Cell Phones Should Not Have Dimmer-Like Reception. Either You have Service or You Don't

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Derek, Apr 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Derek
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    Derek Silver Member

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    I'm unapologetically plagiarizing Adam Carolla here, but I think he made a great point relevant to all travelers who use cell phones. As a (relatively) young guy my cell phone is amongst my my most important travel "tools." Anyhow, Carolla made the following point in his latest book: Cell phones should not work when you only have one or two bars of service. What purpose does it serve for your phone to work well enough to ring and receive a call, but not well enough to have a conversation? He argues that phones should not have bars of reception strength, but an off/on function, the latter being when the phone has a strong enough signal to actually conduct a phone call. I could not agree more.
     
  2. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Him and Loveline..*sigh...Psyco Mike is much better.
    Anyway, that would be nice...if there wasn't a little thing called physics ;)
     
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  3. Derek
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    Derek Silver Member

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    LOL, I'm not too familiar with Radio jockeys. Never saw Loveline
    As for the physics... that's one of (many) subject areas I do not understand, so I'll take your word for it!
     
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  4. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Interesting idea - cannot tell you how many times I have seen 4 out of 5 bars, you start to do something, and bazinga it's gone!
     
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  5. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    As I prepared to type this my 3G card dropped from 3G to 1xRTT - and then dropped the connection. Reset modem, back to 5 bars.

    I'm probably one of the few that found the old analog days to be acceptable - calls dropped less (except when changing cells) - if the signal got weak, the connection got noisy but you could often still converse. In the di tal wo ld the con ersa ion gets ch ppy or just cuts
     
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  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    An excellent point. As an iPhone owner, I'm lucky to be in SEA, which seems to be one of the only places in the country where reception is decent (not great, but I don't have to take my calls in the middle of the street, like I do when I visit my parents). I can carry on a conversation with 2 or more bars.

    However, the WiFi/3G switch is incredibly annoying. AT&T built a cell tower on top of my building. I have great reception most places at work for both talking and using the 3G data. But there's also WiFi throughout the building since it's a university research campus. So I'd like to use that because it's faster. Good for AT&T since I don't use their precious bandwidth. Except that if I step outside the building, the WiFi drops to 1 bar, which is unusable, and stays that way until I'm half a mile from the building (other weak WiFi stations along the way). So the phone tries and tries to use an unworkable connection, and I end up switching to 3G and staying there. All the time.

    I don't want to keep switching back and forth, so I just leave it on 3G and use a couple GB on my unlimited plan. If AT&T pushed Apple to create a threshold feature, so I could tell it to switch from WiFI to 3G at 1 bar or less, instead of 0 bars or less, then I would probably keep it set on WiFi and use significantly less data from AT&T. But bad design makes me an unwilling data hog.
     
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  7. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    Obviously this is a thread started by geezers. GenY doesn't even know the definition of "phone conversation" anymore - they text. And you only need one bar for that. :D :D :D
     
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  8. Derek
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    Derek Silver Member

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    I started the thread and I'm 25:). You are right, I do in fact prefer texting in most cases... But geezers insist on calling me, so I have to have phone conversations!
     
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  9. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    The bars are a hold over of the analog era. Yes, there was once a time where you could "kinda hear me now". In the same way you use to get reception sort of on your TV for that distant station though it was a little fuzzy. With transmission now digital you are either getting all (or enough) of the bytes or you are not. I think the bars are still important and while you may not have static problems any more I do find that there is a strong correlation between data speed and number of bars these days.
     
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  10. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    I must be a geezer then...I don't have a text plan!
     
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  11. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    If that were to happen, I would get forced back onto a land line in one place where I prop my cell phones up by a window and Bluetooth them to a Vtech cordless system. :eek: No thanks, Mr. Carolla! :p
     
  12. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    On many phones the "bars" are related to BER (Bit Error Rate) more than pure signal strength. So, yes, the numbe of bars are related to speed....
     
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  13. emajy
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    emajy Silver Member

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    All the switching back and forth 4G/3G/1X just kills the battery. I would prefer a data threshold to conserve battery.
     
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  14. wiredboy
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    wiredboy Silver Member

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    How ironic that there's a banner ad for Sprint at the bottom of this page.......
     
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  15. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    AdWords (or similar) is doing it's thing. ;)
     
  16. Derek
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    Derek Silver Member

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    I had never thought of it, but maybe we are so anti phone-call because many of us have never had our own land-lines, and our damn cell-phones don't work well enough to have a conversation most of the time. Don't blame the generation gap, blame AT&T!

    Yikes! My parents are in the same boat. Email is enough of a struggle for them:)

    There is a wonderful article series on collegehumor.com called "Parents Just Don't Understand," where younger folks write in with horror stories about their elder family members technological mishaps. It's good for a laugh.
     
  17. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    People complain to me all the time...but most of them get used to it or stop being my friend ;)
     
  18. wiredboy
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    wiredboy Silver Member

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    I have an older friend who makes me crazy. He'll call me on his cell, leave a message, and then immediately power it down. My only option is to leave a message...... which he doesn't know how to retrieve. I think he must have dozens of messages on his phone from the last two years.
     
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  19. mrsmortis
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    mrsmortis Silver Member

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    I know several people like that. My Godmother doesn't know how to lock the keys on her mobile so she keeps it in an old glasses case which mutes the ringer so much that she doesn't hear it. And she can't get her messages either...
     
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