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The latest and the greatest

December 2, 2011
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Ever stood in line to buy something?

Not like the "Wow, its 11pm and Wal-Mart only has one checking lane open despite the fact that the guy in front of me is clearly buying supplies for the rest of the island dwellers," kind of standing in line.

I mean the "Alright, its almost midnight and all I have to do is get in, read them my reservation number, and walk out; all without punching a 14 year old in the face." kind of standing in line.

I do not advocate the punching 14 year olds.

And I'm not talking about the Midnight Madness/Black Friday/Ridiculous Days insanity. Those people barely register as members of society. And they aren't waiting in line for a product, they're waiting in line for savings.

Waiting in line for a product is different; you didn't get a discount, you didn't get something exclusive, you just get it first.

I have done this before. Twice for video games. Once for the fourth season of "The West Wing" on DVD.

That one was less of a midnight release and more of my room mate James and I demanding the Wal-Mart night crew go find the crate in the back and give us one.

You want to have the new stuff, right? Isn't it more fun to have the cutting edge than to take the responsible route and wait a week when the price gets cut in half? Ask all those people outside the Apple stores before a new iPhone goes on sale, they get it.

Everybody likes to have the new stuff, when your stuff is so new you still see commercials advertising it as 'brand new' and the 'latest technology' and 'secretly spying on everything you do and say.'

I'm sorry?

So, in my pursuit to have all things new, yet refusing to join the Apple cult (no offense Steve, but your followers can get a little weird) I decided to pick up a new cell phone with a TOTALLY NECESSARY 3-D camera, the HTC EVO 3D Android.

The reception drops frequently, the screen tends to freeze and the 3G speeds are abysmal. But it has a 3-D camera! 3-D!

So, when I saw someone sent me a link to a 17 minute long YouTube video about the EVO 3D I just assumed it was them congratulating me on owning such a cool phone, and the video would serve as some kind of love letter to my 2 gigs of dedicated RAM and 4G capabilities; you know, like normal people do.

Instead, the video showed me how a program called Carrier IQ has been running on my phone the entire time I've owned it, recording every key stroke and web page I have visited.

And its not just my carrier (Sprint) or my phone, AT&T, Apple, and T-Mobile all use the Carrier IQ program. They all defend its use, except Apple who decided to act like their wife just found an unknown hotel recepit in their wallet. "What? How did THAT get there? I'll throw it away right now."

Sprint has said that they use the program to root out network problems.

Every key stroke? Every web page? And you want me to believe that its all for making a better network?

Then why do I?keep losing reception? Huh?

I'm switching back to my flip phone.

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Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.

 
 

 

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