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Science Forum

  1. 28 Mar '08 21:37
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of the phone itself, or the carrier, it boils down to one simple fact: I could ALWAYS hear every word on my old reliable phone, and I could ALWAYS get a connection on the other end. And---Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    28 Mar '08 21:41
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    But, but, but, OH YEAH, well, you can, uh, play VIDEO GAMES on cell phones, SO THERE!
  3. 29 Mar '08 07:02
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    But, but, but, OH YEAH, well, you can, uh, play VIDEO GAMES on cell phones, SO THERE!
    well, yeah--I suppose there IS that. If I ever play one, I'll let you know if the trade-off was worth it.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Mar '08 14:20
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    well, yeah--I suppose there IS that. If I ever play one, I'll let you know if the trade-off was worth it.
    You know, I found one, maybe my Razor, not sure, but it had a so-called chess game on it. About as strong as your average 8 year old...
    Here is another cute trick they do. Like old house phones always work, etc. Well last week I get a notice on my razor, software update started, press 1 to continue. So I started the upgrade and it took a loong time, like ten minutes while its counting, 1%, 2%, 3 %, etc. So it finally finishes, I call up T Mobile support and ask what was that all about. They go, Um, we don't know(!). So they checked into it and half hour later calls back and said, oh, this was from Motorola, a firmware upgrade. So what does it do? We don't know..... Ok, I puts that one aside. The next day, my kids Razor does the same thing, but this time it doesn't go so well and the phone shuts off in the middle and won't come on. It's fully charged so its some kind of software glitch. Ah, aint cell phones great!
  5. Standard member agryson
    AGW Hitman
    29 Mar '08 17:00
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    Maybe it's report bias? I distinctly remember in 1985 talking on a phone from australia to my grandparents and while it was a rotary dial and all that, I had to wait ages for their message to get back. I can call them from my cell phone on the other side of the world now with no apparent delay. In fact, the phone is so much better nowadays that so many people use them that the infrastructure sometimes has trouble keeping up. The technology is fine, but the take up is faster thant he infrastructure can handle is all.
    Point the finger where the blame is deserved man.
  6. 01 Apr '08 09:36
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    Its easy to find out whether or not you are being honest. What sort of phone do you use now? Did someone force you to get rid of your rotary phone?
  7. Standard member dweezil
    Canuck savant
    01 Apr '08 13:00
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    You know, I found one, maybe my Razor, not sure, but it had a so-called chess game on it. About as strong as your average 8 year old...
    Here is another cute trick they do. Like old house phones always work, etc. Well last week I get a notice on my razor, software update started, press 1 to continue. So I started the upgrade and it took a loong time, like t ...[text shortened]... ome on. It's fully charged so its some kind of software glitch. Ah, aint cell phones great!
    Not to be paranoid but.....

    http://www.disgrunt.com/blog/2006/12/07/mobile-phone-can-spy-on-you-even-when-off/

    Maybe there is another reason for the "firmware upgrades".
  8. 01 Apr '08 13:02
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    It's not that the technology has got worse, though, is it? It's that we're asking more from it. Of course a fixed line is going to have fewer connection difficulties than a mobile. And sound quality is going to suffer once you start expecting people to be contactable in shops/pubs/wherever.
  9. 01 Apr '08 14:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its easy to find out whether or not you are being honest. What sort of phone do you use now? Did someone force you to get rid of your rotary phone?
    I use my old 1978 model phone at home. At work I am forced to use this modern crap. And even though I use the superior phone, if other people stick with their cellular pieces of crap, it still means I can only hear every third word they say. So, there you have it--the "honest" truth. Any more comments?
  10. 02 Apr '08 11:46 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I use my old 1978 model phone at home. At work I am forced to use this modern crap. And even though I use the superior phone, if other people stick with their cellular pieces of crap, it still means I can only hear every third word they say. So, there you have it--the "honest" truth. Any more comments?
    Here in South Africa, my office phone is probably just as good as your old 1978 model though I doubt that you have the * and # buttons on yours!
    And I am soon going to get a voip version and I am told the voice quality is perfectly OK.

    Don't you used desk phones at work anymore?

    The main reasons why voice quality has suffered on cell phones are:
    1. they are cellular thus the data must go via radio waves etc etc. -some loss of quality.
    2. they are small - so as to fit in your pocket (and look cool) - so the microphone is not directly in front of your mouth. This often results in background noise being picked up more.
    3. people use them in noisy environments.

    Have you considered:
    1. getting a hearing aid.
    2. telling callers to speak clearly and not phone you while they are driving.
    3. Using SMS

    I don't like cell phones either - they give me headaches if I use them for too long.
  11. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    03 Apr '08 03:14
    the fault tolerance in old phone lines and modern digital ones is fundamentally different. the analog signal degrades evenly, where as the digital signal has redundancy built in so that it can actually detect flipped bits in the receiving end and correct them. what this means in practice is that the digital signal can correct a lot of errors into virtually flawless reconstruction of the original, but when the amount of errors goes over a certain threshold the signal sort of collapses. the upside is that where analog signal is already bad, the digital signal is still close to perfect.

    so if you have bad enough field, the signal is extremely choppy and usually breaks off soon. does that sound familiar?
  12. 05 Apr '08 04:51
    Phones are making progress, but fax machines worry me badly...
  13. 06 Apr '08 11:27
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    cell phone bussiness is like opium to many human beings ... all the paraphernalia "improved" to force people to change them every 6 months ... its very stupid
    i dont need GPS, videogames, emails, videochat , video, camera, radio, a palm, as a generous plus in my phone !!!
    in fact i hate to talk one minute in any cell phone or telephone !!!
    in fact i hate everything !!!
    hahahaha
  14. Standard member leisurelysloth
    Man of Steel
    08 Apr '08 22:00
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    When all other modern technology has arguably improved, some by leaps and bounds, over the last several decades, what's the deal with telephones? Or am I the only one on the planet whose hearing is acute enough to tell that my rotary phone in 1976 was FAR superior to any cordless/cell/whatever-other-crap that has been invented since then? regardless of t ...[text shortened]... --Surprise, Surprise!!, my old phone never experienced a "dropped call".
    Cell phones suck.
    Back in the "good old days" you had a copper wire going from your phone to the neighbor's phone, and you had the full bandwidth of that channel to carry your conversation.

    Cell phones are an entirely different proposition. The cell phone company makes money by maximizing the number of callers they can get onto each cell phone tower--you are sharing that channel with everyone else who wants to talk. One of the ways that they pull this off is by digitally compressing/decompressing the voice signals in the phone and this comes at a loss of quality. The compression algorithms vary by phone technology and so you may notice that some providers have better sound quality than others.

    Also, they are doing this with while trying to make a profit off of phones that they're practically giving away--and in order to make this work these phones are built as cheaply as possible. It is not a system that puts a premium on excellent sound/voice quality--CHEAP and just barely functional is the norm.