Cell phones, data, and power

Candace, 09 April 2007, Comments Off on Cell phones, data, and power
Categories: Cell phones, Krzr, Power

I recently washed my cell phone. I left it in the pocket of my pants and by the time I remembered it had been lathered, rinsed, and repeated. I left it in the sun for a day, then on top of my computer monitor for another day, then charging for another few days. There was hope because the screen would light up if I took the battery out and put it back in. (Turns out SOS is not the number you call when your cell phone doesn’t work, it’s the number for emergency fire, ambulance, police. Gaaah!)

So, many days later, I have a somewhat functional cell phone. It’s the indestructible Samsung x426 which has been dropped more times than I can count, stepped on, sat on, lost, found, and now cleaned inside and out. The problem with it since its cleaning is that the batter cannot hold a charge for more than a few hours. Less if I use it. I’ve had it for 3 years and so I figure it’s time to upgrade!

I’ve been looking them over online and in stores because the feel of the phone in my hand is as important as the features and price. I like the Motorola krzr for a number of reasons:


it feels good and has some sweet features like a 2 megapixel camera on the k1 and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the k1m plus an mp3 player and video recording. It holds a removable micro SD card (aka transflash) and I also like that it has a USB slot on the side for transferring off data. All my current phone does is answer a call – and this is doesn’t do very well because the sound of the ringer is so quiet that I don’t usually hear it. But this is what I’m getting at: the significance of that USB slot.

Suppose you take a picture of your kid, a tree, whatever, and you want to have it in your photo collection on your computer.

It’s your picture, your kid, your whatever.

It has nothing to do with rogers/telus/cingular/t-mobile/insert cellular network here.

There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get Your Photo out of the memory on the phone and put it on Your Computer.

But the hardware is such that you must go through the cell network — texting Your Data — to yourself — if you want it somewhere other than your phone. So it costs you, makes you dependent, and powerless, just so you can get what is already yours.

So this is why I like the krzr and other phones that ‘let you’ have your content. It’s a whole bundle of cyberethics issues, all wrapped up in a little phone: technology, ethics, power: who has it, who wants it, and what it’s going to cost to get a piece of that.

So I’m willing to pay a bit more now if it means I can control my data.


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