938 posts since 6/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjo_brad
quote:
Originally posted by kww
quote:
Originally posted by banjo_brad

Land line telephones are powered by the 48v batteries in the central office. These batteries are used to smooth out the power to keep it a consistant 48v (DC, incidentally). If the commercial power goes off, the C.O. has an auto-start diesel generator that kicks in and maintains the batteries on float.

The present problem of people losing LL telephones during power outages is due to the new digital technology that has crept into the industry. Digital requires that longer distances from the C.O. demands that amplifiers be inserted, and these are usually powered via the commercial power provider. The cordless phones, answering machines, and other office-type instruments that require AC don't work without AC, so I have at least one on my "almost antique" landline telephones plugged in at all times. Usually it also goes out because of the aforementioned amplifiers.


Got details on those, Brad? Admittedly, it's been 20 years since I worked on landlines, but when I did, an AC powered amplifier on a phone line wouldn't have been legal.


Sorry, that info came to me from a local TelCo supervisor when I was having trouble with my DSL computer connections.  All of the amplifiers (or "repeaters") i worked with during my time in the industry were either located in the Central Office or in the T1 T-Carrier repeater lines and worked off of telco power.  I haven't been involved with the industry since February of 1984 when my wife and I left GTE in Santa Monica and opened an Office Supply store in Truckee.  At least I was involved in some of the new Electronic Switching offices when I worked in a #1 EAX office, finally ending up as a Tech Support Engineer, Electronic Switching.  Started as I&R in the 60's.


Ah, a DSL splitter. Those can, indeed, be AC powered (and usually are), but the voice-range split is a passive circuit, so when the AC goes out, the voice is unaffected. It's still an extra load and an extra splice, so the reliability is going to drop a little bit, but loss of AC to a properly-installed splitter shouldn't cause a loss of service.

Jan 17, 2021 - 2:59:08 PM
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Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

17741 posts since 6/5/2008
Online Now

We have an optical fiber cable that runs right through this village.
Nope, connections cost too much to install. The copper still works OK.

Jan 18, 2021 - 4:34:03 AM
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phb

Germany

2430 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I don't see why I would ever want a smart television


A smart television would be one that doesn't turn on.

Jan 18, 2021 - 10:15:07 AM

4043 posts since 11/29/2005

quote: Ah, a DSL splitter. Those can, indeed, be AC powered (and usually are), but the voice-range split is a passive circuit, so when the AC goes out, the voice is unaffected. It's still an extra load and an extra splice, so the reliability is going to drop a little bit, but loss of AC to a properly-installed splitter shouldn't cause a loss of service.

The DSL was a separate problem having to do with bad underground feeder cables in the neighborhood (6 pair for 4 houses, three of which were bad, I had doubled wires to keep a connection - long, long story).  The NDT during power outages (remember when that was only a concern if the phones lines were physically severed?) were due to the use of digital transmitters that required 120v in the man-holes for power.  Apparently, this is now a thing with the new order.

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