Saturday, February 5, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca.--We have been feeling a certain dispiritedness of late over the state of cell phone reception. 
   Inasmuch as we use an iPhone, we are, for the moment only, stuck with a massive carrier the name of which rhymes with Ayy Tee and Tee. Their transmitter technology, in a word, blows. Calls consantly drop like standards at closing time. 
   Another company, the name of which rhymes with Ver-I-Zon, has won the right to work with the iPhone. This may be good news. We do not yet know. (For more, see "UPDATE," below.)
   We do know this. We grew up using land lines. The transmission was so clear and the sound so perfect that the party with whom you were speaking seemed close enough for you to reach out and touch inappropriately. Well, or, you know. In addition, calls never dropped. 
   With cell phones, what we've gained in portability we've lost in the consistent intimacy of conversation. We don't know about you, but countless times we've been in the midst of a deep, personal discussion only to have the fucking  phone go dead. We can't think of anything more frustrating, except perhaps the fact that a certain Northern political entertainer, whose name rhymes with Kara Talin, is in any way considered a bright and shining light of, well, anything. 
   It is easy, God knows, to be curmudgeonly and lament the so-called good old days. But to do so is as intellectually lazy as is Kara Talin's every utterance. That said, it's odd, not to say occasionally infuriating, that our primary communication device, wonderfully transportable though it is, has returned us to the days of two tin cans and a string. 
   Honestly, they sent a man to the moon; you're telling us it's impossible to make it so that a friggin' cell phone convo can be enjoyed without it turning to ash and blowing away in the wind of Kara Talin's hot air? 

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports today: "Verizon Wireless said the number of iPhones it sold in the first two hours of availability Thursday exceeded the one-day total for any other device's debut in the carrier's history." 
   The newspaper, reporting on its website, neglected to say how many Verizon-compatible iPhone 4s were sold between 3a.m. and 5a.m. EST Thursday, a fact that does not boost confidence in the information-gathering skills of the Fourth Estate. 
   Nonetheless, Feb. 10 is the phone's official launch day. Stay tuned. 


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