I got yer tech, right here!

The Perfessor

Shut up and Drive!

JackmanSo, don’t you just hate it when you are in the movies, the theater, or your chosen house of worship and some pinhead’s cell phone rings? Yeah, me too. Well then imagine how much fun it was to be at the Broadway Performance of A Steady Rain the other night an not be the person on the receiving end of a call to their cell phone. Especially when co-star Hugh Jackman became irritated at the insistent ringing and called out to the patron to answer the phone. As it turns out, the awkward moment was captured on an amateur video that appears to have been recorded by someone in the audience.

It shows Jackman breaking character to tell the owner of the ringing cell phone, “You want to get that?” as the audience erupts in cheers. As the ringing persists, Jackman pleads: “Come on, just turn it off.” He then paces the stage of the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, waits about a minute for the ringing to stop and the play resumes.

You can read more about it here, but it begs the question of how was it that the person shooting the vid (on their cell phone?) managed to capture the right moment. Perhaps they were simultaneous using their cell phone to call another patron of the theater, just to watch what would happen.

Hey, it could happen.

Still, regardless of that, it is still an annoying experience to have that happen. I have since been informed that (I think that it is in in England) that some theaters are starting to broadcast a jamming signal within their building to prevent cell phones from ringing. I’m honestly not sure how legal that is (some folk might legitimately might be on call and need to be reached), but it does have a satisfying, er, ring, to it eh?

Needless to say, a few minutes later, another phone (or the same one) rang and Jackman’s co-star, Danial Craig chimed in for the fool to shut it the Hell up. Now there’s a smart move, piss off both Wolverine and James Bond. Talk about “Shaken” and “Stirred”.

The Perfessor

Hi-tech Monday!

Forty years ago, today, it was the coolest day of the Century (unless you were a Met fan and that day came on October 16), as that was the day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon.

Unfortunately, that was 40 years ago, and the U.S. Space program really hasn’t seemed to have done much beyond that since.

Despite a flurry of celebrations commemorating the July 1969 lunar landing of Apollo 11 and a pledge from President Barack Obama, a self-described space geek, to reinvigorate the agency, U.S. manned space efforts remain in limbo. Federal budget constraints threaten to scuttle the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s current plans to spend more than $70 billion to build a new generation of rockets and space capsules to return to the moon after 2020. While alternate proposals promise lower costs and fewer technical risks, they continue to spark disputes with industry and government officials intent on protecting incumbent contractors.


These days, we are all about accessing the Internet, and showing off our wicked-cool phones.

Why Japan’s Cellphones Haven’t Gone Global

Japan’s cellphones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on the Galápagos Islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins — explains Takeshi Natsuno, who teaches at Tokyo’s Keio University.

“The most amazing thing about Japan is that even the average person out there will have a superadvanced phone,” said Mr. Natsuno. “So we’re asking, can’t Japan build on that advantage?”

You would think that out tech-heads would love the Japanese phones, but apparently , not so much.

Meanwhile, Japanese developers are jealous of the runaway global popularity of the Apple iPhone and App Store, which have pushed the American and European cellphone industry away from its obsession with hardware specifications to software. “This is the kind of phone I wanted to make,” Mr. Natsuno said, playing with his own iPhone 3G.

The conflict between Japan’s advanced hardware and its primitive software has contributed to some confusion over whether the Japanese find the iPhone cutting edge or boring. One analyst said they just aren’t used to handsets that connect to a computer.

For the rest of us, we just want to get our comics delivered electronically on our phones.

My Phone is Dead, Long Live My Phone

Every once in a while (it seems like at least once a month) I get an email about stuff that I have now that I can’t live without that I didn’t have for the first 80% of my life. One of those things is (obviously) my cell phone. Over the years that I have had mine, it Have grown all but completely dependent on it. When I got my first pager my father couldn’t understand why I needed one, “You’re not a Dr.” he said to me. I tried explaining how as a freelancer who was more often than not out on an assignment, and unteachable.

I patiently explained that because my job site kept changing, I didn’t have a main phone except my house, but that was often too late to wait to find out about an assignment, because the agencies would move on to someone else if I didn’t get back to them in short order. I’m not entirely certain that I ever convinced him. When I got a cell phone (even though he didn’t say it) I’m sure that he thought that I wasn’t a drug dealer, or bookie, so why I did I need a cell phone).

On the other side of that school of thought, the Mrs. and I bought our daughter a cell phone when she was about 11, for the expressed purpose of us being able to reach her after school. At the time we were both working in a different city than where she was going to school, and we figured that it was important for us to be able to reach other (our son, who was a few years older, already had a phone which he had for a couple of years).

As we entered the cell-phone store Kayla asked “How old were you when you got you first cell phone, Mom?” To which my wife responded, “35.” Needless to say, Kay found this incredible. Whereupon her older and (much wiser) brother injected, “They didn’t have cell phones when mom was your age.” Proving that it somehow never occurs to us (especially kids) that the things we have now weren’t always available.

All of which brings me to my point. Last week my long abused cell phone finally went to that big technology depot in the sky and I had to bite the bullet and get a new model. The problem is that my phone is more of a Pocket PC than “just” a phone, and my carrier now requires that all Pocket PCs and “Smart”t phones to have a data packet (at another 30/50 bucks a month). well, as much as I’ve lusted this package, it just wasn’t in the cards at this time, but I still wanted the Pocket PC.

Well, as luck would have it, the (now discontinued) upgrade to my phone, was still available and didn’t require the additional data package. So I ordered it online (it wasn’t available in the store near my house), but I had to wait for it to be delivered. It arrived Friday, and now I’m the proud new owner of the 6800 model (I had the 6700, and the 6900 is already out on the market, which is why the 6800 was pulled).

Hopefully this new phone will last me the two years of my new contract, and by then, I’ll either be able to acquire an upgrade without the package or be able to afford the package (which, hopefully will be cheaper by then). Until then, I’ll be talking, texting, and, well utilizing this model.

The Perfessor